ChrisWeigant.com

Nail-Biter In Pennsylvania

[ Posted Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 20:00 PDT ]

As I sit down to write, final election results are not currently known from the 18th House district in Pennsylvania, where Democrat Conor Lamb is making a surprisingly strong showing against Republican Rick Saccone. From listening to experts tonight, I drew one astounding takeaway -- there are 115 other House districts that are more competitive than this one. Think about that -- a Democrat is within reach of victory in a district that is only 116th-most competitive. That will have repercussions in November, obviously.

As I write, with 98 percent of the votes counted (all but 12 of almost 600 precincts), Lamb is up by exactly 700 votes, out of over 215,000 cast.

Absentee ballots have not been counted yet. A recount is likely, since the two are within a half a percentage point of each other. So we likely won't know until at least tomorrow who will win the district.

While we're waiting for any further results, we are going to share something we prepared earlier. We had fully intended to write a full column tonight on what the election meant, but it's now looking like that won't be possible until tomorrow. So, for the time being, let's all enjoy a bit of history that ends with an etymological twist.

 

Historical interlude

This entire section was written before the election results came in. It consists merely of interesting historical background information on southwestern Pennsylvania for your edification.

In the early days of the United States, southwestern Pennsylvania was the center of attention several different times. The most prominent was the earliest, when the area was the heart of what became known as the Whiskey Rebellion. The newly-born United States had been given (by the new Constitution) the power to levy taxes, and the first tax passed was an excise tax on whiskey. They had Revolutionary War debts to pay off, so this is the scheme they came up with to do so.

At the time, farmers in rural areas (which was virtually everywhere, back then) had little access to hard money, and so whiskey was a convenient standard for bartering. It was the product of a whole lot of grain grown, it was compact, and it was able to be divided into small units if necessary -- an excellent thing to base commerce upon when coins were scarce.

The federal tax meant that transactions in whiskey were expected to be taxed, meaning the farmers would have to come up with hard money to pay the tax -- when that was the whole problem to begin with (a shortage of such money). So, in 1791, they threatened to revolt.

President George Washington, in a feat never again seen throughout American history, personally led the armed forces which travelled to the region to put down the rebellion, which largely fizzled out.

One of the reasons why the rebels went home peacefully was that a man named Albert Gallatin talked them down. Gallatin, from southwestern Pennsylvania, would later become Thomas Jefferson's Secretary of the Treasury. He was not a fan of Alexander Hamilton, who was a Federalist and believed in running a national debt. Antifederalist Gallatin believed exactly the opposite. Gallatin has the distinction of serving the longest term as head of the Treasury Department of any American before or since.

Gallatin himself was reviled by the Federalists, who successfully kept him out of the United States Senate when Pennsylvania appointed him, claiming he had not been a citizen for the requisite number of years. In 1793, Gallatin was sworn in, but then expelled on a party-line vote (14-12) of the full Senate. Gallatin then returned to Congress as a duly-elected House member, and by 1797 became what would today be called Majority Leader. Right after the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798 (which the Federalists used to arrest Antifederalist newspaper editors they didn't approve of), Congress considered passing a law barring anyone not born in America from high office. Thomas Jefferson wrote, at the time: "Their threats pointed at Gallatin, and it is believed they will endeavor to reach him by this bill."

As near as I can figure, Gallatin hailed from a town in a county right on the border of the current PA-18 House district. That's where the current "Albert Gallatin School District" can now be found, in Fayette County.

Gallatin, as Treasury Secretary, never achieved his goal of completely paying off the national debt, but he was around for some significant expenditures, including the Louisiana Purchase, the War of 1812, and funding the Lewis and Clark expedition (there are still rivers and whatnot named for Gallatin in Montana, as a direct result). Gallatin also proposed an enormous federal public works program -- the first such plan ever devised. After an enormous battle in Congress over the constitutionality of the federal government spending money on things like ports and roads, one significant project was funded: the National Road.

The National Road was the progenitor of every U.S. and Interstate highway in America. It was a federally-funded project to build a paved (rock) road from Cumberland, Maryland to the Mississippi River, which would run through Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia (still Virginia, at the time), Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. It wasn't exactly a smashing success, as the road never made it all the way (it ended in Illinois, short of the Mississippi). The problem was that it took so long to build. Eventually, the Erie Canal linked the Atlantic seaboard with the Great Lakes, which provided a water route to the interior, and before the National Road was complete, the railroads had surpassed its usefulness. The National Road did, however, provide a crucial link from the end of the navigable part of the Potomac River (in Cumberland) with the Ohio River (in Wheeling, West Virginia), before the Erie Canal was constructed.

The road had several engineering marvels in the stretch from Cumberland to Wheeling. I should mention that Gallatin influenced the route of the National Road through southwestern Pennsylvania, since it was his home territory. The short stretch of road in Maryland had the Casselman Bridge, which at the time was the biggest stone-arch bridge in the world (widest arch). In present-day West Virginia, the Wheeling Suspension Bridge built to cross the Ohio River boasted the longest suspended span in the world, too. But the biggest engineering milestone was the road itself.

The National Road -- particularly the early stretches of it built through Maryland and Pennsylvania -- was the first American road constructed by the principles developed by a Scotsman, John McAdam. He was one of the first people to study the science of roadbuilding since Roman times, and his design for laying the rocks to form a road (complete with camber and sufficient drainage) was the height of engineering technology at the time. The National Road was the first "macadamized" road built here.

Which is where we must go off on a tangent to wrap up this historical interlude. Macadam roads were the standard for over a century, but with the advent of the motor vehicle, things had to change. A horse-drawn cart was fine on a road with a top surface of crushed gravel, but automobiles whooshed along so fast that they sucked up an enormous cloud of rock dust in their wake. So the design had to be modernized. This was achieved by spraying a layer of tar on top of a macadamized road. The tar bound the dust so it wouldn't create a huge cloud. Problem solved!

This was trademarked as "Tar Macadam," and the method is still used virtually unchanged on back country roads all across America today. Secondary roads with a top layer of gravel mixed with tar are common all over rural areas, in fact. But nobody calls these roads by the correct name, these days. Instead, John McAdam's name is still immortalized (in truncated fashion, with an extra letter) by a term which is largely used incorrectly today. Because no matter what surface or construction they contain, all runways and taxiways at airports are universally known as "tarmac."

[Editorial Note: I'll finish the rest of this column tomorrow, when solid election results are known.]

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

138 Comments on “Nail-Biter In Pennsylvania”

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Update from when that was written -

    With all but 2 precincts counted, Lamb leads by 95 votes!

    Hoo baby, that's a close election!

    -CW

  2. [2] 
    Kick wrote:

    PA-18 ABSENTEE BALLOTS

    Allegheny.......... 3,500 Lamb 1,930 Saccone 1,178
    Westmoreland... 1,800
    Washington....... 1,140
    Greene................. 203

    Lamb up 847

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Still seems to be 2 Westmoreland precincts that haven't reported?

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    From CNN's Adam Levy and Gary Tuchman

    Pennsylvania Secretary of State spokesperson Wanda Murren tells us because this is a district race and not statewide, there is no mandatory recount here.

    Petitions are allowed, which require three voters in each precinct to make.

    They would have five days after the county completes its computation.

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    3

    Yes, around 600 votes in 2 precincts, I hear.

    It's looking like a double digit Lamb victory: 90 votes. ;)

    Actually, it looks to me like the absentee ballots will give Conor Lamb the win. There are only automatic recounts at 0.5 percent in "statewide" races... go figure. So there's that.

  6. [6] 
    Paula wrote:

    [4] CW: OK, that clarifies it.

  7. [7] 
    Paula wrote:

    Saw a tweet saying Saccone is giving a concession speech?

  8. [8] 
    Paula wrote:

    Looks like people/groups are starting to call it for Lamb -)

  9. [9] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    CW-4

    Actually only requires three voters for a district and a $50 fee paid to each county in the district are required for a recount.

    for us wonkier fact based types here is the actual verbiage

    (e) Provision for Recount or Recanvass of Vote.--Whenever it shall appear that there is a discrepancy in the returns of any election district, or, upon petition of three voters of any district, verified by affidavit, that an error, although not apparent on the face of the returns, has been committed therein, or of its own motion or under subsection (g), the county board shall at any time prior to the completion of the computation of all of the returns for the county, summon the election officers of the district, and said officers, in the presence of said board, shall conduct a recount or recanvass of all ballots cast. Before making such recount or recanvass, the said board shall give notice in writing to the proper custodian of voting machines, and to each candidate, and to the county chairman of each party or political body, affected by the recount or recanvass; and each such candidate may be present in person, or by attorney, and each of such parties, or bodies, may send two representatives to be present at such recount or recanvass.

