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Senator’s Stroke Panics Democrats Over 50/50 Split in Chamber

Senator’s Stroke Panics Democrats Over 50/50 Split in Chamber

“Democrats on the Commerce Committee, which Luján is a member of, almost immediately yanked three nominations that were expected to get votes on Wednesday”

Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) suffered a stroke this week and is expected to make a full recovery, but the news of his condition sent a wave of panic through the Democratic party.

This was a reminder that they are just one vote away from losing their majority.

Jordain Carney writes at The Hill:

Luján stroke jolts 50-50 Senate

News of Sen. Ben Ray Luján’s (D-N.M.) stroke sent shockwaves through the Senate on Tuesday, underscoring the fragility of Democrats’ 50-50 majority.

Democrats are in the majority because they have 50 seats and the ability for Vice President Harris to break a tie. Luján’s absence leaves them at 49 seats until he returns, with his office saying he’s expected to make a full recovery.

“It’s just a reminder that in a 50-50 Senate any unexpected development could be a challenge to our moving forward on an agenda that the Democratic caucus shares,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), who said he was very optimistic that the 49-year-old Luján would make a full recovery.

Underscoring the narrow majority, Democrats on the Commerce Committee, which Luján is a member of, almost immediately yanked three nominations that were expected to get votes on Wednesday. An aide noted that the agenda was being “recalibrated to take into consideration the need for all Democratic votes in order to move certain nominees forward.”

Politico has more, including reactions from other Democrats:

Several senators didn’t know about Luján’s diagnosis until reporters asked about when he’d return. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) responded: “Oh, my God,” when a reporter informed him of the news. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), meanwhile, said he wasn’t sure most of the Democratic caucus knew.

“Jesus. He had a stroke? First I’ve heard of it,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.).”Oh, my God. I’ll find out. I did not know that, wow. It makes me worried about him, he’s too young for that stuff.”…

“We’re in a 50-50 Senate, for any of us, at any time. We saw when a member gets Covid what happens in terms of the schedule,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). “We’re all human beings, something could happen at any time.”

When Luján returns to the Senate, expect to see Democrats try to put their agenda and confirmations on a fast track.

This was a wake-up call.

Featured image via YouTube.


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Is it just me or does it feel like there are more strokes and heart attacks in younger people than expected right now? How long are those in power going to keep ignoring this and why does it feel like thalidomide all over again?

    henrybowman in reply to Hawkeye42. | February 2, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    Ha ha, you’re kidding, right?
    Lujan was a big vax booster.
    It almost certainly came home to rooster.

    tbonesays in reply to Hawkeye42. | February 2, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    My accountant died of an ‘unexpected’ heart attack last fall. He looked late 40s and was a health and safety freak.

    Sanddog in reply to Hawkeye42. | February 2, 2022 at 5:52 pm

    Ben Ray is 50 and he’s from an area where strokes and heart attacks at that age aren’t uncommon.

    Brave Sir Robbin in reply to Hawkeye42. | February 2, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    “Is it just me or does it feel like there are more strokes and heart attacks in younger people than expected right now?”

    Yes, CDC data confirms your intuition.

    jaudio in reply to Hawkeye42. | February 4, 2022 at 7:18 am

    Stroke? I didn’t see a stroke? Nothing to see here. Please disperse.

    To your point, though, I think the only way it really gets “noticed” is if it happens 2x or 3x more than it is happening now. Even then, things get explained waa so easily by a medical community, a pharma community, and bureaucracy willing to stop at nothing to promote “their truth” (lies).

      winstonia in reply to jaudio. | February 4, 2022 at 9:11 am

      The moronic Senator should have made sure he was getting the placebo. Each subsequent shot of the non saline solution will prove to be exponentially fatal I’m sure. Look at the death rates for non retirement age people being up 40 percent and that’s not including the “booster”.

2smartforlibs | February 2, 2022 at 1:12 pm

Guess the left didn’t understand what CLOT SHOT means.

Wishing the senator a full, if not a speedy recovery.

