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Lawmakers Express Reservations About Obama?s Islamic State Strategy
(from: Washington Wire @ September 21, 2014, 01:41 PM)

Lawmakers on Sunday expressed reservations about the president?s Islamic State strategy and questioned whether the operation to defeat the extremist militants would ultimately require boots on the ground.

2014 Alexandria LNC meeting discussion thread for Sunday
(from: Independent Political Report @ September 21, 2014, 10:21 AM)

a better choice

The Libertarian National Committee is meeting this weekend in Alexandria, Virginia .

Broadcast channel #1:
Click here for the Ustream version of the broadcast or visit :

Broadcast channel #2:
Click here for an audio-only version or visit :

Meeting agenda:
Click here for a version of the proposed agenda .… Read more ...

Where we can move the needle right to left in 2014
(from: Swing State Project @ September 21, 2014, 10:19 AM)

Likely D Lean D Tossup Lean R Likely R
MN-Sen: Franken
OR-Sen: Merkley
NH-Sen: Shaheen
VA-Sen: Warner
NH-Sen: Brown
.097 (112th Sen., in MA)
MI-Sen: Peters
-.250 (in House)
IA-Sen: Braley
-.323 (in House)
AK-Sen: Begich
CO-Sen: Udall
LA-Sen: Landrieu
NC-Sen: Hagan
AR-Sen: Pryor
KS-Sen: Roberts
IA-Sen: Ernst
.724 (in IA St. Sen.)
LA-Sen: Cassidy
.726 (in House)
CO-Sen: Gardner
.789 (in House)
AR-Sen: Cotton
.954 (in House)
NC-Sen: Tillis
.997 (in NC St. House)
KY-Sen: McConnell
MT-Sen: Curtis
-1.162 (in MT St. House)
WV-Sen: Capito
.521 (in House)
MT-Sen: Daines
.712 (in House)
"I want to contribute money to some candidates, but who's the most progressive candidate (or at least the most progressive candidate who's in a competitive race)? I don't want to give my money to somebody who'll just be another Blue Dog..." It's a pretty common refrain around these parts, and it's particularly important right now, because Sept. 30 is the last quarterly reporting date before the election. If you want to contribute, you should do it before then, not after; the 3rd quarter FEC report (along with polling, of course) is when the national committees and the third-party groups take stock of who's performing well, and make their funding decisions. Our money is just a drop in the bucket compared to their money, which is what will get candidates over the finish line, but we can put down markers that help them decide where to allocate money.

"Progressiveness" is pretty hard to quantify, but there are vote aggregators that do that for you, eliminating a lot of the guesswork. Granted, there's a lot more to ideology than simply which way you vote on the floor in Congress ... there's what you do in committee, what you say in the media and how you say it, and whose egos you massage ... but votes are really the core of what they do. And the DW-Nominate system is probably the best method for aggregating votes; it's designed to be generalizable between Senate and House, and between different points in time.

So, what I've done in the table above is to take the current Daily Kos Elections race ratings for the Senate, and, within each category, taken each candidate in each race for whom there's a score available, and ordered them from most to least progressive. This way, you can direct your money to the most progressive candidate ... or, if you're thinking in terms of defense, to the opponent of the most objectionable candidate. DW-N scores run generally from -1 to 1, with the lowest scores being most liberal and the highest scores being most conservative. (If this looks familiar, I did the same thing in the run-up to the 2012 election, and then did a retroactive look after the 2012 election on just how we fared at meeting our goals.)

Bear in mind, though, that not all races are created equal. The chart above tells you that Al Franken is the most progressive of the incumbent Dem senators running for re-election in a competitive race this year. (He's not the most progressive overall; that, of course, is Bernie Sanders, with a score of - .693. Franken clocks in at 13th overall. Nor is he the most progressive senator up for re-election this year, which is Ed Markey at -.575, but he's in an utterly safe race.) Even though Franken's on the table, though, doesn't mean he's necessarily the best use of your money; the Daily Kos Elections Poll Explorer still gives Franken a 99 percent chance of winning his race. I'm sure he'd appreciate your help, but he doesn't need it badly.

