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Igor DeryshSen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat famous for his vow to maintain the Senate filibuster and thereby scuttle much of President Biden's agenda, recently published an op-ed opposing the For the People Act, Democrats' whopping voting-rights bill. That article strongly echoed talking points from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — and appeared shortly after the influential pro-business lobby resumed donations to Manchin's campaign after nearly a decade. more...
Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large(CNN) In the space of just 1,000 words on Sunday, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) effectively quashed any chance for major liberal legislation between now and the 2022 election. In an op-ed to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Manchin made clear that not only will he vote against the "For the People" Act, the package of election reforms being pushed by his party but also opposed any effort to end the legislative filibuster as a way to pass several of President Joe Biden's policy proposals. Both pronouncements do considerable damage to Democrats -- not only on the policy front but also as both parties begin to prep their arguments ahead of the 2022 midterms. Let's take a look at the "For the People" Act first. more...
By Devan Cole, Aileen Graef and Daniella Diaz, CNNWashington (CNN) Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on Sunday defended his decision to vote against a sweeping voting rights bill and reiterated his opposition to gutting the filibuster, declaring in the strongest terms yet that he is not willing to change Senate rules to help his party push through much of President Joe Biden's agenda. "I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster," Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, wrote in an op-ed published in the Charleston Gazette. Manchin's opposition to changing filibuster rules stands as a major roadblock to Biden's legislative priorities, as current rules allow Republicans to hold up many of the progressive bills the administration supports, including infrastructure spending, federal voting legislation and climate change legislation. more...
Sen. Joe Manchin says he'd 'absolutely' oppose Biden's stimulus checks, then swiftly walks it back after stocks tankSummer MezaPresident-elect Joe Biden announced some economic priorities on Friday, but Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) promptly poked some holes in his plans. Biden began laying out his framework for the next round of COVID-19 relief, reports The Washington Post, and said his plans include a multi-trillion-dollar package that would provide "more direct relief flowing to families, small businesses," in part via $2,000 stimulus checks.But Manchin, who Axios notes will become an increasingly important player as a moderate in the Democrats' razor-thin Senate majority, seemed taken aback by Biden's promise. "I don't know where in the hell $2,000 came from. I swear to God I don't," he said. "That's another $400 billion dollars." Since Republicans are united in opposing larger checks, resistance from a single Democrat could throw a wrench in Biden's plans. more...
Matthew Brown USA TODAYFormer President Barack Obama told progressives that they might be hurting their own cause by using slogans like "defund the police" as rallying cries for goals such as reforming the criminal justice system. In an interview with Snapchat’s “Good Luck America,” Obama said such phrases and labels such as "socialism" can drive away moderate voters and cost elections for Democratic candidates. A transcript of portions of the interview was released Wednesday. "If you believe, as I do, that we should be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it's not biased and treats everybody fairly, I guess you can use a snappy slogan, like 'defund the police.' " "But, you know, you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done," he told Snapchat's Peter Hamby. more...
Why on earth would someone risk an extramarital affair while running for a Senate seat that could determine the country’s future?By Christina CauterucciCal Cunningham, the Democrat who tried to unseat Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina, finally conceded on Tuesday. Right after doing so, he released a statement expressing gratitude to his campaign staff, volunteers, and supporters. “I’ll always be proud of the work we did together to lift up the voices of North Carolinians who feel left behind by our politics,” he wrote.One hopes that Cunningham is considerably less proud of the work he personally did during this campaign. A few weeks before the election, a series of leaked text messages revealed that Cunningham had been having an affair with a public relations consultant. In the aftermath of that news, Cunningham’s favorability ratings dropped and his consistent polling lead shrank. Even if he hadn’t lost—which, again, he did—his decision to jeopardize the entire Democratic project in the face of a tyrannical president and an increasingly dangerous and corrupt Republican Party should disqualify him from running for public office in the future. Lest we forget, Cunningham’s loss makes it all the more certain that Republicans will hold the Senate for the foreseeable future. So maybe, until the Democrats win the Senate, he should hide away in shame.It’s impossible to say how much Cunningham’s affair affected the final outcome in his race. Many polls overestimated Democrats’ chances in this year’s election. In North Carolina, Cunningham underperformed his polls by a larger margin—more than 3 percentage points—than Joe Biden did. The final RealClearPolitics polling average had Cunningham up by 2.6 points and Donald Trump up by 0.2 points. With 99 percent of North Carolina’s vote counted, it looks like Tillis will beat Cunningham by 1.7 points and Trump will beat Biden by about 1.4. more...
