HAMMERNEWS- Michael Hammerschlag

Current Political Commentary by journalist Michael Hammerschlag; Thoughts on foreign policy, Republican outrages, liberal strategies, science by 8 year correspondent in Russia/Ukraine over 22 years and longtime commentator; Website: http://HAMMERNEWS.com

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


THE NIGHTMARE OF TRUMP - How Can a Ignoramus Get THIS Close?

June 1 Incredibly TRUMP raps it up BEFORE Hillary (Hillary should have done this wheeling and dealing too, first!)- when individual delegates switched to the big-mouthed baboon- I hoped for this day, convinced that he would destroy the Repub Party, but must confess I am now viscerally terrified that this crude ignorant lying narcissistic bully could become President- of course given ALL the people The Donald (TD) has offended it is impossible he could win, but it was impossible he could become the nominee too- 100 to 1 against last July- we must never count out TD and realize he presents a deadly risk to the world- his half-baked macho resolutions and impromptu promises and slithering evasive deal-making, where he plans to sue, to back out of his commitments.... could in international relations... lead to a nuclear war. Trump is at base, a huckster, a cheap sleazy snake-oil peddler and he has tapped in to the vast reservoir of racism (NYT oped by JC) awakened by the victory of Obama (though he is chocolate, not black, and as much a Ivy winner as any other blue-blooded heir to power); and the disappearance of well-paying jobs to the free-trade competition of third world people "willing to eat toxic waste for 5 cents a day", as the brilliant Matt Taibbi says in another seminal RS piece RIP GOP TRUMP IS a horror show!!!!

Every disaffected yahoo who has chafed under a woman or black boss, who witnessed with shock the ascension of a black President, who has 20 year old female strangers dunning him with the use of suddenly prohibited words (GIRL?!!!), who has seen the last acceptable target- gays- be taken off the firing line, who has the narrow mindset to believe that his problems are due to somebody, SOMEBODY EATING MY LUNCH: illegal immigrants, Mexicans, Muslims,women, blacks, gays.... now feels empowered to let their bile out in a flood of sludge. Wisest Man Noam Chomsky, who thinks the Repubs are the the most dangerous org in the world, says, "The establishment hopes that the white working class will vote for their bitter class enemies, who want to shaft them in every way, by appealing to something else- abortion rights, racism, nationalism. So you have a voting base consisting of evangelical Christians, ultranationalists, racists, disaffected, angry, white working-class sectors that.. produce candidates who terrify the corporate, wealthy, elite establishment."   Inbecilic 

Donald Trump has tapped the huge vein of ugly American self-pitying demagoguery that Repubs have exploited and implied for 50 years, but now brazenly in public. He has made it OK to be a yahoo, and it is funny to hear the parade of earnest Trumpeters explaining how they aren't racist just cause they don't like immigrants or blacks or women- they just want more for themselves, and less for the Other. This imbecilic Conspiracist thinks California's Drought doesn't exist (half of Cal farmers may throw in the towel!), that asbestos is safe, that global warming is a Chinese hoax!!!   The TRUMP UNIVERSITY scam has real legs and will dog the neo- tycoon.

Taibbi says it is over for the money-grubbing collection of science denying corporate prostitutes too, for tossing the demographic future of brown hoards into the trash for a terminal last hurrah with the dumass white males (who have ALWAYS voted Repub!!!!!). If there is one person who packages this race in a digestible gut-busting hilarious x-ray collection of unforgettable similes and metaphors, it's Taibbi, who has surpassed Hunter Thompson.

