The Revenge of the GOP Establishment in Senate Primaries…

Is the Republicans Civil War turning for the establishment people?

Over the past few years, conservative outsiders, many of whom were members of the tea party, ran over the establishment in a number of key Republican primaries for the U.S. Senate. In 2010, tea-party-aligned candidates won in Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Nevada, Wisconsin and Utah. In doing so, they almost certainly cost Republicans the Senate seat in Delaware, and probably in Colorado and Nevada. Two years later, the process was repeated in Indiana and Missouri.

In choosing less presentable candidates for the general electorate, the GOP may have forfeited Senate control. If this pattern continues in 2014 and 2016, it would represent something new: Functional parties tend to choose candidates who are seen as more moderate the longer they are out of power, and Republicans have been out of the Senate since 2007 and the White House since 2009.

But, just as we would expect, the pattern doesn’t seem to be happening. Establishment Republicans look to be in good shape in many states where a more conservative candidate could cost the party a seat. (Deciding who is the establishment candidate and who is an outsider is an inexact science. But I looked to see who was being backed by establishment groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and who was backed by more right-leaning or tea party groups.)

Alaska – Joe Miller (outsider) trails Daniel Sullivan (establishment), the former commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, in early primary polling (polls have not been conducted in the past few months). If Miller loses the primary, he could run as a third-party candidate in the general election…..

More…@ Five Thrity Eight…..

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Like Pac-Man…Putin eats up large sections of the East Ukraine…

And he has managed to do it with the THREAT of troops and the actions of special forces Psych Ops….

The Ukrainian’s have acknowledged they have ability or will to fight back….

For the Russian Military this campaign is Actually on the light, eh?

Obama is fighting his own war….

Increasing the economic pain for Russia that Russian President Putin seems to accept as the price for what he wants….(Americans and for a good part European’s?….Really do NOT care about this…)

Modern Warfare……

As pro-Russian gunmen seized another city in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, the country’s acting president said the government’s police and security officials were “helpless” to control events in large swaths of the region, where at least a dozen cities are now in the hands of separatists.

With the admission by the country’s acting leader, Oleksandr V. Turchynov, that major chunks of the country had slipped from the government’s grasp, the long-simmering conflict in Ukraine seemed to enter a new and more dangerous phase. It was also the latest in a string of successes for what the West has called Russia’s covert strategy to destabilize Ukraine and discredit the interim government ahead of presidential elections scheduled for May.

Speaking at a conference of regional leaders in Kiev, the capital, Mr. Turchynov said the “overwhelming majority of security forces in the east are not able to carry out their duty to defend our citizens” in the industrial and coal-mining regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Mr. Turchynov also said Ukrainian forces had been brought to “full military readiness” because of the threat of an invasion from Russia, which has asserted its right to protect ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian forces have been trying for weeks to rein in the pro-Russian militants, mostly local men who the White House believes have been organized and equipped by Russian special forces members operating under cover…..

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The Ukrainian Military seems unable to defend it’s country, for fear of a Russia invasion…..

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Election*Projection Review of 2014 House Races….New Jersey, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Maine…

…from the Blogging Caesar…..

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
New Jersey House Races Preview
Voting in New Jersey House races in 2012 is useful in illustrating a structural fact about winning a majority in the U.S. House. Democratic candidates here received 54.7% of all votes cast; Republicans accumulated just 43.6%. Yet, the makeup …

New Hampshire House Races Preview
There are two congressional districts in New Hampshire. When Charlie Bass won the District 2 election in the massive Republican year in 1994, the GOP held both Granite State U.S. House seats. They maintained control of both seats until …

Monday, April 28, 2014
Nevada House Races Preview
Heading into the 2012 elections, Nevada had three U.S. House districts. Thanks to reapportionment after the 2010 Census, Nevada’s delegation grew to four. A Democrat, Alexzander Horsford, won the seat from the newly-minted 4th District in …

