Category Archives: United States

Comparing the Benches

So with the Republican National Conference over and the Democratic National Convention starting, one only has to look at the speakers to see who the rising stars (“the benches”) are for each party. Let’s put them in a depth chart

Republicans:

  • First String: VA Gov. Bob McDonnell; WI Gov. Scott Walker; SC Gov. Nikki Haley; NJ Gov. Chris Christie; LA Gov. Bobby Jindal; SD Sen. John Thune; Former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice; WI  Rep. Paul Ryan; FL Sen. Marco Rubio
  • Second String: NH Sen. Kelly Ayotte; OK Gov. Mary Fallin; NV Gov. Brian Sandoval; KY Sen. Rand Paul; OH Sen. Rob Portman; PR Gov. Luis Fortuño; NM Gov. Susana Martinez; Former FL Gov. Jeb Bush; TX Sen. Ted Cruz
  • Third String: ND Sen. John Hoeven; TN Rep. Marsha Blackburn; WA Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers; Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love; OH Gov. John Kasich; Former MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty

Democrats

  • First String: CO Gov. John Hickenlooper; Former VA Gov. Tim Kaine; MD Gov. Martin O’Malley; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; MT Gov. Brian Schweitzer; MA Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren
  • Second String: Newark Mayor Corey Booker; San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel; Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx; NC Sen. Kay Hagan; Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; Vice President Joe Biden; MN Senator Amy Klobuchar; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Vilagarossa
  • Third String: WI Senate Candidate Tammy Baldwin; House of Representatives Candidate Joaquin Castro; MA Gov. Deval Patrick; Former OH Gov. Ted Strickland; Houston Mayor Annisse Parker
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Akin for Control of the Senate

So, maybe the news isn’t all bad for Republican control of the Senate? Let’s go straight to predictions and explanations!

  • Arizona: No change from last week. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • California: No change from last week. I’m excited to see Emken go on CNN Monday morning. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Connecticut: This one has moved into a tossup. A new poll had McMahon up 49-46 and Connecticut looks a lot less friendly to Obama. Could a Republican upset happen here? Until I see another poll tell me otherwise, I say yes. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
  • Delaware: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Florida: No change. I still think the way Florida goes in November decides the winner between Nelson and Mack. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
  • Hawaii: No change yet. Hirono and Lingle are going to debate 8 times between now and November. Lots of room for change. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Indiana: Still not a lot of polling, so no change. WEAK GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Maine:No change. Still not a lot of polling and King has still not declared a caucus yet. MODERATE DEM LEAN/DEM PICKUP
  • Maryland: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Massachusetts: A PPP poll had Brown up 5 points yesterday. Looking like Brown’s race to lose.  TOSSUP/HOLD
  • Michigan: Two new polls have  given Hoekstra a lead and another Stabenow in the low single-digits. Romney’s coattails could make this an upset. TOSSUP/HOLD
  • Minnesota: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Mississippi: Incumbent: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Missouri: Call it a tossup now. Actually, as long as Akin is the nominee, McCaskill will win. Weak Dem lean with the chance to jump back to GOP with a new nominee. WEAK DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Montana: Montana is looking RED as RED can be this year. Moving this to GOP lean. WEAK GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Nebraska: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Nevada: No change. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • New Jersey: No change. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • New Mexico: No change yet. TOSSUP/HOLD
  • New York: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • North Dakota: No change. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Ohio: No change. WEAK DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Pennsylvania: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Rhode Island: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Tennessee: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Texas: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Utah: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Vermont: No change. STRONG DEM (SOCIALIST) LEAN/HOLD
  • Virginia: Virginia is looking like a lean blue state in November, so I’m moving this one down to a Dem hold. TOSSUP/HOLD
  • Washington: No change. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • West Virginia: No change.  STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Wisconsin: Thompson looks to be getting stronger and Wisconsin is looking like a Romney state. Moving this up a little. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Wyoming: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD

Last week I had it at 52-47-1 (GOP/Dem/Independent King); this week we have it at: 52-47-1. Haha. Missouri goes blue, Connecticut goes red. Total wash.

Open Letter to Republicans: How Could You Have Been So Stupid?

August 21, 2012

An Open Letter to Republicans (Especially Conservatives) in America:

Do you not learn any type of lessons? They said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I guess that is also the definition of conservatism in voting.

For the second third election cycle, conservatives have chosen Senate candidates who cannot or will not win. Let’s look at them, shall we:

2008 (-8 seats and GOP loss of Senate)

  • Colorado: Bob Schaffer and his ties to Abramoff; lost a GOP seat
  • New Mexico: Steve Pearce, too conservative for the state; lost a GOP seat
  • Virginia: Jim Gilmore, failed 2008 presidential nominee; lost a GOP seat

2010 (+6 seats, but not enough to retake control)

  • Alaska: Joe Miller and the handcuffed journalist; held a GOP seat due to write-in by incumbent Murkowski
  • Colorado: Ken Buck instead of more popular, moderate Jane Norton; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retain
  • Connecticut: Linda McMahon instead of more moderate Rob Simmons; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retain
  • Delaware: Christine freaking O’Donnell over Mike Castle. Castle would have picked up this seat in a blowout….gosh darn, this still makes me mad; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retains.
  • Nevada: Sharon Angle instead of…anyone; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retains

2012 (yet to be determined)

  • Connecticut: Linda McMahon (again) over more moderate Chris Shays: Dem favorite to retain
  • Indiana: Richard Murdock over incumbent Richard Lugar; tossup status
  • Maine: Conservative grassroots HATE Olympia Snowe, pushing her into retirement, easily losing this seat; Dem favorite to pickup
  • Missouri: Todd Akin over Brunner or Steelman; one gaffe makes this a tossup versus GOP pickup

I will acknowledge the GOP base in some states made excellent decisions (Heather Wilson in NM, Tommy Thompson in WI) but Senate control is going to come down to 1 or 2 seats we could have won with better candidates.

