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  1. #13021

    Re: Politics Random Random

    Seth Abramson

    People need to understand that the power dynamics and administrative architecture of the West Wing under Trump *don't* locate Pence as second-in-command—but rather a lackey. If Trump is incapacitated but still POTUS, it may be the case that Jared Kushner is effectively president.

    PS/ No one in the White House misunderstands the following: Trump only really trusts family. If Don Jr., Ivanka, Jared, and to a much lesser (largely campaign-oriented) extent Eric, want to step up and step in, officials—fearing Trump's wrath on the back end of this—may let them.

    PS2/ It would require a wholesale reorganization of the culture of this administration for power to swing to Pence and his—separate—sphere in the event the president is incapacitated. The natural process is for much to devolve to family with assistance from top Trump lieutenants.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  2. #13022

    Re: Politics Random Random

    Endangered Republicans back Senate Democrats' bill opposing Obamacare lawsuit

    Five Republicans facing tough reelections crossed party lines in a vote highlighting Trump's challenge to the health care law.


    Senate Democrats' largely symbolic bid to cut off the Trump administration's support for a Supreme Court challenge to Obamacare failed as expected Thursday, but several Republicans facing tough reelections crossed party lines to back the measure.

    Sens. Martha McSally of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Joni Ernst of Iowa and Dan Sullivan of Alaska, who are trying to reassure voters about their defense of insurance protections for preexisting conditions, backed the Democrats' measure. Another Republican, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who opposed Obamacare repeal efforts three years ago, also supported the bill.

    But the bill fell 51-43, short of the 60 votes needed to advance.

    Democrats through an unusual procedural maneuver seized control of the Senate agenda to force a challenging vote for Republicans ahead of a Supreme Court case that threatens Obamacare's survival. Democrats have sought to highlight the case's risk to health care coverage and insurance protections for tens of millions of Americans as Republicans rush to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat with President Donald Trump's nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. The court is slated to hear arguments in the lawsuit on Nov. 10, one week after Election Day.

    On a conference call with reporters ahead of the vote, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called his GOP colleagues “the dog that caught the car” when it comes to the Affordable Care Act — citing years of failed repeal efforts that are now culminating in the high-stakes Supreme Court case without a viable replacement ready.

    “They may feel they have the opportunity to get what they wanted and eliminate the ACA, but they have no answer for the American people who are demanding to know what their plan is to protect their health care,” Schumer said. “How do they explain how they can sue to tear down the ACA while they still claim they want to protect Americans’ health?”

    Earlier this week, Schumer filed a motion to vote on a bill blocking the Justice Department from supporting the Obamacare lawsuit, which was brought by a group of Republican-led states. With no Republican on the Senate floor to object, the gambit was successful, resulting in Thursday's vote.

    Many Republican senators have sought to distance themselves from the Obamacare lawsuit, wary of reopening a fight over a health care law that’s grown more popular since the repeal effort failed three years ago. Legal experts had largely expected the Supreme Court to uphold the law, but the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month — and Trump's rush to replace her — raised the likelihood the court could overturn or undercut Obamacare. Barrett, who is on track for confirmation before the court hears the Obamacare case next month, was critical of Chief Justice John Roberts’ 2012 decision upholding the law.

    All six Republican senators who supported Democrats' bill on Thursday voted for the 2017 tax cut legislation that prompted the latest Supreme Court challenge to Obamacare. The lawsuit claims that tax measure, by eliminating the penalty for not having health insurance, rendered all of Obamacare unconstitutional.

    Trump and Republican lawmakers have increasingly expressed their support for preexisting conditions protections on the campaign trail, but they have not coalesced around a viable plan for replacing Obamacare. Democrats' pledges to defend the insurance protections fueled electoral victories in the 2018 midterms, and they're running on the same playbook this year.

    On Wednesday night, Republicans sought to preempt Thursday's measure on the Obamacare lawsuit with a vote on a bill that would preserve some of Obamacare's protections for people with preexisting conditions should the Supreme Court overturn the law. The measure failed on a 47-47 vote, with GOP Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul joining all Democrats in opposition.

    The bill from Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who's also facing a tough reelection fight, would replicate Obamacare's ban on health insurers denying people coverage based on a preexisting condition, but it would leave out other consumer protections in the decadeold health care law. His bill wouldn't prevent insurers from setting lifetime or annual limits on coverage or charging people more based on their gender, and it wouldn't require insurers to cover a mandated set of benefits.

    "[Democrats'] plan couldn’t be clearer: they would rather have a political issue to scare Americans about Judge Barrett’s nomination rather than solve the problem," Tillis said in a statement.

