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bigdog
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« Reply #100 on: January 11, 2013, 01:57:33 PM »

I thank you for continuing my education (no snarkiness at all, this is 100% sincere).  I find what you post to be persuasive.

My post was responding to:

"What did Harry Truman say?  The buck stops ... ... over there!?"

My intention is to underline just how much power and RESPONSIBILTY the Constitution imbues in the House of Representatives with regard to budgetary matters.

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bigdog
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« Reply #101 on: January 11, 2013, 01:57:59 PM »

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=155

Step Three: Enforcing the Terms of the Budget Resolution


The main enforcement mechanism that prevents Congress from passing legislation that violates the terms of the budget resolution is the ability of a single member of the House or the Senate to raise a budget "point of order" on the floor to block such legislation. In some recent years, this point of order has not been particularly important in the House because it can be waived there by a simple majority vote on a resolution developed by the leadership-appointed Rules Committee, which sets the conditions under which each bill will be considered on the floor.

However, the budget point of order is important in the Senate, where any legislation that exceeds a committee's spending allocation — or cuts taxes below the level allowed in the budget resolution — is vulnerable to a budget point of order on the floor that requires 60 votes to waive.

Appropriations bills (or amendments to them) must fit within the 302(a) allocation given to the Appropriations Committee as well as the Committee-determined 302(b) sub-allocation for the coming fiscal year. Tax or entitlement bills (or any amendments offered to them) must fit within the budget resolution's spending limit for the relevant committee or within the revenue floor, both in the first year and over the total multi-year period covered by the budget resolution. The cost of a tax or entitlement bill is determined (or "scored") by the Budget Committees, nearly always by relying on the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which measures the bill against a budgetary "baseline" that projects entitlement spending or tax receipts under current law.

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bigdog
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« Reply #102 on: January 11, 2013, 01:58:30 PM »

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=155

Step Three: Enforcing the Terms of the Budget Resolution
...
However, the budget point of order is important in the Senate, where any legislation that exceeds a committee's spending allocation — or cuts taxes below the level allowed in the budget resolution — is vulnerable to a budget point of order on the floor that requires 60 votes to waive.
...

Yes, BD, but a Budget Point of Order is a rule defined in the 3rd step, to apply to changes after a budget is passed.  The second step (same link) says this:

"Once the committees are done, their budget resolutions go to the House and Senate floors, where they can be amended (by a majority vote)...It also requires only a majority vote to pass, and its consideration is one of the few actions that cannot be filibustered in the Senate."

We never got past Step 2, to pass a budget by April 15.  Step 3 controls the process after there is a budget resolution passed.  It defines rules they must follow to change what was passed.  But there wasn't one passed in the Senate in the 3 years in question.  Right?


The original point about Lew and a lying White House is that the threat of a filibuster was not the reason the Senate had not passed a budget.  Lew said it was.  This was a Susan Rice moment.  He was sent up to create a false impression of what happened and what didn't happen.  Republicans wanted Senate Democrats to pass a budget - to show their hand; they were not trying to stop them, nor could they.  Republicans with control of the House in 2 of those years had no need to stop a budget in the Senate and no power to stop it.  This is a matter of political gamesmanship and they deserve to be called out.  Republicans wanted Democrats to 'show us your spending' as required under the 1974 law.   Show us your cuts, show us your spending and we will use that either get cuts done or for other political advantage:  'Senator so-and-so voted to cut Medicare, here is the record', or he/she refused to make any cuts at all to close a trillion dollar gap. 

But there was no need for a Dem majority Senate to follow the law and pass a budget because there is no penalty defined in the 1974 law.  They just kept the spending going without real cuts for years with continuing resolutions, blamed the Republicans, and using the cover provided by willing accomplices in the media like professional journalist Candy Crowley in the clip.
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bigdog
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« Reply #103 on: January 11, 2013, 02:01:04 PM »

So, had Lew said "enacted" he would have been exactly right. But, since he said "passed" you think he is a complete moron. That strikes me as silly, Doug. He knows the procedure; it was his verb choice that was awry.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #104 on: January 11, 2013, 06:40:13 PM »

Lew was admitting they didn't pass a budget and blaming it on Republicans, not claiming they enacted one.  He could have said the 1974 law isn't binding or that they enacted a continuing resolution at the end having the same effect, but he didn't.  He said "unless Republicans are willing to work with Democrats in the Senate, Harry Reid is not going to be able to get a budget passed".  After looking at all that is posted on procedure, I still find that statement to be false and a politically motivated, intentionally deceptive response to the question that was asked. Silly you say.  I wouldn't put him in charge of the Treasury.

Bigdog,  Do you think Republicans were blocking Harry Reid from passing a budget, as Lew alleging.  Wouldn't Reid have called them out on that for obstructionism if it were the case?  Instead, Republicans have been calling on Senate Democrats publicly for years to pass one:

This ad is from Heritage a year ago.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #105 on: January 11, 2013, 07:03:56 PM »

Over to you BD smiley
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bigdog
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« Reply #106 on: January 12, 2013, 05:28:10 AM »

Over to you BD smiley

It always seems to be, Crafty.

The point, Doug, is that for a Senate budget to be enacted (meaning to come to fruition) there is a further step (the step after step two, passage). Just because a bill is "passed" does not mean that it "comes to pass."

