Had the ultrasound this morning and it was so uneventful I almost fell asleep on the table during the procedure. On the drive home, I saw something pretty remarkable- a fair number of Conor Lamb signs along Rt. 844, equal in number to the Saccone signs. I don’t recall seeing signs for a Democrat along this way in ages- there were never any for Obama or Hillary, and the place was littered with Trump crap the last election. Here’s his district, which is about 4-5 miles from Balloon Juice HQ as the crow flies:
Here’s where I saw the signs:
That stretch of Rt. 844 (we call it Washington Pike) from the state line is nothing but farm country (well, a fair bit of fracking now) broken up by two small towns, Independence Township ( the surounding area has a populatiuon of about 2k and 98% white), which well give you a route to shoot NE to Avella where you can pick up 50 and get to Hickory and Bridgeville (this is the area where several of the orchards I visit are as well as some really good farmers markets when they are in season), and West Middletown, which has a population of 144 and is also 98% white.
Just thought it was interesting and positive. Even if he loses, the fact we have a viable candidate there is cool, and it was just nice seeing a sign for a Democrat.
Gllad it was uneventful. We needed a few easy days, speaking for the BJ community.
And it opened up my eyes! I saw the signs.
Could somebody refresh my recollection? Why is Cole having an ultrasound? Is this related to the pancreas stuff?
Piece I saw the other day suggesting the number of off-cycle special election flips that have happened since Trump are in part because the Dem candidates deciding to run in these formerly GOP won races are higher quality.
I know it is probably not sustainable across multiple cycles, but part of the intensity gap we’re benefiting from right now is new entrants and step-up candidates who have real presence and capability. Not to slag the valuable folks who thanklessly run in lopsided races other years. But that shit’s tiring!
This year folks smell the pending GOP carnage, and are going for it. Good.
eta: By not sustainable, I mean that in races that don’t flip Dem in ’18 or ’20, we will probably go back to the sorts of incumbency advantages that discourage top-tier runs in R+7 (or whatever) and higher races.
Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady)
@bystander: Pancreas. Was this an endoscopic ultrasound, John? Mr DAW has to have that too, but U of Iowa hospital is slow making the appointment.
“Here’s his district” (Posts map of Pennsylvania).
Both of my parents were from that exact area (Washington/Allegheny counties). Still have relatives living there who can’t stand Trump but they were die-hard Democrats to begin with.
@Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): I’ve been away from BJ some recently. Did Cole have pancreatitis? I did. I had a fairly standard belly ultrasound after recovery (CT was used for diagnosis).
I was also somewhat rare, in that I was ambulatory at the time of the CT, and didn’t have a hospital stay – though the attending physician was not excited to have me go home, I said “I’m walking the halls speaking to you on a cell phone. I drove to the CT appointment. Get me out of this MRSA-infested place!”* She was a bit shocked that I was not flattened by the illness.
*Actually a very fine hospital, but all hospitals are full of sick people. Yuck.
Because I am now forced to travel in the area for work, I am happy toreport that I also saw a pretty even number of Saccone and Lamb signs in Westmoreland County (Greensburg for those who might be familiar.
A friend who is a recovering Republican said he and his friends in Washington County and the wealthy Repub communities of Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair saw a hopeful number of Lamb signs too.
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette said polling shows Saccone by 2 per cent, in the normally +11 R district.
Lamb is running in District 18, which is the light blue area in the southwest corner.
I did fall asleep at mine, but I’m glad it went well. Hopefully the results are an all clear.
Hoping for a Blue Wave, and hoping for it to make a difference.
@Mike J: LOL. Yeah that was dumb as hell. Posted a new one.
Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady)
@Raoul: I think that’s what it was.
@John Cole: Temporary brain fart. Thanks for the clarification.
Speaking of the shape of districts, which version is this? I’m assuming that new lines are better for him than old lines.
It’s good for sure!
I’ve been thinking that people in areas here w/ dense Trump spoor are showing they’re less intimidated. It could be a sign they feel more united or at least more supported.
I hope those teachers are armed.
In a town of 144, the 2% who are nonwhite is, rounding up to nearest whole number, are 3 people (actually, 2.88 – maybe one of them is a juvenile?). They’d kind of stick out in that setting, wouldn’t they?
