Harry Reid gets surprisingly easy victory. Dems keep Senate. GOP wins House big.

Otter reelected Idaho governor-

One tidbit on the wolf issue.  Chet Edwards, a Blue Dog Democrat from Texas, author of the most anti-wolf bill in Congress lost big.  It is doubtful his bill was much of a factor.

– – – –


Montana ballot initiative I-161 which we discussed for a long time here, passed. It prohibits the current system of outfitter-controlled non-resident hunting licenses.





  1. Daniel Berg Avatar
    Daniel Berg

    Sharron Angle gave me the creeps. I know some are claiming the latino vote helped put Reid over the top, but I think Angle partially buried herself with her “I realize I’m too whacky to give interviews so I’ll wait until after the election” crap.

    1. Ken Cole Avatar

      I’d trade Feingold for Reid any day.

      1. Daniel Berg Avatar
        Daniel Berg


    2. jon Avatar

      Angle seems like a sore loser. So what if latinos voted for Reid? Last I checked, they have a right to vote too. This is not directed towards you DB, just saying. Angle filed a voter intimidation complaint against reid. She seems like a sore loser. I am far from being a fan of Harry reid, but some of these republicans who have lost seem like sore losers. It was funny seeing Christine O’Donnell lose in Delaware. I don’t seem Obama getting elected in 2012. No way in hell. I think the american people are starting to dislike him even more as day and day goes by. Based on what I am seeing and the potential candidates that might run in 2012 or are thinking about running, the future looks pretty grim and scary. Palin, Romney, Bachmann, Obama, etc all running for president in 2012 or atleast thinking about it. I even heard that Donald trump is thinking about running for president.

      1. jdubya Avatar

        How can you begin to make a prediction that Obama will not get elected in two years? Two years is a lifetime in the kind of political cycle that we are now in. He could be at 80% approval rating in 9 months, or not. Who knows….

      2. jon Avatar

        Look at his approval rating now and republicans are in control of the house now. A lot of americans do not like Obama. There is very little chance he will get elected again. He is a one term president. Unless things change and for the better, I don’t see his approval rating going up, I only see it going further down.

      3. Ken Cole Avatar

        Jon, I don’t think you know what you are talking about. Jdubya is right. Two years is a lifetime in politics.

      4. jon Avatar

        Ken, with Obama’s approval rating going down daily it seems, I don’t see how the american people are going to give him a 2nd term.

      5. jon Avatar

        unless he goes up against the likes of palin or Romney then he might have a decent chance of becoming president again, but who really knows for sure. We will have to wait until 2012 I guess. He should start making some good positive changes that the american people are happy with and maybe the american people will start believing in him again.

      6. Ken Cole Avatar

        His approval rating is higher than Bush’s at this point but, still, that doesn’t matter. Two years is a lifetime in politics.

      7. Ralph Maughan Avatar

        After the 1994 mid-term election Bill Clinton was supposed to be through, but in 1996 he was easily reelected.

        However, Obama is no Clinton. It obvious now the Obama is not a very gifted politician. Democrats might do well to start looking for another candidate.

      8. Daniel Berg Avatar
        Daniel Berg

        Palin has no chance of winning the election in 2012. She lives in her own world though and might feel differently.

        Bachmann has zero chance either. She doesn’t have the conviction or the charisma to contend. On Glenn Beck this morning she was praising Beck for “teaching America”. She was so ingratiating that one would be led to believe that Beck was the shepard and her the sheep. Not a contender.

        Obama has a good chance of winning in 2012. The republicans just don’t have a solid alternative choice at this point.

      9. Save bears Avatar

        Palin has no chance at the White House, but she does have one thing going for her, she is one of the few public persona’s that I have seen that has the ability to polarize people, and it does not have anything to do with what side your on, if you like her, she gets you out to vote, if you hate her, she gets you out to vote..

        I don’t care if you love or hate her, she gets people off their ass and they vote, anything to get the pathetic people of this country to vote! is a good thing..

        As far as who will win in 2012, I think we are to far out to really know, but I can guarantee you, both sides political strategists are analyzing what happened yesterday and maneuvering to get the right person in place to make the run for the white house in 2012. I am thinking it may be someone who we have never really heard of that will run on the conservative side.

        That strategy worked for the Democrats in 2008, not many in the country had really heard of Obama..

    3. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      This election was surreal. Watching ads that bombarded democratic candidates with distortions about “bank Bailouts” which Boenher begged republicans to vote for and cried on the house floor about, to the “job Killing stimulus bill” as hundreds of republicans took credit for projects in their districts! The democrats get two years to fix the country while the republicans take back the house. They aren’t listening either, instead of the economy they are looking to repeal the health care law! So much for “Where are the Jobs”. This is painful to watch!

  2. Maska Avatar

    Unfortunately, wolf-hating ex-Congressman Steve Pearce won his old seat back in New Mexico’s Second Congressional District. We’re in for more inflammatory speeches on the floor of the House.

