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Don’t buy into the notion that the problems encountered during Florida’s recount were systemic or mechanical. That’s the conclusion I reached after I read this investigative article.

I’m being charitable if I say that Broward County’s management is ineffective. I’d call them the ‘county that can’t shoot straight’ but that wouldn’t be accurate. Remember that when the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting happened in Broward County, the deputies refused to enter the building, much less confront the shooter.

Think about this: 2 of the biggest stories this year happened in Broward County, FL. The Parkland shooting and the FL recount highlighted Broward County’s mismanagement. With the Parkland shooting, Sheriff Israel’s ineptitude was highlighted. With the recount, Dr. Brenda Snipes’ ineptitude was highlighted.

That said, Palm Beach County’s recount wasn’t a picture of perfection, either:

“It became evident through the vigorous pace of counting that the machines used for the recount were starting to get stressed,” Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher told reporters last week.

In a further twist, the company behind the Palm Beach machines says official claims that they overheated are false. “The idea that this equipment is at fault is a mischaracterization,” Kay Stimson, vice president of government affairs for Dominion Voting Systems, told RealClearInvestigations. “There were no reports of overheating machines during the recount. We had engineers on the ground there, available 24/7, and they heard nothing from anyone at Palm Beach County.”

This is fantastic news:

Good riddance. As a good friend often says, “Don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.’ By the time the recount finished, pretty much the only people still supporting Dr. Snipes were relatives. Gov. DeSantis will pick Dr. Snipes’ replacement.

When H. Ross Perot talked about NAFTA, he talked about a “giant sucking sound.” Apparently, he was right about that. That isn’t what I’m talking about, though. I’m talking about the last gasps coming from Sen. Nelson’s political career.

According to the Washington Post, “Florida’s two largest counties completed hand recounts in the state’s hotly contested U.S. Senate race on Friday morning, dispatching the meticulous process with startling speed.” Sen. Nelson’s chances were virtually nil at the start of the hand recount so this isn’t startling from a win-or-loss standpoint. The writing was on the proverbial wall.

What this means, though, is that Sen. Nelson’s best counties for gaining votes just disintegrated. By tonight or tomorrow afternoon, Sen. Nelson will be forced to concede. This press availability just makes Sen. Nelson and Sen. Schumer look like blowhards:

It’s impossible to take either man seriously. Sen. Nelson knows that Florida’s governor plays virtually no role in recounts, only entering the picture after the recounts are finished and the Secretary of State has signed the election certificates. Sen. Schumer nodding approvingly while Sen. Nelson was making his asinine statements just makes him look like an out-of-touch partisan.

A judge tossed out one of Sen. Nelson’s lawsuits, too, which is another indicator that Sen. Nelson is running out of opportunities to reverse the voters’ verdict. I suspect pressure is building that will require Sen. Nelson to admit defeat within the next 12-18 hrs.

According to this article, House Democrats unveiled their agenda for the first 100 days of the 116th Congress. According to the article, the “Democratic leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, promises that the first bill voted on by the new Congress will focus on campaign finance and ethics reforms. According to news accounts, H.R. 1 would, among other things, establish automatic voter registration and “reinvigorate” the Voting Rights Act.”

Further, House Democrats want to overwhelm Republicans by pushing “public financing of congressional campaigns, with a 6-to-1 government match on small dollar donations.” Democrats will certainly define small dollar donations to their advantage.

The reason they’ll do that is because, according to Tucker Carlson’s op-ed, when “a Republican wins an election, it’s fine to question the legitimacy of the process. Democrats have been doing since the days Trump was elected two years ago. That’s patriotic. It’s your duty. But when the Democratic Party’s power is at stake, raising questions about the process is wrong. Indeed it’s nothing less than the road to dictatorship.”

It’s worse than that. Here’s Howard Dean talking about this topic:

In other words, in 2018, Dean vehemently insisted that the nation was in a fight of “good vs. evil” while being convinced that “we’re the good” and that Republicans were the evil. That’s literally what he said a couple weeks ago. That isn’t the first time he’s made that statement. When he was DNC Chair in 2005, he said this:

And concluding his backyard speech with a litany of Democratic values, he added: “This is a struggle of good and evil. And we’re the good.”

Think about that a second. In 2005, Howard Dean thought that George W. Bush was a hardcore conservative who was a religious extremist. Now, he’s insisting that President Trump is an extremist who thinks that the US-Mexican border should be protected.

What’s funny is that Democrats think that’s immoral. That puts the Democrats on the opposite side of the Founding Fathers. In Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 of the Constitution, Congress is authorized to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” It doesn’t say that Mexicans and Central Americans will “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization” in consultation with Congress.

BTW, Democrats insist that the mobile mob making its way through Mexico isn’t an invasion. Here’s the official definition of invasion:

entrance as if to take possession or overrun:
infringement by intrusion.

CNN and Jim Acosta need better dictionaries. More importantly, Democrats need to start telling the whole truth more often:

Gun control was not a big issue in the midterm campaign, despite promises by gun control advocates to make it a centerpiece of the elections in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting. The issue “evaporated during the final weeks of the election in all but very safe liberal districts,” noted Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner. “But now that the Democrats have won the House,” Bedard notes, “leaders feel emboldened to raise calls for expanded background checks and an assault weapon ban.”