    So I do foresee a recount. IF/when a recount takes place it will be interesting to see just how heavy the GOP funds the backroom attorneys to DQ ballots.

  10. [10] 
    Kick wrote:

    PA-18 ABSENTEE BALLOTS UPDATE

    Allegheny.......... 3,108 - Lamb 1,930 - Saccone 1,178
    Westmoreland.. 1,800
    Washington....... 1,195
    Greene................. 203

    __________

    Washington reports they have 1,195 absentee ballots they are counting now by hand with results expected in 3 hours.

    Lamb up 847

  11. [11] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Other than the absentee and provisional ballots, doesn't PA have all-electronic voting machines? Not 100% sure about that, but thought I heard it somewhere in the past week.

    If that's the case, and there are no paper ballots to audit, then a recount is probably not going to change any votes.

    Except, like I said, maybe the absentee and provisional ballots...

    Don't quote me on this -- I could easily be wrong. But if there is no auditable paper trail, then a recount isn't going to change things much.

    Of course, "not much" is a relative thing, and this election is so close even that could change thnigs...

    -CW

  12. [12] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Kick -

    What about Westmoreland? They counting tonight?

    Just curious...

    -CW

  13. [13] 
    Kick wrote:

    RIP Stephen Hawking.

  14. [14] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Anybody read my article, while we're waiting? Didja like that "reveal" at the end, or did you guess it ahead of time?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Heh.

    -CW

  15. [15] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    12

    What about Westmoreland? They counting tonight?

    Just curious...

    Earlier in the night they said they expected to have absentee ballot results counted by midnight. They better hurry because that's 7 minutes away. :)

  16. [16] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Last 2 districts are in -- 100% of non-absentee vote now counted.

    Lamb up by a little under 600 votes.

    -CW

  17. [17] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    14

    Anybody read my article, while we're waiting? Didja like that "reveal" at the end, or did you guess it ahead of time?

    Ummmmmmmm... article... what article is that. ;)

    I was actually saving it for when I could give it my full attention. Don't rob me of the ending. :p

  18. [18] 
    Kick wrote:

    Westmoreland in now 100%

    Lamb still up by 579

  19. [19] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    CW-

    Check out Ballotpedia.

    https://ballotpedia.org/Recount_laws_in_Pennsylvania

    The foot notes have the salient references to the direct voter law for the state.

    Interesting thing is that if a county uses all electronic voting machines VS the Direct Read Machines (like California) the audit is done on the machines.

    DRE counties will audit the paper ballots.

    Not really sure what system each county used.

  20. [20] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    16

    Zinks

  21. [21] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Kick -

    Did you mean, perhaps:

    "Zoinks!"
    - Shaggy Rogers

    Heh.

    -CW

  22. [22] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    21

    Uhhhhhh... I'm pretty sure I meant "Jinx,"
    but then look what I typed because too many drinks. ;)

  23. [23] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    One thing I heard pointed out:

    The Libertarian candidate drew 1,300 votes, so he's officially "a spoiler" in the race...

    Interesting.

    -CW

  24. [24] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Kick -

    Heh. Maybe I should have gone with Rolling Rock tonight... it'd have been appropriate!

    -CW

  25. [25] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    CNN analysis says even if Saccone wins 70% of absentee ballots, he'll still lose.

    -CW

  26. [26] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    24

    Heh. Maybe I should have gone with Rolling Rock tonight... it'd have been appropriate!

    Extra Pale ;)

    CNN analysis says even if Saccone wins 70% of absentee ballots, he'll still lose.

    So absentee ballots decide the race. Wow. Somebody do the math without the Allegheny absentee ballots. I had too many drinks for math. :)

  27. [27] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Kick -

    I just ran some numbers, after I figured out where the calculator was on this #@$! Windows machine...

    From the 3 non-Allegheny counties, I added up all the votes. In those counties, Saccone got a total of around 55% of the vote.

    Again, he needs better than 70% of the absentees to win.

    -CW

  28. [28] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Guinness 200th anniversary export stout for me. the margin is 579 votes according to cnn.

  29. [29] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Hmmm... played with numbers again...

    If there's ~3000 absentees still out, then Saccone would need around 1800 of them, to Lamb's 1200 to win. That's more like 60%, not 70%.

    -CW

  30. [30] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    also according to CNN's correspondent, the race was very local, with many trump voters going democratic because saccone is anti-union and lamb is pro-union.

  31. [31] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    27

    From the 3 non-Allegheny counties, I added up all the votes. In those counties, Saccone got a total of around 55% of the vote.

    Lamb held his own in Washington County too and watch him actually win the absentee ballots there... wouldn't surprise me.

    Again, he needs better than 70% of the absentees to win.

    In the "safe" gerrymandered district of PA-18, a Democrat is your winner. Bring on November. :)

  32. [32] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    29

    If there's ~3000 absentees still out, then Saccone would need around 1800 of them, to Lamb's 1200 to win. That's more like 60%, not 70%.

    I'm guessing there's only about 2750-2800 absentees still out. Figure that math. :)

    -CW

  33. [33] 
    Kick wrote:

    Oops... obviously I accidentally didn't erase CW's signature.

    Drinks :)

  34. [34] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Just saw Lamb's victory speech... perhaps premature, but then again it is almost 1:00 in the morning there...

    -CW

  35. [35] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, this is where CNN may have gotten its numbers:

    "Lamb holds a lead of 579 votes, with 1,398 absentee votes still outstanding."

    OK, let's see. He needs 580 votes.

    That works out to 70.74% of the remaining votes (580 plus half the remainder, or 409, equals 989 out of 1398).

    No wonder Lamb declared victory...

    -CW

  36. [36] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    28

    200th anniversary export stout for me. the margin is 579 votes according to cnn.

    I heard Guinness is building a brewery in Baltimore. Mmmmmm... good stuff.

  37. [37] 
    Kick wrote:

    PA-18 ABSENTEE BALLOTS UPDATE

    Allegheny.......... 3,108 - Lamb 1,930 - Saccone 1,178
    Westmoreland.. 1,800 - counts included in totals already
    Washington....... 1,195
    Greene................. 203

    __________

    Washington counting ballots now, and I don't think Greene will matter when Washington reports Lamb won the provisional ballots there. :)

    Lamb up 579

  38. [38] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Kick -

    OK, that squares with the CNN numbers. I was kind of wondering about the Westmoreland absentees, so thanks!

    -CW

  39. [39] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Kick -

    Where are you getting your absentee numbers from?

    Just curious, haven't found an accurate breakdown myself...

    -CW

  40. [40] 
    Kick wrote:

    OMG. They are now talking about looking at provisional ballots and military ballots.

    Provisional ballots in gerrymandered districts are 85% Democrats who are kicked off the rolls for no bloody reason whatsoever. Provisional ballots won't help Saccone, and there aren't enough military ballots in that district to make up nearly 600 votes.

    Example: Washington County reports 14 military ballots.

  41. [41] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    39

    Where are you getting your absentee numbers from?

    Just curious, haven't found an accurate breakdown myself...

    Via text from my friend who is on the ground in PA-18 who is getting the numbers directly from the district reps via telephone who are getting hammered from all directions.

    Drinks :)

  42. [42] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Kick -

    I will drink to that! Talk about an inside source!

    :-)

    [lifts beer can in Kick's general direction...]

    -CW

  43. [43] 
    Kick wrote:

    I found a source for absentee ballots in Westmoreland:

    https://www.co.westmoreland.pa.us/erlinkcp

    Adding these in now.

  44. [44] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Thanks, Kick. Haven't seen those numbers anywhere else...

