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2020 General Election


Interesting article on where T stands on his campaign promises he made to the working class…and how T has supported Corporate interests, non-union positions.

Watch how T 'n Co will be positioning themselves for the run-up to the election, and whether more bi-partisan legislation gets through. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-RI) says it best - "President Trump uses phoney populisam to divide the country and distract from the fact he has betrayed workers."

Watch what they do…not what they say. Tick tock.

History will record last week as a moment when President Trump turned to raw racial appeals to attack a group of nonwhite lawmakers, but his attacks also underscored a remarkable fact of his first term: His rhetorical appeals to white working-class voters have not been matched by legislative accomplishments aimed at their economic interests.

As Mr. Trump was lashing out at Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna S. Pressley, House Democrats were passing a minimum wage bill with scant Republican support and little expectation of Senate passage. On the same day, the president issued a perfunctory announcement naming Eugene Scalia, a corporate lawyer and the son of Antonin Scalia, a former Supreme Court justice, as his new secretary of labor on the recommendation of Senator Tom Cotton, a hard-line Arkansas conservative.

The events offered a reminder not only of what Mr. Trump was interested in — racially driven grabs of news media attention — but also of what he was not: governing the way he campaigned in 2016 and co-opting elements of the Democrats’ populist agenda to drive a wedge through their coalition.

Since he became president, Mr. Trump has largely operated as a conventional Republican, cutting taxes that benefit high-end earners and companies, rolling back regulations on corporations and appointing administration officials and judges with deep roots in the conservative movement. His approach has delighted much of the political right.

It has also relieved Democrats.

Just imagine if Trump married his brand of cultural populism to economic populism,” said Representative Brendan F. Boyle, a Democrat who represents a working-class district in Philadelphia. “He would be doing much better in the polls and be stronger heading into the general election.”

If he were to pick and choose some of the House Democrats’ bills and embrace them, it would cross-pressure voters and make it a tougher sell for us that this guy is antiworker,” said Steve Rosenthal, a longtime strategist in the labor movement.

There is still some hope on Capitol Hill that the president will eventually sign a bipartisan measure being drafted in the Senate that could offer consumers a rebate on prescription drugs that rise above the cost of inflation. A Democratic bill, passed almost unanimously last week, would repeal a tax on high-cost health insurance plans that was to help pay for the Affordable Care Act. If it passes the Senate, Mr. Trump could promote it as a middle-class tax cut, the way Democrats and unions are.

The president is also largely detached from the legislative process and has rarely been heard discussing what a second-term agenda could look like or how to tie it to his re-election bid. His few bipartisan accomplishments are scarcely mentioned. Mr. Trump, for example, rarely discusses the criminal justice overhaul that he signed into law after his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, made it a personal mission and argued to the president that it could help him with African-American voters

Two Republican senators speaking separately, and on the condition of anonymity to be candid about their political assessment, said they had doubts that such legislation would appreciably move many voters in an era of diamond-hard polarization. Even if Mr. McConnell did move legislation, it may only redound to the benefit of the freshman House Democrats facing re-election in swing districts, one senator said.

For the Democrats most eager to see Mr. Trump defeated, such inaction is not exactly bad news. They are happy to see him engage in whatever rhetorical food fight piques his interest on a given day.

This is a testimony to both the strength of McConnell’s convictions and to the weakness of Trump’s convictions,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster. “And it also speaks to the power of Mick Mulvaney, who may be the real deep state when all is said and done.”


Candidates Sen. Warren and Sen Sanders are looking for distinguishing markers of their candidacies. The road begins to narrow pretty soon for all of them.

A week before Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) face off on a presidential debate stage for the first time, the two darlings of the Democratic Party’s left wing swept through Iowa, offering similar populist messages to audiences they’re wooing to shore up their candidacies.

Both camps acknowledge that just one standard-bearer for the liberal wing of the party will emerge from the early primaries. Each is hoping for a victory here.