    "But they were also undone by a surge of voter anger that was in significant part their own fault. In recent years, the Koch brothers/Tea Party wing of the GOP had purged all moderates from the party, to the point where anyone who was on record supporting the continued existence of any federal agency, said Mexicans were people, or spoke even theoretically about the utility of taxes was drummed from the candidate rolls.
     Their expected endgame here was probably supposed to be the ascension of some far-right, anti-tax, anti-government radical like Scott Walker, or even Cruz. 
     Instead, this carefully cultivated "throw the bums out" vibe was gluttonously appropriated by Trump, who turned the anger against the entire Republican Party before surging to victory on a strongman's platform of giant walls, mass deportation and extravagant job promises that made the moon landing or the Bernie Sanders agenda of free college look incrementalist in comparison. " .....
   ... "If this isn't the end for the Republican Party, it'll be a shame. They dominated American political life for 50 years and were never anything but monsters. They bred in their voters the incredible attitude that Republicans were the only people within our borders who raised children, loved their country, died in battle or paid taxes. They even sullied the word "American" by insisting they were the only real ones. They preferred Lubbock to Paris, and their idea of an intellectual was Newt Gingrich. Their leaders, from Ralph Reed to Bill Frist to Tom DeLay to Rick Santorum to Romney and Ryan, were an interminable assembly line of shrieking, witch-hunting celibates, all with the same haircut – the kind of people who thought Iran-Contra was nothing, but would grind the affairs of state to a halt over a blow job or Terri Schiavo's feeding tube.
          A century ago, the small-town American was Gary Cooper: tough, silent, upright and confident. The modern Republican Party changed that person into a haranguing neurotic who couldn't make it through a dinner without quizzing you about your politics. They destroyed the American character. No hell is hot enough for them. And when Trump came along, they rolled over like the weaklings they've always been, bowing more or less instantly to his parodic show of strength.
     In the weeks surrounding Cruz's cat-fart of a surrender in Indiana, party luminaries began the predictably Soviet process of coalescing around the once-despised new ruler. Trump endorsements of varying degrees of sincerity spilled in from the likes of Dick Cheney, Bob Dole, Mitch McConnell and even John McCain." - RIP GOP Rolling Stone

The pedophilic pandering pretender Donald has shown how low he will go (deep in the gutter) with his calling of Bill "a rapist", and latching on to "Crooked Hilary" as a theme song- this chiseling defrauding bankrupting irresponsible pathological liar. His logical inconsistency will make your head explode, if you have anything in it: he wants to blackmail countries into paying much more for their defense, by just cutting them loose.... BUT he would "make America trusted again" by being a reliable ally vs the treacherous Kenyan Obama. Every "policy" he has involves the deep thinking on a cereal box, he throws it off the top of his head, off the cuff, out of the treasure of knowledge he gains from the Nat. Inquirer and other bizarre sources of wisdom, like raving lunatic Alex Jones's INFOWARS, where TD has appeared.

     Now the yuuuge question is whether the Sandblasters can get over their pique at the fact that their man lost- wallowing in Repub propaganda trash about lying corrupt Hillary, when she is a somewhat square decent MidWesterner who has served the poor and middle class people all her life. Frankly any Sandersite that plans to vote for Trump should take a deep breath,.... in a closed garage with a running car. YOU ARE INSANE- I am a Sanders voter- and NO ONE who cares about anything Bernie stood for all his life could vote for The Pig, The Donald!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Bernie was entertaining Nader Notions ("what's the difference- Gore + Bush are the same" - tell that to Iraq Vets) in proposing a debate between him and Donald- sucking the very oxygen out of NOMINEE  Hillary's environment- luckily the vicious Donald realized if he trashed old man Commie Bernie, he would lose the possible brain-damaged Sandblasting voters who want change so bad they would vote for a neo-fascist South American strongman- "what could be worse". As in the Congo, or Yugoslavia, Egypt, or perennial Russia, much can be worse...much much worse. Plus as he may have mentioned, Bernie is a LOSER,and TD doesn't play with losers.

All Dems must come together to defeat what is an existential threat to the World in TD. The difference between Bernie + Hillary is 10-20%, but between all real Dems and TD and the officially racist rump Repubs it is 90%! Maybe Hillary will pick Warren for VEEP in a radical move to win over Sanderites and put the fear of God into the Banks, Pharmaceuticals, + CarbCos. And present the truly radical proposal of an all XXX ticket. Trumps XXX slanders are something else. We lucked out with Obama- he faced the 2 weakest Repubs ever- Trump is a totally different animal- never seen in modern politics- a Tasmanian devil high school street fighter born with a silver spoon and an iron faith in the wisdom of his own convictions..... whatever they are.... this minute.

No folks, the path forward that doesn't involve Benito-ish evil, requires smooth, fast, good natured, and effortlessly vicious comebacks to Trump's nuclear populism.... and by wrapping the Repubs with the chain of every malignant sick thing TD has said, and sending them both off a research ship into the Marianna Trench where they can spend the rest of their days studying light emitting Jurassic monsters in the unchanging desert of the Deep.

