The Open Thread for Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Filed in Open Thread by on July 24, 2013

Dems face a very tough challenge in terms of holding their U.S. Senate majority in 2014, but there are some grounds for hope, as Jessica Taylor writes at MSNBC: “Republicans inherited a very friendly map, but they have failed to put any blue or purple states into play. Even in the red states, Republicans are mired in divisive primaries that pit Tea Party conservatives against establishment Republicans favored by the Washington elite. The party has failed to unite behind a candidate in any of the most competitive states they cite,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee communications director Matt Canter. “Democrats have had tremendous recruiting success in Iowa and Michigan, where Democrats now are the undisputed favorites. Grimes’ candidacy fundamentally changes the map, forcing Republicans to spend millions playing defense, and Democrats are confident that she can defeat McConnell. Democrats also believe that a Todd Akin conservative will emerge in Georgia and provide a pick up opportunity for the right moderate Democrat with an independent Georgia brand.”

That moderate Dem with an independent Georgia brand is Michelle Nunn, the daughter of the former Senator Sam Nunn, who announced her candidacy this week. You know, I bet you after all is said and done, the Dems will once again hold the majority in the Senate if not gain seats. Why do I say that?

We are at 54 Democrats (well, actually 52 Dems and 2 Independents who caucus with the Dems), and 46 Republicans right now.

Capture

The GOP is virtually assured a pick up in South Dakota as Senator Tim Johnson, who suffered a stroke back in 2009 and still suffers from the affects of it, is retiring, and popular former GOP Governor Mike Rounds is running for the seat. Meanwhile, the Dems are virtually assured a pick up in New Jersey. Yes, it is strange to say that New Jersey has a Republican Senator right now, but it is due to Gov. Christie’s appointment of Jeff Chisea to replaced the late Frank Lautenberg. Chisea is not not running for election in his own right, and even if he were, he would lose to Corey Booker or whatever Democrat emerges from the primary.

Where the Dems are in trouble, and why the punditry are saying that the GOP could retake control of the Senate, is with the West Virginia and Montana open seats. I list them as toss ups, because we don’t know who the Democratic candidate is going to be there yet. With the right kind of Democrat, like Joe Manchin in WV or Jon Tester or Brian Schweitzer (who is not running) in Montana, those seats will remain competitive and toss ups.

But, the Dems have had recruiting success in Georgia, Iowa, Michigan and Kentucky that have made two of those states (Iowa and Michigan) that could have been open seat tossups into pretty safe Democratic retentions. Indeed, under the heading “Lean Democratic,” while I think those races will be competitive in that the Republicans will and are contesting, I think the Democrats will retain all of them. Yes, even Mark Pryor’s seat in Arkansas and Mark Begich’s seat in Alaska.

The other two recruiting sucesses are in Kentucky and Georgia, where the Democrats are poised to pick up surprise victories, no matter if the Republican candidate they are facing is a Tea Party primary candidate. So if that happens, and the Dems win in Kentucky and Georgia, while losing West Virginia and Montana, guess what? Everything stays the same. If the Dems win those seats and defend West Virginia and Montana, we gain, once again.

Meanwhile, back in Delaware, the Delaware ADA is holding two events on Friday, July 26, up and down the state. At 11:45 am down at Bethany Blues in Lewes, and at 5:30 pm at the Home Grown Cafe in Newark, the Delaware ADA is having Matt Gardner, the Executive Director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, speak about what taxes DuPont does and does not pay on the federal and state levels, as well as the how and why behind those numbers. In Lewes, there will be a luncheon, and in Newark, there will be a Happy Hour.

Here is the cool hand drawn flyer for that event:

ADALuncheon

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Comments (21)

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  1. Mike Matthews says:

    Thanks for posting the ADA flyer. I will be there Friday night and it promises to be a good time. We are really looking forward to getting AS MANY people signed up as dues-paying members, so we’re urging folks to bring $15 along and that will get them yummies and a one-year membership.

    Thanks, DelDem!

  2. puck says:

    Dems face a very tough challenge in terms of holding their U.S. Senate majority in 2014

    Why are we still getting beat by these fools?

    I hope somebody else answers this because nobody will like my answer.

  3. Geezer says:

    Puck: Because Democrats have far more incumbents to protect this cycle than Republicans do.

  4. socialistic ben says:

    Any Dem that wins in WV, or Montana…. or GA or KY for that matter…. will be a Ben Nelson/ Mary Landreiu type Dem…… totally useless to the President’s agenda. I think the best hope is to hold the line… at least keep control, then win big in places like PA in 2016.

  5. doc says:

    Dems have a hard time holding on to the Senate? What have the Dems accomplished in 4.5 years other than increase the size of our deficit, increase the number of recipients on food stamps, unemployment of 7.6%, passed Obama care which is neither affordable in addition to being a job killer etc. Where are the jobs for the college grads? Promised transparency so where are the answers to Fast & Furious, Benghazi, NSA, IRS intrusion etc. Reasonable questions or has this become old news? America first & foremost over party affiliation.