Cal Cunningham apologized but said he did not plan to withdraw from the race.NBC NewsRALEIGH, N.C. — Cal Cunningham, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate for North Carolina, admitted to sending sexual text messages to a California strategist who is not his wife, but he said he will not drop out of the race. Cunningham apologized late Friday in a statement reported by multiple news outlets. The text messages, sent to public relations strategist Arlene Guzman Todd, were first revealed by NationalLife.com.“I have hurt my family, disappointed my friends, and am deeply sorry. The first step in repairing those relationships is taking complete responsibility, which I do,” Cunningham said in the statement. Screengrabs of the messages show Cunningham told Guzman Todd, “Would make my day to roll over and kiss you about now,” to which she replies, “You’re so sweet. I would enjoy that.” more...
A woman says that the 19-year-old Kansas House candidate who admitted to revenge porn choked and slapped her within the last yearRachel E. Greenspan, INSIDER19-year-old Aaron Coleman, the Democratic nominee for a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives, has already admitted to instances of bullying and revenge porn while in middle school five years ago. He's apologized for his behavior and said that it was in the past. Now, a woman who says she is his ex-girlfriend has come forward with claims that he choked and slapped her, and encouraged her to take her own life within the last year.The Intercept reported on Tuesday that Taylor Passow, 21, said that Coleman choked and slapped her one night in December 2019 after she joked that she would break up with him for one day to allow him to have a threesome, which she says he had expressed interest in. They were hanging out in a hot tub, and Coleman was apparently upset with the joke, Passow said."He sat there for a few seconds, then he jumped on top of me, put his hands around my throat and started squeezing, and slapped me three times, and said 'I don't know where the fuck you think you're going,'" Passow told The Intercept. In text conversations that Passow posted publicly on her Facebook page, a person Passow says is Coleman claimed days later that she had misremembered the story. "You dumped me and I smacked you and you smacked me and I immediately got out of the hot tub," a text purported to be from Coleman said. Passow recalled that on that night, she had to push him away from her, according to The Intercept. The Intercept has reported that the other number in conversation is one that's associated with Coleman's campaign finance registration.
SPEAKER ON THE PHONETwelve years after she put together the TARP, the Speaker negotiated a major legislative response to the coronavirus.By Sam BrodeyFor the second time in her career, Speaker Nancy Pelosi was tasked with bailing out a Republican president in a moment of national crisis and, with a tanking stock market in the background, came through with a bill. Twelve years ago, Pelosi worked with President George W. Bush and his lieutenants to craft the 2008 emergency bank bailout. Late Friday night, she’d nailed down a deal with the Trump administration on legislation to respond to the spiraling coronavirus outbreak. But unlike the first time—when the speaker and the man in the White House had a relatively decent working relationship—Pelosi this time was collaborating with a president who’d spent weeks trashing her as, among other things, “incompetent.” The name-calling, ultimately, proved to be a minor hurdle, if one at all; as Trump was largely sidelined during negotiations. Over the course of Thursday and Friday, Pelosi spoke instead with Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, nearly 30 separate times as they hammered out a deal. Through it all, the speaker did not speak with the president once. Asked at a late-night Friday press conference if they had talked, Pelosi looked almost shocked that anyone might think so. “There was no need for that,” she said. Bush was a participant in TARP discussions, though he strategically kept some distance as he and his aides felt that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson would be more palatable a negotiating partner for lawmakers on the Hill. It was Paulson who famously leaned so heavily on Pelosi to help get the bank bailout through the House that he even got down on one knee to beg her to push the bill through her chamber. The parallels between then and now aren’t perfect. But they aren’t far apart either. For lawmakers who were there during the autumn of 2008 the most important difference is the most obvious: Trump. “The crisis atmosphere seems similar. The inability of the president to provide any real leadership is different,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) shortly after a midnight vote on Saturday to approve the coronavirus legislation. “I disagreed vigorously with the Bush administration, but at least the president led and worked with his team on this. We're here at this hour, in large measure, because Donald Trump's provided no leadership, just obstruction.”