Also, I'll post this again:

"The main enforcement mechanism that prevents Congress from passing legislation that violates the terms of the budget resolution is the ability of a single member of the House or the Senate to raise a budget "point of order" on the floor to block such legislation. In some recent years, this point of order has not been particularly important in the House because it can be waived there by a simple majority vote on a resolution developed by the leadership-appointed Rules Committee, which sets the conditions under which each bill will be considered on the floor.

However, the budget point of order is important in the Senate, where any legislation that exceeds a committee's spending allocation — or cuts taxes below the level allowed in the budget resolution — is vulnerable to a budget point of order on the floor that requires 60 votes to waive."

See how the Senate may very well need 60 votes even to "pass" a budget? Since there is an "enforcement mechanism that prevents Congress from passing legislation"? Or, how a "single member of the... Senate" can block such legislation?

I agree, Doug, that my case might be strengthened if I could find some evidence of Reid accusing the GOP of obstruction.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/80954.html

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/11/reid-calls-on-republicans-to-drop-obstruction-strategy-in-wake-of-senate-defeat.php

http://democrats.senate.gov/page/2/?s=republican+obstruction&submit=Go (295 times when Reid accuses the Senate GOP of "obstruction")

I know you want me to get more specific:

Not Reid, Dick Durbin: http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/dick-durbin-democrats-never-passed-budget

                     BAIER: Senator Durbin, why haven't the Senate Democrats passed a budget?
 
                     DURBIN: It's called 60 votes. And what it boils down to is this: we have 53 Democratic senators.


http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/227697-reid-gop-would-filibuster-bills-declaring-the-sky-is-blue-the-earth-is-round

Incidentally, the 4 Pinocchios story you posted to refute the Economist article I posted is interesting, since the article I posted was written to refute that story.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 05:30:20 AM by bigdog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #107 on: January 12, 2013, 10:45:18 AM »

Excellent conversation!  Over to you Doug.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #108 on: January 12, 2013, 11:43:27 AM »

Thanks Crafty, but I am out of new material. 

Harry Reid calls Republicans "obstructionists" generally for sure but doesn't point to a time, place or procedure where the Republican minority prevented him from passing a budget resolution - because it didn't happen.

Durbin made the same argument as Lew, they don't have 60 votes, a known talking point like spontaneous demonstrations in Benghazi, then failed to back it up.  He didn't go from saying they only have 53 votes to pointing to the incident where a Republican member invoked the "Budget Point of Order" and stopped them - because it didn't happen.  Instead he went on to change the subject to deficit commission etc.

Out of 380 named and counted filibusters, none were to stop a budget resolution. (?)

The threat of a filibuster is what stopped them?  But did not stop them on 380 other issues?  

Your link to the Hill tells it pretty well, what Harry Reid calls "show-votes".  The Republicans wanted Senate Democrats to pass a budget to show their hand and they refused, pointing to the continuing resolutions enacted as meeting their legal requirement (but not the procedure laid out in the 1974 law).

The Hill:  "None of the GOP budgets are expected to pass today, as Democrats will vote against them all. One of the five GOP resolutions reflects President Obama's budget, which already went down in a unanimous vote earlier this year."

No filibuster on those.  As 'The Economist' piece 'refuting' the Washington Post most clearly states: "It is true that the Senate can pass a budget resolution with a simple majority vote."  

"See how the Senate may very well need 60 votes even to "pass" a budget?"  No I don't, even repeated.  The bold and underlined sections refer to procedures later in the process for  "legislation that violates the terms of the budget resolution".   How could that have applied in this situation, procedures to prevent any legislation that violates the terms of a passed budget resolution that never existed?

I am out of arguments that don't involve repetition of those that were already unpersuasive, but willing to agree to disagree.   wink
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bigdog
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« Reply #109 on: January 12, 2013, 01:04:37 PM »

The threat of a filibuster is what stopped them?  But did not stop them on 380 other issues?  

I am out of arguments that don't involve repetition of those that were already unpersuasive, but willing to agree to disagree.   wink


I am fine with Doug's willingness to agree to disagree; however, the Economist article says MUCH more than the sentence you choose to quote.

The threat of actions have been known to impact actions in Congress and elsewhere. For more on this see:

http://www.amazon.com/Veto-Bargaining-Presidents-Political-Institutions/dp/0521625505/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358017357&sr=8-1&keywords=charles+cameron+veto+bargaining

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/sociology/notes07/Level4/SO4530/Assigned-Readings/Reading%205.1.pdf

BTW, DMG, you have a PM.
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G M
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« Reply #110 on: January 12, 2013, 04:24:20 PM »

Was this the same Senate that rammed through obamacare?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #111 on: January 23, 2013, 01:28:48 AM »



http://capwiz.com/gunowners/issues/alert/?alertid=62344801
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #112 on: January 25, 2013, 05:04:50 PM »

I gather that some sort of a deal was reached on changing the Senate rules for filibuster.  Does anyone have the details and analysis of the implications of the changes?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #113 on: January 25, 2013, 10:30:40 PM »

I gather that some sort of a deal was reached on changing the Senate rules for filibuster.  Does anyone have the details and analysis of the implications of the changes?

