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    Marietta, Georgia (CNN)The Cobb County Republican Party headquarters is bustling on a weekday evening as the party gears up for a primary election that Chairwoman Salleigh Grubbs isn't entirely sure she can trust. "Do I trust the process? It's a hard question. I trust the election process. Do I think that there are improvements that still need to be made? Yes, I do," Grubbs said in an interview with CNN. Grubbs is one of the many GOP officials in Georgia still questioning the results of the 2020 election -- and dragging those doubts into 2022 -- even though there was no evidence of widespread fraud. Republicans here are still reeling from a historic political smackdown. Fourteen months ago, Democrats flipped the state blue in a presidential race for the first time in nearly 30 years. It was a loss that sent then-President Donald Trump on a crusade to try to overturn the election results and undermine voter confidence, as he spread lie after lie that the election was stolen. It came with a cost. A year ago, Republicans lost the...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — In a U.S. Senate that was upended by toxic Supreme Court battles during the Trump era, the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s pick has the potential for something else: a return to calmer political normalcy. Because the ideological balance of the court is not at stake — Biden is expected to nominate a liberal judge to replace liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, who is retiring — the charged partisan atmosphere that greeted other recent vacancies is notably absent. Most Republicans still are expected to oppose Biden’s nominee, no matter who it is. But having changed the rules to prevent a filibuster, they are essentially powerless to stop the Democratic majority from confirming Biden’s choice. They’re expected to refrain from dramatic action, content with the 6-3 conservative majority they solidified under former President Donald Trump. “I think it’s going to be a more traditional confirmation fight,” said Mike Davis, a former chief counsel to Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee and now president of the Article Three Project that advocates for conservative judges. Texas Sen. John Cornyn,...
    President Joe Biden, with help from former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, has resettled more than 66,000 Afghans across the United States in a matter of six months as part of his massive resettlement operation — the largest in American history. The Biden administration announced the newest Afghan resettlement totals, noting that about 9,000 Afghans are living on U.S. military bases in Wisconsin, Virginia, and New Jersey that were turned into quasi-refugee camps months ago. To date, Biden has brought more than 76,000 Afghans to the U.S. Top administration officials have conceded that minimal vetting has been conducted. In a news release, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) touted the involvement of Welcome.us — a non-governmental organization (NGO) created by Clinton, Bush, and Obama with the financial backing of multinational corporations like Facebook, Microsoft, and Walmart to resettle as many Afghans in American communities as possible. The Chamber of Commerce is also helping to funnel Afghans into American jobs. This week, reports circulated that Biden is looking to bring thousands more Afghans to the U.S. with no end in sight...
    (CNN)President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats are making plans to advance his history-making Supreme Court pick, selling the country on a Black female nominee they plan to argue is eminently qualified and barrier-breaking at the same time. Republicans are not yet moved -- and it's unclear if they ever will be. GOP senators and Senate candidates are already concluding that the unnamed nominee is certain to be far left, throwing cold water on the names floated as being on Biden's potential short list, and calling for a slow confirmation process. And they're settling on a theme: that Biden's pick will likely undercut his promise to unite the country. Plus a number of Republicans say the nominee's history-making credentials -- being an African American woman -- is not enough to sway them. "I think the important thing is that this is someone who will uphold the Constitution faithfully, regardless of their ethnic background or gender or anything else," Sen. Josh Hawley, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told CNN. "I think it sends the wrong signal to say that, 'Well...
    Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki slammed Republicans who are critical of President Joe Biden’s still-unannounced replacement for Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court. Breyer officially announced on Thursday that he is stepping down after three decades on the bench. Biden also stated that he intends to announce a successor for Breyer before the end of February. While Biden has vowed that Breyer will be replaced by a Black woman, the White House has not given any indication about who that might be — although the media spent Wednesday floating a shortlist. Thursday, during her daily press briefing, Psaki was asked about the potential the confirmation for a new justice on the court will be bipartisan. “So how interested is the president in a bipartisan confirmation vote for the nominee? a reporter asked. “Or would he be, you know, open to a Democrats — a Democrats-only confirmation vote?” Psaki issued a lengthy response in which she slammed Republicans for expressing criticism of Biden’s pick, in spite of the fact that he, at least publicly, has...
    Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii is urging her Republican colleagues to be "open-minded" when it comes to President Biden's Supreme Court nominee.  Following the official announcement of Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement on Thursday, Hirono appeared on CNN and praised Biden's vow to nominate a Black woman to the highest court in the land, calling the pick "so important" since she will "reflect the diversity of the court," which she suggested did not reflect the "diversity" of the country in various 6-3 rulings.  MAZIE HIRONO RIPS KAVANAUGH, OTHER TRUMP SUPREME COURT PICKS, AS SHE PROMOTES MEMOIR "What I have always looked for in all of the judicial nominees, because these are lifetime appointments, is someone who can be fair and impartial and not having an ideological ax to grind, which was mainly the kind of nominees that President Trump sent to us, including, by the way, as far as I’m concerned, the three Supreme Court nominees or now justices," Hirono told CNN anchor Victor Blackwell.  Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020,...