April 26  NE PRIMARIES     Dem. Primary winner Hillary confirmed her victory with a near sweep of the NE states- she is within 214 delegates, which she will get in California alone (546 Dems), not to mention the other 15 states to come- just NJ, DC, PR will probably give her 190!!! Little Rhody-  RI, the smallest, densest (for many years), most liberal state in America (w Hawaii), one Carter won while he lost Mass, went for Bernie. Pok the cah, baby.  ALL PRIMARY RESULTS

I have reassessed Trump's chances and decided he WILL BE THE NOMINEE - his rout across all 5 states have put him within 286 delegates of victory on the first ballot- winner-take-all  NJ, MT, NE should give him all 114 delegates, other states WA, OR, WV, NM very conservatively should give him 65 (half), putting him within 107 delegates, which he could easily get from the 172 of Cal. I am giving Cruz IN + SD. Adden 5/1: Trump is way ahead in Indiana 15%, so it is all over, but I was one of the first people to predict a first round win. Surprising, IN used to be ground zero of the RW fundamentalist Christian movement- now that is Col.or KS, and IN is far more worldly.

But if Trump is within just 171 delegates we will see him offer the VEEP to Marco Rubio, all hair, teeth, flash, and raw arrogant ambition- irresistible to the soon unemployed Senator. That would capture his 171 delegates and put the DONALD over the top- he can't risk a second ballot with all the unknown stealth Cruz delegates who will bail on him. Or he would probably get 75-100 of Kasich's 151 delegates- they would prefer Trump to fundamentalist Cruz- Trump could offer him the VEEP, but he might prove uncontrollable and has been bitterly critical of Trump. By the time of the Convention, Repubs will coalesce around Trump to avoid a bloody battle that might lose them BOTH HOUSES of Congress, and  Trump will have swung many wavering delegates:  as a rich guy with 6 planes, he could offer delegates perks like 2 years of free flights anywhere, or just cash. "BUT THAT WOULD BE WRONG" to quote a great American ex-Pres. And  Marco is at his heart, a sycophant hustler, and to be in the White House he would compromise anything. So incredibly, baring some utterly fatal utterance or super-scandal. DONALD TRUMP WILL BE THE REPUB NOMINEE .

WHOOPEE- I think that confirms President Hillary (CL2) and the Dems takeover of the Senate   To emphasize my point Trump declared, "If Hillary was a man, she'd only get 5%", losing him another 2% of his paltry 30% support among women.
WHAT NY RACE MEANS + SUPREME CONFIRMATION: Hillary effectively wrapped up the Presidential nomination with NY state, with 1948 delegates, she needs only 435 more or 26% of the remaining 1668 to win the nomination- it is inconceivable she would not get that much in the coming Northern industrial states she is strong in. What is probably called for is a peace agreement, an explanation by Hillary what if anything she might do about the TBTF banks, and some plum job for Bernie- Dept of Treasury, Dept of Labor, head of SEC, where his iron integrity and reformist passions can be properly employed. Dems are notorious for wasting their brilliant progressives, like Dean or Hart.

Trump, though he did very well in his home state, also dropped a significant 26% to Kasich, who has emerged as the non-Trump in the more sophisticated Eastern States, with fundamentalist extremist Cruz fading. Trump has to win 58% of the remaining 674 Repub delegates to win, not impossible, but highly dubious- he got only 60.5% in his home state, his strongest, and rarely has topped 50% (though much of that was in a more crowded field). Good for Trump is that likely Trump states PA, MD, & DE on April 26 are winner-take-all.

So 50% probability of a brokered Repub convention where many of the Cruz stealth delegates will bolt after the first vote. But if the Donald arrives at the Convention within 170 delegates, it is quite likely he will wheel + deal himself over the top with Rubio's, and others- a President has a lot of perks to dispense (despite his miserable numbers vs. Hillary).

Most vital for the future of the country is that the despicable extremist Cruz NOT win even the nomination- he is a truly dangerous slick demagogue with a great command of political rules and mechanics.

Trump will shatter the Repub Party, esp if they war against him and actually deny him the nomination, despite his plurality, which is excellent: The Repubs have become an ongoing criminal conspiracy, as evidenced by their unprecedented Unconstitutional blocking of a SC nominee for a year. If he IS chosen, he will lose to Hillary decisively, I think. But I don't think one can ever count out Trump: his laser guided HS putdowns, cleverness, and grab bag populism may always surprise. And the dedicated Clinton haters in the FBI may have some nasty surprise planned for Hillary. But the SENATE has an even better chance of flipping Dem now, with 24 Repub seats up vs only 10 Dem !


