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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) becomes emotional and cries, wiping tears from both his eyes, on the opening day of the 112th United States Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 5, 2011. REUTERS/Jim Young
Yup, sorry. Turns out Obamacare won't gift you dozens of seats after all.
You couldn't imagine a more optimistic bunch than House Republicans at the start of this cycle. In midterm elections, the party controlling the White House during the sixth year of a presidency lost an average of 29 seats in the House (and six seats in the Senate). Obama's numbers are anemic at best. They were convinced they'd ride Obamacare to big victories, aided by the historical off-year drop-off in base Democratic voter performance. And yet here we are, post-Labor Day, and their big win possibilities have yet to materialize.
Tepid fundraising, underperforming candidates and a lousy party brand are threatening to deprive House Republicans of the sweeping 2014 gains that some top party officials have been predicting this year.
That's the lede from a Politico overview of the House electoral picture, and it's pretty spot on, with strategists from both parties predicting a 5-6-seat Republican gain—far short of what Republicans originally hoped. So what's going on? We'll take a look below the fold.

Money: Open Secrets data shows a stark fundraising disparity between the parties, with House Democrats outraising their counterparts $136 million to $109 million. Democratic candidates are also outperforming their Republican opponents.

A Wall Street Journal analysis of fundraising reports due at the Federal Election Commission Tuesday of the top candidates in the 54 House contests considered to be the most competitive, as determined by the Rothenberg Political Report, shows that Democrats had $41.8 million in the bank, compared with $30.1 million for the Republican candidates.
Outside money is focused on the Senate.

Candidates. Republicans are fretting over some of their crappy candidates.

Many are worried about Southerland, who’s trying to beat back a ferocious challenge from Democrat Gwen Graham, the daughter of ex-Florida Sen. Bob Graham [...]

There is also concern about Terry, an eight-term Nebraska congressman with a long history as an underwhelming campaigner. [...] A Republican group that recently polled the race, and provided POLITICO with its data, found Terry tied with Democratic state Sen. Brad Ashford at 41 percent — distressing for a longtime incumbent.

Others say there is growing consternation over Comstock, the Clinton investigator-turned state legislator who is seeking an open Virginia seat being vacated by a Republican. Privately, some GOP strategists are miffed that Comstock’s political team is composed of some of the operatives who guided ex-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s losing primary campaign.

The GOP brand. Yup, those candidates (and many more) suck. They're Republicans, so by definition they suck. America certainly thinks so. That's why both CBS and NBC/WSJ polling found the GOP's favorability rating at 29 percent. Not even a third of America likes those assholes! Sure, Fox pegged the GOP's faves at a much better 42-50, but no one else is anywhere near as optimistic about the GOP's current status. (They had the Democratic Party at 47-45 favorabilities, also much higher than anyone else, so maybe they just found a happy sample.)

But when Republican polling shows that women (a majority of the electorate) think they are "stuck in the past," "lacking in compassion," and "intolerant," then perhaps your electoral upside is severely limited. And when your top issue is "Obamacare will destroy America! Oh wait, never mind about that, how about we impeach Obama instead DEPORT THE CHILDREN AT THE BORDER," then perhaps you shouldn't expect much upside at all.

Which brings us back to the issue of core Democratic base voter turnout. The only reason Republicans can even think of gaining any seats is because our people don't vote. If we do, we win. And that's the big drama this fall.  

Pew has the generic congressional ballot at +5 Democrats which would indicate Democratic gains. But that's among registered voters. November will hinge on how many of those voters we get to the polls.

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Comment Preferences

  •  it says a lot about gerrymandering (28+ / 0-)

    that the GOP will likely gain House and Senate seats despite the GOP brand being even less popular than some sort of cancer/herpes super disease.  

    you can shit on my face but that doesn't mean I have to lick my lips

    by red rabbit on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:04:39 PM PDT

    •  How do you gerrymander the Senate? (11+ / 0-)

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:07:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You can't gerrymander them (8+ / 0-)

        But it doesn't change the fact that the map for this year's Senate class sucks ass.

        •  That is because a lot of Dems got elected (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in red states six years ago.

        •  Doesn't stop them from trying. (0+ / 0-)

          I view all of the breakaway/secession initiatives that some rural counties in states like CO and MD have attempted, as well as the "Six Californias" initiative, as conservative efforts to gerrymander the Senate -- even more than the Senate already is gerrymandered, as Albanius points out.

          "Elect Republicans, and they will burn the place down. And they will laugh while they do it and have a great time. And then what?" -- Rachel Maddow

          by LumineHall on Sat Sep 06, 2014 at 10:58:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Easy (21+ / 0-)

        You make it harder to vote in democratic districts and easier to vote in republican districts.

      •  The Senate is one big gerrymander (26+ / 0-)

        overrepresenting low population, mostly rural, GOP leaning states like Wyoming and Idaho at the expense of high population Dem leaning states like NY and CA.  

        (TX is underrrepresented too, but most high pop states have a relatively higher percentage of urban, heavily Demoratic voters than low pop states.)

        There's no such thing as a free market!

        by Albanius on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:29:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  true true true. (6+ / 0-)

          it was set up that way on purpose.

        •  A Little Trip Down Memory Lane (3+ / 0-)

          I'd prefer to not use the term gerrymander for the Senate.

