Democrats

Sarah Palin’s Embarrassing Speech Raises Massive Amount Of Money… For Hillary Clinton

Addicting Info

There is nothing quite like watching Sarah Palin struggle with coherency to remind Democrats of what could happen if they don’t go out and support liberal candidates. If the midterms were a rude wake up call, Palin is a flashing warning of just how crazy Republicans are willing to go if they think they can get away with it.

As Republicans have long feared, and Democrats are fast learning, Palin is a massive liability for the Republican Party that hopes to prove that it is a serious political organization. Despite the tendency to do more harm than good, Palin keeps making her way in front of cameras and microphones. The results are usually bizarre, and almost always hilarious.

During the Iowa Freedom Summit, where Palin dropped hints that she may be exploring another run for president, she delivered a rambling, embarrassing speech. A speech so bad that her handlers quickly made the excuse that her TelePrompter was broken and her remarks were off-the-cuff. (Hey, remember when conservatives, including Palin bashed Obama for using a TelePrompter? I do.)

Whether the speech was planned or a bit of free association improvised jazz, the results were disastrous. Even Fox News, the primary enabler of Palin relevancy, seems to want to get as far away from the half-term Alaskan governor as they can.

Her only friends now seem to be Democrats who are eating up each trainwreck with glee. And Palin is making it easy for them. It’s no wonder the Democratic National Convention released a statement after the Iowa speech publicly thanking Palin.

There is reason to be thankful. Palin is already turning her unique brand of idiocy into major profits for the Democrats. For example, during her speech, Palin held up an “I’m Ready for Hillary” magnet in an effort to mock the presumptive Democratic candidate. It was a moment that the “Ready for Hillary” PAC was happy to exploit – with major success.

Later, they expanded on their Palin-based fundraising efforts.

The effort appears to have paid off. Big time. According to Mediaite, “I’m Ready for Hillary” raised well over $25,000 to help her eventually campaign for president. Her (inadvertent) boost to Hillary’s campaign made such an impact that the PAC made Palin an “honorary co-chair” to the organization. Considering the Koch brothers have already vowed to spend nearly $1 billion on ensuring Democrats lose in 2016, this Palin money is going to come in handy.

Meanwhile, Palin will likely not make her own presidential aspirations go beyond a few rallies and television interviews. She may want to consider joining the Hillary campaign full-time. It’s likely the only job offer she’ll have after this election.

Mythbusting The Punditry Class’ Election Postmortems

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TPM Cafe – Opinion

Republicans won a tsunami victory that portends a big win in 2016

Uh, no, probably not. The GOP victory slightly overperformed (if at all) what you’d expect from a combination of several factors: a “sixth-year” election with a Democrat in the White House, a pro-Republican midterm turnout pattern, a wildly pro-Republican landscape for members of Congress (especially senators), and a strongly “wrong track” public opinion profile reinforced by negative perceptions of the economy.

The composition of the electorate was an awful lot like 2010: 75 percent white (77 percent white in 2010, 72 percent in 2012); 37 percent 60 and over (32 percent in 2010, 25 percent in 2012); 12 percent 30 and under (12 percent in 2010, 19 percent in 2012). The party splits in various demographics also strongly resembled 2010; the better Republican numbers in pro-Democratic groups (viz. 36 percent among Latinos in 2014, 38 percent in 2010, 27 percent in 2012) reinforces the impression that more conservative voters turned out across the board. (Since nobody really thinks Republicans surged from 26 percent to 50 percent among Asian-Americans since 2012, it’s likely one or both numbers for that group are skewed).

So we’ve now seen three consecutive “swings” in turnout patterns and results that reinforce the “two electorates” hypothesis suggesting a structural Republican advantage in midterms and a Democratic advantage in presidential elections. Since the close alignment of the two parties with the segments of the electorate most likely (Republican with their older white voter base) and least likely (Democrats with their younger and minority voter base) to participate in midterms emerged in 2008, nobody’s “broken serve” yet. It could happen in 2016, of course, but nothing that occurred last Tuesday appears to make that more or less likely than it was on Monday.

Part of the illusion of a last-minute “tsunami,” of course, was created by a systematic overestimation of the Democratic vote by polls, amounting to 4 percent according to Nate Silverand 5 percent according to Sam Wang. In 2010 it was Republicans who benefited from a polling misfire.