@Mike J: Impressed you got the map reading question correct, while I wasted all the quiz time trying to figure it out.
@Mike J: Those are the old ones, but still in use for this election. Lamb is (I think) out o the district under the new configuration, but isn’t required to live there to represent them.
If he loses, I believe he could run next time against Keith Rolthfus.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
With luck, Lamb’s election will be the last under the gerrymandered map. Judge has accepted the new maps which are supposed to go into effect ASAP, though of course the Repubs are suing to prevent that.
County Democratic Party was upset that our county got split between two districts, while most are within one. I wasn’t clear why I was supposed to get all incensed about that so long as the whole map was fairly drawn
For example, Clay Aiken (a well-known, well-liked runner up in eastern NC when the “American Idol” program was at the height of popularity) made a hopelessly doomed effort in 2014 to take on the GOP incumbent in the red-gerrymandered North Carolina 2nd district. He’d likely be able to make it at least a competitive contest in 2018, even though he might still be on the short end of the odds, but not hopelessly long odds. (He’s not running again in 2018, to my knowledge at least).
Took my 93 year old dad to his doctor today. Doc assured us that Dad would outlive us both. So this isn’t my problem anymore. What a relief.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@Mike J: It’s PA -18, but I see Cole posted an updated map zoomed in there.
@Stan: To add a little—yes, he is drawn (?) out of the new district but the new district he will be living in will be a more favorable one for a Dem. He can run for that in 2020. The new PA 18 will actually be more R by I am thinking something like 8-10 points.
Seeing loads of Lamb yard signs along the Allegheny-Washington county border, too — areas that were solid Trump country in 2016. Talked to lots of enthusiastic Lamb supporters while canvassing in that area a couple weekends ago — people in the Panera where we met to pick up our turf packets asked if we could give them some signs. Very encouraging.
Also: Macoun apples from Brown’s Orchard in Hickory, FTW! Have you been to Bedillion Honey Farm on Rte. 18, toward Burgettstown? Another great place to visit, in season.
Speaking of intensity of Dems, chinless Trump-licker Ted Cruz at CPAC this morning
I just donated a nice size chunk to Beto O’Rourke via our BJ thermometer.
Fuck you Ted.
@Mike J: That’s a very restrained and polite description of his lies about his work experience.
@opiejeanne: It’s WSJ. Not given to hair on fire style, just solid reporting. Until you get to the ed page. Ugh.
@Raoul: Cruz is dumber than I thought, and I thought he was very, very dumb.
@Mike J: Oh, well then it’s a raging denouncement of the guy.
Todd J. GillmanVerified account
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[email protected] at #CPAC18 plays along w/gun rights question based on The Simpsons: “The Democrats are the party of Lisa Simpson. And Republicans are happily the party of Homer and Bart and Maggie and Marge.”
And someone named Norah Brink points out that Lisa is the smart one.
@opiejeanne: And the GOP is the party of Nelson.
@Corner Stone: Fuck.
@Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):
U of I Hospital is probably suffering under Republican underfunding, as are almost all public institutions in the state.
I have some hopes for 2018, but not many : Iowa has gotten so insular and old (from three or four generations of its best and brightest leaving and never looking back) that the voters are consistently choosing to devolve the state toward Missouri or Oklahoma rather than accept diversity and social change.
@Raoul: Rs are the party of Mr. Burns and the Simpson Grandpa.
Marge is far too humane and empathetic to be a Republican.
Trump 2020: Eat All Our Shorts, Man.
@Raoul: I was thinking Ralph Wiggum.
@joel hanes: I was thinking that too, and Maggie’s a baby. She hasn’t told us her political ideals, although she has shown herself to be a bit of a tyrant in that episode where she kept shocking everyone when they went for family counseling, I think.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym:
Judges didn’t “accept” so much as TOLD. Republicans dicked around trying to sue, not working on redrawing even though the judges gave them a hard deadline, got to the Supreme Court where they said, “Nuh nuh! Not gonna hear it!”. By that time, they were almost at the deadline, came back to the judges and whined, “We don’t have enough time!” Judges said, “Eat shit. Deadline stays.” Deadline came and went, Rethugs hadn’t submitted a map, judges said, “Here’s your new map.” Rethugs wailed/nashed teeth, now trying to sue saying the judges don’t have the power, blah blah blah. They also floated the idea of impeaching the Dem judges because they were mean/upheld rule of law.