This piece covers it.  Now what excuse will they use for not passing a budget?  http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/24/reid-and-mcconnell-agree-on-filibuster-reform-measures/comment-page-3/

(Most other pieces say major reforms did NOT happen, like this one: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/01/24/why-filibuster-reform-didnt-happen/)

Senators agree to Reid and McConnell’s filibuster reform measures
Posted by
CNN Senior Congressional Producer Ted Barrett

(CNN) - Democrats and Republicans in the Senate overwhelmingly agreed late Thursday on language reforming filibusters, passing the measures agreed to earlier in the day by Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

The two leaders proposed to their caucuses earlier a list of reforms to curb the use of filibusters and streamline other procedures in order to speed up floor action. The measures required the support of each party's caucus.

Neither Democratic senators nor a GOP aide said members had voiced major issues with the proposals prior to the vote.

A filibuster is a tactic used in the Senate to delay or prevent a vote on legislation. Reid and McConnell's measure, according to one Senate aide, offered a compromise to reduce the number of filibusters while ensuring the minority party gets votes on some amendments.

The proposal allows for two paths that could be used to begin debate on legislation, avoiding filibusters designed to prevent debate from actually taking place.

In the first path, Reid would allow two amendments from both parties to be presented, with the caveat that if an amendment isn't relevant to the legislation at hand, it would be subject to a 60-vote threshold.

On measures where Reid and McConnell agree, a second path allows votes to overcome filibusters to be held the day after Reid files a procedural petition, instead of the two-day period currently in place. That change would disallow stalled votes on consensus legislation.

The new procedure also limits debate on some presidential nominations that require Senate approval.

Senate Democrats have complained that the minority Republicans deliberately overused the filibuster to block Democratic legislation.

A group of junior Senate Democrats pushed Reid to pass broad reforms - including reinstating the requirement that senators conducting a filibuster speak continuously on the floor - by using a controversial method to change the body’s rules that Republicans called the “nuclear option.” That method to change the Senate rules would require just 51 votes instead of the 67 customarily required.

Republicans, furious they might be jammed, argued the filibuster is the only leverage they have to get roll call votes on amendments that otherwise are routinely denied them by the majority Democrats.

The measure went to a vote and passed without Democrats invoking the “nuclear option.”

"No party has ever broken the rules of the Senate to change those rules. I’m glad such an irreparably damaging precedent will not be set today," McConnell said in a statement as the vote became clear. "We’ve avoided the nuclear option, and we’ve reiterated that any changes to the Standing Rules of the Senate still require 67 votes to end debate."

Republicans had said if Democrats pushed the reforms through the "nuclear option," it would have destroyed relations between the two parties and lead to massive gridlock in the chamber.

President Barack Obama issued a statement after the vote saying he hoped "today’s bipartisan agreement will pave the way for the Senate to take meaningful action in the days and weeks ahead."

"Too often over the past four years, a single senator or a handful of senators has been able to unilaterally block or delay bipartisan legislation for the sole purpose of making a political point," he said. The statement specifically identified Obama’s desire the Senate consider legislation on gun violence, immigration and the economy.

A bipartisan group of senior members, led by Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Carl Levin, D-Michigan, offered the alternative compromise that became part of Reid and McConnell's proposal.

"We are going to change the way we do business here," Reid said Wednesday. "We can do it either the easy way or the hard way but it's going to change."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #114 on: January 29, 2013, 10:48:52 AM »

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/democrats-tea-party-unite-to-defeat-mitch-mcconnell-86787.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #115 on: January 30, 2013, 02:08:42 PM »

Republicans' Pas De Deux
By DICK MORRIS
Published on TheHill.com on January 29, 2013

Printer-Friendly Version
House Republicans and Speaker John Boehner have hit upon a de facto solution to the problems of governing while seeming to keep faith with their ideologically driven constituents.

Here's the deal: Boehner (R-Ohio) first stakes out a good position on spending and budget issues by passing a bill he knows will not go anywhere in the Senate or win presidential approval. But the one-house bill gives his Republican members something to vote for and to cite to angry voters back home.

Once his members are safely on record supporting cuts in spending, the Speaker then caves in to Obama and the Senate, passing the financial bills the mainstream media say the country needs. But he does so with a majority that consists of almost unanimous Democratic support and 40 or 50 of his best supporters in the GOP caucus. The rest of the House Republican Conference -- Tea Party and others -- votes against the bill. It seems that they are defying their Speaker and, back home, their votes pass for courage. But, in reality, they are simply acting out their part of a carefully choreographed pas de deux.

Some of the "no" votes on Boehner's bills come from sincere and true believers who genuinely want to demand more spending cuts before they allow the debt limit to be raised or the government to continue to function. Members like Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and a few dozen like them are true believers. But the rest of the class of 2010 is riding along on their coattails, voting no and keeping their fingers crossed that they get outvoted so they don't have to face a firestorm in the media by beating the administration's bill.

For his part, Boehner has become the de facto coalition Speaker, representing a combination of the entire Democratic Party and a sprinkling of loyal Republicans.

His historical analogue is former British Prime Minister Ramsey MacDonald, who became the first-ever Labour Party prime minister in 1924 and presided again from 1929-31. Like Boehner and the Tea Party, he first attained power at the head of the brand-new Labour Party in 1924. While Boehner's Speakership came about as a reaction to ObamaCare, MacDonald's majority stemmed from the pacifist reaction to World War I. After nine months, however, he lost to a resurgent Conservative Party.  When he returned to power in 1929, he found it impossible to reconcile the demands of his Labour Party base with the conventional wisdom favoring austerity, so he formed a coalition government in 1931 with only a handful of Labour members but backed by a united Tory Party. That's roughly Boehner's situation today. Just as the Conservatives pulled the strings behind the former first-ever Labour prime minister, so Obama and Reid are calling the shots for the Speaker elected with Tea Party votes.

