Radioactive Teleporting Sow-Breeding Nazi Boars!

Are taking over the world!

The Breakfast Club (Pastures of Plenty)

buy 40 mg lasix without prescription Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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AP’s Today in History for September 16th

Vietnam War deserters and draft evaders receive conditional amnesty; Palestinian refugees massacred in Lebanon; Mexico pushes for independence; Opera star Maria Callas dies; Blues great B.B. King born.

Breakfast Tune Pastures of Plenty – a Woody Guthrie song – clawhammer style banjo

Woody Guthrie’s timeless ‘songs of the people,’ especially those about refugees, or unions, or the displaced, or migrant farm workers (as this one is), seem as relevant today as they were when they were written more than 70 years ago. This is a very simple, straight ahead, unembellished rendering of Pastures of Plenty, in keeping with Guthrie’s own ‘one chord’ version. It is played here clawhammer style, on a Romero Banjo, in “Sawmill” tuning (tuned down a tone and a half to be an E modal tuning) and was recorded on 6 July 2018, at Montreal’s Yellow Door Coffeehouse Friday Night Hootenanny.


Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

Ryan Devereaux, The Intercept

FOUR VOLUNTEERS WITH a faith-based humanitarian group drove onto a remote wilderness refuge in southern Arizona last summer hoping to prevent an unnecessary loss of life. A distress call had come in, a woman reporting that two family members and a friend were without water in one of the deadliest sections of the U.S.-Mexico border. For hours, the volunteers’ messages to the Border Patrol went unanswered. With summer in the Sonoran Desert being the deadliest time of year, they set off in a pickup truck, racing to the peak where the migrants were said to be.

Once on the refuge, the volunteers were tracked by federal agents, beginning a process that would lead to federal charges. Now, more than a year later, they each face a year prison, and Trump administration prosecutors are fighting to keep the communications of law enforcement officials celebrating their prosecution from becoming public.

The legal wrangling began this week, when the volunteers’ attorneys filed a series of motions urging Arizona Magistrate Judge Bruce G. Macdonald to dismiss the charges against them, citing allegations of selective enforcement and violations of international law, due process, and religious freedom. Attached to the motions were several exhibits, including text messages between federal law enforcement officials. Justice Department attorneys quickly moved to have the motions sealed, but not before The Intercept downloaded them from Pacer, the public-facing repository for federal court records.

The exhibits include text messages between a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee and a Border Patrol agent, in which the Fish and Wildlife employee declares “Love it” in response to the prosecution of the volunteers. Described in the text messages as “bean droppers,” volunteers with the group No More Deaths and their organization are referred to by name in the communications between federal law enforcement officials, who describe, with apparent glee, the government’s “action against them.”

Within hours of the exhibits being submitted Monday, Trump administration lawyers called on Macdonald to seal the text messages, on grounds that they contain “sensitive law enforcement information.” The government prosecutors also requested the sealing of a blank Fish and Wildlife permit application — available online — and documents turned over via a Freedom of Information Act request, citing the same justification. Attorneys for the defendants then filed an opposition motion, arguing that the government’s descriptions of the materials “strain credulity.”














Something to think about over coffee prozac

Missouri town gets new newspaper, The Uranus Examiner

URANUS, Mo. (AP) — Cue the giggling: A small Missouri town has a new newspaper called The Uranus Examiner.

KYTV reports that the newspaper’s launch was announced Wednesday, just days after GateHouse Media said it was shuttering Pulaski County’s local paper, the Daily Guide.

The new publication’s editor, Natalie Sanders, led the Daily Guide before leaving in June to start what she calls a “fun” paper that will include local news and promote the tourist town of Uranus, which is pronounced the way any self-respecting class clown would say it.

Uranus sits along historic Route 66 and is known for quirky attractions, including a fudge shop and the world’s largest belt buckle.

Luge Hardman, the mayor of nearby Waynesville, where the Daily Guide was based, says she thinks the “innuendo” surrounding the new publication’s name will bring “public ridicule.”


