December 9, 2016

How the GOP could pick up 2 more seats in the Senate.

Trump is considering Heidi Heitkamp, the Democratic Senator from North Dakota, and Joe Manchin, the Democratic Senator from West Virginia, for Cabinet positions — Heitkamp for Energy or Agriculture and Manchin for Energy.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met with North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer this week to discuss a potential open Senate seat... Heitkamp is expected to face a difficult reelection in 2018 and Cramer has long been eyeing the seat. Last week, Cramer said he would be interested in throwing his hat into the ring for a special election in North Dakota if Heitkamp leaves the Senate.
Manchin also faces an election in 2018.

ADDED: It looks as though West Virginia, unlike North Dakota, fills a Senate vacancy by gubernatorial appointment. Thus, Manchin would be replaced by the Democratic governor, Tomblin, and it seems unlikely that these Cabinet appointments would lead to 2 more Senate seats.

69 comments:

Sebastian said...

Win-win-win.

Curious George said...

Manchin talked about moving over to the GOP, no? So just one then...

WisRich said...

The Manchin seat would be a lot tougher to pickup. The new Dem Governor would get to appoint another D to the Senate who would be no doubt much more liberal.

Matthew Sablan said...

I remember when people were worried Trump wouldn't reach across the aisle.

Good times.

Francisco D said...

Heidi will be under a lot of pressure to decline, if Trump decides to nominate her.

Curious George said...

Never mind, Manchin is staying a Democrat.

lemondog said...

Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota....pipeline country.

Big Mike said...

Judging from the West Virginians I meet out here near Winchester (we're quite close to the state line) Manchin is so popular that he has his seat for as long as he wants it and in whichever party he cares to run in. I don't picture him joining the Trump administration -- he can get more for the people of his state as a senator avidly courted by both parties.

rhhardin said...

They'll need another seat for when McCain defects.

PB said...

Wasn't Manchin thinking of switching parties anyway?

WisRich said...

rhhardin said...
They'll need another seat for when McCain defects.

12/9/16, 2:40 PM



Don't forget Lindsey Graham.

Drago said...

PB: "Wasn't Manchin thinking of switching parties anyway?"

Yes.

No.

Maybe.

That's a superior bargaining position.

Bad Lieutenant said...

He will always be Vicar of Bray, sir.

mccullough said...

Since fracking is ok the upswing and coal on the downswing, a senator from ND makes more sense as energy Secretary than a senator from West Virginia.

Scott McGlasson said...

Is anyone else getting tired of all this #winning?

Alex said...

Coal is obviously a dirty fuel, but unless you can immediately replace it as base-load generation than you are advocating for the 3rd-world-ization of America. I have no problem having a 30-year phase out for coal that heavily involved nuclear power stations but the left + NIMBYism doesn't allow for it. American energy policy is truly fucked up.

Bay Area Guy said...

Manchin staying a Dem and up for reelection in 2018, is a good thing.

Think Sen Zell Miller (D-Georgia) circa 2004.

Whenever Trump does something (ease up EPA regs) that West Virginians like, Manchin will support it.

AllenS said...

Seems to me that applying clean coal technology to dirty coal, should result in a lot of jobs, and a lot of jobs saved.

Alex said...

What we need is a sane energy policy that balances our energy needs + protecting the environment. It means possibly ending mountain-top removal to save what's left of Appalachia. It also means building 50 new nuclear reactors with the latest technology. It means using Yucca Mountain for nuclear waste disposal. It means fracking. It means using solar in areas that have lots of sun and wind in other areas. Also tidal energy. It means looking at everything without all the shouting and demonization.

Never gonna happen!

Limited blogger said...

Energy was the 3rd agency (besides Commerce and Education)that Rick Perry was going to eliminate. He could not remember it, though. So anyway, put a Dem in charge of it, and then eliminate it.

Static Ping said...

You do wonder if the Democrats would prefer Heidi taking a spot in the administration. They have to defend a lot of Senate seats in hostile territory next cycle and being able to write off a lost cause does have its benefits.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Coal is far too valuable to leave in the ground. It's also too valuable to burn. The trace quantities of uranium in coal alone have more potential fission energy than the chemical energy of the burnt coal. There are other constituents including precious radium and mercury.

Coal would be best if reprocessed for extraction of its constituents, including petrochemicals, which should be used for POL, plastics, pharmaceuticals, and other critical industrial needs.

Quaestor said...

The trace quantities of uranium in coal alone have more potential fission energy than the chemical energy of the burnt coal.

Do the resultant kilowatt hours justify the extraction costs.?

EDH said...

Trump should nominate Judge Reinhold to the Supreme Court.

eric said...

Remember when Republicans were going to lose the Senate and maybe the House of Reps, and the Democrats were going to win the Presidency?

Good times. Good times.

Lance said...

