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These 2018 Midterms Are Tests Because They Will Be Hard

2018 midterms, Senate, House of Representatives, primaries, Democrats, Republicans
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) is a Democratic hoping to unseat a Republican Senator this year. Specifically, he’s running against Sen. Ted Cruz in the general election. Here, O’Rourke can be seen at an event held for the 2016 President’s Leadership Council hosted by Inter-American Dialogue. Image via Flickr by Inter-American Dialogue. Some Rights Reserved.

The 2018 midterm elections are already underway, so I’d thought I’d keep a record of what has happened so far. I’d been thinking about doing something like this before, but my schedule was out of whack and I already passed up a chance to do something similar for 2016. Anyhoo, let’s take a look at the midterms from state to state and see how things are shaping up.

Note: I will need some time to catch up, but there have only been primaries in 10 states held so far. This post will be updated.

Continue reading “These 2018 Midterms Are Tests Because They Will Be Hard”

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Are You Still Following News of the Russia Probe?

Russia probe, Donald Trump, James Comey
Did this guy somehow collude with Russia? I don’t know, but something’s off …

On April 24, I started a two-post series in which I discussed my overall view of the Russia probe that is currently dominating headlines in the United States. While I said I felt that the probe was a distraction (in terms of its focus), I felt there needed to be an investigation in order to finish vetting Donald Trump and some of his cohorts.

Now, while I might disagree with this probe’s focus, it has turned up some interesting events I could not ignore or refrain from sharing. Also, there have been some recent developments in regards to how this entire probe and suspicions are being reported.

That said, let’s discuss what this probe is about and how I plan to cover it.

Continue reading “Are You Still Following News of the Russia Probe?”

If You Want to Fix the American Electoral System, Here Are 15+ Suggestions

American electoral system, electoral reform, 15 suggestions, improvements, voting rights, Voting Rights Act, make voting easier

The American electoral system is broken, but it can be fixed and it’s up to us as citizens to put pressure on our local, state, and federal governments to make those changes. It can be done.

Of course, there are people in power who don’t want it to be fixed. This was highlighted in this year’s midterms — especially in Florida, Georgia, and Kansas. I will talk about these three states a little bit.

Since these midterm elections highlighted the problems with various states’ processes and what certain politicians who have done all they could to keep the system broken, I think now is as good a time as any to talk about possible solutions. Thus, I will share some things I’ve read about and some conclusions I’ve come to on my own.

Continue reading “If You Want to Fix the American Electoral System, Here Are 15+ Suggestions”

Famous Sayings #130 — ‘Send in/Here Comes the Cavalry’

Send in the cavalry! We need to help this area in its search and rescue effort.

We heard that you were understaffed, so here comes the cavalry!

send in the cavalry, here comes the cavalry, cavalry and calvary, famous sayings, Veterans Day

November 11 is Veteran’s Day in the United States, so as usual, I wanted to look at a phrase that pertains to the military. This one is a two-for, because while “Send in the cavalry” and “Here comes the cavalry” may be sentences used in the same situation, there is a slight difference in the connotation. Also, the first saying is easier to understand — at least immediate.

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Election Day Is Here. Who Won?

Election Day, Congress, gubernatorial elections, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, November 6, 2018 midterm elections
It’s Election Day and the makeup of Congress is going to garner the most attention, namely for what the Democrats can do should they take either the House or the Senate. However, we need to also look at other races around the country, because states have a constitutional role to play, as well.

Today is Election Day (and yes, I voted), so I started this post to keep track of the most important results. For now, I will keep track of the gubernatorial and congressional races. Eventually, I will use this post look at the balance of power across the country and in each state after the elections are done. That includes some notes about state legislatures.

The following slate of candidates will be listed according to their state and the seats they are competing for. I will include all the candidates who won their respective partisan primaries and those who were nominated at state party conventions, written in, or otherwise met other criteria to qualify for their general election races. Once all votes are tabulated, I will indicate the winners.

