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  1. When all’s well — This is sort of an October surprise even though it's unlikely to change the apparent trajectory of this year’s election. Driving — Former President Donald Trump — now a Florida man — jolted the political world of his adopted home state by announcing Wednesday that he will do a campaign rally in Miami just two days before Election Day. Missing— Trump made it clear in his announcement that he’s doing the rally to show his support for Sen. Marco Rubio, who Trump has already endorsed. So who wasn’t mentioned in the announcement? Gov. Ron DeSantis. An adviser to the former president told POLITICO that DeSantis was not attending. Each and every one— Let’s recall that Trump — whose endorsement of DeSantis in 2018, ahead of that year’s Republican primary, was a key reason he won — has not endorsed the governor for reelection because DeSantis hasn’t asked for one. More importantly, DeSantis keeps signaling a run for president in 2024 (see Monday night’s debate with Charlie Crist) even though Trump himself continues to strongly suggest he will run again. Rollercoaster — The decision by Trump to hold the rally just ahead of the election — and five days after President Joe Biden holds a get-out-the-vote rally in Miami Gardens — took DeSantis world by surprise. One person who is influential in DeSantis circles told POLITICO that it was “an elbow to Ron’s throat” and blamed Trump's advisers. A Trump adviser, however, contended it was just one of a series of stops the former president was making for GOP Senate candidates. Frost and fire — The timing of Trump’s announcement also comes a few days after Trump and DeSantis had a bit of a dust-up over… the Colorado Senate race. DeSantis decided to endorse and record a robocall for Joe O’Dea, who is trying to knock off Sen. Michael Bennet. DeSantis decided to do this even though Trump had already trashed O’Dea for saying he would “actively” campaign against the former president if he ran again. Trump called DeSantis’ endorsement a “big mistake.” I don’t want to talk about it — There has always been speculation that a Trump-DeSantis confrontation was inevitable, while others have tried to brush off any hint of conflict as some sort of media invention. This week, however, may have marked the moment when what was happening behind the scenes burst into plain view. — WHERE'S RON? — Nothing official announced for Gov. DeSantis. Source: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/florida-playbook/2022/10/27/trump-desantis-rivalry-breaks-into-the-open-00063717
  2. Aside from his social media post that: "Hopefully TODAY will turn out to be one of the most important days in the history of our Country!" under this message ---> he has another message trolling DeSantis. The Washington Post confirmed a few minutes ago, you guessed it: Trump expected to announce presidential bid again amid GOP uncertainty https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/15/trump-running-president-2024/ Unless is a publicity stunt to sell something, today we will find out if the show will begin.
  3. You know what I find interesting, all you MAGAs and right-wing populists on this website. ---> All you do is bait, rant, swear, there are 1-2 that you can actually have a conversation with, however, the rest are sex talks, gender talks, and putting up wallpapers done by Paint. When there is to do real work, like post a thread about your side, crickets. I will do it, even though, I think Biden, considering the VP that he had and his age, has done an OK job. but, like every politician, things are starting to come out and are popular in the news now. It does not concern him directly, is about Hunter Biden, still. ⬆️ Trending via USA Today House GOP: Hunter Biden, and others got $1.3M from a business associate linked to China
  4. Trending -> Pence says Trump 'endangered my family' on Jan. 6. https://apnews.com/article/pence-trump-january-6-capitol-riot-carlson-1e38cb44d55737031ca528b4f33aa1fb “President Trump was wrong,” Pence said during remarks at the annual white-tie Gridiron Dinner attended by politicians and journalists. “I had no right to overturn the election. And his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day, and I know history will hold Donald Trump accountable.” --- ---> In my opinion, Mike Pence, with his issues, will be remembered as a man that stood when it was important to stand.
  5. As someone who follows at times Reason.com, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and other libertarian figures, I'm interested in hearing thoughts on Libertarians in the US. I often see people identify themselves also as <- libertarian right & libertarian left -> Do most Libertarians in the US vote for the Republican Party? What is your opinion?
  6. Pete Buttigieg is facing an investigation from House Republicans over the Biden administration's response to Norfolk Southern's toxic freight train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio – with lawmakers in his own party also questioning his department’s response. https://www.axios.com/2023/02/25/buttigieg-faces-congressional-scrutiny-over-ohio-derailment There are some media on the <--- left, which are arguing the opposite which is: Republicans need to do something about it. MSNBC is one, which says: "Why Pete Buttigieg isn't the villain in the East Palestine crash" Should Pete Buttigieg resign as Secretary of DOT?
