PicPick: The Screenshot, image manipulation, most useful image toolkit I’ve ever used.

I take a lot of screenshots, sometimes I need to annotate them, usually not. I am NOT good with graphic programs, in fact they usually make me cry.

It used to be pretty annoying to deal with screenshots – not the taking of one, the reusing of it, the tiny little manipulations I might want to make, the ability to share it with someone, the need to resize it just a bit. Then I found PicPick.

Seriously, I use it all the time and I don’t even THINK about it anymore. It’s there when I need it, and works invisibly on my most-used things, and is there in the tray with the fancy stuff when I need it.

I set it up to automatically save the screenshot to a dropbox folder. So I can then use that image from desktop, laptop, wherever. And a public link to it is just a right click away.

And it’s the only screenshot tool I’ve found that reliably takes a scrolling page screenshot. It really does capture the whole page, with no seams in it. Nice!

If I want to annotate it, PicPick’s image editor is EASY and lets me do whatever I need to do. I use it to create stuff that has nothing to do with screenshots, too.

I didn’t want a Chrome Extension – I need to take screenshots that aren’t web pages. So I needed an actual program – this is a fast one, and it does everything I need. And it does it well.

Other utilities? It has those too! A ruler, a color picker, a magnifies, a protractor, things you rarely need, but when you need them, you don’t want to have to install some other app for it. It’s just there with PicPick.

Downside? It’s a bit pricey. No wait…it’s free for personal use, and less than $25 for business.

Still using the Win7 clipping tool? Some other solution? Try PicPick. You’ll like it.

Make Change Happen: TWO DAYS TO GO!

The end is near. And there’s a very real possibility that we are about to knock Harry Reid off the top of that mountain. Lots of articles are predicting a Republican wave. Don’t get cocky. Be aggressive, be determined, it’s not over until late Tuesday night. VOTE, get your friends to VOTE. Post on social media for these guys, make phone calls, walk the neighborhoods, do whatever you can.

On election night, go to The Conservative Union for links to the results, and conversation about what’s going on.

Where do we really need to focus for the last two days? How have things changed? Well, the great news is that KY is almost certainly staying McConnell, and CO, LA, and IA have moved to the likely pickup category, which would mean we need to focus on not losing GA or KS, and then on picking up NC and NH. But let’s get even more specific.

Kansas – MOST IMPORTANT

We must not lose this one. It’s neck and neck. If we lose this one, we have to  pickup TWO to make up for it.  The key will be getting KS Republicans scared and angry enough to go vote, and making sure they know that Orman is a Democrat. So it’s about voter education and turnout. The good news is that Orman is his own worst enemy  and has sort of insulted Bob Dole, so you can use that. Go to Pat Roberts website to get the press releases and ads to share.

Iowa and Colorado – MANDATORY wins, but looking pretty good

We have to have these two races, but it looks like we got them. So I would say you don’t need to push AS hard on these two, just a bit of a pitch for Joni Ernst and Cory Gardner and things will be good.

New Hampshire and North Carolina – WORK ON THESE

Scott Brown has been known to pull a surprise upset, and Jean Shaheen can be tied to Obama fairly easily. Raise awareness of this race. Conservatives in NH might be thinking there’s no point in trying, but if you can get some folks to the polls, it could make all the difference. North Carolina should be a red state, seriously. What the heck are they doing with Kay Hagan? Turnout is the key – get folks to the polls, talk up the race. Don’t just make the point that Kay Hagan is an Obama clone, convince folks to go to the polls and vote!

Georgia and Louisiana – ignore for now

I’d love for both to be outright victories on Tuesday, but they’re both likely to go to a runoff, so we can wait and focus on them later. For the last two days we have more important priorities

GET ACTIVE – Here is where you go

In the list of links to this series, you’ll also see the last link: LIVE OUTLINE, ALL MY NOTES. That’s what I’ve been collating and writing and pulling together to put as content in these posts.Leslie's Analysis Senate 2014

When I decide that a race has moved from one category to another, that’s where I will make the change. That’s a live look at what I’m doing, so it’s a more up-to-date reference than the static content of these posts.