    -CW

  45. [45] 
    Kick wrote:

    [37] Kick wrote:
    PA-18 ABSENTEE BALLOTS UPDATE

    Allegheny.......... 3,108 - Lamb 1,930 - Saccone 1,178
    Westmoreland.. 1,748 - Lamb ...897 - Saccone.. 833 - Miller 17 - WI 1
    Washington....... 1,195
    Greene................. 203

    __________

    Washington counting ballots now, and I don't think Greene will matter when Washington reports Lamb won the provisional ballots there. :)

    Lamb up 579

  46. [46] 
    Kick wrote:

    Wrong... Do over

  47. [47] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Hey CW, I really enjoyed the history lesson in today’s article! I always love origin stories for words like “tarmac”; it’ll be one I am sure I’ll pass on the next time I’m standing in line at the airport.

    -R

  48. [48] 
    Kick wrote:

    PA-18 ABSENTEE BALLOTS UPDATE

    Allegheny....... ~3,108 - Lamb 1,930 - Saccone 1,178
    Westmoreland.. 1,748 - Lamb ...833 - Saccone.. 897 - Miller 17 - WI 1
    Washington....... 1,195
    Greene................. 203

    Lamb up 579

  49. [49] 
    neilm wrote:

    Bloody hell CW - you are killing me.

    John McAdam! I thought it was only Scots 50 or older who knew John McAdam, as he was a frequent example in history and engineering classes in 1970's era Scottish High Schools.

    Deep respect bro'.

  50. [50] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    ListenWhenYouHear -

    I tried to make it as "Paul Harvey-esque" as I could...

    :-)

    Heh.

    -CW

  51. [51] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    neilm -

    I was surprised to find out the "a" was added, at some point. I had heard of macadam, and even tarmacadam, but never knew it was supposed to be "McAdam"!

    :-)

    -CW

  52. [52] 
    Kick wrote:

    Bloody hell is right. Y'all just ruined the ending for me. ;p

  53. [53] 
    Kick wrote:

    Okay, by my calculations... and keep in mind these are "drinks" calculations... all things being equal, Conor Lamb is going to win the Westmoreland absentee ballot with about 51-52% :)

  54. [54] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Kick -

    Well, I TOLD you to read it earlier! Heh. If you want to avoid spoiler alerts, you have to remain alert yourself...

    :-)

    It's still a good story, go back and read it...

    I was reminiscent of "Connections" while writing it, as well, for those who recognize that particular reference...

    -CW

  55. [55] 
    Kick wrote:

    Well, I TOLD you to read it earlier! Heh. If you want to avoid spoiler alerts, you have to remain alert yourself...

    You did, but I was nunching crumbers. :)

    It's still a good story, go back and read it...

    I promise I will when the words stop moving. ;)

  56. [56] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, it's looking like the promised 3:00 AM absentee numbers from Washington County aren't coming in as promised, so I'm going to sign off for the night.

    Until tomorrow, everyone....

    -CW

  57. [57] 
    Kick wrote:

    FUN FACT

    PA-18 PRECINCTS FLIPPED

    Blue to Red... 122
    Red to Blue...... 0

  58. [58] 
    Kick wrote:

    Oh, fudge. Do over.

    FUN FACT

    PA-18 PRECINCTS FLIPPED

    Red to Blue.... 122
    Blue to Red ....... 0

  59. [59] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    56

    Until tomorrow, everyone....

    It is tomorrow. ;)

  60. [60] 
    Kick wrote:

    I have to correct this yet again because... drinks!

    FUN FACT

    PA-18 PRECINCTS FLIPPED

    Red to Blue.... 172
    Blue to Red ....... 0

  61. [61] 
    Kick wrote:

    PA-18 ABSENTEE BALLOTS UPDATE

    Allegheny........ ~3,108 - Lamb 1,930 - Saccone 1,178
    Westmoreland... 1,748 - Lamb ...833 - Saccone.. 897 - Miller 17 - WI 1
    Washington..... ~1,195 - Lamb ...609 - Saccone.. 547
    Greene.................. 203

    Lamb up 641

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    Happy Pi Day, everyone...

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ho hum.... Nothing but spin here in the People's Republic Of Weigantia

    Opinion: Why the Pennsylvania Special Election Is Not So Special
    Such contests are more about storylines than winning

    http://www.rollcall.com/news/opinion/special-election-lunacy-pa-18

    Lemme know when Dumbocrats are even CLOSE to reacquiring the over 1000 seats they lost under the Odumbo administration...

  64. [64] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kick -57,58

    The NYT times has a nice graphic of the flip. A big blue wind blew through PA-18.
    The win is of little consequence in strictly political terms, but it's psychological impact is huge. More so because Trump decided to personally intervene at the last moment...and did it rather ineptly.

  65. [65] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Is it possible that the Republicans are pulling a rope-a-dope with the special elections to encourage the Democrats to think that their not as bad the Republicans and TRUMP! strategy will work in the 2018 election?

    And even if that's not the case, since all that is being accomplished is "Flipping" seats it's nothing to get excited about because flipping seats is just the illusion of change. All we have been doing is flipping control back and forth between the two divisions of the Big Money Party, so flipping districts in this manner is maintaining the status quo.

    Until we start flipping the seats from the Big Money Party to small contribution candidates it won't matter if there is Big Blue wave in 2018 or not.

    The question, CW, is whether you want to continue to be a cheerleader for a fantasy team or a real leader for real change.

  66. [66] 
    Kick wrote:

    Until we start flipping the seats from the Big Money Party to small contribution candidates it won't matter if there is Big Blue wave in 2018 or not.

    Conor Lamb is a small contribution candidate, Don. Oh, sure, he didn't meet your asinine "farts unicorns and rainbows purity test," but then no one does and ever will so you trash them all.

    The question, CW, is whether you want to continue to be a cheerleader for a fantasy team or a real leader for real change.

    A better question is why you insist on labeling everyone who doesn't meet your pathetic definitions and dismiss them all. Conor Lamb is a small contribution candidate, yet here you are trashing him... proving the only cheerleader for a fantasy team is... in fact... YOU!

    Seriously, Don, your solicitation for your damn political venture and trolling another man's blog about shilling for you is beyond the pale. Keep it up, pal. Every time you trash CW, I'm going to trash you back twice. I will even number them. This is #1. :)

  67. [67] 
    Kick wrote:

    2. Don Harris is a troll who insists on trashing another man because he won't shill for his "farts unicorns and rainbows purity test" when he can't even be bothered to update his own website. Don is a special kind of troll; the kind who expects others to shill for their failed websites.

    I can do this as long as you can, Don. :D

  68. [68] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    64

    The NYT times has a nice graphic of the flip. A big blue wind blew through PA-18.

    Thank you, TS. It is a very nice shade of blue.

    The win is of little consequence in strictly political terms, but it's psychological impact is huge.

    Exactly. :)

    More so because Trump decided to personally intervene at the last moment...and did it rather ineptly.

    Remember, TS, Benedict Donald also intervened in mid January too and sent out Mike Pence and Benedict Donald, Jr. in a hairnet to intervene too. ;)

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    Conor Lamb is a small contribution candidate, Don. Oh, sure, he didn't meet your asinine "farts unicorns and rainbows purity test," but then no one does and ever will so you trash them all.

    Conor Lamb is also pro-gun and pro-gun ownership...

  70. [70] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    "Tax cuts are wonderful, elect Republicans!" -- didn't work.

    "Nancy Pelosi is the devil!" -- didn't work.

    Trump personally campaigns -- didn't work.

    "Democrats hate God!" -- REALLY didn't work.

    Get used to it. November's coming fast... and so is Speaker Pelosi 2.0...

    :-)

    -CW

  71. [71] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Oh, yeah, and:

    Steel tariffs -- didn't work.

    How could I have forgotten that one?

    -CW

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    Get used to it. November's coming fast... and so is Speaker Pelosi 2.0...

    Actually, it's Pelosi 2.o The Senile Vers...

    Yep.. November is coming fast.. Ya'all better ditch Pelosi quickly..

    "Harry! We don't have time for this! Ditch the bitch!!"
    -Tom Arnold, TRUE LIES

    Of course, there is always HILLARY to help out the GOP..

    :D

    Dems are angry over Hillary Clinton’s latest comments
    http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/378259-dems-are-angry-over-hillary-clintons-latest-comments

    Imagine how much more decisive the win for Democrats if Hillary hadn't opened her fat yap... :D

    You know I'm right.. :D

  73. [73] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Here's a fun quote for you Michale, since you've been so gung-ho on the subject of late:

    “For the weeks of Feb. 4 and Feb. 11, roughly two-thirds of the broadcast television ads from Saccone’s campaign, the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC and the National Republican Congressional Committee mentioned taxes … For the week of Feb. 18, that dropped to 36 percent, and to 14 percent the week after. … Since the beginning of March, tax ads have been essentially nonexistent.”