Their trips highlighted that Warren and Sanders are betting their candidacies on divergent strategies, and they believe they can grow in different areas. Warren, faced with questions of electability, is trying to show her message appeals in unlikely places. Sanders, meanwhile, is fishing for votes among older Iowans more likely to support former vice president Joe Biden.

Warren packed a town hall on a steamy Friday morning in northwestern Iowa’s Sioux County, a picturesque patch of the state where the corn fields are dotted with occasional billboards supporting the military or advocating against abortion rights. Her campaign is hoping that strong showings in places like this can quiet critics who say her message is too divisive.

Sanders focused his tour of Iowa on seniors, holding intimate events designed to woo voters who’ve been mostly unpersuaded his candidacy.



The Blue Wave rolls on… :ocean:

As Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) announced Friday that she would not seek re-election to the U.S. House in 2020, it capped a three day stretch in which three GOP lawmakers in Congress announced they would retire instead of trying for another term in on Capitol Hill.

“Wow! That makes 3 in 3 days before the August break!” tweeted Rep. Billy Long (R-MO), who predicted that more announcements could be coming after Congress returns from a six week summer break.

Roby’s decision also means that two of the 13 GOP women in the U.S. House are retiring - Susan Brooks (R-IN) is the other.

So far, eight House members have decided to retire instead of running for re-election, or seeking another office - six of those eight have been Republicans.

Two other House Republicans are running for another office, along with one Democrat.

Retirements skewed to one party are often an indicator of how that side feels about the next election.


Watch the Democratic presidential debates on CNN and CNNGo at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, July 30



First Night of the Second Round of the Democratic Primary Debates



Fact check:




Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas will not seek reelection in 2020, according to multiple GOP sources, becoming the fifth Republican to announce their retirement over the past two weeks.

Conaway has served in Congress for 15 years, but stepped into the national spotlight in 2017 when he was tasked with leading the House Intelligence Committee’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The panel’s then-chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), had agreed to step aside from the investigation amid ethics charges against him.


Rep Mike Conaway (R-TX)
Rep Paul Mitchell (R-Mich)
Rep Martha Roby (R-Ala)
Rep Pete Olson (R-TX)
Rep Rob Woodall (R-GA)

Retiring from Congress to seek different office
Rep Bradley Byrne (R Ala)
Rep Gianforte (F-Mont)

Moving from the majority to the minority changes your mindset about why am I here, am I getting things done,” Davis said. “It’s a very frustrating life for some of these members right now. There’s been no pay raise for 11 years. You’ve got to maintain two households.”

Democrats will try to make life uncomfortable for those Republicans who won the narrowest races in 2018. Already, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has highlighted 19 Republicans they say are on their retirement watch list — including two, Olson and Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), who have said they won’t run again.

Two of the members who announced their retirements last week — Reps. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) and Martha Roby (R-Ala.) — represent deep-red districts where their successor will almost certainly be chosen in the Republican primary.

But a third, Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas), holds a seat that is likely to be competitive. Olson won election to his final term by just 5 percentage points in 2018, and Democrats have signaled that districts like his, in the rapidly growing Houston suburbs, are their prime targets.

Six Republicans have now said they will not seek reelection next year. Two more, Reps. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) and Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), are running for a different office.


Watch the Democratic presidential debates on CNN and CNNGo at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, July 31

De Blasio


Cross posting


Follow the debate with their commentary…


Joe better but not forceful. Kamala defensive. Booker making strong points. Yang sounds sane. Inslee not bad. Castro handling himself fine. Gabbard making good points, Bennett still not strong. Gilibrand stronger today. What do you think?

Robert Costa

It’s 9:45 p.m. and there’s been little to no discussion (yet) of Mueller, impeachment, Speaker Pelosi’s strategy, the debt deal, the Federal Reserve, and foreign policy. These are pressing issues here in Washington and for the nation. They are also areas where I’d like to hear more from these candidates.