    The North Carolina Democratic Party charged that Tillis' measure was inadequate.

    “If Senator Tillis was serious about protecting people with preexisting conditions, he would push his party to drop their lawsuit seeking to eviscerate those very protections and refuse to confirm a nominee to the Supreme Court who will upend our health care,” said party Chair Wayne Goodwin. “Instead, he’s focused on political cover for himself.”

  3. #13023

    Re: Politics Random Random

    Use this to ensure you flip those five seats. Even if they sided with the Dems, make sure they are labeled as enablers for Tiny.
    Gardner will lose, McSally most likely, but you still need to flip the Senate. Use this.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  4. #13024

    Re: Politics Random Random

    About one of those five seats...

    Sexts and coronavirus: Must-win Senate race upended down the stretch

    Democrat Cal Cunningham admitted Friday to sending intimate texts to a woman, hours after GOP Sen. Thom Tillis tested positive for Covid-19.

    It was a crazy 24 hours in North Carolina's Senate race: Just a few hours after Republican Sen. Thom Tillis reported a positive coronavirus diagnosis on Friday evening, his Democratic opponent Cal Cunningham admitted to sending romantic texts to a woman who is not his wife.

    The events have upended what's seen as a must-win race for Senate control. Cunningham said he would not drop out of the race after the text messages were revealed on Friday evening, while Tillis had to close his campaign headquarters and quarantine ahead of confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court vacancy.

    That's not all. Cunningham has to get tested now, after he had shared the debate stage with Tillis on Thursday night. Cunningham went into that debate riding high after reporting a state record $28.3 million in fundraising in the third quarter of this year, evidence of how firmly the Democratic Party is behind him in the most expensive contest on the Senate map. But by late Friday night the entire race had been scrambled.

    In a statement on Saturday morning, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee indicated it was sticking with Cunningham.

    “North Carolinians are supporting Cal because he will protect health care coverage for pre-existing conditions, fight to bring down the costs of prescription drugs, and help our country recover from this crisis. We are confident that he will bring the same courage and determination to the Senate as he has while serving our country in uniform," said Lauren Passalacqua, a spokesperson for the DSCC.

    Jesse Hunt, a spokesperson for the Senate Republican campaign arm, suggested more bad news could drop on Cunningham down the stretch.

    "These are very troubling allegations, and Cal needs to be fully transparent with the voters of North Carolina. We know there is more to this story, Cal knows there is more to this story, and he needs to come clean with voters so they can make the appropriate judgment on whether he’s fit for office," Hunt said.

    The stakes couldn't be higher for Senate control. Democrats need to net at least three seats to win back the majority, and North Carolina has been seen as a potential tipping point state by both parties. It's unclear how Cunningham's text messages or Tillis's positive diagnosis might affect the polls, which have narrowly favored Cunningham.

    Cunningham sent several text messages to a woman in which the two discussed kissing and hypothetically spending the night together, according to screenshots of the messages that were posted online Thursday. The messages were originally posted by the right-wing website and confirmed by the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., late Friday.

    Cunningham's campaign also confirmed the authenticity of the text messages to POLITICO.

    "Would make my day to roll over and kiss you right now," Cunningham wrote in one of the messages. Dates were not included in the screenshots. The woman sent a separate text message asking when she could see him, writing, "I want to kiss you," and later, "I want a night with you," according to the screenshots.

    Cunningham, an Army veteran and former state senator, is running against Tillis in one of the most expensive and competitive Senate races in the country. Cunningham has led in the polls consistently in recent weeks, and absentee voting in the state started last month.

    Cunningham apologized in a statement and said he did not intend to exit the race.

    "I have hurt my family, disappointed my friends, and am deeply sorry," Cunningham said in the statement. "The first step in repairing those relationships is taking complete responsibility, which I do. I ask that my family’s privacy be respected in this personal matter.

    "I remain grateful and humbled by the ongoing support that North Carolinians have extended in this campaign, and in the remaining weeks before this election I will continue to work to earn the opportunity to fight for the people of our state."

    After Tillis tested positive for Covid-19, his campaign said it would shut down his campaign headquarters, cease in-person events and isolate for ten days.

    "While we were surprised to read the news about Cal Cunningham in the News and Observer last night, our campaign is focused on the health of Sen. Tillis and our staff," Tillis spokesman Andrew Romeo said in a statement Saturday. "As we adapt our campaign in light of the senator's positive test, all questions on Cunningham should be directed to his campaign."
    Go Pack Go!