Andrew Gillum apologizes after being found 'inebriated' in hotel room where police say man was treated for 'possible drug overdose'
By Oliver Darcy, CNN BusinessNew York (CNN Business) Andrew Gillum, the former Democratic candidate for governor of Florida and a CNN political commentator, apologized on Friday after he was found "inebriated" by police who were responding to a "possible drug overdose" in a Miami hotel room he was in, according to a police report. In a statement, Gillum said that he was in Miami for a "wedding celebration" when officers were called to "assist one of my friends." "While I had too much to drink, I want to be clear that I have never used methamphetamines," Gillum said. "I apologize to the people of Florida for the distraction this has caused our movement." "I'm thankful for the incredible Miami Beach EMS team for their efforts," Gillum added. "I will spend the next few weeks with my family and appreciate privacy during this time." The police report said that officers, who told CNN they are not currently pursuing criminal charges, arrived to the scene just after midnight and found Gillum and a second person, Aldo Mejias, in the hotel room. Mejias, according to the police report, said he had provided a third person, Travis Dyson, a credit card on Thursday to rent a hotel room for the night. When Mejias arrived at the hotel room later that night, he discovered Dyson and Gillum inside the room "under the influence of an unknown substance," the police report said. Mejias told police he found Gillum inside the bathroom vomiting, the report said. Dyson, Mejias told police, collapsed on the bed and was "having difficulty breathing." When Mejias woke Dyson up, he "began vomiting on the bed" and collapsed, Mejias told police. According to the police report, Mejias contacted authorities after he started conducting chest compressions on Dyson.
By GARY FINEOUTTALLAHASSEE — Andrew Gillum, a Florida Democrat who narrowly lost a bid for governor in 2018, was found “inebriated” and vomiting in a hotel room with another man apparently experiencing a drug overdose, according to a police report. The Miami Beach Police Department responded to an emergency call from the hotel room early Friday morning. Police impounded several clear plastic bags of what appeared to be crystal meth. First responders provided treatment to Travis Dyson, age 30, who later was hospitalized. He is conscious and in stable condition, according to the report filed Friday. Aldo Mejias, who had rented the room, told police he arrived at the hotel Thursday shortly before midnight to find Gillum and Dyson “under the influence of an unknown substance,” according to the police report. Mejias saw Gillum throwing up. Dyson was having difficulty breathing and also began vomiting, prompting Mejias to call for help. Police said Gillum was unable to speak to them because of his “inebriated state,” according to the report. Gillum eventually left the hotel and returned to his residence. Gillum said he had had too much to drink after a wedding.
By Zachary Evans, National ReviewEight people, including major Hillary Clinton donors and a witness in the Mueller investigation, have been charged in a massive campaign-finance scheme, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.The individuals conspired to “make and conceal conduit and excessive campaign contributions” valued around $3.5 million in the 2016 election campaign and beyond, according to the announcement. Although the indictment does not specifically name the recipient of the donations, it is clear that the contributions went to groups allied with Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Kurt Volker’s testimony has complicated what was supposed to be an opportunity to amplify the GOP’s impeachment counter-narrative.By Sam Brodey, Erin Banco, Spencer AckermanAfter weeks of decrying the impeachment process as a sham, Republicans finally got two of the witnesses they requested for testimony. But when one of them took the stand—the U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker—he instead blew a massive hole in a central part of the GOP’s defense of President Trump.Just moments after the top Republican on the panel, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), used his platform to parrot the very same claims President Trump has used to justify his pressure campaign in Ukraine—that the Biden family’s business involvement in a Ukrainian gas company is worth probing and that Ukraine meddled significantly in the 2016 election—Volker dismissed those items as “conspiracy theories circulated by the Ukrainians.”“They’re not things we should be pursuing as part of our national security policy with Ukraine,” said Volker. He also said in his opening remarks that he told fellow officials at the time he did not find it “credible” that Biden “would have been influenced in any way by financial or personal motives in carrying out his duties as Vice President.” Three hours into the hearing, Nunes had already distanced himself from the officials his side had requested, saying instead they were Democrats’ witnesses and declaring that the GOP had called relevant witnesses like Hunter Biden.Volker’s dose of cold water on the GOP’s Ukraine fever swamp was just one part of the larger effort from the career diplomat on Tuesday afternoon to distance himself from the more problematic elements of the apparent Trumpworld push to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open investigations by dangling $400 million in U.S. security aid.Still, Volker’s performance did little in the way of exciting committee lawmakers on either side of the aisle. Following the morning appearances, members in the audience had thinned out and the atmosphere in the hearing room turned sleepy. Lawmakers sat back in their brown swivel chairs and seemed desperate to try and stay awake during counsel questioning. Some leaned forward on their desks, hands on cheek, staring blankly at the witnesses. Others simply closed their eyes. Full Story
