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New polls:  
Dem pickups vs. 2020: (None)
GOP pickups vs. 2020 : (None)
Political Wire logo Hong Kong Police Arrest Pro-Democracy Site Staffers
Harry Reid Is Dead
Trump Offers Conditional Endorsement of Alaska Governor
Big Majority of Republicans Say Biden Didn’t Win
County Prosecutor Won’t Charge Cuomo
CDC Slashes Estimate of Omicron’s Prevalence

TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  The Slow-Moving Coup, Part I: The Bad News
      •  Redistricting Going Surprisingly Well for Democrats, Maybe Not So Well for Democracy
      •  Larry Hogan Toying With Senate Run
      •  Looking Backward: How Did The Pundits Do?
      •  Got to Admit, It's Getting Better, Part I
      •  A December to Rhymember (Parts 34-35)

The Slow-Moving Coup, Part I: The Bad News

This is the slowest news week of the year. And so, we will devote much of our space to a couple of things: (1) predictions, both for this year and for next year, and (2) stuff that's been on the back burner for a few weeks (or more). And one of the biggest items we've been sitting on is all the chatter about a possible ongoing coup, courtesy of Donald Trump and his acolytes, with an eye toward stealing the 2024 presidential election.

Since Trump & Co. proved unable to subvert the 2020 election, a failure whose climax came on Jan. 6 of this year, it has been no secret that they were making plans to try again in 2024. At least, it wasn't a secret among politics-watchers. Bill Maher took the conversation mainstream in October with a segment entitled "The Slow-Moving Coup." Since then, there has been something of a cottage industry in dire warnings about the future of American democracy. The Atlantic's Barton Gellman wrote the magazine version of the Maher segment, published under the ALL-CAPS headline "TRUMP'S NEXT COUP HAS ALREADY BEGUN." Anti-Trump Republicans, like former Trump administration official Miles Taylor and former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, have written op-eds sounding the alarm bell. So too have former military officers; just this month, Maj. Gens. Paul D. Eaton and Antonio M. Taguba and Brig. Gen. Steven M. Anderson (all retired) wrote an op-ed warning that the Pentagon is ill-prepared for what might lie ahead. Academics are also weighing in; election law expert Rick Hasen has decreed several times that fears of a coup are warranted, and American political historian Jon Meacham warned this week that a Trump campaign in 2024 could precipitate a "constitutional crisis." Folks across the pond have also taken notice; The Guardian (UK) just ran a piece under the headline: "Republicans are shamelessly working to subvert democracy. Are Democrats paying attention?"

We want to take a careful look at this question, from all angles, and so this will be the first of four items on the subject that we'll run this week. It will also be the most dire, as we're going to run down the 10 most significant ways in which the Trumpers are better situated to subvert the 2024 election, as compared to the 2020 election:

  1. Time: Donald Trump, and most of the people in his orbit, really bought into two key ideas in 2020: (1) The polls were wrong in predicting a Joe Biden victory, just as they had been wrong in predicting a Hillary Clinton victory in 2016; and (2) Even if the polls were right, the courts would save Trump 2020. Trump & Co. completely whiffed on both of these expectations, and Jan. 6 was something of a hastily assembled Plan C. This time, they have 4 years to plan as opposed to a week or two.

  2. Learning from Their Mistakes: Trump himself rarely learns from any mistakes. There are many Republicans who do learn, however. And they have figured out that while the courts are a possible "insurance policy," they shouldn't be Plan A or Plan B. Instead, the focus should be on the voting itself, and "winning" the election in such a way that the courts aren't needed.

  3. Voter Suppression: Consistent with that, 19 red states have enacted laws since the 2020 presidential election that will make it even harder for people to vote—particularly poor people and/or people of color. That's on top of existing voter-ID laws and other suppressive measures that were already on the books.

  4. Controlling the Machinery, Part I: In addition, 16 states have adopted laws that shift some portion of the responsibility for counting votes away from election officials and toward Republican-controlled legislatures. In some cases, permanent structural changes have been made. In other cases, legislatures have reserved the right to step in to combat "fraud" as needed.