    You know I own you, right? On Monday, Rep. Tom Malinowski warned that his office was getting calls from Fox News watchers whose reliance on Tucker Carlson had led them to argue that the United States should be supporting Russia. Not just supporting Vladimir Putin in his plans to invade a sovereign nation, but supporting Russia’s “reasonable” position in their arguments that NATO is somehow the aggressor. It’s not just Democratic lawmakers getting these calls. As Axios made clear on Thursday, Republicans are also hearing from their base. And, in the modern Republican tradition, those Republicans are doing what they always do when confronted by a extremists in their own party — rolling over. “Leery of the base, they are avoiding—and in some cases, rejecting—the tough-on-Russia rhetoric that once defined the Republican Party. GOP operatives working in 2022 primary races tell Axios they worry they'll alienate the base if they push to commit American resources to Ukraine or deploy U.S. troops to eastern Europe.” Strangely enough, Axios gets through the whole article about Republicans being afraid to offend Vladimir Putin, without mentioning one little...
    Democrats are seizing on the confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice to stabilize President Joe Biden’s political standing and flip the script on surging Republicans heading into the midterm elections. On Thursday, Biden vowed to nominate a black woman to replace Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, who will retire from the high court in late June. It’s an opportunity for the embattled president to deliver a win for the liberal base and energize disinterested Democratic voters after months of prominent domestic and foreign policy struggles increased chances of a Republican tsunami this fall. That is how Democrats are approaching the confirmation battle. The moment Breyer’s retirement was publicized, Democrats began formulating a strategy. They plan to use Senate Judiciary Committee hearings and the ensuing floor debate to confirm Biden’s nominee to put Republicans on the defensive and save themselves from a fall extinction event. “This vacancy reinforces the stakes in this year’s election and why we must defend and expand our Democratic Senate majority,” Sen. Gary Peters, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said in a statement. “In 2022,...
    Over the last two years, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) has emerged as a heavy favorite among far-right conservatives. As an avid supporter of former President Donald Trump, Gosar has managed to gain more than 90 endorsements as the midterm election season approaches. During a recent rally, Gosar spoke before a crowd of right-wing supporters as he declared to be “considered the most dangerous man in Congress." “This is where it all began,” Gosar said prior to Trump taking the stage. “This is where we questioned: ‘Was there fraud? Absolutely. Was it enough to overturn the election? Absolutely.’” At the same event, per The Guardian, the Republican lawmaker also echoed the stance of other right-wingers who have criticized critical race theory (CRT), the military and food shortages. Last but not least, he pivoted toward a Trump favorite: voter fraud and illegitimate elections. So what makes Gosar different from other Trump-supporting Republicans? Per The Guardian, Gosar is "the kind of politician that Trump – who is embarking on a series of rallies to try to cement his allies’...
    More Americans are dying from the covid in states run by Republicans than in states run by Democrats. In terms of cold political calculation, Democratic governors are striving to save supporters from death. Yet Republican governors seem content hurtling supporters toward it. Why would they do that? When the former president refused to help “blue states” battle the new coronavirus, it was disgraceful and sadistic. Yet it was understandable (again in cold political terms). You’d think the Republicans would want to help their base. But thinking that would mean you’re thinking like a liberal. Republicans don’t do that. When Republican leaders hurt their own – for instance, by fining business owners for asking customers to mask up, thus spreading the plague more widely – they are not undermining themselves. They are in fact feeding into an already established story about “real Americans” being the “real victims” while the real victims perpetuate political evil. How do sadist policies work with masochistic outcomes to not undermine the whole project but instead deepen the commitment of Republican supporters to the cause of restoring...
    A Republican lawmaker in Arizona is pushing legislation in the state's House of Representatives that would allow the state's Legislature to overturn primary or general election results. The legislation was introduced by state Rep. John Fillmore, a Republican, and it would be a significant overhaul of Arizona's voting procedure. If passed, the majority of early and absentee voting would be eliminated, and Arizonans would be required to vote in their respective home precinct, according to a report. PAIR LEADS POLICE TO DRUG BUST AFTER TRYING TO BAIL OUT FRIEND WITH FAKE MONEY However, the most dramatic change the legislation would bring would be the requirement to convene for a special session following an election to either "accept or reject the election results." Fillmore's effort is the latest in a series of those by Copper State Republicans who have sought to investigate the election of President Joe Biden and establish more stringent election policies. "We should have voting, in my opinion, in-person, one day, on paper, with no electronic means, and hand-counting that day....
    (CNN)In mid-March, the wing of the Republican Party that has resisted former President Donald Trump's takeover will gather in northern Virginia. The occasion? A fundraiser for Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, with Utah Sen. Mitt Romney as a special guest. Who else is slated be there? Former Vice President Dick Cheney. Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Former Virginia Reps. Barbara Comstock and Denver Riggleman. Former Solicitor General Ted Olson. Longtime lobbyist Charlie Black. (CNN's Kasie Hunt and Manu Raju obtained a copy of the invitation.)If you are looking for the Trump resistance, this is it. With a few additions who aren't scheduled to be at the fundraiser -- such as Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski -- these figures make up the public face of those within the Republican Party willing to stand up against the former president.With the exception of Romney, there isn't a single elected official currently in office on the invite. And many of the other luminaries are people who served in the administration of George W. Bush (and even George H.W....
    Jan. 26, 2022 "Texas Republicans pressure court to reverse decision blocking attorney general from prosecuting election cases" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news. Texas' highest criminal court is facing intense pressure from fellow Republican elected officials to revisit a recent ruling that gutted the attorney general's ability to unilaterally prosecute election cases. In recent days, the state's top GOP leaders — including Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — have weighed in on the matter and sided with those imploring the Court of Criminal Appeals to reconsider the decision. The all-GOP court issued an 8-1 opinion last month that struck down the attorney general's power to go after election cases without the permission of local prosecutors, saying it violates the separation-of-powers clause in the Texas Constitution. ...