The Democratic GOTV operation was a failure

It’s true the DSCC’s Bannock Street Project did not reshape the midterm electorate and produce victories, and national turnout was at the lowest rate since 1942. But turnout was up from 2010 levels in most states with competitive Senate races (as a percentage of 2010 vote): by 12.9 percent in Louisiana; 9.9 percent in Arkansas; 6.8 percent in New Hampshire; 6.6 percent in Alaska; 4.7 percent in Colorado; 4.2 percent in Kentucky; 3.8 percent in North Carolina; 2.6 percent in Kansas; and 1.4 percent in Arkansas. Georgia was the biggest disappointment, with 13 percent fewer votes cast in 2014 as compared to 2010, perhaps indicating that allegations of voter registration applications being buried by the Secretary of State’s office ought to get a second look.

A “but for” test would seem to indicate that overall Bannock Street kept turnout patterns from being even worse than they might have been. But to the extent it was an experiment, it needs tweaking, and it may simply be that not voting in midterms (particularly for young people) is too entrenched a habit to be significantly changed by any GOTV program. Republicans claims that Democratic GOTV efforts were canceled out by their own more impressive measures should also be examined, along with the suspicion that both parties’ early voting programs didn’t really add that many new voters.

Democrats should finally write off the south

The defeats of Kay Hagan, Mark Pryor and Michelle Nunn, along with the projected defeat of Mary Landrieu in a December runoff and the near-death-experience of Mark Warner have fed perennial talk that Democrats are wasting their time in the former Confederate States.

It may be true that Democrats will henceforth struggle in midterms in much (though not necessarily all) of the region, and that the decline in ticket-splitting means outperforming national tickets among white voters is becoming a thing of the past. But in presidential years, there’s no reason Virginia (carried twice by Obama), North Carolina (once), Georgia (where the nonwhite percentage of the population is creeping ever upward) and of course such essentially non-southern states as Florida (carried twice by Obama) cannot remain competitive for the foreseeable future. The trend lines are actually positive, with the realignment towards Republicans of southern white voters reaching its point of diminishing returns.

I’d argue what’s really obsolete is the get-as-far-to-the-right-as-possible Blue Dog model for southern Democratic success, epitomized by Rep. John Barrow (D-GA), who finally lost this year. Absent some strong, specifically partisan anti-Republican trend in a particular year, southern white conservative voters see no reason to vote Democratic any more, and each year their return becomes more unlikely. But ascending elements of the southern electorate, including transplants and knowledge workers, continue to be a ripe target for Democrats.

‘Populism’ is the cure-all/won’t work for Democrats

Nothing was more ubiquitous in Democratic campaigns this year than support for such “populist” economic themes as a higher minimum wage, which polled well nearly everywhere and sometimes split Republicans. But even in states where voters approved minimum wage ballot initiatives, Democratic statewide candidates did not benefit, leading some observers to  “populist” appeals to reduce inequality might be less effective than a pro-growth message while others countered that a sharper populist message was needed when the Democratic Party holds the While House and is deemed responsible for the economy.

This is a dilemma for Democrats that goes back at least to the Clinton years, and will be partly ameliorated by the imminent departure from office of President Obama, making it easier for his successor as Democratic nominee to make 2016 a “two futures” choice of economic policies rather than a referendum on a status quo still suffering from the mistakes of the Bush administration. I’d personally argue that what Democrats most need isn’t “less” or “more” populism, but a more comprehensive economic message that explains how income equality is critical to growth and offers not just one but various ways to boost paychecks. Princeton professor Alan Blinder has made a pretty good start.

Meanwhile, a separate argument is that some Democrats spent too much time on “culture war” issues or talking about a “war on women.” I’d just note that the single biggest difference between the 2010 and 2014 votes were that Democrats won women last week by four points and lost them by a point in 2010. Something went right.

Fundamentals explain everything

I obviously agree such “fundamentals” as turnout patterns and midterm dynamics and the “presidential referendum” factor and demographics explain most of what happened last Tuesday. But sometimes candidates and campaigns trump everything. It’s very unlikely that Joni Ernst would have won comfortably had Bruce Braley not been filmed telling out-of-state trial lawyers he was their vehicle for keeping Chuck Grassley, “an Iowa farmer,” away from the Judiciary Committee gavel. Maryland’s Democratic Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown ran a sluggish and overconfident campaign, just like Maryland LG Kathleen Kennedy Townsend did eight years ago when she was upset by a Republican. And Mark Udall lost in 2014 while Michael Bennet won in 2010 largely because Cory Gardner was a helluva better candidate than Ken Buck. At the margins of every election, anything can and does happen.

