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On the roster: Dem elites searching for white knight – Impeachment timing gets trickier for house Dems – Mick Mulvaney: Kicking gaffes and taking names – Trump looks south for a boost – Picture day is the wurst
DEM ELITES SEARCHING FOR WHITE KNIGHT
NYT: “When a half-dozen Democratic donors gathered at the Whitby Hotel in Manhattan last week, the dinner began with a discussion of which presidential candidates the contributors liked. But as conversations among influential Democrats often go these days, the meeting quickly evolved into a discussion of who was not in the race — but could be lured in. Would Hillary Clinton get in, the contributors wondered, and how about Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York mayor? One person even mused whether Michelle Obama would consider a late entry, according to two people who attended the event, which was hosted by the progressive group American Bridge. It’s that time of the election season for Democrats. ‘Since the last debate, just anecdotally, I’ve had five or six people ask me: ‘Is there anybody else?’ said Leah Daughtry, a longtime Democrat who has run two of the party’s recent conventions.”
Warren ups the ante another $800 billion – WSJ: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren is calling for $800 billion in additional federal funding for public education, a move that would exhaust the remaining revenue to be raised by her proposed wealth tax even as she seeks ways to finance Medicare for All. Ms. Warren outlined on the blog site Medium an additional $450 billion in Title I funding to boost schools with low-income students, $200 billion in grants for students with disabilities and $100 billion in other grants over 10 years. She also vowed to invest $50 billion in school infrastructure on top of existing funding for school upgrades that are in some of her other policy proposals.”
Castro promises to quit if he can’t raise $800,000 in 10 days – Politico: “Julián Castro on Monday threatened to suspend his presidential bid unless he can raise nearly $1 million by the end of the month. ‘If I can’t raise $800,000 in the next 10 days — I will have no choice but to end my race for president,’ Castro wrote in a fundraising email to supporters. ‘If I don’t meet this deadline, I won’t have the resources to keep my campaign running.’ The strategy is nearly identical to Cory Booker’s ‘radical transparency’ gambit last month, when his campaign warned in a memo to supporters that the New Jersey senator would end his White House bid if he was unable to raise $1.7 million in the final 10 days of September.”
Buttigieg’s sexuality a hurdle with black voters – The [Columbia, S.C.] State: “Internal focus groups conducted by Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign this summer reveal a key reason why he is struggling with African-American voters: many see his sexuality as a problem. The 21-page report, conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group with black Democratic South Carolina voters in mid-July and obtained exclusively by McClatchy, found that ‘being gay was a barrier for these voters, particularly for the men who seemed deeply uncomfortable even discussing it. … [T]heir preference is for his sexuality to not be front and center. While the report stated that Buttigieg’s sexuality was not a ‘disqualifier’ for these voters, some of the focus group participants questioned why Buttigieg even brought it up.’
Facebook ramps up election security efforts ahead of 2020 – AP: “With just over a year left until the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Facebook is stepping up its efforts to ensure it is not used as a tool to interfere in politics and democracies around the world. The efforts include a special security tool for elected officials and candidates that monitors them for hacking attempts. Facebook said Monday it will also label state-controlled media as such, label fact-checks more clearly and invest $2 million in media literacy projects. The company says it will add more prominent labels on debunked posts on Facebook as well as on Instagram. It will put labels on top of what are deemed ‘false’ and ‘partly false’ photos and videos.”
THE RULEBOOK: OF NOTE
“Every candid reader will make the proper reflections on these important facts.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 38
TIME OUT: ‘EVERYONE’S GOT THEIR THING’
NYT: “The pressures of sexual selection have made peacocks gorgeous, wood thrushes sonorous and birds of paradise great dancers. At first glance, the white bellbird doesn’t appear to have benefited similarly. Barrel-chested and big-mouthed, with a long wattle dangling from the top of its beak, this rainforest bird looks more like a Muppet than an avian Casanova. But everyone’s got their thing. According to a paper published Monday in Current Biology, this goofball boasts the loudest birdsong ever recorded. And he must be proud of it, because he sings the most piercing note right into potential mates’ faces. The white bellbird — one of four bellbird species in South and Central America — is a favorite among birders in Brazil. It has a ‘strange, metallic, kind of alien call,’ said Caio Brito, one of the founders of Brazil Birding Experts. When several sing at once, they are ‘deafening,’ and sound like ‘several blacksmiths trying to compete,’ said Arthur Gomes, a biology student at São Paulo State University who contributed to the new research.”