The excellent courageous Dem Gov, Va. Terry McAuliffe, has pushed back against the vast Repub voter suppression schemes that have disenfranchised millions by giving back (+200,000) released Felons their voting rights; only 8 states void their voting rights forever- of course they vote vastly Dem, cause the psychotic racist anti-drug and 3-strikes laws that have made USA THE world's top police state; have been mostly championed by Repubs. In a bitter irony, racist drug penalties (like 20x the sentence for crack vs crystal cocaine) for harmless things like marijuana, rendered victims ineligible to vote for life on the politicians that trashed their lives. McAuliffe, a former DNC Chairman, hails from a time that Dems weren't afraid of their own shadow, and understood that no injustice or RW conspiracy is stopped without a fight.

In Florida 2000 a key factor in Bush's theft of the Presidency was a "felon's purge" list of 92,000 to be removed from the rolls- Greg Palast got famous writing half-way stories about it- but I had the list too. Created by a Texas Repub firm, it was spectacularly inaccurate: 42%, according to our analysis of 4 counties: they had matched men to women, blacks to whites, people 60 years apart with the same birthday; and illegally by 2 FL Court rulings, voters in Florida with felons across the whole US !!!! Gotta find the 5 egregious sample pic from the list- some jpg somewhere in my 10 sites. ADDENUM: Like Il Gov Ryan, who commuted all Ill.'s death row inmates- McAuliffe is being targeted by the most untouchable and vindictive group in America- PROSECUTORS- some campaign finance nonsense.

SUPREME COURT: HBO has a new 25 year anniv. movie about the amazing Clarence Thomas sexual harassment hearings: CONFIRMATION, which happened just before I went to Russia (actually barely still SU) for the first time- never saw before or since full LIVE Cong hearings continuing past 3am!!! He was a real scumbag, badgering Anita Hill with graphic sexual descriptions, obsessed with porn- 3 other women. Excellent April 13 NPR talk show on it with Nina Totenburg, who broke the story. The movie is pretty good, but suffers from TV's gutless tendency to "show both sides", when the truth was Clarence was a brazen lying POS!! Or in other words, a Republican.

I think a good case could be made to impeach the lazy hack, who has barely asked one question in 25 years, and doodles daydreams and dozes during arguments... if the Dems take the Senate- this is a real Bill Cosby situation. Not to mention he was a sleazy pervert - 3 other women witnesses confirmed his proclivities but were all blackmailed into silence; they did all had "problems" (any sexual experience they could slander her with) and the Judiciary Committee Dems were wimps. Poor Anita Hill was savaged worse than any witness I've ever seen by Repubs (esp. Arlen Specter, author of the JFK single bullet theory) desperate to get their stealth RW man on the Court.  They succeeded by 1 vote in the Committee, and the devastating effects of Thomas's robotic hateful RW votes have been apparent since. This brutal miscarriage of justice should be exploded back into the public consciousness.

It's time Obama take off the gloves and push Merrick through with a RECESS APPOINTMENT to expose the Repub's violent hypocrisy about their strict devotion to the Constitution. And the damage to the Republic by 3 decades of RW control of the top branch of Government is well known to all.... and a powerful campaign issue Dems shouldn't run from. A few of the endangered Senate Repubs have met with Merrick- none has the courage or honor to call for a vote.

It's time Dems fight and win and redress the Constitutional crimes this corrupt political Court has promulgated- choosing the loser President, gutting the Voting Rights Act, allowing hundreds of Voter suppression + gerrymandering laws, even contemptuously changing the law on their own appointment to cripple the President's authority !!!

March 23:
Including the superdelegates, Hillary has a massive lead, almost a lock- she only needs 1/3 (32.5% or 702) of the remaining 2158 delegates to win. Bernie has a much harder row to hoe, but he will do very well in Sat contests, probably winning WA, AK, + HI (2 of my long time haunts). He actually won the delegate count on Tuesday 57 to 51, first time since NH, crushing Hill by 80% in ID + UT. He will likely do also well in Wisconsin and Colorado- Hillary's first big gain should be New York April 19.