Ed Kilgore is the principal blogger for Washington Monthly’s Political Animal blog, Managing Editor of The Democratic Strategist, and a Senior Fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Earlier he worked for three governors and a U.S. Senator. He can be followed on Twitter at@ed_kilgore.

H/t: Don B.

For Next AG, Obama Picks a Quiet Fighter With a Heavy Punch

Joshua Lott | Reuters

More on President Obama’s Attorney General nominee…

The Daily Beast

Daughter of a librarian, sister to a SEAL. Why colleagues say America can’t ask for better than Loretta Lynch, the president’s pick to succeed Eric Holder.

The woman tapped to become the new attorney general is the younger sister of a Navy SEAL from those days before fame and book deals, when America’s foremost warriors were known only as anonymous “quiet professionals.”

Loretta Lynch has taken much the same quietly professional approach as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Her father can attest to that, having seen her in action in a Brooklyn courtroom. He speaks of her much as he might of his elder son, the SEAL.

“Low-key, soft voice, but hard-punching attorney,” says Rev. Lorenzo Lynch, a fourth-generation Baptist minister from North Carolina. “She was never a show person but boy she did hit hard.”

Her mother, Lorine Lynch, started life as a farmhand. Loretta Lynch recalled aloud at the swearing-in ceremony for her first stint as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York in 1999 that she once asked her mother why she had labored in the fields.

“So you wouldn’t have to,” her mother had told her.

The mother had left the fields to become a librarian and her love of literature passed on to her three children. Neighbors in Durham would marvel at the stacks of books little Loretta and her brothers would carry from the public library just down the street.

“Your books are taller than you are!” the father remembers people exclaiming.

Loretta’s uncommon brightness led to an early encounter with what some took to be racism when she took a standardized test at her largely white public school.

“She scored so high they said, ‘This is wrong, you have to retake it,’” the father recalls. “She retook it and scored higher the second time.”

When Loretta was not yet in high school, the family took a trip to Boston and her parents pointed across the Charles River to Harvard University. The father recalls, “She said, ‘That’s where I want to go to college.’”

Another encounter with apparent racism came when she finished at the very top of her class at Durham high school. The authorities suddenly decided there had to be three valedictorians, which resulted in one of them being white. She did indeed go to Harvard, where she majored in English and delighted in reading Chaucer in Old English. She proceeded on to Harvard Law School.

From there, she joined a big Wall Street law firm and earned a six-figure salary. Her father figured that she was set, even if she more than once arrived to conduct a disposition only for the opposing lawyers to assume she must be the court stenographer.

Then she announced she was taking a 75 percent pay cut to become an assistant U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn. She thereby declared herself less interested in making money than in making a difference.

The father came up from North Carolina to see her prosecute a Chinese gang. He returned when she took on the Abner Louima case, which was as momentous in 1999 as the Michael Brown case in Ferguson is now. Louima was a Haitian immigrant who was sodomized by a cop with a wood stick in a precinct bathroom. Four other cops were also arrested in connection with the incident

“Don’t let these defendants push us back to the day when police officers could beat people with impunity, and arrest people for no reason and lie about it to cover it up,” Lynch told the jury during her closing argument that day in 1999.

The courtroom was completely silent when she was done.

“You could hear a pin drop,” the father recalls. “It was remarkable.”

He adds, “I wouldn’t want her prosecuting me.”

Soon afterward, President Clinton appointed her the U.S. attorney for the district, including Queens, Staten Island, and Long Island. She was replaced by President Bush in mid-2001 and she returned to private practice.

In 2010, President Obama then brought her back for a second stint. She continually impressed her staff with her ability to quickly grasp the essentials of a case as her office wrangled multibillion-dollar settlements from various errant banks while prosecuting a wide range of terrorists, gangsters, and cybercriminals.