    -CW

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    It also is completely irrelevant in the mid-terms.. That district is going to disappear for the mid-terms..

    :D

  75. [75] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Would you like some fine whine, or are you happy enough with your sour grapes?

    Heh.

    -CW

  76. [76] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [74] -

    Except for that whole "115 districts are more competitive" thing...

    Dems need 24 seats. Shouldn't be too tough, out of 115 to choose from...

    -CW

  77. [77] 
    Kick wrote:

    Conor Lamb is also pro-gun and pro-gun ownership...

    They'll kick you out of the right-wing echo chamber for pointing this out and thus helping to dispel their frequently hurled ridiculous talking point that all Democrats want to "BAN" guns when the fact is that the majority of Democrats agree with the Supreme Court's decision in Heller as written. The SCOTUS in Heller granted Americans the right to bear arms to protect their homes and reinforces and reiterates states' rights to regulate the terms of gun ownership.

    The SCOTUS has consistently refused to intervene in a state's right to put common sense regulations on firearms, which is completely in line with their decision in Heller. It would serve righties well to actually read the SCOTUS decision in Heller since it doesn't exactly say what they're being spoon fed by the NRA attack dogs who are getting ever more vicious as their grip loosens.

    The Supreme Court Ruling on the 2nd Amendment Did NOT Grant an Unlimited Right to Own Guns

    On pp. 54 and 55, the majority opinion, written by conservative bastion Justice Antonin Scalia, states: “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited…”. It is “…not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

    “Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

    “We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller (an earlier case) said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time”. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.’ ”

    The court even recognizes a long-standing judicial precedent “…to consider… prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons.”

    https://tinyurl.com/aa48rny

  78. [78] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Here's another fun quote:

    Money was essentially no object in Pennsylvania. National Republicans spent at least $10.7 million to help Saccone, more than five times as much as their Democratic rivals. They will not be able to do that in every close race this fall.

    -CW

  79. [79] 
    Kick wrote:

    Okay, CW. The words stopped moving, and I loved your article. I especially love the history articles. Gallatin taught French at Harvard too. He was instrumental in the Louisiana purchase and accomplished it without raising taxes in the process.

    I even forgot about y'all ruining the ending for me until I read it and realized it all over again. Just funning y'all. ;) Drinks!

  80. [80] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    And one more:

    “We should be able to elect a box of hammers in this district. If we’re losing here, you can bet there is a Democratic wave coming,” said veteran Republican consultant Mike Murphy, a Trump critic

    -CW

  81. [81] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    76

    Except for that whole "115 districts are more competitive" thing...

    I predict more retirements in the GOP's near future.

    Dems need 24 seats. Shouldn't be too tough, out of 115 to choose from...

    Just think how an un-screwed Pennsylvania could potentially provide 1/4 to 1/3 of those seats all by itself. :)

  82. [82] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Would you like some fine whine, or are you happy enough with your sour grapes?

    I am just happy that JM didn't take me up on my wager..

    THAT would have been intolerable.. :D

    Except for that whole "115 districts are more competitive" thing...

    Dems need 24 seats. Shouldn't be too tough, out of 115 to choose from...

    I seem to recall such bravado... Hmmmmm When was that.. Oh yea... It was in October of 2016... :D

  83. [83] 
    Kick wrote:

    “We should be able to elect a box of hammers in this district.

    *LOL* He's right about that box of hammers too. PA-18 literally has an entire Republican county slapped onto what would otherwise be a regularly drawn district so that the votes of citizens are diluted.

    This gerrymandering and redrawing of districts is how the Republicans "won" the 1,000 seats that Michale keeps droning on and on about. They did everything they could to keep citizens from voting and then further diluted their votes with gerrymandering.

    If a Democratic candidate can win in a heavily gerrymandered district the likes of PA-18, the sky is the limit. :)

  84. [84] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Funny, I seem to recall you stating over and over that polls are meaningless, and the only thing that counted was the ballot box.

    Check this out:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/special-election-results/pennsylvania/?utm_term=.5299d5dd16bf

    Scroll down to the graphic labelled: "What the race means nationally"

    See those big blue arrows? That is the new reality at the ballot box. Big blue wave a-comin'...

    -CW

  85. [85] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kick-67

    I would classify DH as crank - some who holds tightly to an eccentric theory or invention in spite of overwhelming evidence and or logic against it.

    Trolls are interested in sowing public discord, for fun and/or profit.

  86. [86] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW - I enjoyed the historical interlude. I always wondered about the origins of tarmac.

  87. [87] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    85

    I would classify DH as crank - some who holds tightly to an eccentric theory or invention in spite of overwhelming evidence and or logic against it.

    I can be moved by a good explanation.

    Trolls are interested in sowing public discord, for fun and/or profit.

    Okay, so Don is a crank and a troll. Told you I could be moved. :)

  88. [88] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    I think we all agree that CW should be able to choose what he writes about. I think that CW should also have the right to decide the content of the comments section.

    "Conor Lamb is a small contribution candidate."

    But you admit that he doesn't meet the One Demand standard so by definition he is not a small contribution candidate.

    He is a best getting more from small contributions, which is a step in the right direction, but if he takes Big Money also then he is not a small contribution candidate.

    It's not a purity test- it's an integrity test.

    Do you really believe it will be all "rainbows and unicorns" if there is a Big Blue wave in 2018 when that Big Blue wave is polluted by Big Money?

    Of course not. That is why you keep complimenting the Big Money Democrat establishment "Emperor's New Clothes" and get all upset when I point out that the emperor is naked.

    So go ahead and troll me when I comment with a dissenting opinion. It is not effective when you contradict yourself in your argument and just exposes how weak your position is and it reeks of desperation.

  89. [89] 
    Michale wrote:

    See those big blue arrows? That is the new reality at the ballot box. Big blue wave a-comin'...

    And when it fails to materialize, can I say I TOLD YA SO with yer blessing?? :D

  90. [90] 
    Kick wrote:

    DH
    88

    I think we all agree that CW should be able to choose what he writes about. I think that CW should also have the right to decide the content of the comments section.

    He doesn't need your "blessing," Don; he totally already does. Note how he has basically ignored your trolling of him trying to force him to shill for your political venture for 2+ years by mentioning it zero times in his columns, and as JL and several others have rightly pointed out, you are lucky he allows you to continue your solicitation in his comments section.

    But you admit that he doesn't meet the One Demand standard so by definition he is not a small contribution candidate.

    I admitted he didn't meet your ridiculous "farts unicorns and rainbows purity test" like no candidate in the United States as of the writing of this comment has ever or will ever meet, but I missed the part where your "One Demand" was the authority on what constitutes a "small contribution candidate."

    It's not a purity test- it's an integrity test.

    If only "purity" wasn't a synonym for "integrity," you'd have a point, but it is... so you lose this one big time, pal.

    http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/integrity

    Do you really believe it will be all "rainbows and unicorns" if there is a Big Blue wave in 2018 when that Big Blue wave is polluted by Big Money?

    Lousy straw man, Don; I never even remotely said anything of the sort.

    Of course not. That is why you keep complimenting the Big Money Democrat establishment "Emperor's New Clothes" and get all upset when I point out that the emperor is naked.

    Another lousy straw man, Don, and more putting words in my mouth that I never said. You really suck at solicitation on multiple websites.

    So go ahead and troll me when I comment with a dissenting opinion. It is not effective when you contradict yourself in your argument and just exposes how weak your position is and it reeks of desperation.

    Read that one back and pretend CW wrote it to you since you are... in fact... the one trolling his website and his readers, you inveterate moron, and not the other way around. :)

  91. [91] 
    Paula wrote:

    So this happened last night too: Ft. Lauderdale just elected its first openly-gay mayor by a landslide

    https://www.rawstory.com/2018/03/ft-lauderdale-just-elected-first-openly-gay-mayor-landslide/

    The election was called to replace the South Florida city’s longtime mayor Jack Seilor, who in 2014 opposed a symbolic resolution in favor of gay marriage and last year took part in a prayer breakfast with a notoriously homophobic group.

    It doesn't say why Seilor was being replaced via special election. But it was another red to blue flip.

