November 10, 2022

Posted by orrinj at 10:43 PM


Michigan GOP memo delivers scathing election post-mortem on Trump-backed candidates (Paul Egan, 11/10/22, Detroit Free Press)

"At the end of the day, high quality, substantive candidates and well-funded campaigns are still critical to winning elections. We struggled in both regards to the detriment of Michiganders across the state."

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, with low name I.D., no campaign money and no political experience, had to "start from scratch" after the primary, while Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her allies were sitting on tens of millions of dollars, which they used to attack her on her abortion position through TV ads, to devastating effect, Cordes said in the memo. [...]

"Donors for the most part decided against supporting Trump's hand-picked AG (attorney general) and SOS (secretary of state) candidates from the April convention, and also withheld millions in traditional investment into the State Party, despite Chairman (Ron) Weiser's historic contributions of more than $5 million into MIGOP, candidates and caucuses," the memo said.

"In what many of them saw as sending a message to Donald Trump and his supporters, longtime donors to the Party remained on the sidelines despite constant warnings of the possibility of the outcome we saw come to fruition on Election Day: A statewide sweep and one-party Democratic rule in Lansing, something that has not been seen in nearly 40 years in Michigan."

The memo said that amid high Republican turnout, Dixon underperformed the base party vote by 8 percentage points. By comparison, former Attorney General Bill Schuette, the 2018 GOP candidate who lost to Whitmer, underperformed the GOP base by only 3.9 percentage points.

"Tudor's efforts focused largely on Republican red meat issues, in hopes of inspiring a 2020-like showing at the polls," the memo said. "There were more ads on transgender sports than inflation, gas prices and bread and butter issues that could have swayed independent voters. We did not have a turnout problem - middle-of-the-road voters simply didn't like what Tudor was selling."

Why would Republicans fund Trumpists?

Posted by orrinj at 9:17 PM


Rick Scott Was Prepared to Take On McConnell -- Until Tuesday (JONATHAN MARTIN, 11/10/2022, Politico)

Scott had cut an announcement video declaring his intentions, word had reached some prominent conservatives outside the Senate and a handful of GOP senators had gotten wind of his plan and started calculating just how many votes his longshot campaign could accrue at the leadership vote next week in the Capitol.

He would have been virtually certain to lose. But Scott's challenge was not so much aimed at unseating the longtime Senate Republican leader as it was channeling the anger of grassroots conservatives, and the former president, who were peeved at McConnell's criticism of the "candidate quality" of this year's roster of Senate GOP candidates.

The idea was that those supposed mediocrities would romp to victory, credit Scott for his steadfast support and shame McConnell for his lack of faith -- while also starting to loosen the 80-year-old's grip on his leadership post. But only one of those candidates -- Ohio's J.D. Vance -- won his race outright. Arizona's Blake Masters appears likely to lose, Georgia's Herschel Walker is in a runoff, and Pennsylvania's Mehmet Oz and New Hampshire's Donald Bolduc were defeated.

With Republican hopes for claiming the majority now dependent on a tenuous vote advantage in Nevada, McConnell's August assessment of the candidates looks prescient. Because of recruitment failures and Trump's interventions in primaries, the GOP was saddled with candidates who lost, are likely to lose or simply cost McConnell's super PAC and Scott's campaign committee tens of millions of dollars in bailouts.

God made quitters too.

Posted by orrinj at 8:06 PM


Judge slaps sanctions on Trump lawyers for 'frivolous' Clinton lawsuit (JOSH GERSTEIN and KYLE CHENEY, 11/10/2022, Politico)

A federal judge on Thursday excoriated and sanctioned several members of Donald Trump's legal team, saying the former president's massive lawsuit against his former rival, Hillary Clinton, and dozens of other adversaries amounted to an intentional abuse of the legal system.

Posted by orrinj at 6:58 PM


Posted by orrinj at 6:46 PM


Batteries of gravity and water: We found 1,500 new pumped hydro sites next to existing reservoirs (Andrew Blakers, Anna Nadolny & Ryan Stocks 11 November 2022, Renew Economy)

You store electricity by pumping water uphill to the upper reservoir on sunny and windy days - and turn it back into power at night or during calm or cloudy days by letting the water flow back downhill through a turbine. Think of this system as a giant "gravity battery", where electricity is turned into gravitational potential energy and back again.

The question now is: where are the best locations? Last year, we released a global atlas of more than 600,000 greenfield locations for pumped hydro. These are sites where there is no existing reservoir. About 4,000 of those are in Australia, including the site for Queensland's newly announced 5 gigawatt Pioneer-Burdekin pumped hydro scheme.

Now we've identified 1,500 new Australian sites in our new bluefield atlas. Bluefield refers to locations with one reservoir already in place, meaning only one new reservoir needs to be built. Existing reservoirs already have a social licence and are usually publicly owned. None of our sites require damming major rivers.

Because we have so many good options, we can afford to be choosy. We can go all the way to 100% renewables while only developing the very best sites.