A golden opportunity for the republicans to inundate the senate with bills and calls for votes on everything on the conservative agenda. In particular, judicial and other important nominees.

    Peabody in reply to bear. | February 2, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    Wishing him a full recovery in due time. No need to rush these things. Take a year off or so.

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to bear. | February 3, 2022 at 7:26 am

    I hope he recovers soon.

    Don’t worry. If the gentleman from the other side of the aisle doesn’t have a full recovery, the Democrats will merely parade him out in a wheelchair – a la Dïck Clark every New Years Eve.

    He will vote, whether he knows it or not.

    Proof. They keep dragging JB out while Dr Jill tends to his needs.

    Barry in reply to bear. | February 5, 2022 at 2:22 am

    I hope for his recovery in exactly the same amount the left hoped Trump would recover from his bought with the china/fauci virus.

    You are, of course, kidding. If a Republican were to suffer such an incident, the Dems would be slamming legislation through just as fast as the gavel could pound, but with a Dem recovering, the Republicans will most likely be polite gentlemen/gentleladies and avoid any confrontation where they might have a momentary advantage.

    This is bipartisan. The Dems are partisan, and we’re supposed to be… well, you know.

The Gentle Grizzly | February 2, 2022 at 1:27 pm

Another form of panic. If Lujan leaves, they lose one of their pet Hispanics.

I hope the man recovers, a stroke in his forties? That’s tough. On the bright side maybe some of the progressives are finally learning how to count and what a 50/50 Senate actually means.

So what would cause a stroke “these days” in an otherwise healthy 49 year old male?

    Juris Doctor in reply to ernest1000. | February 2, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    starts with the letter v and ends with accination. produced by Pfizer and Moderna.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to ernest1000. | February 2, 2022 at 1:44 pm

    What would cause a dear friend of mine, in first class physical health and no known conditions, to have a stroke while out for a bike ride, and die in the ambulance? This was 35 years ago, so, no Covid shot to blame.

    The pathologist could find NO reason whatsoever.

    Same for the brother of one of my shipmates. The brother felt crummy at school and went home one day. Two weeks later, dead, with no apparent reason whatsoever except natural causes.

    Not every death and stroke at a young age is from the Covid shots, people.

      True, but when it seems to be happening consistently to people who’ve had a very specific event, and at a higher rate than previous baselines, and one is consistently told one must not talk about such things, one does begin to wonder.

      Also, go get your blood pressure checked. Apparently running at 200 does not feel different from 120…

        The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Voyager. | February 2, 2022 at 3:20 pm

        My blood pressure is just fine, actually, and it is checked regularly.

        I fully understand what you are saying, but, at other sites, I see comments about, say, some 47 year old personage known to the public keels over / plotzes / starts pushing up daisies / falls from their perch from heart attack or stroke. The comment makers pounce on the fact the guy had a covid shot months before.

        Lots can happen in that time frame.

        A friend of mine out west, meaning well, wondered if my present adventures with Merkel’s Carcinoma might be related to the shot. Oh, for corn sake!

          While that is true, if one’s BP was normal prior, and significantly elevated after, given it is a know side effect, one does begin to suspect.

          Especially because this is not the first person, or the second person I’ve been following for other reasons to have this happen in the last year.

          But as long as certain data is forbidden, we will never know one way or another, will we?

          Actually it’s doubly frustrating because I’m also dealing with a control sample, where half the people got it and half didn’t, and the half of us who did are all experiencing significant BP increase, while the half that did not, did not.

          Note, the half that didn’t get it, didn’t because they’d caught it before the shot, so did not feel a need to get it after the fact. And all of us had a bout of Omicron, with basically the same symptoms, and same recovery time.

          So from the admittedly limited data set I do have direct access to, it certainly appears the cure was worse than the disease.

          Of course, for saying that, someone is going t take it into their peabrain that I need to be destroyed for questioning their faith. Bah.