  5. #13025

    Re: Politics Random Random

    Jaime Harrison brought his own plexiglass to the South Carolina Senate Debate, taking no chances because he knows like the rest of us do how many GOP are lying about their exposure or test results to try to make quorum for the SC nomination. Lindsey should at the very least be quarantined for 14 days right now.

  6. #13026

    Re: Politics Random Random

    Far-Right Activists Charged Over Robocalls That Allegedly Targeted Minority Voters

    by Sam Gringlas

    Michigan's attorney general filed felony charges Thursday against two far-right activists who allegedly coordinated a series of racist robocalls that discouraged voters in Detroit and other cities from participating in the November election.

    Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl are each being charged with four felony counts, including intimidating voters and conspiracy to commit an election law violation.

    The robocalls came from a nonexistent group called the "1599 project" and falsely warned recipients that voting by mail would result in being "finessed into giving your private information to the man."

    Burkman and Wohl are known far-right conspiracy theorists who promote disinformation online and have made attempts to frame public figures such as Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala Harris and Dr. Anthony Fauci for various made-up scandals.

    Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a press release that the calls were made in August to almost 12,000 residents with phone numbers from the 313 area code that covers Detroit. An investigation found that attorneys general in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois received complaints about similar phone calls being placed to cities with large minority populations.

    "Any effort to interfere with, intimidate or intentionally mislead Michigan voters will be met with swift and severe consequences," Nessel wrote in a statement. "This effort specifically targeted minority voters in an attempt to deter them from voting in the November election."

    In the calls, the robocaller told recipients to "beware of vote by mail" and falsely said that doing so would feed personal information into a database accessible to the police pursuing warrants, credit card companies collecting debts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aiming to track people for mandatory vaccines.

    All of these claims are false, and the caller provides no evidence to back them. There is no evidence of widespread fraud associated with voting by mail.

    Still, President Trump continues to sow doubts about voting by mail, without evidence.

    Democrats are concerned about voter intimidation amid Republican efforts to dispatch tens of thousands of poll watchers across the country.

    Until 2018, the Republican National Committee had been under a 1980s-era consent decree after a federal judge found Republicans had stationed off-duty police officers in some minority precincts and sent targeted mailings to minority voters warning about penalties for violating election laws.

    That consent decree has now expired, allowing Republicans to organize poll watching and other "ballot-security" efforts.

    Neither Burkman nor Wohl's attorney immediately responded to NPR's request for comment.

  7. #13027

    Re: Politics Random Random

    SC Senate debate replaced by separate interviews after Harrison insists on COVID tests
    By Jamie Lovegrove Oct 9, 2020 Updated 1 hr ago

    COLUMBIA — Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham and Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison will no longer debate Friday night after Harrison declined to participate unless Graham took a coronavirus test in advance and Graham denied the request.

    Instead of an hour-long debate, the two candidates will each participate in separate 30-minute interviews hosted by television station WSPA in Spartanburg.

    The forum will air live on channels in all the major media markets of South Carolina: WCBD in Charleston, WBTW in Myrtle Beach, WLTX in Columbia, WJBF in Aiken and WSAV in Hilton Head and Beaufort. It will also be streamed live online.

    The decision put an end to tumultuous back-and-forth in the final 24 hours before the debate after Harrison issued a public demand Thursday night that Graham take a coronavirus test before they debated.

    Graham cast the move as a last-ditch attempt to escape the debate by adding a new requirement after the two candidates had already agreed to the debate rules weeks ago. The senator refused to take the test, citing a note from the attending physician of Congress saying that he did not need one.

    Harrison continued to press for it Friday, saying in an appearance on ABC’s The View that he considered it to be a matter of safety.

    “We’re disappointed that Lindsey has failed to take a simple coronavirus test, but we appreciate our hosts were able to change the event format to make it safer for everyone,” said Harrison campaign spokesman Guy King. “Jaime will be there in Spartanburg to talk to voters.”

    In a series of tweets, Graham said Harrison was just trying to avoid scrutiny.

    “Mr. Harrison is ducking the debate because the more we know about his radical policies, the less likely he is to win,” Graham said. “It’s not about medicine, its politics.”

    All Lindsey has to do is take the test and he can debate Harrison. Why refuse to take the test?
    (Rhetorical question)
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  8. #13028

    Re: Politics Random Random

    Nate Silver@NateSilver538

    Repeating myself and others here, but the reason Lindsey Graham won't get tested despite having been exposed to many COVID+ people is because if he reveals a positive test and has to quarantine the Amy Coney Barrett nomination could get scuttled. There is no other logical reason.