  • There’s  a link to the campaign site for each candidate
  • There are links to current stories about that race, important news, etc.
  • You can collapse and expand any section of the outline to make it easier to read and deal with

What do you do when you decide you want to help a candidate?

  • Donate money – directly to the campaign rather than through a third party that takes a cut before it gets to the campaign
  • Make phone calls – some/many (sadly not all) will have a way for your to make phone calls to registered GOP voters in their state so as to drum up turnout. They’ll have a recommended script, they’ll have the numbers to call. You won’t be calling angry liberals. You’ll be calling your own people, reminding them to go vote.

Don’t get overwhelmed. Get active!

The Make Change Happen Series

Sites Tracking the Horserace

Make Change Happen 6: Resources

Time for Action - ClockSO many posts and articles about these Senate races. SO much information. It’s an info-lanche!

You want to get involved, you want to make change happen but you seriously don’t need to spend your time chasing down the resources, you need to spend your time helping the campaigns.

I’m here to help. You may have noticed, at the bottom of all articles in this series, a couple of boxes of links. I’m sharing links to all of the articles in this series, as well as links to my favorite sites with overall senate race information. I’ve made brief notes on a few of those links, so you know what they are before you go there.

Sites Tracking the Horserace

As I add and delete things from the list of links, it will be automatically updated in every post, so you can be sure that no matter which post you’re looking at, that box of links shows my most current list and comments, with the newest additions as the top.

These sites are written by professional political analysts, polling collation firms, etc. These are my sources for my conclusions. They’ve got some excellent analysis, and usually a link or two to stores about the candidates.

However…they’re analyzing the current state of play. They’re observers, reporters, they aren’t actually making change happen. So if you’re looking to do something productive to help the conservative cause, don’t spend a lot of time with these sites.

The Ace of Spades Decision Desk

The Ace of Spades Decision Desk – it should be your primary election night site. Yes, it’s horserace analysis, but it’s the best of the bunch, AND it’s more than JUST horserace analysis.

It’s a beautifully laid out current state-of-play site, if you just want to know what’s the latest, this is the place to go. They are looking  at the Gubernatorial races, as well as the Senate races

Most importantly – they are not just reporting the races, they see themselves as advocates. To that end, they have a section of the latest news stories on each race, AND the current ads for the campaign. If you’re about to make calls for a candidate, go to the AOSHQDD and get the latest news first.

To review the Make Change Happen Series

In case you want to review previous posts in this series, this link box will let you navigate to any post in the series, again, always updated and live.

GET ACTIVE – Here is where you go

In the list of links to this series, you’ll also see the last link: LIVE OUTLINE, ALL MY NOTES. That’s what I’ve been collating and writing and pulling together to put as content in these posts.Leslie's Analysis Senate 2014

When I decide that a race has moved from one category to another, that’s where I will make the change. That’s a live look at what I’m doing, so it’s a more up-to-date reference than the static content of these posts.

  • There’s  a link to the campaign site for each candidate
  • There are links to current stories about that race, important news, etc.
  • You can collapse and expand any section of the outline to make it easier to read and deal with

What do you do when you decide you want to help a candidate?

  • Donate money – directly to the campaign rather than through a third party that takes a cut before it gets to the campaign
  • Make phone calls – some/many (sadly not all) will have a way for your to make phone calls to registered GOP voters in their state so as to drum up turnout. They’ll have a recommended script, they’ll have the numbers to call. You won’t be calling angry liberals. You’ll be calling your own people, reminding them to go vote.

Don’t get overwhelmed. Get active!

Make Change Happen 5: Stop being passive

Time for Action - ClockIf you truly want Harry Reid to be demoted, it’s going to take more than just reading and sharing the horeserace articles. It’s going to take you actively getting involved, not just WATCHING change happen, but MAKING change happen.

Stop being a passive observer

Now it’s time to think about what YOU can do to change your world. How do you help a particular candidate?

I’ve walked you through what I suggest as the order of attack in the first four posts of this series. Links to the whole series are at the end of this article. Pick one of those races, and get involved.

Sad Harry Reid

The candidate’s campaign staff will actually know best what the candidate needs. Yes, there are other organizations helping, you and I both get their emails every day. But truly, your best investment at this point is, I think, at the candidate’s campaign site.