  92. [92] 
    Paula wrote:

    Bill Kristol tweets:

    Email to me this morning from former Senator Gordon Humphrey (R-NH), quoted with permission: "The upset in Trumpland sends a message to Trump toadies in Congress...I sent the max. First time in about 50 years I’ve made a contribution to a Democrat. First time ever, actually."

  93. [93] 
    Michale wrote:

    Email to me this morning from former Senator Gordon Humphrey (R-NH), quoted with permission: "The upset in Trumpland sends a message to Trump toadies in Congress...I sent the max. First time in about 50 years I’ve made a contribution to a Democrat. First time ever, actually."

    WOW...

    A Hysterical NeverTrumper is STILL a Hysterical NeverTrumper..

    What are the odds!!??? :^/

  94. [94] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    91

    It doesn't say why Seilor was being replaced via special election. But it was another red to blue flip.

    If I recall correctly, Seilor is a Democrat who was precluded from running for mayor again by term limits.

  95. [95] 
    neilm wrote:

    It looks like it will be March 20th before the final votes are in. I've no idea how many more are out there - they are saying that most are military. Normally I'd say that these would lean Republican, but with Lamb being a vet, it might not be as simple to allocate as usual.

    The "it doesn't mean anything" bravado has already started, but there are over 100 Republican congresspeople who have to be doing a calculation.

    As we have repeatedly said, the pendulum swings back and forth, and it looks like it is swinging to the left.

    Oh, and Michale: "neener, neener" ;)

  96. [96] 
    Kick wrote:

    WOW...

    A Hysterical NeverTrumper is STILL a Hysterical NeverTrumper..

    What are the odds!!??? :^/

    Oh, Paula, I see Michale's problem here. He completely missed the part where the odds of this gentleman sending money to support a Democrat were previously and heretofore zero except now he did it for the first time ever. :)

  97. [97] 
    Paula wrote:

    [94] Kick: but why a Special Election then? If the current Mayor couldn't run again because of term limits why wouldn't the election the election have been scheduled normally?

  98. [98] 
    Paula wrote:

    But I guess it wasn't an actual "flip" then - it was notable for the winner being openly Gay but not a flip. My bad.

  99. [99] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:
  100. [100] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    95

    There are 14 military absentee ballots requested in Washington County so I can't imagine there are remotely enough to swing the election to Saccone.

    As we have repeatedly said, the pendulum swings back and forth, and it looks like it is swinging to the left.

    The pendulum always swings back... just best get out of its way so as not to get hit in the face with it. I am guessing we'll see more retirements being calculated in the GOP's near future.

    "neener, neener"

    How childish of you, mate... you really are truly one of US. ;)

  101. [101] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    97

    but why a Special Election then? If the current Mayor couldn't run again because of term limits why wouldn't the election the election have been scheduled normally?

    Good question, and it's entirely possible I'm wrong since I'm totally going from memory and don't live in the Shithole State of Florida. ;)

  102. [102] 
    neilm wrote:

    The kids are alright.

  103. [103] 
    neilm wrote:
  104. [104] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    Oh, and Michale: "neener, neener" ;)

    And yet..

    It looks like it will be March 20th before the final votes are in. I've no idea how many more are out there - they are saying that most are military.

    Go on...

    "Laugh it up, Furball"
    -Han Solo

    He who laughs last laughs best.. :D

  105. [105] 
    Michale wrote:

    But hay...

    Another PRO GUN candidate in Congress for a couple months..

    "Yea... I can live with that.."
    -Keanu Reeves, THE REPLACEMENTS

    :D

  106. [106] 
    Michale wrote:

    “New gun laws aren’t the answer to preventing more mass shootings like the one at a Florida high school.”
    -Conor Lamb

    OK, I can like this guy.. :D

  107. [107] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    102, 103

    The kids are alright.

    The Who are what? ;)

    I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I'll get on my knees and pray
    We don't get fooled again
    ~ Won't Get Fooled Again, The Who

  108. [108] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale just accept your lumps and stop pretending you really won.

    Your party got a sharp kick in the fork last night - a 20 point swing and you may also have lost the seat.

    As a wise man said earlier in this article's comments:

    "neener, neener" ;)

  109. [109] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kick-87

    Fun I can see, but I'm dubious about any profits.;).

    Before I forget, I appreciated the vote count updates you posted from your fly on the wall in PA-18. Well ahead of the NYT and other big players. I got to bed at a reasonable hr and slept well. Ok, the dram of Scotch I sipped probably helped with the sleep, but it was mostly the numbers. The margin of victory is narrow, but it will probably hold up.

    By the way, I think my Republican congressman is getting nervous.

  110. [110] 
    Paula wrote:

    Looks like the official call has been made and Lamb is the winner.

  111. [111] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    109

    Fun I can see, but I'm dubious about any profits.;).

    Dubious are you? But, TS, remember that time a poster made a really good point about that profit motive... and really big HINT... that poster was you:

    From the V.V. site

    "If Voucher Vendetta is growing or successful by then I will need to draw a survival sized salary ( a few hundred dollars per week ) or return to my old job. Please don’t make me return to my old job. I would much prefer working for you. While I don’t expect to ever approach this amount, I will never take more than 100 thousand dollars per year ( peanuts by political consultant compensation ) even if Voucher Vendetta were to receive hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in contributions because I want your money to be used for Voucher Vendetta."

    Is fraud protection especially lax in Jersey?

    D.H. - 1 You have Brass Balls! P.T. Barnum would be proud!

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2016/08/23/will-2016-be-a-nader-year-or-a-perot-year/#comment-82837

    Before I forget, I appreciated the vote count updates you posted from your fly on the wall in PA-18.

    Happy to be of service; I can't stand waiting myself so I just cut out the middle man, and now I owe that fly a steak dinner when he swings through Texas next month. Of course, I intend to kid him mercilessly about his 6-point "maybe double digit" prediction for Conor Lamb. They worked their asses off and did a great job even if Saccone manages to pull off a victory somehow when all the votes are counted. You win some; you lose some, and a 20-point swing in your favor is a win regardless, and we are nothing if not patient. :)

    I got to bed at a reasonable hr and slept well. Ok, the dram of Scotch I sipped probably helped with the sleep, but it was mostly the numbers.

    Drinks are mandatory. ;) OMG, TS... can you imagine what November is going to be like? How will we keep up with all that?

    The margin of victory is narrow, but it will probably hold up.

    It should. I'm thinking that the Trumpa Loompas wouldn't be spinning the utterly asinine BS that Conor Lamb is a Republican if it wasn't going to hold up.

    By the way, I think my Republican congressman is getting nervous.

    Heh. How about Miss Lindsey Graham? Nah, he's not up until 2020. :)

  112. [112] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @kick,

    sometimes i feel i gotta get away

    @michale,

    although you tend to phrase it in partisan terms, one thing you're right about is that democrats have gotten away from what used to make them successful in congress, protecting the economic interests of their constituents. neo-libs like obama and hillary are all about seeming inclusive on social issues while only paying lip service to bread and butter issues like unions and progressive taxation. guns and gays, religion and racism, are all losing issues. that's why lamb won PA-18 and hillary got killed there.

    JL

  113. [113] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kick-111

    I stand by that black box, but I don't think he can pull his scheme off. Motive, yes. Means, definitely not. Opportunity, probably not, I don't see a market for the service. I don't see marketing skills at all.

    Maybe it's just a bizzare internet joke. I always come back to the Seinfeld episode about Kramerica. Or the one about softbdrink bottle deposits and US Mail Trucks. Or how about the rickshaw business which was inexplicably not branded "Homeless People Power." Too raw for prime time?

    The simplest explanation is crank political theorist.

  114. [114] 
    neilm wrote:

    So the line coming out of the right wing talking point factory is that Conor Lamb is really a Republican.

    Oddly enough, this should worry them more than if Conor Lamb was like Bernie Sander's - it means that Democrats can run center-right candidates in Trump country and win.

    Do you think Texas Democrats are missing this story?

  115. [115] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick (90)-
    "..you are lucky he allows you to continue your solicitation in his comments section."

    My point exactly.

    The part where One Demand gets to set the standard seems to be not the only thing your are missing. It's called democracy. As a citizens I have a right to set my own standards for politicians and to encourage other people to join me.

