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Friday, October 21, 2016

WASHINGTON — There is something deeply satisfying about the troubles punditry is having in nailing down exactly what’s happening in the 2014 elections.

The careful statistical models keep gyrating on the question of whether Republicans will win control of the Senate this November. The prognosticators who rely on their reporting and their guts as well as the numbers are sometimes at odds with the statisticians.

The obvious reason for the uncertainty is that many of the key Senate races are still very close in the polls. This should encourage a degree of humility among those of us who love to offer opinions about politics. Humility is a useful virtue not always on display in our business. The unsettled nature of the election also sends a salutary signal to the electorate. As Howard Dean might put it: You have the power. Voting will matter this year.

It is not my habit to agree with Karl Rove, but he was on to something in his Wall Street Journal column last Thursday when he wrote that “each passing day provides evidence as to why a GOP Senate majority is still in doubt.”

Rove’s focus, not surprisingly, was on money. Democrats have been spending heavily to hang on to their majority, and he interpreted this as an imperative for Republican candidates and donors to “step up if they are to substantially reduce that gap.” In a parenthetical sentence, he disclosed his interest here: “I help American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS raise funds on a volunteer basis.” Rove’s professional history is in the direct mail business, and his column was a nicely crafted fundraising plea.

Rove acknowledged that the big-dollar Republican groups have yet to commit all the cash they have raised, so the TV advertising gap “is likely to shrink.” But the GOP’s real problem in closing the deal is about more than money. Spending doesn’t work unless candidates and parties have a case to make, and this gets to why we have yet to see either a clear trend or a dominant theme emerge in this campaign. Many swing voters may be in a mood to punish or put a check on President Obama. Yet Democrats might still hang on if voters decide that life and government will be no better with a legislative branch entirely under GOP control.

Underlying the Democrats’ argument that a Republican-led Senate will be no day at the beach is the fact that their conservative opponents are offering little of practical help to voters still unsettled by the economic downturn, and might make things worse.

Thus, even in conservative states, Democrats are zeroing in on Republican opposition to government programs aimed at solving particular problems. Their arguments and ads reflect a reality: Voters who might dislike government in the abstract often support the concrete things government can do.

In Kentucky, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes launched a Web ad on Friday criticizing Senate Minority Mitch McConnell for leading a filibuster against Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s bill to bring down interest rates on student debt. “We want our students getting degrees, not debt,” Grimes says. Students are portrayed echoing the “degrees, not debt” theme.

In Arkansas, Democrat Mark Pryor has run advertising built around the Ebola outbreak, criticizing his opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton, for being one of 29 House Republicans to vote in 2013 against a reauthorization of public health and emergency programs. Cotton’s campaign insisted that he voted later in favor of a subsequent version of the spending bill, but it’s striking that a conservative would be put on the defensive about opposing a spending program.

And in North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagan used a debate earlier this month to launch a populist attack on state House Speaker Thom Tillis, her Republican foe, charging him with believing that “those who have the most should get the most help.” She has also denounced Tillis for blocking North Carolina from taking advantage of the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. She pointed to health care providers in the state who are “having unbelievable problems because of no Medicaid expansion.”

I’ll try to practice some of the humility I’m preaching by acknowledging that I have no idea whether Republicans will take the six seats they need to control the Senate. Maybe their incessant assaults on Obama will prove to be enough. But an election that once looked to be a Republican slam dunk has even Karl Rove worried because many voters seem to want do more with their ballots than just slap the president in the face.

E.J. Dionne’s email address is [email protected] Twitter: @EJDionne.

AFP Photo/Win McNamee

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  • Dominick Vila

    What is truly amazing is not the fact that some Senatorial races are too close to call, but the fact that Republicans are still considered a viable alternative in spite of a record that would have destroyed most political parties and politicians, and a vision of the future that is limited to stepping back.
    The fact that so many Republicans are convinced that George W. Bush kept us safe is nothing short of amazing. I wonder who do they think was in the WH and who controlled Congress when 9/11 occurred, when 11 U.S. diplomatic facilities were attacked, when 4.400 young Americans were sacrificed in the pursuit of political and economic goals, and when myopic policies destabilized the Persian Gulf region and influenced the eventual emergence of ISIS? Short of being a sadist or a traitor I can’t imagine anyone ignoring or condoning those tragedies.
    How can anyone forget to misery and uncertainties we were enduring when President Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, and the probability of a total collapse of the U.S. economy was in everyone’s minds.
    Perhaps more to the point, I think it is truly amazing that so many people are still planning to vote for someone like Mitch McConnell, the man who acknowledged that the policies of obstructionism embraced by the Republican party, which delayed the economic recovery, job creation, and caused so much pain and misery to millions of Americans, was designed to ensure President Obama was a one term President. The latter should be enough to run every Republican out of town. Instead, millions of people who seem unable to understand the implications of what their leaders are acknowledging, plan to vote for them. If the GOP manages to get control of the Senate after the midterm election we deserve what we are going to get.

    • ESG

      Spot on what I do not understand is why the Democrats cannot get out that message have they forgotten as well? Study history and understand that the Republican strategies have only caused Most Americans stress strain and anxiety while the wealthy few become weathlier and wealthier. The facts cannot be plainer the evidence is clear and yet it gets ignored. Unbelievable.

      • itsfun

        Haven’t the rich gotten richer and the poor gotten poorer during the Obama administration?

        • Snowbeard

          As a result of McConnell led Republican obstruction. That’s what dimwitted Americans don’t understand. It’s The Obstruction Stupid. “ITOS”

          • itsfun

            Yep, in a Senate controlled by Harry Reid, McConnell is to blame. Why don’t you just blame George Bush or is it blaming Bush for all of Obama’s failures doesn’t work anymore.