          The Senate is simply designed to be undemocratic and unrepresentative.  The equal representation of states in that body is a vestige of the arrangement of the Confederation Congress (which carried over to the arrangement of the Constitutional Convention).  

          And that same unrepresentative arrangement was the starting point for "deliberations" for the U.S. Constitution.

          "Deliberations" is hardly the word, though.  It was more like "squatter's rights" that over-served the less-populated states.  The FF'ers started with that and couldn't pry it out of the little bastards' hands (so to speak).

          What we have in the House gets its name from a real person, Elbridge Gerry.  Here is a case wherein we apply a the name of a real person to a deliberate man-made (manipulated) distortion.

          Gerry didn't need a PC to do his work, however.  He didn't have to adhere to "one man, one vote".  His idea was modeled after the "rotten borough" idea from Great Britain:  Numerous seats in Parliament were located within a short distance - they were tiny constituencies made up of the You Know Who.

          Anyway, the Senate is undemocratic and unrepresentative due to unfortunate decisions made long ago - it wasn't a manipulation that serves some targeted purpose of current political advantage.

          The House is undemocratic and representative due to the manipulation of individuals in our own time and has been done for a current political advantage.  Just like our pal Elbridge.

          •  An unfair assessment. (0+ / 0-)

            It is simply wrong to say that representative must mean majority rule.

            A system that essentially allowed New York, California, and Texas to overwhelm the other states would not be very representative of those states.

            For a microcosm of how that works out, see who Cook county tends to overwhelm Illinois politics.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 02:23:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It Is Self-Evident (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The House is more democratic, more representative than the Senate.

              It is simply wrong to say that representative must mean majority rule.
              Certainly you can't be thinking that minority rule is more representative?
              •  Only if you do not look closely. (0+ / 0-)

                The House is a lovely place to be from New York.
                The Senate works much better if you're from most of the country.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 02:42:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Most of the country, not most of the people (3+ / 0-)

                  I have about the same representation in the House as a voter from N Dakota, whose vote counts more than 26x as much as mine in electing Senators.

                  A democratic system of representation should be based on one person one vote, not on square miles inside an arbitary boundary, nor on Megabucks paid to help elect representatives who favor the 1%.

                  There's no such thing as a free market!

                  by Albanius on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 03:37:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You might want to read Federalist papers 9 and 10 (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    207wickedgood, sebastianguy99

                    Democracy and representation are about more than majorities.

                    The sort of democracy you favor can effectively strip many people of representation.

                    The standard phrase is "Tyranny of the majority", and that is one reason why the Constitution has a Bill of Rights and why the Judicial Branch is non-Democratic.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 03:40:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes, and slaves counted as 3/5 of a person (2+ / 0-)

                      for purposes of representation of their owners, but were given 0/5 of a vote for themselves.  

                      There's no such thing as a free market!

                      by Albanius on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 04:10:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  What Madison called "tyranny of the majority" (3+ / 0-)

                      most Kossacks call "democracy".

                      There's no such thing as a free market!

                      by Albanius on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 04:12:00 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Exactly the same logic the Confederates used (2+ / 0-)

                      How else to preserve slavery their special unique state qualities from the federal government a tyranny of the majority?

                    •  The Federalist (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      You are going far afield here.  The subject is representative bodies.  The judiciary does not serve as a representative body.  Why bring it up except as a diversion?

                      James Madison was pained that the small states had ganged up and prevented the Senate from being a more representative body.  Madison felt that he, and the convention, had failed on a very important point.

                      Madison didn't talk like this in The Federalist (nor did Hamilton).  When you read The Federalist you have to consider that the purpose of those papers was to sell the Constitution to the state ratification conventions,  Whining about the goofy Senate would not serve his purposes of winning ratification.

                      Today, we can read The Federalist and, being wise in not taking things at face value, can appreciate what the FF'ers were able to accomplish.

                      •  Not that far afield. (0+ / 0-)

                        However pained he may have been, he wrote of both disadvantages and advantages of the equality of states in the Senate.

                        I presume many people here would be very happy to see New York and California run wild over the nation.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 06:54:44 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I think representation should be by population, (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Theodore J Pickle

                          Not by land mass, not by artificial state lines. So yeah, I'd be happy with New York and California 'running wild' over the nation, whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.

                          •  It means that the needs of New Yorkers and the (0+ / 0-)

                            needs of Iowans might not fully overlap.

                            Iowans are denied any meaningful representation while New Yorkers feed at the trough.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 07:16:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Your state-centric bias is the problem (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Theodore J Pickle

                            You are making the assumption that state populations vote monolithically with regards to federal assumptions. Is it not possible that rural Iowans and rural New Yorkers can have similar interests? Not saying they do, but there's no reason they cannot. You can divide up the electorate however you wish, but I highly doubt that most people in this country have such a narrow state-centric definition of interests.

                            Indeed, I would assert that on most political issues, you will find support across states.

                            You especially seem hung up on the idea that people in big states have diametrically opposite interests to people in small states. What's the justification for such a view? True, 8 of the 10 largest states in the Electoral College are solid blue states right now, but there are plenty more factors that explain it than simply, "I live in a big state, therefore I must vote Democratic."

                            The only reason state-centric views may be politically relevant is that the political rules of the game - the Constitution - demand it.

                          •  No, I assume nothing of the sort. (0+ / 0-)

                            And that is not what I said. Frankly, democracy doesn't matter at all when everybody agrees completely.