Go to the site, contribute a few dollars. If they have a way for you to make calls on the candidate’s behalf, do so.

Look for some issues highlighted on their site, the ones that interest you, and write a blog post about it.

Yes, write blog posts SELLING THE CANDIDATE. Not “reporting on”. Not “commenting on”. Not passively observing. GET INVOLVED. Promote the guy. Did he do or say something good? Share that story on social media – but in a way that is a SALES PITCH.

You know the difference.

When you read an article or a social media post, do you imagine the writer sitting back in his chair, Christopher Hitchens style, smoking his cigarette and making intelligent observations, sharing information, and giving his opinion? Great. That guy is passively reporting.

Or do you imagine the person standing up, talking to you, convincing you of something? Trying to get you to like a candidate, trying to get you to vote for a candidate, trying to inform you of a particular candidate’s unique suitability for the job? THAT is the advocate. THAT is a campaign worker, the operative, the passionate voter, the actively involved person trying to make the world better.

We are all both of those at different times. If you want things to change, now is the time to be that ACTIVE person far more than the passive person.

Arguments against becoming the active party shill:

  • You’ll be called a party shill
  • You’ll get phone calls from the party and the candidates
  • Your mailbox will be full of requests for donations
  • Your followers will KNOW that you are a conservative
  • Some people may unfollow you
  • You’re too busy

Wow, that’s some scary stuff right there. Seriously, if any of those arguments are persuasive to you, that’s fine, just keep being a passive reporter.  Activism isn’t for everyone.

Let me just comment on the last argument, you’re too busy. You have no more or less time than anyone else. Time is one resource that we all get in precisely equal measure. If you are saying that the other things you are choosing to do with your time are more important, that’s fine. Be honest with yourself and us, and just accept that truth. If, instead, there are some things you can stop doing, and trade that time for activism time, please do so.

I do think you’ll be surprised at how much positive difference you can make with just a little time. As we discussed in The Refinery last week, in just a few minutes you can make a bunch of phone calls. That’s still the best way to drive people to the polls to go vote.


I’m Sold! How Do I Get Involved?

Go to My Entire Outline, all races monitored.

That link takes you to the list of candidates, links to their official sites, recent articles about them. It’s the live and most recent version of the info I’m tracking. If I’ve moded candidates from one section to another, it shows up here.


Read my sources


Read the rest of this series

Make Change Happen 4: This is What We Work On

We need to take the majority of the Senate. We need to gain SIX seats. So far, I’ve shown you my list of the races we either don’t need to pay attention to much at all, or the ones we only need to check in on a little.Sad Harry Reid

With total success on the races previously mentioned, we’re up by 4. That’s TERRIFIC, but not at all sufficient.

We’ve got to have at minimum, two more. We know it, the Dems know it. THIS is where the fight is.

I’ll be working over the next few days to give you information on what to do, how to help – what you can do to actually make the change happen.

First though, we have to study the targets. Start looking and learning, read up on these races. Read up on the candidates. Read up on the political environment of the state.

Possible Pickup

Inifnitely achievable, work hard here. In order from most to least likely.

Alaska

  • Dan Sullivan (R) vs. Mark Begich (D)
  • Dan has recently crossed over in polling from behind to ahead, and his lead over Begich is increasing. Seems unlikely that it would turn around and crash at this point, this is a pretty favorable sign. Yet he’s up by less than 5 points, easily a margin of polling error. The Democrat incumbent is a smart campaigner, and the state GOP is still recovering from a tough primary. Turnout and GOP enthusiasm will be key. Phone calls, social media promotion, and money will help a LOT. Alaska isn’t used to getting attention from the lower 48, our attention could have an outsized effect with the less-politically inclined in Alaska.

