“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The day after the big Republican win

The sun rose over a different Washington this morning. Republicans have taken control of the Senate, and Democrats are reeling after rough losses.

National Journal
So what comes next? Stay here for a constant stream of updates and analysis. We'll be highly caffeinated and largely awake.
BY THE NUMBERS Track every race result in the nation here.
Billy House on the House's bigger Republican majority, and what that means for John Boehner.
Jim Oliphant with the post-mortem on President Obama's role.
Chris Christie says GOP victory isn't about him, while making the TV rounds 8:29 a.m.
The New Jersey governor stopped by all five major networks this morning to offer up his analysis of what the Republican electoral sweep means for his party going forward. On NBC's "Today," Christie said that he shouldn't get credit for Republicans' major gains, despite his aggressive campaigning in the leadup to the election.
"It's not about me," he told NBC's Matt Lauer. "I was happy to help. I'm glad to have their confidence, but that's all it is." He also appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS's "This Morning," CNN, and Fox News. Still not about him, though. -Kaveh Waddell
Rand Paul says Hillary Clinton didn't help Democrats 8:22 a.m.
The Kentucky senator is diving right into the 2016 race, and he didn't hold back on Hillary in an appearance on CNN. "I don't think she was an asset. I think that she, the Clintons, for a long time have been perceived as 'Oh, hey, they can help Democrats convince people in the south there still be some conservative Democrats,' but guess what? It doesn't work anymore," he said. "Even in their home state in Arkansas, it didn't work last night. They campaigned heavily in Iowa; didn't work in Iowa. They campaigned heavily in Kentucky."
He continued: "They're supposed to be this Clinton cache. The shininess has worn off of that." -Marina Koren
The other winners and losers 7:49 a.m.
Plenty of 2016 contenders had something at stake in the midterms. Read National Journal's Tim Alberta on who gained ground (Christie, Cuomo), and here's who didn't (Hillary) here.
Obama called McConnell last night 7:22 a.m.
A White House official tells CNN that the president called Mitch McConnell after the Kentucky senator won re-election last night to congratulate him, and left a message."The president is anxious to get to work and put the midterms behind him," Jim Acosta writes. But doesn't Obama know everyone hates getting voicemail?
Obama will meet with congressional leaders, including McConnell, on Friday.
Obama press conference to come this afternoon 6:43 a.m.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest just tweeted that the president will hold a news conference this afternoon.
Nearly 20 House races still uncalled 6:34 a.m.
The morning after Election Day, around 20 House races remain undecided. Most of them are clustered in California, which is both home to a number of swing districts and a state with a reputation for counting ballots slowly. Arizona also has multiple districts still up in the air for the second consecutive election. In 2012, late counting in both of those states favored Democrats.
A number of surprisingly close races from around the country also dot the uncalled map: Veteran Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., a longtime ally of Nancy Pelosi who represents a liberal-leaning district, has only a few hundred votes on her unheralded challenger, and the AP is withholding a call on the race. Same goes for Democratic Rep. John Delaney in Maryland, while Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., is actually behind his challenger in the Central Valley with the initial precinct count coming to an end.
No one is talking recounts yet, but in a few places, House races are still bleeding into overtime. -Scott Bland
Which states split the most tickets? 6:20 a.m.
On a mostly one-sided Election Day, a handful of states managed to defy one-party sweeps—or at least elect statewide candidates with widely disparate margins.
In Massachusetts, for example, Republican Charlie Baker claimed a narrow two-point win in the governor's race despite Democratic Sen. Ed Markey's 34-point reelection.
That trend held in Michigan and Illinois, where Rick Snyder and Bruce Rauner claimed their state's governorships despite double-digit losses from the GOP's respective Senate candidates. Snyder's spread swung 17 points from Democrat Gary Peters' performance in the Senate race, while Rauner pulled a 15-point margin from Sen. Dick Durbin's easy reelection.
Even in states where one party claimed both marquee statewide races, the margins weren't always uniform. Sen. Jack Reed cruised to victory in Rhode Island by 41 points, while Democratic counterpart Gina Raimondo sweated out a four-point win in the governor's race.
And on the GOP side of things, Maine Gov. Paul LePage eked out a just-sufficient plurality of voters, currently leading his opponent by four points; meanwhile, Sen. Susan Collins is running up a 36-point lead. -Alex Brown
It's not over yet 6:01 a.m.
At least not for several key areas, like Senate races in Alaska and Virginia and the governor's race in Colorado. Results are still coming in for California's 52nd district, where Republican Carl DeMaio maintains a very slim lead over Democrat incumbent Scott Peters.


