The 2016 Senate Race

Tired of talking about Clinton and Trump?

Looking beyond the Presidential race, which has been captivating all of the attention of late, there are 34 Senate races pending. The GOP currently holds the Senate, and that might change.

Since there’s really nothing of interest for conservatives to root for in the Presidential race, perhaps there’s something we can get interested in on the Senate side of things.

The Democrats are defending 10 Senatorial slots, and only three are any risk at all – Colorado, Nevada, and California. The Republicans are defending 24 slots, only 10 of which are really safe. There is a LOT of room for Democrats to make gains, and a lot of room for Republicans to lose.

It’s pretty likely that a big Republican loss would be bad for conservatism, so defending these GOP Senators seems to be a fairly important step in protecting the conservative movement.

The map is coded with the darkest red states being the ones we really should focus on as first priority.usonly

Are there any Mike Lee style candidates running? Who could win? Are there any good conservatives at risk that we should be working to protect?

I’m just beginning to look at this, I’ve put together the list of races, and noted the incumbents. I’ve glanced at a few sources and divided the races up based on whether conservatives should bother with them or not.

Any additional info that you might have would be appreciated.

Let’s try to find something GOOD to pay attention to, and stop just complaining about how bad the POTUS candidates are, we can’t do anything about that. Let’s look into things we CAN effect.

All 34 Class 3 Senators are up for election in 2016, class 3 currently consists of 10 Democrats and 24 Republicans

  • Where to Go for solid reference information
  • High Risk to lose, High Chance to pickup – PRIORITY FOCUS
    • Arizona – John McCain – R
    • Florida – Marco Rubio – R, retiring
    • Illinois – Mark Kirk – R
    • Missouri – Roy Blunt – R
    • Nevada – Harry Reid – D, retiring
    • New Hampshire – Kelly Ayotte – R
    • North Carolina – Richard Burr – R
    • Ohio – Rob Portman – R
    • Pennsylvania – Pat Toomey – R
    • Wisconsin – Ron Johnson – R
  • Some risk to lose, some chance to pickup – SECONDARY FOCUS
    • Alaska – Lisa Murkowski – R
    • California – Barbara Boxer – D, retiring
    • Colorado – Michael Bennet – D
    • Georgia – Johnny Isakson – R
    • Iowa – Chuck Grassley – R
    • Indiana – Dan Coats – R, retiring
    • Louisiana – David Vitter – R, retiring
  • Safe Hold for Republican – no need to worry
    • Alabama – Richard Shelby – R
    • Arkansas – John Boozman – R
    • Idaho – Mike Crapo – R
    • Kansas – Jerry Moran – R
    • Kentucky – Rand Paul – R
    • North Dakota – John Hoeven – R
    • Oklahoma – James Lankford – R
    • South Carolina – Tim Scott – R
    • South Dakota – John Thune – R
    • Utah – Mike Lee – R
  • Safe Hold for Democrats – no point bothering with it
    • Connecticut – Richard Blumenthal – D
    • Hawaii – Brian Schatz – D
    • Maryland – Barbara Mikulski – D, retiring
    • New York – Chuck Schumer – D
    • Oregon – Ron Wyden – D
    • Vermont – Patrick Leahy – D
    • Washington – Patty Murray – D

My Invisalign Journey – Prologue

I’m an Invisalign patient, and thought perhaps I could document the journey. Perhaps someday it might be useful to someone.

I decided, at the age of 50, that my teeth needed to be straightened again.  I wore braces for a very very long time, longer than all of my friends. But all these years later, damn if those stupid teeth weren’t making themselves an annoyance. The shifting had been gradual, not even noticeable. Until I realized that my left front canine tooth sometimes caught my lip, or my lip got “stuck” on it when I was talking. It had just started “kicking forward” to a really unacceptable degree.

My Dad had horribly crooked teeth, seems like that’s another thing I inherited from him.

Anyway, my dentist suggested Invisalign and I looked into it. Not as much of a hassle as braces, sure, expensive, but insurance would cover a portion of it, and well, I’m super cheap about most of the stuff people splurge on, but this thing? This could remove some annoyance from my life. So what the heck, why not?

Dentist took molds – OMG, that was hell. The rubber stuff drips down the back of your throat, you’re certain that you’re dying, and it takes like…well, what I imagine tires taste like. Then, bad news, the molds weren’t exactly right, had to be redone. OK, I’m really suffering for this, but ok. In for a penny, in for a pound.

Hmm, my situation is kind of complex, so the dentist really thinks I should get it done with an Orthodontist, just to be on the safe side.  Oh, ok. I’m willing, interested in fact. But it’s been kind of frustrating so far, so I stall for a few months. Finally make an appointment with the orthodontist.

First appointment was just a look-see and consult. Took pictures, took x-rays, that kind of thing. Then the next appointment was the “can we do this and how much will it cost” appointment.

So, getting invisalign via the Orthodontist is, of course, more expensive.  By the amount that my insurance would cover. Ugh. This just keeps getting worse and worse. Am I that determined? Does it matter that much if my teeth are straight?

Actually, it kind of does. My stupid “crooked and getting worse” teeth bug me. I notice and think about them multiple times a week, and each time I do, I lose a tiny bit of self-esteem and pride. I know it shouldn’t matter, but it does. I notice that the upper middle class and rich folks have straight white teeth. It’s only the poor folks who have crooked teeth. And DAMN, when I’m driving around singing along with the radio, I don’t want to notice that my upper lip is caught on my tooth, that’s just STUPID.

It sounds like my teeth are just awful horrible gross, but they aren’t. They’re not TV star perfect, but they’re not super noticeably crooked, it’s ME that notices all this stuff.

Is it really worth more than $5,000 out of pocket for this?

Yeah, it is.

So I made the appointment – for MORE molds, to start down the path of Invisalign.