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cosmostein





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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:38 pm    Post subject: 2018 - US Midterm Elections Reply with quote

Seems to be a point of discussion nationally now with our friends to the south;
Figured a placeholder to discuss the topic may be handy.

Senate:
Current Make-up:

Republicans: 52 Seats (9 Up for Re-Election)
Democrats: 46 Seats (23 Up for Re-Election)
Independents: 2 Seats (2 Up for Re-Election)

Democrats need 3 Seats to Gain Control of the Senate as both Independent Senators Caucus with the Democrats (King - Maine & Sanders - Vermont)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_elections,_2018

House of Representatives:
Current Make-up:

Republicans: 241 Seats
Democrats: 194 Seats

Democrats need 24 Seats to Gain Control of the House
All 435 Seats are up for Election

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_of_Representatives_elections,_2018
Bugs





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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is where the verdict on Trump will come in.

Either way, the results set the limits on what Trump can do.

If the status quo is maintained, it won't be much.

If there is a swing in his direction, so that there are 60 Republican senators, he can do more.

Judging this is difficult. The media version of Trump is that he's a bumbling buffoon, possibly set up by the Russians, making a mess of everything, They report events within that 'narrative'.

But what I notice on YouTube, is a celebratory mood. Limbaugh applauded Trump's budget proposals, for example. He has rolled back a lot of Obama's most odious regulations. His Supreme Court choice is excellent. He is putting together an exciting team as a cabinet.

What I see, on the ground is this. Trump is the least ideological, most pragmatic Republican president since Eisenhower. He is showing legislative skill in his treatment of the Obamacare plans, looking for a middle road.

So, what's happening here?

That's how I feel. There's every reason to hope that Trump is a great president, like Reagan. All the negatives are about a new form of political communications, in which twitter becomes an important platform. The media essentially amplify the feeling that a president shouldn't be on twitter at all, because it allows public opinion to form without going through the filter of the mainstream news media. It means a diminished role for them.
RCO





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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the problem for the democrats is there is only 9 republican senate seats up for re-elections and there almost all in super safe red states .

looking at the 9 seats up , only possibly Nevada and Arizona could come in play , the others are in Utah , Texas , Wyoming , Nebraska , Mississippi , Alabama and Tennessee . these are all very red states and unlikely to switch

they also have to defend 23 seats which is an almost unheard of number for 1 election .
and many are in states that vote republican such as Montana , North Dakota , West Virgina , Missouri , Florida , Indiana , Ohio


there fighting an almost impossible battle and republicans will no doubt target many of the weaker democratic senate seats up for re election
RCO





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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

there is also 5 looming special election for empty congress seats this year , they will give us an indication of where the 2 parties are in terms of support and voter motivation

1 is in a super safe democratic area of California and they'll no doubt keep it , the other 4 are all republican seats

( Kansas , South Carolina , Georgia and Montana )

the Kansas seat seems fairly safe for the GOP although it does include the city of Wichita
the south Carolina and Georgia seat seem fairly safe as well although the Georgia one borders the city of Atlanta on its south and its more of a blue area now

the Montana seat is for the entire state , so its likely the one to pay the most attention to as it includes all the smaller cities and rural areas that make up Montana , I'd say its the hardest of the 4 to predict at this time

but if all 4 stay republican that doesn't bode well for the democrats chances in 2018
Bugs





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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To get a sense of the stakes, you can look at the budget proposal that Trump has made.

It increases funding for the military, veterans, etc. and the school voucher system. It makes the down payment on a wall at the southern border. The 73% of the budget that pays for social security and medicare is untouched.

Tax rates are reduced.

To make up the difference, he makes serious cuts to the executive branch. Example: the budget of the EPA is cut by 31%, 29% for the State Department, 21% for both the Agriculture Department and the Department of Labor. And lesser amounts for other departments.

It must amount to a serious kick in the ass for any department with cuts of more than 10%. That's a lot of careers affected. Not only will there be job cuts, but promotions and salary increases will no doubt be cut as well.

There will still be a deficit as big as Obama's.

The point is that there are a lot of the executive branch employees that have a lot at stake in blocking Trump's iniatives.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The battle in Washington got intense today, and Trump may have been wounded.

