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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
August 26, 2019

ME-SEN: Susan Collins wins glowing endorsement from racist fmr. governor Paul LePage.

Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage, infamous for multiple racist and generally inflammatory statements made while he held office, endorsed Republican Sen. Susan Collins for reelection Friday.

"I absolutely endorse Sen. Collins. I never had a problem with her," LePage said. "We have some issues. We may have policy issues once in a while, but I’ve always supported her."

The former Republican governor, who served from 2011 until January of this year, gushed that Collins "has done such a marvelous job as a legislator."

LePage's endorsement comes as Collins faces significant national opposition to her serving another term. She has dropped considerably in opinion polling over the last few years and has now been ranked by voters as the second most unpopular senator in Congress, second only to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.


August 25, 2019

Trump associate Felix Sater says president wanted to use his CIA, FBI work on campaign trail

President Trump's former associate Felix Sater said in a new interview that Trump wanted to speak about Sater's past with the FBI and CIA on the campaign trail in 2016, which Trump thought would boost his "patriotic image."

In an interview with the "Skullduggery" podcast by Yahoo News, Sater revealed that Trump approached him about telling the story of Sater's work as an informant for the FBI and CIA, including work in Afghanistan and elsewhere in Asia to provide intelligence agencies with information about satellite phones being used by the then-leader of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden.

Trump, Sater told Yahoo News, wanted to show that “the guy that worked with him, you know, was doing stuff to protect our country," which the then-candidate though would help him on the campaign trail.

But Sater said the president was blocked from doing so because the information was part of then-sealed court documents that government prosecutors argued at the time could not be made public due to national security concerns.

Sater told the podcast that his work as a cooperator with the FBI and CIA followed a criminal past that included a bar fight and financial crimes, for which he said he was trying to make amends.

“I know for a fact that I have stopped 100,000 times more crime than I committed with my bar fight and the stock fraud,” Sater told Yahoo. “And I know that I protected my country. And I know I risked my life for it.”


August 25, 2019

NC-09: Trump to return to North Carolina to stump for special election candidate

President Trump on Thursday evening tweeted a forthcoming rally in North Carolina in support of Republican congressional candidate Dan Bishop.

Trump did not specify the date of his appearance, but without naming Bishop’s Democratic opponent Dan McCready, accused McCready of “lik[ing] the ‘Squad’ more than North Carolina,” in reference to four progressive freshman members of Congress Trump has repeatedly attacked in recent months.

At Trump’s most recent North Carolina rally, controversy erupted after the crowd began chanting “Send her back” in reference to one of the four, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), a Somali refugee. Trump has since said he did not approve of the chant but allowed it to continue for several seconds at the time.

The special election between Bishop and McCready is set for Sept. 10. Republican Mark Harris led McCready by 905 counts in returns for the 2018 race, but amid allegations of voter fraud, the North Carolina State Board of Elections declined to certify the results. Harris did not file to run in the special election.


Dan McCready


August 25, 2019

Kenny Rogers - The Gambler

August 24, 2019

KS-02: Kansas Republican refuses to resign as rumors swirl about unrevealed scandal

On Thursday, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported that there’s “bipartisan speculation” that freshman GOP Rep. Steve Watkins could resign from Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District, though it said that the reasons for his possible departure were unclear. The paper also writes that party leaders in both DC and in Kansas are trying to pressure Watkins to quit.

However, the congressman doesn’t sound like he’s going anywhere. On Friday, he tweeted, “Let me get this straight…. I have to deny a resignation that no one called for. Got it. Done. K, going back to work. See you in November.” (Watkins isn’t up for re-election this November, but don’t tell him that.) Earlier that same day, his chief of staff, Jim Joice, argued that unspecified “absurd” rumors about Watkins’ personal life had come from operatives in Kansas who wanted to hurt the congressman. Joice would not say which party he thought was spreading these rumors.

The Kansas City Star also reported on Friday that the chatter about Watkins’ future had in fact begun at least a week earlier. The executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, Shannon Golden, told the paper the following day that the party had held a conference call on Tuesday to discuss the Watkins situation, though she denied they were trying to convince him to step down. An unnamed source also said that the NRCC isn’t playing a role in any attempt to get Watkins to leave.

Altogether, it’s a strange story based on nothing more than whispers. The Star said of the rumors, “So far, the speculation has been unsubstantiated and no evidence has emerged to support the innuendo,” but Watkins himself, of course, felt the need to address the matter nevertheless.

The congressman in fact attended an in his district on Thursday where he showed no obvious sign that anything was amiss. Watkins even said at one point, “Media, I’m sure you have questions. We’ll do an interview.” After his address, though, the Capital-Journal says that the congressman was speaking to a constituent when he “placed his cellphone to his ear and abruptly left the Boiler Room Brewhaus through a side door.” Two reporters spotted the congressman entering his waiting car and shouted questions to him about the rumors of his imminent departure, but he ignored them and “smirked as the vehicle pulled away.”


August 24, 2019

The top 10 House races of 2020

10. Georgia’s 7th (Republican held but will be OPEN in 2020). This seat outside Atlanta is ground zero for Democrats’ attempts to own suburban America. The once-conservative district is no longer majority-white, and even though it voted for Trump in 2016, a Democrat nearly won it last year — and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams did win there. After that close encounter, Rep. Rob Woodall (R) is retiring. His 2018 challenger, Carolyn Bourdeaux, has the most name recognition so far in a crowded Democratic primary.

9. Illinois’ 14th (Democratic held). Rep. Lauren Underwood’s (D) reelection is shaping up to be a test case for whether supporting an impeachment inquiry will cost vulnerable Democrats their jobs. She ran an impressive race to oust a long-term Republican congressman last year in this conservative-leaning suburban Chicago district. Now she is just one of two Democrats representing a district that voted for Trump to support the House’s impeachment inquiry. Half a dozen Republicans are running for the nomination to challenge her, so we’ll keep an eye on how this field shapes up.