    House Democrats are adding seven more members to their list of vulnerable incumbents as redistricting reshapes political maps across the country and Republicans prepare for an onslaught ahead of the midterm elections. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) was already preparing to funnel crucial resources to more than two dozen Democratic incumbents facing expectedly tough reelection bids this year.  On Thursday, the Democratic House campaign arm expanded that list to 35 members, adding Reps. Greg StantonGregory (Greg) John StantonPoll shows Sinema's popularity dropping further among Arizona Democrats House GOP campaign arm expands target list after brutal night for Dems Sinema trails potential primary challengers in progressive poll MORE (Ariz.), Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Bill FosterGeorge (Bill) William FosterEach state's population center, visualized Congress's role in the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine deal Overnight Defense: Senators reach billion deal on emergency Capitol security bill | House panel looks to help military sexual assault survivors | US increases airstrikes to help Afghan forces fight Taliban MORE (Ill.), Dan KildeeDaniel (Dan) Timothy KildeeMichigan Republicans sue over US House district lines Pandemic pushes teachers unions to center...
    The campaign arms for Republican and Democratic governors boasted record-breaking fundraising last year as the fight for 36 governor’s mansions ramped up. The Republican Governors Association (RGA) on Thursday announced it had raked in more than $75 million in 2021. In 2017, when 36 governor's mansions were last in play, the RGA raised $63 million. Meanwhile, the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) on Wednesday said it had raised $73 million in 2021, which marked a nearly 80 percent increase from 2017. The DGA also said it raised $19 million in the fourth quarter of 2021. The RGA did not immediately make available its fundraising for that three-month time period.  The DGA, in keeping with usual practice, did not disclose how much cash on hand it has and did not immediately respond to a request for comment. When reached by The Hill, the RGA declined to say how much money it has in the bank, citing the DGA’s practice. Both groups cited their 2021 hauls as a sign of their strength heading into the contentious midterm cycle. “The financial support the RGA...
    Tucker Carlson on Monday night Fox News’ Tucker Carlson is laughing off critics who believe the “stupid” notion that he is a stooge for Russia and Vladimir Putin. Carlson spoke to Axios for an analysis piece the outlet published on how conservative attitudes have changed in recent years on topics like foreign intervention and being tough on Russia while the country threatens to invade Ukraine. Carlson acknowledged these changes among Republicans, and strongly approved of them while snarking at those who argue his commentary echoes Russian propaganda. “I just want to go on the record and say I could care less if they call me a pawn of Putin,” Carlson said. “It’s too stupid. I don’t speak Russian. I’ve never been to Russia. I’m not that interested in Russia. All I care about is the fortunes of the United States because I have four children who live here.” Much of Axios’ report explores the hypothesis that Carlson and former President Donald Trump influenced the GOP into abandoning the party’s previously-mainstream hardline stance against Russia. The piece notes that many Republicans...
    Voters in crucial battleground states favor Republicans at the state legislative level as a way to counter President Joe Biden’s radical left agenda, according to a Cygnal poll. Republican state legislative candidates lead Democrats by 48 to 42 percent. More than half of those polled said they “would prefer a Republican candidate who would act as a check and balance on President Biden and his Democratic policies.” Just 40 percent of respondents would rather have a pro-Biden Democrat candidate in office. The survey revealed 62 percent of likely voters believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. In addition, Americans trust Republican candidates to handle the top issues on their minds, like the economy, crime, and education. Democrats have a slight edge on lesser important issues like coronavirus and voting rights. State Republicans have the edge over Democrats on the economy in general and inflation. The poll found that 51 percent of voters trust Republicans on the economy and 49 percent for inflation at the state level. This is compared to 38 percent support for Democrats on the economy...
    (CNN)Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's decision to retire arrived like a shot of adrenaline to beleaguered Democrats searching for a way to reanimate a frustrated base that they need to show up in November if they're to have a chance at keeping control of the Senate.It's unclear how impactful the excitement around President Joe Biden's pick will be in November -- with both Democratic and Republican operatives telling CNN that they believe other issues, ranging from Covid-19 to the economy to education, will be more top of mind for voters. But the President's vow to nominate a Black woman replacement has the potential to reinvigorate his standing with core Democratic constituencies demoralized by lack of action on a host of issues he pledged to tackle during his 2020 campaign. This is especially true for Black voters -- the backbone of Biden's Democratic primary win.Stefanie Brown James, co-founder of The Collective PAC, a political organization working to elect more Black candidates, said on Wednesday that she has already felt the "energizing" impact of the news, calling it "a welcomed jolt of...
    Down-ballot Republicans head into the 2022 election cycle with a 6-point generic ballot advantage amid President Joe Biden’s unpopularity, according to a poll commissioned by the Republican State Leadership Committee. “The radical liberal agenda being pursued by President Biden and his allies in Washington, D.C. is sinking Democrats at the state legislative level in a number of key battleground states across the country,” RSLC President Dee Duncan said in a poll memo first shared with the Washington Examiner. The poll, conducted by Cygnal via an online portal, surveyed 2,217 likely general election voters from Jan. 19-20 in 13 battleground states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. The margin of error is plus or minus 2%. BIDEN DRAGS DEMOCRATS DOWN A number of the poll findings point to a favorable year for Republicans, including: Just 34% said that the country is on the right track, and 62% said the country was on the wrong track. Biden is unpopular, with 44% saying they had a...
