November 7, 2018


Trump faces restraints after Democrats seize U.S. House (John Whitesides, 11/07/18, Reuters)

[T]he Democrats will now head House committees that can investigate the president's tax returns, possible business conflicts of interest and possible links between his 2016 election campaign and Russia.

The Democrats also could force Trump to scale back his legislative ambitions, possibly dooming his promises to fund a border wall with Mexico, pass a second major tax-cut package, or carry out his hardline policies on trade.

"Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans, it's about restoring the Constitution's checks and balances to the Trump administration," Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House Democrats, told supporters at victory party. 

With the exception of a couple of the worst Trumpbots hanging on--King & DeSantis, for instance--those were pretty optimal results.

Rust Belt Defeats Are a 2020 Warning for Trump (Sahil Kapur, November 7, 2018, Bloomberg)

President Donald Trump got a warning sign on Tuesday from the Midwestern and Rust Belt states that handed him the presidency, as voters delivered big victories to Democrats and offered a road map for the crowd of candidates lining up to challenge him in 2020.

Democrats in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan swept the races for Senate and governor, and picked up valuable House seats, defeating Trump-backed Republicans at all levels.

Notorious Vote Thief and Incompetent Gubernatorial Candidate Kris Kobach Loses in Kansas (MARK JOSEPH STERN, NOV 06, 2018, Slate)

On Tuesday night, Kansas Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach lost the governor's race to Democrat Laura Kelly. Kobach built his career on voter suppression, whipping up nativist fervor by claiming that a large number of noncitizens are casting ballots. (They aren't.) He led Donald Trump's failed voter-fraud commission, then eked out a victory in the Republican gubernatorial primary against current GOP Gov. Jeff Colyer. But even in deep-red Kansas, voters appear to have rebelled against his brand of paranoid, xenophobic conservatism.

Although Kobach built up a national profile as a formidable politician, he is, in fact, deeply incompetent. He spent years promoting Crosscheck, a program that ostensibly detected double voting but actually had an error rate of 99.5 percent. He pushed a law that compelled Kansans to provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote, then defended it himself at trial--at which point it became clear that he doesn't understand basic rules of civil procedure. A federal judge repeatedly reprimanded him during the hearings, then ruled against him and held him in contempt of court.

As Kobach struggled to defend his signature law, he led Trump's voter-fraud commission right off a cliff.

Ilhan Omar, the First Muslim Woman Elected to Congress, Led Her Speech With "As-Salam Alaikum." I'm Transported. (AYMANN ISMAIL, NOV 07, 2018, Slate)

When Minnesota state Rep. Ilhan Omar stepped on stage tonight as one of the first Muslim women ever elected to Congress--the other, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, was also elected tonight--she led with "as-salam alaikum." Then: "alhamdulillah." I'm transported. This was not an acceptance speech I expected to hear. In a cycle recently dubbed "the most Islamophobic election ever," even basic Muslim salutations on a stage like this feel like a tangible achievement.

Posted by at November 7, 2018 4:03 AM