    Steve Silberman
    A coy nails-on-a-chalkboard closet case hiding his potential infection so he can stack SCOTUS to deny marriage rights to future generations of fellow LGBT people. Children, don't grow up to become a freakshow like Lindsey Graham.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  9. #13029

    Re: Politics Random Random

    Jessica Taylor

    New SENATE RATINGS changes @CookPolitical

    #AKSen: Likely R —> Lean R
    #TXSen: Likely R —> Lean R
    #GASen special: Lean R —> Toss Up


    Jessica Taylor

    We are also increasing our current Senate projection from a gain of 2 to 7 seats for Democrats

    Many Republicans told me that holding Democrats to just a 51-49 majority may be a *good* night for the GOP

  10. #13030

    Re: Politics Random Random

    Biden eyes GOP candidates for Cabinet slots
    Progressives fret as Joe Biden's transition team vets a handful of Republicans for his potential administration.

    10/20/2020 04:30 AM EDT

    Joe Biden’s transition team is vetting a handful of Republicans for potential Cabinet positions — despite doubts it will win him new support from the right and the risk it will enrage the left.

    Reaching across the aisle to pick senior members of his administration could shore up Biden's credentials as a unity candidate, a message he's made a cornerstone of his campaign. Past presidents including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have all done the same. But that tradition died with President Donald Trump, and liberal Democrats are already warning that a Republican pick, even a moderate one, could sow distrust within the party before Biden even takes office.

    “My primary concern is that he involves people in the Cabinet who push back against corporate power and support a massive economic stimulus and the broad provision of health care,” said David Segal, the executive director of Demand Progress, a liberal advocacy group. “Unfortunately, there are no prominent Republicans I know of who are on board with that agenda.”

    Nevertheless, one person close to the Biden transition said it remains “a priority to have options” from different parts of the ideological spectrum for the former vice president to consider.

    That person and another official familiar with the transition deliberations confirmed to POLITICO that Biden staffers are analyzing some Republicans’ backgrounds and resumes as they compile shortlists of candidates for high-profile Cabinet positions. The goal is to have some GOP options among the finalists that Biden would choose from after the election.

    Among the names being floated for possible Biden Cabinet posts are Meg Whitman, the CEO of Quibi and former CEO of eBay, and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, both of whom spoke at August’s Democratic National Convention. Massachusetts GOP Gov. Charlie Baker and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) have also been mentioned, as has former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Penn.), who resigned from Congress in 2018 and became a lobbyist.

    When asked for comment, a spokesperson for the Biden transition said only that the team is not making any personnel decisions before the Nov. 3 election, but stressed that “diversity of ideology and background is a core value of the transition.”

    Nominating a Republican to the Cabinet would be the latest in a series of steps Biden has taken to extend an olive branch across the aisle. His campaign regularly holds calls with a group of officials who have endorsed him, including Republicans. After giving multiple GOP supporters prime speaking slots at his August convention, he tapped others for roles on his transition team, including Cindy McCain, the wife of the late Republican Sen. John McCain.

    “This plays to Joe Biden’s comfort zone,” said one former Republican member of Congress who is close to the Biden transition. “If you’re Joe Biden, of course you’re going to want to expand your base a little bit, show some outreach to the other side.”

    Tapping a GOP candidate to lead a federal agency could be an easy and early way to reward Republicans who endorsed him before the election and signal his intent to bridge the country’s partisan divide. But it could also alienate Democrats already worried whether a nominee who has long styled himself as a moderate will pursue progressive policies once in office.

    “I don’t understand why someone who says, ‘I am the Democratic Party,’ would then hand benefits to someone who’s not a Democrat,” said Jeff Hauser, director of the the Revolving Door Project, a left-leaning advocacy group he founded in 2015 to scrutinize executive branch appointees.

    Already, members of the Democratic left are making their opinions known. Left-wing lawmakers and progressive groups on Friday signed a letter saying no corporate executives or lobbyists should have Senate-confirmed positions in a Biden administration. And Segal and other progressive leaders say they and their supporters are ready to loudly oppose the nomination of anyone with a record they find objectionable — be they Republicans or Democrats.

    “We need to have people in those positions who will rise to the occasion much like they did in the New Deal era,” said Larry Cohen, the president of the board of Bernie Sanders’ organizing group Our Revolution.

    Despite their criticisms, progressives have collected a handful of wins on the Biden transition. Former officials note that it’s customary to vet potential candidates from across the aisle. And Biden allies say that for a nominee who will be looking to appoint the most diverse Cabinet in history, ideological diversity should be a part of those considerations.

    Plus, for a Democratic presidential nominee who has won significant support from former elected Republican leaders, Biden has an even broader pool of GOP candidates to choose from than his predecessors, supporters say.