Where the real battle for control of the Senate is being fought is the Tossup races, in the middle column. There, Rep. Bruce Braley, running in the open seat in Iowa, is the most progressive option, with a score of -.323. ("Progressive" is relatively speaking, of course; as you can probably infer by linking the scores with the names, capital-P Progressives tend to score -.400 or lower, New Dems tend to score in the -.200 to -.400 range, and Blue Dogs are in the -.200 to 0 range. Moreover, even if Braley wins, the needle has still moved a bit to the right; he's replacing Tom Harkin, a liberal lion with a score of -.497.)

Also worth considering is that Mark Begich from Alaska is only slightly behind Braley on the DW-Nominate measure, and could be considered more of a "value" pick in two ways. One, Begich is from a much redder state; in terms of his voting record, he "overperforms" the lean of his state more than just about any other Democrat in the Senate. And two, he's from one of the least populous states, and accordingly, one of the cheapest places to advertise; a dollar for Begich gets stretched much further, in terms of what advertising it can purchase, than a dollar given to someone in a much more populous state.

We'll discuss the Senate in a little more depth, and then discuss the House, over the fold:

Republicans, More Than Democrats, See 2014 Elections as Important
(from: Washington Wire @ September 21, 2014, 09:00 AM)

With Republicans aiming to regain control of the Senate, three-quarters of GOP voters say this year?s congressional elections are much more important or somewhat more important than other elections, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Annenberg survey finds.

U.S. District Court Will Hear Challenge to Arkansas Deadline in July 2015
(from: Ballot Access News @ September 21, 2014, 07:22 AM)

A U.S. District Court in Arkansas has set a hearing in the week of July 27, 2015, for the independent candidate petition deadline lawsuit, Moore v Martin, 4:14cv-65. The 2013 legislature moved the deadline from May to March, even though a similar Arkansas deadline had been held unconstitutional three times in the past. Other pending


Sunday Breakfast Menu, Sept. 21
(from: NY Times The Caucus @ September 20, 2014, 02:55 PM)

Congress approved funding for equipping Syrian rebels against Islamic States and lawmakers will discuss their votes on several of the Sunday shows.

White House Intrusion a Blow to Secret Service
(from: Washington Wire @ September 20, 2014, 07:37 AM)

The Secret Service is coming under intense scrutiny after a man who hopped the White House fence made it all the way through the front door before being apprehended.

Ann Coulter Wants to Drown Libertarian Voters
(from: Independent Political Report @ September 20, 2014, 03:06 AM)

Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter, a sometime spokeswoman for the Republican Party, had some surprising comments for people who might be considering voting for a Libertarian candidate.

This is the verbiage of the last paragraph of her column from September 17th:

Which brings me to my final assignment this week: If you are considering voting for the Libertarian candidate in any Senate election, please send me your name and address so I can track you down and drown you.

Read more ...

Open Thread For Libertarian National Committee Meeting September 20 & 21
(from: Independent Political Report @ September 20, 2014, 02:13 AM)

a better choice

The Libertarian National Committee will be meeting this weekend in Alexandria, Virginia . The weekend includes a grand opening of the new office that was purchased by the Libertarian Party. That will happen on Saturday evening.

According to Paul Frankel in a comment on IPR, the LNC will be live-streaming the meeting live on the Internet.… Read more ...

Independent Political Report Seeking New Contributors
(from: Independent Political Report @ September 19, 2014, 11:29 PM)

journalist newsman
Independent Political Report is a site run by volunteers. Although there are a quite a few people signed up to contribute, there is currently a shortage of new articles being posted. If any of the readers here are interested in being signed up, please contact Warren Redlich (the site’s owner), Paulie or me.… Read more ...

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