  7. This is not a topic about CNN, Don Lemon, and their close relationship with The Democratic Party. I already know this is what MAGA crowd will say. Here is the thread about Don Lemon's issues, he does not have political issues lately, some sexist comments though. Don Lemon does not do what he preaches it seems: https://repolitics.com/forums/topic/43391-cnns-don-lemon-benched-over-sexist-remark-scandal-insiders-say/#comment-1565574 TO THE MAIN EVENT: From The Centrist-Left Axios. Tucker Carlson it seems is in the spotlight again. Oh and McCarthy too. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has given Fox News' Tucker Carlson exclusive access to 41,000 hours of Capitol surveillance footage from the Jan. 6 riot, McCarthy sources say. Why it matters: Carlson has repeatedly questioned official accounts of 1/6, downplaying the insurrection as "vandalism." Reality check: The Jan. 6 committee played numerous excerpts of the footage at last year's captivating hearings. Between the lines: The process with Carlson started in early February, according to a communication between the show and a McCarthy representative that I was shown. Flashback: McCarthy told reporters in Statuary Hall last month that he thinks "the American public should actually see all [that] happened instead of a report that's written [on] a political basis." https://www.axios.com/2023/02/20/kevin-mccarthy-tucker-carlson-jan-6-riot-footage ---> The FBI is still looking for some of the rioters, here is the webpage: https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/capitol-violence ---> Below is a list of defendants charged in federal court in the District of Columbia related to crimes committed at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/capitol-breach-cases
  8. An Episode from Left Wing Populism <- According to The New York Times: House Republicans vote to remove Rep. Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee. AOC did not like the process and picked-up the microphone: ---> I want to remind the ranter up there a few things: a) A Bernie Sanders fanatic went after Republican Congressmen playing baseball as well, not only Democrats were victims of political violence. Jan 6th was major is true, but also then the mob wanted both Republicans and Conservatives. https://www.cnn.com/2017/06/14/homepage2/james-hodgkinson-profile/index.html b) Then she says about someone threatened her life, that was Paul Gosar with the video 1 year ago or so, a few days ago she was chatting with the same Gosar in the chambers politics. c) The last part about "Jewish lasers", if she was referring to Marjorie Taylor Green she is right. She should study Marjorie Green Taylor, because as far as it goes with the agitation she is starting to play Taylor's tactics, at a lower scale is true, for now is my opinion.
  9. Kevin McCarthy lost a 3rd vote in a showdown with Republican hardliners. Republicans are facing a leadership drama as they take control of the House. Updates: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/live-updates/new-congress-live-updates/?id=95854349 --> Jim Jordan won enough votes to deny McCarthy the speakership. ---> House votes to adjourn until the next day.
  10. Yet another example where political anger and narcissism leads to. Politics is like a drug it seems, people lose their mind when they can't access it. The story is below: Albuquerque police said Monday they have arrested Solomon Peña, an unsuccessful Republican candidate in the last state House elections, in connection with recent shootings at the offices and homes of elected Democratic officials. For the record: Peña's arrest follows that of another suspect on Jan. 9 in connection with the six shootings that police believe targeted the Democratic officials. What we're watching: Peña is accused of conspiring with and paying four other men to shoot at the homes of two county commissioners and two state legislators, per a tweet from Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina. Context: Albuquerque police had been investigating the shootings that began on Dec. 4, when Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa's home was targeted. Background: After losing his election by a wide margin, Peña tweeted that he wasn't conceding the race. Police allege that he also visited three of the targeted officials' homes unannounced to complain the election was fraudulent. Flashback: Peña in November posted online a photo of himself with the comment: "This is one of the last pictures I have of the Jan 06 trip. I lost that phone at the Trump rally in Phoenix, July 2021. Make America Great Again!" What they're saying: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) in a statement Monday commended law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office's actions following Peña's arrest. https://www.axios.com/2023/01/17/new-mexico-ex-republican-state-candidate-pena-arrested
