Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

... has been cancelled due to a change in management.

The Wires

The Ledes

Friday, January 20, 2017.

Washington Post: "The world’s most notorious drug lord, Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán, was extradited to the United States on Thursday night, whisked away from the country where he built an empire that delivered tons of heroin, cocaine and marijuana to the world." -- CW ...

     ... New York Times Update: "While most Americans were turned toward Washington and the inauguration of Donald J. Trump..., prosecutors in the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn held a news conference on Friday morning detailing the charges against Mr. Guzmán, who was flown out of Mexico on Thursday afternoon and arrived that night at MacArthur Airport on Long Island.... The government’s detention memo also gave an early glimpse of the case against Mr. Guzmán. It said that prosecutors planned to call several witnesses who would testify about the staggering scope of Mr. Guzmán’s criminal enterprise: including its multi-ton shipments of drugs in planes and submersibles and its numerous killings of witnesses, law enforcement agents, public officials and rival cartel members." -- CW 

Public Service Announcement

Safety/Irony Alert. CNBC (December 25): Your new home security system may be an open invitation to hackers to make you, and perhaps many others, unsafe.” -- CW

New York Times: "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus announced on Saturday night that after 146 years of performances, it was folding its big tent forever. In a statement on the company’s website, Kenneth Feld, the chief executive of Feld Entertainment, the producer of Ringling, said the circus would hold its final performances in May. He cited declining ticket sales, which dropped even more drastically after elephants were phased out from the shows last year." -- CW 

The Washington Post publishes a series of photos of the Vice President's residence.

Los Angeles Times: "Perhaps fittingly for an industry that has been trying to console itself in the wake of a presidential election result few saw coming, the 74th Golden Globes, held at the Beverly Hilton, proved a big night for the fizzy romantic musical 'La La Land,' a love letter to Hollywood itself that is widely considered the film to beat in this year’s best picture race." -- CW ...

Marisa Kashino of the Washingtonian: "... multiple real-estate sources say [Ivanka] Trump and husband Jared Kushner will move into 2449 Tracy Pl, NW, in Kalorama. That will put the couple less than two blocks from the Obamas, who will reportedly move here post-White House." Realtors' photos of the Kushner-Trump house are here. The six-bedroom house ... sold on December 22nd for $5.5 million, though it is unclear whether Trump and Kushner bought it, or will rent it from the recent buyer." -- CW 

Daniel Politi of Slate: "Los Angeles residents got a little surprise when they woke up on the first day of the year and realized one of the city’s most famous landmarks had been vandalized to read 'HOLLYWeeD' — at least for a few hours. Police say the vandal used tarps to change the sign’s O’s into E’s. Security cameras caught the vandal — likely a man — changing the sign between midnight and 2 a.m. but police can’t tell the person’s race or height from the footage, reports KTLA. If caught, the vandal could face a misdemeanor trespassing charge." -- CW 

Politico's Late Nite Jokes:

Washington Post: "The Kennedy Center Honors showcased the breadth of American music Sunday night [Dec. 4] with emotionally charged performances celebrating the gospel roots of Mavis Staples, the honeyed vocals of James Taylor and the Southern California harmonies of the Eagles. The 39th annual celebration of lifetime achievement in the performing arts also honored actor Al Pacino and pianist Martha Argerich in a three-hour party that offered a wistful goodbye to Barack and Michelle Obama, who were hosting their last Honors tribute. The sold-out audience stood and cheered for several minutes when the president and first lady were introduced."

A Night at the Opera. Los Angeles Times: "The curtain rose on Act 2 of 'The Daughter of the Regiment,' revealing the figure of a tiny woman barely visible in a large dome chair with her back to the audience. Suddenly, she swiveled around — and there was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.Cheers and prolonged applause rang out from the crowd at the Kennedy Center on Saturday night even before Ginsburg, a life-long opera lover who was making her official operatic debut, opened her mouth to speak as the imperious Duchess of Krakenthorp.... Her biggest laugh came when — in apparent reference to the bogus 'birther' campaign against President Obama — she asked whether [the character] Marie could produce a birth certificate and added: 'We must take precautions against fraudulent pretenders.' Ginsburg herself wrote her dialogue, in collaboration with ... [the] dramaturge for the Washington National Opera...." -- CW 

Bruce Springsteen performs at Hillary Clinton's rally in Philadelphia, November 7:

Washington Post: "Paul Beatty won the Man Booker Prize on Tuesday evening in London, becoming the first American ever to take home the prestigious award. His satirical novel 'The Sellout' beat five other finalists for the $60,000 prize, which also essentially guarantees substantial new sales and interest around the world. Amanda Foreman, chair of the Booker judges, called 'The Sellout' 'a novel for our times. . . . Its humor disguises a radical seriousness. Paul Beatty slays sacred cows with abandon and takes aim at racial and political taboos with wit, verve and a snarl.' Originally published last year in the United States, 'The Sellout' is an outrageously funny satire of American race relations. The protagonist, a black man whose father was killed by police, wants to reinstitute segregation in his California town. He eventually lands before the Supreme Court in a bizarre case involving slavery. 'The Sellout' also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in March." -- CW 

Washington Post: "Comic actor, movie star and America’s best friend Bill Murray tried to sum up the emotions of being honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Sunday night [Oct. 23] at the Kennedy Center. 'My theme tonight is what is it like to be beloved,' a straight-faced Murray told the crowd at the end of the two-hour salute. 'It’s hard to listen to all those people be nice to you. You just get so suspicious.'”

Hill: Actor Bill Murray "spoke with President Obama, who congratulated him for winning this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, a White House official said. Asked by reporters in the Oval Office if he met with Murray, Obama said 'absolutely,' but didn’t reveal what else they discussed."

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The Commentariat -- Nov. 7, 2014

NEW. Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post: "President Obama has invited top lawmakers to the White House on Friday for a luncheon that will serve as his first attempt to break a years-long logjam with congressional Republican leaders. During a Friday morning Cabinet meeting, Obama called the results of Tuesday's midterm elections 'significant' and said he would be listening during lunch for areas where the two parties can work together, especially on manufacturing, boosting exports and early childhood education":

Andy Borowitz: "President Obama is under increasing pressure to work closely and cooperatively with a group of people who are suing him in federal court, the people suing him confirmed today. 'Over the past six years, President Obama has been stubborn, arrogant, and oppositional,' John Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House, said. 'His refusal to work with people who are suing him is just the latest example.'" ...