      Rupert Smedley Hepplewhite in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | February 2, 2022 at 2:37 pm

      There are instances of babies having strokes in utero, so,you are correct, not every stroke is from Covid.

        Likewise, not every case of lung cancer is caused by smoking. There was lung cancer in the Old World long before Raleigh brought tobacco.

        And there’s no real evidence that “second-hand smoking” causes lung cancer.

          healthguyfsu in reply to Milhouse. | February 2, 2022 at 7:58 pm

          I was with you until the last sentence.

          There’s evidence, not proof, and there’s also evidence that all of the other things associated with smoking can happen to smoke recipients.

          For example, changes in cholesterol are documented after just a few exposures to smoke-filled environments.

          When you take all of the evidence together, a pattern of disease emerges with second hand smoke exposure.

          malclave in reply to Milhouse. | February 3, 2022 at 1:09 am

          Nearly everyone who develops cancer has ingested dihydrogen monoxide.

          DHMO: the silent killer.

          audax in reply to Milhouse. | February 3, 2022 at 2:23 am


          Now, back to enjoying my morning pipe which is stuffed full of a Black Cavendish, Maple, Walnut, blend.

          Barry in reply to Milhouse. | February 5, 2022 at 2:27 am

          “There’s evidence, not proof…”

          Weak, very weak. Contrived. The argument is not better than water causes cancer. Everyone that gets cancer drank water. Everyone.

          Yeah, this whole thing reminds me of that old saw about heatwaves, crime, and ice cream. There is more crime during heat waves, and people eat more ice cream during heat waves; therefore, ice cream causes crime (and probably heat waves, too).

          There’s a name for that logical fallacy, and it is the left’s foundational mantra that requires all “inequities” be understood as based on race and only race. And ice cream. Or something.

          Correlation is not causation.

          Fatkins in reply to Milhouse. | February 9, 2022 at 11:58 am


          I really don’t get why you got so many downvotes, evidence is exactly how science works. Nothing is proven per se just assessed with the best available evidence in order to reach a conclusion.

          @ Fuzzyslippers

          That’s right correlation isn’t causation but it can provide clues; especially when taken with other facts or observations.

          Your strawmanning the left. The position you highlight is the methodology for CRT which is a tool used by some to understand why certain disparities are present. The only reason it appears foundational is because its been taken up as a culture war issue – it used to be pretty obscure as an esoteric university level analytical tool. Its a common right wing trope to state that its everywhere when in reality its not.

      We all have an expiration date.

      The moronic Senator should have made sure he was getting the placebo. Each subsequent shot of the non saline solution will prove to be exponentially fatal I’m sure. Look at the death rates for non retirement age people being up 40 percent and that’s not including the “booster”.

    Sanddog in reply to ernest1000. | February 2, 2022 at 5:59 pm

    You’re assuming he was otherwise healthy. He’s become quite the porker in the last couple of years.

      winstonia in reply to Sanddog. | February 4, 2022 at 9:16 am

      Not really. There’s no other explanation other than he didn’t make sure he was getting the placebo instead of the lethal injection.

WasTaiwanese=NowFullAmerican | February 2, 2022 at 1:40 pm

‘We may need to take one of theirs out. Maybe two. Give Vito and Sonny a call. See if they can help us out.”

Plenty water carrying RINOs in the Senate. This will have no discernible impact on Biden’s SCOTUS nomination.


Are all available and ready to carry the affirmative action nominee across the finish line.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Juris Doctor. | February 2, 2022 at 1:46 pm

    Burr? First name Errant?

    And Graham.

    Olinser in reply to Juris Doctor. | February 2, 2022 at 2:10 pm

    How could you possibly forget Grahamnesty.

    The jackass who’s literally never met an insane liberal judge he wouldn’t vote for.

    You forgot Graham and McConnell.

    The SCOTUS nomination will go through unless Biden picks someone really out of left field, and I mean really, really so super nutso commie that even a Joe Manchin would object to him/her/it. There has never been any question that Biden will be able to replace Breyer with another liberal/leftie.