By Ann E. Marimow and Peter HermannBaltimore’s former mayor Catherine E. Pugh has been indicted by a federal grand jury on wire fraud and tax evasion over lucrative book deals for her self-published Healthy Holly children’s series, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland. Pugh resigned in May after revelations about the deals she allegedly cut with companies connected to the city and state government, setting off another political crisis and setback for the city.Pugh, 69, was the second Baltimore mayor to leave office in the past decade while facing corruption allegations. The indictment accuses her of a years-long scheme dating to 2007, when she was a state senator and before her days running Maryland’s largest city. Maryland U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur, along with top officials from the FBI and IRS, are scheduled to address the charges unsealed Wednesday at a morning briefing. The charges come after searches in April of Baltimore City Hall, Pugh’s homes and of a nonprofit tied to her.Federal agents soughtfinancial documents and other information related to almost $800,000 she allegedly was paid for the books, an enormous amount in the world of children’s literature. Pugh is expected to surrender to U.S. Marshals before a court appearance Thursday, prosecutors said.Most of the books were marketed and sold directly to non-profit groups and foundations that did business or tried to get business with the state and city of Baltimore, prosecutors allege. Book sales were intended to enrich Pugh and a partner — including purchasing and renovating Pugh’s home — and to “promote Pugh’s political career, and run her campaign for mayor,” according to prosecutors.“The people of Maryland expect elected officials to make decisions based on the public’s best interests, not to abuse their office for personal gain,” Jennifer Boone, the special agent in charge of Baltimore’s FBI field office said in a statement. Full Story
By Chuck Johnston and Eric Levenson, CNN(CNN) Dennis Tyler, the Democratic mayor of Muncie, Indiana, was arrested at his home on Monday morning, according to the FBI.An arrest warrant was executed at Tyler's home at 7:30 a.m., and he is currently in FBI custody, according to Chris Bavender, spokeswoman with the FBI in Indianapolis.The US Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Indiana said acting US Attorney Josh Minkler will hold a press conference Monday afternoon to announce charges related to public corruption. Sarah Beach, information coordinator with Muncie, said the city will release further information when they receive it.Tyler's administration has been under scrutiny for several years now as investigators conducted a federal corruption probe, CNN affiliate WXIN reported. The Star Press first reported in 2016 that the FBI was investigating Muncie's former building commissioner Craig Nichols and the Muncie Sanitary District for possible wrongdoing. Full Story
By Olivia MesserHillary Clinton appeared to claim in a podcast interview this week that Russians will support Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as a third-party presidential candidate—and called Jill Stein “a Russian asset.” Clinton made the remark on Campaign HQ with David Plouffe. “I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on someone who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians,” said Clinton, apparently referring to Rep. Gabbard, who’s been accused of receiving support from Russian bots and the Russian news media. “They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.” She added: “That’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset. Yeah, she’s a Russian asset—I mean, totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate. So I don’t know who it’s going to be, but I will guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed.” Clinton spox Nick Merrill later clarified, when asked if Clinton was referencing Gabbard: “If the nesting doll fits.”
Tulsi Gabbard Is a 'Puppet For the Russian Government,' Ex-South Carolina Rep. Tells CNN Hours Before Dem DebateBy Christina ZhaoCNN analyst Bakari Sellers—a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives—called 2020 candidate Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard "a puppet for the Russian government" during a panel appearance on Tuesday, hours before the fourth Democratic debate is set to take place in Westerville, Iowa. "There is a change that Tulsi's not just working for the United States of America, but I digress," Sellers said during a CNN panel discussion of the upcoming debate. "What does that mean?" CNN host Alisyn Camerota asked. "That's not just an allegation. I firmly believe that Tulsi Gabbard stands on that stage and is the antithesis to what the other 11 individuals stand for. Especially when it comes to issues such as foreign policy," Sellers explained. "There is no question that Tulsi Gabbard, of all the 12, is a puppet for the Russian government." "Woah oh oh, that is strong," CNN political analyst April Ryan said. "How is there no question?" Camerota asked, clearly stunned by Sellers' remarks. Sellers replied by pointing to Gabbard's alleged "affection" for people like Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. "Her admiring somebody who we know to be a war criminal propping them up," he said. "I think that those are questions that will have to be answered." "That was very strong," Ryan said again.