    1. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      My jaw dropped when I saw that he won. That was my first thought-“As if this imperiled population of wolves don’t have enough problems now they have to deal with MR wolfhater

  3. WM Avatar

    Generally, if one thinks the environmental agenda was not advanced far enough by the Obama Admin. and a Dem Congress in two short years, now we are in for a real rude awakening, unfortunately. It is almost off the radar now, except for a couple key issues, that will be revisited by the R’s for the purpose of marginalizing them, as well – climate change truth or myth: the Bubba chronicles; offshore oil drilling: I want it all and I want it now; clean air: if you can see through it, it is fine (and maybe even if you can’t); clean water: if you can see though it, it is fine, too.

    Then there are healthcare and Wall St. reforms that most R’s are too freaking dumb to figure out, as the smart/rich ones who make the real decisions keep the dumb ones confused by feeding them even more propaganda, while feathering their own nests.

    My take is that there was too attempted by an arrogant , but well-meaning Democratic House in too many areas (that really needed fixing given the last 8 years of Bush, and the Wall Street financial crisis) over too short a time. This, combined with the exceptionally grating, cocky, personality of Nancy Pelosi (Reid too), were in themselves enough to cause fickle moderates and independents to change horses in mid-stream. Some of this was preventable but for the arrogance of the National D Party.

    I will also say, had Obama picked a Sec. of Interior with more of a purist environment stance than Salazar, the Senate seat in CO would definitely go R, and maybe even NV and WA. Something to think about, as wounds are licked.

    Maybe there really is something to be learned from the tortoise and the hare parable. Brian E, are you reading this?

    Damn party politics!

    1. JB Avatar

      I agree regarding environmental issues. Prepare to be re-marginalized! Climate change legislation is probably dead, and Ds will have to make concessions any future “clean energy” legislation. The silver lining on this election was that the Tea Party likely cost the Republicans the Senate. Any moderate conservatives with a pulse could have won Nevada and Delaware; but the Rs primaries spit out Tea Partier’s Christine O’Donnell and Sharon Angle.

      So the net effect of the Tea Party was to radicalize the House (an inevitability) and allow the Democrats to retain the Senate. Thank you Sarah Palin! Of course, this virtually ensures that nothing will get done in Congress in the next two years [uhg!].

      1. Brian Ertz Avatar

        “re-marginalized” ?

        Ha !

    2. Brian Ertz Avatar

      What does ‘D’ stand for ? Moderation, compromise …

      Why would I support a politician who seems more concerned with placating the R’s concern then with demonstrating/articulating why passage of legislation is the right thing to do on its own merits ? … I wouldn’t … Activists didn’t, and rightly so – the Democrats are more responsive to Republicans than to their own supporters.

      The activists who pounded the streets on behalf of the Democratic party last time were abandoned immediately upon Obama’s inauguration. This time, they reasonably spent their time doing other things. One of my degrees is in Political Science (ha !)… any political scientist will tell you that midterms are about galvanizing the base. Which party did that last time ? Obama (then he immediately left us in the cold) which party did that this time (when’s it’s more important to foment interest/modivation to vote) : the Republicans/Tea Party, and they didn’t do it with a record or suggestion that “moderation” or some other projected “middle” position on a contrived political spectrum was the right thing to do.

      The last 2 years were a referendum on Democratic leadership. Activists were right, putting their faith and energy into Obama’s Administration, House or Senate is a futile endeavor if one hopes to advance their issue. The best Democrats can do is wave a flag proclaiming “The other guys are worse”.

      Voters were right, Democrats didn’t lead … they followed the right-wing half-way down the rabbit-hole – that’s not good for our country. Unfortunately, the only other voice – the default vote – came from the bat-shit crazy Tea-baggin’ deconstructionists.

      This election proves: “The other guys are worse” will not win elections.

      I’m sure they’ll find a way to blame this one on Nader too.

      1. DB Avatar

        “The other guys are worse” is exactly the message that won for Republicans. When you have an electorate that is as ignorant and fickle as us, that’s what happens. Don’t know the answer, but don’t think tht being cerebal and rational gets it either.

      2. JB Avatar

        I have a bit of a different take on things. Certainly, the Rs did a great job rallying their base, while Ds were dismal. However, it is pretty common for the party that holds the Presidency to loose seats in a midterm election. The problem isn’t so much that Ds compromised; the problem is that the Rs didn’t budge, and since the Ds were in power they were held accountable by the masses (note: they had more to loose–think regression toward the mean here).

        Compromise is not inherently good or bad; but realistically, compromise is the only way to create the sort of “change” Obama promised (unless we drastically change our system of governance). The Rs held their ground and were rewarded for it–by their base. However, Presidential elections tend to turn out more voters, especially independents. The Rs are going to have trouble with independent voters in 2012 if they are seen as the party of “no” and especially if they run a bunch of Tea Party nuts. They will have to offer an alternative to the Ds approach, and it will have to be something that the middle (independents) see as reasonable. Given the makeup of conservatives in Congress, I don’t think this is very likely.

        It will be very interesting to see who the independents hold accountable for all of this gridlock in 2012.