  11. Forecasting each governorship: Each party’s chances of winning the 36 governorships up for election on November 8th. According to FiveThirtyEight: Leading candidate’s forecasted chance of winning and margin of victory in each state. Dots closer to the line represent tighter races, and wider bars mean more uncertainty about the outcome. Senate & House: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2022-election-forecast/governor/
  12. House Republicans are now planning on forming a new select committee to investigate the Department of Justice and the FBI, including their “ongoing criminal investigations,” setting up a showdown with the Biden administration and law enforcement agencies over their criminal probes, particularly those into former President Donald Trump. The new expanded committee proposal is a result of one of the key concessions House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made to his populist (I added this word) opposition to secure the gavel. The proposal is included in the House rules package, which establishes the rules and committees for the 118th Congress. If the proposal passes, McCarthy would be able to select 13 lawmakers to serve on the subcommittee, five of whom would be chosen in consultation with House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries. ABC News Was the FBI good in the Republican book when they announced the decision to investigate Hillary Clinton? Remember that moment? Trumpists were thanking the FBI like they were Santa Claus. Not saying I disagree with the decision of the FBI, politicians do need to be investigated, but if I were a conspiracy theorist, definitely the timing was very suspicious. I will dismiss it as a coincidence and just stick at pointing out the hypocrisy: If Trump says FBI is bad, is bad. If tomorrow Trump wakes up liking the FBI, FBI is good. And everyone follows.
  13. Via Reason.com - A leading Libertarian Source: The massive power of federal government attracts frauds. When George Santos was elected to Congress to represent Long Island, New York, the media narrative at the time was that he was the first openly gay Republican elected to the House of Representatives as a non-incumbent. It was a minor story in the news cycle, which focused more generally on how voters rejected the fringier and Trumpian candidates the Republican Party put forward in November. But now Santos is getting all sorts of national press coverage, because it turns out huge chunks of his biography—including his education and past employment—are complete fabrications. Earlier this month, after investigating Santos' background, The New York Times reported that it could not verify much of the information he had told voters. Santos publicly admitted some of his lies in an interview over Christmas weekend with the New York Post. He has not worked for Goldman Sachs or Citigroup, as he has claimed. (He was apparently working as a call center employee for Dish Network during that time). He also never graduated from Baruch College in New York City, as he had claimed. It's not clear at this point how much of Santos' background is actually true. Is he even gay? He was once married to a woman, The Daily Beast reports, but divorced her in 2019 just prior to his first (failed) run for Congress in 2020. This, of course, doesn't mean he's not gay. (He recently married his male partner). But it is a bit unusual. The misleading claims even turned comical when he admitted to the New York Post that he's Catholic and not Jewish, as he had claimed. "I never claimed to be Jewish," he explained. "I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was 'Jew-ish.'" It sounds like something a character from Seinfeld or It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia might say when they're caught in a lie. Reason's Jesse Walker tweeted a memory of Harry Shearer telling a similar joke in the 1990s. While the whole scandal is hilarious, it is also deeply distressing. Democrats are demanding that Santos resign for his lies or that Congress somehow refuse to seat him, but, really, is anybody in U.S. national politics in a position to seize the moral high ground here? Sen. Elizabeth Warren? President Joe Biden? The scandal is not that Santos lied. The scandal is that Santos lied about so many things that we can't even be certain of who Santos is. And that does call into question whether Santos' campaign platform accurately represents him. But isn't that somewhat true of all politicians? Ultimately, we get to know our representatives by how they act once they're actually in Congress—what they vote for or against, what bills they introduce, and even whether they show up to do their job. On the campaign trail, politicians promise whatever they think will be necessary to swing the election in their favor. They could completely lie about who they are to impress voters. They could make promises to pass laws or create policies they have no intention of keeping or don't have the authority to keep. They can change their minds entirely once they get into office. Remember when Barack Obama campaigned for president promising