Arkansas

  • Tom Cotton (R) vs. Mark Pryor (D)
  • Arkansas is in the early stages of turning solid Republican, there’s still a good deal of enthusiasm for the GOP to grow and increase its strength in the state, it’s on the upswing. Tom Cotton is a great candidate, Pryor is the son of a Dem Seantor – old versus new is the story here, but not to offend old voters, it’s the “old ways” the “old system” versus the new system

Colorado

  • Cory Gardner (R) vs Mark Udall (D)
  • Let’s turn Colorado back red! This is a SUPER close race, but definitely winnable with some effort for Gardner. The Dems will not want to lose this one Udall has been ahead the whole time. But it looks like Gardner may be about to take the lead – keep that momentum going. The whole state seems to be swinging back GOP, make it happen, take advantage of the “surprise” that Udall is vulnerable.

Iowa

  • Joni Ernst (R) vs Bruce Braley (D)
  • Another REALLY tight one. Braley seems to be making mistakes, which our guys tend to not take much advantage of. Ernst is a combat veteran – leverage that with older voters, drive enthusiasm and patriotism.

North Carolina

  • Thom Tillis (R) vs Kay Hagan (D)
  • Hagan is up, but Tillis is getting some good support from the GOP machine. He’s made some errors of late, at about the same time the Dems hit with a lot of Hagan ads. This is a test of OUR will to win the race even with a less than perfect candidate. Turnout, phone calls, money – that’s what this race needs.

New Hampshire

  • Scott Brown (R) vs Jeanne Shaheen (D)
  • Shaheen is ahead by almost 5, but that’s inside the margin of change. Also she’s on the downswing and Scott Brown is trending up, it’s worth sticking with it to see if we can bring it home. Brown will have to get support from Independents and soft Democrats, and the disillusionment with Obama can help here.

Michigan

  • Terri Lynn Land (R) vs Gary Peters (D)
  • Peters is up by almost 5, but it may be that folks just haven’t yet started paying attention. It’s worth some attention NOW to see if the polls start to trend her way. The previous mid-term voter was Repbulican, the previous Presidential voter was Democrat. Can we make the Dems stay home, rally the GOP and get Land elected?

Remote Chance Pickup

Stretch goals, worth a shot if the above are done deals. Alphabetical order.

Illinois

  • Jim Oberweis (R) vs Dick Durbin (D)
  • Durbin is up by considerably more than 10, it appears that Durbin is “Senator for Life” in Illinois. I’d love to be wrong. I just want this guy to go away. It’s included here mostly to remind all of us that on any given Tuesday in November, miracles can happen

Minnesota

  • Mike McFadden (R) vs Al Franken (D)
  • Franken is up by a lot, the differential between the two is pretty steady. Franken has the incumbency inertia vote.

New Jersey

  • Jeff Bell (R) vs Cory Booker (D)
  • The Dems would HATE to lose this one. They didn’t plan on having to defend it, so any money we can make them spend here is money they weren’t planning to spend. Putting forth effort for Jeff Bell also makes more sense than putting forth effort in IL or OR – because Jeff Bell has a GOP Governor to help him, and the NJ GOP is on an upswing, doing some good things for the state. Good turnout for Bell will help downballot GOPers and will help the party strengthen itself for the future.

New Mexico

  • Allen Weh (R) vs Tom Udall (D)
  • This has moved from GOP no chance to a slim possibility
  • It’s a remote chance, but a chance nonetheless. The candidate isn’t all that strong, but the environment isn’t great for democrats in general, Udall is a dynastic name and there’s some anti-establishment fervor that could be leveraged.

Oregon

  • Monica Webby (R) vs Jeff Merkley (D)
  • Merkley is up by more than 10, and Webby’s trending seems to be negative, this seems a REALLY remote chance, extremely remote.

Virginia

This list will change over time, I’ll be adding resources to it, moving some links from the general list below into the specific races, etc. So consider this list a preliminary view, food for thought, and…

Questions – do you think I have some of this wrong? Let me know!



Make Change Happen 3: The Easy Ones

Sad Harry Reid
Let’s DEMOTE this guy!

In Parts 1 and 2 of the Make Change Happen series, we looked at the Senate races coming up, and of the 36 races, saw that we only need focus on 18 of them. Let’s start looking at those in more detail, and start with the easy ones first!

In general, the current GOP Senators are in good shape, and as Obama’s approval rating drops, our lot improves, but there ARE a few of our guys that need some attention, and one conservative state with a long serving Senator who is retiring, so it’s technically up for grabs.