Gun control advocates tout the fact that 15 House Republicans with “A” ratings from the NRA lost their elections. But gun control advocates lost seats in the Senate. That includes Joseph Donnelly, who lost his bid in Indiana. Pro-gun rights Josh Hawley unseated Claire McCaskill in Missouri. According to the NRA, candidates backed by gun rights group won 106 races, and lost 33 despite being outspent by gun control supporters. This was not the groundswell of support for gun control laws that advocates promised.

These items might gather majority support in polls but they don’t excite people. If Democrats pass tax increases in the House and the economy falters after that, they’ll rightly get blamed. If the Democrats focus on investigations, gun control and campaign finance reform instead of focusing on keeping the economy going strong, they’ll deserve the blame they’ll get.

Ed Morrissey’s post on the Florida recounts should become required reading. As Ed highlights in his posts, changing the outcome of statewide races is virtually impossible.

In his post, Ed highlights the fact that “According to an analysis by the nonpartisan group FairVote, which advocates for electoral reforms that make it easier to vote, out of 4,687 statewide elections between 2000 and 2016, just 26 went to a recount. Of those 26, just three recounts wound up changing the initial result of the race: The 2004 Washington governor’s race, the 2006 Vermont state auditor’s race and the 2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate race.”

While I don’t have statistics on recounts of legislative races, the odds aren’t high. I have experience with legislative recounts. It isn’t extensive but it’s something. In 2008, I was part of a team working on the recount of a state senate race. In that race, with over 35,000 votes cast, the margin of victory was reduced by 1 vote. In 2010, my state legislator won by 13 votes. That margin didn’t change.

The only way to change the victor is to illegitimately expand the universe of ballots to be counted. Once the Broward County judge ordered the reports published, the Senate recount essentially ended. Based on the reporting, it looked like Marc Elias, Sen. Bill Nelson’s recount attorney, tried doing exactly that. That’s why Rick Scott’s decision to file a pair of lawsuits last week was so important.

Gov. Scott didn’t hesitate like Norm Coleman did in 2008. The importance of those lawsuits, which required Broward County elections supervisor Brenda Snipes to hand over the vote totals reports to authorities, determined how many ballots had been cast. That eliminated the possibility of ‘finding’ additional ballots. Once those reports became public, Bill Nelson and, especially, Andrew Gillum, were sunk.

This video explains why Floridians will be significantly better off after Gov. Scott officially becomes Sen. Scott:

Sen. Nelson hasn’t done much legislatively to help Floridians in his time in the Senate. Good riddance. BTW, now that he’s lost the governor’s race, Andrew Gillum will have more time to meet with defense attorneys in his potential corruption trial.

Let’s be clear about something. The question as to whether Sen. Schumer or Sen. McConnell will be the majority leader is over. Sen. McConnell will be the Senate Majority Leader this January. The only question is how big his majority will be. At this point, I’m betting that he’ll have at least 54 Republicans in his majority.

Each day, I check the RealClearPolitics scorecard in the upper right hand corner of the page. A month ago, Josh Hawley, (R-MO), was the only Republican leading Claire McCaskill, his Democrat opponent. Last week, Republicans leading their Democrat opponents numbered 6: Ted Cruz leading Comrade O’Rourke in Texas, Martha McSally leading Kirsten Sinema in Arizona, Dean Heller leading Jackie Rosen in Nevada, Marsha Blackburn leading Phil Bredesen in Tennessee and Kevin Cramer leading Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota. Yesterday, Bill Nelson, (D-FL), led Rick Scott. Then he made the asinine mistake of accusing Gov. Scott of using Hurricane Michael for his political advantage. Today, that race is tied. I expect Gov. Scott to win that race. People don’t vote for whiners.

The Beto O’Rourke myth is essentially over, thanks in large part to their last debate:

Sen. Cruz stung O’Rourke when he said that O’Rourke wouldn’t have voted for either Neil Gorsuch or Brett Kavanaugh, then saying that he “led the fight” to confirm those judges to the Supreme Court.

Don’t be surprised if the Senate map gets better for Republicans in the final days. (Think Montana and Minnesota.)

After President Trump tweeted that he’s willing to shut down the government over funding for his border wall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he’s optimistic they “can avoid a government shutdown.” A senior Republican aide said “We’ve got the whole month of August dedicated to appropriations. This notion that we’re going to shut down the government — everyone needs to dial down the panic button a couple notches.”

That leads me to this question: will Republicans finish the major funding bills on time, then force Democrats to either vote for funding the wall or shutting the government down? The truth is that Republicans might paint the Democrats into a corner by passing the vast majority of appropriations bills on time. The NDAA is heading to President Trump’s desk, which funds the military. Since Congress is passing individual appropriations bills rather than a CR that funds the entire government, the MSM and the Democrats (pardon the repetition) will find it virtually impossible to succeed in accusing Republicans of shutting down government.