From Wapo live (above)

Ashley Parker

Both last night and tonight, President Trump has been remarkably restrained when it comes to weighing in — or not — on the Democratic debate.

But he finally sent a tweet this evening, objecting to the blame his administration shoulders for the child separation policy, and instead blaming Obama.

There’s something fascinating about how much this issue seems to be bother Trump — it was one of the key forces that impelled him to attack Cummings, as we wrote earlier this week — but I also have another question. Which is: How different do we think this week’s debates would be, were Trump acting as the Twitter narrator of the whole show?

A: Robert Costa

I’m actually not surprised he’s laying off the “tweet” button on his phone this week, at least about the debates. White House officials tell me he doesn’t want these 20+ candidates to be the face of the party. He’d prefer to paint Democrats as a party defined by four liberal minority congresswomen and video footage of urban challenges in Baltimore.

JUL 31, 2019 7:26 PM

Wrap up

Robert Costa

Thanks so much for joining us tonight. We really appreciate your time and comments.

Here are my parting thoughts following the closing statements.

Bill de Blasio : A proudly liberal New Yorker who is trying to get into the Sanders-Warren tier of this presidential race. He probably helped his cause tonight and had some effective shots at Biden. But he’s dealing with a New York media market that’s deeply skeptical of his campaign and grousing daily about his time away from the city.

Michael Bennet : A moderate senator who comes from the key state of Colorado. He reminds me of Senator Klobuchar. He is offering a message of centrist change and insider knowledge of Washington.

Jay Inslee: The candidate of climate change made repeated warnings on Wednesday that the fate of the world is on the line if the next U.S. president does not act. This message has made him popular on the left and could eventually give him a bounce. But it’s unclear how he’s going to expand his appeal.

Kirsten Gillibrand: A New York senator who argues that she is firmly grounded in the reality of being a working mother and can be a voice for working Americans. She took on Biden tonight, weaved in personal stories with anecdotes — and likely helped her effort to make the next debate stage.

Tulsi Gabbard : The anti-hawk and anti-establishment Democrat made her points on foreign policy and offered a worldview that could perk the ears of Democrats who have problems with Biden’s Obama record on war and national security. She also gave a detailed critique of Harris’s record in California, which caused the senator to have to grapple with tricky issues not related to Biden.

Julian Castro: Saying “adios” to Trump, Castro said at the end, should be the goal of Democrats. He had a winning presentation and once again a focus on immigration. No missteps, but no significant breakthrough beyond his exchange with Biden on immigration and the Obama legacy, where Castro noted he has learned lessons from the past.

Andrew Yang: A better turn this time for Yang, who brought more of the energy he showcases on the campaign trail as he talks through issues like universal basic income.

Cory Booker: Passionate and eager to clash with Biden, Booker also got to touch on many of his key themes. He likely emerges in a stronger position.

Kamala Harris: She defended her work in California again and again. While the night was expected to be a barrage on Biden, it was at times about Harris and her decisions and positions. She was sharp in explaining her views, but emerged with a few political nicks on her armor as well.

Joe Biden: His closing statement summed up his argument: He believes he’s best positioned to beat President Trump. He acknowledged that he hasn’t always been a favorite of liberals, and even drifted a bit from the Obama administration on trade tonight. But he carries on, remaining a target and vulnerable, but at center stage.


Second Night of the Second Round of the Democratic Primary Debates


@dragonfly9 this one is yours :point_up_2:thx


Fact check:




Voting machines data was allegedly intentionally destroyed…in Georgia.

Stacey Abrams loss there certainly comes to mind.

Washington (CNN) - In a federal court filing, lawyers representing election integrity advocates accuse Georgia election officials of destroying evidence that was "ground zero for establishing hacking, unauthorized access, and potential of manipulation of election results."

The brief, filed by the Coalition for Good Governance, argues that state officials “almost immediately” began destroying evidence after a 2017 lawsuit alleged Georgia’s voting machines were outdated and vulnerable to hacking.