Advisers to the former vice president wrote to executives at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News to “demand” that Mr. Giuliani not be invited on the air to discuss Ukraine and President Trump.By Michael M. GrynbaumJoseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential campaign contacted top television anchors and networks on Sunday to “demand” that Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, be kept off the air because of what they called his misleading comments about the Biden family and Ukraine. “We are writing today with grave concern that you continue to book Rudy Giuliani on your air to spread false, debunked conspiracy theories on behalf of Donald Trump,” a pair of top Biden campaign advisers, Anita Dunn and Kate Bedingfield, wrote in the letter. “Giving Rudy Giuliani valuable time on your air to push these lies in the first place is a disservice to your audience and a disservice to journalism,” the advisers wrote. The note, which was obtained by The New York Times, was sent to executives and top political anchors at ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News and NBC, including star interviewers like Jake Tapper, Chuck Todd and Chris Wallace. Mr. Giuliani could not immediately be reached on Sunday for comment. Mr. Giuliani has been a ubiquitous presence on television news in recent days, advocating on Mr. Trump’s behalf. He has repeatedly alleged that Mr. Biden, while serving as vice president, intervened in Ukraine to assist his son Hunter Biden’s business interests. No evidence has surfaced that Mr. Biden intentionally tried to help his son in Ukraine. The Biden campaign argued that Mr. Giuliani’s television appearances had allowed him to mislead the viewing public — and suggested that network journalists had done too little to hold him to account. “While you often fact check his statements in real time during your discussions, that is no longer enough,” the letter said. Mr. Biden’s advisers have not been shy about offering advice to journalists. Earlier this month, the campaign sent a memo to an elite group of campaign reporters warning that any news story would be “misleading” if the Trump camp’s claims about Mr. Biden were unsubstantiated. The news networks had no comment on Sunday. As Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Mr. Giuliani remains a highly newsworthy figure, particularly amid an escalating impeachment inquiry in which Mr. Giuliani’s own actions in Ukraine could play a central role. It is likely that Mr. Giuliani will remain a coveted booking for television journalists seeking insight into the president’s mind-set and legal defense strategy. As for Mr. Biden, he has shown little eagerness to engage one-on-one with TV anchors. The former vice president has declined to appear on any of the weekend political talk shows since declaring his candidacy, reserving his on-air appearances for late-night comedy shows, “The View” and a small number of other sit-downs. - The Biden camp is wrong on this you cannot stop free speech even if it is lies. If it is lies take him to court and let the court decide.
By Chris NicholsDuring a climate town hall on CNN this week, Democratic presidential candidate and California Sen. Kamala Harris vowed to take on Big Oil and other powerful interests when they "profit off of harmful behaviors" such as burning fossil fuels. In answer to a direct question, she claimed she already did that as California’s attorney general. "So, Senator Harris, what would you do? Would you sue them? Sue Exxon Mobil?" asked moderator Erin Burnett. "I have sued Exxon Mobil," Harris replied. Did she? Environmental groups questioned her response. We decided to fact check it. Our research: We found Harris’ office investigated Exxon in 2016 over allegations it lied to the public and its shareholders about the risk to its business from climate change. The Los Angeles Times detailed that probe in a January 2016 news article. It said Exxon rejected the allegations. But there’s no public record, and nothing that Harris’ campaign could provide, to show she filed a lawsuit against the company.
By Joey Garrison, USA TODAYBOSTON — Jasiel Correia II, the already embattled mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, was arrested Friday on new federal extortion charges for allegedly operating a scheme to help marijuana vendors get approval to operate in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Prosecutors say Correia agreed to sign non-opposition letters in return for significant six-figure payments from four marijuana vendors looking to open businesses in the city of nearly 90,000 about an hour's drive south of Boston. The letters are required to obtain a license to operate a marijuana business in Massachusetts, where cannabis is legal. Correia, 27, appeared in Boston federal court Friday afternoon and pleaded not guilty. "I'm not guilty of these charges," he told reporters afterward, standing next to his attorney outside the courthouse. "I've done nothing but good for the great city of Fall River, me and my staff, and my team. I'm going to continue to do great things for our citizens." The Democrat mayor also is accused of extorting $3,900 in cash and a $7,500-to-$12,000 "Batman" Rolex watch from a property owner in exchange for activating the water supply to his building. In addition, federal prosecutors say Correia demanded his chief of staff give him half of her $78,700 salary in return for appointing her and allowing her to keep her city job. Four others, including the former chief of staff, Genoveva Andrade, also were charged with federal crimes.
