Democrats Score Special Election Upset In Wisconsin District Trump Won Big
Amanda Terkel, HuffPost June 13, 2018
Wisconsin Democrats scored a major upset victory Tuesday night, winning a state Senate seat in a district that went for Donald Trump by double digits in 2016.
Caleb Frostman defeated state Rep. Andre Jacque (R) for the open seat in District 1 that was previously held by state Sen. Frank Lasee (R), who resigned to take a job in Gov. Scott Walker’s administration. Frostman will be on the ballot again in November for the regular election.
Republicans held on to a state Assembly seat in District 42 that also held a special election Tuesday.
Although Frostman’s term is short, his win is a huge victory for the Democratic Party. Not only was the seat held by a Republican, but Trump defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton there by 17 points in the 2016 presidential election. Trump also won the state of Wisconsin overall.
“Tonight is a good night for Wisconsin Democrats,” said state party chair Martha Laning. “We continued a winning streak by flipping a red seat blue and electing Caleb Frostman to the state Senate, a 21-point swing from Trump’s 2016 performance.”
Frostman’s win is especially sweet for Democrats because Walker tried to prevent Tuesday’s contests from taking place to begin with. Both the vacancies were created when Walker tapped the incumbents to join his administration in December.
State law requires the governor to call special elections for vacancies that take place before May in an election year, but Walker had refused to do so. He planned to keep them vacant until the regular elections in November. The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a group led by former Attorney General Eric Holder, sued Walker ― and won.
Walker reluctantly called these special elections in March, knowing full well that Democrats had a real shot at flipping the seats.
In January, Democrat Patty Schachtner also had a surprise victory in a state Senate special election, succeeding in another district that had been held by Republicans and went to Trump by 17 points. At the time, Walker called the results a “wake-up call” for Republicans that there was a potential blue wave of Democratic wins coming in November.
“Scott Walker and his Republican allies gerrymandered this district for their own partisan benefit,” said Holder on Tuesday night, “but the citizens of Wisconsin are clearly speaking out this year to demand a state government that better represents their values.”
MADISON – Wisconsin will hold two closely watched special elections Tuesday, the latest test of whether a “blue wave” could be coming this fall.
Why are the elections being held?
Tuesday’s elections will fill the seats of former Sen. Frank Lasse (R-De Pere) and former Rep. Keith Ripp (R-Lodi), who stepped down in December to take jobs in Gov. Scott Walker’s administration.
Walker didn’t call special elections at the time. Voters in those districts — with the help of a group run by former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder — sued and courts ruled Walker had to call the special election.
In Senate District 1, Republican Rep Andre Jacque of De Pere faces Democrat Caleb Frostman, the former head of the Door County Economic Development Corp. The district includes all of Door and Kewaunee counties and parts of Brown, Manitowoc, Calumet and Outagamie counties.
In Assembly District 42, Republican Jon Plumer, a Lodi Town Board member and owner of karate schools, is running against Democrat Ann Groves Lloyd, a Lodi alderwoman and University of Wisconsin-Madison academic adviser.
The district is just north of Madison and includes most of Columbia County and parts of Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake and Marquette counties.
Caleb Frostman (left), the Democratic candidate in Tuesday’s special election for state Senate, talks to Sturgeon Bay voter Tom Fernandez. (Photo: Craig Gilbert / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Are the races being closely watched?
Since President Donald Trump took office last year, 25 legislative and congressional seats have flipped from Republican to Democrat, according to Charles Franklin, a pollster and political scientist at Marquette University Law School. Just five have flipped the other way.
Among the seats that went to Democrats was a state Senate seat in western Wisconsin won by Patty Schachtner in January. Walker called that result a “wake-up call” that should warn Republicans they could be in trouble this fall.
Election experts say people shouldn’t draw too many conclusions from one election night, but Tuesday’s results could help guide the narrative about whether a “blue wave” is coming.
Candidates for Assembly District 42 seat meet in Lodi for candidate forum. WisconsinEye
How long will the winners hold the seats?