Minnesota House Races Preview
Home to the Democrat-Farmer-Labor, Minnesota is more liberal than not. In 2012, the DFL was able to pry one seat away from Republicans when Rick Nolan bested freshman Congressman Chip Cravaack. With that victory, the DFL can claim …

Saturday, April 26, 2014
Michigan House Races Preview
The Republican majority in the Michigan state legislature drew congressional district lines to their favor before the 2012 elections. As a result, they were able to preserve the nine Republican seats in the House delegation while forcing a battle …

Massachusetts House Races Preview
An anchor of the liberal Northeast, the Bay State is one of the bluest states around. The House delegation is the sole playground Democrats who claim all nine seats here. They did lose a seat in 2012 – but not to …

Friday, April 25, 2014
Maine House Races Preview
There are two seats in the Maine congressional delegation and both have been occupied by Democrats since Republican Jim Longley lost to Tom Allen 18 years ago. The blue team has not only owned congressional races here since 1996; it has …

More..@ Election*Projection

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Republicans in the Senate vote down Minimum Wage increase to $10.10… …

Someone PLEASE explain to me why these same Republicans CAN count on poor white folks to vote for them come November?

Senate Republicans block minimum wage bill, as expected

Reposted from Daily Kos Labor by Laura Clawson

Senate Republicans blocked a bill raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in a 54 to 42 vote early Wednesday afternoon, with Majority Leader Harry Reid voting no for procedural reasons and Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker voting yes. In other words, all but one Senate Republican voted to keep the federal minimum wage at $7.25 an hour, or $15,080 for a year of full-time work, below the federal poverty threshold for a family of two. In fact, they voted to block a simple majority vote on the issue. And it wasn’t a surprise. We all know that this is where Republicans stand on making work pay and building the middle class.

The minimum wage has not gone up since 2009. The minimum wage of just $2.13 an hour for tipped workers has not gone up since 1991. A majority of the workers who would get a raise if the minimum wage was increased to $10.10 are women, and about a quarter of the people getting a raise would be parents. See what the current poverty minimum wage level means for workers below the fold….

More….

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Elizabeth Warren confronts problems back home in Mass….

While the National progressive Left in the Democratic party is making all sorts of noise about having Elizabeth Warren run for President….MSNBC takes a look at her home state which is suffering from budget cuts in area’s that progressives are concerned about….

The Senator from Massachusetts is followed around as she looks at education  and local issues that have suffering from lack of funds as cuts kick in…..

Elizabeth Warren says inequality is a fundamental problem, and that it’s up to the government to do something about it. But her home state of Massachusetts—friendlier than most to an active and involved government—remains the site of some of the country’s starkest disparities.

Kicking off the first leg of her book tour at Harvard, Sen. Warren assured the Cambridge crowd that she has a plan to help Americans pay for college.

“I’m going to introduce a bill next month to refinance outstanding student loan debt to bring it down so that students have a better chance to get an education,” she announced proudly.

But 80 miles across the Mass Pike in Springfield—where the poverty rate is more than 2.5 times the state average—there’s an even more basic gap that needs to be bridged.

Genelle Domino, 24, dropped out of high school her junior year when she was stuck in foster care. Chronically unemployed in a place where the jobless rate still tops 11%, she decided to go back to school to get her GED—only to be told there was no room for her in any of the free public programs.

“It seemed like nobody was ever gonna call me,” says Domino, who sat at home “going crazy” in between odd jobs. “I was like, ‘I don’t even know—I don’t think I want to get back to school anymore.’”

Domino’s experience is hardly unique: In Massachusetts alone, there are more than 17,400 people currently on the wait list for the state’s adult basic education classes—and hundreds of thousands more across the country.

“You have all these people who want to work—who have really high success rates if they get into a program—but there’s no funding for them,” says Bob LePage, interim director of the Springfield Technical Community College Foundation. “So we have all these people who are left behind.”