    But I am not alone in setting the standard for small contributions at 200 dollars aggregate. I read many articles on campaign financing that used that as a standard for what constitutes small contributions.

    So if purity is a synonym for integrity and you are against the purity of the One Demand campaign financing standard that must mean you are against integrity.

    Just because something can be a synonym doesn't mean it is always a synonym. Words have more than one definition and not all meanings of each word are synonyms.

    And since you are against purity, I assume you are also against the MeToo movement. They are even more of a purity test than One Demand. They want to punish people for stuff they did years ago while One Demand is only concerned with what candidates are doing now and in the future.

    For example, in the summer of 2016 I posted here that if Hillary were to commit to a small contribution campaign from that point on in 2016 that I would consider voting for her. (You can look it up if you want to. You seem to be able to go back and cherry pick something that you can misinterpret to fit your argument against One Demand so you can look it up yourself if you don't believe me.)

    Funny. When you say you never said that it would be unicorns and rainbows you ignore the "of course not" that you then quote which clearly shows I did not claim that you said that. You also ignore that you are the one that claimed that I said everything would be rainbows and unicorns, which I never did.

    But thank you for the encouragement. Nothing encourages me more than seeing a Big Money Democrat Denier desperately attacking and trying to discredit One Demand which shows that you really fear the possibility of One Demand being successful and threatening your comfy fantasy world of Big Money Democrats that represent ordinary citizens.

  116. [116] 
    Kick wrote:

    Do you think Texas Democrats are missing this story?

    Wow. Is that question to me? That is such a really good question... one for which I have a sad answer. Yes, I think they are missing it. Texas politicians generally have a tendency to play to the extremes on either side... always a bad strategy in my opinion.

    I believe that the majority of Americans actually do agree on the majority of issues and that politicians on both sides of the aisle draw artificial lines for them based on facts as well as utter nonsensical fantasy and conspiracy theory nonsense. Disclaimer that these are just my opinions. Righties generally make appeals to the emotions of fear and ignorance, and a large number of partisans on the right are biased by misinformation, while lefties generally make appeals to the emotions of fairness and reason, and a large number of partisans on the left are biased yet, for the most part, informed. This is not to say that one side doesn't dabble in the other side's tactics because they do, just a general observation on my part.

    Then along comes a win-at-all-costs con artist bait-and-switch modern day Benedict Arnold in the form of Donald Trump, a braggart and baldfaced liar who epitomizes all these tactics on steroids and couldn't care less about anyone not named Trump and would throw some of them under the bus too if it saved his own ass. Oh, I could write paragraph after boring paragraph about this, but I know you understand so I'll cut to the chase... the good news.

    The politician who can cut through all this bullshit can actually win by appealing to people who can be reasoned with in the center... where the large majority of Americans are... and this is where politicians like Doug Jones and Conor Lamb come in. All politics is local; it always has been. So poo on today's political pundits who insist that "Democrats don't have a message that resonates." They don't need to have "one" just yet; they need to have hundreds across the country because politics is local. Find candidates that fit the districts for which they are running and are good "explainers" because women and young people care less and less about tribalism and labels and can be reasoned with (not to say that men can't be reasoned with).

    As far as "Texas Democrats," a Texas Democrat is as elusive as el chupacabra. They are said to exist, but no one has actually been able to pin a live one down. Every time one is rumored to be caged, it is revealed to be an impostor, usually a bald raccoon. Seriously, though, Texas Democrats are slow, and I believe it'll take them a few cycles to catch up, but they are beginning. Beto O'Rourke is one to watch. Oh, he'll most likely lose in November, but slow and steady wins the race and we are nothing if not patient. :)

  117. [117] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    115

    The part where One Demand gets to set the standard seems to be not the only thing your are missing.

    If "One Demand" sets the standard for us all, why are you here trolling CW to shill for your venture?

    As a citizens I have a right to set my own standards for politicians and to encourage other people to join me.

    Of course you do, but I think you're seriously deluded if you believe that trolling a man on his website to shill for your political venture is the equivalent of "encouraging." Who are you kidding, Don? No one here is that ignorant, Don, not a single one.

    But I am not alone in setting the standard for small contributions at 200 dollars aggregate. I read many articles on campaign financing that used that as a standard for what constitutes small contributions.

    I couldn't care less, Don.

    So if purity is a synonym for integrity and you are against the purity of the One Demand campaign financing standard that must mean you are against integrity.

    Like I said, Don. Who are you kidding? No one here is that ignorant. No one.

    Just because something can be a synonym doesn't mean it is always a synonym.

    *LOL*

    And since you are against purity, I assume you are also against the MeToo movement.

    You assume?

    They are even more of a purity test than One Demand.

    So once again, we seem to be making some progress here... albeit in an asinine fashion... but nevertheless progress. We've established that "One Demand" is a purity test. Glad we finally got that settled.

    They want to punish people for stuff they did years ago while One Demand is only concerned with what candidates are doing now and in the future.

    I am gobsmacked that you'd somehow try to prove the efficacy of your "movement" with such a comparison, but here you are.

    For example, in the summer of 2016 I posted here that if Hillary were to commit to a small contribution campaign from that point on in 2016 that I would consider voting for her. (You can look it up if you want to. You seem to be able to go back and cherry pick something that you can misinterpret to fit your argument against One Demand so you can look it up yourself if you don't believe me.)

    Superfluous and proves what? That if Hillary met your admitted purity test, that you would ignore her past? Who are you kidding? No one here is that ignorant... no one.

    Funny. When you say you never said that it would be unicorns and rainbows you ignore the "of course not" that you then quote which clearly shows I did not claim that you said that.

    How does one ignore that which one quotes? I said you put words in my mouth, and now you're admitting it. Thank you, Don.

    You also ignore that you are the one that claimed that I said everything would be rainbows and unicorns, which I never did.

    No, Don, I most definitely and certainly did not ascribe that term to you, and I would never; it was I that used that term to describe your movement. It's my opinion that I borrowed from CW because I agreed with it 100%:

    My blog is dedicated to "reality-based politics," not Utopia or some fantasyland where unicorns fart rainbows and the pixies frolic in the meadow. ~ CW

    I admit only to inadvertently transposing the terms when I referred to your "movement" as a "farts unicorns and rainbows purity test," but at least we can claim progress from that day since we've now established it is indeed a purity test.

    But thank you for the encouragement. Nothing encourages me more than seeing a Big Money Democrat Denier desperately attacking and trying to discredit One Demand which shows that you really fear the possibility of One Demand being successful and threatening your comfy fantasy world of Big Money Democrats that represent ordinary citizens.

    Seriously, Don!? Believe me when I tell you that I'm not the least bit worried or fearful that your political venture will be successful. Additionally, you can label and dismiss me and whomever else with whatever names you choose. We've commented about this several times, and you've now been given multiple great ideas by several commenters on this blog and the author, and you've labelled and dismissed each one summarily and in no uncertain terms. You've simply changed the name of your solicitation and continue to peddle it otherwise.

    If you won't listen to others who genuinely agree with your premise yet not so much in your presentation, why in Hell should they listen to you? No, I do not fear you in the least. Yes, I'm tired of your solicitation of your political venture and the fact that you genuinely seem to believe that shoving it down our throats on a near daily basis and trolling the author of the blog will cause us to one day magically be won over by your persistence. It won't. :)

  118. [118] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    That was really funny. It only shows how, at least here, that "Kick" is a synonym of clueless.

    The LOL that just because something can be a synonym doesn't mean it is always a synonym is a perfect example.

    Since you have complained about the purity of One Demand and purity is a synonym for integrity, does this mean when you complained about the purity of One Demand that you were complaining that One Demand has too much integrity? (note that that was a question and not putting words in your mouth.)

    If so, I apologize for not realizing that your purity comment was actually a compliment instead of an attempt to discredit.

    If not, then words can be synonyms or not be synonyms depending on the context.

    Or are you saying that a little integrity goes a long way and too much integrity is a bad thing?

    As I have said before: Go ahead, keep digging. The way out of the hole has to be down there somewhere.

  119. [119] 
    Kick wrote:

    DH
    118

    That was really funny. It only shows how, at least here, that "Kick" is a synonym of clueless.

    Let me reiterate what I've already said: You can label and dismiss me and whomever else with whatever names you choose, and I would add that the proof of your poor marketing skills are in ample supply but by all means, provide more.