A few states, like Georgia, may also hold runoffs. So, I will likely have to update this post to include any extra information related to runoffs.

Additionally, I will use specific characters and formatting to indicate how the races were developed. Here’s the key:

  • A candidate with an asterisk (*) by their name is an incumbent.
  • A person whose name is underlined ran unopposed in their respective partisan primary.
  • F stands for Fusion Candidate. (Due to New York’s Byzantine voting rules, less-known parties can endorse any candidates they want, even if those candidates are already on the ballot for a major party.)
  • A write-in candidate who made the final ballot will have a “W” by their name. In the off-chance that someone who wasn’t on the ballot wins election by write-in, the “W” will be underlined.
  • A person with an “R” next to their name advanced to the runoff in the primary election.
  • Candidates who advance to the general election runoff with have “GR” next to their name.

Continue reading “Election Day Is Here. Who Won?”

Republicans Will Try to Hold onto Their Seats by Cheating

Republicans, cheating, 2018 midterms, elections, blue wave, Democrats, Brian Kemp
Greg Palast (right) accosted Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (left) to ask him about the recent voter purges in the state. Kemp is a Republican running for governor, but he is overseeing the election. The image was taken via screenshot (video).

Two posts ago in this series, I talked about the chances of a blue wave occurring in the 2018 midterms. While one is certainly possible in the House of Representatives (and in governor’s races and in state legislatures), this is likely a bad year for Democrats in the Senate. Also, there are two things that would preclude a blue wave from happening at any level: the missteps of the Democratic Party’s leadership and Republican cheating.

In the previous post in this series, I went into detail about how the Democratic leadership harmed its own chances to at least take over one house of Congress. In this post, I will discuss how Republican cheating will hurt Democrats and voters.

One bit of good news we have moving forward is the demise of Trump’s voter suppression panel. In January 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he was dissolving the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, the advisory council he founded based on the claim that immigrants illegally voted in 2016. The commission was headed by Kris Kobach and nominally chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, but it only met twice, in July and September 2017.

The bad news is that there are so many cases of voter suppression in states controlled, at least in part, by Republicans. At least two of those states have elections officials running for governor.

Before I go into detail about those cases, I would like to talk about the hurdles awaiting Democratic candidates. Some are familiar, but some efforts to suppress the vote are relatively new and were enabled by the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision.

Continue reading “Republicans Will Try to Hold onto Their Seats by Cheating”

Famous Sayings #129 — ‘Civic Duty’

November 4, 2018

Make sure you vote on Tuesday if you can and you haven’t already. Participating in your government is your civic duty.

civic duty, civil responsibility, vote, famous sayings

Since Election Day is in 2 days, I thought I’d look at a related term. (Today is also when Daylight Saving Time ends in the U.S., so turn back your clocks if you haven’t already.)


What Is a Civic Duty?

A civic duty is an obligation one has in their society. Another name for a civic duty is a civic responsibility.

Basically, a civic responsibility pertains to duties of citizens to participate in their society and democracy (if they have one). In order to fully participate in a (democratic) society and uphold it, citizens must exhibit certain attitudes, uphold certain values, and carry out specific actions. For that society to run effectively and smoothly, all citizens must do their part.

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What Can Prevent a Blue Wave? The Democratic Party Can.

Democratic Party, blue wave, 2018 midterms, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi
Chuck Schumer is the Senate Majority Leader, but he is the worst leaders Democrats could have at the worst time. In this screenshot (video), he is seen during a press conference, attended by a few other congressional Democrats and representatives for teachers’ unions in May 2018. The Democrats were introducing a plank of their “Better Deal” platform. I believe that the Democrats came up with a newer slogan, but I forgot how it went. That’s how forgettable it was.

What could threaten a blue wave in 2018? Quite frankly, the Democratic establishment could. Other top Democratic leaders can, as well.