  5. Controlling the Machinery, Part II: To gain further control over the process, Republicans have also railroaded many experienced and honest election officials out of office and replaced them with hardcore partisans. There could be another round of reaping in 2022, if the Trumpers are able to swap people like David Perdue and Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) in for Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R).

  6. The Big Lie: Trump and his acolytes have repeated over and over, and with zero evidence, the assertion that the Democrats stole the election of 2020. In truth, the evidence has uniformly proved the contrary, namely that Joe Biden won, that there was no fraud, and that the vote totals were legitimate. Even hyperpartisan recounts, such as the one conducted by Cyber Ninjas, have come up with nothing. Nonetheless, if you repeat the Big Lie enough, some people will start to believe it. The Trumpers took it as a matter of faith from day one, which makes them feel justified in doing... whatever it takes to put the Dear Leader back in the White House. For non-Trumpers, thousands of exposures to the Big Lie could well persuade them that maybe there really is something wrong with vote counting.

  7. Media: For a brief period, Fox distanced itself from Trumpism, presumably because Trumpism was associated with insurrection. However, it turns out that Trumpism is still where the ratings are. Or, really, it's more like far-rightism (if that's a word). So, these days, Fox is out-OANing OAN and out-NewsMaxing NewsMax, possible lawsuits be damned. And after a swoon in ratings in January, the cable channel is now back on top. It's true that Fox only reaches a small fraction of Americans, but the Americans the channel does reach would be the backbone of a potential insurrection. Anyhow, the upshot is that the Republican propaganda machine is locked and loaded for 2024.

  8. Trumpy Lawmakers: For a very brief period, it seemed like the careers of insurrection-supporting members of Congress might be permanently damaged. The poster boy for this was Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who not only objected to election returns after the Capitol was breached, but who was also pictured raising his fist to a group of rioters in a gesture of support. Clearly, no actual damage was done to these politicians' careers, and many of them folks have emerged as leaders of their party in Congress. Some of them, including Hawley, are even considered to be potential presidential candidates. It is these people who will call most of the shots in Washington in the next 3 years.

  9. Non-Trumpy Lawmakers: Meanwhile, any lawmaker who dared to oppose Trump has reaped the whirlwind. Some of the outspoken ones, facing impossible re-election bids, and with death threats leveled against them and their families, have already thrown in the towel. Others may well be sent packing in the primaries, or in the general election. Even the Republicans who were never particularly pro- or anti-Trump, like Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), have learned that it's best to keep their mouths shut and to go with the flow.

  10. The House of Representatives: There is a very good chance that when it comes time to certify the 2024 election results, the House of Representatives (and maybe the Senate) will be controlled by the Republican Party. And, per the two previous items, the 2024 Republican conference will be made up of two kinds of individuals: Trumpers and members who are afraid to speak up. If then-vice president Mike Pence had refused to certify the 2020 election results, it might have precipitated a crisis. If the House of Representatives refused to certify the 2024 results, it would definitely precipitate a crisis.

In short, there is absolutely reason to be worried. That said, don't sell your house and move to the Bahamas until you've read the whole series. (Z)

Redistricting Going Surprisingly Well for Democrats, Maybe Not So Well for Democracy

The last round of district maps was drawn in 2011, with a few exceptions (ahem, North Carolina). And two things were true in 2011: (1) The Republican Party had already awakened to the importance of winning state legislatures and had taken over a whole bunch of chambers, and (2) the software for drawing district maps, though not as good as today, was already pretty advanced. As a result, that round of maps was gerrymandered six ways to Sunday, and in a manner that favored Republicans more often than Democrats.

This has produced a surprising result in 2021. Even though the software is better, and even though partisanship is higher, there isn't much wiggle room for more GOP gerrymandering. And so, although Democrats were crying in their beer (or white wine), fearing that the Republicans would pick up dozens of House seats in 2022 due to aggressive gerrymanders, it appears that won't be the case. In fact, as New York magazine's Eric Levitz reports, the new map will almost certainly be more favorable to Democrats than the old one. It's even possible that the map might end up skewed, very slightly, in the Democrats' favor.