MacDonald's Labour Party fell in 1931 because it was split between those who went along with the Conservative Party's demand to keep the gold standard through spending cuts and his own Labour base, which demanded higher spending to counter the Depression. Boehner's Republican Party is similarly divided between those who are willing to continue to see spending grow and the GOP base, which demands deep cuts. And, like MacDonald, Boehner would rather cling to power and be manipulated by the demands of his opposition than to stand on principle with his own party.

What is the likely future of the House Republican majority? It depends on the outcome of the president's policies. If they lead to the economic disaster we conservatives have been predicting, the GOP will capture the Senate and gain in the House. Then the stage will be set for Boehner to stand on principle, as he tried to do in 2009-10, or to be pushed aside. But, if the stagnation in which we are now mired turns out to be permanent (as it is in Japan and Europe), then the Republicans are likely to lose their majority.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #116 on: February 05, 2013, 05:10:33 PM »

Update on Two Battles
GOA scores partial victory on Rules
Solicits horror stories from its members
 
Events have been moving so fast and furiously (no pun intended) that we have not had an opportunity to give you an update on the rules fight -- or to solicit your help in connection with a pivotal ongoing battle.

RULES

The Senate has reached its decision on what to do about its rules.  And the outcome is neither a complete victory nor a complete loss. 

On the good side:  The Senate DID NOT pull the “nuclear trigger.”  It did not do what we feared most -- and that was to decide that 51 senators could, by brute force, do whatever they wanted, irrespective of the rules.   

As for the bad:  The most serious change is a two-year “special order” -- which will expire in two years at the end of the 113th Congress.  (How convenient.  The Democrats put a time limit on this onerous rule in case they are no longer in the majority after the next elections.)  That “special order” allows Harry Reid to proceed to the text of legislation without a filibuster of the “motion to proceed” -- but only if he pays the penalty of allowing Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to offer the first amendment. 

In addition, the Senate “deal” would allow a bill to be sent to House/Senate conference with virtually no ability to resist.  That's important because a House/Senate conference report is generally un-amendable -- and must be dealt with on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.

What this means, as a practical matter, is that we cannot afford for ONE WORD of gun control to pass the Senate -- NOT ONE WORD.  In the past, pro-gun Senators could have filibustered a gun bill and prevented it from going to conference (when it was suspected that conferees would take a relatively harmless bill and make it worse).  But under the new rules, there is nothing we can do to keep a so-called “innocuous” gun bill from going to conference where legislators can then write the Feinstein amendment or a national gun registry into the bill.
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bigdog
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« Reply #117 on: February 15, 2013, 01:24:47 PM »

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112420/ashley-judd-senate-kentucky-actress-makes-mcconnell-sweat
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DougMacG
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« Reply #118 on: February 15, 2013, 01:55:45 PM »

This is the attack ad referred at the link:


Obama lost Kentucky by 23 points, not a rounding error or charisma deficiency.

The model (IMHO) for Dem victory in KY is probably Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota who ran with distance from Obama (http://heidifornorthdakota.com/issues/health-care/), not a Hollywood actress who would start from his left.
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bigdog
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« Reply #119 on: February 15, 2013, 01:57:48 PM »

Her name recognition, the number of times she's sighted at KU basketball games and money won't hurt her though. And the fact the attack ads have begun so early means something, I think.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 02:19:12 PM by bigdog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #120 on: February 15, 2013, 02:16:25 PM »

Good points.  I am wondering who the Republican nominee will be.  Much of the dissatisfaction with McConnell in his home state comes from the right.

Also wondering what the Obama economy will look like 6 years into it while he takes one last shot at consolidating power.  If Democrats nationalize the election, it won't help candidates in the most conservative states.  Unemployment in KY is currently 8.1%.
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bigdog
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« Reply #121 on: February 16, 2013, 12:07:16 PM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2013/02/15/why-voter-studies/

From the article:

Either way, however, and as with all regulation, good working knowledge of the facts of the situation should lead to better law. Of course, much of our political regulation is motivated by partisanship (and one might say that the public owes the parties no market research, and I’d agree). But not all. Most lawmakers claim that even when it comes to political regulation they are out for the public good, and many of them really mean it — at least in part.

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bigdog
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« Reply #122 on: March 06, 2013, 05:25:58 PM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/6/rand-paul-filibusters-brennan-nomination-cia-direc/

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #123 on: March 06, 2013, 08:40:48 PM »

http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2013/03/07/
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bigdog
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« Reply #124 on: March 06, 2013, 09:53:57 PM »

Cruz is killing this.  cool
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DougMacG
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« Reply #125 on: March 07, 2013, 09:55:28 AM »

Cruz is killing this.  cool



Watch this to the end.  The last question is on Fast and Furious and Executive Privilege.
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bigdog
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« Reply #126 on: March 12, 2013, 03:46:19 PM »

Both support Doug's original take.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/ashley-judd-is-a-30-second-ad-waiting-to-happen-20130312

http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/ashley-judd-is-making-kentucky-democrats-nervous-20130312
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DougMacG
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« Reply #127 on: March 12, 2013, 04:37:41 PM »


Thanks Bigdog.  This link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rubycramer/how-ashley-judd-can-win tells 'How Ashley Judd Can Win', but they compare what she needs to do in conservative Kentucky with what Al Franken did to win his 0.0% victory in liberal Minnesota.  Franken was actually to the right of Obama and his fellow Dem.  Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Ashley Judd is cute and smart, charismatic I presume.  She is also extremely liberal, perhaps to the left of Obama.  The carpet bagger attacks may get old but the idiological questions will not.