Posted by orrinj at 8:56 AM


6 reasons why Trump's already bad legal troubles are about to get worse (KYLE CHENEY and JOSH GERSTEIN, 11/09/2022, Politico)

With the midterm elections in the rearview, federal prosecutors are no longer abiding by an unwritten code to avoid politically sensitive investigative steps before voters go to the polls. An Atlanta-area prosecutor probing Trump's effort to subvert the 2020 election had also paused most of her potentially explosive steps while Georgia voters were casting ballots. And the inability of Republicans to deliver massive margins of victory threatens to deprive Trump of the overwhelmingly Republican Congress that he had hoped would wield committee gavels and subpoena power to protect him and torment rivals.

All this could be further complicated should Trump, as expected, announce his third run for the presidency in the coming week. With that declaration nearing, Trump finds himself in a new, more precarious reality -- one in which federal and local investigators are closing in on his top allies in at least three criminal probes. The newly reelected New York attorney general is working to dismantle his business empire and the House's Jan. 6 select committee is about to unload a massive trove of evidence that may advance the criminal cases against him.

Here are the top six takeaways...

Posted by orrinj at 8:54 AM


Spanish energy giant switches on ACT battery - its first in the world (Sophie Vorrath, 10 November 2022, Renew Economy)

A 10MW, two-hour (20MWh) battery energy storage system has been completed in the ACT, where it will be used in partnership with local transmission company, TransGrid, to support the network in the Queanbeyan region.

The battery was developed by Global Power Generation, a subsidiary of Spanish energy giant Naturgy, as part of a contract awarded by the ACT government to build the 107MW Berrybank 2 wind farm in Victoria's Western Plains.

For Naturgy, the Australian BESS marks the first energy storage facility anywhere in the world for the company. It will be followed by a 50MW/220MWh battery being built as part of a landmark solar and storage hybrid project bought up by Naturgy in September - another first for the company.

Posted by orrinj at 8:36 AM


Wireless power from space (Solar Daily, Nov 10, 2022)

Solar power gathered far away in space, seen here being transmitted wirelessly down to Earth to wherever it is needed. ESA plans to investigate key technologies needed to make Space-Based Solar Power a working reality through its SOLARIS initative. One such technology - wireless power transmission - was recently demonstrated in Germany to an audience of decision makers from business and government.

The demonstration took place at Airbus' X-Works Innovation Factory in Munich. Using microwave beaming, green energy was transmitted green energy between two points representing 'Space' and 'Earth' over a distance of 36 metres.

The received power was used to light up a model city, produce green hydrogen by splitting water and even to produce the world's first wirelessly cooled 0% alcohol beer in a fridge before serving to the watching audience.

Posted by orrinj at 8:31 AM


Putin supporters left reeling by yet another Russian 'surrender' in Ukraine (Holly Ellyatt, 11/10/22, CNBC)

As Russia's military commanders announced another major withdrawal in Ukraine, pro-Kremlin commentators have described the retreat as a humiliating and significant defeat for Moscow and President Vladimir Putin.

Putin kept a low profile as Russia announced Wednesday it was withdrawing its troops from the tentatively occupied city of Kherson and the west bank of the Dnipro river, which bisects the Kherson region in southern Ukraine. The military said it could no longer supply its troops there and was worried about the safety of its military personnel.

Kremlin Cronies Sent Reeling on Live TV Over U.S. Midterm Elections (Julia Davis, Nov. 09, 2022, Politico)

On Tuesday, Russia's Tucker Carlson, top propagandist Vladimir Solovyov, greeted his audience by wishing them a "Happy Interference in the U.S. Election Day." Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as "Putin's chef," who was indicted as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference, likewise decided to publicly fess up to the allegations he previously denied.

This plan to discredit the U.S. elections and convince the Republicans that the mighty Kremlin hand covertly helped push them to victory had backfired. On Wednesday, state TV propagandists were scratching their heads about the wave that turned out to be but a trickle. During the broadcast of 60 Minutes, host Olga Skabeeva asked an expert: "How are our guys in America?" Political scientist Vladimir Kornilov clarified with a chuckle: "Our Republicans."

Dmitry Abzalov, Director of the Center for Strategic Communications, noted that the outcome was much different than the predictions: "Even the Democrats predicted the red wave that will mow everything down, but it turned out to be quite modest." Political scientist Vladimir Kornilov said, "The worst fears of the Democrats are now behind them. They easily won the states they were most concerned about."

MAGA was their last hope in Ukraine.

Posted by orrinj at 8:10 AM


Posted by orrinj at 8:02 AM


Early midterm results point to a win for democracy: Whether Republicans end up controlling Congress or not, the results of Tuesday's midterms send a clear message: It's time to finally break free from Donald Trump's grip on the party and pass meaningful bipartisan legislation. (The Editorial Board,  November 9, 2022, Boston Globe)

Republicans had every reason to believe they would have a strong showing in the midterm elections: Inflation is near a 40-year high, a recession appears to be in the forecast, and Joe Biden's approval rating is about as low as Donald Trump's was in 2018, when Democrats made their biggest gains in the House since the 1970s. And yet in spite of all of those political advantages, Tuesday's results, while incomplete, indicate that Republicans will have underperformed both expectations and historical trends once the vote counts are complete.

