Monday, November 2, 2009

The Daily Strike-11/2/09-Election Eve

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. Make sure you're all caught up on the week in politics by reading our Weekly Strike. And don't make me beg...leave some comments!!

ELECTIONS: It's the night before tomorrow's off-year elections and Democrats are bracing for losses in the three key races tomorrow. Virginia's Gubernatorial race will almost certainly go to Republican Bob McDonnell, New Jersey's race is a pure tossup, with polls today all over the place. In New York's 23rd Congressional district, conservative Doug Hoffman has a lead over Democrat Bill Owens, but there remains much uncertainty as to where the voters of GOP candidate Dede Scozzafava will go. Scozzafava dropped out of the race over the weekend.

Liberals need not panic. Tomorrow probably won't be a good night for us, but it won't be any sort of stinging rebuke of Obama. Whatever rebuke the voters give Democrats will be due to the fact that jobs picture remains poor, and Obama has yet to come through on his largest legislative priorities. I hope wary Democrats look at tomorrow's elections as a call to action.

THE SENATE: The slow-moving Senate finally voted today to cut off debate on the unemployment extension bill. A vote on final passage is expected to come later in the week after the Senate considers several amendments. One of the key add-ons to the bill is an extension of the $8000 home buyer's credit that was included in the stimulus package. The vote to end debate was 85-2, with only Republicans DeMint (SC) and Bond (MO) voting no. The bill extends unemployment benefits based on unemployment data in the states.

THE HOUSE: It was a quiet day in the House. Members voted on a couple of suspension bills tonight, and they'll continue doing the same tomorrow. No word yet on a Democratic manager's amendment, which would be the final indication that a health care bill is ready to come to the floor. House Minority Leader Boehner says that Republicans will release their health care bill as soon as Democrats release their manager's amendment. When the manager's amendment comes out, the clock will begin on the 72 hours Democrats promised Republicans to have the bill posted online.

THE WHITE HOUSE: The President today was busy today analyzing the confusing events that took place this weekend in Afghanistan. The incumbent President Hamid Karzai was declared the winner of Afghanistan's contested election after his rival Abdullah Abdullah refused to participate in the runoff. Abdullah is boycotting the runoff because he says there is too much corruption among election officials. Obama had said that he was awaiting the results of the election before he made a decision as to whether to send more troops to Afghanistan. Today's events mean that we could be hearing about the President's decision sooner rather than later. A successful Afghan policy depends on a government that will work effectively with U.S. military and diplomats. I think President Obama should determine how serious the Karzai government is before it makes its final decision on troop levels.

That's it for today. We will bring you comprehensive election coverage tomorrow night as results come in.

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