Mitch McConnell comes across old, worn out and has lousy approval numbers.  The challenge for Judd and any Democrat is that there will be serious liberal vs. conservative questions at stake and Romney beat Obama in 2012 in KY by roughly 60-38%.  Conservatives and libertarians tired of McConnell will see Rand Paul at his side with his own national reputation on the line trying to deliver a Republican victory in his home state. 

Based on the analysis in BD's second link, tying Dems nationally to some of her statements and tying Democrats in KY to the Obama agenda, I hope she runs.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #128 on: March 12, 2013, 06:54:56 PM »


""Ashley Judd is cute and smart, charismatic I presume. , , ,Mitch McConnell comes across old, worn out and has lousy approval numbers"

Hard to think of a worse face for the Reps tan MMcC or a less articulate communicator for that matter and contrast that with a pretty, professional liar-- excuse me I meant actress-- who has been an appealing figure in many movies that many women have seen.  If AJ has a Harvard masters degree in publc affairs, she may be utterly wrong on the issues, but she is no bimbo.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #129 on: March 13, 2013, 01:27:08 AM »


""Ashley Judd is cute and smart, charismatic I presume. , , ,Mitch McConnell comes across old, worn out and has lousy approval numbers"

Hard to think of a worse face for the Reps than MMcC or a less articulate communicator for that matter and contrast that with a pretty, professional liar-- excuse me I meant actress-- who has been an appealing figure in many movies that many women have seen.  If AJ has a Harvard masters degree in public affairs, she may be utterly wrong on the issues, but she is no bimbo.

Yes, by smart I meant well educated.  I don't see many movies so I googled her work:  http://www.break.com/usercontent/2009/9/actress-nude-ashley-judd-1265460  http://www.break.com/usercontent/2010/3/8/judd-nude-1774642

John Kerry running for President fell into a trap.  He was too liberal for the country and had already been pegged as a flip flopper.  The only way he could alleviate the too liberal charge was further toward flipflopper, and lose either way.

Ashley Judd's views are off the charts liberal: "It's unconscionable to breed with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries."  For one thing I wonder how many families call it "breeding".

What is refreshing in a liberal like Ashley Judd is the purity of their views.  A beautiful actress working with impoverished kids doesn't have to compromise.  But if she tries to move toward the political center of Kentucky the purity will be gone and she will have to answer like Mitt Romney for the contradictions from previous positions and statements.

If she is so smart, she will not run.  MHO
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DougMacG
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« Reply #130 on: March 26, 2013, 11:11:35 AM »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/26/tim-johnson-retirement_n_2954549.html

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson was expected to announce his retirement Tuesday, making the state the fifth where Democrats will have to defend a seat without an incumbent seeking re-election. The decision opens up a 2014 race that Republicans had already labeled as a top target to grab a seat.
...
Johnson joins Democratic Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey as seasoned and influential Democrats departing the chamber, where Republicans need to gain six seats to take control.
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Former Gov. Mike Rounds and current Rep Kristi Noem would be possible replacements.  )
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #131 on: April 18, 2013, 06:56:50 AM »



http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/17/rising-gop-star-ponders-another-run-in-utah/
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« Reply #132 on: April 23, 2013, 02:00:06 PM »

Ashley Judd out.  Why?  Can't win in a 'freedom' state.  Tim Johnson (D-SD) out.  Same reason.  Now Max Baucus out.  Ditto.  He tested the waters for reelection with an anti-Obamacare statement last week.  Maybe he learned that he can win in Montana but would lose power in his party because of his anti-gun-control vote and the other positioning moves needed to win again.

Senator Max Baucus of Montana, the chairman of the Finance Committee, will retire from the Senate after 36 years, becoming the sixth Senate Democrat to leave the chamber in the 2014 elections...Democrats will now be defending open seats in Iowa, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota and West Virginia.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/24/us/politics/baucus-wont-seek-re-election-to-senate.html?_r=0
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« Reply #133 on: April 24, 2013, 12:19:04 PM »

WSJ

Congress Ought to at Least Show Up to Vote
The House and Senate both violate the Constitution's quorum requirement..
By THOMAS BECK

Congress's approval rating continues to hover just above all-time lows, an abysmal 15% in the most recent Gallup poll. Americans are clearly frustrated by the apparent inability of elected representatives in Washington to address critical issues like government overspending. Yet even when Congress does act, it is often acting unconstitutionally—because it lacks a quorum.

The Constitution imposes a straightforward quorum requirement on both houses of the legislative branch. Article I, Section 5 states that "a majority of each [house] shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number of them may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members . . ."

The plain meaning is that a majority of the membership must be in attendance to conduct legislative business. When any group smaller than a majority is present, it can do only two things: adjourn and compel the attendance of absent members.

Yet Congress—particularly the Senate—too often proceeds without a quorum. The Senate conducts much of its business by "unanimous consent." This is a procedural device that allows virtually any action to be taken so long as no senator actively objects.

A classic example is the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008. This was important legislation, but the Senate passed it on Sept. 11, 2008, as the result of a unanimous consent motion by Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) with only a handful of senators present. Shortly after passage, Mr. Harkin himself formally suggested the absence of a quorum.