      3. Brian Ertz Avatar

        it’d probably be good to look like you give a rip by going to bat for an issue …

        Right-wingers look like they care … even if you and i believe it to be lunacy …

        it’s more ‘cerebral’ (less directly articulate) to explain why pragmatic bipartisanship is necessary given our bicameral system of checks and bala ….. etc. etc. etc… – then to say health care is worth it and screw the right-wing fascists who would oppose it . when standing up, and demonstrating a willingness to fight – that communicates/articulates something — leadership … Democrats don’t have that. subjecting every issue to the obfuscatory ideology of uber-pragmatism has been the D’s MO.

        they don’t represent me … they should not take my vote for granted …

        on a whole lot of issues D’s haven’t been any better the Republicans, and the suggestion that the right-wingers would be worse is highly speculative … even if perhaps I agree …

        Professionally, I pay a lot of attention to Interior … Interior has been NO better than under Bush … that’s just a matter of fact. you might point to nuanced policy objectives or unenforceable (& unenforced) Memos from the president to pay attention to science … but nothing controversial — no indication that they’re willing to articulate and fight for values that I hold close to my heart. That might be more palatable if it meant tangible calculations to fight/articulate on behalf of other agenda items like a public option on health care, or to reign in the banks … but the truth is Democrats compromised away the public-option before hitting the table — and personally, i’ve got a house in foreclosure AFTER Obama threw $700 billion at the banks …

        the Democrats didn’t earn my vote – (whether i squeezed my nose and delivered it to them or not anyway). and they certainly didn’t earn my effort on the street …

        perhaps Democrats need a “latte’ sippin’ leftist insurgent asnwer to the tea-baggers to keep the party honest and galvanize interest … who knows …

      4. JB Avatar

        Sorry, should have typed “lose” not “loose”.

      5. jon Avatar

        For the dems on here, did any of you like Bill Clinton when he was president? How do you think he compares to Obama? Do you think he was a better president than Obama? Hopefully, Obama will make some good changes in the time ahead. If he wants to get re-elected in 2012, he better start listening to the american people and making some good positive change happen.

      6. SAP Avatar

        This Onion story sums up a lot of what was wrong with the Democrats this season:


        Authenticity: if people want Republicans, they’ll vote for genuine Republicans, not Democrats pretending to be Republicans in order to be popular. Of course, unlimited secret political spending by corporations means that successful politicians are almost de facto beholden to corporate influence. Representing the have-nots is not where the $$ is.

      7. Save bears Avatar

        At this point in time, I really don’t understand what it matters if you liked or disliked Clinton, he is a long gone, elder statesman, he has done some great things since he has been out of office, but I can say when he was in office, which was the time I served in the Military, he was not all that great..I think he pulled the wool over a lot of peoples eyes with his “Balancing the budget” stuff. He basically stripped us in the military to attain the surplus, which created a lot of problems since then…

        Was he a better president that Obama, 100% resounding yes..but right now, it does not matter…

      8. JB Avatar

        “He basically stripped us in the military to attain the surplus, which created a lot of problems since then…”

        And there you have another problem with Rs. They are all for “small” government, except for the Military (note: the the capitalization is purposeful), which is sacrosanct. Take a look at our 2009 expenditures:


        DOD spending is second only to social security, and that does NOT include the “Global War on Terror” (6th on the list), the Department of Veteran Affairs (10th on the list), nor the Department of Homeland Security (14th on the list); all of which are concerned with the defense of this country and EVERY ONE of these Departments has greater expenditures than DOI, DOA, or DOE. DOD and War spending account for fully half of all Discretionary spending in the Federal budget.

        For decades we have subsidized the defense of Europe for fear of the communist Soviet Union; this subsidization has allowed European countries to use their tax dollars to benefit their citizens via a generous social welfare net. Meanwhile we bicker and argue about welfare in this country while continuing to spend huge sums of money defending Europe from an non-existent enemy. Well-done, America!

    3. Daniel Berg Avatar
      Daniel Berg


      The eastern counties in WA are already heavily republican. I don’t know that Rossi would have been more likely to win if Obama had picked a more appropriate Interior Secretary. The state races are usually decided by voters in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. A lot of local political analysts will actually claim that a republican can win or lose a race in this state based on how close to half of the vote they receive in King County.

      1. WM Avatar


        I grew up in Eastern WA, have many relatives, friends and professional acquaintences who still live there. Some were on the fence this election, pondering whether it was time for Murray to go, notwithstanding many having voted Obama for President two years ago.

        The Department of Interior is not just about grazing on BLM land and National Parks, as we talk about here so much. There are lots of Interior functions that affect rural folks in the West. Specifically, let’s focus on the east side of the Cascades (and the Olympic Peninsula too, where D Rep. Norm Dicks walks on water, but the area is otherwise R).

        A more “liberal” leaning Interior Secretary and perception of resulting Democrat policy would, in my opinion, result in independent or liberal Republican (think those would couldn’t bring themselves to vote McCain-Palin without vomiting) backlash in the form of an anti Murray vote, hence a Rossi win. Do recall how incredibly close the Rossi – Gregoire governor race was, and the resulting recounts.