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DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 28.2 points (no change from last wk.)
Warren: 26.4 points (no change from last wk.)
Sanders: 13.4 points (no change from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 6.2 points (no change from last wk.)
Harris: 4.4 points (no change from last wk.)
[Averages include: Quinnipiac University, Fox News, IBD, Monmouth University and NBC News/WSJ.]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 42 percent
Average disapproval: 54.8 percent
Net Score: -12.8 percent
Change from one week ago: ↓ 1.6 points
[Average includes: CNN: 42% approve – 57% disapprove; Gallup: 39% approve – 57% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 41% approve – 54% disapprove; Fox News: 43% approve – 55% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 45% approve – 51% disapprove.]
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IMPEACHMENT TIMING GETS TRICKIER FOR HOUSE DEMS
NYT: “House Democrats have resigned themselves to the likelihood that impeachment proceedings against President Trump will extend into the Christmas season, as they plan a series of public hearings intended to make the simplest and most devastating possible public case in favor of removing Mr. Trump. Democratic leaders had hoped to move as soon as Thanksgiving to wrap up a narrow inquiry focused around Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, buoyed by polling data that shows that the public supports the investigation, even if voters are not yet sold on impeaching the president. But after a complicated web of damaging revelations about the president has emerged from private depositions unfolding behind closed doors, Democratic leaders have now begun plotting a full-scale — and probably more time-consuming — effort to lay out their case in a set of high-profile public hearings on Capitol Hill.”
Diplomat who raised red flag on Giuliani-Trump deal testifies today – Reuters: “William Taylor, a former Army officer and career U.S. diplomat now leading the U.S. embassy in Kiev, will be the latest in a series of current and former officials to meet behind closed doors with the Democratic-led House of Representatives Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight Committees in the month since the probe began. Committee members and staff are examining whether the Republican Trump abused his office by improperly putting pressure on Ukraine to launch an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival and leading candidate for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination. Taylor’s testimony is of particular interest to investigators because of his leading role at the embassy in Ukraine. He raised concern about military assistance being withheld from Kiev to put pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter, who was on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.”
Schiff un-censured – Fox News: “The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted Monday evening to table, or set aside, a resolution to censure House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for his handling of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The vote was 218 to 185 to table the resolution, which the Republican minority had introduced. All Democrats voted to table the censure resolution, with all Republicans voting against tabling. Independent Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, who left the Republican Party earlier this year, voted to table the resolution.”
President Trump draws ire of black lawmakers for ‘lynching’ claim – AP: “President Donald Trump enraged Democrats on Tuesday by comparing their impeachment inquiry to a lynching, assigning the horrors of a deadly and racist chapter in U.S. history to a process laid out in the Constitution. ‘That is one word no president ought to apply to himself,’ said Democratic Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the highest-ranking African American in Congress. ‘That is a word that we ought to be very, very careful about using’ he said. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., called on Trump to delete the tweet.”
MICK MULVANEY: KICKING GAFFES AND TAKING NAMES
Reuters: “U.S. President Donald Trump has been fielding suggestions from allies on who might succeed his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, amid frustration at his team’s response to the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, two sources close to the White House said on Monday. Trump’s irritation at being dogged by a variety of issues – from impeachment to his decision to move U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria – was on display on Monday in the White House Cabinet Room as the president aired his grievances at length before his senior advisers and a group of reporters. The president has been focused in part on Mulvaney’s comments to reporters last week that Trump had withheld military aid from Ukraine in an effort to get Kiev to investigate a debunked claim about the 2016 U.S. election.”