... Speaking of Whom.... Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times: "After years of clashes and a grudging truce, fiscal and economic policy was brought back to center stage by the wave of Republican electoral victories on Tuesday, with both President Obama and the new congressional leadership expressing hope that deals can be reached to simplify the tax code, promote trade and eliminate the budget deficit." CW: I can hardly wait. ...

... Jonathan Chait: "House Speaker John Boehner today warned that if President Obama takes unilateral action to ease life for undocumented immigrants, as he has promised, it will kill any chance of a bill passing Congress.... So, if Obama does not act on his own, then the House will act? Well, no. Boehner won't promise that, either." ...

     ... Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post with a reminder: "In June 2013, the U.S. Senate passed an immigration overhaul bill with 68 votes.... The legislation went to the House, where it promptly died. Boehner (R-Hostage) backed down after the more vocal minority in his majority revolted.... All he has to do is allow the Senate immigration bill to go to the floor for a vote in the lame-duck session. Boehner has the power to do what he says he wants done. Why won't he use it?"

Ed O'Keefe & Sean Sullivan of the Washington Post: "Republicans openly gloated Thursday about their sweeping midterm victories and said they can finally pass legislation long opposed by President Obama and Democrats.... NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring lampooned the Democrats' turnout, calling it 'The New Coke' of the 2014 cycle.... [House Speaker John] Boehner's litany of legislative proposals and his warning to Obama signaled that he saw little need to extend an olive branch to Democrats.

Jonathan Chait: In their brilliant Wall Street Journal op-ed (linked here yesterday) Mitch McConnell & John Boehner "mentioned three proposals that have any significant fiscal effects....: According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, their three proposals would increase the deficit over the next ten years by $109BB, $73BB, & $29BB respectively. "Of course, all the fiscal proposals they list are related to Obamacare." CW: Congratulations, fiscal conservatives! I wonder how much play this is getting on Fox "News."

Tim Egan: "Maybe it's best to close your eyes and fall into a Rip Van Winkle slumber for the next two years. The party that has refused to govern for half a decade and ran a substance-free campaign will now play at governing and not take up anything of substance."

CW: Are you missing the Party of No yet?

Lori Montgomery & Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post: "Democrats are planning to rush a host of critical measures to President Obama's desk, including bills to revive dozens of expired tax breaks and avoid a government shutdown for another year. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) is also aiming to chip away at a backlog of presidential nominations to the federal bench and the State Department over the next month, although Democratic aides say they will be unable to process all of the hundreds of pending appointments before turning the chamber over to Republicans. Republican leaders, too, are inclined to clear the legislative decks of must-pass bills so they can start fresh in January...."

Steve Benen: Republicans are now predicting a "100-year majority." They do that quite often.

Via Kate M.

... Here's One Fellow Speaking for a "Large Group." Catherine Thompson of TPM: "A man who called into C-SPAN's 'Washington Journal' Thursday morning referred to President Barack Obama as 'that n***er' before getting booted off the air.... 'This is about race,' he [said]. 'The Republicans hate that nigger Obama.'" ...

... Some South Carolinians don't like exit polls that ask them if they're racists. CW: Because that's unpossible, I guess.

The Party of Nothing, Ctd. Peter Beinart of the Atlantic: "This fall, Democrats ran like they were afraid of losing.... For the most part, Democratic candidates shied away from [hot-button] issues because they were too controversial. Instead they stuck to topics that were safe, familiar, and broadly popular: the minimum wage, outsourcing, and the 'war on women.' The result, for the most part, was homogenized, inauthentic, forgettable campaigns.... Hillary Clinton ... lost to Obama in 2008 in part because she could not overcome her penchant for ultra-cautious, hyper-sanitized, consultant-speak. Yet on the stump this year, she was as deadening as the candidates she campaigned for." ...

... Peter Hamby of CNN: "The strategist in charge of electing a Republican Senate majority thanked Democrats on Thursday for keeping President Barack Obama on the sidelines and building their campaigns around women's issues instead of making an economic argument. Rob Collins, the executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told reporters in a postmortem session that Democrats 'sidelined their best messenger' by running from Obama. 'They were so focused on independents that they forgot they had a base,' Collins said of Democratic campaigns." ...

... Correspondent Jordan Klepper of "The Daily Show" elaborates:

... Klepper must be right. Turns out It's Morning in America All Over Again. David Brooks: "Republicans ... establish[ed their] dominant position because ... they have deep roots in four of the dominant institutions of American society: the business community, the military, the church and civic organizations." Bask, people, in the warm glow of conservative rectitude. ...

... Before Paul Krugman snaps you back into reality: "... it's not often that a party that is so wrong about so much does as well as Republicans did on Tuesday.... The story of conservative economics these past six years and more has been one of intellectual debacle -- made worse by the striking inability of many on the right to admit error under any circumstances. Then there's health reform, where Republicans were very clear about what was supposed to happen: minimal enrollments, more people losing insurance than gaining it, soaring costs. Reality, so far, has begged to differ.... And we shouldn't forget the most important wrongness of all, on climate change.... The biggest secret of the Republican triumph surely lies in the discovery that obstructionism bordering on sabotage is a winning political strategy." ...

... BUT Krugman Can't Be Right. Matt O'Brien of the Washington Post: Hedge-fund billionaire "Paul Singer thinks Weimar-style inflation might be coming because he has to pay more for his posh vacation homes and art pieces.... If this is the best the inflation truthers can do, they should probably follow Mark Twain's advice and keep their mouths shut for now. Somehow I don't think Janet Yellen is losing sleep over what people are paying for Picassos."

** Ron Brownstein of the National Journal: "Tuesday's resounding Republican sweep closely followed the script of the GOP's landslide in 2010, and it exposed perhaps even more deeply the limits of the modern Democratic coalition -- while underscoring the party's persistent inability to convince enough whites that they will benefit from activist government.... In the national House exit poll, Republicans carried exactly three-fifths of whites, virtually unchanged from 2012 and 2010.... The only Democrat in a top-tier Senate race who carried a majority of whites was New Hampshire's Jeanne Shaheen, who won."

Jenna Portnoy & Rachel Weiner of the Washington Post: Sen. Mark Warner (SortaD-Va.) nearly lost (or did lose -- the election is still undecided; he's ahead by less than 17,000 votes) re-election because he relied on strategies that worked in the past but ignored the state's new demographic realities. ...

... Ed Kilgore: "Sometimes very smart people have a hard time abandoning the monuments of their brilliance. And it nearly cost Warner -- and the Democratic Party -- a slam-dunk Senate race."