Manchin's replacement would be appointed by the WV governor, who is a Democrat. That replacement would then have some of the advantages of incumbency in the 2018 election.

Manchin, right now, is urging his fellow Senators to shut down the government because unemployment benefits for miners would only be extended four months instead of twelve.

robother said...

"You do wonder if the Democrats would prefer Heidi taking a spot in the administration. They have to defend a lot of Senate seats in hostile territory next cycle and being able to write off a lost cause does have its benefits."

The Democrats are becoming more selective in their appeal.

eric said...

Blogger Alex said...
What we need is a sane energy policy that balances our energy needs + protecting the environment. It means possibly ending mountain-top removal to save what's left of Appalachia. It also means building 50 new nuclear reactors with the latest technology. It means using Yucca Mountain for nuclear waste disposal. It means fracking. It means using solar in areas that have lots of sun and wind in other areas. Also tidal energy. It means looking at everything without all the shouting and demonization.

Never gonna happen!


I wonder....

If we had enough nuclear power plants, could we use that energy to fuel rockets that would transport the waste into space?

Lance said...

Of course, if Manchin keeps his Senate seat, he'll have the advantages of incumbency in 2018.

Lance said...

If we had enough nuclear power plants, could we use that energy to fuel rockets that would transport the waste into space?

The problem isn't the energy needed to boost spent fuel into deep space. The real problem is the risk of scientists and engineers on the space mission wearing offensive shirts.

Hagar said...

The Navajos are sitting on a 500 year supply of high-grade, low sulfur coal.

Birches said...

Crazy like a fox....

Quaestor said...

If we had enough nuclear power plants, could we use that energy to fuel rockets that would transport the waste into space?

Rockets occasionally explode.

Almost 20 years ago the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft was launched toward Saturn. It very nearly failed to get off the ground because the usual suspects objected to its power source. Since sunlight that far into space isn't sufficient to operate solar cells efficiently Cassini-Huygens uses the heat produced by the radioactive decay of 33 kilos of Pu238 to run a generator. The Greens wanted the mission stopped in its tracks because of the remote risk of environmental contamination resulting from an exploding booster. That the plutonium was encased in a solid steel tube 7 inches thick tested to overpressures twenty times what a booster detonation would cause was of no consequence to them (Jill Stein first gained national attention through the protest demonstrations attended by Martin Sheen et al.).

If nuclear was utilized fully there would be more than enough excess output to operate a mass-driver capable of shooting large inert masses out into space at escape velocity, in other words back into the sun. No need for much more expensive and more dangerous rockets.

Hagar said...

In high school I was taught the estimated world's population stood at 2.2 billion.
It is now about 7.2 billion
How many people have got as far as the moon by now?

Bad Lieutenant said...


Quaestor said...
The trace quantities of uranium in coal alone have more potential fission energy than the chemical energy of the burnt coal.

Do the resultant kilowatt hours justify the extraction costs.?

12/9/16, 3:50 PM

Good q-it was mooted for the Manhattan Project-fly ash recovered from coal plants was found to be radioactive-but I'm not sure the technology exists for what I propose-I don't believe Fischer-Tropf covers it.

But. Assuming the can opener, the can contains numerous minerals besides U, and also you're not dumping all that stuff into our lungs and rivers, which is something. It would also provide energy security inasmuch as there would be nless or no need to defend, say, the African mines. And the petrochemicals are much more value as, say, ABS resin, than as smoke.

But can it be done? I dunno. I err on the side of "Man can do anything," but with a helping of "Perhaps not just yet."

sane_voter said...

Agree that using rockets to send up nuclear waste is too risky at his point. Maybe after our private companies get more experience the risk will one day become tolerable. The idea method would be a space elevator, but that is still a pipe dream.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Q,

Would the stainless steel cylinder have survived a reentry?

sane_voter said...

ideal not idea

Bad Lieutenant said...

What I meant was that Sheetrock made from the fly ash of coal plants was found to be radioactive...

JAORE said...

"Wasn't Manchin thinking of switching parties anyway?"

IIRC that was predicated on him being in a potential tie breaker seat. Leverage indeed.

Frankly I'd rather he, with some centrist tendencies, remain a senator, than who-ever-the-heck the Governor of WV might appoint.

Quaestor said...

Would the stainless steel cylinder have survived a reentry?

Yes.

A lot of things survive reentry. The reason why falling satellites and boosters don't generally cause harm is that they are typically very fragile and made of light alloys like duralumin (weight-saving measures), and they are often de-orbited into the ocean before the orbit fully decays due to friction with the upper atmosphere. The big stuff generally lands in the water far from land by design. The Cassini-Huygens RTG was designed to survive any plausible mishap intact, including on-the-pad explosions, explosive launch aborts, uncontrolled de-orbits, etc.

Quaestor said...

"Burned up in the atmosphere" is a Hollywood sci-fi cliché. It mostly doesn't happen.

