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...

On Politics: Inside the Obama-Biden Relationship

Good Monday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today. This is the story behind the relationship between Barack Obama and Joe Biden. • Attorney General William P. Barr and congressional Democrats clashed on Sunday over his scheduled testimony before the House Judiciary Committee this week, with Mr. Barr threatening to skip the session and the panel’s chairman threatening to subpoena him. • As House Democrats return to Washington after a two-week recess, they will find a Capitol consumed by the Mueller report. But rank-and-file Democrats are not being propelled by their constituents into impeaching the president. • Guantánamo Bay as nursing home: With no sign that the prison will close, the Pentagon has begun planning for detainees to grow old at the American military base in Cuba. • As Washington wrestles with Mr. Trump’s refusal to grant more disaster relief to Puerto Rico, farmers affected by disaster elsewhere have been left in limbo. • Mr. Trump on Saturday repeated an inaccurate claim about doctors “executing babies.” Here’s the truth. • Ron Chernow, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, hosted the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, breaking from the tradition of featuring a comedian.

Longtime Congressman a ‘titan’ of NM politics

He was the first Hispanic Republican to join the Congressional Hispanic Congress and focused largely on constituent needs during his time in Washington D.C. Former Gov. Garrey Carruthers, who was state GOP chairman while Lujan Jr. was still in office, described the former congressman on Friday as a “titan” of New Mexico politics. But he said Manuel Lujan Jr. had remained active and engaged in politics for years after leaving office. “He had a very pleasant personality – everyone who met him liked him,” said Edward Lujan, who recalled discussing global issues with his brother over coffee nearly every morning in recent years. I will miss him, and I know New Mexico will long cherish his memory.” Lujan Grisham also ordered all state flags to be flow at half-staff in honor of Lujan Jr. New Mexico Republican Party Chairman Steve Pearce described Lujan Jr. as a “trailblazing Republican” and “one of the finest statesmen” to ever represent New Mexico in Congress. A memorial service for Lujan Jr. will be held Thursday at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Albuquerque at 5 p.m., with a rosary service to follow, his daughter said. New Mexico has lost one of our greatest statesmen and strongest champions.”– U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. “Manuel Lujan Jr. was a gentleman and a servant leader. Manuel would take their information and come to the Congressional office and try to help them. Interior secretary. My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.” – Maggie Toulouse Oliver, N.M. secretary of state “Secretary Lujan served the people of this state and this nation with honor, distinction and compassion for more than two decades.
Trump Challenger Bill Weld talks 2020 strategy and plans for Washington

Trump Challenger Bill Weld talks 2020 strategy and plans for Washington

2020 Republican presidential hopeful Bill Weld says he is not 'in love' with the job being done in Washington. FOX News operates the FOX News Channel (FNC), FOX Business Network (FBN), FOX News Radio, FOX News Headlines 24/7, FOXNews.com and…

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?

Is There a Political Reason Twitter Won’t Do More to Combat White Supremacy?

But according to a new report from Motherboard, Twitter has avoided censoring white supremacists out of fear that it could impact the accounts of Republican politicians. Twitter hasn’t made the same commitment to rid itself of white supremacist content, the speaker later said in another conversation confirmed by Motherboard, because it could have a similar effect on the accounts of Republican politicians. To do so for white supremacist content would inevitably impact Republican accounts because of the extent to which white supremacist and white nationalist rhetoric has bled into American political discourse. On Tuesday, CEO Jack Dorsey met with Trump at the White House hours after Trump took to the platform to complain that “they don’t treat me well as a Republican,” that Twitter is “very discriminatory,” that it is “hard for people to sign on” and that it is “[c]onstantly taking people off list.” Thank you for the time. Last August, Dorsey drew criticism for his decision to apologize to conservative activist Candace Owens after a Twitter Moment labeled her a “far-right” personality. Thanks for calling out.” At a Turning Point USA event in London a few months later, Owens said Hitler’s ambitions were “OK” until he wanted to take them outside of Germany’s borders. I want to apologize for our labeling you “far right.” Team completed a full review of how this was published and why we corrected far too late (12 hrs after). “[There’s an] intentional conflation by a bunch of conservatives to say that white supremacist accounts and average Republican accounts are the same thing,” Collins said of conservatives who claim bias. It should be in the interest of conservatives to try to make a delineation between white supremacist content and [conservative content].” One prominent Republican politician whose account may be hard to distinguish from those of white supremacists is Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who has regularly promoted white supremacists and neo-Nazis. “There is a very strong conviction on this side of the aisle that the algorithms are written with a bias against conservatives,” he told Google CEO Sundar Pichai at a congressional hearing in December.