Trump is seemingly close to a lock too, he needs only 52% (497) of the remaining 961 Repub delegates, BUT he has rarely got above 50%, even in Arizona where he beat Cruz by 2 to 1, he only got 47%, Kasich 10%, + dregs 18%. However Arizona was a winner take all state, so he got ALL the delegates, a device Repub poobahs created to tilt the race towards the leader + likely establishment candidate. There will be 4 winner take all (or almost all) Repub contests in April- WI on 4/5, and PA, MD, DE on 4/26; all of which are likely Trump states- with total 224 delegates that would probably give Trump an insurmountable lead. Hammernews.com


Updated March 23, Feb 13-17:  Well the architect of most of the Repub outrages of the last 18 years, Antonin Scalia, is gone. The 5 to 4 RW majority is gone, now 4 to 4, so Dems either win or tie on major cases. Tragically not before they threw a wrench in the EPA regulation of power plant CO2 emissions, and maybe crippled the Paris Climate Agreement. My recommendation: 2 words that could change America:  RECESS APPOINTMENT  , which is done by Administrative fiat- no confirmation necessary, and lasts until the end of this Senate's term- end 2017. Appointment mechanics.

The Repubs reacted exactly as expected, pledging to block any Obama nominee, as if his 1 year remaining term doesn’t matter, continuing their 25 year twisted narrative that ALL DEMS lack legitimacy. So the path to a recess appointment is cleared as the only way forward and eminently justified to conduct the nation’s rightful business. Obama just explained how the Judiciary has cleared 14 Judges as highly qualified (by a majority, 11 are Repub/ 9 Dem), but the Repub Senate refuses to allow a vote: “Every nomination is contested, every nominee is blocked, even when there is no ideological opposition to him.” A reporter just asked about a recess appointment, and he pointedly didn't answer, meaning I think he may have plans to do it if stymied. Repubs lied in saying that it was unprecedented that a Prez appoint someone in his last year, it has happened successfully in 11 of 13 cases, including Kennedy!!  Suddenly aware of the potential of a recess appointment of a real tough liberal, the Repubs first moderated their blanket opposition, then reprized it. But Obama can hold tough, pick a famous reputable progressive, gauge the reaction, and then Recess Appoint them, because "the nations business is too urgent".

In reality Obama again deferred to their hostage-taking blackmail, nominating perhaps the most beloved and respected jurist in the country, Merrick Garland, making it difficult for Repubs and making them pay a price at the polls- the huge majority of voters who despise Congress for their laziness and inaction should confine their feelings to the Repubs, committed to paralyzing and destroying the Federal Gov.

However, according to the 2014 Supreme Court decision that restricted Obama's ability to make recess appointments to the Labor Relations Board, the President must do it during a break of at least 10 days- that happens in only a month from March 21st to April 1st - or if he's afraid of that he can wait till the full summer recess on July 18th. Before Republicans were avoiding that potential by never going into recess, after the SC made much easier- they only have to schedule any meeting by any members in the middle of a recess. This post on recess apptmt says somewhat different (only 3 day break). After years of blocked judicial nominees, Obama used the Gang of 8 agreement to appoint 96 Judges in 2013- since then though they again slowed to a crawl; 30 await confirmation, some over 2 years! 2015 saw only 11 appointments, the lowest in a half century! This obstructionism is clearly unConstitutional, designed to corruptly capture another Branch of Government, and Dems should have censured members who led it when they had the majority.

With the SC locked at 4 to 4 in the furious RW assault on the social compact, another appointee can change the story from at least a deadlocked tie to consistent Dem victories. If they are tied, the lower court verdict stands, and 9 of 13 Fed. Appeals Courts have a majority appointed by Dem Presidents!  And maybe a corrected SC can revisit and reverse the catastrophic CITIZENS v UNITED decision. They are deciding several vital cases soon: a CA teacher's union case over banning mandatory union dues and so destroying unions, and a case that would change population-based voting districts to only eligible-voter based districts; a dangerous challenge to Roe v Wade, another against affirmative action, and a third to Obama's deferred deportation plan- all in Texas.