                            New Yorkers and Iowans absolutely can have similar interests, but are unlikely to have the same interests up and down the line.

                            We live in a diverse nation, filled with people who do not think in lockstep.

                            We live in a large nation, with a variety of geographies, peoples, and needs.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 07:32:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Someone always loses in an election (0+ / 0-)

                            whether the losers are rural voters or urban, rich or poor, men or women, old or young, liberals or conservatives, whites or blacks, you can divide it up any which way. In a stable democracy, the losers accept the results of an election as legitimate, and life goes on.

                            But the one outcome which cannot ever be legitimate in an election, is if the losers are the ones who got more votes. Yeah, yeah, I know what you're going to say: for each state's individual election for Representative, Senator, or President Presidential Electors, the one with the most votes always win, ergo the system is legitimate. But that doesn't change the fact that a minority ends up running things.

                            I don't know how many other electoral systems elsewhere can have this same result, but I know we do, and it's unacceptable. It's for all practical purposes unchangeable, but it is illegitimate and unacceptable.

                            The Civil War happened because the losers didn't like the outcome of the 1860 election. Mark my words, we will face far worse if the losers of future elections are continually in the majority.

                          •  You mean like the South and North in 1860? (nt) (0+ / 0-)
                          •  Well under the current system (0+ / 0-)

                            Everyone is denied meaningful representation. None of the needs of the country are addressed. I would rather the voters of New York and California, who at least vote for a bright economic future for their children, have their needs be addressed than for noone to get anything.

                          •  The really odd part of it is that the Senate, the (0+ / 0-)

                            body that is "less representative" is in Democratic hands while the more representative House is in Republican hands.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 07:33:07 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  House can be gamed easier. (0+ / 0-)

                            Democratic candidates got more votes in 2012 than Republican ones for the House. Maybe if the Republicans didn't draw district lines to weaken the minority vote, and maybe if prison placement wasn't chosen to empower the white vote, we'd still have a Democratic house.

                          •  Pretty meaningless. (0+ / 0-)

                            First, neither party got a majority in 2012.
                            Democrats did receive a plurality of the national vote of about 1.4 million votes.
                            Of course, 1.8 million of that 1.4 million came from New York, so...Republicans won the other 49 states.

                            Which is, of course, is also meaningless.  House votes, like Senate votes, are confined to the state in which they were cast.  House votes are further confined to the District.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 09:03:25 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This makes no sense. (0+ / 0-)
                            Of course, 1.8 million of that 1.4 million came from New York, so...Republicans won the other 49 states.
                            If the Republicans won Texas by, say, 400,000 votes would that mean the Democrats won the other 49 states?
                          •  It wold have to be more than 400,000, but yes. (0+ / 0-)

                            Texas voters are far less monolithic than New York voters, but there are also a whole lot more of them, so the Republican edge in Texas of nearly 1.5 million cancels out more than 80% of the Democratic edge from New York.

                            Of course, that still leaves California with it's 2.8 million Democratic voter edge.

                            So, I guess we could say that Democrats won the three biggest states by a very convincing 3.1 million votes, but the GOP won the remaining 47 by a not-so-shabby 1.7 million votes.


                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 09:41:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Why do you pull out select states? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            It makes it look like you're saying the GOP won EACH OF the remaining 47, which I'm fairly certain they didn't. Why are we drawing distinctions on what state the voters are from, anyway? Is a voter from New York worth less than one from the 47 states that aren't the top 3?

                          •  You're catching on. Good. It's just a point that (0+ / 0-)

                            national numbers don't have much meaning in what are local races, even though they are local representatives to a national legislature.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 01:18:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Only in America is having > votes = nothing (0+ / 0-)

                            What a country!

                    •  And you think the "Tyranny of the minority" (0+ / 0-)

                      is somehow preferable?

                      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                      by UntimelyRippd on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 05:53:07 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Of course he does, he's a conservative (nt) (0+ / 0-)
                        •  Sigh. I seem to be one of the very few people (0+ / 0-)

                          in this conversation who understands it.

                          BTW -- how do you feel about Roe v Wade?

                          Brown v. Board of Education?

                          The court cases are all about protecting individual rights against the tyranny of the majority, as is the Bill of Rights.

                          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                          by dinotrac on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 06:59:51 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Really really didn't study your history, did you? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Jake formerly of the LP


                        Is it fair to blame the sorry state of public education?

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 06:55:33 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Sorry pal, but you just crossed the line from (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          being vaguely irritating to being a know-nothing, smug jackass who is babbling non sequiturs from a comfortable position of obscurity and ignorance. Your witless appeals to the "Tyranny of the majority" arguments as if they somehow address the current problem, which is that the minority is dictating, suggest that it is you, rather than I, who possesses a vapid "understanding" of American history, weak, addled, childish and reflexive, rooted in slogans and mythologies rather than any sort of sophisticated grasp of the issues in play either now or "then" -- pick any "then" you like, I'm confident your dimwittery runs broad and deep over the centuries.

                          Now go and read a book. I'd guess My Pet Goat is just about your speed.

                          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                          by UntimelyRippd on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 07:21:27 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Please provide an example of your dreaded (0+ / 0-)

                          tyranny of the majority. Then we can discuss which is the worse problem.