The House Committee on something has called the FBI director, who announced that it has an ongoing investigation on the Trump administration and the campaign's relationship with the Russians. That means that there will be a shadow over the administration, a vulnerability to a fishing mission.

The Republicans want the FBI director to reveal an investigation on the leaks that ended the career of General Flynn. He refuses to say such a thing, under strong questioning. This 6 minute video will give you a taste.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7snN8YZsh-c

This is just one of several issues where parts of the American state apparatus seem to be in rebellion against the new administration.

Rush Limbaugh has been saying the Democrats are building a case for an impeachment. It isn't easy to dismiss this thought.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:

Judging this is difficult. The media version of Trump is that he's a bumbling buffoon, possibly set up by the Russians, making a mess of everything, They report events within that 'narrative'.


Having that narrative in place is one thing;
Believing it is entirely a different thing.

The Democrats biggest folly would be to underestimate the President and the GOP in the mid-terms.

Bugs wrote:
I think this is where the verdict on Trump will come in.

Either way, the results set the limits on what Trump can do.

If the status quo is maintained, it won't be much.

If there is a swing in his direction, so that there are 60 Republican senators, he can do more.


Trump is going to be a factor;
But Senate elections have a lot of regional politics that go along with them.

From a Senate perspective;
I think it would be a huge challenge for the Democrats to win the needed three seats.

Of the nine up for grabs Arizona and Nevada may be the two lowest hanging fruit (and even then Jeff Flake appears fairly safe in Arizona right now) but then you need to find a third and of the remaining seven that is a challenge.

Even with an unpopular President;
I could see Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, and Montana going Republican.
There is also a lot of potential with West Virginia if the Democrats oust Joe Manchin during the Primaries. Without him that is a sure fire GOP pick up.

If you have a somewhat popular President and the right candidates, Ohio, Florida, and Wisconsin come into play.

If you have a very popular President and the right candidates Michigan, Pennsylvania, and perhaps even Virginia come into play.

Whereas if you have an incredibly unpopular President I don't see three Senate Seats that would go Democrat from the GOP side unless they ran a Joe Manchin-esk candidate,
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RCO wrote:
there is also 5 looming special election for empty congress seats this year , they will give us an indication of where the 2 parties are in terms of support and voter motivation

1 is in a super safe democratic area of California and they'll no doubt keep it , the other 4 are all republican seats

( Kansas , South Carolina , Georgia and Montana )

the Kansas seat seems fairly safe for the GOP although it does include the city of Wichita
the south Carolina and Georgia seat seem fairly safe as well although the Georgia one borders the city of Atlanta on its south and its more of a blue area now

the Montana seat is for the entire state , so its likely the one to pay the most attention to as it includes all the smaller cities and rural areas that make up Montana , I'd say its the hardest of the 4 to predict at this time

but if all 4 stay republican that doesn't bode well for the democrats chances in 2018


The Montana seat also offers somewhat of a preview for the Montana Senate seat up for grabs.

Wouldn't it be interesting if the GOP ran Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke against Jon Tester in 2018?

The challenge with the House of Representatives is you need a coalition of seats across all regions to form a majority.

Regardless of if it was taken out of context Hillary Clinton refereed to the folks who manufacture goods and fight wars for the US who live in middle America as deplorable.

Then you had Van Jones on election night essentially call out Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin voters who elected President Obama twice (overwhelmingly) as racists for not voting for a wealthy white woman from New York.

The challenge now is you need these "racist deplorables" to vote Democrat, and to do so in record numbers.

When the Democrats took the house in 2006 they did it on the back of states like Indiana, Iowa, and Pennsylvania who shifted in a pretty significant manner

When they grew their majority in 2008
It was on the back of Florida and the Rust Belt.

While the GOP won success as the party of opposition;
They did so with majorities in both houses.

The Democrats need to campaign with an alternative;
Understand and Acknowledge why the lost bedrock Democrat States in November and pivot to win them back.

Running a "Trump Bad" approach may work;
However why risk it?