The majority of presidential appointees are confirmed by unanimous consent in a chamber containing far fewer than 51 senators. For instance, at the time of this writing, all of the presidentially appointed members of the Securities and Exchange Commission were confirmed by unanimous consent without a quorum present, as were four of the five members of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The House of Representatives also occasionally disregards the Constitution's quorum requirement—as it did on Dec. 23, 2011, when it extended the payroll tax cut by unanimous consent with nowhere close to a majority of members present.

Congress has ignored the quorum requirement for decades, yet neither the president nor the courts has questioned the practice. The one time the Supreme Court was called upon to apply the quorum requirement was in the 1892 case of United States v. Ballin. A statute was challenged on the basis that, while a majority was present in the House when the act was passed, a majority didn't cast votes on it. A unanimous Supreme Court explained that what matters is whether a majority is present: "All that the Constitution requires is the presence of a majority, and when that majority are present the power of the House arises."

How do the Senate and House sidestep the need for this majority requirement? They presume that a quorum is present unless the absence of a quorum is affirmatively established. Yet while the Constitution grants each chamber the authority to establish its own procedural rules, this authority isn't a license to avoid constitutional mandates. In Ballin the court noted that a chamber "may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights."

More recent cases have confirmed this principle. In Powell v. McCormack (1969), the Supreme Court prohibited the House from imposing qualifications for membership beyond those expressly set forth in the Constitution.

James Madison's journal of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 chronicles the Framers' thinking about the quorum requirement. As the Constitution was being drafted and debated, Nathaniel Gorham of Massachusetts suggested that a quorum should be less than a majority, "otherwise great delay might happen in business."

In response, George Mason of Virginia explained that "it would be dangerous . . . to allow a small number of members of the two houses to make laws." Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut supported the majority quorum requirement as a way to assure the people that "no law or burden could be imposed on them by a few men."

Mason and Ellsworth had it right. The cumbersome procedural requirements in the Constitution were designed to elevate the freedom of the people over the convenience of the government. This is why a new law must pass through two legislative chambers instead of one, and it is why the executive is given veto power even after legislation has cleared both chambers.

These constraints create delay and often block legislation. Yet the Framers understood what is sometimes overlooked today: Government functions through legalized coercion. The Framers crafted a Constitution that would make it difficult for the government to exercise its coercive power.

Simply put, if a matter is important enough to deserve congressional attention, taking action warrants the attendance of at least a majority of our elected representatives.

Mr. Beck is the author of "Constitutional Separation of Powers: Cases & Commentary" (Vandeplas Publishing, 2010).
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DougMacG
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« Reply #134 on: May 09, 2013, 01:44:16 PM »

The Mark Sanford candidacy and election could be harmful to the Republican brand elsewhere and his personal baggage cost him at least 5 points Tuesday, but his win of that seat means the House will be one seat harder for Democrats and Obama to capture and that the polls are back to over-estimating Dem support by between 5-10 points.  Sanford was favored by 1% and won by 9%.

Sean Trende of RCP predicts 2014 House results will be between a 5 seat gain and a 10 seat loss for Democrats.  They need a 17 seat gain to gain control.  The vast majority of the seats on both sides are a match for the electorate of that district, meaning that most are not very vulnerable in the upcoming, mid-term election.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/05/08/the_meaning_of_mark_sanfords_win_118328.html
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DougMacG
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« Reply #135 on: May 24, 2013, 01:13:13 AM »

First ad of the cycle is Michelle Bachmann touting that the House passed her bill, repealing Obamacare for the 37th time.  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/05/16/house-votes-to-repeal-obamacare-in-22-125-vote/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/17/michele-bachmann-obamacare_n_3293331.html
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/michele-bachmann-launches-tv-ads-17-months-before-election-91510.html

My first reaction is Oh no!  But on second thought at least it is an issue ad.  It doesn't really try to persuade but it makes clear her opposition as well as the importance and urgency of the issue. The ad should lead viewers to ask themselves, are we really going to change over our health care system to one that people don't want that is loaded with problems?
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bigdog
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« Reply #136 on: May 29, 2013, 06:51:18 AM »

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/302277-bachmann-wont-seek-reelection-in-2014
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DougMacG
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« Reply #137 on: May 29, 2013, 08:49:41 AM »


Bigdog, that is quite shocking.  A week ago she was running reelection ads?  I believe she was the number one fundraiser in congress.  The money gets mostly wasted because about 90% of the twin cities media market is not in her district.

Could mean a number of things.  Perhaps her ethics problem is larger than it looks or that she wants out of public service.  More likely is that she will enter a statewide race against the weak incumbent Gov. Mark Dayton or Sen. Al Franken. 

Bachmann: "I want you to be assured that is no future option or opportunity — be it directly in the political arena or otherwise that I won’t be giving serious consideration — if it can help save and protect our great nation for future generations.”   http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/05/michele-bachmanns-exit-strategy-the-note/

Other candidates stepping forward to run in Minnesota's most conservative district: http://www.letfreedomringblog.com/?p=14843
Matt Dean announces interest in Michele Bachmann’s seat
May 29th, 2013
Matt Dean has confirmed that he’s thinking about running for the seat left open by Michele Bachmann’s retirement.  Matt Dean is a formidable candidate. First, he’s got a good understanding of the Sixth District. He’s participated in townhall meetings throughout the District, including in St. Cloud. Second, his message is a great fit for the Sixth District. Third, Matt’s got the ability to work across the aisle without sacrificing his principles...
Third, he’s got a great understanding of two issues that are important to the Sixth District: health care and education. Fourth, he’s got a track record of being the taxpayers’ watchdog...
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #138 on: June 03, 2013, 06:39:31 AM »

"No country can be called free which is governed by an absolute power; and it
matters not whether it be an absolute royal power or an absolute legislative power,
as the consequences will be the same to the people."