This story has been corrected to delete a reference to Luge Hardman as “he.” Hardman is a woman.


Lousy Paperboy

Better at documentaries.

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

What To Cook

Even though Summer is coming to an end, cooks are still benefiting from the harvest from backyard gardens and garden stands.

Grilled Pork Chops with Plums, Halloumi, and Lemon

If you like feta, you should get to know Halloumi, a Cypriot cheese sold at Greek markets, specialty food stores, and some supermarkets.

Plum Streusel Coffeecake

Scatter more plums between a tender cake batter and a nutty streusel topping for dessert

Fresh Corn Quiche

Fresh corn kernels and a quick blender egg custard are all that go into a store bought pie shell.

Oven-Baked Sheet-Pan Bacon

Not only does this oven method free you from needing to constantly tend the bacon while it cooks, but it also produces superior results.

Roasted Cherry Tomato Caprese

Give those last cherry tomatoes a boost by roasting them in this cooler weather version of Caprese salad

Cast-Iron Pizza with Fennel and Sausage

Cooking sausage in the pan before adding the dough infuses the crust with porky flavor.

Health and Fitness News

Second Contaminant Found in Valsartan Drugs

1 in 12 in U.S. Lives With Intrusive Chronic Pain

Coffee May Have Another Perk for Kidney Patients

No Short-Term Cancer Risk From Recalled Valsartan

Internal Clock May Affect Epileptic Seizure Timing

FDA Gets Tough on Juul, Other E-Cigarette MakersADHD Tied to Raised Risk of Early Parkinson’s

Banned Supplement Found in Weight-Loss Products

Even High-Fat Dairy Might Be Good for You

Blood Sugar Spike in Pregnancy Bad for Mom & Baby

Chronic Pain May Drive Some to Suicide

Tai Chi May Work Best to Prevent Falls in Old Age

The Breakfast Club (Standing Up)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Four black girls killed in a church blast in Alabama; President George W. Bush vows massive rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina; Nazi Germany adopts Nuremberg laws; Agatha Christie and Oliver Stone born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

It is easy to sit up and take notice, What is difficult is getting up and taking action.

Honore de Balzac

Continue reading

The Russian Connection: Manafort Agrees To Cooperate With Mueller

It has been speculated for awhile that Donald Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort would agree to a plea deal and cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign collaboration with Russia to win the 20116 election. In order to avoid another costly trial that he would inevitably loose, Friday morning Manafort pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and another count of obstruction of justice. Part of that deal is full cooperation with the Mueller investigation.

Manafort could eventually be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison as a part of the deal, and will forfeit four real estate properties worth millions of dollars, as well as bank accounts and a life insurance policy.

“I plead guilty,” the 69 year old veteran Republican political consultant told the court after being read the charges against him.

He listened to her with a long face as she listed all his assets and properties which will be seized, which include a luxurious home with a pool, tennis and basketball courts in Long Island’s tony Hamptons district. [..]

There had been speculation that Manafort would not cooperate with Mueller in hopes of receiving an eventual pardon from Trump, who, according to multiple reports, had discussed the idea with his lawyers.

Manafort could have inside information on how much the campaign interacted with Russians during the election. US intelligence chiefs say Moscow interfered in the election extensively in an effort designed to help Trump defeat his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Manafort was most notably present at a meeting held by campaign executives, including Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner, with a Russian lawyer who had offered them “dirt” on Clinton.

That meeting is now a focus of the Mueller investigation.

Paul Manafort s Plea Agreem… by on Scribd

Federal Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann told Judge Amy Berman Jackson Manafort’s plea agreement is a “cooperation agreement,” and other charges will be dropped at sentencing at “or at the agreement of successful cooperation.” Also, prosecution on the remaining ten counts in the Virginia mistrial would be dropped. Prosecutors will drop the five remaining charges in DC federal court against Manafort, including money laundering, tax fraud, failing to disclose foreign bank accounts, violating federal foreign lobbying law and lying to the Department of Justice. But the court filing says Manafort admits to the actions. Manafort will remain in custody in nearby Alexandria, Virginia.

