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Algernon Moncrieff

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Member since: Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:49 AM
Number of posts: 5,100

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How climate gentrification is changing coastal real estate


A modern glass home sits on the edge of the water in Miami Beach. The ground-level master suite has a soaking tub that looks out to the ocean, and the bedroom's glass doors allow the owner to roll out of the sheets and onto the yacht. It is listed for sale at $25 million.

Another Miami home sits on a garbage-strewn street in Little Havana, about five miles inland. Its owner can walk out the front door and see a dead chicken in the street. It is listed for sale at $559,000, but some experts claim it is a better investment than $25 million mansion.

The mansion, while highly desirable and exquisitely appointed, is paradise at a price, because rising tides and increasingly extreme storms may already be lowering its value. On the other hand, the home in Little Havana, which sits on high ground with little risk of flooding, is appreciating at a fast clip. It has nearly doubled in value in just the past two years, according to Zillow.

"What we see here is a theory of climate gentrification that suggest that in Miami, higher elevation land will be worth more," said Harvard University's Jesse Keenan, who co-authored the first peer-reviewed study offering evidence of the existence of a climate change signal in the real estate market.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Wed Aug 29, 2018, 06:35 PM (3 replies)

538 What John McCain's Death Means For The Senate

John McCain’s political legacy is likely to be the subject of conversation and reflection for quite a while after his death on Saturday. But his Arizona Senate seat probably won’t stay vacant for long. Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona will appoint McCain’s replacement, and the Republican can select someone as soon as he wants. I expect him to land on a replacement within the next two weeks, maybe even sooner (it has been clear for months that McCain was close to death and might need to be replaced). Ducey’s choice is likely to be sworn into the Senate within a few days of being chosen — and then become a fairly reliable vote for initiatives backed by President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

So what kind of politician should we expect Ducey to land on for McCain’s replacement, and what will that choice mean for the future of the Senate, President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination and national politics in general?


Some (journalists and pundit types) have floated the idea of Ducey picking McCain’s widow, Cindy McCain, for the seat. According to the Arizona Republic, the past few months, Cindy McCain, 64, has been speaking on behalf of the senator at events he could not attend because of his health. We don’t know much about Cindy McCain’s political views. And that uncertainty is why I don’t expect Ducey to choose her. I think Ducey is likely to pick someone who is a reliable Republican vote — picking someone without a clear record on many issues is an inherent risk.

Ducey is not a McCain-style Republican himself and has no incentive to appoint someone who occasionally breaks with the GOP’s priorities, as McCain did. To sum up the governor’s politics briefly: Ducey is a fairly traditional Republican on policy (he is a strong backer of cutting taxes, limiting abortion rights and expanding gun rights), doesn’t have a record of bucking his party on major issues and has built some fairly strong ties to President Trump and the White House. He seems to have presidential aspirations, so choosing a replacement for McCain who is liked by key party activists and donors could help him there.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sun Aug 26, 2018, 11:55 AM (6 replies)

A word from Tom Perez

Today, the DNC held its quarterly meeting in Chicago, where we reaffirmed one of our core beliefs as Democrats: That our democracy works best when every person's voice is heard.

We passed the strongest reforms to our party in decades, and I wanted to share some of the highlights with you:

• Our North Star from the beginning of this process has been to grow our party, unite our party, and earn the trust of committed Democrats like you. That's why we've taken the historic step of dramatically reducing the influence that superdelegates have over our presidential nominating process. Now superdelegates will refrain from voting on the first presidential nominating ballot, unless a candidate has already passed the threshold to secure the nomination. This change empowers the grassroots and respects the will of voters.

• To make the presidential nominating process more inclusive, transparent, and accessible to participants of all backgrounds, the DNC voted to expand the use of primaries so that more people could participate in the process. Primaries are more accessible for many voters, including seniors, shift-workers, students, members of the military, parents of young children, and people with disabilities. And we know our democracy works best when more people can participate, not fewer.

• For states with caucuses, our reforms recommend that those states take steps to make their caucuses as accessible as possible, including offering absentee voting for voters who can't make the caucus in person and implementing better processes for tracking ballots in case a recount is needed.

• Democrats are doing all we can to make sure that every eligible voter can exercise their constitutional right at the ballot box. That's why we're encouraging all states to offer same-day voter registration and the ability to register as a Democrat to vote in Democratic primaries.

I say this a lot, but I'll say it again because it's true: The new DNC is doing things differently.

These changes are all about the future. They're about growing our party, increasing participation in our democracy, and putting Democrats in the best possible position to win in November and beyond. I'm proud of the steps we've taken this year to rebuild our infrastructure from the ground up. We've made unprecedented investments in technology, state parties, grassroots organizers, and voter protection efforts. We're building the infrastructure Democrats will need to succeed in 2018, take back our democracy from Donald Trump in 2020, and win elections up and down the ballot for years to come. You should be proud too, because we're building this party together.