Because of federal funding cuts and a tight state budget, it took almost two years for a spot for Domino to open up. In February, she finally got into an adult basic education course she hopes to finish this summer.

The broad federal cuts known as sequestration are still in effect for adult education—one of the few education and training programs that didn’t have its funding restored by Congress’s most recent budget, says Marcie W.M. Foster, a senior analyst for the Center for Law and Social Policy….

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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest 4/30/14…Despite intense criticism, RGA steps up attacks on criminal law…

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by David Nir

Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest 

Leading Off:
• SC-Gov: The Republican Governors Association is continuing its assault on democracy with yet another ad attacking Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen for daring to offer legal services to the accused:

The spot is very similar to their last one, a revolting effort to paint Sheheen (who is running against South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley) as some kind of dastardly fiend for, you know, helping criminal defendants exercise their constitutional rights. Here, the ad accuses Sheen of “reducing” the jail time of a “sex offender who abused a minor” from “10 years to 38 days.”
Of course, this is also known as “how the system works,” and Sheheen didn’t “reduce” anything. He negotiated a plea deal with prosecutors, who had to sign off on this agreement. (And according to The State, it’s likely that the alleged victim did so as well.) What’s more, as Sheheen points out, Haley’s been accused of multiple ethics violations during her time in office, yet of course she’s never hesitated to seek legal representation.

Nor should she, because, again, this is how our adversarial system of justice is supposed to operate. And that’s why so many in the legal world have reacted with extreme hostility to the RGA’s despicable ads, even including Republicans. That includes attorney Robert Luskin, who is defending none other than Chris Christie—the chair of the RGA—in the Bridgegate scandal; the South Carolina Bar Association; the American Bar Association; and former state Attorney General Charlie Condon, who describes himself as a supporter of Haley’s. But as Condon points out, was John Adams unfit to serve as president because he defended British soldiers accused of perpetrating the Boston Massacre?

The RGA probably thinks so. And even more sadly, the fact that they keep running ads on this theme suggests they believe these attacks are working with voters. But the good news is that the RGA is even running ads in deep red South Carolina in the first place. If they didn’t fear that Sheheen might unseat Haley, they wouldn’t bother. Make no mistake: This will be a very difficult race for Democrats to win. But there’s a real chance that Sheheen, and those who stand on the side of justice, will earn the last laugh here…..

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Political Roundup for April 30, 2014…Wendy Davis?…Red Racing Horses….

by: GoBigRedState

Senate:

NE-Sen: Ben Sasse leads Shane Osborn 31%-25% in the Republican primary, according to a poll taken by Sasse’s campaign. As with any internal poll, some skepticism should be taken with the numbers, but it does indicate a close race between Sasse and Osborn. Perhaps more importantly though is that the poll found Sid Dinsdale surging and taking 22%-indicating that a true 3-way race may be taking shape and giving Dinsdale an opportunity as the race turns nastier between Sasse and Osborn.

NC-Sen: State House Speaker Thom Tillis has all the monentum according to recent polls, and a new poll taken by PPP shows him above the 40% necessary to avoid a runoff. Tillis leads Greg Brannon 46%-20% in the poll with 11% for Mark Harris and other candidates in the single digits.

WV-Sen: Stuart Rothenberg has a good column on why female Democratic candidates Alison Lundergan Grimes in KY and Michelle Nunn in GA have paths to victory(albeit narrow paths as he points out), but Natalie Tennant in WV does not. There are similarities between the candidates, but Tennant cannot count on running against an unpopular imcumbent(as is the case with Grimes vs. McConnell in KY) or one with a strong possibility for making outrageous comments(as would be the case if Nunn faced Rep. Paul Broun). Rep. Shelly Moore Capito (R) as he points out is popular, has a reputation as a pragmatic conseravtive and has formidable political skills. He puts it well at the end by saying Grimes and Nunn need some breaks to win, but Tennant “needs divine intervention.”