Democrats Dump Landrieu. James Hohmann & Maggie Haberman of Politico: "The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has canceled its advertising reservations for Sen. Mary Landrieu ahead of the December runoff in Louisiana."

Danny Vinik of the New Republic: "The economy keeps on improving but workers still aren't feeling it.... Job growth is only part of the story. Wage growth also matters and on that front, workers continue to come up short. Wages grew just 0.1 percent last month and have risen just 2 percent over the past year. That's barely keeping up with inflation. If you're wondering why so many Americans listed the economy as the most important issue facing the country in Tuesday's elections, you don't have to look much further than that. Median household income is still below its 2008 levels."

Ben Adler of Grist: "Regardless of their views on the science, [newly-elected GOP Senators] are unanimous in their opposition to actually doing anything about it, and in their enthusiasm for exploiting America's land and water for the benefit of the fossil fuel industries."

Annals of "Justice," Ctd. Erik Eckholm of the New York Times: "By a 2-to-1 vote, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld the right of states to ban same-sex marriage, overturning lower-court decisions in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that had found such restrictions to be unconstitutional. The long-awaited decision, written by Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, an appointee of President George W. Bush, ​was the first appeals court to uphold a ban on same-sex marriage, contradicting rulings by four other federal circuit courts. The ruling appeared almost certain to force the Supreme Court to decide the same-sex marriage issue for the nation." ...

... Lyle Denniston of ScotusBlog: "The decision was based largely on the two-judge majority's view that the question whether to move the nation toward same-sex marriage in every state is for the people or the states, and not for judges applying the national Constitution." ...

... Ian Millhiser of Think Progress: "... Sutton's opinion is likely to be reversed by the Supreme Court. It is very unlikely that the justices would have allowed other court decisions siding with marriage equality to take effect unless they believed that there are five votes on the Court to extend marriage equality throughout the land."

The Law School Con. Jeff Toobin in the New Yorker: "In law, as in the nation, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. With lawyers, though, it's the system of professional education that's directly contributing to inequality.... Law schools have continued to cycle students through their doors and load them up with debt, in spite of the reduced demand for legal education (and for lawyers). Eighty-five percent of graduates now carry at least a hundred thousand dollars in debt."

Erik Eckholm: "With a $50 million foundation grant, the largest in its history, the American Civil Liberties Union plans to mount an eight-year political campaign across the country to make a change of criminal justice policies a key issue in local, state and national elections. The goal of the campaign, financed by George Soros's Open Society Foundations, is to slash an incarceration rate that has tripled since 1980. There are currently some 2.2 million prisoners in the United States." ...

... CW: This is another reminder that left-leaning big spenders like Soros, whether or not you agree with their objectives, give money to causes from which they receive no direct benefit, whereas greed/personal gain is almost always the inspiration for right-wing "giving."

Obama is still pen-pals with Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Khamenei. The Wall Street Journal thinks this is a big deal. CW: I think it's diplomacy.

Anne Gearan & Adam Goldman of the Washington Post: "A veteran State Department diplomat and longtime Pakistan expert is under federal investigation as part of a counterintelligence probe and has had her security clearances withdrawn, according to U.S. officials. The FBI searched the Northwest Washington home of Robin L. Raphel last month, and her State Department office was also examined and sealed, officials said. Raphel, a fixture in Washington's diplomatic and think-tank circles, was placed on administrative leave last month, and her contract with the State Department was allowed to expire this week."

Oh, Look. Matt Taibbi is back at Rolling Stone with the story of Alayne Fleischmann, the whistleblower JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon & AG Eric Holder have spent years trying squelch. You can file this under the fruits of the Party of Nothing. ...

     ... Shane Ferro of Business Insider: "The real crux of this story is that the Justice Department really does have enough to go after specific people for specific crimes committed leading up to the financial crisis and chooses to take giant cash settlements instead. No one has to admit they are guilty. The banks continue to exist as they are. No banker suffers the unpleasantness of going to jail. The ones to get punished, ironically, might be the whistleblowers." CW: That's right. Not every banker is too big to jail. Thanks, Eric Holder.

AP-FBI News Service. AP: "FBI director James Comey says an agent impersonated an Associated Press reporter during a 2007 criminal investigation, a ruse the news organization says could undermine its credibility. In a letter Thursday to the New York Times, Comey said the agent 'portrayed himself as an employee of the Associated Press' to help catch a 15-year-old suspect accused of making bomb threats at a high school near Olympia, Washington. It was publicized last week that the FBI forged an AP story during its investigation, but Comey's letter revealed the agency went further and had an agent actually pretend to be a reporter for the wire service." ...

... Here's Comey's letter to the Times. He argues, "That technique was proper and appropriate under Justice Department and F.B.I. guidelines at the time. Today, the use of such an unusual technique would probably require higher level approvals than in 2007, but it would still be lawful and, in a rare case, appropriate."

Josh Feldman of Mediaite: "A Kentucky elementary school teacher resigned from her job after St. Margaret Mary Catholic School kept her out over fears from students and parents about Ebola. Susan Sherman recently returned from doing mission work in Kenya, where there are no current cases of Ebola. The school ... placed her on leave for a 21-day period. Sherman blasted the school's decision as ignorance, because again, Kenya doesn't have Ebola." CW: But Kenya is where President Obama was born, so Ebola.

Gillian Flaccus of the Washington Post: "More than 40 years after [Nixon chief-of-staff H. R.] Haldeman made his last audio diary recording, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda on Thursday released 285 segments from entries spanning from 1970 to 1973.... Mixed in among the accounts of top-level diplomacy ... are revealing nuggets of daily life...."

Presidential Election

Manu Raju of Politico: "Sen. Rand Paul and Kentucky Republicans are exploring the possibility of turning the state's presidential primary into a caucus instead -- a move that could allow him to run for both his Senate seat and president in 2016. The preliminary discussions have begun in the wake of Kentucky Democrats retaining control of the statehouse in Tuesday's elections. Democratic leaders of that chamber have already vowed not to change the law, hoping to force Paul to abandon his Senate seat in order to pursue the White House."

Shushannah Walshe of ABC News: "Yes, the 2016 race for the White House has already gotten started -- and it looks like Dr. Ben Carson is first in the ring. Carson, a famous pediatric neurosurgeon and conservative political star, will air a nearly 40 minute-long ad introducing himself to the American people this weekend, an aide to Carson confirms to ABC News.... [Besides being rude at a White House prayer breakfast,] he also called for a private health care savings plan and a flat tax in a speech that went viral and led to an editorial in the Wall Street Journal titled Ben Carson for President. He is known as a fierce opponent of the president's health care law known as Obamacare." ...