Whatever the final makeup of the next Congress, the results appear to be good news for democracy. And that's not simply because Republicans' anticipated red wave didn't materialize. It's because of how it didn't: Trump-backed candidates proved too extreme in some of the most competitive states, showing that neither Trump nor election denialism ought to be the path forward for the GOP. It's time, in other words, for Republicans to finally break away from Trump's grip on their party and elect a new standard bearer come 2024 -- not just for the sake of the country, but for the sake of their own electoral prospects.

Just look at some of the races that have already been called: In New Hampshire, Don Bolduc, the Republican Senate candidate who helped spread lies about the 2020 election, lost his bid to unseat Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan, who polls showed was vulnerable. Down the ballot, Republican Karoline Leavitt, another election denier, lost her race against Democrat Chris Pappas in a purple swing district.

Elsewhere in the country, some of Trump's highest-profile candidates proved burdensome for the GOP: Mehmet Oz, whom Trump not only endorsed but actively campaigned for, lost the Pennsylvania Senate race, giving Democrats a seat that was previously in Republicans' hands. And Republican gubernatorial candidates Doug Mastriano, Tim Michels, and Tudor Dixon, all of whom are election deniers endorsed by Trump, lost their races in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, respectively.

Meanwhile, some officials from both parties who stood up for the rule of law and the will of the American voters in 2020 despite Trump's pressure to overturn the results -- like Republican Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia or Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson of Michigan -- were rewarded for their courage in the face of death threats and won their reelection bids.

Midterm elections showed that Trump seemed to be a drag on Republican Party (Jess Bidgood, November 9, 2022, Boston Globe)

"How are these Republican voters going to perceive Donald Trump going forward, considering how poor of a job Trump's handpicked candidates did last night?" Ramer said.

In Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race, far right state lawmaker Doug Mastriano, whose conspiracy-theory-laden efforts to challenge the 2020 election results there won him Trump's primary endorsement, got blown out by Democrat Josh Shapiro.

Two other GOP gubernatorial candidates in battleground states who also earned Trump's backing and embraced election denialism, Tudor Dixon of Michigan and Tim Michels of Wisconsin, also lost on Tuesday. Their concession calls to their Democratic opponents were a relief to democracy experts who worried they might try to challenge the results.

In Pennsylvania, Democrats flipped a Senate seat when John Fetterman beat Mehmet Oz, a celebrity TV doctor from New Jersey. Oz had won Trump's endorsement late in a divisive primary, but wasn't able to overcome dismal favorability ratings caused in part by Fetterman portraying him as a slick out-of-towner.

Georgia offered yet another example of Trump's struggles.

In the last runoff, in January 2021, two Republican Senate incumbents, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, each lost after embracing Trump and his burgeoning claims of fraud in the 2020 election. The wins then by Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock gave Democrats narrow control of the Senate.

Earlier this year, the former president handpicked challengers to the state's GOP Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who had refused to go along with Trump's election falsehoods. But those incumbents won their primaries and sailed to reelection Tuesday despite being on the outs with Trump.

Meanwhile, the Trump-blessed Republican football star Herschel Walker, while fighting Warnock to a runoff, nonetheless ran well behind Kemp in the vote count -- an indication that a swath of voters split their tickets between Kemp and Warnock.

"The ones that Trump opposed had the best nights," said Brian Robinson, a Republican strategist here. "There's now more of an ability for candidates to be independent. You can survive being on the other side of Trump, where you couldn't a few years ago."

Here's how Donald Trump sabotaged the Republican midterms (John Podhoretz, November 9, 2022, NY Post)

After three straight national tallies in which either he or his party or both were hammered by the national electorate, it's time for even his stans to accept the truth: Toxic Trump is the political equivalent of a can of Raid.

What Tuesday night's results suggest is that Trump is perhaps the most profound vote-repellant in modern American history.

The surest way to lose in these midterms was to be a politician endorsed by Trump.

This is not hyperbole.

Except for deep red states where a Republican corpse would have beaten a Democrat, voters choosing in actually competitive races -- who everyone expected would behave like midterm voters usually do and lean toward the out party -- took one look at Trump's hand-picked acolytes and gagged.

Liberal fundraisers actually put money behind Trump-endorsed candidates in GOP primaries all over the place to help them prevail so that Democrats could face them in the general election. It was transparently cynical and an abuse of our political process. But it worked like gangbusters.

As Kevin Robillard of the Huffington Post noted on Wednesday afternoon when a Michigan Democrat named Hilary Scholten was finally declared the winner of her House seat against a raving lunatic named John Gibbs: "With this race call, every single Republican who won their primary with help from Democratic meddling has lost in the general election."

Posted by orrinj at 7:38 AM