    The growing threat that Russia may invade Ukraine has Congress scrambling to respond, but lawmakers are at odds over how the United States should get involved. While some Republicans are calling on the Biden administration to send U.S. troops to the region in order to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine, others are wary or downright opposed to the U.S. devoting lives and resources to another overseas conflict. The split comes as President Joe Biden has announced that 8,500 U.S. troops are on alert for deployment to the region in order to back up NATO forces. Biden said U.S. forces won’t enter Ukraine but emphasized that a reaction to a Russian invasion of the country would be swift and severe. “There will be enormous consequences if he were to go in and invade, as he could, the entire country, or a lot less than that, for Russia,” Biden told reporters Tuesday night. “Not only in terms of economic consequences and political consequences, but there'll be enormous consequences worldwide.” BLINKEN WARNS US CIVILIANS COULD...
    A recent Monmouth University poll found that Republicans “have a decided advantage over Democrats” going into the midterm election when you factor in independent voters. While the approval for Congress, currently controlled by the Democrat Party and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), sits at a low 19 percent, with almost two-thirds (74 percent) disapproving, the Republicans appear to be in good shape heading into the midterms. The poll found that Republicans slightly edge out the Democrats when adults in the United States were asked whom they would rather see in control of Congress. Thirty-five percent of the respondents said the Republican Party, while 33 percent said the Democrats. But, the respondents who did not pick a side were asked which side they lean. Fifteen percent said, while it does not matter, they lean towards the Republicans, while ten percent said Democrats. Also, seven percent only said it does not matter. The Monmouth University poll revealed that a “warning sign” for the Democrats is the shift in political parties, then they ask respondents to self-report their party affiliation. U.S. President Joe Biden...
    Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), now an MSNBC contributor, said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Deadline” that Senate Democrats are “anxious” to make the Republicans feel the pain they did during the 27-day process that confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Discussing a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Nicolle Wallace said, “What is your sense of how prepared the Senate is to run this through right now?” McCaskill said, “I think they’re really prepared. You have members on the Judiciary Committee that served on that committee for many years. You are talking about Dick Durbin, who is the chairman. Sheldon Whitehouse, Amy Klobuchar, Dianne Feinstein, who has been involved in many many confirmation hearings. So you have got some senior members of the Senate who are prepared to do this. They are anxious to do this. They had to painfully sit and watch as the norms of the Senate were busted in the confirmation hearings that were done, especially Amy Coney-Barrett that was done in less than a month.” Wallace said, “Twenty-seven days.” McCaskill said,  right before an election. The kind of...
    ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Public safety will be a key debate Monday when the legislative session begins, but even as Republicans and Democrats’ proposals vary in scope and approach, there is at least one area where there might be agreement: Incentives to get more law enforcement officers into the profession and keep them on the job. Senate Republicans on Wednesday framed a recent rise in crime as a call to action at the capitol to deliberately address carjackings and auto thefts — and toughen penalties for them. They said public safety is their No. 1 priority when lawmakers return to work. “We will put forward proposals to hold violent criminals accountable for their actions,” said Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, R-Winona. “If someone breaks the law, there should be consequences.” Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, who is chair of the judiciary committee, said Republicans are also discussing mandatory minimum sentences for violent crimes committed with guns in an effort to “get more judges and prosecutors to properly punish violent crimes,” and reshaping the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines...
    Almost half of Americans believe President Joe Biden is unconcerned about their financial health, according to a poll published on Wednesday, delivering more gloom for an administration hit by spiraling prices. The Monmouth University poll found that 47 percent of adults believe the president is not looking out for the economic well-being of average Americans. It follows weeks of dire headlines about the highest inflation in 40 years and crippling prices at the gas pump. 'Biden’s go-to image during the campaign was ‘Joe from Scranton,'" said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute 'The public view now is he's lost the connection to those working-class roots.'  His administration tried to shrug off rising prices last year as 'transitory.' But critics said they were out of touch with the pressures facing working families struggling to get by. And by the end of the year the figure for annual inflation hit seven percent.  Americans have little faith in President Biden's commitment to protecting their pocketbooks, according to a poll published by Monmouth University on Wednesday  Annual inflation hit 7%...
    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Top Republicans pushed their congressional redistricting plan through the GOP-dominated Kansas Legislature without much trouble Wednesday with an expected court battle looming over whether it would go too far in hurting the state’s only Democrat in Congress. The House’s 79-37 vote sends Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly a bill that would split the Kansas City area into two congressional districts and move the liberal northeast Kansas city of Lawrence into a district with far more conservative central and western Kansas communities, some six hours away by car. The Senate approved the measure last week. Under the new map, Democratic U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids would lose some of the neighborhoods in her Kansas City-area 3rd District where her support is strongest. Redistricting is a big issue for both major parties as Republicans seek to regain a U.S. House majority in this year’s elections. Democrats have strongly criticized the plan as partisan gerrymandering, and Kelly has said several times that she wants to keep most of the Kansas City area in a single district. “It is not a...