There are four main reasons for this turn of events:

  1. As noted, there wasn't much room for Republicans to maneuver in the states they control. In Florida, the GOP squeezed all the juice out of the orange in 2011. Same thing for Texas and all the blood out of the rare porterhouse steak.

  2. Even in places where the Republicans had options this time, they generally preferred to play it safe and to shore up sitting officeholders as opposed to going for broke and maximizing their total number of seats.

  3. Meanwhile, there was some low-hanging fruit in places like New York and Illinois, and the Democrats in those places have demonstrated party discipline just as fanatical as that of Republicans in Florida and Texas.

  4. There are more Democratic seats under the control of independent commissions (or "independent" commissions) than Republican seats. That could have been bad news for the blue team. However, most of the independent commissions (particularly the one in California) returned pretty good results for the Democrats. And most of the "independent" commissions (particularly the one in New Jersey) returned very good results for the Democrats.

Specific case studies are instructive here. So, for example, consider Texas. Currently the House delegation is 23R, 13D. The new map will be 24R, 13D, and one swing district. So, the Texas Republicans may net two seats but it could also turn out that each of the parties gets one of the new seats. In any event, none of the current Democratic representatives was gerrymandered out of the House.

However, there is a loser in the Lone Star State: democracy. Of the state's 38 districts, 37 are now solid for one party or the other. The general-election voters have basically no say who their representative will be in all but one district. Whoever wins the Republican primary (if any) in 24 districts will go to Congress, and whoever wins the Democratic primary in 13 districts will also go to Congress. In 97% of districts, the general election winner will be known as soon as the primaries are over. Even if there are a couple of big upsets, that's still 90% of the races that will be uncompetitive. This is not quite what James Madison had in mind.

There are two big wild cards remaining before the 2022 map will be basically complete: Ohio and North Carolina. In both places, Republicans control the process, have produced wildly gerrymandered maps, and are now going to have to defend those maps in court. North Carolina Republicans have already lost several of these suits in the past, and while Ohio Republicans will be before a Republican-controlled state Supreme Court, two of the Republican-majority judges expressed irritation with the new maps during oral arguments. Anyhow, these two states will be the ultimate deciders between "the Democrats gained a little ground this cycle" and "the new national map actually favors the Democrats."

What this means, in turn, is that gerrymandering alone isn't going to take the House away from the Democrats. They are still up against Joe Biden's poor approval ratings, and the fact that the midterms don't generally go well for the party that holds the White House. That said, 11 months is a long time, and a party has never run a midterm campaign under circumstances quite like this—i.e., the other party is led by a much-reviled former president, and is actively plotting a coup in 2024 (see above).

In any event, the House will be won or lost on the back of a relatively small number of elections. It is expected that nationwide, roughly 30 seats will be competitive, and possibly fewer. All the rest are locked down. Whether the pro-coup or the anti-coup party wins, it's not great for democracy when the votes of more than 90% of voters don't really matter when it comes to their representative in Congress. (V & Z)

Larry Hogan Toying With Senate Run

There isn't much political news right now, but there's a little, including that Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD) is hinting that he might just challenge Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) next year.

Hogan is term-limited, and is still young by Washington standards (65), so if he wants to continue his political career, the Senate is the most logical option. Depending on how the 2022 elections turned out, he could turn out to be the deciding vote in the Senate, as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is right now. He would also position himself for a possible run at the presidency, where being north of 70 is no longer an issue.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and National Republican Senatorial Committee chair Rick Scott (R-FL) are both eager for Hogan to jump in, since he's won statewide in Maryland twice, and would make the seat competitive. Otherwise, the party's best-case scenario is probably right-wing talker Hugh Hewitt, who has hinted at a run. He's almost certainly too right-wing for Marylanders' tastes, though. At the moment, the four declared Republican primary candidates are all unknowns.

All of this said, there is much here to give Hogan pause. He would be an underdog to Van Hollen, since Trumper votes are needed, even in Maryland, and Hogan has been outspokenly anti-Trump. Further, while 65 is not too old to start a Senate career (ask Mitt Romney, R-UT), it's not that young, either. Does Hogan really want to spend the next 6-18 years as a backbencher, only to gain real power right around the time he turns 80? Oh, and if you think Manchin is unpopular with many Democrats for frustrating his party's ambitions, that is child's play compared to what would happen if Hogan were to be the sole senator keeping the Republicans from achieving their goals. He would have to engage round-the-clock security, at the minimum.