But this categorical naysaying is dangerous to Repubs- since there is a good likelihood of the Dems flipping the Senate in 2016 (24 Repubs up, only 10 Dems!!!; with 8 Repubs endangered, + 2 Dems), and the inconceivability of any of the RW potential nominees winning the Presidency....   so the new Dem President would be able to appoint a serious dedicated liberal scholar- who could push back against the generation of extremist abuse. Which means it is in the Repubs interests to let Obama appoint a moderate (after they reject his first choice or 2) they can live with. They are well aware of the potential of a recess appointment too- the SC can't be counted on to back up their obstructionism (Kennedy may even see the beach sand shifting under his feet and moderate his spastic extremism) so they are probably shopping for RW district or appellate court to block Obama's choice- SC will be reluctant to take it if they know it's 4-4, in which case the lower court ruling would stand.

The Judiciary Com. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) replied to my question:  “A recent Supreme Court decision ... makes it extremely unlikely President Obama will have the opportunity to make a recess appointment to replace Justice Scalia.  However, I’m hopeful the Republicans will come to realize that the American people see this kind of unprecedented obstruction for what it is, and will allow the Senate to live up to its constitutional responsibility of thoughtfully and promptly debating the nomination of our next Supreme Court justice."  Fat chance.
  I know some of the Judiciary Committee because of my work trying, somewhat successfully, to save Clinton in the Impeachment - I chatted with Chas Grassley, now the current chairman, for 15 minutes and walked him out of the abandoned Hart Senate Bldg, I sent Franken things back to when he was Saturday Night Live writer (a friend went to HS with him in Edina), I know home-state Sen Sheldon Whitehouse for 16 years. I think we swayed Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions vote in the final failed impeachment conviction vote (along with WA Gorton and Rhode Island's Chafee), I congratulated Schumer on his recent victory at the Senate Trial (losing my shot at asking a press question), and energetically lobbied most of their chief of staffs in distributing the 110 pg Stop the Madness anti-impeachment book to 22 Republican Senators; a few choice Dems.

Theoretically when returning from a break the Senate could undo a recess appointment, but it's never been done, but neither have top Fed Judgeship recess appointments, since Eisenhower.

The Senate alone confirms Supreme Court justices, and presuming our president is a Democrat - it's hard to believe any of the Repub dwarves beating Hillary or Bernie- the next president will appoint maybe 3 or 4 justices!  Anthony Kennedy is also 79 (like Scalia), Stephen Breyer is 77 and the most frail Ruth Ginsburg is 82. If the Judiciary Com. doesn't report the nominee out, the candidate is dead; and then the full Senate must approve the nominee by majority.

How utterly crucial the Supreme Court is, effectively the highest branch of government, since they alone can negate bills and actions of Congress and the president and are appointed for life; is evidenced by their three great crimes of the last 20 years: Bush v Gore, Citizens v United, and the destruction of the ACA, which only didn't happen because the last-minute reversal of John Roberts, who realized, despite his charter extremism, that illegally and corruptly deciding a second presidential election would be treason (in 2012 destroying Obamacare would have probably made Romney President).

The humiliating directives to order Bill Clinton to submit to sexual testing and permit the unlimited Starr witchhunt in the insane Monica Scandal was another major crime; it may have led to 9-11, since after the 1998 OBL embassy bombings, Clinton was paralyzed. Bush v Gore open up the flood gates of Hell from the worst president in our history, a decision so corrupt they stipulated it couldn't be used as a precedent for any other case, when Al Gore actually had a massive moral case for victory - he had won the country by 540,000 votes.. and won Florida by +40,000  votes, when the 10 instances of Republican cheating were taken into account (+ liked my articles!). Citizens v United was a blatant extreme political decision (throwing out 105 years of campaign finance laws) to try to permanently tilt the playing field to the Republicans via their various oligarch backers and make America Nigeria - interestingly it's caused a bloodbath in the primaries and weakened the eventual Republican candidate.

Since the decision killing the President power to make a Recess Appointment is their attempt to jimmy the third branch of power- themselves, I believe it is prima fascia Unconstitutional, and Obama should defy it, making Garland or even a young tough liberal a Recess Appointment, with US Marshals if necessary. He could say: "I am a Constitutional professor and this ruling corruptly impinges on  the Presidents express Constitutional authority to do his duty and the express provision to deal with blatant obstructionism". Always deferring to Repub terrorism is a fools errand.

Moreover, if Dems take back the Senate, I think they should double down and impeach and remove Clarence Thomas, for malfeasance, incompetence, conflict of interest (his wife’s RW job), and the fact he WAS a full-on pervert- only heavy blackmail kept 4 other women from coming forward during the Anita Hill hearings- the lifetime Supreme Court Justice who has barely asked 1 question in 25 years and copied Scalia’s vote almost every single time... should be a registered sex offender!! Even NPR's moderate SC scholar Nina Totenburg has called him "a disgrace" for doodling, ignoring, and nodding off during proceedings!