        And, don’t discount the perception of Interior roles on the ESA that have affected livelihoods (spotted owl and marbled murellete to name two, and maybe the sage grouse in the future), issues including developing wolf policy. And then there are the Indian reservations (federal reserved water rights) and BIA roles/funding, always uneasy topics that slip under the radar for most locales who do not have sovereign nations in their midst.

        Think broadly which of these functions affect land and water use in the West and how that translates into politics of those most affected by them.

        And, don’t be confused by the name: US Geological Survey is actually a technical/scientific arm of Interior and is responsible for all kinds of studies, including biological, that set the stage for policy, which usually only results in bad news for the West.

        Interior functions:
        •Bureau of Indian Affairs
        •Bureau of Land Management
        •Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement
        •Bureau of Reclamation
        •National Park Service
        •Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement
        •U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
        •U.S. Geological Survey

      2. Daniel Berg Avatar
        Daniel Berg

        You make a good point, but I think the only reason a president’s choice of secretary of interior would have an effect on a senate race in Washington is because of how tight the race was. At that point you could make the claim that any number of issues on the periphery of the Washington population centers could have swayed the election. You could say that Rossi would have won if Obama chose a different IS, but at that point you could also make the claim that had Rossi changed his stance on one issue of significance to King County voters, put out better ads, or performed better in the debates, he could have made up for what he lost by not having a liberal IS 30 times over.

        On the Olympic Peninsula there were estimated to be 225,200 people living as of 2008. In King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, it was 3.386 million (half the population of the entire state @ 6.6 million).


        There are more than 5 million people in the state who live in the high population centers and probably don’t think a whole lot about the interior secretary. Of the rest, I would assume that the majority would not be swayed in their vote one way or another based on who the IS was.

        I guess what I’m trying to say is that when a race is as close as 20,000 or 30,000 votes, there are a limitless number of variables that could have swung the race one way or another, but ultimately it’s the big issues that urban residents in Washington perceive to affect them the most that ultimately decides the race.

        (As an aside, the wolf issue doesn’t appear to me to be of much concern to most people in Washington yet.)

      3. WM Avatar

        ++(As an aside, the wolf issue doesn’t appear to me to be of much concern to most people in Washington yet.)++

        It is not a matter of “most people,” it is a matter of who has power and influence. Plus, you obviously haven’t seen the articles from the Eastern WA wolf plan hearings that were held about this time last year. The livestock interests on the mostly pro-wolf Committee (designed that way by WDFW) that was involved in plan preparation, wrote their own dissenting report about numbers and distribution. The plan as written also included a proposed compensation element of 2x actual damages for wolf kills on acreages larger than 100 acres, to get the livestock folks to buy into the plan. This element requires legislative action and fiscal appropriation for funding (unlikely as the state now has to close a $4.5B shortfall this year with huge deficit problems int he future). Elk hunters in the Yakima and Wenatchee areas were not amused by the plan, and have so stated to their Eastern WA federal elected officials. And then they are watching this avoidable litigation circus on relisting.

        ****I will predict ESA and specifically wolf issues will rise to higher levels in Congress than was previously predicted by many here.

        Now some effects of the results of the election: Doc Hastings, R-Pasco will likely be the new Chair of the House Committee on Nat. Resources (Interior Subcommittee is under his umbrella and will likely be chaired by a Utah Rep.). Get the picture?

        And, one more zinger while I am on the subject. After the drubbing the Dems, and specifically the President took, and importantly acknowledged, does anyone believe a more pro-environment Secretary of Interior would be appointed if Salazar quits for some presently unknown reason? It would be stay the course and maybe even retract further to the right, with the House already toast, and the Senate in a precarious balance.

        So much for the wisdom of the D’s who stayed home and pouted because the base wasn’t “energized” and didn’t get what they wanted from Obama and the D’s. And I am really disappointed in the “young and college crowd” who elected Obama, but didn’t participate in the mid-term election. Brian are you reading this?

      4. Daniel Berg Avatar
        Daniel Berg


        I participated in the election and encouraged all of my “young and college crowd” friends to as well. I voted without much enthusiasm this time around. One of many disappointments over the last couple of years has been Obama’s seeming lack of commitment to environmental issues.

  4. Nancy Avatar

    Just heard Harry Reid say “we have to start working together” How many years have we all been hearing that from politicians?

    1. jon Avatar

      The new speaker of the house has said he doesn’t want to work with democrats.

      1. JimT Avatar

        Boehner is talking about a mandate and no compromise. Yeah, same as in the Gingrich days.

        Colorado Senate race too close to call, and I smell a recount no matter the initial result. And you couldn’t be more wrong about the environmental Sec, or more of a adherence to what the Obama platform was. Dems didn’t turn out here. Working on the Bennet campaign, I got to hear A LOT from disappointed independents about feeling betrayed by his run to the middle, and they just decided to protest. If the base and the independents had stayed motivated…it wouldn’t be this close.