Whatever he's going to do, Hogan has about 8 weeks to decide, as the filing deadline is February 22. (Z)

Looking Backward: How Did The Pundits Do?

We ran a bunch of "predictions" pieces in the last year. We started with predictions from the punditry, then we added our own to the mix, and finally—after a long delay caused by the events of 1/6 and then 1/20—a whole bunch of predictions from readers.

Here is the plan for this week, and for several weeks into the future. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we will re-run the predictions made for 2021. And not only will we re-run them, but we will comment on the extent to which they came true, and we will also award up to 10 points per prediction. Of those, the first five will be a judgment of how accurate the prediction was, with 0 being "totally wrong" and 5 being "bullseye." Then, if the prediction was at all accurate, there will be up to five bonus points for how bold the prediction was, with 0 being "the sun will rise in the east tomorrow" and 5 being "reality TV star Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States." That means that a prediction that was both on-the-mark and that took a real chance could be worth a total of 10 points. We'll see who does best: the pundits, us, or the readers.

Anyhow, to start, here's our review of the pundits' predictions for 2021:

Brian Sullivan, CNBC: "The world will emerge from our collective Covid crisis slowly at first, but once it is clear a majority of the most vulnerable are protected (April?), expect to see the beginning of a boom in consumption and excess like [sic] anything we've seen in 100 years."

Our Comments: Not all that on target, and not all that bold, either. Accurate: 2/5 Bold: 1/5 Total: 3/10

Noah Millman, The Week: "The next Congress will be surprisingly productive, in spite of divided government, because—much as in the 107th Congress that followed the 2000 election—the leadership of both parties have powerful incentives to show accomplishment. Deals will be struck, and the group that will be most upset by those deals is the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, as they see their priorities repeatedly sidelined in order to win Mitch McConnell's support, even as successful dealmaking boosts the economy, and therefore Republican chances to retain control of the Senate."

Our Comments: The first part is shaky, but the second part is nearly on the mark, excepting that it's not surrendering to McConnell that has progressives mad, it's surrendering to Joe Manchin. A: 3/5 B: 2/5 T: 5/10

Stephen L. Carter, Bloomberg: "In January, President Donald Trump will finally invite President-elect Joe Biden to the White House. Trump will even attend the inaugural, albeit with poor grace. After leaving office, Trump will become a resident of Florida. He will place his New York triplex on the market, but it will take over a year, and several price cuts, before it sells."

Our Comments: Completely wrong, excepting the part about Florida. However, Trump was already officially a resident of Florida when this was written, so that one bit of accuracy doesn't count for anything. A: 0/5 B: 0/5 T: 0/10

Matthew Frankel, The Motley Fool: "I think oil will rise to at least $70 per barrel in 2021, which represents about 43% upside over the current price."

Our Comments: Oil is currently trading at $75-$80 per barrel, so that's a bullseye. This was at least somewhat foreseeable as there was likely to be much more driving and flying as the pandemic receded. A: 5/5 B: 3/5 T: 8/10

Kevin Drum, Mother Jones: "Congress will reschedule marijuana and it will be effectively legalized."

Our Comments: Drum must have been high when he made that prediction, because it didn't happen, and didn't come close to happening. A: 0/5 B: 0/5 T: 0/10

Kara Swisher, The New York Times: "Soon after our forever troller in chief leaves office on Jan. 20, his account will be suspended by Twitter temporarily, and then, since he cannot stop breaking rules, he'll get tossed off, just like his hideous pal, Alex Jones."

Our Comments: Wow. Clearly Swisher's crystal ball is working just fine. And we would call this a pretty bold prediction, since Trump crossed the line so many times prior without getting himself suspended or tossed. A: 5/5 B: 5/5 T: 10/10

Steven Pearlstein, The Washington Post: "With COVID-19 deaths heading toward 4,000 a day, overwhelming hospitals, don't be surprised if much of the country will be forced to shut down for a month or two...By summer, however, as shutdowns will have ended, more than 100 million Americans will have been vaccinated, and another government rescue package will have been approved. At that point, look for the economy to come roaring back as workers return to the office and consumers begin to satisfy a year's worth of pent-up demand for fashion, entertainment, restaurant meals and travel."