... CW: So answer this -- why is a brilliant doctor stupider than we are? Is he just a selfish prick or is he genuinely naive?

Beyond the Beltway

AP: "Former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps, who resigned abruptly this week, has been charged with accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from a Rankin County businessman. The 49-count federal indictment, unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Jackson, also charges Cecil McCrory of Brandon with paying Epps to obtain contracts for himself and other companies.... Epps is accused of receiving more than $700,000 from 2008 to 2014. Epps was charged on 35 felony counts including conspiracy, bribery, money laundering and honest services wire fraud. McCrory was charged on 15 felony counts including conspiracy, bribery, money laundering conspiracy and honest services wire fraud. The indictment said McCrory was paid by companies that received contracts from the Corrections Department to run private prisons, including Cornell Group, GEO Group and current contractor Management and Training Corp. The companies were named in the indictment but not charged."

News Ledes

Washington Post: "President Obama authorized Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Friday to send up to 1,500 additional U.S. troops to Iraq, roughly doubling the force the United States has built up since June to fight the Islamic State militants who control much of Iraq and Syria."

Friday Afternoon News Dump. New York Times: "The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a new challenge to the Affordable Care Act, potentially imperiling President Obama's signature legislative achievement two years after it survived a different challenge in the court by a single vote. The case, King v. Burwell, No. 14-114, concerns tax subsidies that are central to the operation of the health care law.... It takes only four votes to add a case to the Supreme Court's docket. They may have come from the four members of the court who were ready in 2012 to strike down the Affordable Care Act: Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. Once again, it seems, the fate of the law may rest with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr." Thanks to Victoria D. for the lead.

Washington Post: "Republican Ed Gillespie conceded to Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) on Friday, concluding a closely watched race that turned into a surprise nail-biter as a wave of support for GOP candidates swept the county."

New York Times: "Loretta E. Lynch, the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, has emerged as a leading contender to be the next attorney general, officials close to the process said, as President Obama looks outside his inner circle to fill a crucial post."

New York Times: "Three days after voters expressed their discontent with the state of the economy, the government on Friday reported further signs of improvement, estimating that employers added 214,000 jobs in October, while the official jobless rate dropped to 5.8 percent. The increase was behind the average monthly employment gain of 227,000 so far this year."

New York Times: "More than 600 American service members since 2003 have reported to military medical staff members that they believe they were exposed to chemical warfare agents in Iraq, but the Pentagon failed to recognize the scope of the reported cases or offer adequate tracking and treatment to those who may have been injured, defense officials say. The Pentagon's disclosure abruptly changed the scale and potential costs of the United States' encounters with abandoned chemical weapons during the occupation of Iraq, episodes the military had for more than a decade kept from view."

Washington Post: Robert "O'Neill confirmed to The Washington Post that he was the unnamed SEAL who was first to tumble through the doorway of [Osama] bin Laden's bedroom..., taking aim at the terrorist leader as he stood in darkness behind his youngest wife. In an account later confirmed by two other SEALs, the Montana native described firing the round that hit bin Laden squarely in the forehead, killing him instantly."


The Commentariat -- Nov. 6, 2014

Juliet Eilperin, et al., of the Washington Post: "President Obama said Wednesday that he accepts the American public's message in the midterm elections that Washington needs to break its political gridlock, even as he will now face a tougher final two years after Republicans won control of the Senate for the first time in seven years. 'I hear you,' Obama said at a news conference in the East Room":

     ... Here's the transcript of the presser, via the WashPo. ...

... Josh Lederman of the AP: "Speaking the afternoon after his party was dealt a punishing blow in the midterm elections, Obama said a new military authorization is one of a few areas where he will seek to work with Congress during the lame-duck session before a new Congress is seated in January. He said the goal was to update an authorization narrowly tailored to the fight against al-Qaida to be more applicable to the current mission against IS extremists in Iraq and Syria." ...

... Dana Milbank is awfully upset that President Obama didn't at least prostrate himself before the public, if not promise to repeal the ACA. CW: If Milbank had glanced at the exit polls, he would understand why Obama doesn't think he made a bad turn. ...

... Jim Newell of Salon: "He's basically the same guy he was the day before the election, and that's going to send many in Washington to their fainting couches." Read the whole post. Also, the Post should buy Milbank a fainting couch. ...

... Which Milbank can share with Ron Fournier of the National Journal: "From all appearances Wednesday, the president won't change -- not his policies, not his style, not his staff, not nothing. Defiant and begrudging, the president said he would meet with GOP leaders, seek their suggestions for common ground, and maybe grab a drink with Senate Majority Leader-to-Be Mitch McConnell." CW: Fournier pulls down a handsome salary for writing this garbage. ...

... AND Charles Pierce is aggravated that the President is polite. ...

... CW: How long does it take for liberals to figure out that railing against Republicans is not Obama's style? (It wouldn't help either, because the majority-white-racists in these here United States would get all askeert of an Angry Black Man.) If I were Obama, I'd do just what he did: concede he could manage sitting down for a drink with McConnell but otherwise deflect Stupid Reporter Questions. ...

... AND here was Pierce yesterday, urging Obama to "make them squeal." CW: I'm drawn to Pierce's mastery of the language & I'm in sync with many of his ideas, but I'm damned glad he doesn't hold a position of power.

Nathaniel Herz
of the Alaska Dispatch News: "A day after Republican Dan Sullivan sprung to the lead in Alaska's U.S. Senate race, his opponent, incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, refused to concede, citing tens of thousands of outstanding votes -- particularly those in rural parts of the state. Numbers released by Alaska elections officials Wednesday morning showed Begich facing daunting odds...." ...

... Alex DeMarban of the Alaska Dispatch News: "Candidates in [Alaska's] squeaky-tight gubernatorial race have urged supporters to stay patient, saying the contest is too close to call. Gov. Sean Parnell, hoping to win his second full term but trailing slightly, said in a statement Wednesday it could be two weeks before all the votes are tallied and a winner -- either Parnell or Republican-turned-independent challenger Bill Walker, the top of the 'unity ticket' -- can be determined."

NBC Washington: "NBC News is calling incumbent Mark Warner the 'apparent winner' in Virginia's Senate race, as officials work to certify election results in the razor-close race. Throughout the day Wednesday, Warner hung onto a slim lead over Republican challenger Ed Gillespie."

