Ron Brownstein on 2018 being a referendum on Trump has this interesting tidbit: “In last month’s CNN poll, 84% of Trump approvers said they intended to vote Republican for Congress, while 83% of Trump disapprovers said they intended to vote Democratic.”  Combine that with Trump’s 15-20 net disapproval rating, and the math looks promising for a 2018 wave.

Samantha Micelli- more important now than ever- Alyssa Milano’s tweet thread on people running for office has some cool candidates:

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Reminded me of this article from the co-founder of Run for Something on why Dems need to run everywhere in 2018: “We didn’t know that a young lesbian schoolteacher in Oklahoma would win a special election by 31 votes, flipping a state senate seat in a district Trump had won by 40 points. We didn’t predict that 15,000 people would find their voice and sign up with us to run for office since inauguration day. And we certainly didn’t predict that two transgender women would win groundbreaking elections in 2017, that a proud Sikh man would be elected mayor of Hoboken, or that the amount of women contacting Emily’s List to run would increase 22 times this year. “

Good perspective from a LA Times editorial on how the 2018 election can block Trump…but let’s be aware of the long-lasting damage he has already done: “Even if Gorsuch is Trump’s only Supreme Court nomination, Trump is getting federal judges confirmed at a record rate. He’s packing the lower courts with young, reactionary and, in some cases, comically unqualified judges who will affect American jurisprudence for the worse.”

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is thinking about running for President in 2020. No Mayor has ever directly won the Presidency, but 2016 proved that old rules don’t matter.

And Elizabeth Warren is gearing up for a possible 2020 run according to this Politico article. It would certainly help her if Bernie Sanders did not run against her: And while the Vermont senator may still run for president again, he and Warren have recently teamed up for a series of videos and a New York Times op-ed of their own blasting the GOP agenda on Capitol Hill.If there was any political tension between the two, it hasn’t translated to the screen.

After filming one of the December videos, on the federal budget, Sanders posted a photo on Instagram of the pair smiling.

“Today I had a chat with my favorite senator,” he wrote. “Elizabeth Warren.”

 

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Goodbye 2017 (Mooch and Spicey edition)

Former DNC Chair Ed Rendell (who was also Governor of Pennsylvania and Mayor of Philadelphia) says that Joe Biden is the best choice for Dems in 2020. The Hill reports on a  radio interview: “To me it’s clear-cut – Joe Biden is our superstar. If he decides to run I think he will win overwhelmingly,” he added.

Daily Show clip in memory of the Trump staffers who left us before the end of 2017- we miss you Spicey and Mooch!

Vice President Pence greeted with #MAGA signs…

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Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thinks we are closer to nuclear war with North Korea than we have ever been. Hill article quotes him: “I don’t see the opportunities how to solve this diplomatically at this particular point,” he continued.

Vox explains “chain migration” and why Trump is aiming to end it. In simple form, chain migration is extended families who over time are able to immigrate. Makes a lot more sense than isolating people…

Thanks for reading and see you in 2018!

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Putin helping Rocket man….

  • But there was no collusion. None. CNBC reports that Russian tankers have provided fuel to the North Korean regime in recent months, in violation of UN sanctions.
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  • So many bizarre things from Trump’s interview with the NY Times, but this is at the top of the list:

    TRUMP: Yeah. Virtually every Democrat has said there is no collusion. There is no collusion. And even these committees that have been set up. If you look at what’s going on — and in fact, what it’s done is, it’s really angered the base and made the base stronger. My base is stronger than it’s ever been. Great congressmen, in particular, some of the congressmen have been unbelievable in pointing out what a witch hunt the whole thing is. So, I think it’s been proven that there is no collusion.

  • White House staff is freaking out about the interview- apparently it was arranged by a Mar-a-Lago club member. WaPo describes an aide: “What interview? Today?” Another frustrated aide called it “embarrassing.”
  • Warriors Coach Steve Kerr spoke with USA Today and gave his rationale for speaking out against Trump:” That’s one of the reasons our country has been so successful is we have these institutions in place to protect us from ourselves, and so the institutions have to win out. The only way that’s going to happen is if we keep calling b——-, so that’s my approach. I just have to join the coalition that’s calling b——-. “
  • AP reports that the Trump Administration is working to roll back regulations on off-shore drilling. You know, the ones that were in response to explosion at Deepwater Horizon (I do recommend the Marky Mark movie). “The Obama rules targeted blowout preventers, massive valve-like devices designed to prevent spills from wells on the ocean floor. The preventer used by BP failed. The rules required more frequent inspections of those and other devices and dictated that experts onshore monitor drilling of highly complex wells in real time.” images
  • Post Doug Jones, the next targeted race is a Pennsylvania special election to replace GOP Rep. Tim Murphy. Murphy is the charming, ultra pro-life guy who resigned when it came out he was trying to force his pregnant mistress to have an abortion. Conor Lamb is the Democratic candidate trying to win a Trump-leaning, blue collar district.
  • Matt Yglesias argues that the resistance is working- Trump’s worst efforts have been largely blocked: “Trump has signed fewer bills than any of his recent predecessors, and has gotten nothing at all done that requires 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. That’s despite the numerous Democratic senators holding down seats in red states who might be persuaded to back a nominally bipartisan bill.”
  • And in a reminder that there are still massive loopholes in campaign finance laws, corporations are able to dump unlimited money in to gubernatorial races via the Governors Associations. WSJ reports that when Maryland Republican Larry Hogan needed money for his race, chicken processor Mountaire funneled  $250,000 for him through the RGA. It paid off: “On inauguration day, Mr. Hogan blocked the proposal opposed by the poultry industry.”