Our Comments: The first part is wrong, while the second part is basically right. However, we give this low points for boldness. A: 3/5 B: 1/5 T: 4/10

Fortune Magazine staff: "[Donald] Trump will partner with One America News Network—already a mouthpiece for the President—for a primetime show that will stick it to Fox News. He'll go head-to-head against Sean Hannity in the 9 p.m. slot, and steal away Laura Ingraham to serve as his TV Veep."

Our Comments: Nope. It was always far more likely he'd create his own platform. A: 0/5 B: 0/5 T: 0/10

Paul Callan, CNN: "Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock win both Senate seats, largely because of the Trump campaign's bogus claim that Georgia's presidential election was rigged, as well as his attacks against Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Discouraged Republican voters will come out in lower numbers, enabling a Democratic sweep."

Our Comments: Bingo. And a reasonably bold projection, though our view was always that a double win for the Democrats was more likely than a split. A: 5/5 B: 4/5 T: 9/10

Roxanne Jones, CNN: "Although President-elect Joe Biden will quickly push for a national plan, political divisions between governors of red and blue states will cause frustrating delays. By July, we'll be lucky to have 40% of the U.S. population inoculated. Worldwide, that number will look better: 65%."

Our Comments: Assuming Jones meant adults (since children were not able to be vaccinated when she wrote), she was too bearish on the U.S., as 70% of Americans had gotten at least one shot by July, and she was too bullish on the world, as the global percentage is below 65% even now (it's about 58.2%). Not a great prediction, overall. A: 1/5 B: 1/5 T: 2/10

Raul Reyes, CNN: "[Joe] Biden's year-end approval rate will be a healthy 60%."

Our Comments: Uh, he's around 43% right now. That's light years different in political terms. A: 0/5 B: 0/5 T: 0/10

Nostradamus, French mystic: "There will be a zombie apocalypse, a Biblical famine, solar storms, and Earth will be hit by an asteroid." (Note that these predictions require a wee bit of reading between the lines of Nostradamus' famously vague prophecies by the authors of the linked article.)

Our Comments: A golden sombrero for Nostradamus. If you can't trust the predictions of a French guy who's been dead for 450 years, whose predictions can you trust? A: 0/5 B: 0/5 T: 0/10

That's 41 points out of 120, for a batting average of .341. On Thursday, we'll see how we measure up, and then in the next few weeks we'll see how the readers measure up. Needless to say, this means that we need reader predictions for 2022, which will definitely start running next week (and not in, say, 9 months). In case you need inspiration, the categories of predictions we ran for 2021 were: Donald Trump, Trump's family and supporters, right-wing politicians and media, the Biden administration, the Supreme Court, Congress, the pandemic, the economy, foreign affairs, domestic affairs, and other. If you wish to look back, they are all linked here.

Note also that we haven't forgotten the next round of movie content, but this other stuff is more time sensitive. It's coming! (Z)

Got to Admit, It's Getting Better, Part I

Back on November 20, reader C.S. in Linville wrote in with this question:

Having been told unexpectedly that we are pregnant with our first child at age 38 and 40, I find myself contemplating the earth that our child will inhabit. Any thoughts and suggestions from parents out there? As a daily reader of this site I consider myself well informed and yet I view the world and feel quite bearish about the future of the humans.

We got a lot of responses to that inquiry, including some from folks who are also expecting, and who would also like some advice and optimism. We thought about the best time to run those responses, and concluded that they might be a good way to help wrap up a year that has been a bit of a downer overall. So, we'll have five responses a day for the rest of the week. Here's the first round:

From R.E.M. in Brooklyn, NY: First, congratulations—you're headed into the biggest, most exciting and most terrifying changes of your and your spouse's lives. My advice list is short: give your child unconditional love, but with firm and consistent boundaries. Children crave boundaries and reliable expectations.