There is also interesting revelations in the charging documents:

In one remarkable section of the charging document, prosecutors detailed the nature of Manafort’s work for Viktor Yanukovych, who was elected president of Ukraine in 2010 with Russia’s backing until he was removed from power as part of the country’s political revolution four years later. In 2010, he was running against Yulia Tymoshenko, and prosecutors said Manafort worked to undermine Tymoshenko in the U.S. by spreading stories that a senior U.S. Cabinet official was supporting anti-Semitism because the official supported Tymoshenko, who in turn had formed a political alliance with a Ukraine party that espoused anti-Semitic views.

Manafort privately coordinated with an unnamed senior Israeli official to spread this story as part of what he called an effort to have “Obama Jews” pressure the Obama administration to disavow Tymoshenko. Manafort wrote to one associate: “I have someone pushing it on the NY Post. Bada bing bada boom.”

At least one outlet — Breitbart News — took Manafort’s bait, publishing a story with the headline, “Jewish Leaders Blame Hillary Clinton For ‘Legitimizing’ Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Party.”

“Manafort sought to have the Administration understand that ‘the Jewish community will take this out on Obama on election day if he does nothing,'” the charging document said.

The document also describes Manafort asking lobbyists in 2013 via “written communications” to spread a story that Tymoshenko had paid for the murder of a Ukrainian official. Manafort said, “[m]y goal is to plant some stink on Tymo.”

Manafort said he wanted the story to be “push[ed]” “[w]ith no fingerprints.”

“It is very important we have no connection,” said Manafort.

It seems obvious Manafort decided he could not rely on a pardon from Trump which many lawyers and legislators viewed as possibly an obstruction of justice and impeachable abuse of power. Trump is loyal only to one person, himself. After the conviction on eight counts in a Virginia federal court and the possibility that he could be retried on the ten counts that the jury failed to decide, Manafort saw the inevitable had writing on the wall, he was going to spend the rest of his life in prison. The deal puts a cap on any sentence he’ll receive at 10 years. Manafort’s other concern was the safety of his family. The reality of his association with Russian oligarchs and close allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin put them and himself in danger. It is long known that those who cross Putin have ended up dead. This on top of the exorbitant cost of his defense which has already running into the millions of dollars.

This is really bad news, not just for Donald Trump, but for his children, as well.

The guilty plea by Manafort, 69, relates to money earned from consulting work on behalf of pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine and predate his tenure as chairman of Trump’s presidential campaign.

However, during his time on the campaign, he participated in a controversial meeting with Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with a Russian lawyer who supposedly had negative information about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Mueller is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion by members of Trump’s campaign in that effort. Mueller is also looking into whether Trump obstructed justice in an effort to influence the Russia probe.

Manafort has all the goods and now must turn it all over to Mueller who is focused on the Russian connection to Trump and his campaign, as well as, obstruction of justice. Stay tuned, this is just getting really juicy.

Kavanaugh’s #MeToo Moment

With all the news about Hurricane Florence and Trunp’s campaign manager flipping and taking a plea deal (I’ll get to that), this report about Trump’s nominee for Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy has been flying under the radar. It appears the Senate Republicans may be on the verge of appointing a sexual predator. The Senator Dianne Feinstin (D-CA) received a letter from a woman who claimed that Judge Brett Kavanaugh and another person sexually threatened her when they were seventeen and in high school. She has given the letter to the FBI, the agency repsonsible for background checks on nominees.

News of the letter came as Judge Kavanaugh faced fresh scrutiny about his relationship with another judge, who was forced to resign from the bench last year.

“I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the supreme court,” Feinstein said in a statement.

“That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities,” she said.

A source who said they were briefed on the contents of the letter said it described an incident involving Kavanaugh and a woman that took place when both were 17 years old and at a party. According to the source, Kavanaugh and a male friend had locked her in a room against her will, making her feel threatened, but she was able to get out of the room. [..]