    Top allies of former President Donald Trump pushed back after he endorsed a former administration aide over a conservative influencer who is highly popular on the far right. On Tuesday, Trump endorsed Morgan Ortagus, a former State Department spokeswoman and Fox News contributor, in the upcoming Republican primary in Tennessee's 5th congressional district. Incumbent Rep. Jim Cooper, a Democrat, has announced that he will retire, saying that Republicans had "dismembered" his longtime Nashville district for partisan gain. "Morgan was fantastic in her role working with Secretary Mike Pompeo at the U.S. State Department and understands the threats posed by China, Russia, Iran and others, and will be tough, not just roll over like the Democrats and RINOs," Trump said in a statement. "She won't bow to the Woke Mob or the Leftist LameStream Media. Morgan Ortagus will have my Complete and Total Endorsement if she decides to run!" That statement brought immediate and highly unusual pushback from some of Trump's most ardent supporters. "Nope. Trump has this completely wrong," tweeted conservative pundit Candace Owens, writing that the "correct pick" is...
    The bid by House Democrats to win Republican support for sweeping legislation to counter China’s economic influence has quickly fallen flat, as GOP lawmakers wasted no time panning the proposal as a partisan creation cobbled together by Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse leaders unveil bill to boost chip industry, science competitiveness with China Pelosi says she will run for reelection in 2022 Hoyer says 'significant' version of Build Back Better will pass this year MORE (D-Calif.).  Introduced Tuesday evening, the massive package is designed to boost U.S. innovation, promote the domestic production of scarce computer chips and thaw the supply chain freeze that's led to skyrocketing inflation.  To entice Republican backing, it features numerous individual bills that have already passed through the House with broad bipartisan support, including that of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyPress: Newt says lock 'em up – for doing their job!  The Hill's Morning Report - Biden, NATO eye 'all scenarios' with Russia On The Money — Support for new COVID-19 relief grows MORE (R-Calif.).  Yet leading Republicans quickly hammered the package as a partisan power play on the part of Pelosi, pointing to “poison-pill”...
    Republicans are using a baseless "rumor" that former first lady Michelle Obama will run for president in 2024 to raise money for Senate candidates. The former first lady has repeatedly ruled out a presidential run — or any other entry into electoral politics — but the National Republican Senatorial Committee twice this week sent out fundraising appeals warning supporters that she is exploring a White House bid, while offering no evidence. "Yup, you are reading this right. Michelle Obama? Running for PRESIDENT in 2024?" the NRSC, which is led by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said in a Jan. 24 fundraising email first flagged by Punchbowl News. "Left-wing Democrats KNOW they are going to LOSE their Majority in Congress this November, so they want to bring out an OBAMA to save them in 2024." The group sent a similar fundraising email one day earlier. "We did not believe it when we first heard," that email said. "Rumors are spreading like wildfire that a certain someone, someone who already spent 8 YEARS in the White House, is thinking of running for PRESIDENT...
    Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) has become a magnet for political criticism—and a new survey of her favorability in Arizona shows just how much her own state is turning on her. A survey of 1,469 likely voters in Arizona, conducted by the liberal polling shop Data For Progress and shared exclusively with The Daily Beast, found 31% of respondents with a “very unfavorable” opinion of Sinema, while 21% had a “somewhat unfavorable” opinion of the senator. The survey was conducted from Jan. 21 to Jan. 24—just days after Sinema voted against changing Senate rules to allow for passage of voting rights bills by a simple majority. Sinema’s favorability ratings were even worse among Democratic respondents, of which 53% felt very unfavorably and 24% felt somewhat unfavorably about her. Those totals track with a growing trend of political ire against Sinema, who’s also been a longstanding holdout on President Joe Biden’s signature social spending proposal, the Build Back Better Act and her support for keeping the filibuster in tact. An October Morning Consult survey found just a 42% approval rating for Sinema...
    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina House members discussing critical race theory in public schools and what should — or shouldn’t — come up in class promised Wednesday to take their time crafting new rules for teachers. The chairwoman of the House Education and Public Works Committee said she wasn’t out for a “witch hunt for parents, teachers or students” but instead wanted to make sure children in South Carolina schools get the best education they can. Chairwoman Rita Allison led a two-hour discussion on five bills that she hopes the committee can distill into one proposal after several public hearings. Some bills define critical race theory. Some don’t. One bill bans schools from flying any flags other than government banners or those honoring law enforcement or military branches. Some of the bills ban teaching that race or sex is either inherently superior or inherently oppressive. Several specifically ban using The 1619 Project, a collection of essays that places slavery as one of the most important developments in the early years of America and the treatment of Black people as...
    Drew Angerer/Getty Images Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is viewed more favorably by Arizona Republicans than she is the state’s Democrats, a new poll finds. Sinema has joined Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) as one-half of a duo of Democratic Party mavericks in the Senate. Both senators opposed abolishing the filibuster last week that would have allowed President Joe Biden’s voting rights legislation to advance across the goal line. Sinema, like Manchin, also opposed the price tag of Biden’s initial $3.5 trillion infrastructure plan. But where many Democrats often enjoyed the sometimes unpredictable late maverick Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sinema’s unreliability in a split Senate apparently has many Democrats in Arizona peeved, according to a new poll. Reid Wilson, writing for The Hill, reported: New polling from OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based nonpartisan pollster, finds 44 percent of Arizona Republican voters surveyed said they see Sinema favorably, compared with just 42 percent of Arizona’s Democratic voters. By contrast, nearly 3 in 4 Democrats polled — 74 percent — said they view Sen. Mark Kelly (D) favorably, the poll found. At the same time, only...