My main observation is not to be as "bearish" on humanity. The only reason things look dark now is because we don't know how they'll turn out. But the 1930s, with the rise of hegemonic fascism and communism, and leading to real doubt by 1940-41 as to whether democracy could survive, was much more fraught than today. Likewise, we know we avoided a nuclear World War III, but that we would was not at all apparent for the 1950s-1980s. The pandemic is horrible, but would you rather be in the midst of the 1918 flu, where there was no vaccine and no effective treatment? Worried about media lies corrupting the nation? William Randolph Hearst's lies started a war! And at the end of the 18th Century, both political parties cared nothing about the truth if they could attack each other in their respective newspapers, with the Adams Administration prosecuting newspaper editors under the federal Sedition Act! Bothered that several hundred neo-Nazis could march and riot in Charlottesville? Try 30,000 hooded and robed Klan members marching down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol in 1925, and they didn't riot because there weren't counter-protesters to riot against.

You mentioned you are 40 and 38 years old. That means you made it through high school before 9/11, before the Endless Wars started, before the Depression and before Trump. Basically, the period from when you became aware of the world to when you became an adult was a time when the worst news involved the president lying about a consensual affair with an intern. Then you became an adult, and everything went nuts. Maybe this time it will stay nuts forever, but there's a better chance things will get better (then worse, then better, then worse, etc.), and eventually it'll be our grandchildren's time to worry that the sky is falling.

Model decency and kindness for your child, so that they will grow to be kind and decent themselves. Teach them critical thinking so they won't be taken in by charlatans. Be optimistic and expect them to improve the world—and then they will.

From J.O. in Williamsburg, MA: I worked for the Federal government, Department of Army, as a civilian wildlife ecologist. Things environmental were a bit bleak until the National Environmental Policy Act was passed and implemented. Gradually, environmental review and considerations were incorporated into how things got done and made part of the system—for example, as part of a commander's performance assessment. Concepts like ecosystem restoration were researched and incorporated. Even though we hit Trumps in the road, I believe we will continue to move forward and upward overall.

From H.R. in Jamaica Plain, MA: I had my first child at 38 and the second one at 42. One has less energy, but more experience and wisdom when one starts child rearing in one's late 30s and early 40s. There is nothing better than being a parent. It will change your perspective about almost everything. I understand your pessimism about the state of our world, but your child, raised by you, has the opportunity to be part of making the world a better place. Also, I can't reject the idea of bringing children into the world, because, I'm hoping one of my now-adult children will make me a grandparent one of these days. You will learn so much from your child, just be open to who they are and what they have to tell/show you. Expect the unexpected. When something untoward happens, remember that someone else has it worse than you do. You and your child are resilient and can overcome adversity. Use rewards and positive feedback. Punishment doesn't work on children or anyone else. Share what you love in music, art and books. Enjoy nature and sports and ordinary household tasks with your child in an age appropriate way. Appreciate this gift that has come to you and expand the love in the world with the presence of your child.

From K.H. and B.H. (parents of three) from Westborough, MA: We are amazed that people consider not having children in "these terrible times." First off, from the first kick in Mom's belly you will know a joy only parents feel. Having a child is the single most important purpose of your life, and the ultimate act of optimism. A child will help you see the world through different eyes. Your most important job is to raise them right; work together, give them confidence through praise but also enforce boundaries so they feel safe. Let them find their way in the world and who knows—your child might just be the one that saves all of our asses.

From D.C. in Portland, OR: I can only imagine this question has been asked—in one form or another—by pretty much every new parent for the last few millennia, give or take.

Has the world ever appeared as an inviting place within which to rear children?

Despite our many problems, surely around the world and in the U.S. in particular, isn't there an argument to be made that we've never had it so good? At least on average. And perhaps that's the rub?

In any case, and in the grand scheme of things, it is an essential responsibility of humans to reproduce and so ultimately the greater "we" have no choice. (But moderation is also now a responsibility as we begin to exhaust available resources!)

If I can make a point out of this rambling, it is that "our kids" are not really ours; we are merely appointed caretakers for a while. In many ways, they will be your guide as together you enter whatever crazy world we are faced with tomorrow, and together you'll find a way through.