to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? It is unfortunate that the truths about Santos didn't come out prior to his election. There are also some financial discrepancies in Santos' stated finances as part of his campaign run. Where did all his money come from if his job history is a lie? That may be what gets him in legal hot water. Otherwise, Santos presumably has a seat in Congress for two years unless he decides to resign over the scandal. At the moment, he is adamant that he will serve his term. There is no mechanism for his voters to recall him (or any other member of Congress). The Supreme Court has ruled that Congress can't refuse to seat him as long as he meets the constitutional requirements and was legally elected. There is accountability for Santos in the form of the 2024 election. If it turns out that he is this weird con artist, presumably his behavior in office will follow suit. Certainly the press will watch his actions closely. What is the moral of the story here? Well, first of all, political parties need to do a better job investigating their opposition. Apparently the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did pick up some discrepancies about Santos' finances and the animal rescue charity he claimed to have connections to, but it didn't research his employment and educational background. Instead, the committee focused on his ties to Trump, claims of election fraud, and positions against abortion, which to be fair, did turn out to be a winning political argument elsewhere in the country. But the report took a lot of stuff about Santos at face value that it shouldn't have. As for the rest of us, it's a reminder that the tremendous power and wealth accorded to those in the federal government attracts many of the worst sorts of people. For those reasons, it's important to restrain the amount of power the federal government has. Santos is an anomaly not in his way of saying whatever will get him elected but in his willingness to take it much further than anybody else. Or so we think. --- Update: Since then, Federal Prosecutors have opened an investigation into George:
  14. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell plans to mark his tenure as the chamber's longest-serving party leader with a speech on Tuesday afternoon paying tribute to the previous record holder: former Sen. Mike Mansfield, a Democrat from Montana. Driving the news: The senior senator from Kentucky, 80, will eclipse Mansfield’s 16 years as party leader on Tuesday. Along the way, McConnell has delighted supporters and bedeviled opponents through crafty procedural maneuvers and — to some critics — brazen power grabs. "The greatest honor of my career is representing the Commonwealth of Kentucky in this chamber and fighting for my fellow Kentuckians," McConnell plans to say from the Senate floor. "But the second-greatest honor is the trust that my fellow Republican Senators have placed in me to lead our diverse Conference and help them achieve their goals," McConnell will say, according to prepared remarks. Why it matters: McConnell has stayed in charge of the Senate GOP at a time of intense turmoil in the Republican Party, with powerful populist currents threatening its traditional power structures. As minority leader, he warned Democrats not to change the filibuster rules for judicial nominees but then seized on their decision, winning confirmation for three of President Trump's Supreme Court Justices with a simple majority threshold. The judicial branch has always been a priority for McConnell and he made his opposition to President Obama's court picks a touchstone of his tenure. Controversially, he refused to allow Obama's selection of then-judge Merrick Garland (now attorney general) to proceed in an election year. The big picture: Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is fighting to become speaker of the House, is the third House GOP leader to work with McConnell since he became leader in 2007. Last year, McConnell survived a challenge from Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and was re-elected party leader, 37-10. He arrived in the Senate after President Reagan's 1984 landslide. In June of 2018, McConnell became the longest-serving Republican leader when he surpassed former Sen. Robert Dole (R-Kan.). Between the lines: McConnell will take stock of previous Senate stalwarts, including Dole, Sen. Robert Taft (R-Ohio), and former President (and former Senate Majority Leader) Lyndon Johnson (D-Texas), commenting on their styles and the secrets of their successes. With a wry wink, McConnell will align himself with senators who stayed out of the spotlight — leaders "who preferred to focus on serving their colleagues rather than dominating them,” McConnell will say. “And that, Mr. / Madam President, is how Senator Michael Joseph Mansfield of Montana became the longest-serving Senate Leader in American history until this morning." https://www.axios.com/2023/01/03/mitch-mcconnell-mansfield-senate-party-leader
