Monday, June 17, 2019
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Bill and Hillary Clinton announce new speaking tour

An Open US Senate Seat in New Mexico

The Story: Next year the people of New Mexico (a state that voted for Hillary Clinton for President) will elect a new US Senator to...

A Wyoming Senate Seat Will be Open in 2020

The Story Senator Michael Enzi (R - WY) announced over the weekend that he will not run for re-election next year. This means there will...

Howard Dean takes on new political projects

In the years since, he’s worked for Denton’s, a Washington-based law firm that bills itself as the world’s largest. It’s modeled after the GOP’s Data Trust, an organization that Dean said has enabled the Republicans to leverage data much more skillfully than their Democrat peers. That’s why the Democrats hired him, he said. “It’s a really political job,” he said. “Our party is being taken over by people who are under 40 and they are doing it their way, not our way,” he said. He said he spent 188 days outside of the state last year. As governor, he irked some on the left for being a fiscal tightwad, once saying the Legislature’s spending inclinations put them in “la-la land.” Sanders is rarely criticized for not being far enough to the left, although lately he’s taken some heat for reporting more than $2.7 million in income since 2016 with his wife Jane O’Meara Sanders, most of that from sales of his bestseller “Our Revolution.” Dean went to some lengths to separate himself from Sanders but credited his rival for shifting the party to the left. He won’t be endorsing Sanders this time around either, saying he would support a candidate “who is younger.” “I’ve had my history with Bernie, but Bernie is saying some things right now that need to be said,” Dean said. If he did work with Vermont policymakers again, he said, he’d do things differently. That was stupid.” That said, Dean would consider working again in Vermont if the right job materialized.

As Democrats Agonize, G.O.P. Is at Peace With Doing Nothing on Mueller’s Findings

Erin Schaff for The New York Times WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans see the special counsel’s report — with its stark evidence that President Trump repeatedly impeded the investigation into Russian election interference — as a summons for collective inaction. Republicans in the upper chamber, who would serve as Mr. Trump’s jury if House Democrats were to impeach him, reacted to the report’s release with a range of tsk-tsk adjectives like “brash,” “inappropriate” or “unflattering.” Only Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, called out the president’s behavior as “sickening.” Yet no Republican, not even Mr. Romney, a political brand-name who does not face his state’s voters until 2022, has pressed for even a cursory inquiry into the findings by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, that the president pressured senior officials, including the former White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II and the former attorney general Jeff Sessions, to scuttle his investigation. “I consider this to be, basically, the end of the road,” said Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, who once tried to thwart Mr. Trump’s presidential nomination and now serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has the authority to investigate Mr. Mueller’s findings. “But there is a difference between unflattering and something that can and should be prosecuted.” Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, has been as critical in private of Mr. Trump’s actions as Mr. Romney has been in public, but he, too, said it was time to move on. “While the report documents a number of actions taken by the president or his associates that were inappropriate, the special counsel reached no conclusion on obstruction of justice,” Mr. Portman said in a statement. That is factually accurate; in releasing his findings a week ago, Mr. Mueller laid out about a dozen instances in which the president may have obstructed justice, but he left it to Congress to reach that conclusion, counseling “that Congress has authority to prohibit a president’s corrupt use of his authority.” House Democrats responded by ramping up committee investigations, kicking off what is likely to be a long, rending intraparty debate over impeachment. Next week, a bipartisan group of eight Senate and House leaders are scheduled to review an unredacted version of Mr. Mueller’s findings when they return from their spring recess. The chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally, said he had no plans to investigate — and has even suggested that if he pursues a new inquiry it would be to focus on allegations that federal law enforcement agencies conducted surveillance of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. But he added that Mr. Trump had “every right to feel good” about Mr. Mueller’s report. “When is it appropriate to misuse power so that you’re using your federal assets to go after a political opponent?

Bronx Republican preparing 2020 run against ‘Bolshevik’ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

She’s a medical journalist and former publicist with no political background, but Bronx native Ruth Papazian, 61, sees it as her duty – however much a long shot – to swipe the seat of 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the 2020 congressional elections. “It became clear that if I didn't step up to fight for our district, we'd end up with yet another passive Republican candidate who didn't bother to campaign,” Papazian told Fox News. “And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hasn't lived in the district since early childhood. Those of us who stuck it out, and actually live here, care about our future, and need representation.” Ocasio-Cortez used her deceased father’s Bronx condo on her voter registration since 2012, but has since denied reports that she doesn’t live in the Manhattan borough. Meanwhile, Papazian – the daughter of Egyptian immigrants who currently lives with her widowed mother – has accused the headline-making freshman representative of never responding to concerned people in the district “who have serious questions about her unrealistic and unworkable policies,” and claims that she “has a mostly unstaffed office in Queens, and when constituents call her office in DC to ask for help, they get phone recordings with full message boxes.” But for this Bronx Republican, it is the incumbent’s economic policies that are the driving force behind her own political aspirations. “It has been galling listening to Ocasio-Cortez push really hackneyed big government ideas that have failed around the world. These include her Green New Deal and Medicare for all,” Papazian said. It is a middle-class district, because our families came here, worked hard, bought houses, and flourished. Many of us come from families that escaped socialism. She also argued that Jet Blue and the airports are the biggest employers in the Queens part of the Ocasio-Cortez district and that her Green New Deal, “which would get rid of air travel, would make tens of thousands of well-paid avionics workers jobless.” Papazian said that she has established an “exploratory committee” to begin crafting her running plans, and will file her official papers with the Federal Election Commission in the next few months.
Hannity: Democrats' crazy train has another passenger