Scott Lemieux
in Lawyers, Guns & Money: "The in-party -- even in cases where presidents are transformative and/or have bold agendas that deliver plenty to their constituents — rarely fares well in the midterms of term 2. Combined with a very unfavorable map, the fact that midterms massively favor the Republican electorate, and Republicans at both the state and federal level figuring out that the damage you inflict on constituents will actually be held against the party controlling the White House, the Democrats were going to get clobbered, and the 'this proves Obama should have led with leadership by ...' genre is mostly a waste of time. Messaging and position-taking might matter a little at the margins, but there wasn't any magic formula that was going to prevent the 2014 midterms from being a bloodbath at the federal level."

Gail Collins: "Always look on the bright side." ...

... OR NOT. Frank Rich: "The electorate's message could not have been more clear: Having soured on hope and change, Americans voted for change without hope.... The most misleading morning-after-the-election story line is that the Republicans triumphed because the Establishment struck back and shut down the crazy gaffe-prone candidates who have dogged the GOP in the past two cycles.... Scott Brown's ability to lose in this Republican blowout was awesome, though not in a good way."

... This is for contributors MAG & Jack M.:

Nate Cohn of the New York Times: "... turnout among core Democratic groups was lower in 2014 than it was in 2012 or even 2010. Many Democrats would have won if turnout had resembled a presidential election year. But Democrats also lost in states where turnout surpassed 2010, according to an Upshot analysis of preliminary returns and voter turnout data."

Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker: "The lesson of the last decade in politics is not to over-interpret the results of any single election. The dominant trends in American politics were mostly reinforced yesterday: the country is increasingly polarized; the low-turnout midterm electorate benefits Republicans; the Senate will remain closely contested for the foreseeable future; the House will remain the anchor of the Republican Party; Democrats have a demographic advantage in presidential elections. And very little will get accomplished in Washington."

Brad Plumer of Vox: "The outlook for climate policy looks just as dismal after these midterms as it did before -- at least in Washington. True, there were small shifts in attitude here and there. Some Republicans no longer think it's viable to deny global warming outright." ...

... John Light of Grist: The big money environmentalists spent in this election cycle mostly didn't pay off. ...

... FOR Example. Rebecca Leber of the New Republic: "In handing Republicans control of the Senate on Tuesday, Americans effectively voted for the party's hostile plans against President Barack Obama's environmental legacy. Their votes also put the Senate's environment and climate policy into the hands of the worst science-denier in national politics: Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, who is almost certainly the next chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee."

Harold Meyerson in the American Prospect: "... the Democrats' failure isn't just the result of Republican negativity. It's also intellectual and ideological. What, besides raising the minimum wage, do the Democrats propose to do about the shift in income from wages to profits, from labor to capital, from the 99 percent to the 1 percent?" ...

... CW: Meyerson is right. In allowing itself to be taken over by special interests, the Democratic party has become a Seinfeld meme: the Party of Nothing. The party can't give up its pretense of "feeling the pain" of the working class, but it also can't afford to alienate its big-money donors by actually doing the things that would better the lot of working people vis-a-vis said big-money donors. Remember, healthcare reform came about only because it was an accommodation to a couple of super-huge industries. (Maybe it would have been an unchallenged success if it included a provision to process all claims thru Koch Industries.) This election was less about Obama than it was about voters' real-life economic hardships. Voters don't think either party will help them. And they're right. Democrats' tepid policy proposals -- $10.10/hour & lower college loan interest rates -- are more insulting than inspiring.

New York Times Editors: "On at least six high-profile and often contentious issues -- minimum wage, marijuana legalization, criminal justice reform, abortion rights, gun control and environmental protection '' voters approved ballot measures, in some cases overwhelmingly, that were directly at odds with the positions of many of the Republican winners."

Ezra Klein's takeaways:

Matthew Yglesias: "McConnell is not the most charismatic politician of our time, but he is arguably the sharpest mind in contemporary politics on a strategic level.... As McConnell told Josh Green, the key to eroding Obama's popularity was denying him the sheen of bipartisanship, and that meant keep Republicans united in opposition.... To prevent Obama from becoming the hero who fixed Washington, McConnell decided to break it. And it worked." ...

I wanted to win. -- Mitch McConnell, explaining his political philosophy

"The Dawning of the Age of McConnell." Evan Osnos of the New Yorker: "... we are entering a period of paralysis.... McConnell has told big donors that he will 'work at every turn to thwart the Obama agenda, and use appropriations and the budget process to force the president to roll back key elements of Obamacare, to water down Dodd-Frank, to tilt toward coal -- to move forward on the Keystone XL pipeline, and to stop Environmental Protection Agency action on climate change,' according to the National Journal. For some Republican senators, that will not be enough. Before the election, Senator Ted Cruz, of Texas, refused to pledge his support to McConnell, and offered his own vision of the Senate's priorities, including opening congressional hearings into the actions of the Obama Administration, 'looking at the abuse of power, the executive abuse, the regulatory abuse, the lawlessness that sadly has pervaded this administration.'... Cruz might look like a moderate next to some of his new colleagues; in Iowa, the Republican Joni Ernst, as the Times summed it up, 'wants to ban abortions and same-sex marriage and impeach the president.'"

Lori Montgomery & Robert Costa of the Washington Post: "Within hours of solidifying their control of Congress, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John A. Boehner were quietly laying plans for a series of quick votes in January aimed at erasing their obstructionist image ahead of the 2016 elections. First up: Action on long-stalled bills with bipartisan support, including measures to repeal an unpopular tax on medical devices and approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.... Pressure to follow through on the party's most conservative priorities was already building Wednesday. Several tea-party leaders gathered at the National Press Club and reiterated their demand that repealing the Affordable Care Act remain the party's priority. In a memo, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) also emphasized the health-care law as a top target." ...

... Here's the Wall Street Journal op-ed by McConnell & Boehner laying out their brilliant agenda. It's firewalled, so unless you're a subscriber, Google "Americans have entrusted Republicans with control of both the House and Senate. We are humbled by this opportunity to help struggling middle-class Americans" ... especially if you feel like making yourself sick. ...

     ... Greg Sargent: "Interestingly, they pledge a new era of constructive governance, even as they also vow to '... repeal ObamaCare, which is hurting the job market along with Americans' health care.' This is just bluster for the base, but still: Those who profess a love of bipartisan cooperation will politely ignore the absurdity of vowing to get government working again while simultaneously vowing to keep up the repeal crusade." ...

     ... Steve M.: "Republicans are still awfully good at concocting (and, through repetition, meme-ifying) lofty-sounding descriptors for not-so-lofty policy goals. (They're also excellent at scaring the crap out of voters with deceitfully negative sounding phrases: 'death panels,' 'death tax,' etc.)"