 

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Vinnie from Jersey Shore explains climate change to Trump

Let’s be thankful we have scientifically knowledgeable reality stars like Vinnie to explain things to Trump:

 

As Vinnie explains: “I think climate change is more complex than global warming will make it hotter. It has to do with disruptions of atmospheric conditions,ocean patterns, jet streams and shit like that”

Perhaps later Ronnie can help school Trump on international relations.

Ronnie Magro

Climate change is real- even the sharks are being impacted, according to the NY Times. Not even laser beams are able to save them.

Perhaps Trump is immune to the cold thanks to his diet of burgers and sodas, as reported by Newsweek.  Of course Trump’s doctor, who sounds like he got his medical degree from Trump University, stated: “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

How did Democrats win the Senate seat in Alabama? It sure helped that the Republicans nominated a nut-wing pedophile. But, as Buzz Feed points out, Democrats were able to mobilize black voters who overwhelmingly supported Doug Jones. It is a pretty simple blueprint for future elections- if lots of people vote, Democrats will win.

Howard Dean shared that old Dems need to make way for the next generation

“I think my generation needs to get the hell out of politics. Start coaching and start moving up this next generation who are more … fiscally sane,” Dean continued. “Neither Republicans or Democrats can claim they are fiscally responsible anymore.”

Speaking of those Old Dems, Newsweek profiles Uncle Joe and his possible 2020 run. If you want a reminder as to why Biden would be a formidable candidate, watch this clip of him with John McCain’s daughter.

The GOP tax bill contains a special provision for the wealthy that would allow them to donate to private scholarships in 10 states (overwhelmingly Red states) and then receive a massive tax break. From NPR: “The new top federal income tax bracket is 37 percent. That means, in total, the South Carolina donor could get back $1.37 million in exchange for $1 million, ITEP calculates. That is a better risk-free return on investment than you’re likely to find anywhere.” Trump and the GOP have managed to give massive breaks to billionaires, corporations and Red states while screwing the middle class and Blue states. Guess they know how to deliver for their base.

NPR also has an article on NY Sen Kirsten Gillibrand. She has been a vocal advocate for addressing sexual assault in the military and is now a leader on how Congress polices itself on assault and harassment issues. The current setup is atrocious and mind-boggling: She sponsored a bill changing the way Congress processes and responds to harassment complaints. “The way [reporting] is set up in Congress is so horrible,” she says. “I mean, it is literally designed to protect perpetrators and to make sure people really don’t come forward.”

If the Dems regain the Senate in 2018, it will be helpful if Republicans bloody each other up in the primaries (see Alabama with Luther Strange versus Big Roy Moore). It would be a massive long-shot for Democrats to win a seat in Mississippi, but it would be fun to watch arch-conservative Chris McDaniel tear in to incumbent Senator Roger Wicker. According to WaPo, he is gearing up to run.

A much more likely pick-up for Democrats would be in Arizona. Senator Jeff Flake is retiring this year and so that will be an open seat. John McCain’s health raises the possibility that his seat might become open as well….and apparently certain Republicans are already aiming to take his spot.

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Big Roy took a polygraph

And he says it shows he totally did not harass anyone. I’m sure if he brings the results to the mall, they will let him back in to Forever 21. But unfortunately for Roy, even though he hasn’t conceded, the fine folks in Alabama have certified the election for Doug Jones.

Remember that Iowa kid with two moms? The one who schooled the Iowa legislature on equality…His name is Zach Wahls and he is now running for the State Senate. From NBC News: ““This is an all-hands-on-deck moment that will determine the future of our state for generations to come, and I feel responsible for doing my part,” Wahls said in the statement published Thursday. “Our state has a choice to make. Are we going to let Republicans continue their attacks on healthcare, education, and workers’ rights or are we going to stand and fight for the values that have defined this state for hundreds of years?”

The only thing holding us back from a Mitt Romney comeback is Senator Orrin Hatch. The Hill reports Hatch is still deciding if he will run for reelection. If he doesn’t run, Mitt Romney will probably be the next Senator from Utah. And Trump would hate that. It is amazing how Trump continues to make people like George W. Bush, Romney and Ted Cruz look better in comparison. Well, ok, not Ted Cruz.

Politico reports that Tom Steyer’s impeach Trump drive now has almost 4 million signatures. Even if it doesn’t result in Trump’s impeachment, Steyer now has an incredibly valuable email list. Time is growing short for him to run for Governor this year….I think he is looking at running for President in 2020.

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18 interactions between Trump campaign and Russia

Well this Reuters story sure seems to contradict Trump’s statement:

“As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know — there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity,” Trump said in the statement. “I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.”

Reuters states that fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was in contact with the Kremlin during the campaign. Even other Republicans think it was a bizarre rate of contact:

“It’s rare to have that many phone calls to foreign officials, especially to a country we consider an adversary or a hostile power,” Richard Armitage, a Republican and former deputy Secretary of State.

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Four possibilities 

McKay Coppins lays out four scenarios for the Trump Presidency. I think the most likely one is that he resigns.

In an unusually candid interview with Reuters last month, Trump celebrated his first 100 days in office by indulging in a moment of wistfulness. “I loved my previous life,” he said. “I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”

The quote seemed to confirm what every other pathos-laden inside-the-White-House dispatch has suggested: Trump is having a miserable time as president.

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