    The LOL that just because something can be a synonym doesn't mean it is always a synonym is a perfect example.

    See above.

    Since you have complained about the purity of One Demand and purity is a synonym for integrity, does this mean when you complained about the purity of One Demand that you were complaining that One Demand has too much integrity? (note that that was a question and not putting words in your mouth.)

    I shared my opinion that "One Demand" was a purity test that no one could or should be expected to meet in order to avoid being labelled with a broad brush with your labels. You have finally conceded that it is indeed a "purity test." I don't believe a candidate who will accept a contribution higher than $200 is inherently evil or vice versa. The labeling and dismissing of any person or politician who disagrees with your definition of "Big Money" is asinine in my opinion. This is not complicated.

    If you take nothing away from our conversations, please let it sink in that "one size does not fit all" and no amount of redundant and/or persistent trolling is going to magically change that fact.

    As I have said before: Go ahead, keep digging. The way out of the hole has to be down there somewhere.

    As I have said before: It's your hole and your shovel, and you who's demanding that others do the digging for you. Sod off. :)

  120. [120] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    You have taken clueless to a new level.

    Absolutely no comprehension not only of what I am saying but what you are saying.

    "You have finally conceded it is a purity test."

    No. You keep ignoring that you said purity and integrity were synonyms.

    Don't worry. I am not trying to market to you. I don't need you, the other Big Money Democrat Deniers or many of the people that voted for Trump.

    I am marketing to the people that voted for Bernie, the people that voted in 2012 but didn't vote in 2014, those that didn't vote in 2016 because the Big Money Democrats did not inspire them, those that held their nose and vote for the Big Money CMPs in 2014 and 2016 and felt dirty afterwards and even the people that don't normally vote because neither division of the Big Money Party inspires them.

    Whether you like it or not, that includes CW who was a Bernie supporter and has even recently said that small contributions can work. I know that CW still exists as he surfaces now and then.

  121. [121] 
    Kick wrote:

    DH
    120

    You have taken clueless to a new level.

    Thank you, Don. I worked for years to get you to admit that "One Demand" was indeed a purity test, and I've finally succeeded. Please let us all know how it feels to finally move up a level on the clueless scale.

    I have none of the credentials normally listed in a bio. No degrees, no years of running a successful business and no experience in political campaigns or activism....

    ~ Bio of Don Harris

    Now that you've had this big breakthrough, you really should update your website and claim a brain cell or two versus the utter cluelessness you've been advertising for years now. While I can't claim your level of "clueless" since I have all of those things you've listed you're lacking along with decades of service to my country, medals, and a chest to pin them on, I can tell you without hesitation that I would be working my ass off to attain those things versus trolling another man's website insisting that he shill for my failed political venture because I lacked the ability and the credibility to sell it myself.

    Absolutely no comprehension not only of what I am saying but what you are saying.

    Although I can't claim your level of clueless, I completely understand what I'm saying because I'm the one saying it.

    No. You keep ignoring that you said purity and integrity were synonyms.

    No. I have clearly taken clueless to a new level because I finally got you to admit that "One Demand" is a "purity test." How exactly does one ignore that which one has said multiple times? Clue in, Don; we wouldn't want you to lose your newfound level of clueless.

    Don't worry.

    Worry!? *LOL*

    I am not trying to market to you. I don't need you, the other Big Money Democrat Deniers or many of the people that voted for Trump.

    Let me reiterate what I've already said {third time's a charm}: You can label and dismiss me and whomever else with whatever fabricated names you choose, and I would add once again that the proof of your poor marketing skills are in ample supply, but by all means, continue to provide more.

    Whether you like it or not, that includes CW who was a Bernie supporter and has even recently said that small contributions can work. I know that CW still exists as he surfaces now and then.

    Oh, so now this is about Bernie!? /sarcasm off

    So you're still just as "clueless" as ever, blissfully unaware of the fact that CW is here every weekday, while it's you who is obviously "missing."

    It speaks volumes that you believe you are "marketing" to CW when the fact is you are trolling the man's website and insisting that he shill for your pathetic attempt at political activism because you totally epitomize the level of "clueless" that you admit on page 1 of your website. :)

  122. [122] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Thanks again for proving your lack of comprehension of context and concepts.

    I was reminded recently of what it is like to have a discussion, debate or whatever you want to call it with you by a movie scene with Ilsa Fischer and Jason Biggs. (not exact quotes)

    Ilsa: Do you believe in fate?
    Jason: No I don't believe in fate, do you?
    Ilsa: I don't believe in fate, either. You see, that proves we were meant to be together!

  123. [123] 
    Kick wrote:

    DH
    122

    Thanks again for proving your lack of comprehension of context and concepts.

    Oh, Don, I have no trouble whatsoever in the "comprehension" department. As far as "concepts," yours are about as basic as they come. :)

    Here's a concept it would serve you well to grasp... if you grasp no other. Over the course of multiple decades, I have made donations to multiple candidates in various assorted amounts that far exceeded your "One Demand" yet didn't exceed the maximum amount of campaign contribution limits for an individual as mandated by law, and never have I ever received a single favor for those contributions. Full disclosure: I sometimes get a chicken or steak dinner at a fundraiser. That's it.

    Without going into the boring details, I did have need of my local congressperson for an issue regarding obtaining a permit. I got no favors whatsoever even when I really needed them. So there's that.

    Thinking about the congressperson and senator of your district, do you honestly believe that making an individual campaign contribution in the maximum amount as mandated by law could buy you a favor? If you decide that you believe it would, please pick one of them and try it, and then ring them up and see what it gets you.

    Have a nice weekend, Don, sincerely. :)

  124. [124] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    I am sure that you no had no nefarious intentions when you made your contributions and I am also sure that you did not expect any personal favors when you made the donations, either. And I don't criticize you for asking your congressman for help because that is what they are supposed to do when appropriate (please note how I didn't try to twist that into you asking for special treatment).

    But we don't know that every person that makes Big Money contributions doesn't have nefarious purposes in mind.

    So in order to make sure that there are no Big Money contributors with nefarious motives, the Big Money contributions are eliminated from the equation by setting the limit at 200 dollars, a common determination of what constitutes a small contribution.

    10% of the approximately 125 million presidential election cycle voters investing 100 dollars in contributions to small contribution candidates would total over 1 billion dollars.

    When divided by 500 that is 2 million dollars for each of the 470 or so congressional district and Senate elections with with room enough for two small contribution candidates in some elections if there were a small contribution candidate in each race.

    So it is possible to finance campaigns with only small contributions.

    While I am sure it is not your intention, by making the Big Money contributions you are providing cover for the nefarious Big Money contributors.

    While you may not agree, I believe a better way to distribute your money would be to send small contributions to many candidates that meet your criteria on other issues that also make the small contribution commitment. This would make it more likely that many candidates that support your agenda could get elected and that those candidates really support your agenda because they cannot possibly be influenced by any Big Money contributors with nefarious purposes because they have no Big Money contributors.

  125. [125] 
    Kick wrote:

    While you may not agree, I believe a better way to distribute your money would be to send small contributions to many candidates that meet your criteria on other issues that also make the small contribution commitment.

    I do disagree with your definition of "Big Money," and that won't change unless your definition changes. In my opinion, those individuals contributing maximum contributions as currently defined by law are the least of our problem where campaign finance is concerned as the vast majority of individuals contribute $0 already.

    This would make it more likely that many candidates that support your agenda could get elected and that those candidates really support your agenda because they cannot possibly be influenced by any Big Money contributors with nefarious purposes because they have no Big Money contributors.

    "They cannot possibly be influenced"? Are you kidding?
    You might want to factor into all this the possibility that:

    ** Past performance is no guarantee of future results
    ** Past results are no guarantee of future performance. :)

  126. [126] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Of course you don't agree with my definition of Big Money. And since organizations that study money in politics also chose the same amount of 200 dollars as the cut off for small contributions, I am sticking with my definition.

    So you admit that the vast majority of individuals contributing $0 is a part of the problem.

    But the difference between the small contribution cut off of 200 dollars that the majority of people could afford and the legal maximums in no way contributes to people feeling that their small contribution will be insignificant when compared to the maximum contributions?

    And just because the majority of people have not contributed in the past doesn't mean that they can't or won't in future elections. (see: Past performance is no guarantee of future results, Past results are no guarantee of future performance.)

