Yesterday I posted about Trump’s decision to single out New York and cancel a number of Homeland Security programs that allow easier passage through customs. For those of us living in New York’s heartland, Western New York, this means NEXUS, a program that speeds passage between the US and Canada. This part of New York, which includes Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo, is as much part of Ontario as it is of New York as far as trade goes. To give you a cultural signifier our Canadian readers would understand, I had no idea who the Barenaked Ladies or the Tragically Hip were until I moved out here in the 90’s.
Anyway, in any other year, Trump shitting on Western NY would be no big deal. We’re used to being shat upon by pretty much the entire world out here. But this year, Trump’s first supporter in Congress, Chris Collins, is in federal prison, and we’re having a special election in NY-27 to replace him. Nate McMurray, who lost a tight race to the indicted Collins in 2018, is running again against Christopher Jacobs. Jacobs is a rich kid. His family owns the Boston Bruins and Delaware North, a big Buffalo company that owns casinos, provides food service to arenas, etc. He decided he wanted to get into politics, so he’s morphed from a liberal Democrat to a New York-style Republican (relatively liberal), to a Trumper. I guess he’s decided to do what it takes to win. The Republicans put him up for the race because he has money, which has pissed off a lot of the has-beens and never-weres in the area GOP who wanted to run for Collins’ old seat.
Winning NY-27 will be no mean feat for McMurray. Collins won while under indictment. It’s a heavily gerrymandered district that’s R+11, and Trump won it by 24%. But, Jesus, what a gift Trump just bestowed upon McMurray. If Jacobs wants to put on a MAGA hat, McMurray can point out just how much damage that can do to the district. The special election is the same day as New York’s Democratic primary, and in the last special election where a disgraced Republican needed to be replaced, Kathy Hochul won the special and was a short-lived Member of Congress. (This was prior to re-districting but it was still a tough district.)
This is of a piece with what Steve M posted about yesterday. Trump, pure id that he is, doesn’t care what his advisors say. He doesn’t care that his actions will hurt his electoral chances, and he certainly gives no fucks about down-ticket races. And when his id comes out to play, it’s ugly, and people don’t like it.
That’s why I think what Pelosi is doing is smart. She understands, in a really deep place that I can only guess about since I’m a man, what makes men like Trump tick, and what gets under their skin. Her understanding is shaped by the thousands of times a man like him tried to get her under his thumb. She’s out for blood and god damn it’s a beautiful thing to see.
‘morning, MM and all.
Thanks for the pointer. Donated.
We have to fight them every single day. Eyes on the prizes.
A Ghost To Most
I ain’t never goin’ back to Buttholeville (Lyndonville).
Still a generally loathsome person, but credit where credit is due: Joe Walsh stopped his hopeless campaign for the GOP nomination and said he’d back any Democrat over Trump, including Wilmer.
Ehh, Delaware North, the company that went to court to appropriate trademark names from Yosemite National Park. I hope he loses the election and a quick demise to the Bruins in the playoffs.
@PsiFighter37: That’s something these days.
I hope it will damage Stefaniak as well.
@PsiFighter37: The fix was in when the state GOP parties raised a very tall middle finger to holding primaries and shutting out any meaningful internal discussion whether their Mad King should be replaced. Agreed that Walsh is a loathsome creature, but the Republicans should have their choice of monsters to lead them.
A Ghost To Most
a quick demise to the Bruins in the playoffs.
As a Caps fan, I concur.
@PsiFighter37: Swell, even Joe Walsh has a clearer sense of the stakes of all of this than the Bernie-bros.
Pelosi is disciplined and fearless, two qualities the Trumpenfolk know very little about, don’t respect, and have no clue how to counter. Unfortunately, those qualities are also pearls before swine to all too many of their followers and acolytes. They don’t see them.
Apropos of nothing, born in Buffalo. I grew up watching the Canadian kids’ shows, and had to be gently retaught the letter ‘z’ by Mom because I pronounced it ‘zed.’ Also, The Littlest Hobo.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
There is nothing deep about what Pelosi is doing; they let Trump suffer no consequences so she just does the same thing, dares the Right to call her own it and then doubles down. The Pelosi reaction to be called a bitch is “No, you are wrong, but let me show you what a bitch looks like since you like that so much”.
It’s all about making the Constervatards cry until they had enough.
When do we think honest medical reports on drumpf will surface? Not until he’s out of office? After an unignorable in-office ‘event’? An in-office palace coup by the animated cream cheese sculpture & sundry? (Pence etc.)