Last edited by cosmostein on Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:51 am; edited 1 time in total
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
Bugs wrote:

Judging this is difficult. The media version of Trump is that he's a bumbling buffoon, possibly set up by the Russians, making a mess of everything, They report events within that 'narrative'.


Having that narrative in place is one thing;
Believing it is entirely a different thing.

The Democrats biggest folly would be to underestimate the President and the GOP in the mid-terms.

Bugs wrote:
I think this is where the verdict on Trump will come in.

Either way, the results set the limits on what Trump can do.

If the status quo is maintained, it won't be much.

If there is a swing in his direction, so that there are 60 Republican senators, he can do more.


Trump is going to be a factor;
But Senate elections have a lot of regional politics that go along with them.

From a Senate perspective;
I think it would be a huge challenge for the Democrats to win the needed three seats.

Of the nine up for grabs Arizona and Nevada may be the two lowest hanging fruit (and even then Jeff Flake appears fairly safe in Arizona right now) but then you need to find a third and of the remaining seven that is a challenge.

Even with an unpopular President;
I could see Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, and Montana going Republican.
There is also a lot of potential with West Virginia if the Democrats oust Joe Manchin during the Primaries. Without him that is a sure fire GOP pick up.

If you have a somewhat popular President and the right candidates, Ohio, Florida, and Wisconsin come into play.

If you have a very popular President and the right candidates Michigan, Pennsylvania, and perhaps even Virginia come into play.

Whereas if you have an incredibly unpopular President I don't see three Senate Seats that would go Democrat from the GOP side unless they ran a Joe Manchin-esk candidate,



the democrats are likely to face a huge challenge to just hold the seats they have that year yet alone trying to make any gains .

of the republican seats up for re-election only Nevada really has much potential as the city of Las vegas is becoming more democratic and since the rest of the state is pretty much desert ( doesn't have the rural agricultural towns and such other red states have ) , so if you win the main city , you have a good chance of winning the state


but the democrats have to try and defend some pretty tough senate seats in states there not really that popular in anymore . Indiana and Missouri and becoming increasingly reliable republican states and they just lost statewide senate races in both last fall .

North Dakota is also not a blue state at all , its very conservative and republican , its hard to believe they were even able to win the seat to begin with . it wouldn't take much for it to return to the republicans as incumbent democrat won by very little last time , the incumbent also hasn't even said if she's running again .

ohio is also another state that could prove challenging to the democrats , they lost the senate race there last fall by a large margin and were never really in the race from the start . the state is also pretty republican outside of the major cities of Cleveland and Columbus . the democrat has also never been truly tested as both his wins were during strong years for the democrats ( 2006 and 2012 ) I see it as one that is likely to get more interesting if the republicans find a strong candidate
Bugs





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the thing -- if the Republicans can make a promising start on cleaning up immigration and getting real industrial job growth going, as well as move in a positive direction with medical care and charter schools, they should be able to get 60 seats.

But that's a big ticket, and the Democrats are doing everything they can to make sure it is a failure.

If you look at what Trump is doing, already, it is considerable, but it has the weight on public opinion on his side. His policies have more support than he does. There is a fight going on over who is to control the narrative, and the problem is, he has 26,000,000 followers on twitter! He has succeeded in going around the New York Times and the Washington Post. He can resist in a way few other Republicans have been able to resist.
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
Here's the thing -- if the Republicans can make a promising start on cleaning up immigration and getting real industrial job growth going, as well as move in a positive direction with medical care and charter schools, they should be able to get 60 seats.

But that's a big ticket, and the Democrats are doing everything they can to make sure it is a failure.

If you look at what Trump is doing, already, it is considerable, but it has the weight on public opinion on his side. His policies have more support than he does. There is a fight going on over who is to control the narrative, and the problem is, he has 26,000,000 followers on twitter! He has succeeded in going around the New York Times and the Washington Post. He can resist in a way few other Republicans have been able to resist.


that's true but a lot of these changes will take more time before they kick in and things start to get better . the problem is its going to take more than 2 years to really get the economy going and more factories built or restarted in those states

if down the road , jobs do start to come back and the republicans are credited with restarting the economy in some of those rust belt states it certain put places like Michigan and Pennsylvania in play

another factor to keep in mind is these are senate seats from 2012 , that was an "Obama " year and he brought out many African American voters who may not normally vote , so the democrat senate candidates might of benefited from that factor and have a hard time maintaining that level of support in some places
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All that's needed is a promising start. With immigration, it's easy because all that is required is for existing American law to be enforced.