By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNNWashington (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson posted and then deleted a tweet Wednesday morning that suggested the "power of mind" could deter Hurricane Dorian from slamming into the US. "The Bahamas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas...may all be in our prayers now. Millions of us seeing Dorian turn away from land is not a wacky idea; it is a creative use of the power of the mind. Two minutes of prayer, visualization, meditation for those in the way of the storm," her now-deleted post read.
By Faith Karimi and Amanda Watts, CNN(CNN) - An Indiana state representative was charged with drunken driving and impersonating an officer after he tried to buy cocaine "party favors" at a local bar, court documents show. Democratic lawmaker Dan Forestal, 36, was elected in 2012. He was charged with one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, resisting law enforcement and impersonating a public servant, the Marion County Sheriff's Department said Thursday. His encounter with real officers happened Saturday night, after a resident called 911 to report someone impersonating an officer in in Indianapolis. Forestal told the person he's an officer doing a drug bust in the area, a probable cause affidavit says. He allegedly asked where the "people selling drugs" lived and flashed a badge on a silver chain. When officers arrived, they found him in his car. He held onto the steering wheel and refused to step out, and was handcuffed after a brief struggle, the probable cause affidavit says.
By Julian Zelizer, CNN Political Analyst(CNN) Congresswoman Ilhan Omar took a shot against former President Barack Obama. During an interview with Politico, the controversial congresswoman was critical of Obama for working within a broken system, pointing to his immigration and drone policies as examples of when Democrats in the past made huge errors that created the path to the problems of today. Omar was quoted as saying: "We can't be only upset with Trump. ... His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was." She also said, "And that's not what we should be looking for anymore. We don't want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile." Importantly, Omar did distinguish what President Trump has done from his predecessor. Everything is not the same. But her bigger point is a familiar argument that we have heard from the left, including from Bernie Sanders in 2016, that unless there are structural changes in public policy and the organization of government, the differences that will result from one party or the other controlling the branches of government will be limited. Having younger members criticize party elders is not new, nor is it always a bad thing. Throughout American history, generational change within Congress has produced fresh voices who are willing to say tough things about revered senior party leaders. President Franklin Roosevelt came under fire from liberals who thought he didn't go far enough to reform capitalism, while civil rights advocates often felt that President Lyndon Johnson was too timid on racial justice and too invested in a bad war in Vietnam. This kind of criticism, no matter how unpleasant, can have beneficial effects by pushing new ideas that make the party stronger and, if successful, help the nation improve. But historically, there is always a danger that the left goes too far in flattening any differences between its own party and its opponents. This was the kind of thinking that produced support for Ralph Nader's third-party campaign in 2000. "The only difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush is the velocity with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock," Nader said during a stop in the 2000 campaign. The danger of this logic is that the mavericks unintentionally dampen the enthusiasm of younger voters whose energy and ideas will be essential to victory. This "Tweedledee" and "Tweedledum" world view can cause some to miss the fundamental issues that are at stake.
By Stephanie Saul and Sheryl Gay StolbergA second woman came forward Friday with claims that she had been sexually assaulted by Lt. Gov. Justin E. Fairfax of Virginia, intensifying the weeklong political crisis in the state and leading some top fellow Democrats to call for Mr. Fairfax to resign. The woman, Meredith Watson, accused Mr. Fairfax of raping her while they were students at Duke University in 2000, saying in a statement that his actions were “premeditated and aggressive” and demanding that he resign immediately. Ms. Watson spoke out two days after Vanessa C. Tyson, a political science professor from California, said she was assaulted by Mr. Fairfax in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention in Boston. By Friday evening, Mr. Fairfax was facing a wave of calls for his resignation. Democrats in the Virginia House and Senate urged him to step down, saying he “could not longer fulfill his duties to the commonwealth.” Patrick Hope, a Democrat in the Virginia House, said he would introduce articles of impeachment against Mr. Fairfax on Monday if the lieutenant governor had not resigned by then. Mr. Fairfax, in a statement issued Friday evening, denied all of the allegations and called the latest one “demonstrably false.” He vowed he would not resign.
By Ed O'KeefeFirst, it was Virginia's governor. Then, the lieutenant governor. Now the state attorney general. The top three leaders in the state are all facing scandal. Attorney General Mark Herring admitted Wednesday he once wore blackface at a college party. Virginia Democratic lawmakers were in no mood to discuss the latest scandal to rock Richmond. As an undergraduate in 1980, he said in a statement, he and friends went to a party as rappers. "We dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup," Herring said. "I have a glaring example from my past that I have thought about with deep regret in the many years since." When word reached the statehouse, there were audible gasps and expletives from staffers.
