Weekend Wrap: Will Voters Stem the Tide of Californication?

Nary a mention in the print media of a GOP rally featuring renowned neurosurgeon, and potential 2016 presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson.  Yet, the AP writes of Democratic Sen. Jon Tester and Gov. Steve Bullock lending their “star power” to Democratic “Get Out the Vote” rallies.  (I guess if vetoing infrastructure for Eastern Montana and supporting Obamacare equals star power, have at it)

You may have noticed this as well, but also making an appearance at the Democratic Party GOTV rallies- the supposedly “non-partisian” judicial candidate Mike Wheat.  I digress…

Let’s get to this day before the election Weekend Wrapup.  First up, the most important races to watch on election day.  What happens if the GOP takes control of the US Senate?  Brutal poll numbers reveal Americans are losing faith in government. How The New York Times upset the “Bush Lied, People Died” narrative.  Black lawmakers are worried about solar power.  And, Netflix National Park?  The Drudge Report notes that Yellowstone National Park is looking to boost the bandwidth inside the park.  Those stories and more are in today’s Weekend Wrapup.      

The Wall Street Journal’s Capital Journal: COLORADO’S DEMOCRATIC DRIFT SEEMS TO STALL

With its pockets of immigrants and young families, Aurora, Colo., a growing city outside Denver, symbolizes the demographic winds that seemed to be pushing Colorado and similar states into the Democratic fold. That drift this year appears more tenuous, making Colorado a test case of voter sentiment in an important swing state. Recent fights over gun control, same-sex unions, immigration, marijuana, fracking and the death penalty have left some voters exhausted and more skeptical of the Democrats who lead the state. Beth Reinhard and Dan Frosch report.

Will Colorado voters stem the tide of Californication in Colorado?  If so, what message does that send to Montana Democrats hoping to do the same thing here?   

The Daily Caller: The Most Interesting Senate Races To Watch On Election Day

Colorado Senate
Why It Is Interesting: If Republican Rep. Cory Gardner defeats incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, that means the “War on Women” argument against the GOP isn’t working. Udall has devoted much of his campaign trying to appeal to women by attacking Gardner on abortion, though polling suggests the one-issue strategy has not worked.
Polling: The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Gardner leading Udall 46.4 to 42.6 percent.
Highlights: Udall featured a little girl in an abortion ad; Deadspin badly fumbled the piece on Gardner, falsely accusing him of lying about playing football.

Meanwhile in Iowa, Republican Jodi Ernst is telling folks to “shake it off” after these remarks from Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)

HotAir.com: Pro tip from retiring Dem: Ernst just a “really attractive” woman but not worth a vote

It’s worth pointing out that Ernst is hardly some unknown face on the ballot. She has served in the Iowa state Senate since 2011, and was Montgomery County Auditor for two terms prior to special-election win in the state Senate. Before her political career, Ernst served 21 years in the US Army and Iowa National Guard, including a 14-month tour in Iraq and Kuwait in 2003-4. She’s just a wee bit more than an attractive woman with a nice voice.

NY Times: Senate Control May Be Decided by Runoff Votes in Louisiana and Georgia

A Republican rout or a Democratic surprise in the overall results on Tuesday could mean that runoffs, if they happened, would make a difference only at the edges of the composition of the Senate.

But if control of the Senate is not settled on Tuesday, strategists foresee a frenzy of third-party advertising and visits from high-profile surrogates and presidential contenders that would make a runoff look like Iowa during a presidential campaign.

The Hill: Five things that would change in a Republican-led Senate

2. Senate confirmations: The battlefield tilts

A GOP-controlled Senate will make it even tougher for Obama to confirm nominees, a process that hasn’t exactly been plain sailing even with Democrats in charge.

Herman Cain: Five real changes (for the better) we should see if the Senate goes Republican

Budgets. Congress has not passed a real budget since 2009 because the Democrats didn’t want to put forth a document that allowed the public to see their fiscal irresponsibility. They’ve kept the government running with a series of continuing resolutions that assume existing spending priorities will simply continue.