I thought of that, too. I then was pretty sure it must be the old lines. The new ones will be applied for fall 2018 at the earliest. – which probably should mean primaries for fall 2018 as well.
But not this special.
@opiejeanne: They think they’re Rainier Wolfcastle as McBain. They’re actually Millhouse. It’s Millhouses all the way down.
@FlipYrWhig:Milhouse is not a meme.
Cheap Jim, formerly known as Cheap Jim
@Mike J: But “Milhouse is not a meme” is a meme.
I was worried to see that my wingnut cousin commented on one of my Facebook posts, but it was the one about the Oregon Zoo’s new baby otter. Is our wingnuts learning?
JoeyJoeJoe Junior Shabadoo
@FlipYrWhig: To be fair, Rainier Wolfcastle is a member of the Springfield GOP, as are Mr. Burns, a vampire, and a gremlin. Maggie may also be a gun nut, and Homer has used guns in the past, like firing a shotgun in front of a bowling alley to attract business- doesn’t work, and inventing a makeup shotgun, which worked in the way you think it would.
@Stan: I think the assumption is that win or lose in the special election, Lamb will run in the new PA-17, where he currently lives, and which has a less Republican slant.
And for those wondering, the filing deadline for the 2018 election is a week after the special election, so both candidates will be seeking signatures to get on the ballot for new PA-17 (Lamb) and new PA-14 (Saccone).
Actually, Maggie is a killer — she shot Mr. Burns after he tried to steal her candy, and there was another episode where she was shooting Fat Tony’s mobsters from the window of her nursery.
Also, too, ultrasounds are more relaxing now that they have warmers for the ultrasound goo. I remember the bad old days when they just slopped the ice cold stuff on your bare skin. ❄️☃️
No Drought No More
Cole: How far do you live from Gobbler’s Creek? Because I’m as certain there’s such a name-and-place in West Virginia as I am there’s a township somewhere in Arkansas named Shitkicker..
@Mnemosyne: I haven’t watched it regularly for many years, so I don’t remember those actions but I totally believe that about Maggie.
@No Drought No More: In WA it’s Gobblers Knob, a rock outcropping on one of the Mt Rainier trails.
@Mnemosyne: I was pretty sleepy when I had an ultrasound last year, but I was on painkillers for my appendicitis. I was pretty relaxed.
@schrodingers_cat: You win!
Glad that you are ok, Cole :)
So good news on most fronts: Cole survives an ultra-sound (more to the point, did it show an “all clear”) and dems are starting to get vocal in areas where rump chumps live.
@JoeyJoeJoe Junior Shabadoo: Don’t forget he used the shirt gun air cannon to take out Maude Flanders.
Due diligence is just not a trump value
Just One More Canuck
@bystander: He’s still looking for the mustard
Damned at Random
I moved out of PA in 1976, but unless my memory is very skewed, it looks like they specifically avoided West Mifflin, Munhall and Homestead – where the white trash and off-whites are concentrated (AKA home)
J R in WV
@No Drought No More:
I live just a couple of miles from Gobbler Road. 3 miles, actually, according to Google Maps. The other end of the state from John Cole, SW of Charleston.
i have been having site problems here all day, has anybody else? Often I can’t get here and currently it won’t leave this thread to return to the main page.
While I live in the 14th district, I work in the 18th, and I’ve never seen so many signs for the Democrat (Lamb) in the traditionally republican suburbs. Most of the Saccone signs I’ve seen have been on the public rights-of way, but I see far more Lamb signs in people’s yards. Part of it might be the anti-trump backlash, but I also think quite a bit is that Lamb is a very good candidate, and Saccone, is probably the most useless representative in Harrisburg not named Daryl Metcalfe. He’s also from one of the more rural parts of Allegheny County, and his schtick, while it might work in his PA house district, probably doesn’t resonate too well in Mt. Lebo.
How many Dairy farmers are there in this part of PA. They probably afraid that Trump is coming for their immigrant workers and there is no plan b.