                          •  Sure. (0+ / 0-)

                            Jim Crow.
                            Assorted anti-abortion laws masquerading as "women's health" laws by imposing unreasonable requirements on abortion clinics.
                            Bans against gay marriage.

                            I could go on, but you might recognize all of these areas where laws passed by duly elected legislators (or, in some case enacted by plebiscite) were overturned by courts.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 07:29:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Jim Crow doesn't support your argument (0+ / 0-)

                            Plessey v. Ferguson gave Supreme Court seal-of-approval legal sanction to separate but equal treatment. They certainly didn't think it was 'tyranny of the majority.'

                            The 14th Amendment didn't change in the 58 years between that decision and Brown, so what did?

                            Oh, and when Eisenhower sent troops to Arkansas, I'm sure the locals didn't think that was tyranny, right?

                          •  Sure it does. It just took the Supreme Court (0+ / 0-)

                            a long time to get it right.

                            Ask how often you agree with decisions by the current Supreme Court and examine your logic.

                            Jim Crow absolutely was tyranny of the majority.  
                            The Supreme Court failed to fix it in Plessy. Fortunately, that error was corrected in Brown v. Board of Education.

                            I'm sure that the locals did view Eisenhower's intervention as tyranny.  In a way it was, but...

                            the Supreme Court had ruled that segregated schools violated the equal protection clause, which gives people one form of protection against tyranny of the majority. It didn't matter what the majority of locals thought.  It didn't matter what laws their legislators had enacted on their behalf.  The rights of the individuals guaranteed under the Constitution trumped the will of the majority.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 07:41:37 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Brown didn't give the black minority rule over (0+ / 0-)

                            the white majority. The solution to tyranny of the majority is ensuring minority rights, it's not giving the minority a political veto over the political system. At most, the courts should have that power, it should not be possible for a minority of voters to exercise majority control over the federal government, as is the case with the House (gerrymandering), the Senate (equal reps for states), and the Presidency (Electoral College).

                            The Voting Rights Act abrogated Jim Crow in the South - that's a national majority overruling state minorities. So far so good. When national majorities pass legislation that puts much of the Mountain West under federal ownership, people like the Bundys cry federal tyranny. Can't have it both ways.

                            As for abortion, women are an actual majority in this country, so as much as I dislike and disagree with the forced-birthers at the state level, their successes in limiting availability to abortion is not tyranny of the majority, it's successful politics. If white women did not vote majority Republican (unlike all other women groups), or women were single-issue choice voters, there would be no restrictions on abortion.

                            Gay marriage I will agree is an instance of tyranny of the majority, and state courts have taken a lead in pushing it forward, but as we can see popular support is rapidly making it a reality.

                          •  No it didn't. Where did I say that? (0+ / 0-)

                            As to abortion, why do you assume that women are a monolithic block?  They're not.  Women favor choice, but only by a small margin.  I would be you spend more time with liberal women, who favor choice by a wide margin, and that might color your perception.

                            Remember that we are not a single state.  Even before Roe v. Wade, there were places, like New York, where women could get legal abortions.  State and local laws create a localized majorities for each jurisdiction.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 08:04:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Now look's who's assuming (0+ / 0-)

                            I certainly didn't assume all women feel the same about choice. What I said was that because women voters outnumber men voters, if they were all single-issue voters on choice, then democratically there would be no way to sustain anti-abortion policies. They certainly can't rely on the current Supreme Court, where the effective antichoice majority was appointed by democratically-elected Republican Presidents.

                            Contrast that with African-Americans or homosexuals, who are a small minority and mathematically can never outvote non-AAs / non-gays in any election. For such people, yes, 'tyranny of the majority' is a theoretical or even real danger. But again the solution is to protect their rights. You know, like the 5th / 14th Amendment and due process / equal protection under the law.

                            Consider whites in South Africa. For generations they lived in mortal fear of tyranny of the majority. Given the choice of (potential) tyranny of the majority, and (actual) tyranny of the minority, there was no choice. As an aside, if you look at the proposals the apartheid government tried to offer as an alternative to true democratic rule, you'll see lots of parallels to our Articles of Confederation and pre-Civil War federal constitutional arrangement. Not a coincidence.

                            We have a federal government that not only theoretically, but empirically can be controlled by a minority of voters (2012 House; 2000 President). For you, that's acceptable as representative government; for me it is not.

                            Since we fundamentally disagree on this issue, we'll just have to leave it at that.

                          •  Your logic did, whether or not you did (0+ / 0-)
                            women are an actual majority in this country
                            For that to matter to your argument, you would have to assume that women are a voting block and they are not.  Women, like men, cover a lot of political ground.  And it wouldn't matter anyway, because the majority is comprised of the men AND women who vote for the legilators who pass the laws.  Pro-choice women area minority of that group, but their rights are protected against the tyranny of the majority. Or should be, if the courts are doing their job.

                            By the way -- did you know that the Chief Justice in Roe v. Wade was appointed by a Republican judge?
                            So was the first female justice, though, she might be a tad controversial.  She upheld the right to an abortion, but opened the door to the current onslaught of "admitting privileges" laws with her "undue burden" construct, which reduced the level of scrutiny courts were to apply in abortion cases.

                            South Africa is interesting in its own right, and was blessed to have Mandela.  I wish I were young enough to see a future generation or two.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 01:33:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I have no problems with courts protecting rights (0+ / 0-)

                            by negating democratically-elected officials when necessary. I have a problem with a constitution and electoral system that allows a minority of voters - however arbitrarily divided up - get a majority of representatives, or the Presidency.