Not long. The districts are up for election again in November, so both the winners and the losers will have to stay in election mode.
Election observers say Tuesday’s winners will have an edge in the fall election, but no guarantee they will win again. Turnout in the fall is certain to be much higher in the fall than on Tuesday.
What’s at stake?
In one sense, the stakes are low because the seats will immediately be up for election again. In another, they’re high because the Senate seat is an important part of Democrats’ strategy to try to take over the upper house.
Republicans control the Senate 18-14 and Democrats would need to net three seats in the fall to take power in that house.
Republicans have a much firmer, 63-35 margin in the Assembly.
Two Truthless Leaders Just Signed an Agreement That Commits No One to Anything
The Trump-Kim summit on North Korean denuclearization concludes with…something.
By Charles P. Pierce June 12, 2018
Every foot is the wrong foot.
Yes, it is better to talk than to rattle plutonium at each other. Yes, given the history of United States foreign policy going back at least to the 1890s, it is absurd to get hysterical about an American president meeting with bloodthirsty foreign leaders. Yes, to those of us who are old enough to remember the conservative howling when Jimmy Carter tried to make human rights central to American foreign policy, it is hilarious to hear conservatives waxing wroth about the subject now. Yes, yes, yes.
At the same time, this was a singularly absurd spectacle, as well as one of the strangest episodes in the history of cable news, a real-life anime exercise to rival all those shots of an empty podium that so enthralled the nation during the 2016 presidential campaign. Endless shots of an empty road in Singapore, “live coverage” of a closed-door meeting, of which there is no official record, between two of the most notorious bad-faith artists ever to lead sovereign nations. Meanwhile, pundits in Washington, D.C., practiced their remote viewing skills on camera.
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Then, there was this press conference to remind us who we’re dealing with here as our president*. I slept through it, and I feel confident that I made the right choice. From The Washington Post‘s transcript:
“Well, [Kim] is very talented. Anybody that takes over a situation like he did at 26 years of age and is able to run it and run it tough, I don’t say it was nice or I don’t say anything about it, he ran it. Very few people at that age, you can take one out of 10,000 probably couldn’t do it.”
“Otto Warmbier is a very special person and he will be for a long time in my life. His parents are good friends of mine. I think without Otto, this would not have happened. Something happened from that day. It was a terrible thing. It was brutal. But a lot of people started to focus on what was going on, including North Korea. I really think that Otto is someone who did not die in vain. I told this to his parents. A special young man and I have to say, special parents, special people. Otto did not die in vain. He had a lot to do with us being here today.”
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“No. Not at all because if you look at it, I mean it said we are going to — let’s see here. It will be gone — I don’t think it can be anymore plain than what we’re asking, issues related to the establishment of the new U.S.-DPRK relations, the building. We talk about the guarantees. And we talk about unwavering commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. This is the document that we just signed…Yes, we did. Yes, we did. And we’ll be verifying. Yes. We’ll be verifying. It will be verified.”
“He actually mentioned the fact that they proceeded down a path in the past and ultimately as you know nothing got done. In one case, they took billions of dollars during the Clinton regime. Took billions of dollars and nothing happened. That was a terrible thing. And he actually brought it up to me. And he said, we have never gone this far. I don’t think they’ve ever had the confidence, frankly, in a president that they have right now for getting things done and having the ability to get things done.”
Wait. Kim told him that North Korea had taken billions of dollars from the Clinton Administration and did nothing in return and now, what, Kim feels guilty about the whole thing? I find the credibility of this account…disturbing.
“Yes, we’ve done exercises for a long period of time working South Korea. And we call them war games, that I call them war games, and they’re tremendously expensive, the amount of money that we spend on that is incredible. And South Korea contributes but not a hundred percent, which is certainly a subject that we have to talk to them about also. And that has to do with the military expense and also the trade. So, we’re doing that, we actually have a new deal with South Korea in terms of the trade deal. But we have to talk them, and we have to talk to many countries about treating us fairly. But the war games are very expensive, we pay for a big majority of them, we fly in bombers from Guam, I said it when I first started, I said, where do the bombers come from? Guam, nearby, I said, “Oh, great. Nearby. Where is nearby? Six and a half hours. Six and a half hours? That’s a long time for these big massive planes to be flying to South Korea to practice and then drop bombs all over the place and then go back to Guam.”