Charter school vouchers promises to be a big fight, but Trump can make big gains within black communities if he is seen as trying, and being thwarted by Democrats.

It's much the same with medical insurance. I don't understand the details. If he is seen as striving to implement improvements, and being thwarted, he will still benefit.

Jobs is harder.

======================================

In other developments, regarding the battle to control the narrative, as they say ... it seems the worm has turned. The threat of having the source of the leaks nvestigated has put a chill into the room.

Limbaugh says the talk about the Russian hack will be dropped. They fear the wrath of the court for violating its privacy regulations.

Quote:
Nunes: Trump transition members were under surveillance during Obama administration
By AUSTIN WRIGHT 03/22/17 01:19 PM EDT Updated 03/22/17 02:36 PM EDT

Members of the Donald Trump transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under U.S. government surveillance following November’s presidential election, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday.

Nunes said the surveillance appeared to be legal but that he was concerned because it was not related to the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election and was widely disseminated across the intelligence community.

“I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the president-elect and his team were, I guess, at least monitored,” Nunes told reporters. “It looks to me like it was all legally collected, but it was essentially a lot of information on the president-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.”

Nunes said he is heading to the White House later Wednesday to brief Trump on what he has learned, which he said came from “sources who thought that we should know it.” He said he was trying to get more information by Friday from the FBI, CIA and NSA.

Nunes described the surveillance as most likely being “incidental collection.” This can occur when a person inside the United States communicates with a foreign target of U.S. surveillance. In such cases, the identities of U.S. citizens are supposed to be kept secret — but can be “unmasked” by intelligence officials under certain circumstances.

Nunes said his new information appears to show that additional members of the Trump transition team — beyond former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — were unmasked. This means they were identified in U.S. intelligence reports.

He said the information that he had seen and was disseminated across the intelligence community appeared to him to have "little or no apparent intelligence value." [....]
http://www.politico.com/story/.....ama-236366


The ball now seems to be in Trump's court ... but there seems to be a trend developing.

Trump wins these media battles by hitting back. It doesn't seem to be him, of course, but new information emerges that changes the whole discussion. This has gone from allegations of conspiring with Russians, presumably against the interests of Americans, to the felonious release of confidential information about leading political figures, and collected by government spy agencies.

And there are probably people in Washington who are having trouble getting to sleep these days. The mid-terms will be fought in the wake of the battles that are going on now, and there's every reason to be hopeful.


Last edited by Bugs on Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

its clear trump or at least the people around him were under surveillance either during the election or after the election . as this bizarre Russian investigation was unfolding , its unclear yet if they ever managed to find any evidence that actually links trumps team to the Russians


even if trump tower wasn't wiretapped as trump claims , the fact they were keeping track of the people around him is pretty much the same thing

the media has been trying desperately to disproven trumps claim and label him crazy but it does appear something was taking place behind the scenes


they either need to drop this Russian investigation once and for all , or actually come out with some proof to back up there claims
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is lacking -- nobody has gone back and linked up the stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post, and perhaps a couple of other sources ... that were attributed to anonymous intelligence agency people.

Somebody will probably do it. There were a few of them.

Will the media now slowly dim the focus its been putting on this issue and go looking for another way to further the narrative?
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't often agree with Sean Spicer;
However he made a remark which didn't get much coverage which I thought pretty well summed up the Russia situation;

http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....ussia.html

I am assuming he was making reference to this;
http://www.washingtontimes.com.....ntributor/

I love a good cloak and dagger conspiracy theory as much as the next guy;
However in terms of this Russian Situation, I need something tangible and I am just not seeing it yet other than a series of theories.

Watching this being reported it looks like a lot of information being presented 1 part part information 10 parts opinion of the entity reporting it.

Hoping one of the Government agencies can shed some light either way.
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2018 - US Midterm Elections

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