By Mallory Simon, Sara Sidner, Ralph Ellis(CNN) During a free-wheeling press conference to address a racist photo on his medical school yearbook page, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said he wouldn't be surprised if other photos like that were found in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook. On Sunday, CNN found more racist and objectionable images in the book. None of them appear to show Northam. Democrats from across the nation demanded Northam resign after a yearbook photo surfaced showing one person wearing blackface and another dressed in the Ku Klux Klan's signature white hood and robes. The photo appears on Northam's personal yearbook page among other photos of him from school. After first apologizing for appearing in the racist photo, Northam now says he wasn't in it and won't resign. In that same yearbook, CNN found the following images: On page 10 of the yearbook, a photo shows a man dressed up like a woman in a lowcut white dress, pearls, a black wig and blackface. Next to the photo is the caption, "'Baby Love', who ever thought Diana Ross would make it to medical school" -- an apparent reference to the lead singer of the Supremes, a Motown singing group made up of three black women. A woman behind him is wearing a hat as if she is dressed like a witch. The photo is on a page full of photos of other student outings and parties. Later in the yearbook, in a section devoted to student personal pages, a photo of three men with their faces blackened wearing white dresses, white gloves, pearls and wigs appears. That photo appears on the page before Northam's personal page. It is surrounded by other photos of this student at school and has no captions. On page 34, the pharmacology page, a photo of a white man, not in blackface, shows him holding a coffee mug bearing the words, "We can't get fired! Slaves have to be sold. On page 10, there's also a photo of a man groping a mannequin with the words "I try never to divulge my true feelings while examining my patients."
By Alan BlinderGov. Ralph Northam of Virginia had a fragile, defiant hold on power on Sunday as he and a quickly eroding coalition of allies rebuffed demands for his resignation after the revelation of a racist photograph on his medical school yearbook page. Mr. Northam’s hopes for political survival, Democratic and Republicans officials increasingly believe, are a mounting humiliation for the state, and risk his fellow Democrats’ policy ambitions and their aspirations for crucial state elections this year, when all 140 legislative seats will be at stake. “The question now is: Can you lead? Can you help us heal?” said Representative A. Donald McEachin, Democrat of Virginia, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “Given the actions that he’s demonstrated over the past 48 hours, the answer’s clearly no.” Mr. Northam has offered shifting accounts — first, a Friday night apology “for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo,” which shows one person dressed in blackface and another as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, followed on Saturday by professed certainty that neither person in the photograph was him. His stance, and refusal to step down amid a torrent of pressure from his party, has fueled a crisis in Virginia that has rippled into national politics. “I tell the truth. I’m telling the truth today,” Mr. Northam said on Saturday at the Executive Mansion in Richmond, where he denied a role in the yearbook photograph but acknowledged that he had darkened his face with shoe polish for a Michael Jackson costume at a dance contest in 1984. But elected officials and strategists in both parties said they believed Mr. Northam was too far compromised to remain in office, his authority and power undercut gravely by his whiplash-inducing efforts to contain the fallout from the picture, which appeared on his page in the 1984 yearbook at Eastern Virginia Medical School.
By Ben Kamisar"He has lost the authority to lead. He's lost the authority to govern," Rep. Donald McEachin, D-Va., told "Meet the Press." Top Congressional Black Caucus members said Sunday that Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam "has to resign" in the wake of his shifting explanations for a racist photo that appeared on his medical school yearbook page. Appearing on Sunday's "Meet the Press," Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., the chairwoman of the CBC and Virginia Democratic Rep. Donald McEachin said Northam's answers have only made the situation more untenable since the photo, which shows one man in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe, became public on Friday. "He has lost the authority to lead, he's lost the authority to govern. He has to resign," McEachin said. "It's in the best interest of the commonwealth, it's in the best interest of the party." Bass criticized Northam as "completely dishonest and disingenuous" and dismissed the idea that by staying in office, Northam is forcing a conversation on race. "He's forcing the wrong conversation. What he should do is resign, and if he has any integrity at all, he should participate in that conversation," she said. Their calls echoed Democratic figures across the country who have called for the governor to resign since the photo surfaced. The governor initially apologized "for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo" hours after the 1984 yearbook photos surfaced. But during a stunning Saturday press conference, Northam said that upon further reflection he realized he was not in the photo at all. He did admit that he once used shoe polish to darken his face while portraying Michael Jackson in a dance contest. Bass said that Northam's performance at the press conference only reinforced her belief he should resign.