Media people (and Republicans) continue to be taken aback by Pelosi’s toughness. They can’t imagine what she’s been through and what she’s beaten back.
I would also say that Pelosi is decent; it’s a tough decency that’s not present among Trumpenfolk or the careerist media types.
Welcome Kristine. And — books!
I hate to be Debbie Downer, but from what I understand about many voters in the red parts of New York, they are just as likely to blame the state for not sharing data as they are Trump for meting out punishment. It’s also interesting that you call the district gerrymandered — I know that the state houses in New York were heavily gerrymandered. That is the only possible way that the Senate could have stayed in Republican control for so long, and even more revolting, Andrew Cuomo did his best to keep it that way so as to preserve his own status as king maker. However, I had not heard that the congressional districts were gerrymandered in the same way. The map doesn’t look crazy (the way the NC, PA, and VA maps look or looked before intervention), but I guess there might be some strategic line drawing that ends up diluting urban areas just enough.
OT. Franklin Graham plans a lecture tour of the UK, but every stop on the tour backs out.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Here’s overthinking Pelosi, but she has this creepy insight into Trump’s mind, that real point of the Impeachment was to troll Trump to the point he would act like a total asshole the next eigh months. Notice Trump poll numbers when up when they got Trump to just zip it during the Impeachment, but the past few days Trump has talking like an idiot. It’s not like Trump isn’t going to be a complete twatwaffle in 2021 if he wins, so Pelosi got to show the nation was re-electing Trump will be like.
@MattF: Oh, that is fabulous. Thank you, UK!
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: Sounds like a distinct possibility. You go, Nancy Smash.
If it’s Republican +11, then it is not gerrymandering, unless it is gerrymandering in favor of Democrats. Just thought I’d point that out.
Um…hi. I’ve been a BJer for years, but mostly I lurk. By the time I read threads, regulars have pretty much said what I would’ve said, ofttimes better than I would’ve said it.
As for books, yes, SF and supernatural thrillers. Haven’t put out anything new in too long because 1) I am slow and 2) I gradually built an actual post-retirement life and damn, it’s fun but also time-consuming.
I’ve lived out west since the late 70’s but I grew up in the NYC suburbs. Went to school in Ithaca for a couple years before moving out here. A bunch of my old friends from back there are Republicans now. They were more liberal when they were college students but oh well. They keep saying they despise Trump but they still support their party. To me that’s trying to have it both ways at the same time. I can’t respect that bullshit. Not when our Republic is on the line.
download my app in the app store mistermix
@Barbara: I agree that lots of voters will blame the state or whoever else Fox tells them to blame. Maybe some others will vote for McMurray or stay home. He’s got a tough push.
You’re right about gerrymandering – the last re-districting cleaned it up quite a bit. 27 (R+11) and 23 (R+6) are almost purely rural. 26 (D+11) is almost purely urban. So 27/26 are set up to have a safe D district and a safe R district, meh, I’d rather have Niagara Falls in 27 and some rural areas in 26 to get them both more competitive. 25 (D+8) is urban/suburban. I keep thinking that 23 will elect a Democrat since it has Ithaca but the numbers just don’t seem to work.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@Kristine: I grew up in Syracuse, so not as close. Mainly I remember there was a lot of Canadian money floating around in the pocket change and most merchants accepted it one for one.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@kindness: I find it encouraging that even Long Island is starting to shift Democratic. Didn’t Nassau County just elect a Dem supervisor?
Like Trump supporters everywhere, if this scheme in NY ends up hurting them, they’ll just say it’s a small price to pay for owning the libs downstate, or that it’s the Dems fault for making him mad, or something.
@PsiFighter37: I think the final straw was when he addressed a Republican rally in Iowa the other day and got loudly booed for saying that we should want a president who tells the truth and stands up for American values.
“They’re a cult,” he said. “There’s no hope.”
No offense but I laughed out loud reading Pelosi “understands, in a really deep place that I can only guess about since I’m a man”.
I watched the video of Pelosi’s press briefing. I was a little concerned about the HR3 sign she threw up. I thought it was reminiscent of something else.
Gestures signifying three with the hand are rather limited. It’s either the boy scout salute or…you know.
@bemused: Agreed. H/T to MM for his insightful take on Nancy Smash.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: Nassau and Suffolk both have Democratic executives. It’s not that uncommon anymore. Last decade (2000s) both counties elected Democrats to those positions as well. Former Nassau executive Tom Suozzi is currently in Congress, and apparently is a cochair of the prayer breakfast
@PsiFighter37: I think ‘conservatives’ who publicly support Trump but privately tell their liberal pals that they really don’t are pulling the same trick that ‘primitive’ tribes are pulling on naive anthropologists. They’re just lying.