Governor:

ME-Gov: A new Rasmussen poll shows Gov. Paul LePage (R) tied with Rep. Mike Michaud (D) at 40% each with independent Eliot Cutler at 14%. The low percentage of undecided voters(6%) in the poll, however prompt some skepticism about the numbers. Although they appear to be good numbers overall for LePage, who is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the country, the fact that Cutler only takes 14% in the poll makes it a somewhat mixed bag as a path to victory for LePage will likely require Cutler taking a higher percentage of votes away from Michaud.

TX-Gov: Democratic Governors Association Chairman Peter Shumlin is saying out loud now what many people have been saying for awhile-Wendy Davis has little chance of winning. Shumlin says “We’re hopeful in Texas but we all understand that Democrats haven’t won Texas in a long time. We hope this will be our year.”-not exactly a ringing endorsement of Davis’s chances. Of course Davis’s campaign disagrees with the assessment calling it “the uninformed opinion of a Washington DC desk jockey…”, which is a curious way to describe the governor of Vermont.

House:

NY-11: The NRCC is abandoning support for indicted Rep. Michael Grimm (R). Although they could conceivably decide to support him again at a later date, they are likely cutting him off permanently. The move is likely designed to push Grimm out and to cover themselves from criticism from being associated with him. Grimm for his part however is vowing to fight the charges and is staying in the race for now….

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Florida & Ohio Governor Races: Good and Bad News for Republicans…

Morning all!

Two new Polls in the important Governor Elections this Fall brings GOOD & BAD News for Republicans.

A new Quinnipiac Unversity Poll shows former Governor Charlie Crist (D) leading Governor Rick Scott (R) 48-38.

Quinnipiac Unversity Florida Poll

General Election

Former Governor Charlie Crist (D) 48 %
Incumbent Governor Rick Scott (R) 38 %
Someone else 2 %
Wouldn’t Vote 3 %
Undecided 9 %

More….

Meanwhile a new Survey USA Poll in Ohio for the TV Station WCMH in Columbus shows Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) leading his Reelection Bid 46-36 over Democrat Ed Fitzgerald (D).

WCMH-TV Survey USA Ohio Poll

General Election

Incumbent Governor John Kasich (R) 46 %
Cuyahoga County 36 %
Anita Rios (Green Party) 4 %
Undecided 14 %

OH Voters Are Focused on Job Creation, Opposed to Affordable Care Act, Split on Same-Sex Marriage, In Favor of Medical Marijuana:
One week to the 05/06/14 Ohio Primary, Buckeye voters are focused on job creation, ahead of health care and taxes, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for WCMH-TV in Columbus. Job creation is especially driving the ballot-box decisions of lower-income voters, men and middle-aged voters. Healthcare is on the mind of seniors, and Republicans, though for different reasons. Taxes are motivating young voters, conservatives, and voters with children.
Ohio voters oppose the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, 54% to 37%. Whites and blacks, and Democrats and Republicans, see the issue in stark contrast.
Ohio voters support the medical use of marijuana, 56% to 37%, with opposition coming from seniors and conservatives.
Ohio voters split on the issue of same-sex marriage. 43% support legalizing gay marriage. 49% oppose. 48% say Ohio should recognize same-sex marriages that have been performed in other states; 45% say Ohio should not recognize such marriages.
Heading into the final week before the 05/06/14 Primary:
* 46% approve of the job that Republican John Kasich is doing as Governor. 39% disapprove.
* 33% have a favorable opinion of Democratic candidate Ed Fitzgerald; 23% have an unfavorable opinion; significantly: 45% have no opinion of Fitzgerald.
* 46% of voters say Ohio is on the right track; 43% say Ohio is on the wrong track.

In a hypothetical election today for Governor of Ohio, 46% would vote for incumbent Republican Kasich, 36% would vote for Democratic challenger Fitzgerald. In a separate hypothetical election today for Governor, 50% would vote for Kasich if he were opposed by Democratic challenger Larry Ealy, who gets 25%.