--Thomas Paine, Four Letters on Interesting Subjects, 1776
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #139 on: June 18, 2013, 02:30:02 PM »

"The people can never willfully betray their own interests: But they may possibly be betrayed by the representatives of the people; and the danger will be evidently greater where the whole legislative trust is lodged in the hands of one body of men, than where the concurrence of separate and dissimilar bodies is required in every public act."
--James Madison, Federalist No. 63, 1788
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« Reply #140 on: July 10, 2013, 08:58:04 PM »

Perhaps BD could add some light to the heat here:

Harry Reid Moves to Destroy the Senate Rules that are Blocking Passage of Gun Control

You can’t be “just a little bit pregnant.”
Similarly, you can’t cheat “just a little.”
Once you have made it clear that you are willing to break the rules in order to win, the rules are meaningless.
So it is with some alarm that we note that Harry Reid -- in an exercise of raw power -- intends within the next week to try to openly break the Senate rules in order to confirm all pending Executive Branch nominees.
You may remember that, at the beginning of the year, Reid made the specious argument that you could change the rules at the beginning of a two-year congressional session -- and only at the beginning of the congressional session.
Well, we are no longer at the start of the term.
A quarter of the 113th Congress had now come and gone. And even the pseudo-intellectual arguments for obliterating the Senate rules are gone.
This is an exercise in raw political power. This is an effort by Reid to say: “I can cheat whenever I want. And no one can stop me.”
The first showdown case will occur over efforts to fill the National Labor Relations Board. You may remember that Obama was slapped down by the courts for appointing these “members” as “recess appointments” when Congress wasn’t in recess.
Now, having been caught cheating, Obama and Reid are threatening to tip over the chess board in order to confirm these illegal “recess appointments.”
But that’s just the beginning.
Once it is impossible to filibuster Executive Branch appointments, Obama will soon carry through on his word to slam through a rabidly anti-gun zealot to head the ATF.
And does anyone think that the Senate would comply with the niceties of the rules it has obliterated -- if what was at stake was an anti-gun zealot nominated to the Supreme Court in order to overturn the Heller and McDonald decisions?
Finally, it is just not credible for Reid to say: “I’m going to cheat. But I’m going to define the way in which I cheat to limit my cheating to this narrow way.”
All year, MSNBC has been whining that Democrat gun control has been thwarted by the Senate filibuster rules.
If the Senate’s filibuster rules are obliterated, you can be sure that the Toomey-Manchin amendment -- with its universal gun registries -- would soon be brought up again and passed.
Gun owners should realize that the Feinstein gun and magazine bans lost by such a large margin only because a lot of anti-gun senators knew they would not muster the 60 votes needed. If there were a 50-vote margin -- and their votes made a difference -- many of these anti-gunners would switch their votes and pass Feinstein.
So the reason gun control did not pass is because the Senate rules allowing us to filibuster it. They may seem dry and boring, but the question of whether we win or lose will depend on them.
ACTION:  Contact Your Senator. Tell him to oppose Harry Reid’s “cheat scheme” to violate the Senate rules in order to change the Senate rules.
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bigdog
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« Reply #141 on: July 12, 2013, 06:47:48 AM »

http://democrats.senate.gov/2005/04/26/floor-statement-of-senator-reid-on-nuclear-option/ (Reid on nuclear option, in 2005)

I believe the rules can be changed at any time, but that Reid's initial comment about rules changes only at the beginning of a new Congress is tradition.

At the heart of it, Article I, section 5: "Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings...".

Stupid, shortsighted idea, regardless of political ideology.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #142 on: July 12, 2013, 08:26:56 AM »

Thank you BD.

Just to be clear, exactly what is the "stupid short sighted idea"?
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bigdog
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« Reply #143 on: July 12, 2013, 09:26:00 AM »

"Just to be clear, exactly what is the 'stupid short sighted idea'?"

The proposed rules change. First, like it or not, it is Senate precedent. Second of all, there will come a time when Dems will regret the change, if it comes to pass. And then complain about it. The time horizon that politicians are able to see is remarkably short.
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bigdog
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« Reply #144 on: July 14, 2013, 04:40:35 AM »

More on Reid and the nuclear option:

http://themonkeycage.org/2013/07/14/speak-softly-and-carry-a-nuclear-stick/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #145 on: July 14, 2013, 10:06:51 AM »


Interesting commentary.  Meet the Press just had both Harry Reid and then Mitch McConnell on this morning.  Both were rather cautious and evasive on the rules point.  Reid making that point that it is only about this and not that, etc. Both had served as minority leader under the other and majority leader over the other.  Both were caught up with their own opposing positions made previously.  Neither knows which one will be in the majority after the Senate elections in 2014 and 2016 nor under which party's President they will serve after 2016.  

