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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 85,505

Journal Archives

The Hill: Senate Republicans distance themselves from DeSantis's Ukraine stance

Senate Republicans on Wednesday signaled growing concerns about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) stance on Ukraine after he likened Russia’s invasion of the country to a “territorial dispute” and argued becoming further involved is not a “vital” national interest for the U.S.

Multiple Republicans took aim at the remarks, which came in a lengthy statement to Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, and indicated they believe DeSantis is basing his stance on politics, not national security interests.

“It does seem consistent with many of the things we’re hearing on television and certain friends in the Republican Party,” Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) told The Hill. “But I don’t think that this is a long-game political strategy and it’s certainly not a long-game national security strategy.”

“I really am concerned that he’s — and other members of our party — aren’t prepared to show resolve in this region because it will have broader implications in the Asian Pacific and the Middle East and beyond. This is the one thing that Vladimir Putin seems to be hoping for right now, which is just to outlast the U.S.,” Young continued. “It seems plain that if we’re not assisting Ukraine and their efforts right now, we’re going to have NATO treaty allies with the Russian army standing on their border. The security implications of that are grave and could require an even greater expenditure of resources moving forward.”


The Hill: MSNBC hosts DC event for debut of 'Inside with Jen Psaki'

SPOTTED: Former White House press secretary-turned-MSNBC personality Jen Psaki being fęted at a swanky dinner hosted by the network ahead of her weekend show’s debut.

MSNBC President Rashida Jones, Andrea Mitchell, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and wife Tanya, Jonathan Capehart, Symone Sanders Townsend, White House senior adviser Anita Dunn and Kara Swisher were among the guests at Maydan in Washington on Wednesday celebrating this Sunday’s launch of “Inside with Jen Psaki.”

“People often say, ‘It‘ll be so different working in government and working in media.’ And, yes, there are a lot of differences,” Psaki told the 25-person soiree at the Middle Eastern restaurant, according to an insider. “But the thing that I have found in common — which is a tribute to everybody at this table — is that in both there are a lot of people who are smart, curious, interested in learning more and telling the world about it and trying to make the world a better place in some way. And, that’s what I come to this job doing and hoping to do.”

Jones praised Psaki’s career and work in the Biden White House, saying, “What we’ve seen from you from behind the podium to being in the room and at the table has been nothing short of extraordinary.”


The Hill: Christie says he'll decide on White House bid in 45 to 60 days

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said that he will decide on whether to make another bid for the presidency in the next 45 to 60 days.

“I think running for president of the United States is an intensely personal decision. And that’s one that anybody who’s considering it should have the right to make on their own regardless of anybody else’s thoughts on it,” Christine told the Washington Examiner.

Christie, who ran for his party’s nomination in 2016, told the Washington Examiner that the Republican Party should have a “robust primary” given the losses the party suffered over the last four years. He noted that former President Trump is “weaker” now than he was leading up to the 2020 election.

“With Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, you can be sure of the fact that we’ll have another four years of Joe Biden, and that to me is not acceptable for this country,” he said.


The Hill: GOP lawmakers cringe over Trump's effort to destroy DeSantis

Senate Republicans are wincing over former President Trump’s early barrage of attacks against his chief rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), fearing they’re seeing a preview of a brutal primary to come that could leave both candidates weakened heading into the general election.

GOP lawmakers acknowledge DeSantis needs to show he can take a punch and aren’t shocked Trump would take hard shots at a rival as the campaign heats up.

But some are surprised the former president is unloading such a heavy barrage before DeSantis is even in the race, and they worry that getting into a year-long mudslinging battle with Trump isn’t good look for the party heading into 2024.

“I winced in 2016 and I’m wincing now,” said Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) when asked about Trump’s hardball tactics. “That’s just because that’s not my style.


Harris blasts DeSantis over Ukraine remarks, lack of experience

Source: Politico

Vice President Kamala Harris joined lawmakers from both parties in criticizing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ comments earlier this week that supporting Ukraine in its war against Russia is not a vital national security interest.

“If you really understand the issues, you probably would not make statements like that,” Harris said Wednesday night on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Responding to a questionnaire from Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in an interview on Monday night, DeSantis downplayed the importance of continuing aid to Ukraine, characterizing Russia’s invasion as a “territorial dispute” and arguing that it’s not among “vital national interests” for the United States. While the cost of ongoing aid has been a point of contention in the Republican Party, most in the GOP have expressed support for the Ukrainian cause.