  1. Raising the Minimum Wage went 4 for 4 (all in red states,)

    while recreational pot was 3 for 3.

    Medical marijuana garnered 57% in Fl, but 60% was required to make the necessary constitutional change.

  2. Time to start the "impeachment countdown clock."


  3. Not gonna be impeachment.

    Just let Obama fall slowly, slowly on his own sword.

    Hillary was a non factor.

  4. Jerusalem (CNN) -- An Israeli border police officer was killed Wednesday in eastern Jerusalem when the driver of a commercial van ran over him and 13 other people before getting out of his vehicle and attacking people with a metal bar, Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.
    Samri said police shot and killed the attacker, whom she identified as a member of Hamas and a resident of the Shuafat Palestinian Arab refugee camp in eastern Jerusalem. He was 38 years old and had recently been released from prison, she said.
    Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld called the incident "a terrorist attack."

    Hamas murders again....

    Deuce you didn't like Israel's response to Gaza's rocket attacks on Israel? You seek Justice?

    Newsflash, Hamas and ISIS are two peas in a pod...

    The civilized world will all have to deal with Islamic nut jobs and it will be fun to watch the Israel bashing nations each their words as they are blown up, raped and murdered by moslems on a daily basis.. Just wait til the moslems start using rockets in Europe

  5. America voted to the RIGHT....

    If I was a progressive? A lover of Hamas? A supporter of redistribution? Importation of whole numbers of Moslems?

    You are on the wrong side of history in America

  6. Nothing happened.
    Now the "Do Nothing Congress" will become the ...
    "Do Nothing Republicans"

    Those that have an "Agenda" will be disappointed.
    Obama will not be on the ballot, in 2016, the lack of Republican results, will.

    Watch and learn, children.

    1. A Federalist won, in every election, in every state.

    2. You seem to think that any one that disagrees with you is a child.

      Most all of us, with you as the major exception, are law abiding citizens, who have worked for a living, been husbands and fathers.....

      You have quite a set of balls to claim the position of elder as you are, without any doubt the most childish, immature and least accomplished of anyone that posts here....

      Now the readers of the blog will agree... As will any reasonable person, those that live in glass houses should not throw stones...

    3. Stay the Course !

      Won going away.

    4. "O"rdure, I Know that students, like yourself are children.

      I know that those that quote imaginary authors, like Mark Twain, instead of 'real' people and politicians are children.

      I know that those that cannot even 'see' a story arc that extends more than two hours, are children.

      I know that those that think this election was consequential are children.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. I KNOW you are delusional, a liar and a blowhard...

  7. The USA did what it always does; it kicked the President's ass in the second midterm.

    Happened to Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Eisenhower.

  8. Jeanne Shaheen has defeated Scott Brown and retained her New Hampshire

    1. Rep. Annie Kuster (D) defeated Republican Marilinda Garcia in Tuesday's midterm election in New Hampshire.


    2. New Hampshire has gone three for five (60 percent) in picking the eventual Republican nominee, the exceptions being John McCain’s 2000 victory over George W. Bush and Pat Buchanan’s win in 1996.

      Independents can vote in New Hampshire's primary by re-registering as Republicans at polling places on election day.
      30 percent of New Hampshire voters are registered as Republicans.

      Those Republicans of New Hampshire that cannot win an election in the own state will have an inordinate amount of influence in choosing the GOP candidate in 2016.

  9. WASHINGTON — Khalil Commissiong, a 22-year-old student at George Washington University, voted for President Obama in 2012. But, like many in the millennial generation, he does not plan to vote in this year’s midterm elections.

    “I don’t think there’s a lot of truth in politics,”

  10. .

    Americans for the most part can give a shit about foreign affairs. It's a matter that doesn't effect them much (right now). They don't have kids being drafted. They have not been flooded with videos of US soldiers being killed. Hell, one guy dying of ebola in Texas kicked IS out of the spotlight for weeks.

    They don't like Obama's foreign policy but there is not much they do like about him if you go by job approval numbers. They were fed up with what they saw in this country and that was the main reason for the change.



    1. You are very on target quirk, however if and when Iran goes HOT?

      Americans will slowly wake up...

    2. .