    This is not a hill worth fighting for, much less dying on. Swap out the liberals all day long. It’s not at all like trying to shove our current disaster of an AG into Scalia’s seat during a presidential election year. THAT was a hill worth dying on.

      There’s a technique that I’m willing to bet they’ll try.
      First, nominate a wack0 leftist one step shy of Lenin.
      Wait for the screaming and shouting to hit a peak.
      Withdraw the nomination based on something you knew when you nominated her.
      Then, nominate the fairly solid leftist that you were going to nominate in the first place.
      Watch them sail through.

Senator’s Stroke Panics Democrats
At first I saw that as so many other headlines in the last 2+ years:
“Senator Stokes Panic”

I thought it was interesting that they are pushing “Full Recovery” this early in his illness. Lujan’s stroke was significant enough that he had to have the back of his skull removed to relieve the pressure on his brain.

    WTPuck in reply to SHV. | February 2, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    I haven’t heard any details. That makes it sound way more serious than the “full recovery” propaganda would suggest.

    That said, may he indeed make a full recovery.

    mrtomsr in reply to SHV. | February 2, 2022 at 2:35 pm

    The need to emergently relieve pressure would be from a hemorrhagic stroke as opposed to an embolic stroke. Depending on the bleed location, and the severity of it, and it’s duration prior to treatment all effect the prognosis.

    stevewhitemd in reply to SHV. | February 2, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    Medically, that is very serious. An explanation — for stroke (or other brain trauma), inflammation, bleeding, etc. may lead to swelling. if that happens elsewhere in the body such as an arm or leg, no big deal (within limits, of course), the affected part just swells.

    But the brain can’t swell since it’s enclosed by the skull. Instead, intracranial pressure increases, sometimes substantially and rapidly, and that leads to two very, very bad things that can happen: 1) the swelling closes off the blood supply and/or 2) the bottom of the brain herniates through the opening into the spinal cord. Both are bad.

    To fix this, doctors (neuro-intensivists and medical intensivists) can do a variety of things. They can infuse drugs that decrease the pressure (e.g., mannitol), they can ventilate the patient to blow off more CO2 (decreases swelling), and so on. They can put a pressure transducer ‘bolt’ through the skull to monitor the pressure.

    When the pressure is very, very high and these other measures don’t work, neurosurgeons can do a partial, temporary craniectomy, removing part of the skull, to give the brain some extra room. That piece of skull is left attached to the scalp and goes into a sterile baggie, essentially, that sits in the bed next to the patient. Rather gruesome-looking but it works.

    When the brain heals such that the pressure comes down and the crisis is over, the neurosurgeons reattach the skull. Over time the skull heals back into place and you’re good to go.

    When I hear of someone having a stroke that has lead to a partial craniectomy, I know that it’s serious. With that in mind, my own prayers for the Senator and for his complete recovery.

      Brave Sir Robbin in reply to stevewhitemd. | February 2, 2022 at 6:35 pm

      “Over time the skull heals back into place and you’re good to go.”

      I’m so sure it’s a simple as that. This would seem to be a rather serious injury and I would suspect there may be a prolonged period of recovery and rehabilitation. I would also suspect there may be some manner and degree of permanent impairment even after rehabilitation on prolonged convalescence.

      I have no idea what a reasonable “due back in office” date would be, or what degree of cognitive impairment the senator will have when he does return.

      Any light you could share on this rather speculative subject would be quite welcome.

        stevewhitemd in reply to Brave Sir Robbin. | February 2, 2022 at 9:21 pm

        BSR is correct that it’s not so simple; my comment was aimed at the skull healing after being placed into position and not at the stroke issue overall.

        Yes, a serious stroke has a prolonged period of recovery and rehab. Some patients recover completely, some do not. I hesitate to put numbers on this; I’m not a neurologist and don’t want to create confusion. I don’t think anyone could offer a reasonable “due back in office” date now.