  6. Delaware Dem says:

    Doc, you are not familiar with facts, are you? I’ll assume that you are just stupid rather than a malignant liar. So hear are the facts: the deficit has been cut in half since 2009. Unemployment has dropped from 10% to 7.5% now. The usage of Foodstamps rose in 2008 and 2009 due to the recession, caused by your favorite President Bush and your favorite party, the Republicans. But again, that usage is dropping. And since the passage of Obamacare, healthcare costs and premiums have been slashed across the country, in some cases, in half. And the consumer now gets insurance coverage with no lifetime caps, no illness caps, and no exclusion for preexisting disabilities or conditions. All the while Democrats have got us out of Iraq and out of Afghanistan next year.

    Sounds pretty damn good to me.

    As for all your non-scandals, yeah, you get flogging them. I mean, with the 458th hearing, you are bound to find something illegal. LOL.

  7. Doc says:

    One can always be sure that when questions are not to the liking of one such as yourself one will go on the personal attack. Try usdebtclock.org for the real numbers facing this country and that it is unstainable without “POSITIVE” change whether one is a Dem or Rep. Got it?
    Doctors are refusing to take new Medicare patients. Wonder why? How is that ones secondary health insurance has increased 47%. Oh excuse me premiums would not increase under Obama Care. How is that United Healthcare and Blue Shield/BlueCross in Ca.will no longer offer health insurance. Have better things to do than to present logic and reasoning. Perhaps you should read the Obama Care bill and you might discover 20 new or higher taxes on American families and small business. $500 billion in tax hikes over the next 10 years. Whoops more facts..sorry. Try the CBO for real numbers.
    Have a great life.

  8. rhubard says:

    In an effort to sound presidential —
    Understanding, in charge, influential —
    He fell back on bromides.
    The populace took sides
    So the speech was judged inconsequential

  9. Falcor says:

    “All the while Democrats have got us out of Iraq and out of Afghanistan next year.”

    We were getting out of Iraq regardless, although crediting the execution of that is certainly fair praise towards the Commander and Chief.

    But Obama’s Afghanistan leadership has been an unquestionable disaster. And aside from repealing DADT I can’t think of a single positive thing he’s done for the military.

    The Sexual Assault issue has been botched, the women in combat issue has been handled with complete ignorance that has more or less cut the people fighting completely out of the loop and we won’t even start on the VA which has been one of the biggest black eyes on this Presidency.

  10. cassandra_m says:

    The Sexual Assault issue has been botched

    Oh really? Not too long ago you were arguing that the DOD wasn’t getting enough credit for dealing with this. :roll:

  11. Geezer says:

    “the women in combat issue has been handled with complete ignorance that has more or less cut the people fighting completely out of the loop”

    Yes. This is because we have civilian control of our military — a concept you clearly disagree with. Nuff said.

  12. Geezer says:

    “Try usdebtclock.org for the real numbers facing this country and that it is unstainable without “POSITIVE” change whether one is a Dem or Rep. Got it?”

    Unstainable, eh? I tend not to listen to fretting over economic issues from people who don’t know how to use spellcheck.

  13. Falcor says:

    “Oh really? Not too long ago you were arguing that the DOD wasn’t getting enough credit for dealing with this.”

    Yes… When he makes a statement that defense counsels are using to in trials that have in a few cases resulted in ruling of undue command influence I’d say the President botched that one. As a whole the issue is still enormous and a long way from being solved, but the notion you all seem have that the Military just doesn’t care about it is a flat out lie.

    And no, the last time we talked about this it had nothing to do with saying the Military didn’t get enough credit. It was because you claimed that the Austrailian General had done something no American general had done in addressing the issue, which was completely false.

    It isn’t my fault you don’t know what your talking about.

  14. cassandra_m says:

    Um, no. My argument was that American Generals certainly hadn’t stepped up to specifically order troops to stop misbehaving, with some indication as to the consequences of continuing after a direct order. Giving a direct order doesn’t stop it, but certainly gives the rest of the command a clear basis for kicking butt when the order is breached. Which is the point, right? I spent some time explaining how the DOD and the Australian approaches were very different, but apparently not only are you clueless but incapable of managing detail.

    Some of the cases where there was undue command influence are way older than the Obama Administration too. It isn’t as though this issue is new with this administration, but they should get some credit for trying to manage it, rather than just keeping it at the Pentagon.

    When you know what you are talking about, feel free to come back, but in the meantime, go away.

  15. Falcor says:

    “My argument was that American Generals certainly hadn’t stepped up to specifically order troops to stop misbehaving, with some indication as to the consequences of continuing after a direct order.”

    Which was incorrect, and that’s the issue. If you click on the link in this post it details the tour around the Marine Crops taken by the Commandant that demanded tougher punishment in Sexual Assault cases.