Nancy would have been a most excellent president.
@jonas: Would love to see the Dems run THAT footage in their ads this fall. Free for the taking.
Joe Walsh: “we need a president who tells the truth and stands for American values”
GOP swine: “booooooo!”
(cut to Dem candidate with raised eyebrow and bugged-out eyes)
@22: Re Ithaca electing a Democrat.
Ohio Family went on a summer road trip in 2004 to New York City and Boston that included a stop in Ithaca on the way home. We have BFFs there.
As we left town, heading west, we passed Kerry lawn sign after Kerry lawn until…we crossed an unseeable line, and then it was Bush all the way. Ithaca was over.
That solidified my belief that Ithaca is something of a Brigadoon-type anomaly, a small, pleasant place that is cut off from all else. It’s a blip, not a force for anything.
I’ll add that our BFFs are Bernies, which I think reflects the bubble they are able to live in. Me, I’m surrounded by Republicans (though TBF, they are mostly Never-Trumpers). I know Bernie is a non-starter.
I used to commute just about every week from Boston to Montreal and have gone through a variety of borders. The larger NY one used to be super popular with Canadian friends who used to shop in some town NY when there was a military base? And so tons of good shopping? I went through and was not impressed. You could tell it was big in its heyday but not so much anymore.
This B-S move by Trump is just nailing it to upstate New Yorkers. Nothing like forcing ghost towns upon your constituents.
The gas is cheaper in nearby VT and the borders are pretty good. Highgate Springs is the large one – not as big as the NY one. And the small ones — there’s one next door to an Elk farm that’s pretty funny. I refer to that crossing as Taco Bell drive-through.
What if Vermont gets a real bump in terms of business as a result?
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: This is all part of a long-term shift in political identification brought about by the civil rights movement. In the 50s, places like Nassau county in New York and Montgomery county in Pennsylvania were solid Eisenhower country. Now, they’re becoming sources of Democratic party strength.
Meanwhile, places like Westmoreland county in western Pennsylvania, which used to be solidly Democratic, have shifted far to the right.
Maybe I’m crazy but the last week seems like it has been perfect for Bloomberg. He sat out Iowa, but now with the shitstorm that occurred many people are dismissing the results. There are media reports that Biden is having cash problems, he is not exciting anyone, and the GOP has begun to its smear campaign on Hunter Biden. I think Joe is done. If he is, where do his voters go? Certainly not Sanders, some may go to Warren and Pete, but Bloomberg might look pretty good to a lot of them. I can’t see Bernie winning, I love Warren but she hit a wall and I don’t see how she moves up and Pete is too young and inexperienced.
If Bernie is the candidate he gets destroyed. Trump will steamroll him in debates. Warren could beat him (and I think would make him look pathetic if he debated her) but I don’t see her path to being the candidate. I don’t know about Pete, he doesn’t seem like he could be nasty enough.
I am convinced Bloomberg might beat Trump badly. He hates Trump, he would get under his skin, he is everything Trump wants to be – a real self-made billionaire who can do what he wants. I think Trump is afraid of him.
At this point I would take Bloomberg over anyone but Warren (of the top 4), and he might be the most electable. He is still a social liberal, and I think his politics in general would be acceptable to most Democrats. The two big buts for me are 1. he wasn’t in the debates, and I wonder how he will do on the big stage, and 2. how will he get along with other Democrats. He definitely has an autocratic streak, although I have heard that he surrounds himself with very good people and doesn’t tolerate yes man types.
A final thought is that nobody should underestimate how smart Michael Bloomberg is. You don’t build an empire like he did,and then become a three term mayor of the biggest city in the US through luck.
@bemused: Yes indeed. She inspires me so much. I want to be her when I grow up and I’m a 70 y/o grandmother.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: Reminds me of a tee shirt I saw in Provincetown that I came this close to buying before realizing there was no where I could get away with wearing it.
“You call me a bitch like it’s a bad thing.”
Yes, MAJOR props to Joe Walsh!
Pelosi is awesome. It’s no wonder she terrifies the psychotic blob squatting in our WH.
@bemused: Lessons to be learned about best ways to handle bullies
@senyordave: Bloomberg any year other than this one would be acceptable to me. But an autocratic streak right after Trump has made the executive branch immune to oversight could be disastrous. I worry Bloomberg would consolidate the damage that has already been done, rather than help roll it back to semi-normal. He’s still much better than Trump and I would help his campaign if he won the nomination. I just hope he doesn’t win.