Michael K said...

" It means using solar in areas that have lots of sun and wind in other areas."

I'm for solar and may inquire after I move to Arizona. Wind power seems to me to be a creature of massive subsidies. When Spain got into financial trouble, the first thing went was wind. Aside for killing eagles and bats, it is butt ugly.

southcentralpa said...

The thing to watch is if Trump doesn't make an immediate pick for Energy. West Virginia's governor-elect is Jim Justice, who is a Democrat in the same way that Bloomberg (former Mayor of NYC) was a Republican. That is to say, he is a very wealthy man (for West Virginia, anyway) who changed parties to run from a party that he could get the nomination of more easily. If Trump waits until Justice takes office, it is by no means a sure bet that he would appoint a Donk to the Senate.

Fritz said...

Bad Lieutenant said...
Coal is far too valuable to leave in the ground. It's also too valuable to burn. The trace quantities of uranium in coal alone have more potential fission energy than the chemical energy of the burnt coal. There are other constituents including precious radium and mercury.


Then why aren't the huge mounds of coal ash being generated by coal power being mined for the uranium?

tim in vermont said...

We don't need Manchin to change parties. We have the majority so it is not an important point. Next election the Democrats are defending a lot of seats in Trump states. We will pick up more. What matters is whether Manchin will stick to the party line and vote with Shumer or not. I don't think he will.

traditionalguy said...

That frackin Heidi needs a good new job. Besides her vote will hold up the SCOTUS confirmation.

Quaestor said...

According to USGS FS-163-97 the concentration of uranium in US coal is about 1—4 ppm. Same goes for thorium. IMAO before we'll need to start looking for needles in that particular haystack we'll be fusing deuterium or extinct.

Gahrie said...

The thing that has to be absolutely freaking the more intelligent Democrats out is that the Republicans stand a good chance of having the presidency, a majority in the House and a 60 seat majority in the Senate in two years time. Oh yes it could get much worse than it is right now.

AprilApple said...

Trump should nominate Judge Reinhold to the Supreme Court.

hehehehee. I see what you did there.

Original Mike said...

"If we had enough nuclear power plants, could we use that energy to fuel rockets that would transport the waste into space?"

I suspect it's wildly uneconomic.

Unknown said...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-orders-review-of-russian-hacking-during-presidential-campaign/2016/12/09/31d6b300-be2a-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html?utm_term=.cec390cc0eef

"The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.

“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. “That’s the consensus view.”"




Drago said...

Unknown: "That’s the consensus view.”"

Similar to the consensus view by all western intelligence agencies that Saddam was sitting on a mass of WMD.

Similar to how the western intelligence agencies completely missed the implosion of the Soviet Union (sorry Robert Cook, I should have given you a trigger warning)

Similar to how everyone knew a video caused the attack in Libya.

So we've got that going for us, which is nice.

Big Mike said...

To the Unknown who posted at 7:53. The Washington Post is and has been a font of fake news. Ignore anything they print.

Original Mike said...

"The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter."

So when Obama ridiculed Romney about the danger posed by the Russians, I guess he was wrong, huh?

Dr Weevil said...

I suspect there's an even solider (higher-percentage) consensus of Althouse commentators that anything this particular Unknown says on any subject is likely to be the opposite of the truth. Especially when he posts comments that have nothing to do with the subject of the original post. Decent commenters who have things to say about subjects a blogger fails to post about generally post them on their own blogs.

aritai said...

You can't possibly do this unless you spy on at least one half the conversation, and that by definition belongs to U.S. citizens. So spying on U.S. citizens is now ok. Who knew? I wonder if there is a presidential order for that, rushed to someone in the hospital for approval and be denied? If not, it's jail time for Mr. O. Then again, since when has Mr. O. ever obeyed the rules?
How many innocent has he allowed to be tortured or given to those who do, or with knowledge of forethought (because he's a lawyer that understands these tricks) allowed his secretary of state to not turn over her entire email database in digital form in response to a Discovery Order, the highest law in the land without which there is no rule of law, so that an innocent seven year old child could have saved and not boiled boiling n tar and hung on a fence. "What difference does it make, Ms. C. says? He was a spy nd well paid." Shame, shame on all of you. The Democrats, the party of Bullies, even worse stupid Bullies.

OldManRick said...

Eric said
If we had enough nuclear power plants, could we use that energy to fuel rockets that would transport the waste into space?

Quaestor said...
If nuclear was utilized fully there would be more than enough excess output to operate a mass-driver capable of shooting large inert masses out into space at escape velocity, in other words back into the sun.

True story.
In the 1970's a editorial in Analog Science Fiction (it may have been Astounding Science Fiction then) proposed dropping the radioactive waste from our nuclear power plants into the sun. I mentioned it to a high school friend (with a reputed IQ over 140) who had graduated from Yale and was going to law school.