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 900 state of Ohio adults 04/24/14 through 04/28/14. Of the adults, 810 were registered to vote. Of the registered, 618 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely voters. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (71% of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (29% of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.

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KEY FINDING: Ohioans oppose the Affordable Care Act by a 54-37 Margin

Daniel G.

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US Economy may have stalled last quarter…..

But that stall maybe just a weather issue….

We KNOW we’re having a rough weather winter..and spring so far….

The U.S. economy stalled during the first three months of the year, according to government data released Wednesday morning, failing to meet even modest expectations for growth that could renew concerns over the sustainability of the recovery.

The nation’s gross domestic product expanded at a meager 0.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter — well below forecasts for 1.2 percent growth. The slowdown reflected weaker exports, a decline in business investment and cuts in state and local government spending, among other things. The recovery was propped up by strong consumer spending, driven in part by health-care spending after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The Commerce Department, which releases the data, emphasized that the numbers are preliminary. The government will revise the data twice more as additional information is collected. Economists had already trimmed their expectations for growth during the quarter in the face of this year’s brutally cold winter. Many believe the slowdown is only temporary and that the recovery will enjoy a bounceback through the spring.

“This is not a weak economy,” said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics. “This is an economy that had two bad months because of the weather and got back to normal in March.”

More….

Note…

The Housing Market IS slowed by climbing interest rates right now….

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Hillary leads Jeb by 12 points in 4/30/14 Wash Post Poll….

Yea it’s a little more than 2 years out….

Yea we don’t KNOW if either of the the two will actually run and get their parties nomination…

But what the heck….

Hillary Clinton leads former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) in a hypothetical 2016 presidential matchup, a new poll suggests.

Clinton leads Bush 53 to 41 percent, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday.

Two-thirds said they view the Clinton family favorably while 54 percent said they have a favorable opinion of the Bushes.

The poll found Bush and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) lead the potential GOP 2016 field, but only with 14 percent support each.

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A knock against Nate Silver’s way …

Someone else throwing against Nate Silver’s way of looking at 2014 Senate Midterm elections….

He is now competing with the folks he recently left at the New York Times….

They’ve now called their political operation the ‘Upshot’…

Josh Krausher over @ National Journal likes Silver’s Presidential stuff but doubts his Senate stuff right now….

I’m a numbers guy. As a baseball fan, I pore over box scores, regularly second-guess managers who use old-school tactics, and was probably one of Nate Silver’s first readers and an early subscriber to the sabermetric reference book Baseball Prospectus, where he made a name for himself projecting player outcomes. In reporting on and analyzing politics, I rely greatly on fundraising reports and polling data to inform the trajectory of key races.

But count me underwhelmed by the new wave of Senate prediction models assessing the probability of Republicans winning the upper chamber by one-tenth of a percentage point. It’s not that the models aren’t effective at what they’re designed to do. It’s that the methodology behind them is flawed. Unlike baseball, where the sample size runs in the thousands of at-bats or innings pitched, these models overemphasize a handful of early polls at the expense of on-the-ground intelligence on candidate quality. As Silver might put it, there’s a lot of noise to the signal.

The models also undervalue the big-picture indicators suggesting that 2014 is shaping up to be a wave election for Republicans, the type of environment where even seemingly safe incumbents can become endangered. Nearly every national poll, including Tuesday’s ABC News/Washington Post survey, contains ominous news for Senate Democrats. President Obama’s job approval is at an all-time low of 41 percent, and public opinion on his health care law hasn’t budged and remains a driving force in turning out disaffected voters to the polls to register their anger. Public opinion on the economy isn’t any better than it was before the 2010 midterms when the unemployment rate hit double-digits. Democrats hold only a 1-point lead on the generic ballot in the ABC/WaPo survey—worse positioning than before the GOP’s 2010 landslide.