Hannity: Democrats’ crazy train has another passenger

Former Vice President Joe Biden formally announces his 2020 presidential run. #Hannity #FoxNews FOX News operates the FOX News Channel (FNC), FOX Business Network (FBN), FOX News Radio, FOX News Headlines 24/7, and the direct-to-consumer streaming service, FOX Nation.…

Political Cornflakes: Partisan Washington finds a common cause: Reining in big tech

In a country where the two parties can’t seem to agree on much of anything, Republicans and Democrats now have a common target: the desire to rein in the tech sector. The distrust from both parties over how the industry has handled itself on everything from privacy to political discourse makes it clear that Congress is hungry to bring about a tougher era of government regulation. [POLITICO] Topping the news: The University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute projects that minorities will make up half of Utah’s population growth over the next 50 years and that 45% of Utah preschoolers will be minorities in 2065. [Trib] [DNews] -> Wielding megaphones and brightly colored signs, a group of environmentalists shut down the Inland Port Authority Board’s monthly meeting as it gathered to receive several updates on the massive distribution hub development. [Trib] [DNews] -> The Canyons School District plans to substantially raise the annual salary for starting teachers to $50,000 as the result of an agreement struck between the school board and local teachers association, which some speculate will increase pressure on other districts to do the same. They say they’re speaking for the animals who don’t have a voice and are chanting ‘Abort the port!’" In other news: Communications in Moab and the surrounding area have long been a challenge, but the situation hit a boiling point in December, when telecommunications provider Frontier Communications of Utah installed some faulty radio equipment that doomed residents and business owners to weeks of intermittent outages. [Trib] -> With the May 4 election looming just over the horizon, four Republican candidates with different tones and approaches to unifying the Utah Republican Party are vying against one another to lead it. [Trib] -> A new State of the Air report ranked Utah cities Salt Lake, Orem and Provo as among the nation’s worst in regards to air pollution. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico] -> Frustrated at the media attention focused on white, male Democratic candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Biden, women of color slammed that tilt at a four-hour forum showcasing several female Democratic hopefuls. [Politico] [NYTimes] Got a tip?

Are Local Politics As Polarized As National? Depends on the Issue.

Now, a detailed new study finds clear and convincing evidence that, in sharp contrast to the extreme polarization of national politics and policy, most Democrat and Republican residents see very little difference on local issues. The researchers examined the preferences on six categories of local policies tied to economic development: investment and taxes, workers and entrepreneurs, local services, governance, education, and higher education. But there are good reasons to suspect that local citizens who are polarized on national issues may also be polarized on local issues, especially development issues that involve taxing and spending. While there are huge differences between Democrats and Republicans on a national scale—especially those who identify as “strong Democrats” and “strong Republicans”—the study found very little difference at all between Democrats and Republicans on a whole slew of local development issues. There is a whole cluster of key local development issues on which Democrats and Republicans find near complete agreement: tax incentives, government consolidation, community college funding, and vocational and technical training. In general, the researchers found broad bipartisan support for policies aimed at business investment, especially policies that use taxes and subsidies to incentivize investment. But, the authors suggest, local development issues tend to be ignored by national parties, thus members have fewer and weaker partisan cues handed down from above. The researchers also suggest that since cities compete with one another for talent and investment, members of both parties may come to view policies that attract investment and build local development capacity as necessary. When it comes the places we live and what we do to develop them, we are not nearly divided as over national issues. “The low levels of polarization on these sets of issues run in contrast to the partisan divides seen on national policy issues—even among the same set of respondents,” the authors note.
Bill Weld launches Trump's first Republican 2020 challenge

An Intra-Party Challenge for Donald Trump

The Story: William Weld, a Harvard and Oxford alum who served two terms as Governor of Massachusetts in the 1990s, announced last week that he...

WikiLeaks and Fox News Are Silent on the Debunked Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory

Jeff Roberson/AP/REX/Shutterstock (Hannity); Rob Pinney/LNP/REX/Shutterstock (Assange) WASHINGTON — Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted final report drove a dagger through the heart of one of the most notorious conspiracy theories of the Trump era: that a murdered DNC staffer named Seth Rich — not Russia — stole tens of thousands of Democratic Party emails and gave them to WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential race. The baseless theories about Rich first appeared online within 24 hours of his killing on July 10th, 2016. In May 2017, the network’s website published a story reporting that Rich had “contact with WikiLeaks,” only to retract the story entirely a week later. “Now, if Rich in fact was WikiLeaks’ source for the DNC email leaks, it would confirm Russia was not involved,” Hannity said on his May 18th, 2017, show. They’ve not been proven to get one fact wrong that they have published.” (After the retraction, Fox News’s president in charge of news said that the reporting process that went into the story was “being investigated internally,” but Fox has yet to say what came of that investigation.) “The statements about Rich implied falsely that he had been the source of the stolen DNC emails.” “We appreciate that the facts included in the Mueller report confirm what we have said all along: Seth had nothing to do with taking DNC emails or WikiLeaks,” Joel and Mary Rich, Seth’s parents, said in a statement sent to Rolling Stone by their lawyer. Rolling Stone sent detailed questions to representatives for some of the most influential promoters of the Rich conspiracy theories — Fox News, Sean Hannity, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. None of them responded to multiple requests for comment. In March 2018, Aaron Rich sued a one-time Fox guest, a pro-Trump blogger and the right-leaning Washington Times newspaper for defamation after they accused him of helping his brother steal documents from the DNC and providing them to WikiLeaks in exchange for money that went to Aaron Rich’s bank account. Aaron Rich’s legal strategy has so far led to retractions and apologies from the Washington Times (which was then dropped from his suit) as well as pro-Trump conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi and the website InfoWars.