Further, the part of the government that is actually shut down is the Department of Homeland Security. Do Democrats really want to tell swing-district voters that they don’t want to build the wall? That might work in some of the most liberal districts but it can’t help them in the Rust Belt, the Midwest or Great Lakes states where they’re fighting to recapture governorships and/or hold onto precarious Senate seats. Further, if Democrats vote against funding the wall, won’t that essentially kill their opportunity to flip the Arizona and Nevada Senate seats?

“We’ll finish up the set of appropriations measures we’ve been considering for several days and take four more big steps toward our goal of completing a regular appropriations process and funding the government in a timely and orderly manner,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

President Obama loved getting Republicans into an all-or-nothing position because he had the biggest megaphone. Republicans now have that super-sized megaphone. It’s worth noting that President Trump is on the right side of the border wall issue. Whether Republicans realize it or not, most Rust Belt/Corn Belt states prefer keeping the gangs, drug cartels and human traffickers out of their states.

If Democrats want to bet that they’re on the right side of that issue, let ’em try. Ultimately, I’m betting that there’s more people who want to stop MS-13 and keep the economy running strong than there are people who prefer open borders, rampant crime and a return to the Obama economy.

If Republicans can campaign on getting their appropriations done on time, that will tell voters that, despite a bumpy start, Republicans are getting the nation’s work done on time. That’s a net positive for both the House and Senate. Couple that with the Senate confirming another Supreme Court justice and the House getting started on Tax Cuts 2.0 and you’ve got a pretty nice list of accomplishments to run on.

If funding the wall is the only thing left on the agenda, that’d put Democrats in a sticky position. That’s a position red state Democrat senators don’t want to find themselves in.

This Politico article contains some of the best news I’ve seen all day. When I read “the party’s base is demanding Schumer and his colleagues wage a knock-down, drag-out fight”, I couldn’t help but smile from ear-to-ear.

Let’s be upfront about this. I don’t expect this to happen. Still, if the Democrats want to imperil their most vulnerable senators, I’ll be happy to see that happen. I’d love to see Republicans pick up 6-7 seats instead of 2-3 seats in the Senate.

Still, if the Democrats’ base insists on a knock-down-drag-out fight, Republicans should smile, then hit these red-state Democrats hard until they’re too toxic to win. In some cases, that shouldn’t be that difficult. It’s important that we remember that this vote isn’t the only thing that senators like Manchin, Donnelly, Tester, Heitkamp and Nelson will be judged on. Tester and Nelson voted against Gorsuch. All of them voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. Don’t think that those votes won’t be included in the GOP’s closing arguments in late October and early November.

Still, how long at-risk Democrats can or should hold out is a complicated political equation that could affect their survival in November. As long as they remain undecided, deep-pocketed conservative groups like the Judicial Crisis Network and Americans for Prosperity will continue pounding them with pro-Kavanaugh ads and activism in their states.

A spokeswoman for JCN said it would pull ads when and if Democratic senators come out in support of Kavanaugh and shift to thanking the nominee’s supporters. Meanwhile, GOP opponents, who expect some of these Democrats to ultimately support Kavanaugh, are hitting them for their supposed indecision.

Organizations like the Judicial Crisis Network are already running ads like this against Democrats:

This is another hard-hitting ad from JCN:

Good luck dealing with that pressure.
UPDATE: Rand Paul has announced that he’s supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The pressure just got a lot more intense for Manchin, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Tester, etc.

When Chas Anderson tweeted this information this morning, my first thought was whether this included a big loan from his personal stash.

Check out what the article says. It says “Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign says he raised $10.7 million during the second quarter of 2018, a ‘record breaking’ number that more than triples the best effort of any quarter by his opponent, Democrat Bill Nelson. The $10.7 million figure — ‘a historic amount that surpasses any other national Senate campaign’ — also does not reflect any of Scott’s own personal money spent on the campaign. The final tally included more than 11,000 contributors, 80 percent of whom live in Florida; 75 percent of all contributors gave less than $500.” In other words, lots of Floridians like this guy and are contributing to his campaign. Each of those 11,000 in-state contributors are votes for Gov. Scott. That’s an impressive political base. Further, that’s a huge haul, one that Bill Nelson likely can’t compete with.

This must intimidate Bill Nelson:

Scott, a two-term Governor, asserts in the release that the $10.7 million haul is “sending a message to Washington that the time of career politicians is over – and our momentum is not slowing down.” Florida Finance Chairwoman Darlene Jordan had a similar take: “This historic more than $10.7 million fundraising quarter shows that the opportunity to elect Governor Rick Scott and send a career politician back home has Floridians more excited than ever before.”

Bill Nelson is a do-nothing senator. His list of accomplishments is pretty short. Rick Scott’s list of accomplishments is significant and lengthy.

This should frighten Sen. Nelson, too:

Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign says it has hauled in as much cash in three weeks as his opponent, Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, raised in the first three months of this year. Scott, a Republican, collected $3.2 million in individual contributions since he launched his bid to unseat the three-term incumbent senator, according to his campaign.

That’s from an April 30th article. The thing that stands out to me is that Scott’s fundraising continues at an impressive pace. If I’m Bill Nelson’s campaign manager, I’d be worried. ALOT!