                            As a practical matter, it is fortunate for your viewpoint that inertia means things will not change, absent major upheavals - which could result if our system's loopholes continue to thwart a democratic (small-d) majority. But your viewpoint is objectively antidemocratic. You can read Dahl's How Democratic is the American Constitution for further details.

                            Like I said, in the last decade of apartheid the white leaders of South Africa came up with all kinds of constitutional reforms along the lines of confederation / devolution, all with the goal of preventing a black majority from getting power. Advanced exactly for the reasons you made - to prevent tyranny of the majority. They weren't fooled, it's a shame so many in America still are.

                          •  I am not antidemocratic, but I am (0+ / 0-)


                            We live in a large and diverse country and our government should reflect that fact.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 03:38:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  'A republic not a democracy' (0+ / 0-)

                            I've heard that many times before. I'm sure you have as well. I'm also sure you know which side is especially fond of making those arguments.

                          •  The party that freed the slaves, established (0+ / 0-)

                            the first national parks, passed the first meat inspection act,  the first antitrust act, and the first three civil rights acts, that sent in federal troups to protect the rights of African Americans, that initiated the American Space Program AND oversaw the first manned landing on the moon, normalized relations with China, AND initiated the first international treaty that actually destroyed nuclear weapons?

                            That party?

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 05:49:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nice list. Too bad your side devolved into (0+ / 0-)

                            the party of racists, creationists, forced-birthers, Gundamentalists, the 1% and their "I got mine" wannabees.

                            But thanks for letting us know which side you're on.

                          •  I don't have a side. I was a Democrat for about (0+ / 0-)

                            15 years, but have eschewed parties since then.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 06:09:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  What's wrong with more people getting their way? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              stevenaxelrod, Theodore J Pickle

              Yeah, Cook county overwhelms Illinois politics... but that's because they have the most people who will be affected by Illinois politics!

              Please formulate an argument for me why it's okay for, say, rural people to get what's effectively 2-40 extra voters per person but it's not okay to award bald people or people born in April or war veterans extra voters.

              •  Your question tells me there is no point to this (0+ / 0-)


                But, some time when you are in a contemplative mood, you might ask yourself why the founders saw fit to provide the first Ten amendments to the Constitution, which could be characterized as protecting individuals against the will of the majority.

                For that matter, why is the Supreme Court constructed the way it is (and justices appointed and paid the way they are)?  It is fairly described as the anti-Democratic branch of government, and it is intentionally so.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 02:52:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  people were much more uneducated back then (0+ / 0-)

                  You couldn't vote for a Senator then. Things have changed 4 the better. Some day the "arc of justice" will find its resting place.
                  That means true rationality will win out.

                  •  Less educated? (0+ / 0-)

                    No, that's not it.

                    Your response makes me wonder how much less educated people could have been.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 03:17:42 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Im talking the first one hundrdd fifty plus (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Bring the Lions

                      Years of the country. We are far more educated now than from 1787 through 1937. Are you really going to argue that? We had legalized
                      slavery and/ or women couldn't vote for the vast majority if that time frame. Are you really going to go "there".

                      •  Contemplating the difference between more and (0+ / 0-)


                        I'm certainly willing to go "there".

                        Your response makes clear that you haven't studied the history of the United States sufficiently to understand the topic, yet are willing to throw out some ideas.

                        Nothing wrong with throwing out ideas, but the people who came up with the system really did have their reasons.

                        The people in smaller states were rightfully concerned and smart enough to hammer out a compromise.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 03:44:00 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  A substantial percentage of people (0+ / 0-)

                          in that time frame couldn't literally read or write. What you are talking about was the establishment of a governing system for the
                          elite of its time. Any "system" of governance that tolerated legalized
                          slavery or subjugation of half the population through almost
                          the mid 20th century was deficient at best.

                          •  A substantial percentage of people today can not (0+ / 0-)

                            read or write.

                            In the 18th century, public schools were already common in New England, and basic education --- literacy, basic arithmetic, and the like, were widespread.

                            As to slavery, it is fair to criticize the decision to include slave states within the union.  The founders were concerned about the nation's ability to survive as an independent entity without them.  If fairness, the British did invade and even burned the White House in the War of 1812.

                            Definitely a deal made with the devil, and a mistake corrected in the Civil War.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 07:06:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  That is one of the more ludicrously-besides-the- (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Theodore J Pickle

                  point arguments I've seen around here in a long time.

                  The rule of 2 senators per state doesn't provide general protection for any arbitrary minority constituency, it provides particular protection for the very specific minority constituency of "citizens of large, rural states". It is a ghastly fuckup, one that originated in a time and place where nobody really envisioned the current dynamic range of state populations and large number of barely-populated western states.

                  Nowhere in the 10 amendments will you find anything singling out any particular minority constituency for protection -- not even in the first amendment protection of religion, which equally protects the rights of a majority religion from the tyranny of a minority religion that happens to have disproportionate power due to being concentrated in the socioeconomic elite.

                  Some sort of compromise is desperately needed (e.g., states get a 3rd senator at 10,000,000 pop and a 4th at 20,000,000) but will never happen, since the Senators from the less-populated states will NEVER vote for an amendment that will lessen their power.

