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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 60,536

Journal Archives

Trump raises 2020 stakes by elevating North Korea, China on agenda

BY JORDAN FABIAN - 07/01/19 06:00 AM EDT

President Trump used his four-day trip to Asia to jumpstart his sputtering diplomatic efforts with China and North Korea, moves he is touting as significant victories but that also carry big risks heading into the campaign season.

The president returned to Washington on Sunday evening after trumpeting the historic nature of his visit—which included the first foray into North Korea by a sitting U.S. president—as proof that his unorthodox style of foreign policy leadership is working.

But by resuming his efforts to strike trade and nuclear deals with China and North Korea, respectively, Trump is also raising expectations that he can produce results, meaning the fall could be much steeper if talks break down once again during the 2020 campaign season.

“Now, we’re going to see whether it works or doesn't work but this is the way the president does diplomacy,” former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Sunday on ABC News’s “This Week.” “This is Donald Trump...the essence of who he is—is he believes he gets into a room, he can convince anyone of anything. And we’re going to find out if he’s right.”


Jesse Jackson opens up on 2020 and the changing Democratic Party

The civil rights activist and two-time presidential candidate defends Buttigieg, blasts Biden and praises Warren in a wide-ranging interview.

By ALEX THOMPSON 06/30/2019 06:30 PM EDT

CHICAGO — The Rev. Jesse Jackson has lost a step.

The 77-year-old two-time presidential candidate’s roaring sermons have become more muted and mumbled. His walk has become slow, unsteady. At a news conference here over the weekend with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, she held up the microphone for him when he spoke. Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition event on Saturday at the 4,000-capacity Apostolic Faith Church drew only a few hundred people.

But when it comes to the Democratic Party and its 2020 presidential primary, Jackson and his progressive organization for social change are more relevant than ever as the party embraces the issues he ran on three decades ago.

“The ’84 campaign broke the sound barrier,” he said in an interview after the Rainbow PUSH event, which featured Warren, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. “Part of the whole idea was to sow seeds that would germinate.”

That’s why, even though Jackson may not command a podium or draw crowds as he once did, at least six presidential candidates are joining him during the annual Rainbow PUSH International Convention, which ends Tuesday. It’s also why candidates emphasize their ties to his presidential campaigns.


Trump's House allies lie in wait for Mueller

Democrats aren’t the only ones in Congress dying to hear from the former special counsel.


Democrats have been dying to hear directly from special counsel Robert Mueller for months, but they're not alone. President Donald Trump's GOP allies in Congress are salivating at the chance to bruise Mueller's reputation and cast doubt on the integrity of his work.

Mueller’s intensely anticipated July 17 testimony will bring him face to face with the Republican lawmakers who have savaged his reputation and called him the ringleader of a “coup” against Trump. While Democrats attempt to squeeze morsels of new information out of the notoriously tight-lipped investigator, these Trump defenders are signaling that they’ll use the historic moment to try to undercut his credibility and paint him as a political pawn in Democrats’ efforts to undermine the president.

“He’s done some irreparable damage to some things and he’s got to answer for them,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert, one of 25 Republicans on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees who get to grill Mueller during the back-to-back hearings. The Texas congressman added that his reading of the special counsel’s report did little to temper his long history of animosity for the former FBI director: “It reinforced the anal opening that I believe Mueller to be.”

Many House Republicans on the committees set to interview him have actually supported Mueller in the past, even if they've criticized his Russia investigation; they've sought to separate the man — a senior Justice Department appointee dating to the George H.W. Bush administration and Marine Corps veteran — from the probe.

But Mueller will also face a grilling from Trump's top Republican allies in Congress, including Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Devin Nunes (Calif.) and Andy Biggs (Ariz.). They intend to press him on long-held articles of Trumpian faith: that Mueller's team was biased against the president from the start and that the Russia investigation was tainted by inappropriate surveillance.


'Her ambition got it wrong about Joe': Harris faces debate backlash

Biden supporters lash out against Kamala Harris.

By NATASHA KORECKI and CARLA MARINUCCI 06/30/2019 06:33 PM EDT Updated 06/30/2019 07:00 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO — Kamala Harris might be reveling in her sudden burst of attention after roasting Joe Biden over racial issues on the debate stage last week, but a backlash is already brewing.

Biden supporters and Democrats who have attended the former vice president’s events in the days after the first nationally televised debate, are describing Harris’ assault on Biden as an all-too-calculated overreach after she knocked him on his heels in a grilling over busing and his remarks on segregationist senators.

“She played low ball, which was out of character. And he didn’t expect it, nor did I,” said Lee White, a Biden supporter who attended his remarks at the Jesse Jackson Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “She should not have gone that route. She’s much too intelligent, she’s been able to be successful thus far, why do you have to do that.”

One major Biden supporter from California who declined to be named for publication said Harris’ direct attack on Biden was a mistake that would haunt her.