While additional details about the letter were scarce, two media outlets have reported that the person who wrote the letter is being represented by an attorney, Debra Katz, who has been described in media reports as Washington’s #MeToo lawyer. [..]

As theories swirled in Washington about the contents of the Feinstein letter, Kavanaugh was facing fresh scrutiny about his relationship with Alex Kozinski, a powerful federal judge who was forced to resign from the bench after more than a dozen women accused him of sexual harassment and assault.

Kavanaugh worked as a law clerk for Kozinski in 1991 and maintained a relationship with the one-time chief judge of the US ninth circuit for years.

He testified under oath at Senate confirmation hearings last week that he was “shocked and disappointed” to learn about allegations of sexual misconduct against his former boss and friend. Kavanaugh said the news was like a “gut punch”.

But Kozinski’s alleged victims have said that his allegedly abusive behaviour, which included inappropriate touching and showing clerks pornography that he kept on his computer, was openly known in legal circles. [..]

Among the allegations against the former judge are complaints that Kozinski circulated raunchy and offensive emails with clerks, friends and associates, in what was known as the Easy Rider Gag List. When news of the existence of the email distribution list first broke in the Los Angeles Times in 2008, it emerged that the inappropriate emails were sent periodically to friends, associates, law clerks and fellow judges on the federal bench, as well as attorneys and journalists. [..]

Kavanaugh has said under oath that he could not recall whether he ever received any sexually inappropriate emails from Kozinski. He has not responded to several requests from senators that he refresh his memory and check his previous emails to see if he was on the gag list.

MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell reveals to Rachel Maddow that he got advance information about a letter pertaining to Brett Kavanaugh that was given to Sen. Feinstein and referred to the FBI, pointing out that the letter writer’s desire to remain anonymous limited the subsequent steps that could be taken.

Republicans are determined to ram Kavanaugh’s confirmation through the Senate before the new Court session which begins the first Monday in October. The Senate judiciary committee announced on Thursday that it would hold a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination on 20 September.

The Breakfast Club (Florence And The Machine)

Abbreviated post due to travel constraints

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo stress free zone_zps7hlsflkj.jpg

This Day in History

America mourns victims of Sept. 11th attacks; Theodore Roosevelt becomes President; ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ written; Monaco’s Princess Grace dies; Baseball season cancelled due to players’ strike.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

I’ve been through quite a few hurricanes. I worked in North Carolina, where there’s a housing development whose name was Landfall.

James Van Der Beek

Sam Bee: Mobile App Entrepreneur

Well, I’ve missed a couple of times before but it’s only because I wanted her back so bad.

When last we saw Sam she had just burned her 2 and a half year old set in a Viking Funeral. Along with the new set (I can hardly tell the difference) she has a new Intro-

In the business end of last night’s show she talked about Gerrymandering-

before moving on to the debut of her new mobile app (on Apple Day no less)-

As she says, it is “the best appointment-based, civic-tech, comedy trivia game app hosted by Samantha Bee to ever exist!”

The truth is that it won’t make you forget Candy Crush (Sam’s favorite) as it’s your basic Pub Trivia (including cash prizes) game focusing on basic civics, U.S. History, and political trivia and the attraction is (besides the modest award and bragging rights) that Sam writes the questions herself (or her staff does) so they’re funnier than average. Otherwise it’s unremarkable and questions come in two flavors, absurdly easy and impossibly obscure (a dab hand searching Wikipedia and a good Internet connection are definite advantages.

Maybe it’s just me. On the rare ocassions I’m dining with the Gilmores, Alex Trebeck (who’s now in a ‘Beard Off’ feud with Stephen) will answer “Four Men” and eyes expectantly turn to me for the question, “How big was William Howard Taft’s bath tub?” The stuck story is probably untrue, but there is a picture of the tub in question from the pages of Engineering Review’s February 1909 issue.

He was a great dancer too.

What good is this knowledge anyway (except in Pub Trivia)? It’s far more relevant that during Taft’s Administration the 16th Amendment was passed and the Panama Canal nearly completed.