Republicans at Risk

The states lean R, so it shouldn’t be too much of a lift to ensure R victory, but losing these could hurt on multiple levels. We’d have to gain TWO from the other lists rather than one to make up for the loss of an existing R. Also, there’s a negative down ballot effect on established GOPers in the rest of the state if we are to lose at the top.

Kentucky R-McConnell

  • Mitch McConnell (R) vs. Alison Lundergan Grimes (D)
  • RCP analysis: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/senate/ky/kentucky_senate_mcconnell_vs_grimes-3485.html
  • This shouldn’t really be anything we have to worry about, but state politics and a grassroots lack of enthusiasm for McConnell after the primary make this one that we can’t take for granted. It’s currently looking OK, but definitely needs to be watched – the Dems could start throwing resources at it at the last minute. Watch THEM – if they abandon Grimes, then we’re ok.

Georgia R-Chambliss (retiring)

  • David Perdue (R) vs. Michelle Nunn (D)
  • RCP analysis: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/senate/ga/georgia_senate_perdue_vs_nunn-4040.html
  • Momentum is on Perdue’s side, Georgia is a basically conservative state and might be recovering from the bruising GOP primary. It is expected that as the likely voters start paying attention to the race being Perdue v. Nunn, they’ll come down on the side of Perdue, even if they aren’t huge fans of his in general. Keep a close eye on this one.

Kansas R-Roberts

  • Pat Roberts (R) vs. Greg Orman (I)
  • RCP analysis: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/senate/ks/kansas_senate_roberts_vs_orman-5216.html
  • This was not supposed to happen, and is a case study in the damage that 3rd parties and vicious Democrats can do. The D candidate was bad, so they deep-sixed him and recruited Orman. Orman IS a Democrat. He will be a Democrat vote, make no mistake. But the voters are being misled that he is a fresh new outsider-y face compared to the old guy Roberts.
  • Currently the Democrat-fake-Independent is ahead by 5 points and a lot of GOP resources are being poured into this state.
  • It might make more sense for US to let the big name and party resources work to save Roberts while we put our efforts towards shoring up the likely pickups and maybe grabbing a couple of possibles.
  • From a psychological standpoint, I’d trade a loss of Roberts for a couple of Dem pickups. Saving Roberts at great expense isn’t a big victory, that’s an expensive draw. But sending a few more Democrats home, and having states get stronger GOP infrastructure by virtue of having a GOP Senator – that’s a legitimate win.

So…as long as we can hold on to those three states, we only have to add seats, we don’t need to make up for any losses. Those states are important, but also…not as much fun, because we don’t get to take a Democrat and knock them off the hill. Let’s look at the places we are likely to squash the Dems like bugs. These are the FUN states. But just because it’s fun doesn’t make it optional. We HAVE to win these races. HAVE to. They will get us 2/3 of the way there.

Likely Pickup

We really have to have these states. Make sure we have these sealed up before putting ANY energy on the “possible” or “remote chance” states.

West Virginia D-Rockefeller (retiring)

Montana D-Walsh (not running)

South Dakota D-Johnson (retiring)

Louisiana D-Landrieu

  • Bill Cassidy (R), Rob Maness (R) vs. Mary Landrieu (D)
  • RCP analysis: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/senate/louisiana_senate_race.html
  • Louisiana doesn’t have a party primary. All three candidates run on Nov 4, and if none get over 50% of total vote, it goes to a runoff. Cassidy is expected to beat Maness, giving us a Cassidy v. Landrieu race in December.
  • Due to the nature of Louisiana politics, we can actually ignore this one until after the mid-term election, let Louisiana determine their GOP candidate, and then we can help make sure Landrieu is defeated in the December runoff

Alright, that’s 7 races we stand a decent chance of winning, there’s really only one real danger there. If we can get all 7 of these, we’ll only need 2 more to take a bare, risky, scary majority. So we should…get these 7 DONE, NOW, and then we can focus our efforts on the next groups.

Why is a bare majority so scary? Because that creates the situation of a Senator crossing the line to vote with the Dems and becoming famous and beloved for doing so. Don’t think that that media and the Dems (BIRM) don’t know that. We really need a comfortable majoirty with 2 or 3 spare just to keep our team in line. Really we do. We know this. Don’t complain about it, just elect more GOP and take the issue off the table.

