New Senate: DEM 50     Ties 1     GOP 49

New polls: IL ME
Dem pickups: GA
GOP pickups: AK LA MT SD WV

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Obama To Delay Action on Immigration

At the request of some Democrats running in red states, President Obama has decided to delay any unilateral action on immigration until after the midterm elections. Such action would have been a mixed bag. It could have excited Latinos and gotten them to the polls but it could also have excited the Republican base and gotten them to the polls as well. Also, the effect differs by state. In a state like Alaska, where there are few Latinos, the effect could work against the reelection of Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) who is in a tight race. On the other hand, in North Carolina, with more Latinos, it could possible have helped Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC). In any event, Obama chose the safer course and will probably act after the elections. The Republicans will be furious at him no matter what he does. They will say that it is up to Congress, not the President, to make immigration laws and there may be an attempt to impeach him. Since the Republicans are likely to have a majority in the House, they could impeach him, but even if they take the Senate, they won't have anywhere near the 2/3 majority needed to convict him.

Wendy Davis Talks about Her Abortion

Female Democratic candidates for public office often talk about women's health in general terms without getting into the details of whether they mean mammograms or obstretrical care or something else, but Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Texas, Wendy Davis, has now come out and openly discussed the abortion she had 17 years ago, when she was 34. Her fetus had been diagnosed with a major brain abnormality and would be permanently blind and deaf and might not even survive. With great pain, she decided to have an abortion. An admission like this makes the abortion question much more personal for most people. Often people think of abortions as being something for teenagers who haven't gotten the message about safe sex, rather than a married Harvard Law School graduate in her 30s whose child would be permanently and severely handicapped for life if carried to term.

While this disclosure is unlikely to win Davis the Texas governorship, it may change the national discussion about abortion. Abortion opponents are now going to have to defend having a woman give birth to a deaf, blind, and severely handicapped child who will need constant and very expensive care indefinitely and will have no quality of life. One question that abortion opponents will no doubt be asked is: "Are you willing to help pay for the child's care, either through higher taxes or higher health-insurance premiums?"

Politico Publishes List of the Top 50 Political Thinkers

The Politico 50 is a list of the top political thinkers. Some are actual politicians, some are not. Some are household names, some are not. Many of the choices are arguable. In some cases two or three people are are listed together. Here is the top 20. The Politico Website gives the story why each one was chosen.

  1. Rand Paul
  2. Janet Yellen
  3. Thomas Pikkety
  4. Ted Cruz
  5. Chad Griffin & Roberta Kaplan
  6. Pope Francis
  7. Edward Snowden & Glenn Greenwald
  8. David Coleman & E.D. Hirsch
  9. Gabrielle Giffords & Wayne LaPierre
  10. Beau Willimon
  11. Samuel Alito & Sonia Sotomayor
  12. Elizabeth Warren
  13. Brian Chesky, Travis Kalanick, & Elon Musk
  14. Jonathan Gruber
  15. Yuval Levin
  16. Richard Fink
  17. Nick Hanauer, Ed Murray, & David Rolf
  18. John Podesta
  19. Tom Steyer
  20. Jed Rakoff

Some of the choices are unconventional, but interesting. For example, Nick Hanauer is a "Zillionaire" (his term) who is scared to death that unless something is done about inequality fast, there will be an American Revolution II and it will look more like the French Revolution than American Revolution I, so he is working hard to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour to protect capitalism and capitalists.

Today's Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Illinois Dick Durbin* 49% Jim Oberweis 39%     Sep 04 Sep 04 We Ask America
Maine Shenna Bellows 31% Susan Collins* 59%     Sep 03 Sep 04 Rasmussen

* Denotes incumbent

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