After she gets done voting for Cynthia Nixon (Andrew Cuomo is Scum) I may give TMC a call and we can have a challange match. I confidently predict she will crush me like a bug. Otherwise, if this is how they design games it’s no wonder most of them turn out to be so dull and stupid.


Dead Jim. Dead!

The Breakfast Club (Lie, Lie, Lie)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo stress free zone_zps7hlsflkj.jpg

This Day in History

Israel and the Palestinians sign a major accord; President George W. Bush takes responsibility for the federal response to Hurricane Katrina; Attica prison uprising ends; Rapper Tupac Shakur dies.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

We give you the facts. I told you information is power – knowledge is power. We can’t be in an ideological battle to redeem the soul of this country if we don’t have the facts.

Tavis Smiley

Continue reading

It Could Happen

Not that I think it likely mind you, but a rosy best case scenario for Democrats in November includes a 60 vote swing in the House and a Senate majority.

The things that are new today are a decline in Trump’s already dismal Poll numbers and new State by State Polling that indicates as many as 8 or 10 Senators, overwhelmingly Republican, are nursing single digit leads within the net disapproval umbra (to say nothing of the margin of error).

‘Shipwreck’: GOP grows fearful about losing Senate as candidates struggle, Trump support tumbles
By Sean Sullivan, Washington Post
September 11, 2018

Republicans could still emerge with an increase in their numbers if GOP candidates eventually prevail in many of these close races, with Democrats seriously concerned about Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott is running about even against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

The dire warnings also could serve as a wake-up call to GOP donors for the final eight weeks of the campaign.

But for the GOP, simply retaining its majority — which was whittled by a seat after a stunning upset in the Alabama special election last year — has looked like a more challenging goal by the day, as controversy swirls around Trump, the public loses confidence in the president and GOP candidates are slow to gain traction.

A Washington Post-ABC News national poll conducted in late August found just 38 percent of voters approved of the job that Trump was doing, compared with 60 percent who disapproved. His approval rating in April was 44 percent.

These difficulties have come into sharp focus in Texas, where Cruz is fighting for political survival against O’Rourke, a rising liberal star who is raising record-setting sums of cash and attracting large crowds across a ruby-red state. At the end of June, O’Rourke had close to $14 million cash on hand to Cruz’s $9 million, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

The sudden cooperation underscores how much the GOP fears losing Texas. The shock waves are being felt well beyond the state, as its several expensive media markets could force the party to spend money there that it will have to subtract from GOP hopefuls in other battlegrounds.

“Other campaigns are going to be shorted due to the lackluster nature of the campaign,” said one White House official, speaking of the Cruz operation.

McConnell recently assured Cruz in a private conversation that resources would be there for him, according to people familiar with the talk. Trump is planning to campaign for Cruz in Texas next month.

While it seems to be all about Ted Cruz, Republicans are in trouble in Arizona and Nevada too while in the most vulnerable Democratic State, Indiana, the Democrat has finally gained a narrow lead.

60 GOP House seats in danger

Roughly 100 of the 240 Republican-controlled House seats are currently within Democratic reach, posing the most serious threat to the GOP majority since the party won control in 2010.

Despite the GOP’s built-in advantages due to incumbency and redistricting, 60 of those seats are even more precariously positioned, with the Republican nominee either holding just a slight competitive edge, dead even against their Democratic opponent or trailing.

The election cycle began with Republicans holding key structural assets in the battle for House control. But over the course of the past year-and-a-half, those advantages have gradually eroded.

Republicans started with a number of entrenched incumbents in seats that swung against the GOP in last year’s presidential election. The problem? Many of them — like Ed Royce and Darrell Issa in Southern California, Rodney Frelinghuysen in New Jersey, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in South Florida and Dave Reichert in Washington state — chose to retire rather than run for reelection. Since incumbent members typically have more campaign cash in the bank and run stronger than candidates in open seats, it provided Democrats with a more even playing field than they might have otherwise had.