My next post will cover our possibles, and our remote chances. Then, once we’ve got the whole list done, we’ll start talking about WHAT to do, HOW to do it, and WHEN.



Make Change Happen 2: The Focus List

So, we have less than 6 weeks until the mid-terms, our opportunity to remove Harry Reid as Senate Majority leader and take our best chance to reduce the damage that the Democrats can do over the next two years.

In Part I  we looked at 36 Senate elections, but only half of them are worth paying any attention to at all. So we’re down to only 18 to even bother with.

That’s only 18 races to focus on, it’s our Focus List.

We must have a net increase of 6 seats.Time for Action - Clock

I’ve separated the 18 races into 4 sections, so that we can all better see where to target our efforts. They’re in order within those sections based on RCP average polling, and ranked most likely R to least likely R, so start at the top and work your way down.

In this post, just the races. Details of each section coming next. If you have ANY updates or feedback on this list, please let me know.

This is intended to be a resource, you’re seeing it get built…it’s only as good as the info I have to put into it…be a source for me!

Republicans at Risk

The states lean R, so it shouldn’t be too much of a lift to ensure R victory, but losing these could hurt multiple times. We’d have to gain TWO from the other lists rather than one to make up for the loss, it would also have a negative down ballot effect on established GOPers in the rest of the state.

  • Kentucky R-McConnell
  • Georgia R-Chambliss (retiring)
  • Kansas R-Roberts

Likely Pickup

We really have to have these states

  • West Virginia D-Rockefeller (retiring)
  • Montana D-Walsh (not running)
  • South Dakota D-Johnson (retiring)
  • Louisiana D-Landrieu

Possible Pickup

Infinitely achievable, work hardest here

  • Alaska D-Begich
  • Arkansas D-Pryor
  • Colorado D-M. Udall
  • Iowa D-Harkin (retiring)
  • North Carolina D-Hagan
  • New Hampshire D-Shaheen
  • Michigan D-Levin (retiring)

Remote Chance Pickup – stretch goals, worth a shot if the above are done deals

  • Minnesota D-Franken
  • New Jersey D-Booker
  • Oregon D-Merkley
  • Illinois D-Durbin

 



Make Change Happen – in less than six weeks!

Do you want to make your life better? Do you have a short attention span and can only really focus on one project for a few weeks at a time? I’ve got the project for you!

We have the opportunity to change things in Washington  a little bit, coming up in less than six weeks. I’m talking about the November mid-term elections.

If we can change the Senate from a Harry Reid-led Democrat chamber to a Mitch McConnel-led Republican chamber, there’s a chance to make the last two years of the Obama Administration a bit less bad.

We need to pick up 6 seats.

Yeah, I’m downplaying the expectation of “real change” but don’t think I’m downplaying the importance. Being able to actually really really STOP bad legislation or nominees, and maybe being able to defund a few horrid executive actions may be the only good things that can come from Washington in the next two years. And if it’s possible, we really need to make an effort to make it happen.

So, for the next few weeks, who cares about the Presidential race, let’s try to get the Senate turned around.Time for Action - Clock

There are 36 races (33 regular and 3 special elections). That’s not so hard. But wait! We can narrow it down further by eliiminating the Democrat races we can’t win, the Republican races we won’t lose, and just look at the races that need our help.

That gets the list of races to worry about down to 16. That’s totally manageable.  I’m gonna lay that out here in part 1. Later, I’ll show you the ones that are most important right now, and then give you the contact info so you can DO SOMETHING to help.

It’s not enough to just follow along with the horserace stories.

Do you want to just observe and report on history as it happens to you, or do you want to make an effort to influence it for the better?

For part one here, I’m gonna just list the 36 races, in 3 sections

  1. Safe Hold – no need to pay attention, the locals have this one handled
  2. No Change / No Chance – safe Democrat seats, no point paying attention, we have no chance here
  3. Needs Attention – either because we could lose it, or because we could know off an incumbent Democrat

Tomorrow we can start to look at those “Needs Attention” races a bit more closely.