In recent weeks, she has overseen cases involving a dual Kazakh-Israeli citizen charged with money laundering, a man arrested for sexually abusing three girls at an Army base, an attorney convicted of a $5 million fraud, mobsters nabbed for a decade-old murder, a banker who faked his own death, a union delegate sentenced for extorting Christmastime tribute, a doctor collared for illegal distribution of Oxycodone, a scamster who engineered an Alaskan gold-mine investment scheme, another scamster charged with facilitating a $6 million food-stamp fraud, five 7-Eleven franchisees who victimized immigrant employees, a fugitive who got in a shootout with U.S. Marshals, a pharmacist charged with smuggling counterfeit medicines via a Costa Rican Internet distributor, a drug dealer convicted of two contract murders, six corporate executives indicted for orchestrating a $500 million offshore fraud, a man convicted of using stolen Social Security numbers to file thousands of false tax returns, and a civil dispute over a dinosaur fossil

She has also pressed ahead with the prosecution of Rep. Michael Grimm, who was reelected this week despite being under indictment for lying under oath and allegedly cooking the books of a now-shuttered health-food restaurant. Grimm is a Republican and he charged during the campaign that the prosecution was politically motivated. That suggestion turns absurd when you consider the long list of corrupt Democrat politicians Lynch has sent to prison.

And nobody can rightly say that she seeks headlines in the way of too many other prosecutors. Her single and singular goal in every case is to pursue justice as determined by the law.

“I think we should want an attorney general who doesn’t seek the limelight, but seeks justice,” says Ken Thompson, who prosecuted the Louima case with her and has gone on to become the Brooklyn district attorney.

Thompson knows her life story and goes on to say, “What she represents is the American dream.”

He believes she would serve as an inspiration and a role model to young people who are beginning their own struggle toward that dream. He described her as a super-smart, fiercely focused, unshakably honest, and supremely fair-minded champion who would make an outstanding attorney general.

“We can’t as a country ask for more than Loretta Lynch,” Thompson says.

According to numerous reports, the departing attorney general, Eric Holder, agreed. He had already named her the head of his advisory council. And he was said to be urging Obama to appoint her as his successor.

On Friday, her 82-year-old father was down in North Carolina, remembering that his daughter sneezed in his face when he was carrying her home from the hospital after she was born. She had since been only a delight.

“Highly inquisitive, highly playful, always cheerful,” he recalls. “She would play with anything. She would make a toy out of anything.”

The father had known tragedy with the death of his son, the former SEAL, when he was just 51. The father now seemed about to know triumph with the nomination of the family’s other quiet professional, 55-year-old Loretta Lynch, as the new attorney general.

In this age of selfies, the president had chosen someone who never seeks the spotlight and lets her work speak for itself. The father said Friday night that he would wait until he actually sees it happen at the official ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Saturday.

“I would be proud, but my late mother said, ‘Don’t count your eggs, son, until they hatch,” he said. “When I see Mr. Obama and my daughter standing beside him, I’ll say something is about to happen.”

H/t: DB

A 2014 Postmortem

Election night 2014 in Kentucky | No attribution

The Huffington Post – James Zogby

A few observations about this week’s elections:

1) Our politics continue to be distorted and corrupted.

In October, 1994, I was in the lounge at Kennedy Airport in New York City waiting to board an Egypt Air flight to Cairo. My fellow passengers, mostly Egyptians, were seated near a television watching a rather engaging program. Being just a few weeks before Election Day, each of the commercial breaks that interrupted the show featured hard-hitting political ads. They were dramatic and graphically compelling as such ads can be, with both the Democratic and Republican candidates’ campaigns ferociously attacking each other. One ad raised questions about a candidate’s integrity, strongly suggesting that he may have had links to organized crime. This was followed by an ad which flashed headlines claiming that the other candidate hadn’t paid taxes and may have been involved in shady financial dealings of one sort or another. These same ads, with slight variants of these themes, played over and over again during each of the TV program’s breaks.

An hour or so later, as we boarded the flight, I thought to myself “what must these Egyptians be thinking?” Would it be something like this: “So this is American democracy, where you get to chose between the criminal and the cheat?”

That was the situation two decades ago. Today, it is even worse. Living in the Washington, DC media market, which serves both Maryland and Virginia, both of which featured statewide elections, the attack ads were ugly and mind-numbing. It was even worse in other states. In the hotly contested race for the Senate seat in Iowa, voters were subjected to over 114,000 TV ads. Nationally, over one billion dollars were spent on Senate races alone. The tally for gubernatorial and Congressional races more than matched that amount.

The bottom line is that as pundits and partisans alike are tallying the winners and losers of this year’s contests, they should not forget to consider that the real winners were the campaign media consultants and the owners of local television stations, both of whom pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising revenues. And the real losers were our democracy and the American people, who were turned off by the continuing distortion and corruption of our politics.