  15. An opinion posted in the Reason.com magazine, a leading libertarian source. Maybe "Marshal Law" can save the Republican Party? Unfortunately, the reality is something far more sinister. In the "Marshal Law" comic-book series, Law is the last name of a law-enforcement officer "with superpowers in the city of San Futuro, the near-future metropolis built from the ruins of San Francisco following a massive earthquake," according to Wikipedia. I've never read these comics, but they offer a satirical take on superhero characters and our government. Perhaps some Republican officials mixed up the Marshal Law character with the term "martial law"—defined by Investopedia as "the substitution of a civil government by military authorities with unlimited powers to suspend the ordinary legal protections of civilian rights." I'm referring, in part, to text messages that Donald Trump's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows released to Congress' January 6 select committee, which is examining the Capitol breach that many Trump supporters continue to depict as a jolly stroll through the Capitol that went awry. The texts portray something far more sinister. Talking Points Memo found that 34 GOP members of Congress texted Meadows about the day's events, including messages "rife with links to far-right websites, questionable legal theories, violent rhetoric, and advocacy for authoritarian power grabs." Rep. Ralph Norman (R–S.C.) offered the best reminder that one need not be a statesman (or brain trust) to win a seat in Congress: "Mark, in seeing what's happening so quickly, and reading about the Dominion law suits (sic) attempting to stop any meaningful investigation we are at a point of no return in saving our Republic !! Our LAST HOPE is invoking Marshall Law!! PLEASE URGE TO PRESIDENT TO DO SO!!" Of course, Twitter went wild with the misspelling, but Norman's content was no laughing matter. When Huffington Post asked him, Norman seemed embarrassed by the typo and offered an excuse worthy of a social-justice warrior: "I was very frustrated then, I'm frustrated now." Oh yeah, frustration is a totally legitimate rationale for dictatorship. Many Republicans love Donald Trump because he doesn't sugarcoat his opinions, yet neither Trump nor many prominent Republican officials can talk about what transpired on January 6 without euphemisms or evasion. "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle," Animal Farm author George Orwell wrote. As I've noted before, the GOP and its MAGA base refuse to see what's right in front of their noses. After losing dozens of court reviews of his election-fraud claims, President Trump refused to concede defeat and threatened the peaceful transfer of power that has been one of this nation's hallmarks. His legal team concocted bizarre legal theories to let him stay in power. Some supporters stormed the Capitol—and Trump has vowed to pardon the trespassers and rioters if he wins a second term. During the fracas, many members of Congress communicated with the president's chief of staff and conspired to overturn the election results. Rep. Jim Jordan (R–Ohio), texted the following: "On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional." These are top U.S. officials, not Twitter trolls. Some of these Republican House members dressed up their efforts that would have destroyed our republic in constitutional-sounding verbiage. Jordan, for instance, argued that letting Pence throw out any inconvenient electoral votes was "in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence." That might have made him feel better, but it no more makes those efforts constitutional than communist North Korea's "Democratic People's Republic" nomenclature makes it a democratic republic. By the way, Meadows didn't ignore Jordan's proposal, but responded as such: "I have pushed for this. Not sure it is going to happen." This was an active effort to subvert our democratic system. For those who still scoff at the idea of January 6 as anything significant, here is what Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R–Ga.) recently told a group of New York Republicans: "And I will tell you something, if Steve Bannon and I had organized that, we would have won. Not to mention, it would've been armed." Take heart that only one member called for martial law. Then again, former President Trump demanded something similar in a Truth Social post earlier this month He called for the courts to invalidate the 2020 election and noted: "Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution (italics added)." When the federal government declares martial law or terminates the rules and articles of the Constitution, it gains unlimited power to do whatever it wants—take your guns, steal your property, quash your speech, and put you in prison. It's hard to believe that a former president (and leading presidential candidate) thinks this way, so I'm going to stick with the story that Republicans simply want superhero Marshal Law to save them.