This will be a work-in-progress blog post series, and it can only get better with your feedback, so please help me out!

Safe Hold – don’t worry about these right now

  • Alabama R-Sessions
  • Idaho R-Risch
  • Maine R-Collins
  • Mississippi R-Cochran
  • Nebraska R-Johanns
  • Oklahoma R-Inhofe
  • Oklahoma R-Coburn (retiring), Lankford running
  • South Carolina R-Graham
  • South Carolina R-Scott
  • Tennessee R-Alexander
  • Texas R-Cornyn
  • Wyoming R-Enzi

No Change / No Chance – don’t waste a moment’s thought on it

  • Delaware D-Coons
  • Hawaii D-Schatz
  • Massachusetts D-Markey
  • New Mexico D-T. Udall
  • Rhode Island D-Ree
  • Virginia D-Warner

Focus List – THESE are the ones to work on, in alphabetical order

  • Alaska D-Begich
  • Arkansas D-Pryor
  • Colorado D-M. Udall
  • Georgia R-Chambliss (retiring)
  • Illinois D-Durbin
  • Iowa D-Harkin (retiring)
  • Kentucky R-McConnell
  • Louisiana D-Landrieu
  • Michigan D-Levin (retiring)
  • Minnesota D-Franken
  • Montana D-Walsh
  • New Hampshire D-Shaheen
  • New Jersey D-Booker
  • North Carolina D-Hagan
  • Oregon D-Merkley
  • South Dakota D-Johnson (retiring)
  • West Virginia D-Rockefeller (retiring)

I’m getting my info from these and other sources. If you’ve got some good overview sources, let me know and I’ll add them to this list



Don’t Go Out On The Front Lines Without Training

We’ve talked before about the utility of comparing the Progressive-Conservative struggle to a War. I use that comparison all the time, not because I’m a violent bloodthirsty killer, but because most folks have a basic understanding of the most basic of components and concepts, also, I don’t “do” sports, so…war it is.

There are a LOT of ways to participate in the war effort. The sexiest way, the one most people think of first, is to be part of the group of guys with the guns. The front line warriors. They get the medals, they get the parades. (When is the last time you saw a ceremony honoring outstanding achievement in logistics?) I’m not a front line warrior myself, but I have a deep appreciation for those who are.

I see a lot of my fellow conservatives wanting to be front line warriors. But they neglect the most important part – BOOT CAMP.First_US_Army_Rehabilitation_Centre-_Recuperation_and_Training_at_8th_Convalescent_Hospital,_Stoneleigh_Park,_Kenilworth,_Warwickshire,_UK,_1943_D16598[1]

They have the passion to win. They have the knowledge of conservative policy and philosophy. They have the fire in the belly, a computer, and accounts on G+, Twitter, and Facebook. They are OUT THERE.

And..without training, they are ineffective at best, most likely wasting their own time, and harming the overall movement at worst. Don’t do that. You don’t WANT to do that. Just realize you need Boot Camp, you need a Drill Sergeant, you need role models to watch and learn from.

Ladies and gentlemen, Kurt Schlichter is that guy. I alluded to it earlier today, in this post, when I showed you a couple of his tweets.

At the time I hadn’t even read his article in Townhall. (Yeah, I denounce myself). But wow, seriously…he is absolutely up front about it in today’s article. It’s not just me thinking of him as the instructor, he’s outright admitting it. So…he’s offering you the chance to learn from him. Take him up on it. Become a better soldier.

Here’s a snippet of the training he provides in just one article:

But if you do choose to argue with a liberal, understand that your purpose should never be to change the liberal’s mind. You’re not going to change the liberal’s mind. Instead, if you choose to argue with a liberal, you should do it for one of two reasons – to either win over people who have not yet made up their minds, or to support people who already have begun to understand the truth.

There are two basic tactics to choose from when responding to a liberal pseudo-argument, defense and counterattack. Without getting too detailed and infantry-nerdy on you, think of defense as simply preventing a loss. You’re holding your ground. The counterattack, however, lashes out to seize the initiative and defeat your enemy.