          • highpckts

            Oh for God’s sake! Hello wall! Talk about brainwashed!!

          • Independent1

            itsfun is just one more paid troll on the NM at work.

          • LotusJoan

            Most of us would appreciate it if you reserved your comments for that wall.

          • highpckts

            And who would most of us be? You? LOL

          • LotusJoan

            If you enjoy his inane , ill informed and poorly written comments – then by all means reply to itsfun. He/she/it might like a friend.

          • highpckts

            Doesn’t deserve any friends!

          • Dominick Vila

            Obama’s failures? No need to blame or give credit to W for anything President Obama has done. There is plenty of wrongdoing available for anyone to understand what a Republican in the WH, and a Republican controlled Congress can do to this country.

          • Independent1

            When are you going to be man enough to point out to us all these failings of Obama when several studies have shown that he has been the best modern day president for the economy, clearly out pacing Reagan and any other nitwit Republican you want to name.

          • itsfun

            Lets just start with a lies of his lies so far:

            Lies During the Sixth Year

            “We’ve got close to 7 million Americans who have access to health care for the first time because of Medicaid expansion.”


            (IRS) “Not a even smidgen of corruption”


            “Keystone pipeline would mean maybe 2,000 jobs”


            Lies During the Fifth Year

            “We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas.”


            “If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it”


            “The NSA is not abusing its power”


            “I said benghazi was a terrorist attack from the beginning.”


            “the foreign intelligence Surveillance court is transparent.”


            “First of all, I didn’t set a red line,” said Obama. “The world set a red line.”



            Lies During Fourth Year

            “The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed.”


            “Mitt Romney raised nursing home fees eight times.”


            “Mitt Romney called the Arizona law a model for the nation.”


            “Planned Parenthood provides mammograms”

            Spero News

            “We got back every dime we used to rescue the financial system”


            Benghazi violence was caused by an internet video & demonstrations

            State Department

            “Mitt Romney Plans to fire Big Bird”


            “Under Gov. Romney’s definition … Donald Trump is a small business.”


            Because of Obamacare, “over the last two years, health care
            premiums have gone up — it’s true — but they’ve gone up slower than any
            time in the last 50 years.”


            “I think it’s important for us to understand that the Fast
            and Furious program was a field-initiated program begun under the
            previous administration”


            Romney and Ryan will gut pell grants for low-income college students.


            My budget will cut the deficit by $4 Trillion over 10 years.


            “I am told that Governor Romney’s new running mate, Paul
            Ryan, might be around Iowa the next few days,” he said while in Council
            Bluffs, Iowa. “He is one of the leaders of Congress standing in the way.
            So if you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this
            farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities.”

            House passed bill on August 2, 2012 (Paul Ryan voted yes)

            The American automobile industry has come roaring back…So now
            I want to say what we did with the auto industry, we can do it in
            manufacturing across America. Let’s make sure advanced, high-tech
            manufacturing jobs take root here, not in China. And that means
            supporting investment here. Governor Romney … invested in companies that
            were called ‘pioneers’ of outsourcing. I don’t want to outsource. I
            want to insource.

            Forbes- Outsourcer-In-Chief: Obama Of General Motors

            “You Didn’t Build that”

            A few examples

            Lies During Third Year

            I will walk on that picket line with you, if workers are denied the right to bargain.


            In his 2012 State of the Union Address, President Obama said
            that American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight


            I’ve done more for Israel’s security than any President ever

            Obama aided Islamic Extremists take over of Egypt/ Libya – Weapons pour into Gaza

            Virtually every Senate Republican voted against the tax cut last week


            “Every idea that we’ve put forward are ones that traditionally have been supported by Democrats and Republicans alike.”

            Like Raising taxes?

            Obama met highly qualified out of work teacher Robert Baroz

            He wasn’t out of work and Obama never met him.

            GOP Responsible for Obama Jobs Bill Not Passing

            Dems Rejected Jobs Bill

            You have 80 percent of the American people who support a
            balanced approach. Eighty percent of the American people support an
            approach that includes revenues and includes cuts. So the notion that
            somehow the American people aren’t sold is not the problem

            Gallup Poll: Only 69%

            These are obligations that the United States has taken on in
            the past. Congress has run up the credit card, and we now have an
            obligation to pay our bills.

            Looks like it’s been incurred mostly in the years of Obama

            Jobs Bill Paid for

            Seems not so much Paid for

            Then you’ve got their(GOP)which is dirtier air, dirtier water, less people with health insurance

            Barack Obama, campaiging in Asheville, NC, 10/17/11

            I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if
            we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the
            money in the coffers to do it.


            USA producing more oil than ever before

            Petroleum Insights

            Fence between US and Mexico is “Practically Complete”

            Department of Homeland Security says 5%

            Rich doesn’t pay their fair share.

            National Taxpayers Union

            Mitt Romney would deny gay people the right to adopt children.

            Cnn Interview

            Lies During Second Year

            Obama claimed the SCOTUS decision in Citizens United v. FEC,
            “open[ed] the floodgates for special interests — including foreign
            corporations — to spend without limit in our elections.


            No signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law

            Obama Lies to Keep Czars

            No “boots” on the ground Libya

            Anyone that has worked with the AC-130 gunship can tell you, you need
            spotters to let aircraft know where the targets are. Usually it is
            Special Forces, Rangers etc trained for this mission. It’s CIA Agents in Libya on the ground

            Reform will also rein in the abuse and excess that nearly
            brought down our financial system. It will finally bring transparency to
            the kinds of complex, risky transactions that helped trigger the
            financial crisis.