These macro-indicators don’t square with targeted Democratic senators—such as Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Warner of Virginia, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon—being rated heavy favorites to near locks for reelection, as the Silver and Upshot models show. The models are great at concluding the obvious—red-state Democrats are in trouble!—but blind to anticipating future outcomes, given their dependence on limited public polling and quarterly fundraising figures, and other lagging indicators. This far out from an election, their predictive value is limited.

Instead of trash talking—I’m a big fan of the data-centric sites….

More….

Note….

Is this guy wearing a GOP baseball hat?

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China is closing in fast on becoming the World’s Largest Economy?

…from Bloomberg….

China is poised to overtake the U.S. as the world’s biggest economy, while India has vaulted into third place, ahead of Japan, using calculations that take exchange rates into account.

China’s economy was 87 percent of the size of that of the U.S. in 2011, assessed according to so-called purchasing power parity, the International Comparison Program said in a statement in Washington yesterday. The program, which involves organizations including the World Bank and United Nations, had put the figure at 43 percent in 2005.

Changes in methodology contributed to the speed of China’s rise and India jumping to third-biggest in 2011 from 10th in 2005. Purchasing power parity seeks to compare how far money goes in each country. Using market rates, U.S. gross domestic product was $16.2 trillion in 2012, compared with China’s $8.2 trillion…..

Source….

Note….

CNN does NOT agree that China will SURPASS the American Economy anytime soon….

As a matter of fact the Chinese economy is faltering now while the American economy crawls ahead….

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Update on the Burwell nomination to replace Sebelius @ HHS…

Republicans are now seeking to squeeze President Obama for changes in the Affordable Healthcare Law as expected….

Included is getting rid of the mandate….

The Democrats have the votes….

Lets see how this plays…

Five House Republicans from Louisiana are demanding that their senators place a hold on President Obama’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) until the administration withdraws the individual mandate.

The call for Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and David Vitter (R-La.) to act comes as Landrieu faces a tough reelection battle that has ObamaCare at the center of the debate. It is unlikely to bring any changes to the law, because Senate Democrats have the votes to confirm a new HHS head.

In a letter Tuesday, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and four colleagues strongly criticized the Affordable Care Act as a drag on the economy and disruptive to the health insurance system.

The lawmakers urged Landrieu and Vitter to use the nomination of Sylvia Mathews Burwell as leverage to try to extract changes to the law, implying that the individual mandate to buy health insurance should be abolished.

More….

Note….

Surprise!….

kathleen Sebelius has quietly slipped out of the media, eh?

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Will the American Pro-Israeli Groups accept a ‘dovish’ Pro-Israeli Jewish lobbying one?…

Can the American Jewish community accept a group off other’s who support Israeli….

But supports Peace with the Palestinians ….Even if Israel has to give up some things?

The American Jewish community, increasingly vexed by debate over Israel within its ranks, faces a closely watched test this week: The major umbrella organization of Jewish groups plans to vote on whether to admit a dovish lobbying organization that has been critical of some Israeli policies.

The vote on whether to allow the group, J Street, to join the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations comes at a time when Jewish institutions have been struggling over how much debate over Israel they are willing to tolerate. On college campuses, there are roiling arguments over whether certain critics of Israel can address Jewish groups; synagogues have questioned whether views on Israel should disqualify potential speakers; and in New York, the annual pro-Israel parade has faced criticism over the views on Israel held by some marchers.

J Street, which calls itself pro-Israel and pro-peace, has consciously posed a challenge to the mainstay of the Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac, by taking positions sometimes critical of the Israeli government and endorsing some American politicians who do the same. J Street was critical of Israel’s 2008 ground invasion of Gaza and backs Western negotiations with Iran despite Israel’s strong opposition.

The application by J Street to join the Conference of Presidents has sharply divided the leadership of Jewish communal organizations….

More…..