2) Did Republicans win the election or did Democrats lose it?

As early as January of 2009, minority leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell declared that he was determined to do everything within his power to block the newly elected President’s agenda. A year later, he went further saying that he would work to make sure that Obama was “a one-term President”. Unlike Democrats who worked, some begrudgingly, with George W. Bush early in his first term to help pass his signature tax-cuts and educational reform legislation, Republicans gave no ground to President Obama. Whatever legislative victories the president won in his first few years in office were won over stiff resistance from the Republican opposition. Contributing to the hyper-partisanship in Washington were the emergence of the Tea Party and the “birther” movement, both of which added to the nation’s poisonous political atmosphere.

There are those who raise issue with Obama’s aloofness or his “lack of relationships” with Congressional Republicans, ignoring the fact that the increasingly hard-right wing of the GOP never wanted to give relationship-building a chance. They had declared from the outset that they would stymie his efforts and work to defeat him. On too many occasions where compromise might have been possible, the Republican leadership fearing confrontation with their hard-liners, balked at compromise, choosing obstructionism instead.

The problem with too many Democrats was that they cowered in the face of this GOP assault. As my brother, John, noted: in this November’s election, while Republicans were busy running against the President, Democrats were running away from him. Instead of campaigning for the real benefits realized by millions of Americans resulting from the Administration’s accomplishments: in rescuing the economy which had been in free-fall in 2009; in guaranteeing health insurance coverage for young people and those with pre-existing conditions; in saving college students millions of dollars in student loan fees and in protecting Americans from unscrupulous credit card companies–too many Democrats sought to deny their connections with these programs, giving Republicans a free ride to attack with no response.

When Democratic candidates wouldn’t own their successes and sought to distance themselves from their national agenda–what choice did they give voters?

This mattered especially as the election came down to the wire and the issue became which party would succeed in the all-important effort to turn out voters. With the President sidelined, his 2008/2012 victorious coalition (African Americans, Latinos, young people, unmarried professional women, etc.) was not encouraged to turn out in the numbers needed to win. At one point, the President was criticized for saying that while he was not on the ballot, his policies were. He was right and his critics were wrong.

When you lose the struggle to define the stakes in the election, your chances of winning are slim.

3) What happens next?

There was an article this week describing how Republicans, having won control of both houses of Congress, were now working to define their agenda for the next two years. Implied in the piece was the fact that other than their opposition to the President, there is no consensus within the GOP as to how they will govern. The party is deeply divided between: neo-conservatives and isolationists; those who emphasize “social” issues and those who focus on economic policy; and establishment types and the Tea Party. With the 2016 presidential contest looming over the horizon and with many of the protagonists of these competing views seeing themselves as potential candidates, it is unlikely that the Republicans will be able to unify their ranks any time soon.

As they continue their internal struggle, they should consider two facts. In the first place, before getting high-handed about their “mandate”, Republicans should remember that while they won the Senate and increased their numbers in the House, a tally of votes, nationally, shows that overall more Americans voted for Democrats than for Republicans. Republicans should also remember that voters will keep them on a short leash, watching how effectively they will govern. While Republicans are fond of noting that President Obama’s favorable ratings are a low 42%, they should remember that their party’s favorable rating is a full 10 points lower and Congress’ approval rating is a shockingly low 12%.

What we can most likely expect in the next two years are more dysfunction, more rancor, and more gridlock. This will not serve the nation, but it will enhance opportunities for the Democrats to regain control of the Senate in 2016 when the tables will be turned. This year, 2/3’s of the contested Senate seats were held by Democrats–some of whom were swept into office by the Obama coat-tails of 2008. In 2016, it will be Republicans who will be on the defensive since 2/3’s of those up for reelection will be from their party.

In the 2016 presidential election year, the Democrats will again have a demographic advantage. African American, Latino, Asian, young, and professional women–all of whom increasingly vote for Democrats, will all play key roles in the national election. Their participation will also have an impact on Senate contests.

And so it is in this seemingly endless game of politics, one round is over and it’s on to the next.

GOP Trolls Democrats: Thanks For Sidelining Obama, Guys!

 

A better choice, but not by much.