            Obama Lies About Financial Reform Bill

            All Americans WILL BE were, “surprised, disappointed and angry” about lockerbie bomber

            Obama Memo

            I will not rest until the BP Oil Spill stops

            Obama’s Schedule

            The health care bill will not increase the deficit by one dime.

            Campaign and Presidency

            If you like the health care plan you have you can keep it


            “Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”

            U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., September 9, 2009.

            ObamaCare Fee is not a new tax

            Obama denies healthcare is a new tax on all Americans

            We have run out of places in the US to drill for oil.

            Obama’s oval office speech in June 2010

            Now suddenly if you don’t have your papers and you took your
            kid out to get ice cream, you can be harassed, that’s something that
            could potentially happen.

            Arizona Immigration Law

            Doctors choose amputation because they get better compensation. Greedy Doctors taking out tonsils for more money.

            Claims never documented

            The Health Care Package will pay for itself


            Republicans don’t have a single idea that’s different from George Bush’s ideas — not one.

            Hmm Immigration?

            We shouldn’t Mandate the purchase of health care

            Democratic Debate Lies

            Obama says he’ll save average family $8,000 in gas

            Video Proof

            I am immediately instituting PayGo “Pay as you go”

            Said during a speech immediately after the Trillion Dollar “Shovel Ready” bill.

            I got the Message from Massachusetts

            Daily Bail

            Lies During First Year

            We began by passing a Recovery Act that has already saved or
            created over 150,000 jobs.” – caught cooking the books and now changed
            to ‘jobs supported’ versus ‘created/saved’

            AP fact Checker

            Number one, we inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit. … That
            wasn’t me.” – Congress, under Democratic control in 2007 and 2008,
            controlled the purse strings that led to the deficit Obama
            inherited.Obama supported the emergency bailout package in Bush’s final
            months — a package Democratic leaders wanted to make bigger.

            AP fact Checker

            Collective salvation

            Obama calls himself a Christian

            I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully
            execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the
            best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the
            United States.

            Obama Inauguration. 20 Jan 2009

            Cut Deficit in Half by end of first term

            Associated Press Video

            Health Care deals will be covered on C-span

            Obama Lies

            As President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide


            Recovery Act will save or create jobs

            ABC News

            Unemployment rate will be 8.5% without stimulus.

            Obama Lies

            No Earmarks in the $787 Billion Stimulus


            I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care plan


            We have launched a housing plan that will help responsible
            families facing the threat of foreclosure lower their monthly payments
            and refinance their mortgages.

            Obama Lies

            I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage.


            Guantanamo bay to be closed within a year

            Council on Foreign Relations.

            Won’t Raise taxes on those making less than 250,000 per year.

            Businessweek: Obama Agnostic on taxes

            List of Tax Promise Violations

            2008 Campaign Lies

            Bypassing congress unconstitutional; I intend to reverse when I am president


            I will walk the picket line with you, if workers are denied the right to bargain


            No more wiretapping of citizens


            Mr. Ayers as “a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” but “not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.

            News Busters

            I had a uncle who was one of the, who was part of the first
            American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration

            United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

            Obama campaign would accept public funding


            Minimum Wage will increase to $9.50/hr

            A Socialist

            Ann Dunham spent the months before her death in 1995 fighting
            with insurance companies that sought to deny her the coverage she
            needed to pay for treatment.

            Mounting Heath Care Lies

            Didn’t know Jeremiah Wright was Radical

            Dreams of My Father – A radical Socialist.

            Would have the most transparent administration in History

            Cato Institute

            We will go through our federal budget – page by page, line by
            line – eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that
            those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way.

            Boston Globe

            I have visited all 57 states.


            I’ll get rid of earmarks

            Source: Any bill passed during presidency

            When a bill lands on my Desk, The American people will have 5 days to review it before I sign it.

            Campaign Speech

            My father served in World War II.

            The Videos and the Facts

            Have troops out of Iraq by March 31, 2009

            News Video

            Seniors Making less than 50,000 will not have to pay taxes


            Would not vote for any bill supporting troop funding without a firm withdrawal commitment from the Bush Administration.

            He has done nothing but continue the Bush admins strategy and to explain
            how the “surges total failure” has now become his greatest achievement.

            Present Votes Are Common In Illinois


            I Won Michigan

            Huffington Post

            I won Nevada

            The Nation

            I don’t Have Lobbyists

            US News

            My Campaign Had Nothing To Do With The 1984 Ad

            Crooks and Liars

            I Have Always Been Against Iraq

            Washington Post

            My Wife Didn’t Mean What She Said About Pride In Country


            Barack was never an ACORN trainer and never worked for ACORN in any other capacity.

            Obama Campaign Video

            I Barely Know Rezko

            Sun Times
            My Church Is Like Any Other Christian Church

          • Independent1

            You love to spend a lot of time publishing outright lies,distortions and fabrications of the truth. And justifying them by basically listing every right-wing biased source you can find. Nothing you said is based on the truth!!!!!!!!

            You aren’t actually stupid enough to believe that even one NM poster aside from you RWNJs would believe one word of that post are you????

          • itsfun

            What would you know about the truth. You just believe whatever fantasy you want to.

          • Independent1

            I believe facts I can verify, not facts that are made up by right-wing biased wacko websites – like all the BS about Benghazi and the IRS which were all fabrications!!!!!!! I’ve checked them out and know for a fact that they were all fabrications; just like what you posted above!!!!!!!

