Who Am I?

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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

READY FOR 2016? TRY READY FOR 2014






Earlier this month the website, Ready For Warren, was launched as a counter to the Ready For Hillary campaign.

Both are being touted as possible Democratic Party nominees for president.

Who do I think will be the Democratic Party's nominee in 2016?

I

DON'T

GIVE

A

SHIT

ABOUT

TWENTY

SIXTEEN

I could really care less about who is running for president in 2016 when there is an election in less than 100 days (98 days to be exact).

Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA, D) gave a speech at Netroots Nation in Detroit a couple of weekends ago and had some Democrats salivating at the prospects of a Warren candidacy.

And how does that maintain the Democratic majority in the Senate?

Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball regularly talks about Hillary Clinton's possible 2016 presidential run.

And how does that help the Democrats regain control of the House?

Every two years there is an election for federal offices in this country. All 435 seats in the US House and one-third of the US Senate.

US Senate elections are happening in these states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, both seats in Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, both seats in South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Republicans need to pick up 6 seats in order to gain the majority in the US Senate. That is a very likely scenario as there are seven Democratic senators from states that Romney won in 2012. Senators Tim Johnson (SD) and Jay Rockefeller (WV) are retiring. Senators Begich (AK), Pryor (AR), Landrieu (LA), and Hagen (NC) were elected in 2008 despite their state going for McCain except for North Carolina which went for Obama in that election. Senator Walsh (MT) was appointed to replace Max Baucus when he was appointed our ambassador to China, but a plagiarism scandal surrounding Walsh's master's thesis in college may derail his re-election chances.

There are also competitive races too. Retirements in Iowa and Michigan have turned those reliably Democratic seats into races to watch. Republicans are trying to unseat incumbent Senator Mark Udall here in Colorado while Democrats are trying to do the same to Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and also take advantage of Senator Saxby Chambliss's retirement in Georgia by turning that seat blue.

There are also several governor and other statewide elections and countless state legislature races.

Here in Colorado, Democrats hold a 37-28 edge in the state house but a narrow one-seat majority in the 35-seat state senate due to recall elections over the passage of tougher background checks before purchasing firearms that was passed in 2013.


Those state level races are just as important as federal level offices.

In 2013, Colorado passed a law allowing for same-sex couples to enter into a civil union. In the 2014 session of the 69th general assembly, this legislative body allowed for same-sex couples married in other states (like, say New Mexico) to file their taxes jointly.

I had a close family friend take advantage of Colorado's civil union bill. I am looking forward to the day of witnessing their marriage.

I am certain that everyone is hearing about the same-sex marriage rulings across the country. The Fourth and Tenth Circuits have upheld lower court rulings that bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. Last week the federal court for the district of Colorado released a ruling declaring our state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. This also coincides with recent state level rulings declaring that same result.

Attorney General John Suthers is vowing to fight to keep the ban in place. Take a guess which party he belongs to and what year was his recent re-election?

Democrats, Liberals, Progressives, and any other persons who lean in that direction need to break the habit of only showing up in election years divisible by four. They need to show up for elections in all the even numbered years.

Our country is paying for our side not showing up in 2010 like it did in 2008 and 2012.

Since state legislatures deal with redrawing representative districts after a census year and Republicans took control of at least one chamber of a state legislature, it is why Republicans held control of the US House in 2012 despite Democratic House candidates receiving 1.4 million more votes. Voters in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan voted for Democratic House candidates but Republicans in those states gained an overwhelming majority of seats.

At this time 21 states are not participating in Medicaid Expansion. Take a guess who has control of governing in these 21 states?

Because the House refuses to budge on raising the minimum wage, state legislatures in Massachusetts, Hawaii, Maryland, Connecticut, and Vermont have increased it to at least $10.10 as proposed by President Obama in his 2014 State Of The Union address. Massachusetts has the highest at $11 while Seattle took the bold action of going for a $15 an hour minimum wage. Those states and others that had minimum wage raises tied to inflation are disproving the myth that raising the minimum wage is a job killer.

And with the recent federal court cases concerning same-sex marriages, you can tell which states have attorney generals that recognize the changing attitudes towards LGBTs in this country and which ones will fight this to the bitter end.

I could go on. Education funding, infrastructure, water management, strengthening background checks on access to firearms, women's health care & reproductive rights. The list could easily go on forever.

If you are focusing on the one election in 2016 and not the ones in 2014, then you need to stop campaigning for Hillary or Warren and start campaigning for your Democrats running for office NOW.

The reason why President Obama got shit done in his first two years was because he had a cooperative Congress in those two years. Congress meaning both the House AND Senate. If we want more productive legislation and the things we want, that means Democrats need to be in charge of BOTH chambers of Congress which means Democrats along with those disgusted with the Tea Party driven Republican Party need to show to up to vote on 4 November 2014.

The 112th and 113th Congresses will go down as one of the least productive periods in legislative history. These two congresses COMBINED make the "Do-Nothing" 80th Congress look like the pillar of productivity. If Republicans keep control of at least one chamber of Congress, our government will continue its dysfunction for another two years.

This is not the time to abandon President Obama which is what is going on with the discussion over who should run for the Democratic nomination in 2016 before the 2014 election has even started early voting. His term is not over yet. He is still president until 20 January 2017.

I don't plan on discussing the 2016 election until 5 November… maybe 6 November depending on how bad my hangover is.

In the meantime, it is time to get ready for 2014.

The stakes in this election year are very important.


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