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Our View: Ellison proving too political

Rather, joining with Democrats from other states, Ellison has won two injunctions and filed three other lawsuits against the Trump administration, according to a memo his office prepared for the News Tribune Editorial Board. The legal actions — related to reproductive rights, Trump's push for a border wall, and other issues — were listed at the top of a three-page detailing of "accomplishments" during Ellison's first 65 days in office. Separating politics from the work he was elected to do certainly does seem to be the challenge many suspected it would be for Ellison. "I've said this to you, and only time will be able to show that I really mean this, I didn't leave a safe seat in Congress just to fight with the Trump administration. But I didn't leave Congress to come here to fight with Trump," Ellison told editorial board members late last week. But ... if it was a Democrat (as) president, I'd do the same things. I'd go after him, too," Ellison also said. Neither was the suit in resistance to Trump's push for a border wall: "I didn't really want to (join that suit), but we need our money for the National Guard, drug interdiction, and military construction. Nobody gets to do politics on my official office. And nobody will ever feel political pressure to help me get re-elected.

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Grounded

What We’re Following Today It’s Wednesday, March 13. Ahead of the vote, a group of senators, led by the Utah Republican Mike Lee, is attempting to reach a last-minute agreement with the White House to limit the president’s power to declare future national emergencies in exchange for its support on the most recent declaration. Here’s what else we’re watching: Bad to Worse: A federal judge sentenced Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, to 43 months in prison, bringing his total jail time to roughly six and a half years. Both defense attorneys and the judge seemed to have messages for the president. + Here are four important takeaways from the sentencing, according to Paul Rosenzweig, who two decades earlier served as senior counsel in the investigation of President Bill Clinton. The U.S. joins many other countries in grounding the jets after one crashed in Ethiopia on Sunday. Beto’s Privilege: The Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke appears poised to jump into the 2020 presidential race any day now. In fact, he doesn’t question America’s right to conquer and occupy other countries at all. Sign up for our daily politics email here. We have many other free email newsletters on a variety of other topics.

The time for political pablum is over

Positioning themselves above it all, as ready and eager to work and compromise with the party of Donald Trump, can't help but make them sound weak and defensive. [They] like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. Obama was right about one thing: There aren't really blue and red states. Why is Joe Biden promising to say nice words about Republicans, and even campaigning for them? Why is Amy Klobuchar insisting that she and tens of millions of Trump voters are united in their “shared belief in our dreams for America”? Part of the explanation is surely rooted in the good, old-fashioned American suspicion of partisanship that goes all the way back to George Washington, and perhaps before him. Which is what ends up happening wherever democratic elections are a regular feature of political life. But of course such magnanimity only became possible because the North had all but prevailed in the fight by the time Lincoln delivered his speech. That's democratic politics 101. That makes bipartisan boilerplate sound silly — and places the politicians who utter such bromides right smack in the middle of the very nearly empty space between the two parties.

The time for political pablum is over

Positioning themselves above it all, as ready and eager to work and compromise with the party of Donald Trump, can't help but make them sound weak and defensive. [They] like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. Obama was right about one thing: There aren't really blue and red states. Why is Joe Biden promising to say nice words about Republicans, and even campaigning for them? Why is Amy Klobuchar insisting that she and tens of millions of Trump voters are united in their “shared belief in our dreams for America”? Part of the explanation is surely rooted in the good, old-fashioned American suspicion of partisanship that goes all the way back to George Washington, and perhaps before him. Which is what ends up happening wherever democratic elections are a regular feature of political life. But of course such magnanimity only became possible because the North had all but prevailed in the fight by the time Lincoln delivered his speech. That's democratic politics 101. That makes bipartisan boilerplate sound silly — and places the politicians who utter such bromides right smack in the middle of the very nearly empty space between the two parties.

Politics Report: The Lure No City Attorney Can Avoid Anymore

Eleven years since he lost re-election, former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre remains in the psyche of the city attorney’s office. We have now seen two city attorneys elected since then promising that they would never do that. She is running for the District 3 seat on the County Board of Supervisors, and that will be a race we and everyone else who cares about the county will follow intensely. Civic San Diego Lawsuit Resolution? The City Council is getting briefed in closed session Tuesday on the state of two lawsuits that have challenged the legality of the city’s downtown redevelopment agency. The first lawsuit, and the one we’ve had our eye on for years, was filed by Murtaza Baxamusa, a former board member at Civic. We don’t know what the city’s attorneys plan to tell the City Council in closed session Tuesday about the suit, but a settlement has been looming for months. – Cory Briggs has filed his own lawsuit against Civic, again over the legality of the city delegating some planning responsibility to the agency. The lawsuit is over a year old, but somehow we hadn’t previously known – and it doesn’t look like anyone else has yet reported – that Briggs was also involved in the legal challenge to Civic. What’s at stake: Backing up a bit, a major settlement could fundamentally change Civic’s role in city development.