        Ultimately, this was about anger and payback, needing to blame someone for the past two years of economic woes. Long term I still think health care reform will do alot for control national debt figures, but that battle will be decades long in shaping the end result, and I will give Obama credit..he did say this wouldn’t happen overnight.

        But folks didn’t want to hear that. And when the bottom finally fell out, patience went with it. Don’t know what this means for the ESA stuff; I am hoping that with a majority in the Senate, it can be killed in committee. Both Dems on the Senate committee are back…so there is hope.

        It will be an unpleasant ride for another 2 years, I fear.

      2. jon Avatar

        I was just going to ask you that Jimt. Now that republicans are the majority in the house, that can’t be good for those anti wolf bills. Dems seem or usually have been in the past more pro-wildlife than the republicans. This bickering between the parties is getting very childish. Blaming the opposing side isn’t healthy and it isn’t going to solve anything. Parties in my opinion are one of the worst things to happen to this country. I also noticed that the ads on tv this year were somewhat brutal.

      3. WM Avatar


        ++I got to hear A LOT from disappointed independents about feeling betrayed by his {Bennett’s} run to the middle, and they just decided to protest. If the base and the independents had stayed motivated…it wouldn’t be this close.++

        If I understand you correctly, so Bennett runs the middle from a further left position, and this costs him votes through apathy. The folks north of Boulder, I expect have gone further right (apathy too), which may explain why he did not do well there, and D Betsy Markey was a one time Rep. (Had Eric Eidsness gotten the D nomination two years ago, I bet that House seat would still be D). The D party is so screwed up, it isn’t funny. A D protest by not voting if you don’t like a move to the middle. Independents not motivated – not sure how anything could have been done there.

        The arc of the political pendelum in the House swings wider than at any time since 1948. So, instead of half a loaf of bread we get nothing, and a near term future that seems to predict greater starvation of ideals. Smart, like a deer, eyes looking staight into the headlights of an on-coming semi truck.

      4. jon Avatar

        WM, did you vote for Allred or Otter? When was the last time a democrat was governor in Idaho?

      5. WM Avatar

        jon, even though I spend alot of time in ID, I don’t live there. I am a registered voter in WA.

    2. Brian Ertz Avatar

      Harry Reid seems hell-bent on losing the D’s the Senate …

      Good thing he was running up against a bad enough candidate to justify his retention !

  5. jon Avatar


    “The time for politics is now over,” Reid said, in a nod to the last two years of sharply partisan fighting in his chamber, where the threat of filibuster was omnipresent.

    “Now that Republicans have more members in both houses of Congress, they must take their responsibility to present bipartisan solutions more seriously. Simply saying ‘no’ will do nothing to create more jobs, support our middle class and strengthen our economy,” Reid said.

    This is something that should have been going on a long time ago. The bickering and fighting between the parties needs to end now. While these two parties are fighting and acting childish, the american people are the ones suffering.

  6. jon Avatar

    This is interesting.

    Obamao Ready To Use Veto Pen If Republicans Take House…


    President Obama is ready to flex some muscle by using the veto pen if Republicans win back a majority in the House.

    Democrats and White House aides said that Obama is prepared to wield his veto pen and effectively stare down Republicans should they have a successful Election Day.

    1. Ryan Avatar

      Now the democrats can be the party of no!

      1. jon Avatar

        Ryan, what are your thoughts on Obama in 2012? Do you think he will get re-elected?

      2. Ryan Avatar


      3. JimT Avatar

        Seems to be what the emotion-ruled voter in America wants…a party that does nothing but obstruct. Now that they have the wand of responsibility in the House, it will be interesting to see if they really do try and get some things solved, or if they are more interested in taking down the WH and the Senate by pretending that they have some sort of mandate. Laughable. If the economy was better, there would have been no Republican takeover. Simple as that in the end.

      4. JimT Avatar

        It is so premature to be talking about 2012 now. Look at what the situation was in 2008; no one really knew how bad Bush had screwed up the economy and how long it would take to get things done given the Republican strategy of using Senate rules to filibuster or put holds on things. Who knows what the situation will be in two years. I sure as hell don’t, and neither do the pundits on both sides of the aisle.

  7. jon Avatar

    And some are actually trying to remove Obama from office.


    A US analyst says US President Barack Obama is unlikely to end his first term as there are serious efforts by American officials to remove him due to his incompetence.

    “It is very doubtful at this time that he will last his first term,” Edward Spannaus of Executive Intelligence Review said in an interview with Press TV on Wednesday.

    “There are people who are upset within the administration and the Democratic party who are seriously considering how to remove Obama from presidency,” Spannaus added.

    Many of them put out all their calls for removing Obama under the amendment 25th of the US Constitution.

    The amendment allows for the removal of the US president if he is incapacitated either physically or mentally.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar


      This seems extremely doubtful to me. Wishful thinking by some. The sources you cite seem pretty marginal

    2. PointsWest Avatar

      Reagan claimed that it was his over-zealous staffers who were funneling money to the Contras (who Reagan called “freedom fighters”) in Central America. This was illegal and would have been an impeachable offence; however, Reagan claimed that he had no knowledge of it even though the chain of command could be traced to his top staff. Oliver North, who worked in the basement of the Whitehouse, was indicted for treason but then squealed like a pig and fingered Reagan. Reagan still claimed ignorance. It was said at that time that if Reagan had so little control over his Whitehouse or so little knowledge of their activities, maybe he should be impeached.