The saga continues tomorrow. And our congratulations, of course, to all who are expecting! (Z)

A December to Rhymember (Parts 34-35)

We are hitting the home stretch. Here are the previous entries:

Let's do another round of alternatives to the limerick form. To start, a pantoum, courtesy of B.F. in Nashville, TN:

Might I suggest a Pantoum
For those tired of limerick form?
Come on, E-V, give me some room
To this option I'm sure you will warm

For those tired of limerick form
Just start with a simple first stanza
To this option I'm sure you will warm
You'll be rockin' just like Tony Danza! [hey, YOU find another rhyme for "stanza"]

Just start with a simple first stanza
Towards the end, that's when it gets sticky
You'll be rockin' just like Tony Danza
Though repetitive rules can be tricky

Towards the end, that's when it gets sticky
Come on, E-V, give me some room
Though repetitive rules can be tricky
Might I suggest a Pantoum?

And here's another double dactyl, inspired by this weekend's question from J.P. in Horsham, PA, and written by B.S. in Denville, NJ:

Dorian zorian
(Z) the historian
Educates readers most

Using the Web site e-,
Which is the brain-child of
Votemaster (V).

Who knew that the site was going to turn into Lit 101? (Z)

If you wish to contact us, please use one of these addresses. For the first two, please include your initials and city.

To download a poster about the site to hang up, please click here.

Email a link to a friend or share:

---The Votemaster and Zenger
Dec27 Far Right Denounces Trump
Dec27 Republican Legislatures Are the New Death Panels
Dec27 Democrats Are Trying to Get Voters Focused on State-Level races
Dec27 Trump Broke the Mold
Dec27 Biden Is Quietly Reversing Some of Trump's Actions
Dec27 Biden Picks Two More Black Women for the Appellate Courts
Dec27 Another Reaction to the Texas Abortion Law
Dec27 Americans Are Lukewarm on Biden Running in 2024
Dec27 A December to Rhymember (Parts 32-33)
Dec26 Sunday Mailbag
Dec25 Saturday Q&A
Dec24 More Good News on the COVID Front
Dec24 Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows, Part 413
Dec24 The Courts Are Busy
Dec24 Biden Administration Pushes Back on Uyghur Genocide
Dec24 Cruz for President, Part II (and III, and IV...)
Dec24 Arizona Adopts New District Maps
Dec24 This Week in Schadenfreude
Dec24 A December to Rhymember (Part 31)
Dec23 Schumer Promises a Vote on the Reconciliation Bill in January
Dec23 McConnell Is Actively Courting Manchin
Dec23 Thune Might Retire
Dec23 Hope Hicks Joins Team McCormick
Dec23 Jan. 6 Select Committee Wants to Hear from Jim Jordan
Dec23 FDA Approves COVID Pill
Dec23 Biden Extends Student Loan Pause
Dec23 Democrats Get Their New Jersey Congressional Map
Dec23 A December to Rhymember (Parts 29-30)
Dec22 Biden Speaks
Dec22 Scott Perry, by Contrast, Declines to Speak
Dec22 Biden Administration Finally Has Its Ambassadors
Dec22 Dominion 1, Fox 0
Dec22 Trumper vs. Non-Trumper Senate Races Already Getting Ugly
Dec22 Iowa May Get a Temporary Reprieve
Dec22 A December to Rhymember (Parts 27-28)
Dec21 The Day After
Dec21 Pandemic: Deja Vu All Over Again?
Dec21 1/6 Committee Turns Inward
Dec21 Trump Sues Letitia James
Dec21 Democrats Get Good News from California...
Dec21 ...But Bad News from Florida
Dec21 A December to Rhymember (Parts 25-26)
Dec20 Manchin Doesn't Want to Build Back Better
Dec20 Democrats Are Hoping They Lose Only 10-20 Seats in the House
Dec20 House Republicans Are Already Planning What They Will Do with the Majority in 2023...
Dec20 ...But Some Republicans Are Worried about Roe v. Wade
Dec20 Omicron Is Going to Take over This Winter
Dec20 Capitol Rioter Gets Sentence of Over 5 Years
Dec20 Another House Democrat Calls It Quits
Dec20 The FDIC Is in Turmoil