Thanks for standing with Democrats,


Tom Perez
Democratic National Committee

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sat Aug 25, 2018, 02:19 PM (12 replies)

The midterms are as much a referendum on Muller as Trump

Yesterday, DUer Brooklynite posted Graham Says He Expects Trump to Oust Sessions After Election. It was based on an article from Bloomberg

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said it’s “very likely” President Donald Trump will replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions but warned against doing so before the midterm elections.

“The president’s entitled to an attorney general he has faith in, somebody that’s qualified for the job, and I think there will come a time, sooner rather than later, where it will be time to have a new face and a fresh voice at the Department of Justice,” said Graham of South Carolina, who may be in line to head the Judiciary Committee next year. “Clearly, Attorney General Sessions doesn’t have the confidence of the president.”

Graham however warned against acting before the election, calling that possibility “a nonstarter.” That “would create havoc” with Senate efforts to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and with the midterm elections in November, he said.

The meaning is clear: Republicans are telling the President that he can fire Sessions and install an AG. The new AG, who will not have to recuse himself from the investigation, will have the power and the incentive to end the Russia investigation immediately. Firing the AG now would lead to having to prioritize replacing sessions over replacing Kavanaugh - especially since the interim AG would be Rosenstein, whom he'd also want to fire. The ensuing political firestorm could cost them their Senate, as well as their House majority -- assuming we will go through the formality of holding free and fair elections in November.

A Blue House and/or Senate assures that the investigation continues in some form - most probably with loud public hearings. Hearings don't get derailed by pardons; if anything, pardons make the hearings simpler -- no grants of immunity are necessary and the witnesses can't claim the protection of the Fifth. Lying witnesses can still be prosecuted for perjury. But I digress - whether Dem candidates actually run on "impeachment" or not, this election is now really about whether we will continue to investigate the real possibility that members of this administration colluded with a not-exactly-friendly foreign power to meddle in a Presidential election, and whether the SDNY should continue to investigate what appears to be the misuse of campaign funds to pay off mistresses and quash damaging stories. Or we can vote that we are really tired of republican democracy, and want to give gangsterism a try for a generation and see how that works.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Fri Aug 24, 2018, 12:00 PM (2 replies)

You might want to brush up on your Watergate

For those of you who don't remember a time when dinosaurs ruled the planet, and couldn't watch cartoons because their mothers were watching Sam Ervin lead the Senate Watergate Committee on the one family TV (which was B & W, by the way) you might want to brush up on your Watergate. This is a scandal that included highlights such as: detaining and drugging the wife of the AG to silence her; meddling in the Democratic primary through a series of dirty tricks on Edmund Muskie; slush funds; a botched break in at Democratic HQ; an attempted cover-up; and (expletive deleted) unbelievable tapes.

By studying Watergate, you'll recognize themes that sound very familiar today coming out of the Nixon White House. While the words "fake news" are never used, the thought is there.

If you have a long-ass drive coming up, or you have rain all weekend, or just have some time, I highly recommend Season 1 of Slate's Slow Burn. The episodes are available on other sites/platforms (I was able to click subscribe and have all of the episodes download to the Google Music app on my phone - and I'm slightly younger than dirt)

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Fri Aug 24, 2018, 01:37 AM (18 replies)

Al Franken on Manafort

E.t.a: From Al Frankens Facebook page

Sean Spicer, who served President Trump for a very limited amount of time, described Paul Manafort as someone “who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time” in the Trump campaign.

That “very limited role,” of course, was “campaign chairman.” And during Manafort’s “very limited time” with the campaign (actually, he spent more time with the campaign than either Steve Bannon or Kellyanne Conway), he helped Trump secure and then accept the Republican nomination, and made sure that the convention platform dropped a plank that called for providing arms to Ukraine in its fight against Russia. And Manafort was there for Get-Dirt-on-Hillary meeting with the Russians at Trump Tower.

Of course, Manafort’s time with the campaign wouldn’t have been so limited had the media not zeroed in on his wildly lucrative consulting deal with brutal, Russian-backed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and on Manafort’s shady financial ties to Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin.

Now that he has been convicted on multiple counts of financial misconduct, Manafort stands to spend the rest of his life in prison. As he girds himself for his next trial, most people believe that Manafort is expecting a pardon down the line from President Trump. My wife doesn’t think so.

Franni has been saying for months that Trump won’t pardon Manafort—because he doesn’t have to. Her theory is simple and chilling. Manafort knows that if he talks, the Russians will seek retribution. Trump knows this too, Franni believes. Perhaps, even, he and Putin discussed this in Helsinki.