          • itsfun

            Apparently you have not watched any of Benghazi or IRS hearings on TV. Have you seen where a member of the staff of Hillary has come out and said he saw documents being destroyed. IF nothing was wrong with the IRS why did Lois Warner take the 5th amendment and refuse to testify? Like I said before you live in a fantasy world.

          • Independent1

            Here’s a graph that proves your IRS allegations are nonsense. There was no such thing as an IRS scandal – it was a Darrell Issa fabrication. Fact is that the IRS was actually scrutinizing far more progressive applications than conservatives. Your whole arguments are a lie in and of themselves!!!

          • Independent1

            It’s been McConnell in cohorts with 40 plus other Republicans complicit in the conspiracy to make Obama a 1 term president who has used the fake filibuster more than 420 times to prevent the Dems from accomplishing virtually anything of their agenda.

            The fake filibuster has hamstrung Reid – blaming Reid is nothing more than a GOP cop out – which you are complicit with!!! Go bury your head in the sand!! You’re stupidity knows no bounds!!!!

          • itsfun

            And blaming Bush is nothing more than a Democrat cop out. You can go bury your head. Your stupidity is at an all time high.

          • Independent1

            And you just keep spewing lies. Fact is, that Republicans supported the bill until McConnell told them not to:

            However, following the adoption of an individual mandate as a central component of the proposed reforms by Democrats, Republicans began to oppose the mandate and threatened to filibuster any bills that contained it.[48] Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, who led the Republican congressional strategy in responding to the bill, calculated that Republicans should not support the bill, and worked to keep party discipline and prevent defections:[79]

            Republican Senators, including those who had supported previous bills with a similar mandate, began to describe the mandate as “unconstitutional.” Journalist Ezra Klein wrote in The New Yorker that “the end result was … a policy that once enjoyed broad support within the Republican Party suddenly faced unified opposition.”[

          • Independent1

            And just to point out more of your lies – here’s really how the final votes went – it had nothing to do with bribes, it had everything to do with ensuring that ACA would not cover abortions (and note that GOP leadership had to twist Senator Snowe’s arm to vote against the bill):

            With every other Democrat now in favor and every other Republican now overtly opposed, the White House and Reid moved on to addressing Senator Nelson’s concerns in order to win filibuster-proof support for the bill;[97] they had by this point concluded “it was a waste of time dealing with [Snowe]”[98] because, after her vote for the draft bill in the Finance Committee, Snowe had come under intense pressure from the Republican Senate leadership who opposed the ACA.[99] After a final 13-hour negotiation, Nelson’s support for the bill was won after two concessions: a compromise on abortion, modifying the language of the bill “to give states the right to prohibit coverage of abortion within their own insurance exchanges”, which would require consumers to pay for the procedure out-of-pocket if the state so decided; and an amendment to offer a higher rate of Medicaid reimbursement for Nebraska.[70][100] The latter half of the compromise was derisively called the “Cornhusker Kickback”[101] and was later repealed by the subsequent reconciliation amendment bill.

            On December 23, the Senate voted 60–39 to end debate on the bill: a cloture vote to end the filibuster by opponents. The bill then passed by a vote of 60–39 on December 24, 2009, with all Democrats and two independents voting for, and all Republicans voting against (except for Jim Bunning, who did not vote).[102] The bill was endorsed by the AMA and AARP.[103]

          • itsfun

            You are in a fantasy world, the bribes are the only reason the health care tax passed. Remember how Obama and his staff kept saying it wasn’t a tax. When the supreme court said it was only constitutional as a tax, they changed their tune in a hurry.

          • Independent1

            It’s not me that’s in a fantasy world, IT’S YOU THAT’S IN THE WORLD OF PATHOLOGICAL LYING!!! Everything you post is pure BS!!!!!!!!!

          • itsfun

            Everything you post is pure BS in your world of pathological lying.

          • Independent1

            And what does the ‘tax issue” have to do with anything!! You and your other nitwits keep making up problems!!!!!!!

          • LotusJoan

            Do you not realize that in the Senate it takes more than a simple majority to get any bill passed? Yes Harry Reid has a majority senate – but they need a few Republican votes to get anything passed. Just as Mitch would need some dems. That is how a democracy is suppose to work.

          • itsfun

            Do you know that not one Republican Senator voted for the Health Care Law, and Harry Reid invoked special rules made to help with financial disagreements to get the health care law passed by a simple majority? That is how it worked

          • Independent1

            And do you know why, not one Republican Senator voted for ACA?? BECAUSE GOOD OLD MITCH INSISTED THAT THEY COULDN’T!!! He actually policed it to ensure that not one Republican would vote for the law!!!!!!!!

          • itsfun

            And Obama and Reid bribed Democrat Senators to get the bill passed.

        • Dominick Vila

          Insinuating that the widening economic gap between the elite and the middle class and the poor is the result of President Obama’s policies ignore two facts: the effects of the Great Recession that began in late 2007, and the need to change the entire tax system, eliminate subsidies to corporations and individuals that don’t need them, eliminate loopholes that benefit the wealthiest members of our society, and putting people that hide their assets in foreign tax shelters in prison. Do you honestly believe that a single president, particularly one who has tackled controversial issues such as healthcare reform, Wall Street reform, immigration law reform on other such policies would be able, or even expected, to change the structure that benefits the top 10% of Americans? It will be years – if ever – before those policies are changed significantly. In fact, if the GOP ever controls the WH and Congress, those policies are likely to be expanded, and left for someone else to deal with and be blamed for its effects on mainstream Americans.