His immediate response was "Won't that pollute the sun?"

My immediate response was "You could drop the whole earth into the sun and it wouldn't pollute the sun."

This level of understanding among our intellectual elite is why we don't have a viable energy policy that includes nuclear.

Michael K said...

There is a very important post at Conservative Tree House today.

hHow ironic… The last 8 yrs ( and frankly much longer ) the non producing bureaucratic state only focused on growing it’s own organisms ( like something Ripley fought against ) rather than fostering yours, will now be run by those that for eons that had to dot their I’s and cross their T’s for all these pencil pushers. Yikes, they will be more uncomfortable than Rodney Dangerfield constantly adjusting his collar and tie during his comedy routine🙂. No I am not tired of winning, grab the popcorn this will be fun.


The game changing nature of a Trump Administration that will be run by in essence by efficiency experts rather than coming up through the ranks politicians is so stunning I am not even sure Treeper’s and Freeper’s get it.

Words like Demming, Kaizen, Six Sigma etc will be like names of villainous monsters once these departments have to adapt or go metaphorically extinct. No more room for Comity and advising and extending my remarks and yielding to the gentle lady from bla-bla-bla, get-er-freaking-done. Is it me or is this George Washington 2.0 and no one gets it? (link)

No chief, it’s not just you – but, yes, few are “getting it“.

For the past 30+ years the entire construct of Main Street business and enterprise has been dragged through a complex dynamic of ridiculous and insufferable regulatory and compliance building.

For those who constructed this economic system Trump represents a very real and existential threat; intent on destroying decades of economic quicksand with a politically incorrect atomic sledgehammer.


Jesus is coming and boy is he pissed !

People who really make things and who know how it is done are now going to be running the government.

I don't think this has happened since Calvin Coolidge.


Original Mike said...

"If nuclear was utilized fully there would be more than enough excess output to operate a mass-driver capable of shooting large inert masses out into space at escape velocity, in other words back into the sun."

It wouldn't put it into the sun, just into orbit about the sun. We'd share our solar orbit with thousands of cannisters of nuclear waste.

David said...

Manchin could switch to the Republicans.

Quaestor said...

It wouldn't put it into the sun, just into orbit about the sun. We'd share our solar orbit with thousands of cannisters of nuclear waste.

If launched in the retrograde direction they would fall into the sun eventually.

Original Mike said...

"If launched in the retrograde direction they would fall into the sun eventually."

I don't think that's right. They'd go into some orbit and stay there, since there's nothing to continuously bleed energy (like the atmosphere does to objects in earth orbit).

In any case, just bury it. It's a fine solution.

Kyzernick said...

Actually, the key would be to launch it retrograde at Earth's perihelion, and then, once it was on the opposite side of the Sun from it's launch point, conduct a second retrograde boost. The launch will put it's perihelion lower than Earth's, and the second retrograde boost will ensure it's aphelion doesn't intersect Earth's perihelion. It would be quite easy to ensure a 2+ million mile distance between orbital tracks, assuming the probe's engine still functions approx 175 days after launch.

Solar drag will eventually cause it to fall into the sun, but it will take millions of years. Takes a lot of retrograde delta-V to lower a 93,000,000 orbit around something with almost 350,000 Earth-mass equivalents.

Quaestor said...

If launched in the direction that Earth orbits the sun the canisters would have EV + EOV, thus they would spiral out to a more or less stable but eccentric and possibly Earth-crossing orbit. Not ideal. Launched retrograde the vector would subtract Earth's orbital speed, thus the canister would fall toward the sun. The trick would be to set the trajectory such that the perihelion would take the canister inside the chromosphere where drag would slow and degrade the orbit on each pass, eventually causing it to fall into the sun and be destroyed. Otherwise the canister would orbit the sun within our orbit much like a short-period comet

The only way to put something into the same orbit around the sun as Earth occupies, and have it stay there, is to put it into one of the Lagrangian Points.

What we're talking about here is the three-body problem, which caused Newton so many headaches.

Phil 3:14 said...

"They'll need another seat for when McCain defects."

Yes, now is the time to purge the RINOs. We should not tolerate those who don't stick to the party line! We should not tolerate those who have supported:
-abortion
-government healthcare
-legalizing drugs
-taxing the rich
- staying out of Iraq
- Hillary Clinton

...Oh wait!

Bad Lieutenant said...

Bad Lieutenant said...

don't worry Phil, you didn't vote for him.

The advantage of burying is that we can get it back when we finally learn how to reprocess those precious fissionables. Yucca Mountain is the answer, especially if they elect Democrats.

Carter Wood said...

Schumer name Manchin to an expanded leadership team. He's not changing parties.

In SW North Dakota, they used to burn lignite mines to get to the uranium. Left some slightly radioactive ash that had to be sequestered.