      Not that they like the GOP any more but when you feel things aren't going right you look for change even if you are presented with a Hobson's choice which in reality is a Morton's fork, two sets of useless dicks, choose one.


    3. Iran is not threat to the US. Israel will do what it can to drag the US into a war with Iran.

    4. The Republicans will have to elect their own President for that; Obama ain't havin' none of it.

    5. A lot of Americans have already woken up.

    6. Iran is at war with the USA. Has been since 1978 officially.

    7. Deuce ☂Wed Nov 05, 11:10:00 AM EST
      A lot of Americans have already woken up.

      What is "a lot"? Can you quantify that?

      Because a lot of the world has woken up about the threat of Iran and I can quantify it... The collective Arab world, with SMALL exceptions.

  11. .

    What should be interesting is to see what direction Obama moves now that the political pressures of the election are out of the way. Will he react in a cooperative way with the reality of the new GOP majority or will he pursue his own policies and push his agenda as far as he legally can or is allowed to?

    Will he be more concerned about politics and trying to help the Dems out in 2016 or will he more concerned about his legacy?

    What will he do as far as Immigration?
    Climate change and other liberal priorities?
    The war on IS? Will he stay the course? The current course? Or, will the war on IS expand and morph into a larger war?

    What will the GOP do? Will they try to get something done now that they are in the majority or will they continue with politics looking towards 2016?

    I heard last night someone suggest that John McCain might become the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    Oh joy.

    Bob Corker is the minority leader at the moment. Not sure how the leadership is assigned. Doesn't look like it is on Senate seniority.


    1. Obama is going to go on a narcissist's wet dream of executive fiat...

      Iran? Any deal, including a bad deal is on the table.

      EPA? Carbon dioxide will be mandated as a pollutant.

      Immigration? Look for millions to get amnesty

      HealthCare? Global Warming/Climate Change? Gun Control? NSA spying? Aid to unfriendly moslems? Throwing Israel under the bus at the UN?

      Look for it...

      It's going to be ugly.

    2. Obama has been in denial since "day one". This may be something of a misnomer, since his "denial" of the public's reality is his "reality." Whatever, he will remain as abusive as ever. Whether the new Congress will attempt to block his arbitrary and capricious actions remains to be seen.

      Politics will remain Mr. Obama's focus. I do not think he draws the distinction between politics and his "legacy". With adult supervision and commonly acceptable accounting standards, his pet projects will prove illusory if not outright fraudulent. History is going to be very unkind to Mr. Obama, IMO. Essentially, he will be given the distinction of being America's first African-American president -- in the instance, "African-American" will be factually correct.

    Mia Love’s Remarkable Win in Utah Is One For the History Books

  13. Meanwhile, the Great United States Ebola Epidemic of 2014 continues unabated.

    There continues to be 1 Case in the U.S.

    1. When your friend loses his job it's a recession, when you lose your job? It's a depression.

      If that ONE case was you?

      You'd be screaming like a wounded banshie...

    US stocks surge after Republican election victory

    U.N. court considering releasing ailing Serbian war crimes suspect

    "The United Nations court trying crimes from the bloody break-up of former Yugoslavia is considering provisional release for an ailing Serbian former politician in detention awaiting a verdict for over a decade."

    ... typically European ... This is why the U.S. has a constitution.

    Bold Distinctions – The Quietly Avoided Obvious….

    "ONLY the largest margin of victory in the entire Senate field."

    Arkansas failed Bill and Hill. The Republican won by 17% margin!

  17. Ho hum, ADP reports 230,000 Private Sector Jobs created last month,

    and the Dow continues hitting All-Time Highs.

    1. the Dow? Least dirty laundry in the hamper and as of this moment? the FED still has not stopped printing cash, as the moment it does? Japan and other nations plan to start printing...

      POP goes the bubble.

      Most private sector jobs created are entry level and seasonal jobs...

      not careers.

  18. .

    One point of note.

    The GOP will likely have the most seats in the House they have had for nearly a hundred years. Even if the Dems were to pull off a massive victory in 2016, the chances of them taking the House are slim to none.


  19. Deuce ☂Wed Nov 05, 10:55:00 AM EST
    Iran is not threat to the US. Israel will do what it can to drag the US into a war with Iran.

    Iran has been at war with the USA since at least 1978.

    That a fact Jack...

    Don't mean to be coy Roy..

    Just wake up

  20. .