Nelson Schwartz & Clifford Krauss of the New York Times: "Business interests face a much more receptive audience now that Republicans are poised to control both the House and Senate next year.... [BUT] there is much less appetite on the part of business leaders for wholesale changes to the health care law. For one thing, many of the insurance exchanges are finally working well, and businesses have adapted to the new landscape. Even more important, added demand from the newly insured is likely to increase profits in sectors like hospitals, pharmaceuticals and medical devices."

Ben White of Politico: "Voters want the GOP to fix the economy. Good luck with that.... Even if Republicans manage to overcome internal fissures and unify around a set of economic proposals next year -- a big open question -- there is only a limited chance that any of them will have the kind of profound impact voters might reward in 2016.... Republicans on Tuesday bought themselves a big share of a structurally troubled American economy but may lack the tools needed to fix it. Their best hope, in fact, could be for the economy to finally gain some traction on its own, putting the GOP in position to claim credit." ...

... Carl Hulse of the New York Times: "... Republicans ousted some of the red-state Democrats most inclined to work with them, such as Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, reducing the number of potential Democratic allies.... Mr. McConnell, with few votes to spare, will have to balance the views of a handful of more moderate Republicans, such as Senator Susan Collins of Maine, with those of unyielding conservatives such as Senator Ted Cruz of Texas...."

Alexander Bolton of the Hill: "Two Senate sources say they expect Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to reach out to Independent Sen. Angus King (Maine) and centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) about joining the Senate Republican Conference. Republicans have a 52-seat Senate majority and that could swell to 54 seats depending on the final vote tally in Alaska and a runoff in Louisiana next month. Both are solidly red states."

Annals of "Journalism," Ctd. Wherein Charles Pierce complains that a CNN on-air personality has sold herself to the Republican party: "what is purported CNN 'analyst' S.E. Cupp doing bringing her smart-person glasses into an effort to groom candidates for one party or another, and then going back to opine on her handiwork both on the television and on the Intertoobz?"

AND, in Totally Unrelated News. J. K. Trotter of Gawker: "The Daily Mail is reporting the name -- Robert O'Neill -- of the retired Navy SEAL who plans to appear on Fox News and reveal that he shot Osama bin Laden. O'Neill's father, Tom, confirmed his 38-year-old son's identity to the Mail a week ahead of the Fox News interview scheduled to air on November 12. The Mail's report comes two days after the special-forces website SOFREP -- and an anonymous Gawker commenter -- both claimed that the Navy SEAL was Robert O'Neill."

Presidential Election

Jonathan Chait: "The structural advantages undergirding Republican control of both chambers of Congress are so imposing that only extraordinary circumstances could overwhelm them.... As long as Democrats hold the White House, Republican control of Congress is probably safe -- at least for several election cycles to come.... Hillary Clinton is the only thing standing between a Republican Party even more radical than George W. Bush's version and unfettered control of American government." ...

     ... CW: OR some more messianic left-ish political figure. I just don't see Hillary as the salvation of the Democratic brand. As Frank Rich remarks (linked above), "A cautious Clinton campaign standing for little in particular and distancing itself from Barack Obama could yet be vulnerable, just as such a Democratic campaign proved this year."

Tim Egan on gun control: "... Washington showed the model for other states. If you take the issue out of the hands of cowed politicians and put it directly in front of the voters, the results are as expected -- the will of the people prevails."

Steve M.: "How many people nationwide have heard of Sherrod Brown? Amy Klobuchar? Kamala Harris? Maybe Kirsten Gillibrand gets a bit of national attention, and self-promoters like Cory Booker, Wendy Davis, and Elizabeth Warren get more. But the party doesn't have anything like the GOP hype machine. If you don't work the system yourself, a la Barack Obama, you're nobody.... And that's why Republicans have so many A-list presidential candidates for 2016 and Democrats, with Warren taking a pass, have precisely one."

See today's Comments:


The Commentariat -- Nov. 5, 2014

Unless you live in a solidly-blue neighborhood, look around. The majority of your neighbors are stupid or selfish or both. But, hey, what the fuck do I care? Yesterday was my birthday, & the Stupid & the Selfish gave ME, ME, ME a buncha great birthday presents.

Yeah, a lot of people are going to get sick & die unnecessarily because they can't afford health insurance & their Republican governors & legislatures will keep denying the Medicaid expansion. But I'm on Medicare & it's too late for Republicans to take it away.

A lot of decent, hard-working immigrants are going to remain in the shadows, suffering all manner of indignities & inconveniences (including death!), but I've got my genuine U.S. birth certificate, so I'm cool. Also, I no longer have to worry about the hordes of Ebola-carrying terrorists swimming the Rio Grande.

Yeah, black people will continue to get the shaft in too many ways to count. But you should see me: I am whitey, white, white. Nobody's going to stop me for driving while white or question what I'm doing in my nice neighborhood or keep me from voting.

Low-wage workers won't get decent wages in most states, but I'm not looking for a job at McDonalds or WalMart, so why should I care? My burgers are cheap & I can keep getting swell bargains at WalMart. Wages a bit further up the pay scale will remain stagnant, but my stock portfolio should be fine, so lucky me. Those wonderful Republicans will keep Democrats from raising my taxes, so thank goodness I won't have to kick in my fair share.

Public schools will get crappier, but I'm long past worrying about that. My neighbors might be ignorant, but their kids will definitely be ignorant. So what? Public universities? Aaah, let students be saddled for life with debt. I paid off the $750 loan that covered my college shortfall, so they can pay off the tens of thousands they'll owe. Good luck, kids!

Sure, the overall economy will continue to stagger along, but relatively-speaking, I'm doing fine. Okay, I've got that house in Florida in danger of falling into the Caloosahatchee, but I'm sure I can sell it for a good price to a climate-change denier before it submerges. Wahoo!

Justin Sink of the Hill: "President Obama will hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon, facing the White House press corps one day after Democrats were blown out in the midterm elections.... President Obama attempted to call Sen. Mitch McConnell, slated to become the new majority leader, last night, but couldn't connect with the newly reelected Kentucky Republican. The president left a message for McConnell, and spoke to numerous other Republican and Democratic House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates." ...

... AND, No, Peter Baker of the New York Times, Obama is NOT "left fighting for his own relevance." Presidents are relevant.

If only President Obama had made his message catchier:

Marin Cogan of New York writes an excellent summary of the "meaning" of the Republican sweep.

John Cassidy of the New Yorker: "... if a 'wave election' is one that signifies important changes in the underlying dynamics of the American electorate, then this wasn't a wave election."