A better choice, but not by much. (Marc Piscotty, Win McNamee, Justin Sullivan/All Getty Images, | AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

I’m a day late posting this article but the message is timeless…

TPM LiveWire

“They were so focused on independents that they forgot they had a base,” Collins said in a session with reporters assessing the election, according to CNN. “They left their base behind. They became Republican-lite.”

GOP strategists said they were baffled that Democrats had focused on issues like abortion rather than making an argument about the economy — and using Obama as a surrogate to do so.

“If you are running … Mark Udall’s campaign, there is an argument to be made that unemployment was higher when he took office,” the NRSC’s Brad Dayspring said in the same session with Collins in Washington. “There is an argument that gas prices were higher when he took office. But they never made it. They stuck to a flawed strategy that talked about birth control and abortion through the election. That was something we never understood.”

Elsewhere, though, Collins seems to suggest Obama was still an asset (if you will) for Republicans.

 

9 takeaways from the 2014 election

President Barack Obama | Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Call it sour grapes or call it massive disappointment, but this is the only time today that I’ll be posting about yesterday’s election results beside the “10 Things…” post.

VOX

1. The Democrats lost. Badly. This wasn’t just a tough map. Democrats lost Senate seats in Iowa and Colorado. They lost governor races in Florida and Wisconsin. Hell, they lost governor races in Illinois, Maryland, Maine, and Massachusetts! Democrats really can’t blame losing elections in Illinois, Maryland, Maine, and Massachusetts on the map. (See the results from key races here.)

2.  The night had few bright spots for Democrats — but there were some for liberals. The personhood ballot initiatives lost in Colorado and North Dakota. Marijuana was legalized in D.C. and Oregon (and we’re still waiting on Alaska). The minimum wage was raised in Arkansas, Illinois and Nebraska. Washington state expanded background checks on guns. “So voters want a higher minimum wage, legal pot, abortion access and GOP representation,” tweeted FiveThirtyEight’s Ben Casselman. “Ok then.”

3. A lot of the stories Democrats told themselves about this election proved wrong. There wasn’t a secret rush of Latino voters the pollsters had simply missed. Focusing on cultural appeals like “the War on Women” didn’t work. For all the Obama campaign hype, the Democrats hadn’t actually discovered dark arts of GOTV that allowed them to survive a GOP year. The polls were wrong — but they were wrong because they undercounted Republican support. As often happens, Democrats fooled themselves after the 2012 election into believing they had unlocked some enduring political advantage. They learned otherwise.

4. The Republican Senate wins were largely expected. But the scope of the GOP’s gains in gubernatorial races wasn’t. That makes Chris Christie, as head of the Republican Governors’ Association, one of the election’s big winners. He can now argue not only that he has personally won elections in a blue state but that he led a bunch of other Republicans to win hard elections in blue states. That’s going to be a powerful argument to make to Republicans in 2016.

5. Hillary Clinton is arguably also a winner here. A more Democratic year could have led to some new stars who might have been able to challenge her in 2016. Instead, some potential challengers were cut down. Gov. Martin O’Malley, for instance, saw Anthony Brown, his lt. governor and handpicked successor, defeated in Maryland. That’s not going to help him make the case that he can appeal to voters she can’t.

6. Republicans just got a big general boost for 2016. They retained control of governorships in Ohio and Florida. They have a lead in the Senate that will make it much harder for Democrats to recapture the chamber even given the fact that Republicans look to be defending 24 seats to the Democrats’ 10.

7. On election day, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reiterated that President Obama would go forward with his executive action to legalize an unknown number of unauthorized immigrants. But…really? Republicans just won overwhelming victories in the House, the Senate and the states, but Obama is going to go ahead and announce a major executive action all of them disagree with? At this point, if the action happens at all, my guess is it will be a lot smaller than supporters are expecting.

8. The Senate is about to get a lot more polarized. Political scientist Alan Abramowitz put it flatly in a discussion with the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent: “We’ll have a Republican caucus that is more conservative than it is now, and a Democratic caucus that is more liberal than it is now, [because] you’re subtracting moderates from the Democratic caucus, and adding very conservative Republicans to the GOP caucus.” If one of the problems voters had with Washington was that nothing got done, it’s not going to get better after this election.

9. There are a few policies that might become easier after the election. A trade deal, for instance; Republicans are friendlier to giving the president fast-track authority over trade negotiations than Democrats are. And even some Democrats think the Keystone XL oil pipeline will pass now that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can bring it to the floor. But overall, Obama’s final two years in office are likely to be his hardest yet, at least when it comes to Congress. He’s got little to no leverage over the rising Republican class, and after this election, he’s not going to have as much influence over congressional Democrats, either.