    Nice chin hat there, Ron Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ongoing war on children got a thumbs-up in the state’s senate this week, when a committee approved an anti-immigrant bill that includes a provision that blocks transportation companies from bringing undocumented immigrants to the state. That includes asylum-seeking unaccompanied children who are waiting to be placed with a sponsor. This could prolong their separation, because they may have to be sent to another state to wait even if their sponsor is in Florida. “Not one member of the public spoke in support, however, SB 1808 passed along party lines,” Florida Immigration Coalition said Monday. “The bill also would require counties to enter agreements with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to participate in a program in which local law officers help in immigration enforcement,” despite the fact that nearly 50 state agencies are already in such agreements, Orlando Sentinel reported. “In addition, the bill would expand a 2019 law that sought to ban sanctuary cities, despite there being none in the state.” A federal judge last fall struck down key portions of that law, “declaring portions of a law unconstitutional and tinged...
    Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaGallego went to New York to meet Sinema donors amid talk of primary challenge: report The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden's public moment of frustration The Armageddon elections to come MORE (D) is seen more favorably by Republicans in her home state than by members of her own party as she emerges as a crucial obstacle to Senate Democrats’ push to overhaul voting rights by eliminating the filibuster. New polling from OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based nonpartisan pollster, finds 44 percent of Arizona Republican voters say they see Sinema favorably, compared with just 42 percent of Arizona’s Democratic voters. By contrast, nearly three in four Democrats — 74 percent — say they view Sen. Mark KellyMark KellyThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden's public moment of frustration Democrats say change to filibuster just a matter of time Democrats torn over pushing stolen-election narrative MORE (D) favorably, the poll found. At the same time, only 21 percent of Republican voters view Kelly, who is up for re-election later this year, in...
    The adage that it takes a village to raise a child apparently does not fit into Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson’s worldview. Asked about his repeated refusal to provide even the slightest bit of relief to struggling families, Johnson verbatim said that he’s “never really felt it was society's responsibility to take care of other people's children.” Johnson, who is considered one of the richest senators in the country with a net worth of $39 million, probably never had to worry about adequate child care for his children, and certainly not his grandchildren. In Johnson’s eyes, that’s on his grandkids’ parents. And they all benefitted from fortune and privilege so that even a tax credit like the one found in the American Rescue Plan doesn’t register for him as being helpful. Johnson’s views also align with quite a few drunk conservatives I’ve had the opportunity to talk with at bars across New Orleans. In fact, in discussing having children last night, a tourist gave the exact same logic for why it would be “irresponsible” to start a family in this day...
    Political groups loyal to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hauled in nearly $100 million last year and entered 2022 with just shy of $90 million to spend on helping Republicans recapture the majority. Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC, and One Nation, a political nonprofit, raised a combined $94.4 million in 2021 and, along with other affiliated groups, retained $87.5 million in the bank to spend on the midterm elections. Neither group is permitted to coordinate with McConnell or the National Republican Senatorial Committee. But each is overseen by Republican Steven Law, a McConnell confidant, and they function as the minority leader’s political muscle in Senate races — in primaries and the general election. ADAM LAXALT RUNS AS '51ST SENATE SEAT' TO BLOCK BIDEN "As President Biden’s approval rating and the country’s mood have worsened, Republican donors are realizing that both the Senate and House majorities are within reach," Law told Fox News. President Joe Biden’s job approval rating has sunk to 40.8% in the most recent RealClearPolitics average. What strong fundraising by Senate Leadership Fund and One Nation also...
    As Minnesota Republicans lay out their plans to reduce crime in the upcoming legislative session, legislators from the party have set out to change the policy of elected officials from outside the Capitol: County prosecutors. The GOP this year has particularly criticized Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi for policies they view as too soft on crime, such as Choi declining to prosecute felony cases that stem from traffic stops for certain violations like expired tabs. Lawmakers are not alone in their frustration. Some police groups and suburban Twin Cities mayors have also said they aren’t happy with the two prosecutors amid a wave in violent crime, such as carjackings, murder, robbery and auto theft. Republicans, as well as police associations, have announced a slate of legislation they hope will limit the discretion of prosecutors and create more transparency in when and where they charge cases. Article continues after advertisement Meanwhile, Choi and Freeman say the concerns with some of their policies and decisions are overblown, misunderstood, or have more police support than Republicans are...
    Republican leaders in Congress face another pressure campaign from conservative members to shut down the federal government and protest the remaining federal vaccine mandates. Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy is circulating a draft letter to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying the members “refuse to consider supporting any federal government funding vehicle, be it a continuing resolution or an omnibus appropriations measure, that funds the enforcement of COVID-19 vaccine mandates at any level of government.” Government funding runs out on Feb. 18. More than two dozen Republicans have signed on to the letter so far, according to a list obtained by the Washington Examiner. This includes Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert. Additional members may join the letter before Friday. The Biden administration on Tuesday withdrew its vaccine-or-test requirement for private businesses with more than 100 employees after a Supreme Court ruling blocked the rule. But other Biden administration vaccine mandates are taking effect or are...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans’ faith in science is falling as Democrats rely on it even more, with a trust gap in science and medicine widening substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic, new survey data shows. It’s the largest gap in nearly five decades of polling by the General Social Survey, a widely respected trend survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago that has been measuring confidence in institutions since 1972. That is unsurprising to more than a dozen scientists reached for comment by The Associated Press, but it concerns many of them. Science used to be something all Americans would get behind, Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley said. “But we now see it falling prey to the great partisan divide,” he said. “The world of science should be a meeting house where right and left can agree on data. Instead, it’s becoming a sharp razor’s edge of conflict.” Overall, 48% of Americans say they have “a great deal” of confidence in the scientific community, the 2021 General Social Survey data shows. Sixty-four percent of Democrats say that, compared with...