          • itsfun

            Aren’t you saying Mitch McConnell all by himself has delayed economic recovery, destroyed job creation all by himself in a Senate controlled by Harry Reid? If so, then I can expect a single President to change the structure that benefits the top 10% of Americans.

          • charleo1

            Simple questions from simpletons. Get educated
            will ya? You’re killing my good morning.

          • highpckts

            Oh Hell no! McConnell is just the instigator! He and his cronies pledged to make sure this President gets nothing done! Everyone heard him say it and you, dumb as you are, can’t believe the words out of McConnell’s mouth! No how blind is that!

          • Dominick Vila

            Nope. I am saying that Mitch McConnell acknowledged the fact that the Republican strategy of obstructionism, that delayed the economic recovery and job creation, was designed to make sure President Obama was a one-term President, and that is a FACT. You may argue that he does not speak for the entire GOP, if you wish, but that is what one of the two senior Republicans in Congress said, and the evidence supports his acknowledgment.

          • itsfun

            Every politician that I have ever known has a goal of making the other parties leaders one term leaders. I don’t think this is anything new.

          • Dominick Vila

            It is true that political parties and politicians always look for weaknesses to attack the opposition and criticize their achievements, however, I don’t recall a time when a political party deliberately delayed our economic recovery, job creation, and inflicted incredible pain on our population. I also don’t recall a senior member of a party acknowledging that their obstructionism was designed to make an incumbent president a one-term president. As a minimum, McConnell’s statement highlights a level of naivete that is disconcerting, at worse it is evidence of treason.

          • charleo1

            While what you say is true. It is, and has always been the nature of political competition. That is supposed to bring about the best ideas of how to address the Nation’s current problems. That is unless, we have a Party so partisan, so determined to win political favor, they intentionally govern to cause the worst possible outcome for the Country. So as the Party perceived to be in control, will be blamed. And the Party putting it’s own politics before the good of the Country as a whole, will be rewarded, by being returned to power. By an electorate too uninformed, distracted, or worse, too polarized, and stupid, to see where one Party has crossed a bright line, and is now governing against the people’s best interests, to advance their own political fortunes. And there’s not a doubt in my mind, that’s exactly what the GOP did. I deem it absolutely inexcusable. And I predict, in keeping with my belief, that all things done in the dark, will come to light. And, in the power of our democracy, they will pay a price. And, it will not be a cheap one.

          • sigrid28

            Actually, John Boehner played his role as well, blocking legislation from reaching the floor of the House that would have raised minimum wage, reined in banks-too-big-to-fail, provided millions of jobs through infrastructure investment, and reduced the burden of student loans. Some would say his failure to bring the immigration bill to the House for a vote also contributed to income inequality.

          • sigrid28

            Itsfun and all who want to blame President Obama for income inequality growing during his administrations also forget that whatever he and Democrats in Congress proposed to reduce income inequality was blocked in the House and ever reached the president’s desk.

          • Dominick Vila

            You are right. In fact, the same is true for proposals such as investing in infrastructure, which would have improved our competitive posture and created jobs, and the proposed Veterans Jobs Act. Both were shut down by the so-called “patriots”, presumably for the reason so well stated by Mitch MCConnell.

        • awakenaustin

          Yes it has. It is a result of all the hard work you and your friends have put in to keep things that way and moving in that direction. Democrats have managed at times to mitigate or ameliorate the effects of that trend while the GOP has done all in its power to widen and intensify the gap.
          The wealthy and the very wealthy have always sucked off the government teat more than the poor and working class ever have.

          • itsfun

            When a Democrat is President, it is the fault of Republicans that don’t control the Senate and/or House. When a Republican is President it is the fault of the President. The thing Democrats are best at is blaming others for their failures. Under this administration we have the largest amount of food stamp recipients ever (more than the entire population of Spain), must be the fault of George Bush.

          • charleo1

            Right! We really gotta watch that food bill. Especially
            for kids, which is where the most of that money was
            “wasted.” Of all the things to bitch about, of all the bone headed things to latch onto, this is the outrage of the group that sits back with their retirement plans, their Medicare, Social Security, and AARP discounts. This is the issue that excites, and angers them the most. Food for poor children. Three trillion on a war that should have never been launched. Well, shit happens. But those greedy little bastards, and their food stamps! That’s where we need to start taking back our Country! That’s the Republican voter in a
            nut shell.

          • itsfun

            Are you talking about a group of people that worked for anywhere from 25 to 45 years or more to earn their retirement plans. They also paid Medicare every payday. They and their employers paid for the Social Security benefits. AARP is a private organization that members pay a fee to be a member. This group of terrible people is also part of the group that payed for food stamps, welfare checks and more with high taxes. Without this group, who would be working and paying for the food stamps and welfare checks?

          • charleo1

            I’m saying that those who lay back on the safety net they wouldn’t have had if not for the Democratic Party. That now support GOP plans to cut and privatize them, for the next generation, are greedy, narcissistic hypocrites. Or, when Wall Street runs the economy off a cliff, on a real estate scam, and throws 10/12 million people out of work, The last thing these fortunate, selfish, nit wits ought to be complaining about is food supplements, for their hard hit fellow Americans. With 80% being kids. And then, start in with their faux Christian moralizing about the Godless Liberals! Do you know how insufferable that is to listen to ad nauseam, day in, and day out? And they can’t even say truthfully that their taxes have increased. So, they are bitching, and lying on top of it, to justify their no caring attitudes. They should ask their parents what they thought of FDR. And what they would think about a guy like Paul Ryan. Who says their Medicare, and SS is fine. But, to the generation behind them, well SS is a ponzi scheme, and Medicare just can’t be sustained. So they can go to hell, I guess. And they vote for an ass wipe like that? I’m ashamed of them. And they should be ashamed of themselves.