When you counterattack, you ignore the proposition offered by the liberal and refuse to respond on the liberal’s preferred terms. In fact, you don’t even need to address the same subject the liberal is talking about. Your goal is not to undercut the liberal’s assertion. You’re going to counterattack to undercut the liberal himself.

Subscribe to Townhall via RSS, or whatever way you ca make sure you get all of his work. It requires thought, effort, and practice. Usually the liberal is just emoting, it’s what they do. If you take the time to learn the art of counterattack, you will be able to accomplish your goal – because you’ll be the only one actually thinking in the exchange. And ALWAYS keep track of your goal and your audience. You’ll never be finished learning and practicing. You’ll never be good enough at it. If you think you are…stop using social media for a few days, read Kurt’s articles, read his tweets, read tweets from random folks who imagine themselves to be warriors, and figure out how you can be better.

It’s a war, I want you to win. I want us to win. You have to work at it. Find yourself some examples like Kurt.

Here’s an example of Kurt firing back, just today:

The tweet from the Progressive:

The response from Kurt:

That’s how it’s done folks, counterattack, you’ll find examples like that throughout Kurt’s twitter timeline. He’s also written a bunch of books I’m sure he’d like for you to buy and read. Kurt’s Books on Amazon

Why Bother Understanding the Left?

Understand the Left, so that you can DEFEAT the Left. The committed leftist does not care about the economic effects of their policy. Don’t waste their time trying to get them to care. Your friends CARE that jobs are leaving CA and heading to TX. Your friends CARE that they will never be able to open that bakery they dream about. You can persuade your friend that the conservative view is better for them.

Dennis Prager points out in this great article the devastating economic facts about CA, and then points out that the left doesn’t care.

WHY THE LEFT DOESN’T CARE ABOUT BAD ECONOMIC NEWS
Most conservatives, and just about all independents, have a huge misperception of the left. They think that the gulf between conservatism and leftism is primarily about means, not goals.
This perception is wrong. It is their goals that are irreconcilable. And until conservatives, independents and the Republican Party understand this, it will not be possible to defeat the left.

Many of you know this. Many of you may get angry about it. That’s fine, but are you using this information to your own benefit, to save you time, to improve your chance at success with online activism?

Or are you just expressing anger to your friends, gaining solidarity, and having fun? That’s perfectly fine, and a totally appropriate use of social media, just make sure that what you are doing is aligned with your goals.

Understand the Left, so that you can DEFEAT the Left

If you are on social media with some thought to helping the cause of conservatism, you need to make sure that your efforts are focused, efficient, and targeted effectively.

Stop wasting your time arguing with leftists and trying to convince them of anything. Leave that toe professional debaters, the people who get paid to argue on TV, the entertainers. They aren’t accomplishing much for the movement, but they are making themselves rich and famous. Hooray for them, and horray for you if you want to become one of them, just don’t be delusional about it. That is not where the battle can be won.

DO spend your time educating genuine independents, informing the non-political, shaping your message for those who are receptive to it.

Leftists really don’t care about economic results. They care about inequaltiy and carbon emissions.

You don’t have to memorize a pile of statistics, you don’t have to hold forth on a deeply detailed legislative analysis. If you find yourself arguing with someone about whether CA is a better business environment than TX – walk away. You are arguing with a committed leftist, no one else is paying attention, and you are wasting your time.

If, however, you have the chance to mention some company that your friend cares about having just decided to leave CA and move someplace else – talk about that. How sad it is for the people in CA who are losing their jobs, how sad it is for all of the supporting companies that will lose customers. How it’s great that there are other states competing to get THEIR business, just like that company competes to get yours.

These discussions are easy to have, and they express genuine  understanding, compassion, and caring for the very real people involved. THIS is the way to talk about the economic benefit of small government versus big government.

Your friends CARE that jobs are leaving CA and heading to TX. Your friends CARE that they will never be able to open that bakery they dream about. You can persuade your friend that the conservative view is better for them.

Learn about the other side. Recognize them, respect them enough to not try to change them.

The committed leftist does not care about the economic effects of their policy. Don’t waste their time trying to get them to care. Your detailed and intellectual argument persuades no one.

Find a better way. Don’t try to convert the left, they’ve already taken up arms against you. Work on recruiting the folks who are not on the battlefield yet.