    AUSTIN, Texas — Both Texas senators and Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans are pressing the Biden administration to explain how the British terrorist who took four people hostage inside a Texas synagogue this month was allowed to enter the country, given major flags in his background. Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, along with the nine other party members on the committee, asked Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, State Secretary Antony Blinken, and FBI Director Christopher Wray in two letters to explain why Malik Faisal Akram was not listed on the U.S. terrorist watchlist or barred from admission for another reason, given claims that he had a criminal record and had been investigated by British authorities for ties to an Islamic terrorist group. “In light of the numerous red flags in Akram’s record, we are extremely concerned about the adequacy of our visa adjudication and admission screening protocols. As Akram’s own brother told reporters: ‘How had he gotten into America? … Why was he granted a visa? How did he land at J.F.K. airport and not get stopped for one...
    (CNN)Mitch McConnell is a very careful politician. He rarely acts rashly or speaks without thinking first. Which means that when he does talk, it's usually worth paying very close attention to what he says.Which brings me to an interview CNN's Manu Raju and Alex Rogers conducted with McConnell, the Senate minority leader, about Republican prospects in the 2022 midterms -- and, in particular, former President Donald Trump's ongoing insistence that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him."It's important for candidates to remember we need to respect the results of our democratic process unless the court system demonstrates that some significant fraud occurred that would change the outcome," McConnell said.Which is 100% correct. There is simply no evidence -- at the state or national level -- that suggests that the results of the 2020 election were fraudulent. None.And McConnell is right that focusing on the idea of a stolen past election is the surest way to lose a future election. Elections are usually decided by a candidate's vision for what comes next, not by dwelling on what has already happened.Read...
    A group of Senate Republicans are pressing federal authorities for more information about Malik Faisal Akram, the British national behind the Texas synagogue hostage situation earlier this month, and how he was able to enter the United States. The 11 GOP senators, including both of Texas's, sent a letter to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasHillicon Valley — Biden celebrates 'right to repair' wins DHS warns electrical infrastructure an 'attractive target' for domestic extremists Hispanics sour on Biden and Democrats' agenda as midterms loom MORE asking to learn more about Akram, who died in incident, and any “possible breakdowns in our screening processes” that allowed him to enter into the U.S. despite being previously known to British authorities. The Republican senators who signed the letter included Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Charles GrassleyChuck GrassleySmall ranchers say Biden letting them get squeezed These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Hillicon Valley — Senate panel advances major antitrust bill MORE (Iowa) and Sens. John CornynJohn CornynSenators huddle on Russia sanctions as tensions escalate Momentum builds for new COVID-19...
    A 29th House Democrat is not running for re-election this year as Nancy Pelosi announced she will be on the ballot again, ending months of speculation the powerful speaker will retire. Pelosi, a prolific fundraiser, will be on hand to help rally Democrats in November's election as polls show Republicans have an advantage heading into the midterm. But her job is growing more difficult with the lost list of her lawmakers retiring, citing the exhaustion with bipartisanship in Washington, acknowledging the possiblity of being the minority party next year and frustration with the state of their 2022 race after the mandatory redistricting process. Tennessee Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper announced Tuesday he will not seek another term and blasted Republicans' in his state's General Assembly for 'dismembering Nashville' in the once-a-decade redistricting process. His announcement comes after the Republican-controlled state assembly in Tennessee split his Nashville district into three other congressional districts.  'Despite my strength at the polls, I could not stop the General Assembly from dismembering Nashville,' Cooper said in a statement Tuesday. 'No one tried harder to keep our...
    In an interview with CNN, GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell managed to impart one truism amid the web of fantasy he spun. "I still say it's 50-50," McConnell said, handicapping the GOP's chances of retaking the Senate in November. That seems close, if not a tad optimistic given the GOP’s emerging class of candidates. But other than that, McConnell said everything was going perfectly according to plan for Senate Republicans in 2022. Donald Trump endorsing an alleged wife-beater for an open Pennsylvania Senate seat who was then forced to bow out after losing custody of his children? Perfect. McConnell being forced to bow to Trump's wishes on endorsing alleged wife-beater and violence-prone former football star Herschel Walker? Just swell. Trump sparring with McConnell-aligned Senate Republicans over whether he actually lost the 2020 election? No worries. McConnell just wanted to make one minor tweak to Trump's Big Lie—which is now the central organizing feature of Trump’s entire life. "It's important for candidates to remember we need to respect the results of our democratic process unless the court system demonstrates...
    Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottO'Rourke 'not interested' in campaign help from politicians outside Texas Gerrymandering is putting US in Mad Max territory On immigration, President Biden needs a re-set MORE (R), Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) and Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) have urged the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to reverse its ruling that Paxton cannot unilaterally prosecute voter fraud. Both Abbott and Patrick issued separate statements on Tuesday criticizing the court for undermining their push for "election integrity," a move that critics have called voter suppression for minorities who tend to vote Democratic, according to The Dallas Morning News. “Texas passed the nation’s strongest election-integrity law to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat, cracking down on voter fraud,” Abbott spokeswoman Renae Eze said in a statement, the Morning News reported. Eze added that the attorney general is “Texas’ highest law enforcement officer [and] has constitutional authority to enforce that election-integrity law.” In his statement, Patrick added that "we need checks at the state level to ensure that our elections are fair," arguing that the court...