  16. Agroup of 13 Republican members of the incoming House of Representatives have sent a letter to their colleagues in the Senate warning them against supporting an omnibus spending bill this week. Representative Chip Roy shared the letter to Twitter on Monday as the Senate works to pass the bill designed to fund the federal government and prevent a potential shutdown. In their letter, the lawmakers threaten to oppose any GOP senator who supports the bill, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has touted the legislation. The signatories included 10 current members of the House and three newly elected members who will take their seats next month. Roy, a Texas Republican, was one of those signing the letter. The strongly worded letter may be the opening salvo in a potential Republican civil war as the party prepares for its House majority when the new Congress meets on January 3. If the omnibus spending bill passes before the Friday shutdown deadline, it will be achieved while Democrats are still in control of the House and President Joe Biden's party is hoping senators will approve the measure before the new Congress meets. There have already been divisions among House Republicans about the election of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy as speaker. McCarthy said this week that GOP senators shouldn't vote for the omnibus spending bill. The 13 House Republicans urged their Senate colleagues not to pass the spending bill during the lame duck session just days before members of Congress head home for the holidays. "Senate Republicans have the 41 votes necessary to stop this and should do so now and show the Americans who elected you that they weren't wrong in doing so," the 13 Republicans wrote. If just 10 Senate Republicans vote in favor of the spending bill, it will pass. "The American people did not elect us—any of us—to continue the status quo in Washington, as this bill will undoubtably [sic] do," the letter said. The Republicans warn that their Senate colleagues would be giving up an important point of leverage—"the power of the purse"—that could be used to address the Biden administration's "purposeful refusal to secure and defend our borders." The letter goes on to suggest that the 13 House Republicans will refuse to cooperate with GOP senators who support the omnibus spending bill. "[W]e are obliged to inform you that if any omnibus passes in the remaining days of this Congress, we will oppose and whip opposition to any legislative priority of those senators who vote for this bill—including the Republican leader," the letter said. "We will oppose any rule, any consent request, suspension voice vote, or roll call vote of any such Senate bill, and will otherwise do everything in our power to thwart even the smallest legislative and policy efforts of those senators," they wrote. The letter concludes: "Kill this terrible bill or there is no point in pretending we are a united party, and we must prepare for a new political reality." McConnell has expressed support for the bill and emphasized what Republicans have managed to achieve in the bipartisan plan. He said on Monday that Republicans had flipped Biden's position on military spending "on its head" and that the bill "provides a substantial real-dollar increase to the defense baseline and a substantial real-dollar cut to the nondefense, non-veterans baseline." "The bipartisan bill that our colleagues have negotiated equips our armed forces with the resources they need while cutting nondefense, non-veterans spending in real dollars," McConnell said. "This is a strong outcome for Republicans, and much more importantly, it's the outcome that our nation's security needs," he said. Failure to pass the spending bill could lead to a partial government shutdown as early as Saturday. https://www.newsweek.com/republicans-brink-civil-war-house-gop-threatens-senate-colleagues-1768298
  17. via NewsWeek Mr. McConnell time to call DeSantis? = ) Donald Trump Calls on Mitch McConnell to be Impeached The former president made the remarks on Thursday during an appearance on John Fredericks' Real America's Voice show. "Democrats are scheming, probably with some of the RINOs, in order to blow the debt ceiling up," Fredericks said. "What is your position on that?" Republican in Name Only, or RINO, is a derogative term some Trump supporters use for GOP politicians they think are too liberal or moderate. "Mitch McConnell keeps allowing it to happen. I mean they ought to impeach Mitch McConnell if he allows that. Frankly, Mitch McConnell – they have something on him." Newsweek has reached out to Mitch McConnell for comment. No answer yet.
  18. Washington — A bipartisan group of senators just announced that they reached agreement on revised legislation that would enshrine marriage equality into federal law and provide protections for religious liberties, assuaging concerns from some Republican members who feared that the measure could infringe on religious freedom while paving the way for the Senate to take up the bill this week. A joint statement from the group of five senators involved in the negotiations announced that they have crafted "commonsense language to confirm that this legislation fully respects and protects Americans' religious liberties and diverse beliefs, while leaving intact the core mission of the legislation to protect marriage equality." The Senate negotiators are Democrats Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. They expressed confidence that the amendment to the legislation, the Respect for Marriage Act, "has helped earn the broad, bipartisan support needed to pass our commonsense legislation into law." https://www.cbsnews.com/news/respect-for-marriage-act-senate-bill-religious-liberty/