          • awakenaustin

            I thought we were talking about policy,

            Really? You pluck facts out of the air sans context and offer them as meaningful.
            From your enlightened perspective, the recession from June 2007 to December 2009 had no effect on anything. That is your position isn’t it?

            It is largest “number” of and not largest “amount”.
            Yes, neatness, spelling and grammar count.
            I can’t determine which bothers me the most, your arrogant ignorance or your boorishness.

          • highpckts

            Talk out your rear much??

          • Independent1

            If we in fact have more food stamp recipients than Spain, you can give the credit to nitwit GOP politicians in RED STATES for cutting budgets during a recession which cut state support services and threw millions of mostly conservatives onto unemployment and needing food stamps.

            That’s why more than 75% of all food stamps go to people living in counties that voted for Romney in the 2012 election – either in red states or GOP controlled counties of Blue States. Of the 456 counties in America that suck the most welfare and food stamps – more than 90% of them (421) voted for Romney in 2012!!!

            Of the 17 states in America that suck the least amount of federal aid, including food stamps, 14 of them are Blue States. And all 14 of those Blue States get less aid than the 3 Red States that ARE THE ONLY RED STATES OUT OF MORE THAN 20 THAT GET LESS THAN $1 IN AID for each $1 they send to Washington in taxes. IT’S ACTUALLY 14 BLUE STATES THAT ARE PROVIDING THE FUNDING TO RUN THE AMERICAN ECONOMY!!!!

        • charleo1

          Yes, the rich have gotten much richer. And although the poor, and Middle Class have faired better under Obama, than Bush. Where labor was losing 800,000
          jobs per month. Up was about the only way available. The top 100th of the top 1% still control more wealth than the bottom 50% combined. And the GOP is fine with that. It makes for an anemic economy, stagnant wages, higher unemployment, and greater public debt as a result. But, they are still fine with it. The corporate big box stores can still use the public assistance programs to pad their bottom lines. And the Republicans can still blame Obama for it. And the Republican Party can still spout their BS, and refuse to change a thing. Unless it more empowers the rich, exacerbates wealth inequality, and makes getting into, and holding onto, the Middle Class status harder for everyone else. But a lot of that real good stuff must wait, damn it, until they can get back in to a position to really hammer the 99% of their Country’s people they’ve been itching to get their claws into. The ones they couldn’t give a damn less about, because they haven’t got 40 million to contribute to their campaigns. And tend to have concerns, and problems, a generous tax break on their capital gains, or a sweetheart deal to repatriate their corporation’s off shore profits, don’t address. Like Mitt was saying.
          I can’t offer them a tax break, they don’t pay taxes!
          Right, they work for Walmart! Damn it! Well, let’s lower
          the rates, and really broaden out that base, shall we?
          First the election! The base voters, the Medicare, and
          Social security recipients, and you, can hardly wait.

        • CrankyToo

          That must be a joke because you can’t be that stupid.

        • Independent1

          First of all, what you’re saying is not true!! Yes, those at the top, may have done better over the past 5 plus years but the poor HAVE NOT GOTTEN POORER!! THAT’S A BLATANT LIE!!!

          Fact is that in 2010, there were 23 states that had more than 15% of their populations living below the poverty level with Mississippi leading the nation with about 24% of its residents living below the poverty line. And of those 23 states – 20 of them were Red States.

          Four years later, there are now 24 states, which have more than 12% of their populations living below the poverty level (note that the degree of poverty HAS COME DOWN SIGNIFICANTLY); and of those 24, 20 of them are still those dogged Red States which have nitwit politicians that do everything they can to keep people living in poverty. And that highest in the nation rate of 24% in Mississippi is now about a 20% rate (down 4% points)!!!

          So the tide that has raised the incomes of the 1-5% of Americans has also raised the tide of those living at the bottom end DESPITE EVERY EFFORTS FROM SCUMBAGS SUCH AS YOURSELF TO KEEP THAT FROM HAPPENING!!

          And guess what!! During that time, Obama has led an economy that has outpaced anything ANY REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION HAS EVER ACCOMPLISHED –

          The economy under Obama has outperformed the economy under Reagan IN ANY WAY YOU WANT TO MEASURE IT!!!!!!!!

          From Forbes:

          Obama Outperforms Reagan On Jobs, Growth And Investing

          An excerpt:

          Bob Deitrick: ”President Reagan has long been considered the best modern economic President. So we compared his performance dealing with the oil-induced recession of the 1980s with that of President Obama and his performance during this ‘Great Recession.’

          “As this unemployment chart shows, President Obama’s job creation kept unemployment from peaking at as high a level as President Reagan, and promoted people into the workforce faster than President Reagan.

          “President Obama has achieved a 6.1% unemployment rate in his sixth year, fully one year faster than President Reagan did. At this point in his presidency, President Reagan was still struggling with 7.1% unemployment, and he did not reach into the mid-low 6% range for another full year. So, despite today’s number, the Obama administration has still done considerably better at job creating and reducing unemployment than did the Reagan administration.

          “We forecast unemployment will fall to around 5.4% by summer, 2015. A rate President Reagan was unable to achieve during his two terms.”

        • highpckts

          BS! If that is happening it’s because of the GOP and their rigid idealogy!!