      1. JimT Avatar

        There was talk of hearings on Obama by some of the more extreme members of the Republicans to whip up the base. I cannot imagine the House refusing to hold hearings on what Bushies did, and then agreeing to hold them on Obama. If they did, they might as well start flying the Confederate flag over the House.

      2. PointsWest Avatar

        Ooops…it was not Treason that Oliver North was indicted for. It was 16 counts of other lesser crimes. Some said he should have been indicted for Treason, however.

  8. Cody Coyote Avatar
    Cody Coyote

    The Wyoming Senate now has only 4 sitting Democrats in the 30-seat chamber. Even the ” good” Democrats who actually picked up Republican endorsements in this state for various offices , did poorly statewide. It really was an anti-Obama Republican tsunami in Wyoming in the vaccuum created by outgoing governor Dave Freudenthal. The Republicans are solidly in control of Wyoming now.

    But there’s no time to gloat for the vermillion Cowboy State GOP. Wyoming now has to arm and defend its southern border . Colorado is heavily Democratic now. Wyoming is in dire need of troops, guard towers, electronic sensors , and a 400-mile “Buck and Rail Curtain” on the Colorado border. Snowfence won’t work . Citizens are forming Cowboy Minutemen Militias as we speak.

    Even worse, the initiative to establish a UFO Monitoring agency in Denver failed, so aliens now have a free landing zone there. And make no mistake , they will come…for the cute Boulder girls , the microbreweries , and all that powerful Pot being grown. So Wyoming will have to doubly defend its skies from illegal space aliens now. Thanks , Colorado , for leaving us wide open for extraterrestrials…

  9. Chris Harbin Avatar

    “Boehner is talking about a mandate and no compromise”

    I do not recall any compromise going on before the election. Most of you may have heard this but Minority Leader Mitch “No Lips” McConnell (who, sad to say, is from my home state of KY) has said that his goal the next 2 years is to keep Obama from being re-elected. I would think there would be at least one or two more productive ways to spend at least a year of that time.
    While I’m at it, I’ll apologize for my state for elected Rand Paul. One of his promises was that he would read every bill completely before voting on it. In theory I suppose that sounds good but the reality he he won’t be voting much I guess.

    1. JB Avatar

      Or he won’t be sleeping much.

  10. Kayla Avatar

    Personally my take on now what comes is gridlock and a
    D.C. with intense political bickering. It will be two years of
    intense political debate on which way does the country
    want to go now with either right or left. It seems as both
    political parties have become more extreme in the last few
    years with few wanting to meet in the middle and talk. This
    in my mind includes definately environmental issues. Now
    with all the things that this country faces, this cannot be
    good. And who knows what will happen in 2012. There can
    be certain things that can happen overnight which can
    change everything completely it seems. And I personally the quietness from Hillary as interesting. So who knows what will happen in 2012 and it could be anyone’s ballgame in my opinion. But again as for the next several years, hold on tight for I think we will be in for a rough time with intense political partisen debate bigtime and gridlock. I do not think that either side is budging but are now digging
    bigtime in the trenches and positioning themselves so to
    speak for 2012. It is almost like we are entering a second
    civil war divisive period but this time it being fought in the
    media, over the internet, and at the polls. And who knows
    what the outcome will be. Just look at the map of how this
    election turned out with red versus blue. I find this
    interesting. One final note, whatever politics one has, we
    are all still americans in a chaotic and unsettled world.

    Again just my two cents worth and Wishing Everyone the Best!

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar


      I’ve read your comments here and in other forums. I do like the way you always close on the positive and wish folks well.


      1. Kayla Avatar

        Thanks Ralph for the compliment! Wishing You the Best!

  11. PointsWest Avatar

    I would be interested in seeing a poll of how many of the newly elected Republican Congressmen:

    1) Believe in evolution.
    2) Believe in global warming.
    3) Believe that any small part of Reaganomics is wrong.
    4) Believe in the Great Flood.

    1. jdubya Avatar

      1) 25%
      2) 5%
      3) Nothing Reagan did was wrong-0%
      4) Which one?

      1. PointsWest Avatar

        Which flood? …the Great Flood where Noah took a pair of each animal onto the ark to preserve life from the wrath of God. This flood, BTW, explains to many creationists how sea shell fossils ended up on the tops of mountains.

  12. PointsWest Avatar

    My serious take on the election is that the Republicans did well in the Congress where they were able to “nationalize” the election and make it a referendum on Washington itself. They did not do so well in the Senate despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars on attack ads. The difference is that people are more familiar with their Senators and know them as people and know their general policies. It was much more difficult to nationalize the Senate Races. The Dems winning Nevada and Colorado were, in fact, upsets as the Dems in these states were behind in the polls right up until election day. Republicans expected to win those seats. Nearly every other election was as predicted by the polls.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar


      I think you are spot on. From the beginning, the Republicans focused on nationalizing their opposition to the new Administration policies. Were that not so they would not have done so well in the deep red states like Idaho, Utah and Wyoming where it would seem the Republicans would be very vulnerable to “throw out the bums” kind of campaign.