  19. From the Reason.com, libertarian source, and with -> the original title. Their opinion: A cult following fails to attract voters dismayed by Democratic policies. With a Democratic White House and Congress presiding over persistently high inflation, economic woes, and deep public dissatisfaction in the direction of the country, Americans turned in a muddled verdict at the ballot box. While Republicans who offered a genuine alternative did well, the GOP put up a host of batty political cultists who struggled to attract votes. The victory in Pennsylvania of Democrat John Fetterman, the stroke-addled candidate who turned in a disastrous debate performance over Dr. Mehmet Oz, suggests that a potted plant could beat a Trump Republican. Most forecasters didn't expect the midterm elections to go this way. "A new CNN national poll paints a very grim portrait of the electorate for Democrats, with any number of warning signs that suggest the 2022 midterms are shaping up to be very tough for their side," Chris Cillizza wrote for CNN the week for the election. "Independents, especially women, are swinging to the G.O.P. despite Democrats' focus on abortion rights. Disapproval of President Biden seems to be hurting his party," agreed the New York Times in assessing its polling. On election day, some Republicans did perform well, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who crushed his Democratic opponent by almost 20 points and poised himself for a predicted presidential run in 2024. Likewise, Republicans in New York won congressional seats in what New York magazine called "the kind of sweep not seen in decades." But the failure of New York's Trump-supporting GOP gubernatorial candidate, Lee Zeldin, foreshadowed similar disappointments for the party elsewhere. Despite abysmal approval numbers for Democrats and President Joe Biden, and sky-high dissatisfaction (79 percent according to Gallup) with the direction of the country, Trump-linked Republicans failed to gain much traction. Fetterman's victory over Oz resulting in a Senate seat flipped for Democrats is a case in point. After a stroke in May, Fetterman had very obvious difficulty understanding what was said to him and in articulating his own thoughts. A debate performance described in terms such as "disastrous" and "shockingly bad" raised serious concerns about his ability to perform his duties, or to do anything other than try to recover. Yet voters still picked him over Trump-backed Dr. Mehmet Oz for the Senate. Pennsylvania voters also nixed the gubernatorial aspirations of Doug Mastriano, who had Trump's backing and denied the legitimacy of the 2020 election. "Mastriano spent over $3,000 to bus over 100 Trump supporters to D.C. on Jan. 6," WHYY noted of the candidate who failed to gain traction beyond the party faithful. The results were much the same elsewhere. In Arizona, Kari Lake, who closely aligned herself with former president Donald Trump and who led in polls through much of the state's gubernatorial race, is currently trailing in the vote count. She may well lose to her Democratic opponent, Katie Hobbs, an awkward non-entity who refused to debate and dodged the media. If Lake pulls it out, it will be by a squeaker over an opponent who ran a weak campaign. Right now, the only state-wide office Arizona Republicans appear likely to take is that of state treasurer. Importantly, Trump-backed Blake Masters lost his race for the Senate to incumbent Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly, a performance echoed elsewhere as Democrats held on to bare control of the upper house of Congress. Republicans aren't even certain to claim a majority in the House of Representatives, despite basement-level approval for the Democrat-led Congress and Biden. Americans are remarkably unhappy with Democrats on issues including the economy and energy policy, and they were keen to support Republicans who ran actual campaigns based on ideas. But GOP candidates who kept up the tired drumbeat of election denialism and cultish fealty to Donald Trump drew minimal enthusiasm across the country. Republican candidates "closely aligned with the past, those are the ones that underperformed," Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) summed up over the weekend. "We as a party need to have a debate about ideas. In that debate, we need to explain to the American people exactly where we think our country should go." "I think Donald Trump gives us problems, politically," commented Republican former speaker of the House Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin. "We lost the House, the Senate and the White House in two years when Trump was on the ballot, or in office. I think we just have some Trump hangover. I think he's a drag on our office, on our races." Ohio's J.D. Vance was among the few populist Trumpists to score big victories on Tuesday. It's important to emphasize here, again, that Democrats didn't win the midterms so much as fail to completely lose them, despite Biden's reality-defying post-election claim that "the overwhelming majority of the American people support the elements of my economic agenda." Polls of Americans strongly suggest otherwise, and successes by Ron DeSantis, New York Republicans, and non-crazy GOP candidates elsewhere demonstrate that there is a national appetite for a serious alternative. But Trump-ish populists didn't satisfy that appetite. Given a choice between hubristic Democratic incompetence and culty Republican lunacy, voters pretty much split the difference, giving neither party a clear advantage. With a little luck, Republicans will claim a razor-thin majority in the House, giving Americans the respite from bad policies—either party's bad policies—offered by gridlock. Two years of stalled legislation leading up to the next round of elections won't actually resolve anything, especially given the executive authority wielded by an unrepentant White House. But a hobbled Congress has to be an improvement over what we've seen in recent years. That will also give the major political factions, Republicans in particular, some time for reflection. Does the GOP want to be a political party based around ideas or will it continue on its path as a nutty cult of personality? Will Democrats get that they barely eked out a non-drubbing for their unpopularity courtesy of the bizarre disarray of their opposition? Even less certain is whether either Democrats or Republicans will ultimately make any effort to court Americans who want more freedom and less interference with their ability to run their own lives. Recent political history hasn't been encouraging. https://reason.com/2022/11/14/a-potted-plant-could-beat-a-trump-republican/
  20. Breaking now: FBI called to Kari Lake's campaign office after staff received suspicious white powder in two envelopes with 'threatening' messages for Republican Arizona Governor candidate. trending via (Daily Mail). CNN has the news aswell.