By Alana GoodmanJoe Biden, weighing a 2020 White House bid, once advocated continued school segregation in the United States, arguing that it benefited minorities and that integration would prevent black people from embracing “their own identity.” Biden was speaking in 1975, when he opposed the federally mandated busing policy designed to end segregation in schools. In the past few decades, he has claimed he wanted desegregation but believed the policy of busing would not achieve it. Last year, he stated he had voted heroically to protect busing. In 2008, after being chosen as Barack Obama's vice-presidential running mate he said: "The struggle for civil rights was the animating political element of my life." He appears poised to make his civil rights record a centerpiece of any campaign, telling an audience in Fort Lauderdale this week that "I came out of the civil rights movement. He added that he first became aware of what an "awful thing" segregation was as a third grader, when he asked his mother why a bus was taking black children to a school away from where they lived. But 44 years ago, facing a backlash against busing from white voters, the future vice president voiced concerns not just about the policy of busing, which he had supported when first seeking election in 1972, but about the impact of desegregation on American society. He argued that segregation was good for blacks and was what they wanted. “I think the concept of busing … that we are going to integrate people so that they all have the same access and they learn to grow up with one another and all the rest, is a rejection of the whole movement of black pride,” said Biden. Desegregation, he argued, was “a rejection of the entire black awareness concept, where black is beautiful, black culture should be studied; and the cultural awareness of the importance of their own identity, their own individuality.” Questioning whether he might be a racist, Biden said he had asked "the blacks on my staff" whether he harbored something "in me that’s deep-seated that I don’t know."
By Dareh Gregorian and Hallie JacksonRalph Northam was on Friday night resisting growing calls from fellow Democrats as well as Republicans for him to step down. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam apologized Friday for appearing in a racially offensive photo on his medical school yearbook page that featured men in blackface and Ku Klux Klan robes. But a growing number of fellow Democrats and Republicans called on him to resign. "Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive," Northam said in a statement. "I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now." He added, "This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine and in public service. But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment. "I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do that important work. The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their Governor." Five Democrats who have announced 2020 presidential runs or said they would form exploratory committees — Julián Castro, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — said Northam should resign.
Former Vice President Joe Biden took criticism for supporting a Michigan Republican, but dismissed it with a joke saying "bless me father for I have sinned."
By Alexander BurnsJoseph R. Biden Jr. swept into Benton Harbor, Mich., three weeks before the November elections, in the midst of his quest to reclaim the Midwest for Democrats. He took the stage at Lake Michigan College as Representative Fred Upton, a long-serving Republican from the area, faced the toughest race of his career. But Mr. Biden was not there to denounce Mr. Upton. Instead, he was collecting $200,000 from the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan to address a Republican-leaning audience, according to a speaking contract obtained by The New York Times and interviews with organizers. The group, a business-minded civic organization, is supported in part by an Upton family foundation. Mr. Biden stunned Democrats and elated Republicans by praising Mr. Upton while the lawmaker looked on from the audience. Alluding to Mr. Upton’s support for a landmark medical-research law, Mr. Biden called him a champion in the fight against cancer — and “one of the finest guys I’ve ever worked with.” Mr. Biden’s remarks, coming amid a wide-ranging discourse on American politics, quickly appeared in Republican advertising. The local Democratic Party pleaded with Mr. Biden to repair what it saw as a damaging error, to no avail. On Nov. 6, Mr. Upton defeated his Democratic challenger by four and a half percentage points.
The former president’s activist group Organizing for Action will be folded into a fight to end gerrymandering. Former President Barack Obama has taken to heart one cause above others since leaving the White House: the fight to end gerrymandering. On Thursday he announced that the progressive Organizing for Action group, which formed out of the pieces of Obama’s re-election campaign, would be folded into the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. In a Medium post, Obama called gerrymandered maps “undemocratic” and “unrepresentative,” saying they have “too often stood in the way of change.”
Former Democratic Staffer Arrested for Allegedly Doxing Senate Republicans and Posting Personal Contact Info to WikipediaThe Capitol Police arrested a 27-year-old former congressional staffer, who appears to have worked for a handful of Democrats on the Hill, for allegedly doxing Republican senators and editing their Wikipedia pages to include personal information, including their home addresses. Police identified Jackson Cosko as the suspect Wednesday night and accused him of posting “private, identifying information (doxing) about one or more United States Senators to the internet.
No Drama Obama worked to fix things, Drama Queen Don the Con breaks everything he touches.
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