Bottom line seems to be that the Senate can make its own rules (other than treaties, veto overrides etc.) at anytime but has to live with the public perception of that and the aftermath of it in the pendulum swings of power.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #146 on: July 14, 2013, 11:01:43 AM »

 'stupid short sighted idea' ..."there will come a time when Dems will regret the change, if it comes to pass. And then complain about it. The time horizon that politicians are able to see is remarkably short."


In 2014, Republicans again have opportunity knocking to take back the Senate, having blown the chance in 2010 and 2012 with a few lousy candidates in a few states running lousy campaigns. 

Former Montana Gov. (Dem) Brian Schweitzer announced he will not run for that open seat, greatly helping Republicans chances to win that open seat.  Romney won that state by 14 points. 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/07/13/former-montana-governor-schweitzer-wont-run-for-senate/

One analyst predicts Republicans will win all three, the House, Senate and Presidency in 2016, then lose the Senate back in 2018.  (Hence the tap dance of both parties in the Senate over rules.)  http://meganmcardle.com/2013/07/12/why-i-think-the-gop-will-have-control-in-2017/


National Journal: Why Republicans Think They've Got the Math for a Senate Majority
Brian Schweitzer's decision not to run for the Senate greatly increases the odds of a GOP takeover in 2014.
http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/why-republicans-think-they-ve-got-the-math-for-a-senate-majority-20130713

For the first time this year, Republican strategists believe they're within striking distance of taking back control of the Senate, thanks to untimely Democratic Senate retirements and red-state Democratic recruits deciding not to run for Congress. The latest blow to Democrats: former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer's surprising decision Saturday to pass up a campaign.

Republican recognize that they only need to win three Senate seats in the most of conservative of states -- Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska -- and Mitch McConnell could be a Majority Leader in 2015. (That is, if McConnell can hold onto his own Kentucky seat.) The latest developments underline how punishing the map is for Democrats for 2014, and little margin for error they have.

Democrats can afford to lose up to five Senate seats and still maintain their majority, but they already risk conceding over half that number before campaigning even gets underway.

...Schweitzer's backing out is illustrative to a mounting recruiting problem for Senate Democrats in conservative states, which make up a disproportionate share of the battleground matchups in 2014. The party has failed to persuade any of its top choices in West Virginia, where Rep. Nick Rahall and attorney Nick Preservati passed on bids. In South Dakota, the party missed out on former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and the son of retiring Sen. Tim Johnson. In Georgia, Rep. John Barrow decided not to run, but the party rallied behind Michelle Nunn, daughter of former senator Sam Nunn. The party's biggest red-state recruit is Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, whose campaign against McConnell has gotten off to a rocky start.

...Republicans have struggled to recruit top candidates in the traditional battlegrounds -- against Sen. Al Franken in Minnesota, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado and for open seats in Iowa and Michigan.

But if Democrats struggle to put Montana in play without Schweitzer, that means the path to a majority will run through Louisiana and Alaska, not the more Obama-friendly confines of the Midwest and Northeast. That's an unnerving proposition for Democrats, given how badly the party has struggled outside their comfort zone lately.

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bigdog
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« Reply #147 on: July 25, 2013, 06:37:40 AM »

http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2013/07/vital-statistics-congress-mann-ornstein

And I quote:


Vital Statistics’ purpose has always been to collect useful data on our first branch of government – in the election and composition of its membership as well as its formal procedure, such as the use of the filibuster, informal norms, party structure and staff. This dataset also documents the increasing polarization of Congress and the demographics of those who serve in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

Over the years, we’ve received innumerable requests for updated versions of the chapters in between printings of the published book. We heard you and have now changed the way we present Vital Statistics’ data: We’ve put the book online, making each chapter available online as a collection of spreadsheets for download at no cost. This new interactive format allows us to update and correct the data more frequently and make it accessible to anyone interested in learning about Congress. We’ve formatted the tables so that each is both printer-friendly and read-writable.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #148 on: July 31, 2013, 11:46:51 PM »

Republicans just picked up a seat in my read of this.  Besides helping the partisan chase the majority in the Senate, this is a big break for America and the survival of the republic IMHO.  Arkansans already know who Tom Cotton is.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/apnewsbreak-arks-cotton-run-us-senate
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Republican Rep. Tom Cotton plans to announce his bid next week to challenge two-term incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in next year's elections, according to a person familiar with the congressman's plans.

Cotton was elected to the U.S. House in 2012, ... Cotton, 36, is a former management consultant who served in the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pryor is viewed by many Republicans as the most vulnerable Senate incumbent next year, especially after recent GOP gains in Arkansas. Republicans in November took over the state Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction and swept all four of the state's U.S. House seats.

Republicans are trying to unseat Pryor and three other Democratic incumbents who represent states that Republican Mitt Romney won in last year's presidential race: Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.  Democrats need to defend 21 seats, including seven in largely rural states that Obama lost in 2012.  Republicans need to pick up six seats to regain Senate control.

Since taking office in January, Cotton has enjoyed a high profile with multiple appearances on national programs such as Meet the Press. Cotton in July wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal opposing Senate immigration legislation.

Cotton's appeal to conservative activists stems from his resume as a Harvard-educated veteran who's known for his rhetorical flourishes.



___
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #149 on: August 12, 2013, 12:00:43 PM »

Back when Glenn Beck had his show on FOX, he spoke frequently and well about the increasing weakness of Congress as an institution.  Here Fred Thompson makes a similar point:

http://www.fredthompsonsamerica.com/2013/08/12/time-for-oversight-of-congress-lack-of-oversight/#?RID=35136363C1
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