Morning Maddow – 11-3-2014

 

The Rachel Maddow Blog

World Trade Center reopens for business. (AP)

 

Pres. Obama: ‘Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote.’ (Politico)

 

Independent candidate drops out of Connecticut governor’s race, endorses Republican. (Hartford Courant)

 

Ebola nurse Kaci Hickox on why she felt she had to fight Govs. Christie and LePage. (Portland Press Herald)

 

The armed security guard on a CDC elevator with Pres. Obama was not a convicted felon. (Washington Post)

 

Iraqis prepare ISIS offensive with U.S. help. (NY Times)

 

U.S.-backed Syrian rebels routed by fighters linked to al Qaeda. (Washington Post)

 

Thieves steal the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate from Germany’s Dachau concentration camp. (NBC News)

Reince Priebus uncovers evidence Democrats trying to influence election by persuading people

RNC Chair Reince Priebus speaks at CPAC 2013 | Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Daily Kos

RNC Chairman: Tom Steyer, Democratic allies trying to keep GOP voters away from pollsBy Reince Priebus – Published October 14, 2014 – FoxNews.com

Tom Steyer’s dark money special interest group, NextGen Climate, knows Democrats can’t win this election on the issues this year—especially not on Steyer’s radical anti-energy agenda. So they have a new plan: suppress the Republican vote.

Damn it! I just knew that teaming up with Tom Steyer would end up with a disaster like this. We should have been more careful. Because now Reince has laid bare our secrets to the world—we plan to suppress the vote. And how are we planning to do this?

In a September memo to their state teams, NextGen lays out a plan to “degrade Republican performance” by “dampening Republican enthusiasm levels.” By spreading misinformation about Republican candidates, they’re hoping to divide our party in a last-ditch attempt to save theirs.

Oh, wait. Maybe this isn’t so bad. Maybe Reince hasn’t uncovered evidence that we plan to stop Republicans from voting. Instead, TomSteyer’s group is exploringwhether or not there are messages that would make Republicans less likely to vote for Republicans.To put it another way, Steyer’s group aims to convince people not to vote for Republicans. I guess you could call that suppressing the vote, if by suppressing the vote you mean something completely different than every other person who uses that phrase.
The funny thing is that the memo to which Reince refers does not even conclude that reducing Republican enthusiasm is a viable strategy—it just suggests exploring it. The bulk of the memo is focused on how to increase turnout among voters that are likely to sit out the election and how to persuade voters who are sitting on the fence. Or, as Reince might put it, the rest of the memo is about how Democrats plan to steal the election from the rightful winners.

 

ABC Poll: Republicans About As Popular As Ebola.

Polls can be manipulated so I take little stock in them, but the headline is hilarious!

Daily Kos

We love to bash Republicans around here, but we’re pretty much political Junkies and know a good deal more about what they’re doing to our democracy and country than most of the general public.  But even if you’re a member of the uninformed public that neglects your responsibility to be an informed citizen, you just can’t avoid realizing just how awful these people really are.

Of course if you’re uninformed enough, you fall into the false equivalence of they’re all the same, and you buy into the meme of a pox on both your houses, so some of this discontent rubs off on the Democrats.

From a new ABC poll

I’ll try to build a little table with some of the results.

Here’s the results for Republicans

                               Favorable            unfavorable
All Adults                       35                       60Registered Voters            38                       60
________________

Democrats                     14                       85

Republicans                    79                       21

Independents                 31                       61
_
________________

Male                             38                       59

Female                          33                       62
_
________________

<$50K                          32                       63

$50K-$100K                   38                      56

>$100K                        39                       61
________________

Liberal                          16                       80

Moderate                     32                       66

Conservative                 59                      38

Hard to find anyone who is satisfied with the dysfunctional party the Oligarchs have built.  But what about the Dems?