                  To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                  by UntimelyRippd on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 06:07:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I was using the term gerrymander humorously (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Theodore J Pickle

            not in a historically strict way.  The large, low-pop states are actually more like rotten boroughs than gerrymanders.  The common element is departure from fair, one-person one vote representation.  

            In the House, gerrymanders aggravate the effect of residential segregation by race and class in concentrating D voters in heavily blue (80+%) urban districts, while distributing lower absolute numbers of GOP voters into fairly safe 55-45 and 60-40 red districts.  So in 2012, 1.4 million more D voters got 33 fewer House seats than the GOP minority of voters.  The result is that GOP voters get more than their fair share of representation in the House.

            The Senate's peculiarity is that domination of GOP primaries by extreme right wing voters, encouraged by House candidates who compete in pandering to safe red districts, produces Senate nominees who are unelectably extreme in a statewide election. So the D's have mostly controlled the Senate despite the overrepresentation of low pop, less urban states.

            Playing the hand we are dealt, our side still has a fighting chance to hold the Senate and win back the House this year, if the GOP/TP can't restrain themselves from shutting down the government again.  Considering how much is at stake, an all hands on deck GOTV effort on the scale of a presidential year is worth the effort.  

            There's no such thing as a free market!

            by Albanius on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 04:07:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  No need with voter suppression... (0+ / 0-)

        in some states that alone (plus the usual midterm lack of Dem voters) could swing some Senate contests...

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:38:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You don't, I was thinking in terms of in additi... (0+ / 0-)

        You don't, I was thinking in terms of in addition to the Senate seats they're certain to gain by timing and retirements.

        Hope that's a sufficient explanation for Lord Douchebag, but if not then give yourself some validation for scoring a meaningless point. You have to get it somewhere.

      •  The senate is self-gerrymandered (0+ / 0-)

        Remember that each state gets two senators, regardless of population; and small states are disproportionately red. North and South Dakota get two senators each. California gets two total. So if you count up all of the nation's votes for Democrats and all of the nation's votes for Republicans, you'll find a Democratic advantage that does not actually show up in senate seats.

  •  I like it (20+ / 0-)

    After 2010 of course, we don't have that many House seats left to lose.

    But still.  And I hope to God we vanquish Rick Scott, Scott Walker and LePage.

    Also, in other news, can the nascent love affair here for Rand Paul, Mr. Peacenik Left-of-Hillary himself, finally and mercifully end?

    Washington Monthly:

    Kentucky senator Rand Paul tells AP:

    ‘If I were President, I would call a joint session of Congress. I would lay out the reasoning of why ISIS is a threat to our national security and seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily.’

    Ed Kilgore notes:
    So in less than a month Mr. Non-Intervention has gone from not being real sure about limited airstrikes in Iraq to calling for what sounds like a full-fledged declaration of war and an invasion. Sure sounds like he’s on the road to rationalizing his past opposition to military actions as being all about Constitutional Process, not some concern about a foreign policy centered on blowing things up.
  •  On the bright side... (6+ / 0-)

    No matter what happens, Boehner is going to suffer and squeal like a stuck pig... so there's that.

    I ride the wild horse .

    by BelgianBastard on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:06:33 PM PDT

  •  What is happening with the Senate? (8+ / 0-)

    Fuck the House.
    A 5 seat gain means the GOP holds the house and gets a bigger majority, even if just a smidge bigger.

    Will Democrats hold the Senate?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:07:13 PM PDT

  •  Wave'll have little effect on GOPtakeover of seats (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, bobcat41702

    Given the fact that the GOP already has 233 House seats, and since Dem gerrymandering (as well as GOP gerrymandering which stuffed more Democratic leaning voters in a number of safe seats) has protected a number of Democratic seats as well, even if a GOP should occur, such a wave will yield not many more House seats to the GOP.

    Obama-Biden: four more years!

    by Frederik on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:07:18 PM PDT

  •  I don't trust POLITICO. (11+ / 0-)

    I will go to their parties (they throw good ones in DC), but I wouldn't trust what comes out of their pieholes as far as I could throw it - but the fact they're already saying the GOP is in trouble....

    How many times we've hear that, and somehow, they pull one off, and leave the rest of us scratching our heads at how they did it?

    "Washington, DC: Where Corruption is Rewarded, and Ethical Merit is DESPISED.

    by The Truth on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:09:39 PM PDT

  •  happy the goppers are failing, but..... (5+ / 0-)

    When our own approval numbers in Congress are also in the toilet, it's not much of a victory.  "We suck less than they do" is still no way to win friends and influence people, and not much to celebrate.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:11:13 PM PDT

    •  But that's what most activists (0+ / 0-)

      are celebrating: "vote for our folks that just suck less!"

      An alternative: progressives instead of hand-picked, establishment folks.

      That's why Dems didn't come out in 2010: what did the 2008 wave do for them?  Passed bills that should have been passed the last time they had a majority but didn't and wasted two years on a mythical Grand Bargain.  Look how that turned out.

      Changing that m.o. might just convince folks to come out every other year.  Which would be a heck of a lot better than recent history.

  •  Considering that the sum total of their record... (9+ / 0-)

    ...has been obstructing Barack Obama, the fact that they will gain 5 or 6 seats speaks to the powerful and entrenched nature of Obama Derangement Syndrome.

    Unless you believe that standing in the way of anything the black president does is important, there is no reason to vote for any of these Republicans.

