Friday, November 16, 2018

In a 'self-defeating and self-incriminating' slipup, Trump just indicated he installed Matthew Whitaker to kill the Russia probe

Mod: The old boy is losing it.

In a 'self-defeating and self-incriminating' slipup, Trump just indicated he installed Matthew Whitaker to kill the Russia probe (Business Insider link): In a 'self-defeating and self-incriminating' slipup, Trump just indicated he installed Matthew Whitaker to kill the Russia probe.

"What is so unusual about Trump is that he publicly forecasts his motivation in a way that is self-defeating and self-incriminating," Elie Honig, a former prosecutor from the Southern District of New York who specialized in organized-crime cases, told INSIDERJeffrey Cramer, a longtime former federal prosecutor who spent 12 years at the DOJ, echoed that assessment.

"The president's knee-jerk pivot to talking about the Russia investigation when asked about Whitaker's qualification is what poker players call a 'tell,'" Cramer told INSIDER.

The most difficult thing for investigators to prove in an obstruction-of-justice case is corrupt intent on the part of the defendant.

"Sometimes you get lucky and get emails or wiretapped phone calls ... where the subject might secretly or privately admit intent," Honig said. "Other times the prosecutor simply must argue intent to the jury based on circumstantial evidence. With Trump, however, we have a subject who openly and publicly and unapologetically announces why he takes certain steps, even when those reasons might give rise to criminal liability."

Thursday, November 15, 2018

It Was A Big, Blue Wave: Democrats Pick Up Most House Seats In A Generation

Mod: After two years of very strange antics from the reality television star currently occupying the White House, the voters were ready for change. They turned out in large numbers to deliver it. And yes, votes are still being counted, despite the efforts of some.

It Was A Big, Blue Wave: Democrats Pick Up Most House Seats In A Generation (NPR link): Votes are still being counted in several House races. But the AP has now called another race in New Jersey, projecting Democrat Andy Kim the winner in the suburban Philadelphia 3rd Congressional District over incumbent Republican Tom MacArthur. That means, more than a week after Election Day, Democrats have increased their House gains to a net of 34 seats — and, when all the vote is counted, they may get to 39. Make no mistake: That is a very big wave.

How big? It's the most House seats gained by Democrats since the wave election following Watergate. President Richard Nixon resigned in August 1974, leading to Democrats' pickup of 49 seats that fall.

In 2006, the last time Democrats took over the House, when George W. Bush was president and the Iraq war was spiraling into civil war, Democrats gained 30 seats. They picked up 26 more in 2008, when Barack Obama was elected president. What's more, this cycle's seats are far more gerrymandered to favor Republicans than those were.

The polls got it right. Democrats currently lead on the national House ballot by 7 percentage points, according to data compiled by David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report. The final NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll a week before the election had Democrats with a +9 advantage with likely voters (+6 with registered voters), well within the margin of error of the final result. The RealClearPolitics final congressional ballot average was Democrats +7.3. The current exact number is +7.1, and that is expected to climb as more votes in California are counted.

Trump, stung by midterms, retreats into cocoon of bitterness and resentment (The Sydney Morning Herald link): For weeks before the midterm elections, an ebullient US President Donald Trump travelled relentlessly to hold raise-the-rafters campaign rallies - sometimes three a day - in states where his presence was likely to help Republicans on the ballot. But his mood has apparently changed as he has taken measure of the electoral backlash that voters delivered on November 6.

With the certainty that the incoming Democratic House majority will go after his tax returns and investigate his actions, and the likelihood of additional indictments by special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump has retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment, say multiple administration sources.

Behind the scenes, they say, the President has lashed out at several aides, from junior press assistants to senior officials.

"He's furious," one administration official said. "Most staffers are trying to avoid him."

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, painted a picture of a brooding President "trying to decide who to blame" for the Republicans' election losses, even as he publicly and implausibly continues to claim victory.

White House chief of staff John Kelly and secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, who are close allies, "seem to be on their way out", the official said, noting recent leaks on the subject.

However, the official cautioned that personnel decisions are never final until Trump himself tweets out the news - often just after the former reality TV star who's famous for saying "You're fired!" has directed Kelly to so inform the individual.

And last week's Wall Street Journal report confirming Trump's central role during the 2016 campaign in quietly arranging pay-offs for two women alleging affairs with him seemed to put him in an even worse mood, said a source outside the White House who has recently spoken to the President.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Former Republican Assembly Leader Says the GOP is Dead in California

Mod: This op-ed piece, which originally ran on CALmatters, has appeared in many CA daily newspapers this week. Author is ex-GOP Assembly leader Kristin Olsen.

California Republican Party a victim of suicide; time for something new (Modesto Bee link): The California Republican Party isn’t salvageable at this time. The Grand Old Party is dead – partly because it has failed to separate itself from today’s toxic, national brand of Republican politics. Painful though it was, that was the message I delivered at the California Priorities Summit, in Sacramento last week.

I’ve spent my entire adult life in Republican politics, so for me to make such a comment wasn’t easy. But it doesn’t make it any less true. I and others have been warning people for years that this day of reckoning was coming if we didn’t do something different.

And as Election Night proved, that day has come.

While the rest of the nation saw a mix of Republican and Democrat victories, we in California experienced a blue tsunami. It looks as if Democrats will win nearly every target seat, including some in districts that have been historically considered “safe” for Republicans.

