Notations On Our World (Week-End Edition): On the Virtual Beat For #USElections2016

It has been a busy morning on the US Public Affairs shows.     The interview Senator Lindsay Graham had in South Carolina had on Face The Nation had on how he has decided to support Senator Ted Cruz was especially telling as at one time he underscored how voting for the two current leading candidates was between being poisoned and being shot.  John Dickerson pointedly asked him, "how's your health"?   Senator Graham's more pointed comments on the reality of Trump is ever so critical though in underscoring that there is a real chance that the Republicans will be defeated if Trump is the nominee.   We could not help but wonder what would Senator Graham would say with the appointments Senator Cruz made for his foreign policy team.

Beyond the discussions on the Public Affairs shows, the campaign has been continuing nonstop.   There have been protests against Mr. Trump and Saturday saw protests a It was quite interesting as we picked up this feed from the +The Guardian earlier today:

The Republican frontrunner, who has by one measure received almost $2bn of media attention – and who himself frequently calls onto cable talk shows and has benefited from a career on reality TV – has now blamed the media for blaming his supporters for violently attacking protesters:

 Although Trump is leading, what is increasingly clear is that the convention will be contested.    This was underscored by the House Speaker on Friday.    Speaker Ryan also underscored how Mr. Trump's calls for Riots were unacceptable.      This is the Republicans continue their public stance on the Garland Nomination for the US Supreme Court.    There have been some Republicans who have expressed a willingness to meet with Judge Garland although Senator McConnel underscored the fact that there will be no hearing to consider the nomination of Judge Garland during this year.     It was interesting that Miguel Estrada, a former nominee by the Bush Administration, noted that the strategy is wrong because the Republicans are not united.    This very fact was captured by the Fortune CEO Newsletter that 
Tory Newmyer wrote yesterday: 

The nomination fight, to be sure, is bad enough. Party leaders only two years ago envisioned a talent pageant stuffed with rising stars. They would have been hard-pressed to conjure a darker nightmare than what now confronts them in a choice apparently narrowed to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
But even before that lose-lose proposition can be settled, its wages are spilling over onto Congressional Republicans. On Friday, David Wasserman, House editor for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, floated the possibility that the down-ballot drag from either a Trump or Cruz nomination could put the GOP's House majority in jeopardy. That is a stunning notion, considering the party now enjoys its biggest cushion in the chamber since 1928. Democrats would need to net 30 seats to seize control, a task further complicated by redistricting that heavily favors Republicans. (In the last presidential election, House Democratic candidates drew 1.37 million more votes nationwide than their Republican rivals and nevertheless ended up with 33 fewer seats.) Yet Wasserman is already reclassifying ten races as more competitive for the minority based on the likely top of the Republican ticket. Other districts with concentrations of Latinos and upper-income moderates could soon join them. "We don't hold local House elections anymore, with very few exceptions," Wasserman says. "House candidates are more or less defined by their nominee these days."

The same goes for Senate races, where the map already favors Democrats. To regain control of the upper chamber, the party needs to pick up four seats if it also holds the White House. And Senate Republicans are defending seven seats in states that President Obama won twice. But eyeing a potential presidential blowout, Senate Democratic strategists believe they are facing a singularly historic opportunity. So while the battle for control of the Senate will play out in familiar battlegrounds — think Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — the party is also racing against looming filing deadlines to lure credible Democratic contenders in ruby-red territory like Kansas and South Carolina. Already, quietly, in Georgia and Idaho, it has scored a pair of businessmen primed to run as political outsiders with private-sector cred (sound familiar?). Competitive races in those states shouldn't be possible — but neither should a Republican presidential nominee with a real potential to limbo under 40 percent of the popular vote. "We're preparing for an outcome that's completely different from anything we've seen," one top Democratic strategist says. With the primaries ongoing and eight months until Election Day, nothing is guaranteed. But if Republicans see their White House prospects continue to crater, they can't take for granted their Congressional backstop.

In the meantime, The Conservatives continue their onslaught on the Congressional leadership:

The GOP Sellout Continues

As our team continues being on the Virtual Beat, we wanted to end this weekend edition of Notations on a high note: with this from President Obama as he sent Nowruz Greetings to the People of Iran on as Nowruz is celebrated as he noted, "Nowruz Mobarak" which means in Farsi:  Happy Nowruz:  

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