    Yesterday, in commenting on a Glenn Greenwald talk with the CBC, I pointed out the irony in the fact that

    1. In 2004, at the request of George Bush, Don Rumsfeld ordered a study be conducted by the Defense Science Board Task Force. The study was primarily centered on Iraq and Afghanistan and asked the question ‘What is the main cause of Muslim radicalization and terror against the West’. The answer was two-fold: US one-sided support of Israel and US military intervention in the ME. The report specifically mentioned the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Combined with the fact that

    2. In his 6 years in office, Obama has managed to bomb 7 predominately Muslim countries as well as the Muslim minority in the Phillipines.

    My post was met with a response that ‘this time it Is different’. The response came along two separate tracks.

    The first was that we are not really ‘occupying’ Iraq and Syria merely just bombing them. My response to that was that I doubt if any Muslims or their relatives or friends would see any real distinction between being taken out by a shell fired by a tank or by a Hellfire missile fired from a drone. Also, if you read the report, I think you will find that you are parsing the words a little too fine considering that it was written in 2004 and was asked to respond to US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Given the unpopularity of the US across the ME and North Africa today, were the same question asked about US actions since those wars, the definition of US ‘military intervention’ would likely be expanded. IMO.

    The second tack was to argue that US targeting is so precise and the pilots so careful that there has been no civilian deaths in Iraq in the fight against IS. I suggested that that was not true, that there had been deaths reported, that it is likely more will be reported, and that in fact the rules of engagement in this war had been relaxed as soon as reports of civilian deaths started popping up in Syria. The new rules now allow for those collateral deaths as the consequences of war.

    In response, I was told that in speaking of civilian deaths in Syria I was going out of the lines set by that gentleman, that the deaths in Syria could be easily explained away, and that my understanding of economics was deficient. Since all of these are non-sequiturs and have nothing to do with either the point of my original quote nor the premise offered by the gentleman, I will ignore them (unless he really want’s to get into them).

    However, he did make another point. Though I initially suggested that he google in ‘civilian casualties due to US bombing against IS’, he evidently chose not to and instead stated that I hadn’t posted any links because there were none. Therefore, I post this

    October 16, 2014 – 18 Civilians Reported Killed by US Air Strikes around Hit

    Please note, since the end of September the heaviest bombing has taken place in Syria. There are an additional 32 civilian deaths reported there between September 23 and October 23.

    [The link came from the first two pages of google I looked at. I had to go to page two because there were multiples reports from various agencies on many of the incidents.]


    1. Although I give them little heed, reports of collateral civilian deaths are routine. As is often the case here, wishful thinking overrides fact. You are correct.

    2. The U.S. Commander denied the reports. I'll go with our guy.

      If that family was killed by an air strike, it was most likely an Iraqi air strike. They suspended their program due to causing too many civilian casualties.

      Oh, and, yeah, when you're complaining about Low Interest Rates, "because they're bad for the Little Guy," you're just grasping at nonsense in order to bitch.

  21. Any of you fellows ever heard of Mia Love from Utah? No?

    Thought not. She the new Representative, a Republican black Lady now representing Utah in the US House of Representatives.

    And cog in the machine of 'the Republican War on Women and Blacks and Minorities'

    hah hah !.


    Another cog in the machine........

  23. Now let the Democratic Party's circular firing squad load and lock wih Dirty Harry right in the middle -


    Is there enough ammo in the armory?


  24. Where's Ash?

    I want to feed him a little pigeon pie.........raw, feathered.....


  25. I would love to see a poll of Iraqis with the 3 choices being:

    1) I'm unhappy because Obama is bombing ISIS

    2) I'm unhappy because Obama is bombing ISIS too much

    3) I'm unhappy because Obama isn't bombing ISIS enough.

    or, in Quirk's case, All of the above

    :) :) :) :)

  26. Craig Spencer, the NY Ebola patient, has spent the last week entertaining himself in isolation by playing his banjo.

    I got a hunch that he'll recover.

    We'd better hurry up and find another case if we're going to keep this epidemic going.

  27. Movie Review:


    "Tt's not an ending till it's a happy"


    Everybody walks out feeling great.

    Recommended by Bob

  28. Kinda hard to recommend to this overwhelmingly despairing crowd but what the hell. Maybe the fog of despair will begin to dissipate as a new and better Republican Day begins to dawn. You might have all been afflicted by Democratic anxiety and hopelessness. It can gitcha.

    Hopes this helps....

    Cheers !