        • Independent1

          I want to set straight a very misguided notion – that Ronald Reagan was even REMOTELY CLOSE to being America’s best modern day economy president. Anyone who even remotely believes that is ignoring facts. President Reagan was in no way America’s best modern day economic president – he is in fact, America’s worst overall president ever. No previous president has ever created the destruction to America that Ronald Reagan has.

          But that’s beside the point, Ronald Reagan inherited an economy that was creating jobs from the burgeoning growth of the computer industry among others – and his policy IN FACT TANKED THE ECONOMY. His policies IN NO WAY, promoted growth of the American economy. The economy had created 10 million jobs under Carter, mostly during his last 3 years in office – it then created 12 million in Reagan’s 1st 4 years because of that burgeoning growth, but then job growth plummeted to 4 million jobs in Reagan’s last 4 years – clearly because of his mismanagement of the economy.

          Not only did Reagan TANK THE ECONOMY, in the process he almost tripled America’s debt in the process. Whereas Clinton not only put brakes on enormous deficit spending, actually having 3 years of surplus budgets, where Reagan was only able to create a meager 16 million jobs in 8 years, Clinton created 24 million; one million more jobs per year on average than Reagan. Clinton in addition to Obama was also a much better modern day economic president than Reagan.

          People who believe that Reagan was in any way a good president, are very much misguided!!!!!!

        • JPHALL

          But at least the rest of the country is getting something. After the loss of nearly eight million American jobs during the last Bush year, we have recovered many despite Republican obstruction. Fewer Americans are dying overseas. An American President can travel overseas without massive demonstrations and more are welcoming him.

    • Tony

      You are dead on point, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Good job. There are many Republicans that vote just because they are republicans not because it’s best for themselves or what’s best for the country.

    • highpckts

      I’m sorry to bring it up again, but, the people that vote GOP are doing so out of fear of a black man in the Presidency! I don’t think they think any further than that! Most voters are not informed voters! If something doesn’t hit them hard in the wallet, they simply don’t care! The one power that does get to them in their arrogance is the fact that a black man is no good for this country! You could lay out facts six ways to Sunday, proof positive that the GOP are no good for this country but because they are “white” they can do so much better!! God I hate this hypocracy and denial!!

      • Dominick Vila

        There is no question that racism is an important factor for the way some people think and behave, but that is not the only reason or even the most important reason for the demonization campaign and constant attacks against Barack Obama’s policies or his proposals. Let’s not forget that a similar strategy was used against Bill Clinton, and that in his case it went as far as impeachment. There are several reasons for the decision of so many fellow Americans to support a party whose record and vision – or lack thereof – is detrimental to our personal and national interests. High among them is the fear of change, the conviction among many white folks that the values and way of life they cherish is under attack, and the fact that allowing the outstanding record of a Democratic president go unchallenged is poison for Republican orthodoxy. Can you imagine how dangerous it would be for them if people compared the state of our economy when President Obama was inaugurated, the job losses, record deficits, borrowing and accumulation of debt, major corporations on the verge of collapse, record bankruptcies and foreclosures, the stock market (DOW) at 6,500 points, American soldiers being sacrificed to achieve political and economic goals in Iraq, OBL at large, and other similar facts with where we are today? Doing that would be the end of the GOP, which leaves them no choice but to distort, lie, and deflect attention from their record, without ever offering a solution to anything.

        • Independent1

          Newt kind of said what you’re bring out when he agreed that he had been at that meeting on inauguration night when 14 GOP operatives plotted how they would sabotage the American economy to make Obama a 1-term president.

          Here’s what Newt said:

          NEWT: The first is, it was an important meeting and I was glad and honored to be part of it … I said to Callista when we left the hall — because we were at the Capitol for the inaugural. As we left, I said, you know, if he sticks to the kind of moderation and bipartisanship he`s been describing, he will split the Republican Party. He`ll govern like Eisenhower and he`ll get reelected. Now this is — this is the inaugural day.

          • Dominick Vila

            Great post!

          • highpckts

            I have to say it blows my mind that if they know this, why continue on the same track and make it worse? I am dumbfounded!!

  • Joe Richardson

    Great picture of Mitch peeking over the voting shield!! He’s probably checking to see if anyone caught him voting twice. After all he is the voter fraud the Republicans are so concerned about.

  • FT66

    I can see the very tricky path republicans took without thinking it is taking them to the big hole. Right from the beginning they worked hard to eliminate wacko candidates without thinking at the same time they were eliminating the Tea Party. 2014 is not 2010. There is no any incentive for Tea Party to show up this year as they did in 2010. They don’t have any DOG in the fight, why should they show up at the Battle Ground? Morever, if the trend will stay as it is: Senate races being close up to the end, Dems will win if at all they will show up in drove to vote.

  • howa4x

    The question to ask voters is will they be happy with having Medicare turned into a voucher program, so that when you spend to the limit there is no more to be spent on your illness, or Social security privatized, or a stripping away of all the clean air regulations or that no more money will be spent on infrastructure or the end of food stamps and the most important the end of financial regulation that were put in place to avoid another economic meltdown. These are the promises that the republicans have already made, and add to that the cancelling of the ACA Medicaid expansion. All this from the party of God.