Victoria D. recommends Charles Pierce's liveblog of the results. So do I.

AND Rand Paul taunts Hillary Clinton & her gallery of losers.

Mitch McConnell voted today. So did the guy behind him. They may not have voted for the same candidates. Getty Image.The New York Times' liveblog of the election has a handy tabulator in the upper-right-hand corner of the page, which will show the Senate & House totals, by party, as races are called.

The Washington Post's liveblog is here.

Here's the Guardian's livefeed.

Greg Sargent says at 6:46 that exit polls show the demographics for Democrats are looking better than in 2010, not as good as in 2012.

Jim Kuhnhenn of the AP: "President Barack Obama compared the political landscape for the midterm election Tuesday to the 1958 elections during the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower when Republicans suffered severe losses in the Senate. One-third of Senate seats are up for election this year and Obama says many states with contested races tilt to the Republican Party. 'In this election cycle this is probably the worst possible group of states for Democrats since Dwight Eisenhower,' Obama said Tuesday on WNPR, a Connecticut public radio station."

Paul Rosenberg in Salon: This election is all about race. CW: I have wondered for a long time why Southern white voters were willing to put up with their own poverty levels in states which over the last several decades have been largely governed by Republicans. Rosenberg has the answer: the white voters blame blacks -- not government policies -- for their states' poverty.

Elliot Hannon of Slate: "A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Kansas to stop enforcing the state's ban on same-sex marriage, because the law violates gay couples' constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree granted a preliminary injunction but put a hold on the ruling until Nov. 11 in order to give the state the chance to appeal."


Senate & House Races

The Party of No, Ctd. New York Times Editors: "Republicans would like the country to believe that they took control of the Senate on Tuesday by advocating a strong, appealing agenda of job creation, tax reform and spending cuts. But, in reality, they did nothing of the sort.... Campaigning on pure negativity isn't surprising for a party that has governed that way since Mr. Obama was first sworn in. By creating an environment where every initiative is opposed and nothing gets done, Republicans helped engineer the president's image as weak and ineffectual."

"Meet the Real Senate Majority Leader." Sahil Kapur of Think Progress: "Texas Sen. Ted Cruz ... is poised to make life very difficult for ... [Mitch McConnell] by harnessing the power of the GOP base's rightward drift to wage fierce battles with President Barack Obama. Cruz telegraphed his strategy in a post-election interview Tuesday night on Fox News, calling on Republicans to do whatever it takes to repeal Obamacare and and prevent Obama's upcoming executive actions on immigration."

Dana Milbank: "Republicans have set themselves up for chaos, if not outright fratricide."

Alex Rogers of Time: The Republican Senatorial Committee conducted exercises to try to gaffe-proof their candidates. It pretty much worked.

Jonathan Weisman & Ashley Parker of the New York Times: "An election that started as trench warfare, state by state and district by district, crested into a sweeping Republican victory. Contests that were expected to be close were not, and races expected to go Democratic broke narrowly for the Republicans."

The Times' interactive Senate map is here.

The Times' interactive House map is here.

States are listed in alpha order.

Alabama. Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions (R) has won re-election against nobody.

Alaska. Republican Dan Sullivan is leading Sen. Mark Begich (D) by about four points with 100 percent reporting, but the race hasn't been called yet. ...

... Nathaniel Herz of Alaska Dispatch News: "Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan appeared to grab an insurmountable lead over incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich early Wednesday, with all of Alaska's precincts reporting. With results from all 441 precincts counted, Sullivan led 49 percent to 45 percent. The margin remained essentially the same from the first returns early in the evening."

Arkansas. NBC News projects Rep. Tom Cotton (RTP) has defeated Sen. Mark Pryor (D). This of course is a Republican pick-up.

** Colorado. Cory Gardner (R) has unseated Mark Udall (D).

Delaware. Chris Coons (D) has won re-election.

Florida. Gwen Graham (D), daughter of former Gov. & Sen. Bob Graham, has won a House seat in Florida's 2nd Congressional District, which usually polls Republican.

Georgia. David Perdue (D) is predicted to be the winner in Georgia, & should win more than 50 percent of the vote, thus avoiding a runoff.

Hawaii. CNN projects Brian Schatz (D) has won.

Idaho. Sen. Jim Risch (R) has won re-election.

Illinois. Dick Durbin has won re-election.

Indiana is reporting early results as of 6:45 pm ET.

** Iowa. NBC News has called the race for Joni Ernst at 11:30 pm ET. That means Republicans control the Senate. I'm going to bed. Good night. ...

... Ted Barrett of CNN: "Republican Joni Ernst has won the race for Iowa's U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, defeating Democratic challenger Bruce Braley, according to a CNN projection."

Kansas. CNN has called the race for Sen. Pat Roberts (R) over independent Greg Orman. ...

... Dion Lefler & Bryan Lowry of the Wichita Eagle: "Pat Roberts won a fourth term in the U.S. Senate and probably the chairmanship of the Agriculture Committee on Tuesday, despite a strong challenge from independent candidate Greg Orman." ...

... At 8:49 pm ET, the Senate race is really close.

Kentucky. CNN projects Mitch McConnell will win. NBC News gives it to McConnell, too. ...

... Jay Newton-Small of Time interviews Mitch McConnell: "Some examples of things that we're very likely to be voting on: approving the Keystone XL pipeline, repealing the medical device tax, trying to restore the 40-hour work week, trying to get rid of the individual mandate.... I'll give you a couple of examples where there may be areas of agreement [with President Obama]: comprehensive tax reform and trade agreements. Most of my members think that America's a winner in international trade." He wouldn't answer questions about "undoing the nuclear option" on confirmation of nominees nor on immigration reform.

Tina Nguyen of Mediaite: Chris Matthews & Al Sharpton bashed Grimes' "concession" speech. CW: McConnell's victory speech, BTW, was gracious.

... Returns are coming in already at 6:20 pm ET. Looks mighty good for Mitch with a fraction of precincts reporting.

Louisiana. Bruce Alpert of the Times-Picayune: "Louisiana's Senate campaign is heading into overtime. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. and Bill Cassidy were running neck-and-neck ahead of the field of eight candidates late Tuesday, but well short of the 50-percent-plus-one vote needed to avoid the Dec. 6 runoff. Rob Maness, the Tea Party conservative, was running a distant third." ...

... The Louisiana Senate results are here.

Maine. The NYT has called the race for Republican Susan Collins.

Massachusetts. Sen. Ed Markey (D) wins his first state-wide election. ...