SENATE FLIP: And the Senate has a very good chance of flipping, just as it did last election when many more Democrats were up for election than Republicans. This year it's reversed: 24 races with Republican incumbents and only 10 with Democrats, meaning we could easily takeover with only four or five flips (9 in 2014!). And of the 10 most contested States, Repubs are defending 8 of them.

Sen. Rob Portman vs fm Gov Ted Strickland (OHIO)
In Illinois Mark Kirk-R will face Iraq vet Tammy Duckworth, in Florida Rubio’s empty seat will probably be a battle between Rep Patrick Murphy-D and Ron DeSantis, Ohio features incumbent Rob Portman, whom I've questioned (see Ukr Press Conf on my A/V page), vs Ted Strickland, former very popular governor. New Hampshire is still a major battle ground with popular very smart governor Maggie Hassan facing right wing former AG Kelly Ayotte - at one point the entire congressional delegation and governor were women in New Hampshire- unprecedented in any state. Live Free or Die - an NPR show had a "ironic" feature about the inmates of Berlin State Prison who were printing those license plates. Wisconsin features a rematch between the hardcore Ron Johnson and iconoclast Russ Feingold, who might make short work of him this time: M.HASSAN vs Sen. AYOTTE
It's time for Wisconsin to regain its progressive bearings and atone for the freak Scott Walker. In North Carolina, sadly Kay Hagan isn't going to run against Raymond Burr or Aaron Burr or whichever burr he is in the poor NC people's saddle- it looks like Deborah Ross will be the Democrat candidate, widely disliked anti-abortion zealot Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey will face Rep. Kate McGinty.

In the risky business category, Harry Reid's retirement is leaving a wide open battle in Nevada between an R named Heck and Dem Catherine Masto; in Colorado Dem Michael Bennett will face a tough battle, the Dems lost the other seat in 2014.   This WP story is slightly dated:  

 Just say NO!!!! McConnell, Corwyn + Repub cabal
In every state the Repub campaign of long term extreme gerrymandering (once twice in 1 decade) and especially voter suppression is having a huge effect - supported by a bottomless pool of Koch Brothers money via ALEC . I think Obama made a terrible mistake in not directly attacking every one of these schemes with the two or three laws that make voter suppression a serious federal crime. It will, not maybe, knock out millions of votes!!!  This is the only thing that has kept them afloat despite the browning demographic tide that ultimately will make even AZ or TX  Democratic!!!! With the Repub disparaging and demonization of Blacks (10%), Hispanics (21%), women (51%), Muslims (2.2%), and the young (12%)... there should BE NO WAY THEY CAN WIN ANY ELECTION.

This has been incredibly helped by Republican control of 31 governorships and 71 of 100 state legislatures- a result of Obama's catastrophic decision to mirror the DNC in his own organization and leave the real one to partially wither. “Republicans control both the governor’s mansion and legislature in 24 states, 70 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers, both chambers in 30 states, plus NE, and 31 governor’s mansions.” And they are doing incredible damage there, as well as gaming the electoral system so they will never lose. Exc. article:     http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/08/19/one-party-system-what-total-republican-control-of-a-state-really-means/

REPUB SC DEBATE: Well the Republic dwarves beat each other bloody in the Friday debate - really great fun to watch. Donald Trump again scored killer high school put-downs on everybody, especially Jeb! concerning his brother and the giant unspoken elephant in the room: the Iraq invasion, and even GB2's failure to keep us safe in 911. Meanwhile a resurgent punk Rubio and Trump both excoriated Cruz, 6 times each calling him a liar and Trump brought up the fact he has not won an endorsement from any colleague in the Senate or in politics – New Republic printed a huge page of quotes from everybody under the title : Everybody Hates Ted.           https://newrepublic.com/article/128808/everybody-hates-ted? And Ted helped, reciting his ideological purity in abolishing the IRS (good luck on the balanced budget), and other lunatic schemes he would enact. Rubio, unfortunately, rebounded from Christie’s devastating shelling and his computer lock-up, even the low-energy Jeb! was considered to have done well defending his genetically challenged brother.