  • Irishgrammy

    “Mystifying”….WHY the Republicans are worried????………could it be because 72% of Americans dislike and distrust the GOP!!!!! Sure, they may have the South “locked” up for the time being…….and we all know why……but for how long, and what kind of “political thinking (or not) ” that the “base” of the Republican party represents, is, in any way, sustainable? If they don’t change their message and their arcane antiquated policies along with their obsession to destroy all that FDR and LBJ did for the American people to improve the quality of life for all…… well then, 2016 forward will be a disaster for them and all they will be consigned to is a petty, nasty group of miserable obstructionists, with no original ideas, nothing positive or constructive to offer other than their usual negative attacks on those they don’t “approve of”, or their absurd ideas on women, global warming, distain for any and all minorities, “trickle down” failed economics, their constant obsession of insuring the “rich” get richer by cutting taxes to the detriment of all and the country crumbles, literally……and there are no “rules or regulations” for those corporations who don’t believe they are “required” to follow any, while the GOP gets into your bedrooms, your choices, your right to the vote, on, and on………… Mystified………………???? Not so much!!!!

    • Mark Forsyth

      To be sure,they are indeed petty tyrants.Excellent post Granny.Thank You.

  • charles king

    I am a old timer (85yrs) Black American and I know America, I am a reasonable person Who? believe in Democracy. I know about the many other ismions that are in the mix and I know The Black Americans has been the scapegoat for many centuries but I still believe in Democracy or other-wise I would be kicking some asses. We have five perspectives in this country, Black, White, Brown, Yellow, and Red Who? the country suppose to belong to. Like Dr. M. L. King said, “We can solve this S*** or we can all go to hell”, like I said< "I Am a Reasonable man" think, People this is just a cake walk, the VOTE is still Supreme and you know WHO the anti-Government people are so VOTE these (do Nothingers) OUT, OUT, OUT, believe in your Democracy and get rid of these Plutocracts(Commissioners),Greedy Capitalistic Pigs, non-paying taxes Corporations, Do-Nothingers Republicans and Democracts Representives, Etcsssssss. Democracy works, Unions works, cause they protect your Democracy, Obamacare works, Social Security works, Public Education works, Fair Wages for everybody so use your VOTE wisely and re-store your country's mobility. Thank You are the magic words in my book. I Love Ya All. Mr. C. E. KING

  • paulyz

    Well according to all polls Obama’s rating are in the tank, and rightly so. They have seen first-hand how their lives have deteriorated under 6 years of Socialism & the costs of Obamacare that they had been lied to over & over. Romney is now ahead of Obama on who would be a better President & Leader. They have seen how BO & the Dems keep pushing Amnesty & flood the Country with even more Illegals at EVERYONE’S expense. They have seen 6 years of high unemployment, high prices, taxes increased, more crowded schools from Illegals, and no end in site. They have seen high gasolene for 6 straight years, and high grocery prices. Why shouldn’t they vote for a “real change” for the better, NOT the Change we have seen destroy most people’s lives.

    • Mikey7a

      Thank you Pauly. You just proved my point! To everyone else, see how un or misinformed the average American can be? Pauly, you and I both KNOW exactly who has kept this country from getting back on it’s feet, the bigoted, obstructionist RWNJ’S, just like YOU!

      • paulyz

        See my post above ignoramus! !

        • omgamike

          Cite your sources, please. Otherwise, please STFU. You don’t know what you are talking about.

    • LotusJoan

      Please put some facts in your post if your intent is to sway voters to vote GOP. Where are you getting your figures about the ACA, not the GAO, that’s for sure? The Dream Act is not amnesty. Unemployment has gone down under President Obama and would have gone down more without GOP obstructionist.

      How would the GOP solve the unemployment problem?
      How would the GOP affect oil and grocery prices which are global
      What change are the GOP promising – that they will pass at least one bill?

      • paulyz

        What obstructionism, the over 300 House Bills, some bi-partisan blocked by Harry Reid at Obama’s request? The Dream Act was voted down 3 times by Congress, and the American People, and “immigration” LAWS all the way back from 1986 have been ignored, why these Illegals are even in our Country, causing many hardships & unemployment on American Citizens.

        • LotusJoan

          FACTS dude which are properly referenced.

  • Mikey7a

    I read The NM every day. I also watch CBS, ABC, CNN, and MSNBC, to get my news. I even try to stomach an hour a day of Fox News, just to see what The Tea Baggers are up to currently. Here is my fear. I fear that voters are sick of the total obstructionist attitude of The House, and The GOP in The Senate. Why in the world would you be afraid of that Mikey, you might ask. Well, because I truly believe that the uninformed American Public, will think that the only way to get those on The Hill back to actually doing anything, will be to vote pure Republican. I know, I must sound insane to all of you right now, but if we do not get out and physically knock on doors, get on the phones, email everyone we can, and tell them the truth, and to vote DEmocratic, it will be a very long two years to 2016!

  • Whatmeworry

    Unfortunately right now the Republicans and the pundits still don’t know the size of the illegal absentee turnout. In 2012 it was 4 million and if the Dem’s want to hang on the Senate they will need to replicate that turn out

    • CrankyToo

      What do you mean by, “illegal absentee turnout”?

      • Whatmeworry

        The 4million that voted absentee in 2012 and the 3 million who voted in 2008.That’s why republicans want proof BEFORE some one can get a ballot

        • Whatmeworry is Dan M Ketter

          show me the money

    • omgamike

      Please cite the sources to substantiate your statement about the “illegal absentee turnout”. Without a factual basis, I will stand by a recent study which showed no such a thing. Illegals cannot vote. And, to my knowledge, don’t. Again, cite your sources, other than faux news.

      • Whatmeworry

        well lets see 2000 illegal votes in MN in 2008 propelling Barak and Al Franken into to Senate after 5 recounts. Over 20,000 absentee ballots mailed to 20 PO Boxes in NY, PA and NJ

  • J thaddeus toad

    GOP should be nervous …. they have been governing against the will of the people…