    “Some of the cases where there was undue command influence are way older than the Obama Administration too. It isn’t as though this issue is new with this administration, but they should get some credit for trying to manage it, rather than just keeping it at the Pentagon.”

    Undue Command influence is always an issue in any Court Martial. The specific statement I am talking about came straight from the POTUS’ mouth referring to the prescribed punishments in Sexual Assault cases.

    The exact same thing happened with the Marine Corps’ top general:

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/09/13/168410/tough-talk-by-marine-commandant.html

    And the funny thing about this is that my criticism of the Obama Administration was that it made it HARDER to prosecute these people because of the statements made. It’s got nothing to do with defending naybody.

  16. Falcor says:

    “Yes. This is because we have civilian control of our military — a concept you clearly disagree with. Nuff said.”

    Please. Is it really that ridiculous to think they should at least look at the positives and negatives of this decision and consult with Subject matter experts before they make it? Becuase those studies are still going on and won’t be completed in time to phase women into combat roles(some of which I think they would be an asset and some of which I think the physical limitations are worth looking at).

  17. cassandra_m says:

    Put another way, the Marine Corps’ top officer was telling his subordinates that 80 percent of those charged with sexual assault were guilty. He was demanding dismissals from the service, and suggesting that an alleged victim might be simply suffering from, as he phrased it, “buyer’s remorse.”

    This is quite different from what the Australian Commander was doing. QUITE different. His talk was directed to everyone in his command and did three big things:
    1) Reference the unacceptable behavior
    2) Clearly states zero tolerance for such behavior
    3) Makes clear the consequences for continued behavior under his watch.

    If this Marine Commander would have followed the template of the Australian General, there would not have been undue command influence. Just command.

  18. Falcor says:

    He did that… “Amos used his tour to express his own strong feelings about the 348 reported sexual assaults in the Marine Corps last year. In a roughly 75 minute talk intended for every Marine non-commissioned officer and officer, the career aviator demanded tough punishment for those accused of sexual misconduct.”

    If you’re trying to tell me that a youtube video is going to be more effective than the Commandant putting every leader in the instituion on blast in person for failing to curb this issue I’m not really buying it…

    I don’t think this is something anybody deserves credit for as it should have happened a long time ago. I just think it is disingenous to say that the issue isn’t being taken seriously.

    “3) Makes clear the consequences for continued behavior under his watch.”

    Here’s the problem with spelling out specifics in this case, because this is what the President did. When you mandate certain punishments that is now an order that the servicemembers must follow… Which is something you can’t do in the midst of a trial setting because it is undue influence.

    The one thing I think we seem to agree on is that this is an issue that you can’t punish yur way out of. It’s not like a drug issue where you could do tests or something. Obviously perpetrators need to be held accountable, but the long term solution is a culture change within the services. That’s my opinion at least.

  19. cassandra_m says:

    Perhaps you should go back and look again at what you said and the links you provided when we were discussing this before.

    I don’t doubt that the Marines (and the rest) are getting in front of their troops on this issue. But even the short Marine Training vid just appeals to honor, familial ties and says if you see something, say something. This does nothing like what the Australian general did — which communicates absolute Zero Tolerance. But I have no idea why I’m doing this, since you clearly don’t get that the approaches here are fundamentally different. And I did check in with my favorite Generals who confirm that what the Australian did isn’t exactly part of the dog and pony show for our issues of sexual assault. But if you think that the kind of materials that we’ve seen so far are a good way to address these cultural issues, then I think you don’t know much about that culture and you are also going to be part of the reason why they will have a hard time changing it.

  20. Falcor says:

    “But if you think that the kind of materials that we’ve seen so far are a good way to address these cultural issues, then I think you don’t know much about that culture and you are also going to be part of the reason why they will have a hard time changing it.”

    We’ve seen? That’s probably true, because you weren’t at any of the briefs… You haven’t seen any of the things these organizations are doing to prevent the issue. Which is really why I find it so perplexing that you speak with such authority on this. You don’t know what they’re doing because they aren’t doing it in an attempt to reach you. I’m not saying its some sort of crazy classified stuff obviously, it’s just that the target population is not people who aren’t in the military. You are criticizing things based on false assumptions. If I haven’t seen it on youtube then it hasn’t happened is an absurd way to look at the world.

    He went in person to say zero tolerance, and that message was a reinforcement of an existing policy that the military was doing a piss poor job of enforcing. It has always been zero tolerance in the books, the problem was that it was legal it was the enforcement of those orders.

    “And I did check in with my favorite Generals who confirm that what the Australian did isn’t exactly part of the dog and pony show for our issues of sexual assault.”

    The Dog and Pony show is not what is going to fix this issue. I liked the message in the video as well, but are you seriously telling me that a youtube is better than in person?

  21. Falcor says:

    “Perhaps you should go back and look again at what you said and the links you provided when we were discussing this before.”

    You mean the posts where I said the actual ass chewing happened in person? Just like I am now? Your point?