                               Favorable            unfavorable
All Adults                       49                       46

Registered Voters            51                       46
_
________________

Democrats                     85                       14

Republicans                    15                       85

Independents                 41                       50
_
________________

Male                             44                       52

Female                          54                       40
_
________________

<$50K                          51                       44

$50K-$100K                   46                      48

>$100K                        53                       46
_________________

Liberal                          73                       24

Moderate                     52                        45

Conservative                28                        70

Now these aren’t the types of numbers that Democrats can jump up and down over, but they’re sure a lot better than the Republicans.  The Dems do better than the Republicans in almost everycategory.  I was pretty surprised to see those numbers broke down by income.  Even the rich are turning against the radicalized Republicans.So this is a ray of hope for Nov.  The question becomes, how many of these people will show up at the polls, and how many will once again vote against their own interests.

GOP’s ’16 consolation vanishes: Suddenly, Democrats have the deep bench!

GOP's '16 consolation vanishes: Suddenly, Democrats have the deep bench!

Elizabeth Warren, Ted Cruz (Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts/AP)

Salon

After Romney’s 2012 loss, pundits raved about the GOP’s new leaders. But two years later, Democrats have the edge

In the wake of President Obama’s re-election in 2012, reporters found one soothing source of solace for the GOP. “One race the Republicans appear to be winning is the one for the deepest bench of rising stars,” wrote the Washington Post, and plenty of folks followed up. Democrats, meanwhile, had nobody on the bench but Hillary Clinton – a formidable candidate if she were to run, but that wasn’t even certain.

Beyond Clinton, there seemed to be a wasteland populated by ambitious governors no one had ever heard of (Martin O’Malley), some who were well known but not widely liked (Andrew Cuomo). Oh, and Brian Schweitzer.

The Republican list, meanwhile, seemed almost infinite: blue and purple state governors like New Jersey’s Chris Christie, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Ohio’s John Kasich and Virginia’s Bob McConnell, and Tea Party senators like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Romney’s ambitious, “wonky” running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, had his fans, as did former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Even Texas Gov. Rick Perry, recovered from back surgery and sporting hot new glasses, could have another life in 2016.

But in two years, the situation has almost reversed itself. Promising GOP governors – McDonnell, Christie, Walker – find themselves dogged by scandal. The Tea Party trio of Paul, Cruz and Rubio still vies for media attention and right wing adoration, but Rubio’s immigration reform work doomed him on the right. Unbelievably, Paul is widely labeled the frontrunner (but don’t tell that to Cruz), while the party establishment and neocon hawks search for an alternative. Despite all that impressive talent, Mitt Romney leads the pack in New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, in what’s widely being reported as trouble for Hillary Clinton, because that’s the narrative the media know best, it turns out there are a bunch of popular and maybe even formidable Democrats. Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren wowed the crowd at Netroots Nation. (Check out this great New Yorker Biden profile if you want to know how the VP is keeping his options open). The Netroots buzz inspired the Washington Post’s Phillip Rucker and Robert Costa to survey the landscape of Democrats who’ve put a toe or more in the water for 2016.

We learned that Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is visiting Iowa (it is only one state away), while New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has a book coming out. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is said to be huddling with donors, believing the party could use a dose of red state common sense.

This is all framed as mildly ominous news for Hillary Clinton – the headline is “With liberals pining for a Clinton challenger, ambitious Democrats get in position” — but Klobuchar, Gillibrand and Nixon have all endorsed Clinton, and Warren has encouraged Clinton to run while insisting she won’t do so herself. The only Democrats listed who may still run even if Clinton does too are O’Malley and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders.

Regardless of the intent of the framing, the Rucker-Costa story actually pointed up the vitality in the Democratic Party, where lively debates over income inequality and foreign policy have so far fallen short of creating bitter divisions and factions, at least so far. Again, contrast that with the GOP, where Ted Cruz seems to be staking his 2016 hopes on his ability to humiliate every party leader and make sure Republicans will never make inroads with the Latino population. He’s blocking bipartisan emergency legislation to deal with the border crisis, and pushing to reverse President Obama’s deferred action on deportation for young people brought here by their parents.

Meanwhile Warren, the progressive elected the same time as Cruz, is touring the country campaigning for Democratic Senate candidates, even some who are more centrist than she is, like Kentucky’s Alison Lundergan Grimes and West Virginia’s Natalie Tennant.  She’s focused on growing the Democratic Party, not cutting down colleagues who are less progressive.

So: the GOP’s right wing firebrand is a loose cannon who is completely out for himself, while the Democrats’ left wing firebrand is working amiably with party leaders and deflecting talk of a primary challenge to Clinton. In the end, the rising number of possible alternatives to Hillary Clinton is a sign of Democratic strength, even if the media tends to bill it as weakness.

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