"The evidence strongly suggests that the State’s amateurish protection of critical election infrastructure placed Georgia’s election system at risk, and the State Defendants now appear to be desperate to cover-up the effects of their misfeasance — to the point of destroying evidence," the lawsuit reads.

Thursday’s court filing alleges a broad effort from state officials to “intentionally” destroy “fundamental” evidence.

“This type of evidence is not merely relevant and unique, it is fundamental, and it is forever gone. After abundant notice of their well-known duty to preserve evidence, the State Defendants did not simply neglect to disable some automated purge function in their IT systems. Rather, they intentionally and calculatingly destroyed evidence,” the lawsuit states. “Such conspicuously outrageous conduct can only raise the question: What were the State Defendants trying to hide?”


Another wrinkle in the monitoring of whether ‘outside, ie foreign’ information can be traced and held accountable. Looks like the FEC is stepping up to review possible illegal foreign contributions.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) announced Wednesday that it is seeking public comments on a rule-making petition that would define “valuable information” as an official campaign contribution that must be regulated.

Why it matters: It is already illegal for campaigns to accept foreign contributions, so if passed, this rule would institute an outright ban on campaigns accepting unregulated “foreign” and “compromising” information, according to the proposed guidelines. President Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos last month that if a foreign government offered dirt on a political opponent, “I think I’d take it.”

  • “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it,” Trump said.
  • Worth noting : FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub has made it a priority to prevent candidates from receiving assistance from foreign governments.


The Democratic National Committee has set stricter criteria for the third set of debates, which will be held on Sept. 12 and Sept. 13 in Houston. If 10 or fewer candidates qualify, the debate will take place on only one night.

Candidates will need to have 130,000 unique donors and register at least 2 percent support in four polls. They have until Aug. 28 to reach those benchmarks.


Seven candidates have already met both qualification thresholds and are guaranteed a spot on stage. They are:

  • Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

  • Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey

  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

  • Senator Kamala Harris of California

  • Former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas

  • Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

Three other candidates are very close: The former housing secretary Julián Castro and the entrepreneur Andrew Yang have surpassed 130,000 donations and each have three of the four qualifying polls they need, while Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has met the polling threshold and has about 120,000 donors.


Presidential candidate Mike Gravel is out of the race.

Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel is ending his quixotic bid for president, which was run by a pair of social media-savvy teenagers.

Gravel’s official Twitter account broke the news Wednesday, saying, “the #Gravelanche is not over. We’re gonna keep going.”

The campaign said it will donate its funds to charity and form a liberal think tank called the Gravel Institute to produce “leftist policy papers” on subjects including “ending the American empire,” “reforming our Democracy,” and “direct action by elected officials to end injustice and suffering.”

“As the campaign ends, we’re going to help build institutions on the left which can grow power, shape policy, and create strong activists for the long haul,” Gravel’s campaign wrote online.

Campaign manager David Oks and chief strategist Henry Williams, whose snarky tweets targeted more moderate 2020 candidates, will move on to a fellowship with the left-leaning Jacobin magazine.


Rep. Kenny Marchant calls it quits, becomes 12th House Republican to retire

Republican Rep. Kenny Marchant said Monday he will not seek reelection to represent his Dallas-area district, leaving open a third Texas House seat heavily targeted by Democrats in 2020.

Marchant’s announcement comes days after Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) announced he would not seek reelection in a sprawling border district and less than a month after Rep. Pete Olson (R-Tex.) declined to seek reelection in the Houston suburbs.

All three men won reelection in 2018 by five percentage points or less — in Hurd’s case, by only a few hundred votes.


:weary: Sam Stein talks with Harry Reid about 2020


Yes. Frightening…

“He’s carried the term bullshit as far as it will go,” Reid said at one point, offering the slightest chuckle in appreciation of the line he’d just delivered.