Monday, November 12, 2012

Catnip 11/12/12: Awaiting the Future

Stinson Beach. See? It's not all rocks and mountains along the coast...

Notes on this holiday:

Occupy Wall Street Activists Buy-Up Debt to Abolish It: "Occupy activists have lately been in the business of transforming philosophical debates about class inequality and government corruption into real, tangible solutions. This month alone, activists have been praised for their work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in which it was oftentimes Occupy activists — not the Red Cross, U.S. military, or FEMA — helping to dispense aid to devastated communities. Now, it is Occupy activists who plan to buy-up debt and help some individuals who have long suffered under the crushing weight of debt."

Clean energy jobs vs a budget battle with a TABOR law: "WA Gov - elect Jay Inslee had started putting together a transition team for his administration, and Friday's concession means he can push ahead faster with that process. The Democrat vowed to make job creation the No. 1 priority for state government, touting the state's passion for innovation as the "secret sauce" that would lead to growth of industries like clean energy and bioech.... There's a roughly $1 billion hole in the state budget that has to be filled, and at least another $1 billion needed to comply with a state Supreme Court ruling requiring increased education funding. The state also needs to find millions more to help maintain the state's highways and ferry system. Yet, while the pressure builds to find more money, Inslee and the Legislature will have to grapple with Tim Eyman's Initiative 1185, which requires a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate to increase taxes. That's proven to be a near impossibility politically."

The GOP is no party for blacks, Latinos and gays:"What many Republican leaders fail to understand is that the party is leaving votes on the table that could be theirs. Votes they once were able to attract before they became viewed as a collection of mean, monochromatic and reactionary people clinging to Ronald Reagan’s America instead of coming to terms with, if not embracing, the vibrant nation we live in today. Romney snatched 6 percent of the African American vote away from Obama. That was 2 percent better than Sen. John McCain attracted in 2008. But Romney has nothing on the late President Richard Nixon, who got 18 percent of the black vote in 1972. No Republican has matched that level of support since."

GOP'S WOMAN PROBLEM SURFACES IN HOUSE LEADERSHIP ELECTIONS: "The GOP's problems with women - laid bare by last week's elections - is the main undertone in the battle for head of the Homeland Security Committee between Reps. Mike Rogers of Alabama and Candice Miller of Michigan," Jake Sherman reports. "That race, combined with the contest for head of the Republican Conference, is becoming a proxy for a larger discussion about a dearth of Republican women in power in the House. To a person, key Republicans privately concede that Rogers has done everything right to become chairman. The same people also say Miller is likely to get the gavel. If so, she would be the only woman to chair a committee."

BUT...THEY STRENGTHENED THEIR SOUTHERN HEGEMONY: "In Bibb County, Ala., on Tuesday, a Democrat named Walter Sansing was in a race for county commissioner against a Republican named Charles Beasley, who was on the ballot despite the inconvenience of having died several weeks earlier. Mr. Beasley won," Campbell Robertson writes on A16 of today's New York Times. "For the first time since Reconstruction, Republicans took over the Arkansas legislature, and won the state's last United States House of Representatives seat held by a Democrat. North Carolina elected a Republican governor and took over at least three Congressional seats. The last Democrat in a statewide office in Alabama was defeated. In most Southern states, the margins of victory for Romney were even larger than the lopsided margins for John McCain four years ago."

Seven House races still unresolved: "The balance of power in the House now stands at 234 Republicans and 195 Democrats, with 6 races undecided. One other race, in Louisiana, is headed to a run-off between two Republican incumbents, meaning the outcome won't affect the chamber's power balance. Before the election, Republicans held 242 seats and Democrats had 193, meaning at the very least, Democrats will gain at least 2 seats. If they win all 6 of the unresolved races, they'll walk away from the 2012 election with a net gain of 8 seats."

2014 - GOP GETS THIRD CHANCE FOR SENATE TAKEOVER: "Twenty Senate Democrats will have to defend their seats that year, while just 13 Republicans will be up for reelection," Dave Catanese reports. "At least six of the Democrats represent red states - places like Arkansas, Louisiana and South Dakota - and are seen as ripe GOP pickings. Retirements could expand the map for the party. Still, Republicans will need almost everything to break in their favor to pick up the half-dozen seats needed to take back the Senate. It's certainly possible but a long shot. After all, we've seen this script before and know how it ended: with bloody Republican primaries that yielded weak, self-immolating or unelectable nominees. "