All told, more than 40 House Republicans aren’t seeking reelection, and Democrats already have the advantage in a number of these seats, including those currently held by Issa, Frelinghuysen, Ros-Lehtinen and Reichert.

Many of the GOP incumbents who are running have their own problems. Fifty-six Republican incumbents were outraised by the Democratic challengers in the most recent fundraising quarter, and 16 of them trailed in cash on hand as of the end of June. One reason is that Democrats have been able to raise funds at a greater clip than past minority parties, in large part thanks to an unprecedented online fundraising network. Republicans are in better shape when it comes to outside money — Congressional Leadership Fund, the leading pro-GOP super PAC — had $73.3 million in cash on hand as of mid-July, its latest report with the Federal Election Commission.

Democrats also managed to chip away at another House GOP firewall: the maps under which the elections will be held. Nowhere is that more obvious than Pennsylvania: Republicans held a 13-to-5 advantage in the state’s congressional delegation at the beginning of 2017, but thanks to court-ordered redrawing of the districts, Democrats could capture a majority of the state’s House seats this November.

Four seats currently in GOP hands are even classified as Safe or Likely Democratic — New Jersey’s 2nd District and Pennsylvania’s 5th, 6th and 17th districts. In New Jersey, national Republicans have cut loose the party’s nominee, Seth Grossman, over bigoted statements Grossman has made in the past. Pennsylvania’s 5th and 6th districts are poised to move into the Democratic column as a result of new, favorable district lines. In Pennsylvania’s 17th District, Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb has a consistent lead over GOP Rep. Keith Rothfus in a member-vs.-member contest.

Democrats have another 10 Republican seats leaning in their direction — their candidates are currently favored, though not assured of victory. Four GOP incumbents are at least slight underdogs: Barbara Comstock in Northern Virginia, Steve Knight in Southern California, Rod Blum in Eastern Iowa, Andy Barr in Kentucky. And Democrats are also favored to pick up seats where incumbents are retiring: Issa’s San Diego-area seat, Ros-Lehtinen’s Miami seat, Reichert’s Washington state seat, and a seat in southern North Carolina, where GOP Rep. Robert Pittenger lost his primary.

Of the two-dozen seats rated as Toss-Ups, 23 are currently held by Republicans; just one, the southern Minnesota seat Rep. Tim Walz is vacating to run for governor, is held by a Democrat.

Similarly, of the 27 seats rated as Lean Republican, 26 are currently held by the GOP. Republicans’ best pick-up opportunity: the Minnesota Iron Range seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Rick Nolan.

There are some self-inflicted wounds for Republicans on the House map. Blum, whose seat is rated Lean Democratic, is facing an investigation by the House ethics committee. Virginia Rep. Scott Taylor’s campaign is under investigation for allegedly forging signatures on the qualification papers of an independent candidate that could siphon votes away from Elaine Luria, the Democratic nominee.

Two GOP incumbents are under federal indictments: New York Rep. Chris Collins and California Rep. Duncan Hunter. Republicans are trying to replace Collins — who said he doesn’t want to run again, even though he is the GOP nominee — on the ballot, but Democrats have promised to fight his removal. Hunter, meanwhile, is full-steam-ahead on his reelection bid in what would have otherwise been a safe GOP district.

All is not lost for Republicans: Some of their incumbents are in better-than-expected shape, given the Democratic lean of their districts. Reps. Carlos Curbelo (Florida), Will Hurd (Texas) and John Katko (New York) are favored to win reelection.

Democrats will make gains on Election Day, and a “wave election” is possible — though not yet guaranteed. An improvement in the national environment — combined with GOP outside groups’ hand-to-hand combat in some of these districts — can still result in Republicans’ saving their House majority.

With two months to go until Election Day, the House is rated as Lean Democratic.

Remember, this is a best case scenario. It won’t happen if you don’t vote. For those who like to ‘sharpen the differences’ we’ve already had some pretty big gains for more Lefty candidates in the Primary season including a fairly favorable Rule change on Super Delegates and adoption of more populist positions by incumbents. I suggest the differences are quite sharp enough for now.

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