The GOP base has to stop putting a litmus test on their candidates. You have to run the right Republican for certain states. Scott Brown isn’t the most conservative, but he’s the right Republican for Massachusetts. Same with Olympia Snowe/Susan Collins in Maine. The Democrats mastered this, picking up seats in 2006 and 2008 by running more moderate/conservative Democrats in states that lean more moderate/conservative: Florida, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, Louisiana.

If the GOP can’t win the Senate back in 2012, 2014 has to be the year if the right people are chosen for the right states. You have pickup opportunities in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, West Virginia, Montana, New Hampshire, and North Carolina and no GOP seats in moderate states up for grabs except Maine, and Susan Collins is the right choice for Maine. At the least, 2014 should be a GOP +6 year (and a guaranteed GOP +3 year, because no way Begich, Pryor, or Landrieu are re-elected).

Don’t screw it up, guys. Stop putting ideological purity before elections. If you run the most conservative candidate and they lose, what was the point? Better to have someone who votes with you 80% of the time than someone who votes with you 20% of the time.

Todd Akin, Please Call Your Office (if you still have one)

Todd “I stuck my foot in it” Akin is so screwed.

Top Republicans in the Senate are on their way towards distancing themselves from Congressman Achin’.

Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass): “As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin’s comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong…There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking. Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin’s statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination for US Senate in Missouri.”

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc): “Todd Akin’s statements are reprehensible and inexcusable. Gaining a Republican majority in the US Senate and fixing the huge challenges that face our nation is more important than any one individual’s political ambitions.   Todd Akin should do the right thing for the nation and step aside today, so Missouri Republicans can put forth a candidate that can win in November.”

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas): “Congressman Akin’s statements were wrong, offensive, and indefensible,” Mr. Cornyn said in a written statement. “I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next 24 hours, Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service.”

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney (R-Mass): “I can’t defend what he said, I can’t defend him… He should spend 24 hours considering what will best help the country at this critical time”

My man Aaron Blake (The Fix) tweeted: “Source: NRSC chair John Cornyn has told Todd Akin that NRSC will not spend money on him and that he is endangering GOP’s majority hopes.”

Crossroads USA (Karl Rover Super PAC) has pulled out of the Missouri Senate Race.

Todd Akin is a man without friends right now and soon to be a man without a party. I do expect him to pull out by tomorrow’s deadline.

Update (1:48pm):

Richard Grunell tweets: “Breaking: Senior GOP official: Akin advisors making preparations for a withdrawal tomorrow.”

Erick Erickson tweets: “Todd Akin will withdraw from the Senate race.”

MO GOP has until September 18th to nominate a candidate. There was less than 1% difference between John Brunner and Sarah Steelman.

Update (1:56pm):

Ben Smith of Buzzfeed reports a top Republican source told him Akin has begun moving towards ending his campaign tomorrow by 5pm, but could change his mind.

The sources cites the following as replacements: former MO Senators Jim Talent, Kit Bond, and John Ashcroft (Bush AG); former Ambassador Ann Wagner, who is running for Akin’s Congressional seat; and Auditor Tom Schewich. No mention of Brunner or Steelman.

Update (2:43pm):

Todd Akin tells Sean Hannity he is staying in the race. but acknowledging the deadline is tomorrow. Stay in today, maybe.

The Morning Dump, August 20th

Monday already? This can’t keep happening, the weekends aren’t long enough. I call on both Governor Romney and President Obama to commit to making the weekend two days longer. That will get someone my vote. As long as you don’t change voting days to weekends, of course.

To the Dump!

World News

  • 11-year-old Pakistani girl charged with blasphemy. I mean, sometimes, seriously? She was burning pages of the Quran mixed in with other papers she was using for cooking fuel. She has Down’s Syndrome. So I’m sure the Pakistani government will stone her for this and then parade her body around the mountains. Poor ass country, supply your population with cooking fuel, you bastards.
  • Chinese “Court” suspends death sentence of China’s “Jackie Kennedy.” Gu Kailai is the wife of the head of the Communist Party in China and was convicted of murdering a British businessman. Just because she’s the wife of the Communist chief doesn’t make her Jackie. She said “I think this verdict is fair. It fully reflects the court’s respect for law, reality and especially human life.” Who has said that ever in China without disappearing?

U.S. News

Texas News

  • Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot is set to be the point-man on the Texas Voter ID Laws and the Section 5 challenge. For those who don’t know, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) declares areas of the country with historical voting discrimination must clear anything from voting laws to election dates to Congressional maps with the U.S. Department of Justice. Section 5 primarily focuses on the South (from 50 years ago) and fails to include places known for voter fraud (Chicago, Minnesota, Philly). The Section 5 challenge could be a big boost for Abbot’s gubernatorial ambitions in 2014.
  • For one year, the Texas DMV will accept matricula cards. Matricula cards are identification cards issued by foreign consulates, in this case, Mexico. Texas residents with matricula cards can use them to register or transfer vehicle titles, but they cannot be used for obtaining a driver’s license. The vote was 6-1 in favor of the one-year exemption, with the nay vote coming from Galveston’s Cheryl Johnson. Johnson, who agrees that the matricula is difficult to verify, said she voted against the rule change because she didn’t want to wait a year to ban the matricula as a form of identification.

Irony of the Day

Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod: “Bullshit notion” we ran a positive campaign in 2008. Not what we were told by the media…

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