If Bloomberg wins, I think we can kiss the Emoluments Clause goodbye forever.
Even if he put his holdings in a blind trust (which I don’t think he has yet to mention), he would remain very aware of the ways all he would be doing would be influencing his fortune. He could not convince anyone he was disinterested.
I would vote for him of course, but I would see his presidency as further proof the American Experiment is over.
@senyordave: Let’s see how he does at the actual hard work of running for the presidency. He can still earn it, but I am not willing to just have some guy sit on the sidelines for months and then step in with a pile of money and try to buy the nomination. I’d like to think that the Democratic Party is better than that.
James E Powell
If, as it appears this week, Joe Biden is going to drop out of sight, when will he exit, will he endorse anyone, and would his endorsement matter?
I realize I’m getting ahead of things, but that’s what the internet is for, no?
@senyordave: Another factor is what would happen in a brokered convention. I suspect Bloomberg would look good in that scenario.
James E Powell
You know what I hate, I hate that our flawed but nevertheless great democracy is now the Real Billionaires of Manhattan show.
Pelosi learned some good moves from her mother. Christine Pelosi tells a story of a male guest at her grandparents home who was extremely rude to her grandfather. Her grandmother removed the man’s plate, went to the kitchen and threw it in the trash loudly breaking the plate. Grandmother came back to the table and simply sat down. She had made her point.
download my app in the app store mistermix
But luck helps a lot with the fortune, then the fortune helps a lot with the campaign. He’s no dummy but, like every rich person ever, he’s lucky, too.
Mike literally bought his third term as mayor, so money is a pretty big factor in getting that job.
I’m not a huge fan of Bloomberg, but, like a lot of people I assume, I must admit that I’m warming up to him. One big point in his favor is his experience as mayor of NYC. I vote on competence and managerial skill as much as ideology, and mayor of NYC is one of the closest analogues we have to POTUS (along with Governor of CA, NY, and a few other states). The mayor is in charge of one of the most complex organizations in the world, an economy the size of Canada’s, and a small army of law enforcement officers.
Rudy Giuliani could literally make this same argument, but I wouldn’t want him to be the Democratic nominee either.
@Jinchi: Well, not literally.
@Jinchi: Sure, and so can De Blasio. But I didn’t say that was the only factor in consideration.
The use of female-gendered slurs (using words for women’s genitalia as insults) highlights one of the hurdles to electing qualified women to office: there are many people who have internalized a profound contempt for women. It shows in their choice of language.
(See also: N word; white people; continued use of.)
True. I think it’s funny that lots of people praise Bloomberg because he was mayor of NYC, but nobody really cared about that when de Blasio was running. Apparently de Blasio isn’t impressed with that part of Bloomberg’s CV either.
I think it has more to do with Bloomberg’s ability to buy good PR.
Which is the way it should be pronounced.:)
Plattsburgh – I was there for business (as an employee of a USAF contractor) in the summer of 1988, & caught a lift north on I-87 from one of the other contractors to Montreal for a close-as-I-could-get-that-year-to-European weekend. A number of large stores, everyone took Can-Eh-Jen dollars as well as the USAn variety.
@Uncle Cosmo: That’s it – Plattsburgh. I keep telling my Canay-Jen friends to opt in to Burlington. But a couple of them still refer to Plattsburgh as the place to go ‘next time’ they want to shop in the US.
Repost: LOLGOP at Eclectablog:
Until Bloomberg actually has to mix it up with real, normal, candidates, I’m not even thinking about considering him. TV ads aren’t why I vote for someone. His political background is not appealing to me. Competence in doing a job is assumed – it doesn’t mean that the person is doing the right job in politics. Bloomberg being competent is not enough for my vote, and him being all over the map politically is not a good look, IMHO.
Bloomberg won’t be in the New Hampshire debate tonight.
He might be in the Nevada debate on February 19. 538 says:
Bloomberg isn’t there yet. It’s hard to see him being the nominee if he can’t even get on the debate stage.
It’s still very early…
Mary Ellen Sandahl
I agree about female-organ slurs being related to people’s general contempt for women, but bad language (or “cursing” as it’s sometimes still called) has gotten so prevalent in the last decade or 2 that it’s hard to draw a direct relationship.
By now, only the c-word is still verboten in ordinary mixed-gender conversation. That’s just in the US. In the UK it’s much more of a commonplace term of disapproval, for anyone regardless of sex.
The deep place MM talks about is the place where you have found yourself on the receiving end of that ancient contempt time and again since childhood, and you’ve assessed it for what it is.