Cuccinelli blocked from DHS job – AP: “President Donald Trump has been notified by his staff that he can’t select two popular figures — Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Morgan — to serve as an acting secretary of homeland security because a federal law governing agency succession makes them ineligible. Instead, Sean Doocey, the White House director of presidential personnel, in recent days gave Trump a list of other officials to consider as acting secretary, including top DHS official Chad Wolf and Transportation Security Administration chief David Pekoske, according to three people familiar with the conversation. The news has infuriated immigration hawks inside and outside the administration who had been lobbying for Cuccinelli to fill the role and now fear Trump will tap Wolf, a former chief of staff to ousted DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen who once worked as a lobbyist on employment visas.”
TRUMP LOOKS SOUTH FOR A BOOST
Politico: “Donald Trump is going all-in on a trio of Southern governor’s races in November, gambling that a clean sweep will help him regain his political footing at the most perilous moment of his presidency. Trump is expected to barnstorm Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana over the next few weeks, while dispatching prominent supporters to help in each contest. And Vice President Mike Pence is planning a bus tour through eastern Kentucky, a pivotal area on the state’s political map that could decide the fate of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. Trump badly needs a boost right now, and the White House sees the elections in the conservative states as the best near-term hope of achieving it.”
Impeachment adds windage to Kentucky contest – WSJ: “The gubernatorial election in Kentucky next month hinges in large part on whether voters are motivated by bread-and-butter issues close to home or national politics supercharged by the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. It is one of three governor’s races this year, along with those in Louisiana and Mississippi, that can offer insights on the electorate’s mood ahead of the 2020 presidential election.”
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau wins in narrow victory – Reuters
Mike Pompeo to make Kansas visit amid rumors of Senate run – WSJ
Jimmy Carter back in the hospital after fall in Georgia home – AP
SupCo strikes down decision that would have re-drawn Michigan districts – Detroit Free Press
Premiums for common ObamaCare plan expected to drop 4 percent in 2020 – WSJ
AUDIBLE: YA BURNT
“Maybe have like your communications person, your press secretary do that.” – Sen. John Cornyn’s, R-Texas, advice to Mick Mulvaney following the White House acting chief of staff’s controversial press conference, per reporter Lauren Fox.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“I have come to fully realize something you told me when we met … a couple months ago. ‘Opinions are Luxuries: Have Only as Many as You Can Afford.’ Believe I’ve exceeded my budget and will have to cut back.” – Fred W. Apelquist III, Oak Hill, Va.
[Ed. note: You will be so glad you did! “Opinions are luxury items” is a close cousin to one of my dad’s favorites: “You can be happy or you can be right, but not usually both.” In our relationships it matters so much more that we listen and really hear each other. The simple but always challenging act of loving our neighbors starts by talking with them, which can’t happen if we’re talking at them. This not only makes us happier people and better friends, spouses and parents it also lets us save our strongest defenses for the things that matter the most.]
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PICTURE DAY IS THE WURST
WSVN: “A 4th grader had a unique outfit for his school photo. Craig Arsenault posted a photo of his son Jake’s school ID. For his school photo, Jake dressed up in a hot dog costume. ‘My wife and I dared our son to wear a hot dog costume for school pictures. The school let him do it, and I couldn’t be happier,’ Arsenault said. According to Fox 13, Arsenault said the family had the costume “laying around for (the) last year,” and the idea came up when Jake voiced his wonder about what to wear for his school photo. ‘My wife suggested the hot dog costume. He was hesitant, so we bet him 10 bucks he wouldn’t do it,’ the father said. However, Jake accepted the dare and donned the costume for his photo. … Arsenault said he only had $7 at the time, which he gave to his son, but his son is holding him to the other $3.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“…I offer the Krauthammer Conjecture: In sports, the pleasure of winning is less than the pain of losing. By any Benthamite pleasure/pain calculation, the sum is less than zero. A net negative of suffering. Which makes you wonder why anybody plays at all.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on June 29, 2017.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.