DeSantis, widely expected to announce a 2024 presidential campaign, has yet to announce such a run but has spent recent weeks making high-profile stops around the country — including in Iowa — to promote his new book.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2023/03/16/harris-blasts-desantis-ukraine-remarks-experience-00087372

Politico: A senior Republican's close brush revealed in new Jan. 6 footage

Newly released video of the Capitol attack shows just how close rioters came to a senior GOP senator who was third in line for the presidency on Jan. 6, 2021.

The footage, released after media requests to access videos used in connection with a Jan. 6 criminal case, shows the apparent evacuation of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) from the Senate chamber as a uniformed officer separates him and his security detail from the first wave of rioters who had breached the building. Those rioters were led by Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola, who used a riot shield to shatter a Senate window and ignite the breach of the building near the chamber.

Grassley’s caught-on-tape proximity to the pro-Trump rioters adds new dissonance to Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s on-air minimization of the siege — a portrayal that palpably split Senate and House Republicans.

The video, taken by a rioter who entered the Capitol moments after the breach and released in a case separate from Pezzola’s, shows the Proud Boy gazing past the police officer at the evacuating senator, though it’s unclear if he recognized Grassley. As the camera pans, Pezzola is shown speaking on his phone before turning away from the scene.


Politico: Chicago City Council fiercely debates migrants

An explosive argument about race during Wednesday’s Chicago City Council meeting could be a signal of raucousness to come in a new administration starting in May.

At the crux of it: The council was set to vote on a $20 million allocation from the state to supply food and other services for migrants who have been sent to Illinois over the past six months. Until now, the city has been footing the bill with some federal help.

It should have been a perfunctory budget vote. Instead it turned into a fierce discourse between Black and Latino aldermen. Block Club’s Colin Boyle captured the debate in pictures.

It started with Ald. Jeanette Taylor speaking out against the $20 million allocation, saying approving it would signal that the council cared more about migrants, who are Latino, than it did about the homeless or others in her predominantly Black community.


Politico: Marianne Williamson's 'abusive' treatment of 2020 campaign staff, revealed

The best-selling author Marianne Williamson has built a career preaching love and forgiveness. It is the cornerstone of her second Democratic campaign for president which she launched on March 4.

But those who have worked with Williamson as she has moved into the political realm say her public persona is at odds with her private behavior.

Interviews with 12 people who worked for Williamson during her 2020 presidential campaign paint a picture of a boss who can be verbally and emotionally abusive.

Those interviewed say the best-selling author and spiritual adviser subjected her employees to unpredictable, explosive episodes of anger. They said Williamson could be cruel and demeaning to her staff and that her behavior went far beyond the typical stress of a grueling presidential cycle.


DOJ Told Court to Expect a Deluge of New Jan. 6 Prosecutions

Source: Bloomberg

More than 1,000 additional people could still face charges in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, according to a letter to the DC federal court from the US attorney in Washington.

The one-page letter, which was reviewed by Bloomberg News, was sent late last year to the chief judge and hasn’t been previously reported. It offers details on what Attorney General Merrick Garland has called “one of the largest, most complex, and most resource-intensive investigations in our history.”

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-03-15/doj-told-court-to-expect-a-deluge-of-new-jan-6-prosecutions?utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_source=twitter&cmpid%3D=socialflow-twitter-politics&utm_medium=social&utm_content=politics

Damn "Institutionalists".....

Schumer declares House GOP's first major bill "dead on arrival"

Source: Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday killed any hope House Republicans may have harbored about their sweeping energy package making its way through the Senate – much less becoming law.

Why it matters: It illustrates a dynamic that will become all too familiar by the end of the 118th Congress, with House Republicans passing party-line bills and the Democratic-led Senate putting up a firewall against them.

It also highlights the deep divisions between the two chambers as they prepare to try to work together to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling.

Driving the news: Schumer, in a floor speech on Wednesday, called the legislation a "partisan, dead-on-arrival and unserious proposal for addressing America's energy needs that they have laughingly labeled H.R. 1."

Read more: https://www.axios.com/2023/03/15/schumer-senate-house-republicans-energy-bill
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