Will the Democrats have control of the House after the 2014 mid-term elections?
As we all know, they do not now.
And if they are riding the coattails of the POTUS, they are going to have a tough go at it.
If the Dems can win the House and maintain the Senate, than the Pres can back off of some of the executive orders and agreements that he has been using to get his way in policy. Maybe he can get some more of his SOTU wishlist accomplished... or maybe not.
According to RCP, the President's job approval rating in states where there are Democratic senate seats up for election are in jeopardy... and that spells a sea change for the Dems.
Many political wonks will tell you that the mid-term elections are a referendum for the party in power, and if the POTUS approval ratings continue, he may have a tough row to hoe.
Could this be the reason for his very populist sentiment, his overabundant use of "you," "us," and "we?"
Folks reading the tea leaves will tell you that they feel that this is why the Waxmans of the world are resigning from public office...
So, again... what this brings us back to is the civil war within the GOP. Who's candidate will take the lead, can they keep a minor party candidate from running, and for the Dems: who can answer this call?Hillary? Joe? Elizabeth Warren?
Some observations from the SOTU last night based solely on social media.
1. Some snarky responses from the GOP.
2. Fun was had on Bing Pulse last night.
3. Lots of clapping and cute and/or "cheesy" moments...
4. Lots of responses of note... Like observing that the politics of austerity are over; some of the glaring omissions; how Janet Yellen's appointment may change the way the economy goes; Conservative responses to SOTU, including Mike Lee, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Rand Paul.
5. I had my students respond to the White House's call for questions before and after the SOTU all through out this week. Asking kids what they really think are the pressing issues is both IMPRESSIVE and AWESOME. I am super proud for the wide variety of issues my kids brought up, ranging from dealing with minimum wage, sexual assault legislation, higher education, college loans, Social Security and MyRA, immigration reform, bipartisan efforts, Chinese trade relations, death penalty, healthcare, national debt, gun control, GMOs, income inequality, job creation, the shutdown, clean air and water, executive orders vs. legislation, and NSA wiretapping.
THE FUTURE'S SO BRIGHT...
Tonight is going to be a big one, folks.
Tonight is the night where folks toe the line, given that each party has the ability to step into a very large limelight.
The President gives his annual SOTU address, and gets to give Congress his agenda for the year. Democrats get to stand up and cheer, and hope they can push this agenda through a highly partisan House and Senate. No wonder he has aged so much as of late.
And all the players on the wings get to line up and take their best shot.
Boehner, who has been enjoying some mirthful times despite the harrowing experience at the end of 2013, will be smirking from the Speaker's podium for sure. But he sure has been kicking back and relaxing in the mean time.
And to the three lucky devils who get to respond to the POTUS tonight... According to Politico, they all are engaging in risky business. Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers may suffer the same awkward fate that befellMarco Rubio last year in the "sip heard round the world."
While these three duke it out for who said it best, we can pay our respects to McCain, who is being censured by the Republican Party of Arizona for being, "too liberal." Apparently, compromising with the enemy is the last straw in the new GOP paradigm. (Captain Obvious Alert here.)
And finally, if you want to jump in and give your own two cents about the SOTU itself, you can head on over to Bing and take part in the Bing Pulse SOTU Nation-wide opinion poll. That's a mouthfull.
If you're following me on FB or Twitter, you'll know I posted an article last week summarizing the Ukraine civil war/civil unrest (depending on who you talk to).
Here is a great resource to sum it up in three minutes for the inquiring minds who wish to know.
And if you're not following me on FB/Twitter, what gives?
This morning the SCOTUS is hearing NRLB v Noel Canning, a case spotlighting the power of recess appointments and whether or not pro forma sessions can prevent them from happening.
Specifically, when the Democrat controlled Senate failed to achieve permission from the Republican controlled House to adjourn, the Senate reconvened once every three days only to state that no business would be heard during the next business day three days later.
These thirty second sessions are the essential question before the court: Can the President legally complete a recess appointment during this time period? The POTUS contends that these sessions were a fake, and that he can get his recess appointments to take hold. Opponents are critical of this assertion, stating his actions were unconstitutional.
An interesting legal question for sure. If you are on the hunt for more background, check out this seven minute clip from NPR, or coverage from SCOTUSblog.
I didn't misspeak. Half. Certainly makes class warfare and the debate over the role of social services in America stink of a conflict of interest.
This past week, Center for Responsive Politics released their most reports that crunch the 2012 personal finance disclosures to tell us that 268 of 534 members of Congress are north of $1M.
Our wealthiest? Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Ca), who was worth around $474M last year.
This is great for playing a fun game... what are your Representatives and Senators worth? I found out that my Senator Mark Warner has millions to the tune of 8 figures.
And at a minimum, to answer my own semi-question, we can at a minimum gawk at their wealth, and watch to see how that impacts their votes.
And perhaps, an extended analysis through some pleasure reading. Did you hear about Lawrence Lessig's new book? Here's a little excerpt to wet your whistle.
I love this interactive video feature from the Wall Street Journal. It goes through the political and personal impact of Obamacare in 2014 in a first person role player video. It's kind of like a game, but kind of not.
It's a good way to get to know what is going on now that we are through the drama of Obamacare enrollment. Kind of.
There are so many times in this lovely course of mine where I feel like my head is in a vice grip. Here is one of those instances. I have to remember, as I reach for my bottle of Advil, that things are intentionally complex because there are so many damned rule breakers out there.
Primaries. They are... awful. So, the GOP is trying to figure out a way to be more relevant and responsive to voters today. So, they have proposed a new primary system to compress the primary calendar to such a degree that all primaries are wrapped up by June, to preserve advantage to the big six early primary states, and allow our less financially solvent and less well known candidates time to cozy up to party deep pockets and the media. A slight tweak from 2012... and maybe they can reign in the rebellious Sunshine State, who has undermined primary aims of the RNC for the past two election cycles. Must be all the orange juice.
Here's a smidgen more on that...
Photo via Flickr/Ted Eytan