With trepidation, another Senate update:
Safe D: DE, MA, RI, HI, IL, NJ, NM
Likely D: OR, VA, MN, MI
Leans D: NC, NH
Tossup: CO (D), IA (D), LA (D), KS (R)
Leans R: AR (D), AK (D), GA, KY
Likely R: SD (D), WV (D)
Safe R: MT (D), AL, ID, ME, NE, OK (x2), SC (x2), TN, TX, WY, MS
Changes since the last update: Peters of MI goes from Leans D to Likely D; Begich of AK from Tossup to Leans R. The Begich shift is consequential (though he is also running in the state with the least reliable polling, so there’s that).
If all seats go the way they are safe, leaning or likely, and if Orman of KS would caucus with Democrats if elected (and the other two independents continue to caucus with Democrats), Republicans can take Senate control by winning two of the four tossup seats.
I’ll reiterate what I’ve said in past updates: it’s easy enough to find pat explanations for the drift towards Republicans (6-yr curse, many Democratic seats in “red” states), but at a deeper level it’s still baffling.
Republicans are - openly! vocally! - at the ISIS-is-attacking-America-by-bringing-Ebola-through-Mexico level of craziness. Their top issue (health care reform) is a dud - the ACA is successful, and Republican candidates (including, most enjoyably, McConnell) are scrambling to support it. Their second issue (the economy) is a dud - unemployment is now below 6%, and the deficit is shrinking. Their third issue (bomb Syria/Iraq) is a dud - Americans don’t want intervention, by comfortable margins, and are inclined to support the President at any rate. They’re on the record opposing things that are as close as possible to an American consensus, such as birth control, abortion in cases of rape and incest, preserving Medicare as an entitlement, strong regulation of banks, background checks for gun purchases. And they’re actively trying to keep people from voting, which at least in the past has been a powerful incentive to get people to vote.
The election is still three weeks away. And we don’t know what is happening on the ground - polls are still bouncing around wildly, Democrats are focusing resources on GOTV. So who knows. But the current trend, even for a practiced cynic like me, is disillusioning.
One source of hope is that, once in office, Americans will discover - with shock! - that folks like smiling Cory Gardner, charming Joni Ernst, friendly Tom Cotton are in fact hold seriously wacko individuals who need to be kept far away from high federal office. But then again this might become the new normal (if it hasn’t already), which is not a source of hope.
An unnamed NC democrat, quoted by Greg Sargent
Good. This is how to fight.
I admire the Nobel prize recipients tremendously. They are both people of great achievements and courage, and deserve the prizes as well as all the attention and support they can get.
But isn’t it deeply, deeply disturbing that, in 2014, people still have to fight to stop girls getting killed for going to school, and people still have to fight to stop children being forced to work as slave laborers?
I sleep easier knowing that as awful as modern American elections are, we will probably never have a campaign as ugly and mean-spirited as the Election of 1828.
According to the Outer Space Treaty (1967), the moon is under the same jurisdiction as international waters. The treaty also says the moon can be used for peaceful purposes by all nations, and it prohibits weapons of mass destruction or military bases of any kind on the moon.
If the Outer Space Treaty had come up for Senate ratification any time after 2009 it would not have been ratified. No chance. Not sure what the rationale would be - encroach on our freedom of action if there’s a space-based terror attack? not enough acknowledgment of the views of those who see the moon as having been created by God on the fourth day? - but it would have been DOA in the Senate. Not. A. Chance.