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.

Trump heads to Wisconsin as both parties prepare for an epic 2020 election fight

“There is no way you can look at it and not think this is going to be a close race,” said GOP strategist Stephan Thompson, whose party broke a long presidential losing streak in Wisconsin in 2016, then suffered demoralizing losses for U.S. Senate and governor in 2018, then was buoyed this month by an upset conservative victory for the state’s highest court. The president’s job ratings are a bit better in Wisconsin than they are nationally, and they will probably have to be for him to win the state a second time. But 21% of the voters who didn’t like him voted for him anyway. Only about a third of Wisconsin voters viewed Trump positively at the time of his election victory, compared to 45% in the most recent Marquette survey. His underwhelming support in the very red suburban counties outside Milwaukee almost cost him the 2016 election, and Walker’s support slipped in those same communities in 2018. “The last thing I’m going to do is underestimate any Republican campaign (in Wisconsin) because they’ve won just as much as we have. Republicans agree that Trump needs to do better in places like the historically Republican “WOW counties” of Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington. "I do think we’re seeing more and more in all these races, 2018 being one, 2016 being another, and recent court races, that in addition to the fact we’re a really polarized state, the various components of the electorate are not all the same” in terms of how energized they are, said Democrat Pruitt, referring to a turnout edge that has shifted from one party to the other. Higher overall turnout in 2020 could be good for Democrats, Feldman said, “but it’s also true that the larger the electorate is, the more people it has that aren’t all that political. Trump’s approval rating with those voters in Wisconsin is 57%, compared to 34% among white women with college degrees.

Federal court: Michigan political maps illegally rigged to ‘historical proportions’

(Photo: U.S. Department of Interior) Detroit — Michigan must redraw legislative and congressional districts for the 2020 election because current maps drawn by Republicans represent a political gerrymander “of historical proportions,” a three-judge federal panel ruled Thursday. The blockbuster ruling — which the GOP will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court — requires Michigan to conduct special state Senate elections for certain seats next year, cutting in half the four-year terms that current lawmakers are now serving. If state officials do not finalize new maps by then, the federal court would draw new boundaries itself and could appoint a special master to do so. High court appeal certain The U.S. Supreme Court last month heard oral arguments in alleged partisan gerrymandering cases from North Carolina and Maryland and "will be ruling in the coming months on the exact issue at play here," said attorney Charlie Spies, who is representing Republicans in the Michigan case. Democrats flipped to Congressional seats, five seats in the 38-member Michigan Senate and five seats in the 110-member state House. Because of Michigan's strict term limits law, it's possible senators like Shirkey who have already been elected to a maximum two terms would be ineligible to run for their seats again if their districts are redrawn and their current four-year term cut short. Benson's agreement with plaintiffs, which the court rejected in February, would have only required reconfiguration of 11 state House districts and others affected by those changes. But Thursday's ruling "confirms that these Michigan state House and Senate and U.S. congressional districts are unconstitutional," Benson said in a statement. As the state’s chief election officer, I’m committed to working with the Legislature, citizens and the court to ensure the new districts comply with our U.S. Constitution.” A mixture of Democratic and Republican congressional seats are affected. The redrawn U.S. House seats would target at least five Republicans and four Democrats, including Metro Detroit U.S. Reps. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly; Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Township; Paul Mitchell, R-Dryden; Haley Stevens, D-Rochester Hills, and Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn.