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DEADLIEST WILDFIRES IN CALIFORNIA RECORDED HISTORY OVER THE LAST 13 MONTHS:
#1 Camp Fire (Butte): 84 deaths (November 2018) - active fire
MOST DESTRUCTIVE WILDFIRES IN CALIFORNIA RECORDED HISTORY OVER THE LAST 13 MONTHS:
#1 Camp Fire (Butte): 14,468 structures destroyed (November 2018) - active fire
THIRTEEN MONTH TALLY (only from top 20):
Happy Black Friday Noonerific people! I hope you had a very pleasant Thanksgiving. The only "shopping" I'm doing today I actually did on Wednesday and my treasure just arrived! Apparently, the hip thing to do in SacTown is to change your filter and show just how awful the air we have been breathing really has been.
If you received a series of messages this morning between 4-4:30am, that's my bad. I was working on The Nooner script (see below) and errantly sent it to not just myself but to the "link-only" subscribers. My apologies!
If you've been thinking about getting an Instant Pot, today appears to be a great day, with the multi-function cooker available for $59.49 on THAT online store. I use mine almost daily and absolutely love it. I pretty much only use pressure and slow cooking and really need to branch out, but it's worth it just for the pressure cooker function.
I see that Amazon Echo is super cheap, but unless I can say "Hey Alexa, write The Nooner," I really have no use. Plus, after eating my apple crisp last night, I really don't need another piece of technology to keep my ass in my chair.
Speaking of Black Friday, isn't media consolidation great?
I think I fixed the glitch on the headlines feed at the bottom of The Nooner. I know it's been neglected, but I've heard from many of you that missed it.
That said, I wrote the base of the headlines script for AroundTheCapitol and the dozen or so scripts like 15 years ago. Obviously, newspaper sites have changed a lot since then, when the issue of paywalls was limited to pretty much just the Wall Street Journal. Anyway, I think the feed is back and I'll be working on the underlying scripts to hopefully make for a better user experience. It hasn't aged well and has gotten pretty janky.
Thank you for your patience. There are a lot of moving parts behind this animal and my "to do" list is never ending.
On to elections. If you were puzzled by my math yesterday when I stated that, if CA21 flips, Democrats would pick up their "9" targeted congressional races. Except, my fingers typed "9" instead of 7. Yes, even if my chosen education was in law and math isn't my forte, I do know that 46-39=7.
The two big counties--Fresno and Kern--in CA21 that account for 70.5% of the current share of votes in the district are both off today. Fresno next reports at 3pm on Wednesday, while Kings returns to counting on Monday.
Fresno is splitting about evenly, with the predictable Democratic lean with ballots tallied after Election Day. Kern is where Josh Harder's hopes lie, as it is splitting 60-40 for the Democratic challenger, with a greater tilt in the later counts. Kings County, where incumbent David Valadao (R) dominates, only has 1,577 ballots left, which is about 6% of the combined number of Fresno and Kern.
In short, things are not looking good for Valadao, but I think you've likely been following that since it's one of only a few congressionals nationally that haven't been called by all media outlets.
Meanwhile, the "what happened" analysis continues, with Ron Brownstein writing in The Atlantic California Has Become a Crisis for the Republicans.
"The GOP’s retreat in California long predated Trump, but there’s no question he has intensified and accelerated it. Over the past two years, California House Republicans, under pressure from then-Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, compounded their risk by voting with Trump more reliably than their Republican counterparts in other blue-leaning coastal states such as New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
“They bet on Trump and they bet wrong,” says John J. Pitney, a Claremont McKenna University political scientist and former aide at the Republican National Committee."
. . .
“The national party has become a cultural brand that’s anathema to the demographics that have grown here,” says GOP consultant Rob Stutzman, the former communications director for Schwarzenegger.
With Republicans so marginalized in the state—Democrats this month restored super majorities in both state legislative chambers and routed the GOP in all state wide races—just raising enough money to make their case may grow increasingly daunting for Republicans, Stutzman says.
California may be an extreme case of the political risks the GOP faces in a changing nation as Trump focuses the party’s message and agenda ever more narrowly on the priorities and cultural preferences of older, blue-collar, rural and evangelical whites.
BALLOT UPDATE as of November 21, 2018
TURNOUT as of November 21, 2018
AND THEN THERE WERE THREE...
More after the jump...
GAMING THE LAW? In the Union-Tribune, Greg Moran reports on a lawsuit by two gaming tribes against a dozen card rooms that the tribes allege are violating law by offering house-banked games. The two tribes are Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, who operate a North County casino, and the Santa Ynez of Chumash Mission Indians, who have a casino on tribal land in Santa Barbara County. The Rincon tribe contracts with Caesars Entertainment brand Harrah's to run its casino.
"The law for card rooms instead says that the role of the dealer rotates among all players, so everyone at the table has to take the deal and be the banker. The law specifically says the deal must be “continuously and systematically rotated” among all players.
But the tribes contend that since the early 2000s card room operators have worked around those restrictions largely via the use of “player-banked” games, where a person seated at the table with a large bankroll effectively acts as the house. The tribes contend the state for years allowed card rooms to ignore the rule — keeping the deal with the bankrolled player, increasing the stakes and excitement of the game.
Such a move was paved in 2007, when the state’s top gambling agent wrote a letter to two card room owners who were also lobbyists for the industry. That letter set a new standard: as long as the deal rotation was offered to other players, the game would be considered legal even if the deal didn’t rotate."
As if another fight over wildfire liability wasn't enough the wet the whistle of lobbyists for 2019, why not add a gaming fight? Between the upcoming session and the 2020 ballot bonanza (which likely will spill into next year's legislative session), it's a full employment act...
...speaking of that, the hamsters wanted me to tell you that now is a great time to advertise your wares in The Nooner.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Assemblymember Autumn Burke, Tim Reardon, and Prophet Walker!
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California's politician-free redistricting taking hold in other states
John Wildermuth @
CaliforniaÂs 2008 effort to take the politics out of redistricting is the hit of the land.
California Has Become a Crisis for the Republicans
Ron Brownstein @
For years, the stateÂs massive congressional delegation was highly competitive, but not anymore. Of 53 House seats, Democrats now hold at least 45.
N.Y. Democrats Vowed to Get Big Money Out of Politics. Will Big Money Interfere?
The stateâÂÂs campaign finance laws are among the nationâÂÂs weakest, and Democrats campaigned on a vow to strengthen them. But politics may intervene.
Fed up tribes sue card rooms, seek to halt offering some games they contend are illegal
Greg Moran @
Two Native American tribes that operate reservation casinos are suing a dozen card rooms from Chula Vista to the Bay Area, contending they are breaking state gambling laws by offering prohibited games that cost the tribes millions in lost revenues.
Sherrod Brown sets his sights on Trump in 2020
In a POLITICO interview, the Ohio Democrat highlights his connection with Trump voters, a possible preview of a 2020 campaign.
Senate Dems' guide back to the majority: A trailblazing freshman
Burgess Everett and Elana Schor @
Catherine Cortez Masto has already made history: Sheâs the first woman elected to the Senate from Nevada, and the first Latina senator, ever. Now sheâs ready to add another honorific: Majority maker.
What's up with all those black men who voted for the Republican in the Georgia governor's race?
Vanessa Williams @
Between 8 to 11 percent of black men did not vote for Stacey Abrams in her bid to become the nation's first black female governor.
Cindy Hyde-Smith has embraced Confederate history more than once in her political career
People close to the Mississippi Republican, facing a Senate runoff next week, say that despite her controversial "public hanging" comments, they've never known her to show racial bias.
Thanksgiving Special: Nancy Pelosi Pursues the Speaker's Gavel, Plus Patrick Murphy and David Jolly on Working Across the Aisle
On this Thanksgiving episode from Political Breakdown, Scott and Marisa revisit their interview with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, as she moves in on regaining the Speaker's gavel. Then, Guy Marzorati talks with former Congressmen Patrick Murphy and David Jolly about their push for reforms to bring back bipartisanship in Congress.
Inside a corporate giant's fight to thwart a massive pollution tab
Annie Schnider @
Chemical industry giant 3M is waging an aggressive campaign to stave off new regulations and potentially billions of dollars in damages stemming from a contamination crisis that has fouled tens of millions of Americansâ drinking water.
Republicans Hit Rock Bottom in New York. Can They Bounce Back?
The party lost eight seats in the New York Senate and every statewide race. Many blame President TrumpâÂÂs unpopularity in his home state.
POLITICO Playbook: Warning signs for Trumpâ
And rhetorical bedlam erupts as President Trump speaks to the world from Mar-a-Lago.
Associate Of Roger Stone In Plea Talks With Mueller - Politico
ASSOCIATED PRESS @
Jerome Corsi told The Associated Press he has been negotiating a potential plea but declined to comment further. He said on a YouTube show last week that he expected to be charged with lying to federal investigators, though he said at the time that he was innocent of wrongdoing.
Warning signs mount for Trump reelection bid
Steven Shepard @
Donald Trump insists the GOPâs midterm election shellacking had nothing to do with him. Things will be different, he says, when his name is actually on the ballot in 2020.
At least in terms of partisan preference in recent elections.
Stone associate Jerome Corsi is in plea negotiations with special counsel, according to a person with knowledge of the talks
A plea deal could bring Robert S. Mueller IIIâÂÂs team closer to determining whether President Trump or his advisers were linked to WikiLeaksâÂÂ release of hacked Democratic emails in 2016.
Disapproval of Trump's handling of race relations hits 60 percent
Eugene Scott @
One of the first polls published after the midterm elections gives President Trump low marks in an area where he has been viewed negatively since the days before he occupied the Oval Office: race relations.
Rebuffing C.I.A., Trump Says It Only Has "Feelings" About Khashoggi Killing
The exchange with reporters was a notable deviation on a Thanksgiving that was otherwise almost an exact replica of how the president spent the holiday last year.
More Dems Threaten To Withhold Support For Pelosi - Politico
Saudi Crown Prince In Uae, First Trip Abroad Since Khashoggi - Politico
ASSOCIATED PRESS @
His tour abroad underscores the strong support the crown prince continues to have from his 82-year-old father, King Salman, and signals that he faces no immediate threats to his grip on power at home.
For two years, Montenegrin officials have been pursuing the question of whether Russia secretly backed a coup to topple its government.
Climate Change Will Take a Bite From U.S. Economy, Report Finds
Without major action to rein in global warming, the American economy could lose 10 percent of G.D.P. by 2100, according to a report from 13 federal agencies.
Trump administration asks Supreme Court to immediately take up transgender military ban
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is scheduled to hear an appeal of a ruling against the ban next month.
He is more thankful for his presidency than the American public.
Bernie Sanders: Lion of the Left, but Not the Only One Roaring
As he prepares for a likely run in 2020, Mr. Sanders is still a leader of the liberal wing. But other Democrats have adopted his message, making him less of a singular figure.