    Nominees for governor in Georgia will have a new weapon to wield this fall, with state-sanctioned super PACs permitted to raise unlimited funds and coordinate with candidate campaigns. As an incumbent, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp already has access to what Georgia law refers to as a state leadership PAC. Georgians First could provide Kemp with a distinct advantage over his primary challenger, former Sen. David Perdue. Both Republicans are supported by outside groups. But through a state law he enacted, only Kemp has the backing of a political action committee that can raise unlimited funds and coordinate with his 2022 campaign. And as of the conclusion of the May 24 Georgia primary election, so will Democrat Stacey Abrams, a national fundraising powerhouse. Abrams is the putative Democratic nominee for governor, and under Georgia law, upon being nominated for state office she is treated like an incumbent and empowered to stand up a state-sanctioned super PAC that can raise unlimited funds and coordinate with her gubernatorial campaign — and any other Democratic campaign she chooses. Republicans are on track for...
    The Jan. 6 Committee took a lot of heat over how long it took to organize, and for its lack of support from Republicans. But compared to the stalemate between the two parties and the bickering among Democrats, the Jan. 6 Committee is a model of congressional collegiality among members with differing ideologies. The committee members are not prolific leakers, and they don’t fight publicly over whether they should or shouldn’t issue subpoenas. They’re carefully building their messaging for next month’s public hearings by meticulously charting the events leading up to Jan. 6, as well as the extent to which Trump and his allies went to overturn the election (which included serious consideration of calling in the military to seize voting machines). The committee’s mandate is essentially: make treason uncool again. The Supreme Court ruling on Trump having to turn over his internal deliberations and communications, coming from “his” judges, is a significant boost to a committee that knows how to run with what they’ve got. “This is what grown-ups look like,” says Jack Pitney, a professor of politics at...
                 The Tennessee Democratic Party sent a fundraising email out shortly after the Tennessee House passed the redistricting proposals. The email came from the Digital Director for the Tennessee Democratic Party, Cassie Jackson, and makes a monetary request for the stated purpose of funding a lawsuit to fight the new redistricting maps. The specific court and parties to a potential lawsuit are unclear in the fundraising request. There’s another wrinkle regarding a potential lawsuit on the congressional maps, since Congressman Jim Cooper has announced that he is not running for reelection. Part of Congressman Jim Cooper’s announcement specifically mentioned lawsuits: Despite my strength at the polls, I could not stop the General Assembly from dismembering Nashville. No one tried harder to keep our city whole. I explored every possible way, including lawsuits, to stop the gerrymandering and to win one of the three new congressional districts that now divide Nashville. There’s no way, at least for me in this election cycle. The Tennessee Democratic Party’s fundraising email says in part: (NAME REDACTED), All three new, Republican district maps...
    Kyle Rittenhouse Since it’s already quasi-legal for teenagers to kill protesters in Wisconsin, Badger State Republicans are hoping to further enshrine the kiddos’ right to be public menaces. Call it the “Kyle Rittenhouse Will Blow Your Face Off for Giving Him the Stink Eye, but this Time He’ll Have a Permit” Incel Aggro Act of 2022. Because guns are the panacea to everything all the time, Wisconsin Republicans are aiming to make it easy for every Badger to pack more heat in their jeans than cheese in their colons. On Jan. 20, Republican members of the state assembly approved several pieces of pro-gun legislation, including bills that would lower the minimum age for carrying a concealed weapon, give churchgoers leave to carry guns into houses of worship, and allow more people to bring guns onto school grounds. Because, if you haven’t already noticed, the Republican Party is basically all Jokers and no henchmen at this point. The series of bills proposed by Wisconsin lawmakers includes Assembly Bill 498, which would lower the minimum age for getting a concealed-carry permit from 21 to 18; Assembly Bill...
    Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are sounding the alarm over President Joe Biden’s “screening protocols” for foreign nationals seeking visas to enter the United States after a British national took hostages at a Jewish synagogue in Texas only weeks after being allowed to legally enter the U.S. On January 15 in Colleyville, Texas, 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram took four Americans hostage inside the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue. Following an 11-hour standoff, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Hostage Rescue Team was able to rescue all four hostages while Akram was shot and killed by agents. Since the attack, the Biden administration has hidden details on how Akram was allowed to enter the U.S. in the first place. The only confirmed information states that Akram arrived at John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport in New York City, New York on December 29 via a flight from the United Kingdom. Despite a lengthy criminal record in the U.K. and his being known to British intelligence agents due to his alleged involvement with Islamic terrorism, Akram arrived on either a tourist visa or...
    CNN political analyst Ronald Brownstein echoed President Biden and compared Republican opposition to Democrat voting rights legislation to segregationist Sens. Strom Thurmond and Richard Russell's opposition to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In an analysis piece titled, "Why 'states' rights' are having a Republican revival," Brownstein argued Republicans push to restrict abortion and election laws at the state level is part of their broader strategy to strengthen states' rights. He repeatedly links Republican's support for states' rights and opposition to national Democrats legislation to federalize elections to segregationists "Democrats repeatedly noted how much the contemporary claims from the GOP echoed states' rights arguments that Southern segregationists such as Sens. Strom Thurmond and Richard Russell raised against the original Voting Rights Act and other landmark civil rights legislation during the 1960s," Brownstein wrote on Tuesday.  THE 10 WORST PROVISIONS IN BIDEN, SCHUMER'S VOTING RIGHTS BILLS Brownstein said Republicans' description of the Democrats' legislation as a "federal takeover" was heated language and again linked them to segregationists.  "One of the most striking aspects of last week's showdown was how strongly and...