    Some Cabinet positions have historically been considered less ideological than others, a “safe” slot to fill with a member of the opposite party. Both Obama and Bush appointed Transportation secretaries from the other party, for example. The Transportation Department, however, is expected to have a higher profile in a potential Biden administration that wants to focus on a major infrastructure package.

    National security is another traditional spot for cross-party appointments. Clinton tapped Republican Bill Cohen to lead the Department of Defense, while Obama had two GOP officials in that role: Robert Gates and Chuck Hagel.

    Gates was a holdover from the Bush administration, whom Obama kept on as a bipartisan gesture. But Gates didn’t always agree with the president’s decisions and offered harsh critiques of Obama and others in the Cabinet in a memoir he released after leaving the administration. Gates reserved some of his harshest criticism for Biden, saying the vice president had been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

    Gates’ comments and actions remain fresh on Biden aides’ minds as they consider the makeup of the Cabinet and whether tapping a Republican could later backfire.

    Progressives, meanwhile, say it’s too big a risk to install a conservative in any agency in the current political environment.

    “In addition to having more than a decade of corporatists running domestic policy to the detriment of everyday Americans, we also need to confront a generation of unhinged militarism and mass illegal unconstitutional surveillance,” Segal said. “There are relatively few people from either party who are likely to be great on those issues ... But to the extent that there are those people, they’re in the Democratic party.”

    Even some Republicans stumping for his election say including a Republican in the new administration may have a higher cost than benefit for Biden.

    Tim Miller, who leads the group Republican Voters Against Trump, said his organization isn’t pushing for any GOP Cabinet pics, and that crossing the aisle for some nominations won't matter much to the swing voters his group has been in contact with all year.

    “I don’t think they care who the deputy secretary of Commerce is in a new administration,” he said, laughing. “They do care whether he will work with Republicans or whether he will allow the far left to control the administration.”

    Progressives and public policy experts are also skeptical that appointing a Republican would win Biden any goodwill among rank-and-file GOP lawmakers, whose votes he may need to pass major pieces of his agenda.

    As evidence, some point to congressional Republicans’ unwillingness to support Obama’s legislation and nominees. “To defeat Trump, we need the broadest possible coalition,” Cohen said. “But to govern the country, there’s no way we can go back to believing we’re going to get Republican votes — we spent eight years trying and failing on that front.”

    Cohen added that there may be some Republicans more or less aligned with Biden on policy who could “do a great job” in some positions. “Including them is a nice gesture,” he said. “But it won’t help get anything passed on Capitol Hill.”

    Still, people in Biden’s circle expect him to tap someone from the GOP for a Cabinet position.

    "I have no doubt that someone is vetting options for him,” one transition adviser and longtime ally told POLITICO. “I would be surprised if that wasn’t something he was considering.”

    The former vice president in late April said he would not have any limitations on tapping a Republican “if they’re the best-qualified person to do it.”

    He also regularly invokes his ability to work with the GOP. At a town hall hosted by ABC News on Thursday, Biden said the first thing he will do if elected president will be to call Republican allies and say, “‘Let's get together. We've got to figure out how we're going to move forward here.’ Because there are so many things we really do agree on.”

    Biden allies believe working across the aisle will make it possible to carry out a sweeping agenda on health care and the economy. But unlike his predecessors, Biden is now facing a Republican party that has “cleaved in two,” cautioned Matt Bennett, executive vice president of public affairs at the centrist think tank Third Way — those with and those against Trump.

    That division, Bennett said, could make it harder than it once was to bring the parties together through something like a Cabinet position, raising the cost of the move while lowering the benefit.

    “You get the downside of having someone in your Cabinet that’s not aligned with you ideologically and alienates the left, without getting the upside of bipartisanship,” Bennett said. “Does nominating a Never Trumper really bring people together?"
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  11. #13031

    Re: Politics Random Random

    I'm pretty sure that the men and women who have worked with The Lincoln Project will have some influence if there is a new Administration. They did more to help bring about a change than many of the "Progressives" whining that this isn't a good idea.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  12. #13032
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    Re: Politics Random Random

    "Reaching across the aisle" died a quick death in 2008. And there's no resurrecting it.
    Tiz the Dude! Now a winner after his second race!

  13. #13033

    Re: Politics Random Random

    Come on man. He's got to throw them a bone for risking life and limb to stand up against Tiny.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  14. #13034

    Re: Politics Random Random

    I just saw this. Apparently the pics have been making the rounds for almost 24h.

    What is going on with Mitch McConnell's health?

    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

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