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

    by The Termite on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:11:15 PM PDT

  •  The GOP strategy was to do nothing (7+ / 0-)

    to allow Obama no wins he could brag about. They succeeded but that means the GOP base has nothing but made up scandals to be mad about and that has been wearing thin.
       The party in power loses seats in the general election because the party in power Did Something Extreme and Made a Mistake.  The GOP made sure Obama did nothing extreme that favors one side.

  •  I don't like seeing grown men cry except for Boner (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana, BelgianBastard

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:13:19 PM PDT

  •  A status quo election is a Dem win. (13+ / 0-)

    A sickening as it sounds to be sticking up for the status quo, if Democrats bring this election to a relative wash that's excellent news.

    We are well positioned in 2016. We just need to hold on until then.

  •  I shudder to think of what will get Democratic (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobcat41702, atana, waterstreet2008

    voters to the polls. Things will have to get markedly worse than they already are. I, for one, can't afford that.

    The trouble with normal is, it always gets worse. – Bruce Cockburn

    by jck on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:15:02 PM PDT

  •  5-6 seat gain sounds about right (8+ / 0-)

    For the Democrats though

  •  And then there's the (8+ / 0-)

    "you lied to us about Obamacare" rip tide that no one quite yet sees but will be stronger than now on election day--unless the insurers screw it up.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:16:26 PM PDT

  •  Apathy Agenda (6+ / 0-)

    This is why I'm suddenly seeing a spike in Concern Trolls on various sites. It seems like there's been a spike in Ohwhybothertheyreallthesame posts (not necessarily here). They know they can't win on the issues, so they paint both as the same as much as possible to feed the cynicism and apathy.

    The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, the polls tell us how the media is doing.

    by Thumb on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:21:44 PM PDT

  •  Gerrymandering is the only reason the GOP holds (13+ / 0-)

    onto the House but Dems can still make gains. It's all about, for now, decreasing their majority and decreasing the Tea Party grasp. Yes, the GOP will still be dicks in 2015 and will still try to stick it to Obama every chance they get but we've seen Boehner give the Tea Party the finger before. It's all about getting him to cave a few times to actually get shit done. As for the Senate, feeling optimistic about it however I hope the latest ad debacle doesn't hurt Begich and Landrieu can overcome the residency issue. Pryor and Hagan I fee great about and as for Kentucky and Georgia, I believe they are toss ups because the latest polling is all over the place and doesn't give a clear picture. Michigan will be ours and I believe Braley will beat Ernst and Udall will beat Gardner. The Governor races are where we are going to make the biggest gains.

    Funny Stuff at

    by poopdogcomedy on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:23:13 PM PDT

  •  Re: Fox having GOP at 42-50. (7+ / 0-)

    The same folks who still think Romney carried Ohio.

    "The truest measure of compassion lies not in our service of those on the margins, but in our willingness to see ourselves in kinship with them." Father Gregory Boyle, Homeboy Industries

    by Mr MadAsHell on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:27:23 PM PDT

  •  Plus gerrymandering (4+ / 0-)
    Which brings us back to the issue of core Democratic base voter turnout. The only reason Republicans can even think of gaining any seats is because our people don't vote. If we do, we win. And that's the big drama this fall.
    Plus, in a few cases, our failure to field (decent or any) candidates.
  •  thanks for this post. Keep it up. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, breathe67, Pilotshark, mchestnutjr

    It's after Labor Day. The election season has begun. I realize all of us at DK have considered election season since December 2012 but for the rest of the electorate it's only barely started. The next month is critical for Dems to register people and get them motivated to vote. Personal interaction is the surest way to achieve this. The story that gets told in October will be set by our actions in September.

    Thanks to Marcos for the post. Please keep it up! We need to focus on senate, house, and local races and only on that (plus, of course, any referenda). Let's drop the 2016 talk, the bashing of officeholders, and other distractions until November. (And, no, that doesn't mean you have to agree with everything Obama does. But until November, it means I will always ask myself a question before any action: will this get Dems elected in Nov 2014?)

    Focus and have fun.

  •  If there is a wave it will be a Dem wave if GOP (6+ / 0-)

    shuts down the government again.  That would be a strategic and tactical blunder of course, but I can't help thinking of the fable about the scorpion and the frog:

    Scorpion: would you give me a ride across the stream?
    Frog: no, you'll sting me.
    S: I wouldn't do that - you would die, and we'd both drown.
    F: OK

    Halfway across, the scorpion stings the frog.

    F, sinking: Why did you do that - now we'll both drown?
    S: It's my nature.

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 01:37:02 PM PDT

  •  Perhaps the key question affecting Nov. results is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2008, BelgianBastard

    how a significant immigration executive order would affect the election, increase Democratic turnout and Latino support, or boost GOP votes.

  •  Democrats will win if they follow this advise. (6+ / 0-)

    "Which brings us back to the issue of core Democratic base voter turnout. The only reason Republicans can even think of gaining any seats is because our people don't vote. If we do, we win. And that's the big drama this fall."

  •  this could be a big, historic year for Democrats (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if the fabled off-year election wave fails to materialize for the Rs.

  •  We have to do better than that, though. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's great that they aren't predicted to gain many seats. But they already have a majority.

    We have to take it back, and my thoughts on how we can do that are coming up about 10:30 tomorrow.