8. New York’s 11th (Democratic held). There’s no question that Rep. Max Rose (D), an Afghanistan war veteran, is a talented campaigner, having unseated a Republican last year in a district Trump won by 10 points. Now he’s dropping the f-word in media interviews (which Democrats say is very Staten Island) and raising a lot of money, expecting a strong challenger himself. Leading that field — and with national Republicans cheering her on — is GOP Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, though big questions loom over that candidacy: How much of a hang-up is it that she said she regrets voting for Trump? And could felon and former GOP congressman Michael Grimm run, again? This race may come down to: Four years later, how do the blue-collar voters of Staten Island feel about the president?

7. Pennsylvania’s 10th (Republican held). Rep. Scott Perry (R) is on this list in large part because of redistricting, which moved the House Freedom Caucus member into a slightly more moderate district (though it still leans Republican). He narrowly won reelection last year. Democrats say they have a uniquely strong candidate, Eugene DePasquale, who proved he can win statewide (and in this district) in his successful 2016 campaign for state auditor.

6. Texas’s 23rd (Republican held but will be OPEN). Democrats’ top pickup opportunity comes in a seat they’ve long desired, this vast border district in Texas. They haven’t been able to knock out Rep. Will Hurd (R), but now they won’t have to. Hurd recently surprised everyone in politics by announcing his retirement, after criticizing Trump’s racist “go back” tweets. This majority-Hispanic district voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. It’s one of three remaining that Democrats haven’t picked up since. Among the three open seats in Texas that Democrats are trying to flip, thanks to GOP retirements, this is by far their best chance. Iraq War veteran Gina Ortiz Jones, who came close to beating Hurd last year, is the bold name in the primary.

5. New Mexico’s 2nd (Democratic held). Now we get to the group of newly Democratic-held seats that Republicans feel they should be able to wrest back. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D) won last year by meeting the rural district where it is (for example, airing an ad of her firing her gun). This is shaping up to be a rematch of 2018, with state Rep. Yvette Herrell running again — but with a potential twist: A former congressman who held this seat, Stevan Pearce, could get in, reports Cook Political.

4. New York’s 22nd (Democratic held). Was Rep. Anthony Brindisi’s (D) 2018 win, in a district Trump won by 15.5 points, a fluke or the manifestation of the realignment of political power in Upstate New York toward Democrats? The answer may come in 2020. Brindisi outperformed the Democratic governor here to knock off a Republican, but some argue it was in part because he was up against a weak incumbent. If that former congresswoman, Claudia Tenney, is the GOP nominee again, this seat could get less competitive, but for now it’s a top Republican pickup opportunity.

3. South Carolina’s 1st (Democratic held). Rep. Joe Cunningham (D) became the first Democrat to win this Charleston district in nearly 30 years by running on local issues. Also helpful to him was a nasty Republican primary in which, after a tweet from Trump, GOP voters ousted Rep. Mark Sanford in favor of a more pro-Trump choice. Republicans are excited about two Republicans running, state Rep. Nancy Mace and a local councilwoman, Kathy Landing. Trump won this district by 13 points, but like all the Democrats on this list, Cunningham is doing what he needs to make it a fight for Republicans. He has raised $1.3 million so far.

2. Oklahoma’s 5th (Democratic held). Political analysts say Rep. Kendra Horn’s (D) win in this Oklahoma City district was the one of the biggest surprises for Democrats in all of 2018. She is just the third woman Oklahoma has sent to Congress, ever. This is another district that Trump won by double digits (13.5 points) and another case in which Republicans like their potential nominees, such as state Sen. Stephanie Bice and entrepreneur Terry Neese.

1. Utah’s 4th (Democratic held). It’s a sign of what a good election Democrats had last year that Rep. Ben McAdams (D) won this seat in Utah, one of the most Republican states in the nation. The former mayor of Salt Lake City barely beat out former GOP congresswoman Mia Love in this suburban district Trump won by seven points. The Republican field is still shaping up to challenge him, but suffice it to say Republicans are putting a priority on recruiting candidates to take back this red district next year.


August 24, 2019

The Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) Live-Action TV Show Is a Go at Disney+

It’s Kamala Khan’s time to shine. The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Marvel is developing a live-action Ms. Marvel series for Disney+, with writer and comedian Bisha K. Ali (Four Weddings and a Funeral) coming on board as showrunner and writer.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ali’s Ms. Marvel series will focus on the latest iteration of the heroine, featuring Kamala Khan as the first Muslim superhero to headline their own solo series at Marvel Comics.

Kamala was created by editors Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker, writer G. Willow Wilson, and artists Adrian Alphona and Jamie McKelvie. We’ve reached out to Disney to confirm and will update should we hear back but odds are we will learn more out of D23 this weekend.

Interestingly enough, Wilson recently announced she would no longer be writing Wonder Woman at DC Comics to pursue a top-secret project, which we’re crossing our fingers means this one.

Ms. Marvel as a comic and heroine has existed since 1976, with the character Carol Danvers using the name for her crime-fighting escapades. Several other characters have briefly taken up the mantle and Danvers herself became Captain Marvel in 2012.

The latest incarnation, and the one the show will be focusing on, is a teenager named Kamela Khan. Khan broke ground by becoming Marvel’s first Muslim character to be lead her own comics title. Her identity as a Pakistani American, living in a religious family in New Jersey whilst trying to find her own way, have been a major focus of the stories. Her powers have been described as polymorphous, meaning she has the ability to stretch and change her shape.


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Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
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Current location: San Francisco, CA
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About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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