  21. House Republicans are wasting little time jumping headfirst into probes involving the business dealings of President Biden’s son Hunter Biden and the Biden family if they win a majority in next week’s midterm elections. Republicans on the House Oversight Committee, the panel set to lead the probes if the GOP formally takes control of the chamber next year, are planning a press conference about their investigation into the Bidens the week after the election. Their goal is to question whether President Biden’s leadership has been impacted by his family’s business dealings — and to steer clear of the more salacious content on the infamous hard drive that belonged to Hunter Biden, a recovering drug addict. Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), ranking member on the House Oversight Committee who is likely to chair the panel in a GOP majority, has long been preparing for hearings and advancing investigations into the Biden family businesses. Republican staff members on the panel have a copy of Hunter Biden’s hard drive and have been poring over it for months. Comer, in a statement to The Hill, blasted the Biden family for alleged influence peddling and raised concerns about the deals conflicting with U.S. interests. “If Joe Biden is compromised by his family’s business schemes, it is a threat to our national security,” Comer said. The White House declined to comment on the House GOP probes, but the Biden campaign in 2020 said the then-candidate “has never even considered being involved in business with his family, nor in any overseas business whatsoever.” Hunter Biden and Biden family business activities have been a longtime focus of Republicans on Capitol Hill, the right-wing media and former President Trump, whose request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine led to Trump’s first impeachment. There has also been longtime interest in Hunter Biden across the Capitol. Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has made several floor speeches about Biden family business dealings, and has sent letters alleging that he has received information from whistleblowers about the family’s business activities. Democrats on the Hill have dismissed the GOP probe as part of a larger obsession with the Biden family. House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y) has previously called GOP efforts “nakedly partisan.” But in a House GOP majority, Republicans would have more power to probe new lines of interest about the family’s business matters, and potentially put them on public display if the panel holds hearings as Comer has promised. At the top of the GOP to-do list on the matter is obtaining suspicious activity reports from the Treasury Department connected to transactions from the president’s son and his associates. CBS News reported in April that U.S. banks flagged for review more than 150 financial transactions related to the business affairs of either Hunter or James Biden, the president’s brother. The reports do not necessarily mean illegal activity occurred, as Republicans have sometimes suggested, and only a small percentage of the millions of reports from banks filed each year lead to law enforcement investigations. Banks are required to file suspicious activity reports about transfers of amounts of at least $5,000, or $2,000 for money services businesses, if there is reason to suspect the funds came from illegal activity. They must also file currency transaction reports for any transaction exceeding $10,000. But Republicans on the House Oversight Committee argue more information on the transactions are needed to know whether President Biden financially benefited from his family’s business transactions, alleging that the possibility could create national security concerns. Meanwhile, few, if any, House Republicans have expressed much in the way of national security concerns when it came to Trump’s company business dealings while he was in the White House. And when an FBI search uncovered classified documents, some marked top secret, from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in possible violation of the Espionage Act, Republicans expressed more concern about alleged politicization of the Justice Department than about national security. The Treasury Department in September denied requests from House Oversight Republicans to provide the reports on the Biden family. Comer has promised to use the power that comes with the committee gavel to obtain them should his party gain the majority next year. Republicans have multiple areas they are interested in regarding the Biden family businesses, including dealings with a Chinese energy conglomerate and whether that relationship created any conflicts of interest with President Biden. A Washington Post investigation of Hunter Biden’s arrangement with CEFC China Energy found no evidence that President Biden personally benefited from the transactions or knew about the details, though House Republicans think there is information that indicates otherwise. There has already been outside interest from the right wing in the House Oversight GOP probe. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has called on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to create a House select committee dedicated to investigating Biden business dealings. Conservative commentator and former Trump White House adviser Sebastian Gorka has offered to be staff director of the theoretical committee. But there is no sign McCarthy would create a special panel, and Comer has asked Republicans to give the Oversight committee a chance to roll out its planned hearings. Via The Hill. First appeared on Fox, now trending across the spectrum.
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