    In fact, more people are contributing with small contributions with each election cycle. And while this does not guarantee that the trend will continue is an indicator that it will.

    And if there was an organization like One Demand it could help accelerate this trend.

    And it doesn't even need a majority of people to participate to get it started. All it needs is 20% voting and 10% contributing. And that is 20% and 10% of the people that vote, not 10% and 20% of eligible voters.

    You are somewhat correct that individual Big Money contributions are not the the biggest problem. How many of the maxed out donors also make other Big Money contributions to the state and national party organizations which have a much higher legal limit than the candidate limit and to superpacs with no limits?

    And even though I am constantly being accused of wanting it all right way and not taking smaller steps to achieve the goal, that is exactly what working on the candidate limit is- a start with one problem that once accomplished can then lead the the solution of the other problems.

    We can start with eliminating the Big Money from the candidates. Then we cam move on to purging the Big Money from the State and National party organizations.

    The Superpacs will probably not go away, but their influence could be reduced.

    I really don't see how your past performance statements are relevant to Big Money contributors not being able to make Big Money contributions to a candidate somehow means they can still influence the candidate without making the contributions.

    Maybe through the other Big Money contributions to the State and National parties and superpacs, but one step at a time- right?

    And even though I used your quote to show your inconsistency and the sentiment is sometimes correct, there are no guarantees in life or politics.

    And while past performance is no guarantee of future results and past results are no guarantee of future performance they are quite often a good indicator.

    And the closest thing to a guarantee that you can get in politics is- IF YOU KEEP VOTING FOR BIG MONEY CANDIDATES YOU WILL KEEP GETTING BIG MONEY LEGISLATORS.

  127. [127] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Actually, the $200 limit has more to do with campaign finance law than some magic overriding definition of "small". Below $200 and the donation can be anonymous. Over that amount, or multiple small donations when added together are over that amount and the donor’s name, occupation, employer and ZIP code must be disclosed by the campaign.

    By the way Don, after a couple of years of pimping your site here could you remind us just how many people have signed up?

  128. [128] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Bashi-
    You are correct about the campaign finance law, but the articles I read about the groups studying the issue picked the 200 dollar amount because it was an amount that they considered affordable for many ordinary citizens.

    How many have signed up?

    Whoa. Where did you come up with that one?

    I....I....I....just don't know what to say!

    Actually, see the end of comment 125.

    And how many times in the last couple of years have the Democrats won in a Republican district that they didn't even run a candidate in the previous two election cycles?

  129. [129] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    You are correct about the campaign finance law, but the articles I read about the groups studying the issue picked the 200 dollar amount because it was an amount that they considered affordable for many ordinary citizens.

    Affordability is not the question. The question is what amount of money does it becomes corrupting. I find the idea that under $200 there would be no corrupting influence and over $200 suddenly becomes dangerously corrupting laughable at best.

    I....I....I....just don't know what to say!

    It's not a tough question Don. Got to your site. See the "10" participants. Subtract from that number the amount of participants you had when you started pimping your site here...

  130. [130] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "Affordability is not the question."

    Of course it is. The fact that the majority contribute $0 dollars has nothing to do with citizens that can only afford 50 or 100 dollars in contributions possibly feeling that there is no point in contributing because it is such an insignificant amount compared to people that can make the larger contributions allowed under law?

    None of those citizens would contribute if they felt their 50 or 100 dollars contributions would not be made insignificant by contributions that are limited to 200 dollars?

    There is no magical point when there is no corruption and then one dollar later there is. The number has to be set somewhere so setting it at 200 dollars that is within striking distance of the majority of people is the best place to set it, as long as it can provide the needed funds which it clearly can.

    Of course, this number is SET IN STONE . It can never be changed, either higher or lower as needed, by the participants under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. IT IS NOT A STARTING POINT.

    "It's not a tough question , Don."

    You're right. That's why I answered it.

    But apparently you need further explanation to understand the concept.

    Sometimes things take a long time and don't catch on or become successful right away.

    Not every movement can be like the anti-slavery movement that started just ONE DAY before the Emancipation Proclamation and achieved it's goal of eliminating slavery AND racism in the America in just ONE WEEK.

  131. [131] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Sometimes things take a long time and don't catch on or become successful right away.

    And sometimes they die on the vine due to neglect...

  132. [132] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "And sometimes they die on the vine due to neglect..."

    Another good point.

    CW haven't you neglected this for long enough?

    And haven't citizens neglected their responsibility to stand up to the Big Money interests for long enough?

    How is it possible that the descendants of the people that left their homes to join the fight to give us democracy are too afraid to stand up to the Big Money interests in the privacy and relative safety of a voting booth?

  133. [133] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    CW haven't you neglected this for long enough?

    He is just following your lead...

  134. [134] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "He is just following your lead."

    In which fantasy world can he be following my lead when he is going the other direction cheering on the Dark Side?

    Unless that is a case of a joke just being a joke. If not, then what a joke!

  135. [135] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Don,

    There is no reason to visit your website. What little content there is long past it's best by date. You are spending too much time pimping here while at the same time seriously neglecting your site. What if CW does an article on your idea and funnel people to your site? There is nothing of value there, it would be a wasted opportunity. Build first, then market, update continually. You are coming at this problem bass ackwards...

  136. [136] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Wow. You have totally demolished everything One Demand is about because the website was not updated to your satisfaction.

    Apparently there is no need to address the substance when you can render a declaration of insignificance because the site in your opinion needs updating.

    This of course, has no bearing on the One Demand argument that is still the same as it was. It has no bearing on why the idea was ignored when the site was new or when it was updated to make it possible to sign up for 2018.

    And the problem with Big Money is at best still the same and the only reason it might not be considered worse is that more citizens ARE making small contributions with each recent election cycle.

    And how long has the Big Money Democrat message been the same, you know- we will throw you some Schumer Crumbs and you will settle for not as bad as the Republicans again and don't be foolish enough to set your sights on even adequate.

    And if you are saying that using the basic tools of democracy, voting against the candidates/legislators that are not doing what citizens want them to do such as not taking Big Money, can't fix democracy then you are saying democracy doesn't work. Do you really want to say that?

    The people coming at it bass ackwards are the ones that are not using the tools provided to make democracy work in the way they were meant to be used.

  137. [137] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Wow. You have totally demolished everything One Demand is about because the website was not updated to your satisfaction.

    Apparently there is no need to address the substance when you can render a declaration of insignificance because the site in your opinion needs updating.

    Ah, no. You need content. Why do you come here? Because CW has fresh content every week day and a lively comments section. What does a visitor get at your site? Agree or disagree, not much. Why should anyone support, monetarily or otherwise, not much?

    This of course, has no bearing on the One Demand argument that is still the same as it was. It has no bearing on why the idea was ignored when the site was new or when it was updated to make it possible to sign up for 2018.

    I tried addressing One Demand once. Your responses were stubborn, one dimensional and in packaged marketing speak. Whether your idea is good or not is immaterial to your lack of ability to execute on it. As I've said before, you have turned off a forum of people who should mostly support an idea like yours. Many here dump on you not because of your idea but because the way you pimp it is annoying. Annoying is not going to get CW to address your idea. Annoying is not working and is never going to work. Annoying is a problem that no amount of time will solve. You have to deal with it or continue to wallow in irrelevancy.

  138. [138] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Actually, I have visited many websites for candidates and organizations that have much less substance the the One Demand website, including presidential candidates.

    There is a difference between substance and the rhetoric about what they believe in with usually very little on how they actually intend to accomplish it.

    The One Demand website clearly states how to use the basic tools of democracy to achieve the goal of getting the Big Money out of politics.

    The fact that you only repeated your claim of no content on the website to avoid addressing that one simple basic fact is a dead give away that you have no response.

    Are you saying that democracy doesn't work by not voting for and voting against candidates that are not doing what citizens want them to do?

    Then how does it work? Voting for candidates that are not doing what citizens want them to do is supposed to give the candidates/legislators incentive to change their behavior?

    It pretty much has to be one or the other.

    It's possible that you have tried to address One Demand. But if your attempt was anything like this exchange then your assessment that my answers are stubborn, one dimensional marketing speak are just that- your assessment.

    An assessment with no value as is it designed only to avoid addressing issues that you prefer to avoid as addressing it will expose the emptiness of your argument.

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