PUTIN: Have no worry about Manafort talking. He knows is dead man if takes plea.

TRUMP: Wow! Good to know.

PUTIN: Same goes for interpreters. You hear me, you two?! Yuri, tell American interpreter I am serious.

RUSSIAN INTERPRETER: He means it. He’ll have us both killed.

PUTIN: Very painful death.

RUSSIAN INTERPRETER: Very painful. Most likely a nerve agent.

Okay, I don’t know if that actually happened. Maybe they just talked about adoptions. The point is, under Franni’s theory, Trump doesn’t have to pardon Manafort to keep him quiet. So, he won’t.

Which would be pretty telling. Look, I don’t like Donald Trump. Like many of us, I am sickened by his words and actions on an almost daily basis. And, in the grand scheme of things, his behavior towards the other sickening people he has surrounded himself with since getting into politics isn’t the biggest deal. I mean, separating children from their parents at the border is infinitely worse than letting your former campaign chairman spend the rest of his life in prison. For one thing, Manafort kind of deserves it.

But, if, down the road, Trump starts pardoning every other player in this collusion scandal who didn’t cop a plea, but not Paul Manafort, it will say something so deeply disturbing about Donald Trump.

I wrote in my most recent book that Trump’s behavior leading up to his inauguration (refusing to divest his business interests, installing a white supremacist as his chief strategist, making up a ridiculous lie about illegal voting in order to avoid admitting that he lost the popular vote, etc.) suggested “the kind of mental health problem that you would be disturbed to discover in your kid’s piano teacher, let alone the president of the United States of America.”

Months later, that still checks out. As Michelle Obama said, “Being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.” Everything Donald Trump has done since becoming president tells us that he is selfish, callous, and cruel. And if Franni is right, we may be about to see just how deep the rot inside this man goes.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Thu Aug 23, 2018, 10:13 PM (6 replies)

Al Franken today on Facebook

It wasn’t that long ago that nearly every Trump tweet included a NO COLLUSION! But those have become few and far between since Giuliani came up with “collusion isn’t a crime.” The thing is, collusion IS a crime, if you collude with somebody to break a law. That’s called “conspiracy.” You can’t get out of a crime by finding a synonym. “I am not guilty of murdering the victim. I merely killed her! And there’s no such thing as first degree killing!!!” If that were the case, all any criminal defense lawyer would need is a thesaurus. “My client didn’t steal the iPhone. He pilfered it. I demand that he be released forthwith!” This is the kind of insult to everyone’s intelligence that Trump specializes in.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Fri Aug 17, 2018, 12:49 AM (46 replies)

New $10 million drive aimed at turning out Democratic voters in the midterms


Tom Steyer, the former hedge fund manager now spending millions of his personal fortune on a push to impeach the president, announced a new $10 million drive aimed at turning out Democratic voters in the midterms.

Delivering what his "Need To Impeach" operation billed as a major announcement from Michigan on Monday, Steyer said the new infusion of money would go toward television and digital ads, and on-the-ground organizing of the thousands of activists who have signed on to his impeachment petition.

"The people we elect in November will enter office knowing that they won in part because the American people want this president held to account and they want a Congress that will stop posturing and will start to address our real problems," he said during the announcement.

Some prominent Democrats have questioned whether elevating the impeachment issue would only serve to galvanize dispirited Republican voters to turn out this fall. But the potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, who will appear in Iowa on Tuesday, appeared to be setting himself up to claim a share credit if the party succeeds in winning back the House this fall.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Mon Aug 13, 2018, 08:58 PM (6 replies)

Maryland & Pennsylvania DUers - How is the flooding near you.

Watching some unreal pictures from Chester County, and hearing that Ellicott City MD is under a flash flood warning.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Mon Aug 13, 2018, 06:00 PM (6 replies)

Political argument on Facebook ends in shooting

Tampa Police say 44-year-old Brian Sebring faces felony charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed gun. Sebring told the Tampa Bay Times he "just snapped and let primal rage take over" when he left work early on Monday, went home to get his gun and headed to the home of 46-year-old Alex Stephens.

According to Sebring, a registered Democrat, he responded to post on Facebook by a felon who said he wanted to share his political opinions even though he'd lost his right to vote.

In Florida, as many as 1.5 million former prisoners aren't allowed to vote due to a ban in the state constitution. But the state's voters will decide in November whether to alter the current ban, which is also the subject on an ongoing federal lawsuit.

If 60 percent of voters approve the constitutional amendment, most convicted felons no longer in prison would have their rights automatically restored. Many Democratic politicians are in favor of revising the state's ban, while top Republicans such as Gov. Rick Scott have defended the current system, saying ex-prisoners should have to wait and prove they deserve to have their rights restored.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Fri Aug 10, 2018, 05:13 PM (8 replies)
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