These midterms should be a referendum on Donald Trump and the Republican agenda, but for both to be successfully rebuked, the opposition needs to be united and to have a cohesive message. Unfortunately, far too many Democratic leaders have gotten in the way of the messages presented by progressives while presenting none of their own. On top of that, these so-called leaders have failed to capitalize on the Republicans’ forced errors and have committed a series of their own missteps.

All these things have threatened to depress the vote and to undermine the energy on the left and make the notion of a blue wave seem like a distant dream. In this post (another LAP — sorry), I will explain why I’ve come to that conclusion.


Continue reading “What Can Prevent a Blue Wave? The Democratic Party Can.”

Will We See a Blue Wave in 2018?

blue wave, 2018 midterms, fundraising, enthusiasm gap, Koch Brothers, the Adelsons, wave elections

The prospect of a blue wave has been the focus of much of the discussion surrounding the 2018 midterms. It’s a possibility because there have been encouraging signs for Democrats since the latter half of 2017.

The Democratic Party has a steep hill to climb in these midterms, but as I’ve said before, the party received a boost near the end of 2017 in the form of Republican retirements and victories across state houses in December of that year. That said, anything can happen between now and November 6.

This election could be closer than expected, but Democrats lead the Republicans in terms of enthusiasm among likely voters. Also, the expected turnout may, in fact, be much higher than any midterm election in history.

Now, early voting has already begun across 30 states and there are a few things we must note about that and the leadup to Election Day. There are some disadvantages Democrats will have to contend with, even after the last ballot is cast. We also need to consider the fundraising advantage Republicans might have heading into this month. Additionally, we must think about how many seats Democrats need to win to even say that a blue wave was achieved.

Continue reading “Will We See a Blue Wave in 2018?”

Famous Sayings #128 — ‘New Blood’

October 29, 2018

Finally, we get to see some new blood in the playoffs. I was getting tired of seeing the same old teams in the postseason.

new blood, famous sayings
An office setting seems to be the most common situation where the expression “new blood” is used. Many businesses always look for ways to remain fresh, so new people are brought on not just to replace departing workers, but the bring on a people with different perspectives.

So, Halloween is less than two days away. I chose this expression because it is close to Halloween and I thought I could make a vampire at a blood bank joke, but this expression isn’t scary at all — unless you have a fear of change.

Continue reading “Famous Sayings #128 — ‘New Blood’”

Extra Midterm News: Will There Be an October Surprise?

extra midterm news, October Surprise, September 2018, October 2018, November 2018, 2018 midterm elections
While Democratic enthusiasm is high during these midterms, Republican enthusiasm has climbed since August 2018. Much of the enthusiasm for people of both parties is connected to news items they’ve discussed since September. Image comes from a screenshot. (Video)

The month of October is almost over, so I wanted to put up this thread about extra midterm news. I don’t know if there will be an October Surprise (as there are only 6 days left this month), but there is a big story developing at the moment I’m typing this.

As many people know, at least 10 suspicious packages were found in a few states and the District of Columbia. We do not know of the exact motive behind the deliveries, but if the identity of the sender is revealed before the November 6 elections, that could have a tremendous effect for the people voting on Election Day.

Beyond that, many other important things have been developing in these last weeks of the 2018 midterms. Of course, this post will be periodically updated to include more news and anything that I missed.

Continue reading “Extra Midterm News: Will There Be an October Surprise?”

Are You Watching the World Series?

World Series, Write Anything Wednesday, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, Major League Baseball
Image of Dodger Stadium By redlegsfan21 (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons. Los Angeles Dodgers logo by ESPN (espn.com) [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo of Fenway Park from Pixabay. Boston Red Sox logo “borrowed” from ESPN.
Well, I’m not watching the World Series because there’s no team for me to root for. I can’t stand either the Dodgers or the Red Sox. At least last year, I could root for the Houston Astros, who went on to win their first ever WS.

Basically, this is how a feel about both teams:

Two games have already passed, and the Dodgers are down 0-2 as both teams are headed to Los Angeles. There’s still time for the meteor to drop. (I kid, but sadly, one of these teams has to win.)