          Brave Sir Robbin in reply to stevewhitemd. | February 2, 2022 at 9:29 pm

          The only place I have seen that he had part of his cranium removed to relieve pressure is on this blog. Can someone point to a link? True, I did not really search hard for the information, but I have not seen this reported in any other source.

        the skull is often placed into the peritoneum to be removed and put back at a later date

      healthguyfsu in reply to stevewhitemd. | February 2, 2022 at 8:02 pm

      Yes, it can cut off the blood supply. It can also, by simple way of pressure, destroy or degenerate some of the cerebral cortical neurons.

Democrats are always ‘panicked’ over something.

It’s a big thing. The Dems can’t even change the rules now to let him vote from the hospital. Filibuster isn’t going away anytime soon. And both their Build Back Bankrupt and enabling election fraud bills are likewise dead for rage interim. Schumer told everyone that he was pivoting towards gun control. That’s also dead (probably always was, with Manchin and Sinema probably hard No’s, but others like Tester (MT) waddling away from it as fast as he could). Confirmation of FJB’s most rabidly leftist nominees also probable dead for the interim.

The Dems have 8 months to enact as much of their agenda as they can, and to put as many radicals as they can on the bench. Every week this Senator is recuperating is one week less for them.

    Milhouse in reply to Bruce Hayden. | February 2, 2022 at 4:18 pm

    Unfortunately I wouldn’t call Manchin a hard “no” on guns. He talks a strong pro-2A game, but his voting record belies it.

    Does Tester even have a trigger finger?

    henrybowman in reply to Bruce Hayden. | February 3, 2022 at 2:20 am

    Counting Sinema as a no on gun control is a strategic error.

    I’m not sure how familiar you are with the Arizona Alliance for Peaceful Justice, but we are a peaceful justice group opposed to the use of violence and weapons in all situations. You might know that we believe in world disarmament. So one of our guidelines is that there are no weapons, concealed or otherwise, at our events. Other guidelines include no destruction of property, use of violence or force, or disres[pect]…

    AAPJ, the prime sponsor of the event, and orginator of the prostes, does not support weaponry or violence in any situation.

    Firearms – I don’t like guns. They kill people. Especially children. As a school social worker in the Sunnylsope area, I can tell you about the week in December that three students died from gunshot wounds, all separate incidents. No one can tell me that guns don’t kill people. They do.

    So, that being said, I support closing the gun show loophole, mandatory gun safety locks, crime gun tracing practices, sentencing for negligence of weapons (when kids pick up their guardian’s loaded, unattended gun and shoot themselves or others, which has also happened to a student at my school), limits on how many firearms a person can own, and retaining ALL the limits on types of guns that are legal.

      This is true. And Manchin, too, is no friend to the Second Amendment. For example, Manchin supports “closing the (fictional) gun show loophole,” but he’s refused to support a national gun registry (so far, but he’s in favor of all manner of whittling away at our God-given #2A rights). And never ever forget that after the Pulse nightclub massacre, Manchin bemoaned due process, claiming “”due process is what’s killing us right now.”

      As for Sinema, she’s a gun-grabber. And, for the record, so is Tulsi.

      These three won’t admit “hell, yes, we’re going to take your guns,” but that is how they vote.

        Bruce Hayden in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | February 3, 2022 at 10:39 am

        We spend our time between MT and AZ. In MT, Tester couldn’t spend enough millions of out of state money showing him winched up into the family combine to cone close to winning, if he votes right now as a gun grabber. The legislature just removed the requirement for a concealed carry permit inside city limits. Missoula, of course, had a meltdown. AZ has been that way for some time. I do have concealed carry permits in both states, though I don’t need them in either (except that MT does a background check for its permit that allows you to get automatic approval for buying guns).

        In rural MT, you can figure that everyone has guns in their houses. I started running into MT male bonding a couple years ago. Someone pops out a pocket pistol, you pop out yours, then on to truck guns. And they are traded like chainsaws – when you are selling something privately, whether it be a vehicle, or maybe even livestock, maybe half the time some will offer as part on their side to throw in a gun, chainsaw, etc.