      The Democrats can also thank the tea party for nominating candidates so extreme the Republicans lost the races you mention. Otherwise, they would control the incoming Senate too.

      The Democrats were almost certain to lose seats in the mid-term. I predicted it at the time (2008). That is a given for any party that wins big in the previous presidential election year. However, by historical standards the “normal” loss should have been about 3-4 Senate seats and about 25 House seats.

      I think they can put most of the blame on Obama and his failure to enthuse the Democratic base. Midterm congressional elections are almost always battles of the parties’ base voters. Presidential and midterm elections have what amounts to different electorates. Obama failed miserably by trying to compromise with a party bent on no compromise, and in not getting his message out, although part of the problem here is Fox News which has emerged as a unique new kind of political machine. It not only produces highly partisan news 24 hours a day, now it actually employees many of Republican candidates, filling their pockets with money for some minimum interviews and columns.

      The Democrats need to copy this if they want to really get back in the game. Fox News probably gave the GOP the equivalent of 3-4 billion dollars of campaign ads over the last 2 years.

      1. PointsWest Avatar

        The Dems should not have pushed healthcare reform through during the depths of a recession. I support healthcare reform but it could have waited for a better time. As it happened, it created a perception problem. It did appear that the Dems were more interested in ideology and visions of utopia than in the real lives of people in the here and now.

        Nancy Palosi stating from the House podium that, “you must pass the bill to know what’s in it” is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard a politician say. I understand that the intended meaning was that people would like the reforms once they understood what they were, but it was still a very candidly naive and dangerous thing for the Speaker to say.

        It is going to be a wild ride.

      2. JimT Avatar

        Trying with MSNBC, but as outrageous as it can be, somehow the liberals don’t seem to be able to summon that froth-faced demonization of people and issues that the Fox demagogues are so good at, Ralph. Couple that with the new millions of hidden money the Citizens United case made possible.

        Think of it. For a supposedly apolitical part of the Federal Government, with just two decisions..Bush v.Gore, and this Citizens United case…they set in motion some of the most provocative and destructive political periods in the history of this country…

  13. Nancy Avatar

    ++Compromise is not inherently good or bad; but realistically, compromise is the only way to create the sort of “change” Obama promised (unless we drastically change our system of governance)++

    I think thats a great idea JB, drastically changing our system of governance. Lets start with the house and senate, 1 term only and the playing field has to be even Steven – same amount of Democrats, Republicans and Independents sitting in each year.

    And I’ve got to say, if I were Obama, there’s no way I’d even consider running for another term.

    Wouldn’t that be a hoot! Having an American President finish 4 years in office and then back out politely, yet firmly, claiming “who in their right mind would want to deal with this s–t for another 4 years!

    1. JimT Avatar

      I wouldn’t blame him in the least..but if he does, he should announce a year ahead of the election cycle. Of course, given the Republican rhetoric today, they have started the Presidential campaign now.

      I heard Dick Armey talking about consensus and reasonable behavior today. Made me want to vomit.

  14. timz Avatar

    In case you were thinking yesterday’s election would fix anything, Know that this guy was re-elected with 75% of the vote.

    1. WM Avatar

      Rep. Johnson (D- GA) has a health problem that may explain the appearance of a rather incoherent person in a stupor. Certainly no doubt about it in this video clip. Some real creative thought there being brought forth there – Guam tipping over? If he reasons that way, maybe he shouldn’t be serving. However, the guy is otherwise a pretty accomplished individual-civil and criminal lawyer for 27 years- representing the GA Fourth District, which is just east of Atlanta.

      Here is a possible explanation, Hepatitis C with an aggressive treatment plan to try to restore his failing liver:


      He was re-elected yesterday, by such a large margin, that it must also mean the alternative was pretty bad, too.

  15. Cody Coyote Avatar
    Cody Coyote

    The Blue Dog Democrat should now be place on the Endangered Species List ( in Wyoming , it would be shot on sight everywhere outside its protected trophy zone— coffeehouses in Jackson , Lander, Casper, and Laramie ).

    Wyoming is now probably the Most Republican State in the union, edging ahead of Utah and Idaho . The Governor , all four top elected state officials, 26 of the 30 State Senate, and 50 of the 60 State House seats are now GOP. That’s right…all the Demcorats in the Wyoming Senate can sit comfortably in a Prius.