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“I know a lot about airplanes, it’s very expensive…I think it’s very provocative, I have to tell you, Jennifer, it’s a very provocative situation. When I see that, and you have a country right next door, so under the circumstances that we are negotiating a very comprehensive, complete deal, I think it’s inappropriate to be having war games.”
As iodine shares skyrocket on the South Korean stock market.
“From the beginning, we got along. But there’s been a lot of ground work. This wasn’t like we went and we started talking about as you know, right? We didn’t just come in and start talking about these very complex subjects that have been going on for 70 years. We’ve been discussing this for months. And once the rhetoric stopped, once they did a great thing — North Korea did a great thing by going to the Olympics because the Olympics and President Moon will tell you this, the Olympics was not exactly doing great. People didn’t feel like being bombed out of the opening ceremonies. They weren’t exactly selling tickets. And as soon as the chairman, Chairman Kim, said “Let’s participate in the Olympics”, it sold like wildfire and was a great success as an Olympics. It was a great success. He did a great thing.”
“I may be wrong, I mean I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey I was wrong.’ I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.”
Most truthful thing he’s ever said. It’s the moment he became president*.
“As an example they’ve got great beaches… I explained, you could have the best hotels in the world right there. Think of it from a real estate perspective.”
Yeah, me too:
Beyond all that, and the equally strange interview with ABC’s George Stephanopolous, this was an anomalous exercise between two anomalous creatures of history. The two anomalous creatures signed an anomalous document that really doesn’t commit anyone to anything. There is really nothing to comment upon, except for the fact that an American president* met a leader of North Korea for the first time. There’s no reason for them to trust each other, and no reason for the rest of us to trust either of them.
And, besides, no country in the history of the world willingly has given up all its nuclear weapons once it had them. I am skeptical that North Korea under its present leadership is going to be the first one to do so. But, hey, maybe they really want a yacht club and a couple of casinos.
Rising CO2 poses bigger climate threat than warming, study says
New research suggests geo-engineering efforts designed to encourage cooling and reduce rising temperatures are likely to do little to prevent damaging weather extremes.
By Brook Hays June 12, 2018
New research suggests CO2 concentrations are a better predictor of the extreme weather events associated with global warming. Photo by Reinhard Tiburzy/Shutterstock
June 12 (UPI) — Even if global warming is curbed and the increase in global temperature is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, scientists warn rising CO2 concentrations could still trigger a dangerous increase in extreme weather.
Broadly speaking, more CO2 translates to higher temperatures, but the relationship between atmosphere and climate is complex, and scientists say there are scenarios in which warming could be limited to 1.5 degrees, despite a sizable increase in atmospheric CO2.
New climate models developed by researchers at the University of Bristol and the University of Oxford suggest CO2 levels, not global temperatures, are a better predictor of the most damaging consequences of climate change.
“Future work is needed to confirm exactly why we see this direct CO2 effect, but current research points to a combination of circulation and cloud cover changes, and an increase in the amount of direct radiation on the Earth’s surface due to simply having more CO2 in the atmosphere,” Hugh Baker, a PhD student in physics at Oxford, said in a news release.
The new research suggests geo-engineering efforts designed to encourage cooling and reducing rising temperatures are likely to do little to prevent damaging weather extremes.
“Geo-engineering techniques that reduce the amount of sunlight hitting the Earth’s surface are increasingly thought of as a way of achieving the Paris Goals because they decrease surface temperature,” said Bristol scientist Dann Mitchell. “However, our results show that for extreme climate such as heatwaves, changing the global mean temperature is not enough, you need to reduce CO2 concentrations themselves.”
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