        My point is that, right now, anti gun vote in these states is probably going to be fatal for these Senators and their careers. And they know it. They probably want very much if gun control legislation never comes to the floor in the Senate. Kelly is pretty much going to vote for any possible gun grabbing legislation, given his wife, etc, but he’s probably toast anyway, since he was elected as a side office of the massive election fraud that gave AZ to Biden. Maybe gun control isn’t as much a hot potato for these Dem Senators as BBB and election theft legislation, but is very close.

In many ways, the situation in the House is worse.
A minivan full of Democrat Representatives going over a cliff would leave the House in Republican hands until a bevy of special elections could be held.
If a Senator dies, the Governor of the state can appoint a replacement till a special election could be held, but there is no such ability to appoint Representatives.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to Neo. | February 2, 2022 at 5:21 pm

    Keep in mind that the effects of a casualty count go both ways. And the Left has a history of attempting mass assassination of Republican House members. And the particular Democrat Nomenklatura running things now in both Houses is not overly worried about either the Constitution or the law.

    Subotai Bahadur

American Human | February 2, 2022 at 4:44 pm

It is really a shame that someone has a stroke and the only thing they are worried about is their power in the Senate.

Oh yeah, um, we’re sorry about that guy who had the stroke too.

    henrybowman in reply to American Human. | February 3, 2022 at 2:28 am

    Well, it’s not as if I really know him, or have even met him. All I know is what he’s done to my rights. Stopping him from doing that any more is a good thing.

One must note that the current New Mexico governor, Michelle Lynn Lujan Grisham, is a Democrat. Should the worst happen to Senator Lujan, she would appoint a replacement who would serve until a special election. She certainly would appoint a Democrat. The special election almost certainly would return a Democrat, as New Mexico is a fairly reliable blue state. Stranger things have happened, of course.

    Sanddog in reply to stevewhitemd. | February 2, 2022 at 6:02 pm

    NM is a strange state. The legislature tends to be blue but the governorship is up for grabs. It’s like people vote for their relatives locally and flip a coin for statewide elections.

      Milhouse in reply to Sanddog. | February 2, 2022 at 10:17 pm

      And the Lujans are a local dynasty. The governor and senator are something like fourth cousins.

      henrybowman in reply to Sanddog. | February 3, 2022 at 2:33 am

      It’s no different in Massachusetts. A lot of Democrats are monarchists and celebrity-worshippers at heart. They overload their legislature with Marxists, then really delude themselves that which side of the aisle their governor sits on makes a whole lot of difference. They imagine him to be some sort of actual king who rules by decree. You know, like Biden.

Debbie Stabenow
Can’t say enough nasty things I’d like to see happen to her. But use your imagination.

He has such a major stroke ? MCA that his surgeons needed to remove part of his skull to alleviate edema.
this only happens in massive strokes

Since we have some medical people here, Biden reportedly had two brain aneurysm surgeries in 1988, one of which had burst somehow. My theory is that his speaking errors over the years were related and that his deterioration now is probably also related, with an outlook/timeline only a neurologist could define. In other words, he may not have dementia as people like to say. Is this “simplest explanation” (Occam’s Razor) plausible?

Although being a 50-50 Senate makes this situation different, there have been other instances in recent years involving senators who had similar issues and eventually came back. In 2006 Tim Johnson (D-SD) had a brain bleed at the age of 59 and was gone for 9 months. He retired in 2014. Mark Kirk (R-IL) had a stroke in 2012 at the age of 52 and didn’t come back for a year; he lost re-election to Tammy Duckworth in 2016.

    henrybowman in reply to p. | February 4, 2022 at 5:39 am

    I am reminded of Charles Sumner (R-MA) who was cane-whipped on the Senate floor and took three years to return to his vacant seat.

The line should be no movement on the nominee while the supreme court is full. It isn’t unreasonable, Justice Kennedy had to leave the court before his successor was confirmed.

Why would a stroke matter? We have a literal mental retard in the White House.