Note….

Thanks to DSD for educating me on the J-Street Group….

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Federal judge strikes down Wisconsin’s voter ID law…

The judges decision will be appealed….

But maybe…just maybe the judicial branch can fight within it’s self to overturn Republicans efforts to disenfranchise whole blocks of Americans that might vote Democratic….( Could they re-impose the poll tax next?)

We’ll cross our fingers on this one…

In a decision that could have implications nationally and in Wisconsin’s November elections, a federal judge on Tuesday struck down the state’s voter ID law, saying it violated the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution.

The law known as Act 23 had already been blocked by a state judge. For the law to be put back in place, supporters would have to overturn both the state and federal decisions — a possibility thatcould prove difficult between now and the Nov. 4 election for governor.

“There is no way to determine exactly how many people Act 23 will prevent or deter from voting without considering the individual circumstances of each of the 300,000 plus citizens who lack an ID,” U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman wrote in his 70-page ruling. “But no matter how imprecise my estimate may be, it is absolutely clear that Act 23 will prevent more legitimate votes from being cast than fraudulent votes.”

Adelman, who is based in Milwaukee, found the state didn’t have an appropriate rationale for imposing a voter ID requirement. In-person voter impersonation — the only type of fraud a voter ID law can prevent — is nonexistent or virtually nonexistent in Wisconsin, he wrote.

“Because virtually no voter impersonation occurs in Wisconsin and it is exceedingly unlikely that voter impersonation will become a problem in Wisconsin in the foreseeable future, this particular state interest has very little weight,” he wrote.

“The defendants could not point to a single instance of known voter impersonation occurring in Wisconsin at any time in the recent past.”

Adelman, a former Democratic state senator known for sponsoring the state’s open records law, determined that in practice the law requiring voters to show one of nine types of photo IDs at the polls established an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote. It also violated the federal Voting Rights Act because its effects hit Latinos and African-Americans harder than whites, he wrote.

Under the voter ID law, minorities “must pay the cost, in the form of time or bother or out-of-pocket expense, to obtain what is essentially a license to vote,” he wrote.

He issued an injunction barring the voter ID law from being enforced.

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who defended the law, immediately pledged to take the case to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

 More….

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What to expect from those people you sent to Congress up to November’s elections…

…from the Hill….

There’s six months to go before the elections, and Congress could get a lot done between now and then.

But don’t bet on it.

The following is a list of items on Congress’s plate.

Likely to become law

• Government funding

With the government shutdown still fresh in their minds, House GOP leaders won’t repeat the mistakes of 2013. This week, the House will launch their appropriations efforts, pushing three bills to fund Congress, the Departments of Commerce and Justice, and military construction projects and Veterans Affairs.

It is doubtful that Republicans will succeed in advancing all 12 appropriations bills before the Oct. 1 deadline, as some are hoping. But December’s bipartisan budget deal between Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has established a top-line figure that should ease the process, even amid grumbling from some members on the far left and far right.

• Women’s History Museum

After years of lobbying efforts by supporters on and off of Capitol Hill, legislation promoting a national women’s history museum around The Mall in Washington finally has legs this year. The bill has already passed unanimously through a pair of House committees, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has vowed to bring the measure to the floor, where it will likely pass easily. The Senate is expected to follow suit.

• Tax extenders

There’s growing pressure on Capitol Hill to renew the tax extenders package, a long list of tax breaks for businesses and individuals alike, including multibillion-dollar credits for renewable fuel technology and research and development.

Those tax breaks expired at the end of last year, but the Senate Finance Committee passed its $85 billion renewal bill earlier this month, and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) has scheduled a Tuesday hearing on the issue, focused heavily on his efforts to make several of those tax breaks permanent.

The tax extenders package is seen as the one final chance to pass major tax legislation this Congress, although there’s a growing sense that such action is more likely after the elections than before.

Unlikely to become law

• Immigration reform

 More….

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