... Seth Moulton (D) wins House race, per NBC News. ...

... Stephanie Ebbert & Kathy McCabe of the Boston Globe: "Seth Moulton, an Iraq war veteran and first-time candidate, swept to victory as a change agent for the Sixth Congressional District on Tuesday, denying Massachusetts Republicans their best hope of picking up a seat in the US House this year. With 89 percent of precincts reporting, Moulton was beating Republican Richard R. Tisei, 55.4 percent to 40 percent. Tisei conceded the race around 9:40 p.m." ...

How to win ...

... And lose a Congressional race:

Michigan: Gary Peters (D) wins, per NBC News.

Minnesota. Sen. Al Franken (D-Terrific) has won re-election. ...

... Katy Bachman of Politico: "Democratic incumbent Sen. Al Franken coasted to a second term over Republican challenger Mike McFadden. With four percent of Minnesota precincts reporting..., the Associated Press called the vote. The 2014 race between Franken and McFadden, an investment banker, was a stark contrast to six years ago, when Franken barely pulled out a win against Norm Coleman. Separated by a mere 312 votes, Franken didn’t take office until July 2009, following a protracted recount." With 100 percent reporting, Franken garnered 53.2 percent of the vote to McFadden's 42.9 percent.

Allison Sherry of the Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Republican Tom Emmer, who failed in his bid to be Minnesota’s governor four years ago, won the seat being vacated by Rep. Michele Bachmann in the conservative Sixth ­Congressional District, ushering in an era that Emmer vows will be marked with civility and service to constituents. Emmer, who was known as a fiery state legislator, has simmered down this election season, touting conservative messages of fiscal responsibility and a willingness to reach across the aisle."

Mississippi. The NYT projects Sen. Thad Cochran (R) has won re-election.

Montana. The Republican Steve Daines wins, according to NBC News. This is a Republican pick-up. It's the seat held by Max Baucus (D), then John Walsh, the plagiarist guy.

Nebraska. Ben Sasse (R) has won, per the NYT.

** New Hampshire. Dan Tuohy & Mark Hayward of the Union Leader: "Sen. Jeanne Shaheen kept 'purple' New Hampshire from turning to Brown. The Democratic incumbent defeated Republican Scott Brown, the former Massachusetts Senator who moved to the Granite State last year, in one of the hottest U.S. Senate races in the country. ABC News projected a Shaheen victory shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday. An hour later, it was a razor-thin margin, and Brown supporters clung to hopes he could pull off the upset. But Shaheen tallied yet more votes, and won a second term. She pulled ahead, 51 percent to 49 percent, with 80 percent of the precincts reporting."

... Scott Brown is not conceding (at 10:55 pm ET) & is insisting he hasn't lost the election. The count is very close right now, about 192K (Shaheen) to 190K (Brown). ...

... ABC News has called the race for Jeanne Shaheen @ 8:45 pm ET. "The Constitution provides that every state has two Senators, but not every Senator has two states." -- Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)

... Jeanne Shaheen is looking good against Scott Brown, with 13 percent of the vote in, but @ 8:25 pm ET, the networks haven't called the race.

... Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) of New Hampshire's first district lost to Republican Frank Guinta, so New Hampshire no longer has an all-female Congressional leadership (or an all-Democratic one).

New Jersey. Sen. Cory Booker (D) won re-election.

New Mexico. Sen. Tom Udall (D) retains his seat.

New York: Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm (R), despite a 20-count federal indictment against him, won re-election, largely because his Democratic opponent, Domenic Recchia, is a dimwitted hack. CW: I seldom endorse third-party candidates, even when they're the best in the field, but I'm with the woman cited at the end of the New York Times story linked here. She voted for the Green party candidate. Once in awhile throwing away your vote is the only thing you can do.

North Carolina. The repugnant Thom Tillis (R) has unseated Kay Hagan (D).

... Kay Hagan is "in a world of trouble," according to Steve Kornacki of MSNBC.

Oklahoma. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Neanderthal) has won re-election. ...

... James Lankford (R) has won the special election to replace retiring Sen. Tom Coburn.

Oregon. Sen. Jeff Merkley has won re-election. ...

... Jeff Mapes of the Oregonian: "Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley cruised to a strong re-election victory over Republican challenger Monica Wehby. Merkley's victory was clear minutes after the polls closed as he held a commanding lead of a more than 2-to-1 ratio over Wehby in partial results.... Republican strategists once had high hopes for Wehby, 52, a pediatric neurosurgeon from Portland. She was one of several doctors around the country recruited by Republicans to run in a year when the new federal health care law -- known as Obamacare -- was having a rocky rollout."

Rhode Island. Sen. Jack Reed (D) has won re-election, per the NYT.

South Carolina. NBC News projects Sen. Tim Scott (R), a Nikki Haley appointee, has won his special election. ...

... NBC News projects Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) has won re-election.

Texas. Sen. John Cornyn (R) has run re-election.

South Dakota. Mike Rounds (R) wins, per NBC News. This was a 4-way.

Tennessee. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) wins re-election.

Virginia. Mark Warner (D), a heavy favorite going into election day, barely won. Gillespie (R) had predicted he would lose by one point or less. He was right. ...

Byron Tau of Politico: "Democratic Sen. Mark Warner is clinging to a small lead over Republican Ed Gillespie in an unexpectedly tight Virginia Senate race. With nearly all precincts reporting, about 13,000 votes separated the two men -- with Warner edging Gillespie by less than 1 percent of the vote. Warner made a brief victory speech on Tuesday night, despite the fact that the Associated Press still considers the race too close to call.... Virginia law does not have an automatic recount process but allows the loser in any race decided by less than a 1-percent margin to request one. Gillespie declined to concede in brief remarks to supporters, urging patience with the final vote tallies and the few remaining outstanding precincts." ...

... At 10:08 pm ET, Republican Ed Gillespie is still ahead. This has been considered a safe Democratic seat. ...

... Mark Warner's numbers are looking better now. (8:05 pm ET) But NBC has changed from "too early to call" to "too close to call." ...

... It's not looking so good for Sen. Mark Warner (D); his challenger is the weasel-y Ed Gillespie. However, the burbs around D.C. usually come in late. Warner was expected to win handily, so there has been little national attention to the race.

West Virginia. NBC News has called the Senate race for the Republican Shelly Capito. This is a Republican pick-up; Democrat Jay Rockefeller is retiring. Capito is the daughter of a former W. Va. governor, Arch Moore.

Wyoming. Mike Enzi (R) holds his seat.