Politics Report: The Lure No City Attorney Can Avoid Anymore

Eleven years since he lost re-election, former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre remains in the psyche of the city attorney’s office. We have now seen two city attorneys elected since then promising that they would never do that. She is running for the District 3 seat on the County Board of Supervisors, and that will be a race we and everyone else who cares about the county will follow intensely. Civic San Diego Lawsuit Resolution? The City Council is getting briefed in closed session Tuesday on the state of two lawsuits that have challenged the legality of the city’s downtown redevelopment agency. The first lawsuit, and the one we’ve had our eye on for years, was filed by Murtaza Baxamusa, a former board member at Civic. We don’t know what the city’s attorneys plan to tell the City Council in closed session Tuesday about the suit, but a settlement has been looming for months. – Cory Briggs has filed his own lawsuit against Civic, again over the legality of the city delegating some planning responsibility to the agency. The lawsuit is over a year old, but somehow we hadn’t previously known – and it doesn’t look like anyone else has yet reported – that Briggs was also involved in the legal challenge to Civic. What’s at stake: Backing up a bit, a major settlement could fundamentally change Civic’s role in city development.

5 lessons for the Green New Deal … from Obamacare

Neutralize industry opposition At the start of the health care fight, Obamacare architects faced challenges from across the political spectrum. The Green New Deal faces a steeper challenge, and some energy companies will fight it hard. Control the narrative One early challenge for the Obama administration was dealing with the false claim that its health care plan would lead to "death panels." One is finding out "who in the climate debate people trust the most" and putting them out front, she said. It's a vacuum that some of ACA's designers regret. The Green New Deal includes several far-reaching pillars that might take time to get working, like a jobs guarantee or 100 percent renewable energy generation. Quickly getting those checks into people's hands could make it harder for opposition lawmakers to dislodge the program, Spiro said. Design a backdoor plan to fix mistakes Democrats had planned to polish their health care bill until the final roll calls, but then-Sen. Scott Brown's (R-Mass.) "It was one-and-done because Republicans weren't going to do anything," Slavitt said. The Green New Deal might benefit from building in a way to fix those kinds of hiccups without going back to Congress, he said.

16 minutes that explain the Trump presidency

Unusually, it also included a slap from some Republicans who have been loath to challenge their leader in the first two years of his presidency. He made outrageous boasts about his own success and hinted at his acute sense of human nature and feral appreciation of weakness and discomfort in a political opponent. Trump also showed his indifference, or rude disregard for the political plights of allied leaders, indulged his willingness to trade in falsehoods, and betrayed his obsessions with his predecessor President Barack Obama. "Well, I think he's got a lot of hand movement. At one point in the meeting Tump, said he wasn't going to "comment on Brexit," but characteristically unable to constrain himself, could barely leave the topic alone. Then Trump claimed -- wrongly -- that the EU was unwilling to "negotiate with the Obama administration" about trade. Trump's own talks on trade with Europe have been inconclusive, after he threatened to spark a trade war. He also repeated the untruth that he predicted the result of the British referendum when he flew into his Turnberry golf course in 2016. Trump also put Varadkar on the spot -- asking him to comment on Brexit, threatening to expose their differences on the issue. One Republican, Sen. Thom Tillis, of North Carolina, made an 11th hour switch of his vote on the declaration of national emergency, falling into line behind the President.

Beto O’Rourke Announces He Starting Obama Cover Campaign

EL PASO, TX—Revealing plans to “put his own spin” on beloved stump speeches and talking points, Beto O’Rourke announced Thursday that he was starting a Barack Obama cover campaign. “I’ve always loved Barack’s early stuff from back in ’08, even ’04, and I think diehard fans will go crazy when I cover all his greatest hits,” said the 46-year-old White House hopeful, clarifying that he and his campaign aides had spent several months “just going through Barack’s catalog” to memorize the former president’s platform. “Obama’s style always really resonated with me, and honestly, what’s the point in struggling to come up with something new when you can just give people what they want. I’m going to cover some of Barack’s most well-known campaign speeches, putting my own small twists on prison reform and healthcare—they’ll be way heavier, faster, and louder.” At press time, O’Rourke revealed that he had just finished working on a stripped-down version of “Change We Can Believe In” that went directly into a fiery rendition of “Yes, We Can!”

Sanders campaign hits back at Castro’s ‘reparations’ dig, accuses longshot 2020 Dem of playing...

The war of words between Democratic presidential contenders Bernie Sanders and Julian Castro over their disagreement on proposed reparations for descendants of slaves isn’t showing any signs of letting up. The independent senator from Vermont’s 2020 presidential campaign manager – in a conference call Monday with reporters - accused Castro of playing politics and doing “a disservice” to Sanders' lifelong advocacy “for racial and economic justice.” Castro, the former San Antonio mayor who later served as Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama, supports the idea of reparations for the descendants of slaves — which could come in the form of tax credits, subsidized education costs or other ideas. Two other Democratic presidential candidates – Sens. Sanders rejected the idea of reparations during his 2016 White House bid, and earlier this month once again pushed back against the proposal. Castro on Sunday took a jab at Sanders' comments that a check wasn’t the best way to address the issue. “When it comes to tuition-free or debt-free college, the answer has been, ‘We need to write a big check.’” “And so, if the issue is compensating the descendants of slaves, I don’t think the argument about writing a big check ought to be the argument that you make, if you’re making an argument that a big check needs to be written for a whole bunch of other stuff,” Castro added. Asked about those comments, Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir told reporters “no one’s got a magic solution. We’ve had an awful legacy of slavery, an awful legacy of racial disparities across so many different areas. The latest polls suggest that Sanders – along with potential contender former Vice President Joe Biden - is one of the front runners in the race.
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