    Here’s a surprising statistical zinger: when Matt Mead won the Wyoming primary race for Governor back in August , he spent $ 47.00 per vote he recieved ( mostly family fortune money ). The loser at the bottom of that 4-way race, Colin Simpson, son of legendary US Senator Al Simpson , spent $ 33.00 for every vote he got. Until I hear or see otherwise, I will assert those per capita expenditures are the greatest in the nation for state or national office races , eclipsing even what Meg Whitman spent in California to lose her governor’s race. California has nearly 100 times the registered voters than Wyoming…27 million vs. 300,000 or so. Whitman’s voters cost her about $ 11.00 each

    In Wyoming especially it was a return ( regression? ) to straight ticket voting. That happened in many states across the nation with only a few exceptions …look at all the moderates and centrists and long time servers who got tossed out. Nationally , the politics are now MORE polarized…there is no center, no common ground. Don’t let the post-election rhetoric decieve you. The GOP will go from Zero ( obstructionism) to 60mph with a blizzard of reformist regressive reactionary legislation in the first three months of the new year.

    I’m disappointed in the voteers.. Democracy is so much more than filling out a form every other year. For one thing, it’s a verb as much as a noun.

    Having said that , the implications of the new political framework for the Western States are especially staggering . Ralph’s excellent blog here has already framed some of the ominous possibilities for environmental, energy , endangered species, and natural resources with Republicans in the wheelhouse.

    Personally , I default to the Democratic Party for lack of a real alternative to the GOP. My party hasn’t coalesced yet…a Green Technocratic Populist party. Can the Dems possibly organize and transform in the coming two years after being handed their ass? Tall order.

  16. Kayla Avatar

    Cody Coyote, I live here in Jackson. And I soooo agree with
    you on that politics are now more polarized then ever with
    no center or common ground. And in fact it seems as if each
    side, right and left, are becoming even more polarized and
    extreme as time passes. How much now we in this country
    are soooo much a divided country bigtime. This division in
    this country now in my opinion is NOT a good thing at all!
    I personally am a Independant and have been this way for
    years. I personally think that both parties were bought off
    by the International Bankers a long time ago. And they do
    NOT have out best interests at heart. We have some very
    serious issues in this country and we need to come
    together and face them. We are still All Americans! I have
    very close friends here in Jackson who are on both of the
    now political sides so to speak. But I think that the recent
    loss in the election of so many Democrats also speaks for
    itself. Maybe instead of going to Healthcare they should of
    faced other issues which would Not have been so divisive
    and been more of a unifier. Just a thought. As for Wyoming,
    I Love Wyoming and am not leaving. I think it is wayyy past
    due for a host of other political parties instead of just the
    two evils in my opinion. Whatever one’s politics, again we
    are all Americans. We are in for some rough days ahead in
    my opinion. But here in the Yellowstone country does the
    wolf howl, the eagles soar, and the grizzlies still roam with
    it being so good to just be alive where one can have a view
    over good wild country and Enjoy Life! And will end with
    this quote: “At the end of the road where the trails and life
    begin’. Wishing Everyone the Best!

  17. Kayla Avatar

    PointsWest, Just in MY Opinion, it is outrageous what money is spent in politics rather nationally or statewide in so many of these political elections. This is Really Completely Insane!

    1. PointsWest Avatar

      Something tells me that the 2012 Republican Presidential candiate will spend more if all the money from corporations and billionairs is counted. We may never know, however.

  18. JerryBlack Avatar

    Looks like your “neighbor” from Eastern Washington will be the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.
    From todays Seattle Times…..
    “Hastings, who cruised to victory for his ninth term, is ranking member of the Natural Resources Committee and thus in line to succeed Chairman Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.V. The committee oversees energy, land use, environment and natural-resources issues.

    Hastings supports drilling for more oil, allowing firearms in national parks and protecting private-property rights. He opposes expanded authority for the Environmental Protection Agency.

    The League of Conservation Voters awarded Hastings a lifetime voting score of 2 percent.

    That means “whenever he was given a chance to protect the environment or open spaces, he at every possible opportunity sided with corporate interests and oil companies,” said Tiernan Sittenfeld, the group’s legislative director.

    1. WM Avatar


      You won’t find me cheering Hastings’ fortuitous spoil as the House has slid to the right. He is bad news for the environment plain and simple (see my comment to Daniel Berg above, 11-4 7:38 AM).

      Equally disturbing is that John Boehner hates my Congressman here in Seattle, Jim McDermott, the idiot who leaked an illegal (and entirely disgusting) tape of a telephone conversation between Boehner and Newt Gingrich. McDermott may have won the moral high ground, but it was illegal and after a suit by Boehner it cost him about $1M for his indiscretion, and it left Boehner with a grudge against him, and hence WA. Not good on another front.

      Then there is the fact that D Congressman- Norm Dicks (champion of Boeing and National Parks) won’t be House Appropriation Chairman, which likely will result in EADS/Airbus winning the $4B military tanker contract. So the next generation of tanker will likely be built by the fickle French, and finally assembled in Alabama by workers yet to be trained and hired, in a factory yet to be built. John McCain (whose senior campaign staff were former EADS lobbyists) could not be happier.

      Just think, all of this because some D’s didn’t think Obama was delivering enough for them, so they weren’t “energized” enough to show up to vote (and some dumb R’s who don’t know any better). Ain’t politics grand.

      Brian are you reading this?


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Ralph Maughan