  •  Thanks kos, we can take the gavel from the orange (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the autonomist

    man.  If his so-called friends don't beat us to the punch.

    "Which brings us back to the issue of core Democratic base voter turnout. The only reason Republicans can even think of gaining any seats is because our people don't vote. If we do, we win. And that's the big drama this fall.  

    Pew has the generic congressional ballot at +5 Democrats which would indicate Democratic gains. But that's among registered voters. November will hinge on how many of those voters we get to the polls."

  •  I can tell you that Democrats in Texas (11+ / 0-)

    are working like dogs to GOTV.  We have all kinds of programs going through the county chairs such as "adopt a senior" in order to make sure they get mail in ballots (avoids the Voter ID issue for seniors w/o driver's licenses or passports).  With BGTX the state is divided into turfs.  The turfs get smaller as we near November.  There are swarms of organizers and many willing volunteers. I am a Neighborhood Team Leader in my Houston neighborhood in which I help organize weekly voter registration efforts, phone banks and block walking events.  We do two events a week of one of the above.  

    BGTX gives us lists of perusable voters with whom to engage.  It's the same method Obama used in 2012.  

    We ignore the polls and the pundits and keep our noses to the grindstone.  It's the only way....

  •  Register if you haven't already (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Libby Shaw

    and happy to announce that Sandra Fluke will be our guest contributor in the GOTV series this Thursday am.   The diary will be titled "GOTV VI: Sandra Fluke Motivates Millenials".  Please stop by if you can.

    And to register:


  •  Vote this year (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GunGriffin, the autonomist

    The only way a democracy works is when the people vote. It should be a requirement by law and be all by mail or Internet, with public drop offs for those in our country that are homeless.  Vote this year like your life depends on it- because it does

  •  Generic congressional ballot (0+ / 0-)
    Pew has the generic congressional ballot at +5 Democrats which would indicate Democratic gains. But that's among registered voters.
    Meh. Even if it were likely voters, a +5 might not necessarily indicate Democratic gains, because:

    1. Democratic districts tend to be large population centers that are very heavily Democratic, tilting the generic congressional ballot in favor of Democrats;

    2. Gerrymandering;

    3. People like their own representatives better than Congress/Republicans/Democrats as a whole.

    •  Number 3 really isn't true. I saw polls indicat... (0+ / 0-)

      Number 3 really isn't true. I saw polls indicating that a majority of people want their member of Congress GONE.

      Know who that hits? GOP incumbents in moderately-red districts- the type that were gerrymandered to keep as many seats as possible. If it's Dem +6 come November, a whole lot of those seats are in play

      •  Yes, I'm aware (0+ / 0-)

        of the poll showing people's mild disapproval of their own representatives. (It's still nothing compared to people's consistent DEEP disapproval of Congress as a whole.) Three points:

        1. It didn't ask whether people wanted their own member of Congress gone -- it asked if they approved. Candidates can have negative approval ratings and get reelected; it happens all the time.

        2. The disapprove number was only 51%. That's not a big enough number for everyone to want to kick out their representative.

        3. This is one poll. Congressional genetic ballots have been all over the map, and one came out just today showing the GOP ahead.  Let's not get too excited about one poll, of the type that's not very accurate anyway.

        We need to look at this clear-eyed. Overconfidence is detrimental. Democrats have a chance to overperform what's expected, but not without lots of hard work on our part.

  •  I never believed there would be a wave for them. (3+ / 0-)

    I always felt the GOP would not do as well as everybody expected. First of all, they offended every major voting block but male, heterosexual WASP.

    You cannot win with just them. Then they lied in 2012 about how well Romney was doing. Then throw in Hobby Lobby, The SCOTUS, immigration reform, their attitude towards the events in Ferguson, government shutdowns, suing the President, impeaching him....they are a disaster waiting to happen.

  •  Hopefully DNC will make hay (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jake formerly of the LP

    If Democratic candidates really take pride in the platform, positions and policies, the election could be an old fashioned route.

    Ads like Pryor, Begich and Lundergan-Grimes are the templates.

    Democratic candidates should not  run away from good, essential and needed policies - ACA, minimum wage, infrastructure jobs, etc.

    These are what people need and clear winners of hearts, minds and votes!

    •  The President already stated as much, gave them... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      the autonomist

      The President already stated as much, gave them a template too run on, and too the more pessimistic voters here, need I remind you of the massive fail that was 2008? Republicans suffered the same errors they are suffering right now, turn out was low not because of Bush but because of poorly run walk on walk off scandal after scandal Republican screw UPS, the same thing has happened again, they like in 2008 are saying openly we don't want black or women voters, we don't want working Government, we don't want healthcare, we don't like veterans, we don't want green energy, we don't want too save humanity from our own planet. All of these things are insanely popular now, too run against the majority with such a massively polar opposite view point is asking for trouble of the highest magnitudes, Cliven Bundy was proof of that. Secondly this entrenched idea of Democrats not voting is stupid every collage kid I talk too says they are voting in the mid terms here in Minnesota, same in Wisconsin and Alabama, Florida as well.. I think many people here and in the media still think we are in the 90s where Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube were unused or did not exist yet. I know it might pain you too know this but as much as these enable Republicans too blather like morons they also emboldened Democrats and the youth too vote... Too say whoa that's not what America is about, too be counted..

  •  I wish more people really understood this.. (0+ / 0-)

    I wish more people really understood this..

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