That is the height of irresponsibility, but as long as the media let them get away with it – and they have – Harry Reid has no fear of continuing to use the tactic. With Republicans in control of both chambers, there is no reason they should not return to passing real budgets and putting them in front of Obama for his signature. If he doesn’t want to sign them because he has different priorities, that is his right, but he will have to make his case rather than hiding behind a continuing resolution process that shields him from all accountability.

Elsewhere, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) says President Obama could be convinced to broker a deal and lower corporate tax rates.

TheBlaze.com: Brutal Poll Numbers Reveal How America Is Losing Faith in the Government

A year ago, with Washington shut down and trust in government near records lows, the CDC still won a 75 percent approval rating, the highest of any federal agency, a poll by the Pew Research Center found. But when CBS News surveyed Americans in mid-October, just 37 percent said the agency was doing a good or excellent job.

The Homeland Security Department won a 66 percent approval rating a year ago. But that was before the Secret Service, which is a part of the agency, was caught in a number of lapses: among them, the agency’s failure to stop a man armed with a knife from scaling the fence and running into White House and the unchecked entry of an armed contractor onto an elevator with the president. In the new CBS news poll, just 38 percent of those questioned rated the Secret Service’s performance as good or excellent and 43 percent did so for its parent department.

The Veterans Administration was viewed favorably by 68 percent of those polled last year. But it too has since been swept up in a scandal over long wait times for veterans seeking care and records that were falsified to camouflage the problems. In the CBS poll, just 30 percent rated the VA as doing a good job.

Also from WSJ’s Capital Journal:

Shadi Hamid, in The Atlantic, writes that the appeal of the Islamic State lies in the fact that the ideas it advances, particularly the establishment of an Islamic caliphate, “have broad resonance among Muslim-majority populations… even among more secular-minded Muslims.”

DailySignal.com: How a New York Times Story Upset the ‘Bush Lied, People Died’ Narrative

The discovery of these weapons proves that Saddam Hussein failed to fulfill his disarmament obligations under multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.

And the compliance issue was at the very core of the Bush administration’s case against Iraq at the United Nations.

Finding stockpiles of chemical munitions clearly didn’t mesh with the “Bush lied, people died” narrative. The reporter seems to have seized on the 1991 date and the secondary issue of “active” programs to explain it away.

MichelleMalkin.com: The New York Times’ war on gun-owning rape victims

This week, Firestone took aim at “attack ads” sponsored by the National Rifle Association. The “worst commercial,” he says, “features a rape victim describing her assault and accusing” former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg “of wanting to take away her right to defend herself.”

Weeks was brutally raped as a college junior at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. As she recounted last year, “I will never know if I would have been able to stop my rape if I had owned a firearm. I can tell you that any fear I had of guns evaporated as soon as I got a second chance at living my life. Had I been armed, I very well could have changed my circumstances and possibly prevented another attack on myself or the next victim.”

The Times has spilled barrels and barrels of ink decrying the campus rape epidemic. Its opinion writers and reporters call for more money for sexual assault prevention, more government programs and more respect for rape victims. But when a rape victim advocates armed self-defense, where’s the crusading New York Times?

The Hill: Black Lawmakers Worry That Solar Subsidies Spur Inequality

African-American state lawmakers are worried that policies encouraging the use of rooftop solar panels may be widening inequality between rich and poor communities, hitting minorities especially hard.
The National Black Caucus of State Legislators embraces green energy sources, like solar power, but worries that current subsidies for rooftop solar panels hurt blacks and other poor communities because they are essentially a wealth transfer from poor to rich.

“We are concerned about the regressive nature of the cost-shifting that results from the net metering policies used to make [distributed generation (DG)] appear to be a more attractive financial proposition,” NBCSL wrote in a recent report.

“The end result is that households not able to afford DG systems are inadvertently left to pay more for the electric grid. These costs will continue to escalate as DG providers continue to market to more affluent households,” NBCSL reported.

On The Drudge Report–  ALWAYS ON: Yellowstone park considers bumping up bandwidth…

Can Old Faithful compete with Netflix? The prospect of streaming wireless service deep inside Yellowstone National Park is re-igniting the debate over whether there should be any place off limits to technology.

Park officials are in preliminary discussions with CenturyLink about installing a $34 million fiber-optic line through neighboring Grand Teton National Park and into Yellowstone. That would dramatically improve connectivity in certain areas for mobile devices.

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