“It’s going to bite her in the ass,” the supporter noted. “Very early on there was buzz … Biden-Kamala is the dream ticket, the best of both worlds.’’


What Trump's North Korea Stunt Means

June 30, 2019 at 4:36 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard

Playbook: “It’s hard to imagine any other president taking a bold step like this, let alone warmly embrace a third-generation tyrant who starves and imprisons his own people. But Trump has silenced the doubters within his own party, while Democrats have largely embraced his diplomatic efforts with Kim because they’d rather he try that than threaten ye olde fire and fury.”

“It remains to be seen, of course, whether Kim is simply using Trump to advance his own agenda, or whether he genuinely believes, as he said today, ‘we want to bring an end to the unpleasant past and try to create a new future.’ Even Trump sometimes seems aware of this; as he put it, ‘It’s just a step. It might be an important step, it might not.'”



Inside the Trump campaign's plan to re-energize evangelicals

Alayna Treene14 hours ago| updated 10 hours ago

President Trump’s re-election campaign is developing an aggressive, state-by-state plan to mobilize even more evangelical voters than supported him last time, campaign officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: Trump captured 81% of the evangelical vote in 2016, a huge accomplishment considering they make up roughly a quarter of the electorate and play a prominent role in swing states like Florida.

According to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, more than two-thirds of white evangelicals still support Trump, along with almost half of white Catholics and white mainline Protestants.

The goal: Paint Trump as a champion of socially conservative issues and warn evangelical voters that his defeat could destroy the progress he's made.


The 2020 Democratic primary is suddenly wide open

There’s a new top tier — and a sense among the campaigns that the Democratic primary has broken wide open.

By DAVID SIDERS 07/01/2019 05:00 AM EDT

For months, the Democratic presidential primary has been dictated by Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. That primary is now over.

After an eventful month and the conclusion of the first round of Democratic debates, there is a new top tier — and a sense among many campaigns and Democratic operatives that Biden and Sanders are suddenly within reach in a race that has broken wide open.

“Bernie and Biden were largely living off of inertia,” said Colin Strother, a veteran Democratic strategist.

Now, he said, voters are becoming aware that “other [candidates], they have a lot of other things to offer.”

The campaign’s evolution came gradually at first — then violently amid the debates. Biden, already damaged by his shifting views on abortion and his one-time work with segregationists, withered under Sen. Kamala Harris’ filleting of his record on busing for school desegregation.


Soros and Koch Team Up to End 'Forever War' Policy

July 1, 2019 at 6:50 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Boston Globe: “Besides being billionaires and spending much of their fortunes to promote pet causes, the leftist financier George Soros and the right-wing Koch brothers have little in common… Now they have found something to agree on: the United States must end its ‘forever war’ and adopt an entirely new foreign policy. In one of the most remarkable partnerships in modern American political history, Soros and Charles Koch, the more active of the two brothers, are joining to finance a new foreign-policy think tank in Washington.”

“It will promote an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing. This is a radical notion in Washington, where every major think tank promotes some variant of neocon militarism or liberal interventionism.”

“The street cred they bring from both ends of the political spectrum — along with the money they are providing — will make this new think tank an off-pitch voice for statesmanship amid a Washington chorus that promotes brinksmanship.”



Hunter Biden Opens Up

July 1, 2019 at 6:43 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

New Yorker: “Hunter speaks in the warm, circuitous style of his father. Through weeks of conversations, he became increasingly open about his setbacks, aware that many of the stories that he told me would otherwise emerge, likely in a distorted form, in Breitbart or on ‘Hannity.’

“He wanted to protect his father from a trickle of disclosures, and to share a personal narrative that he sees no reason to hide. ‘Look, everybody faces pain,’ he said. ‘Everybody has trauma. There’s addiction in every family. I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel—it’s a never-ending tunnel. You don’t get rid of it. You figure out how to deal with it.’”



Former Bernie Staffers Launch Consulting Firm to 'Primary the Consulting Class'

The new firm will serve and assist clients and candidates with bold, progressive visions.

Gideon Resnick
Political Reporter
Published 07.01.19 4:49AM ET

Two alums of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) 2016 presidential campaign have launched a consulting firm to help progressive candidates win elections and to stick a thumb in the eye of the Democratic Party establishment.

MVMT Communications is the brainchild of Karthik Ganapathy, who previously served as battleground states communications director for Sanders, and Mike Casca, the rapid response director on Sanders’ campaign.

“The sort of calcification around the Democratic Party’s agenda has been driven a lot by the consultant class,” Casca, who went on to serve as communications director for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, told The Daily Beast. “We have a party that is driven by a core of strategists that run a lot of their business on corporate clients and it affects everyone’s thinking.”

The launch of MVMT Communications comes as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has said it will not grant contracts to consultants who work with candidates who are running primary challenges against sitting incumbents. Though Ganapathy and Casca didn’t say they created their firm in response to that decision, it is clear that their impetus for doing so was, in part, to try to rally in support of those candidates challenging entrenched incumbents.

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