Republican principles used to be about helping other people. We believed in lifting people out of poverty by giving them robust and free economic opportunities and by providing a world-class education. We stood for giving people the freedom to run their own lives and businesses without undue government interference.

We welcomed people from all over the world who sought to live the American Dream and contribute to the economy and society. They could be secure in knowing they would not be persecuted for who they are and that they could build strong families and vibrant neighborhoods.

Unfortunately, tragically, that is not the Republican Party promoted by President Donald Trump and his brand of national politics today. We have lost our way, and it’s killing any opportunity for political balance and thoughtful debate in California, elements that good public policy relies on.

One party rule is not good for any community, state or nation, but that’s what we have in California today. It’s because the Republican Party has failed to adapt to changing demographics and to get back to our basic fundamental belief in liberty and responsibility, freedom, economic opportunity and educational excellence.

Without a viable second party to voice concerns about increasingly progressive policy proposals and to advance alternative policy solutions for addressing the many challenges facing California, our state will continue to veer leftward.

It is time for a New Way. And if the Republican Party can’t evolve, it might be time for a third party, one that will appeal to disenfranchised voters in the Republican and Democratic parties who long for better representation and a better California for all.

Individual Republicans are good, conscientious people dedicated to serving their communities, but they belong to a brand and a national party that is toxic and growing more toxic by the day.

Millions of Californians, millions of Americans, want and deserve leaders who will shake up establishments and help those who have felt ignored for far too long.

These leaders must understand that words matter, that healing and unity is important to the sustainability, strength and growth of our nation, that end goals do not justify vindictive or hateful or ill-conceived means.

As Californians and Americans, we must work together to find and promote such leaders – people with the courage to help us return to bold and civil discourse and who value and promote the fundamental principles and values of our American Republic and constitutional democracy.

We must hold people in both parties accountable for governing, truth-telling, and civility.

For Republicans, the first step is to acknowledge that we have a serious internal problem. Ignoring the toxicity is not enough, as California’s election results demonstrate. We must call it out and model a different and better way because that’s what our fellow Californians deserve.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

California's Brutal Wildfires: Our President Is An Asshole

Mod: As the Los Angeles Times puts it (link), "Trump couldn't just express empathy for California fire victims. What's the matter with him?" Pretty good question. Obviously this is a person who couldn't care less about people or their problems, and perhaps even enjoys them. After all, he is making his threats at the same moment people from his own country are dying. But we needn't overthink this. It could be that he is just an asshole.

Our President Is an Asshole (Mother Jones link): From the New York Times: In the northern town of Paradise, the ruins of houses and businesses smoldered throughout the day, while in Southern California, tens of thousands of residents fled their homes and jammed onto highways. Exotic lemurs and parrots were packed up and carried away to safety as fires ringed the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park. Officials estimated that the blaze in the north, called the Camp Fire, had destroyed a staggering 6,700 structures — most of them residential. Such vast devastation would make it the most destructive fire in modern state history.

From the Washington Post: Butte County Sheriff Kory L. Honea told reporters at a news conference Friday evening that officials had found nine people who had been killed by the fire: Four were found dead in their cars in Paradise, down from the five officials had spoken about earlier; three outside of houses; and two others, one inside a home, and another near a car.

From the LA Times: Homes and businesses had been reduced to piles of twisted metal. Tall pine trees and utility poles smoldered. According to the California Teachers Assn., at least five of the nine schools in Paradise were destroyed, including Paradise Elementary School. Cars abandoned by fleeing motorists who found themselves unable to escape lay crumpled in the roadways, their tires melted. The bodies of five people were discovered on Edgewood Lane in vehicles overtaken by the fire. Others were found outside their cars and homes. Butte County Sheriff Kory L. Honea said they could not immediately be identified because they were burned so badly.

From the President of the United States, whose political party lost a bunch of seats in California’s midterm elections just a few days ago:

Never change, Mr. President.

And for the record, this has nothing to do with poor fire management. It’s entirely due to drought, warm weather, easterly winds, and climate change.

Trump’s response to deadly California fires reaches cringe-worthy depths (MSNBC link): It was August when Donald Trump first started sharing his thoughts on California wildfires, which the president was eager to blame on Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and “bad environmental laws.” As regular readers may recall, none of Trump’s rhetoric made sense.

The Washington Post reported, for example, that the president seemed confused about every relevant detail. CNN added that even some White House officials “admitted to being slightly perplexed” at Trump’s obvious nonsense.

And yet, Trump not only refused to get up to speed on the basics of the issue, he also refused to stop addressing the issue in unusually callous ways. Five months after his initial misguided foray, he renewed his offensive over the weekend.

President Donald Trump on Saturday blamed “mismanagement” of California’s forests for ongoing deadly wildfires, threatening to withhold federal payments after 25 people died in two separate blazes and evacuation orders were issued for some 250,000 state residents.

“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!” he tweeted.

There are a couple of ways to consider a story like this one. The first and most obvious is to acknowledge the factual details and point out that the president simply has no idea what he’s talking about. The fires are not the result of state officials’ approach to forest management.

California Professional Firefighters President Brian Rice issued a scathing written statement in response to Trump’s nonsense, describing the president’s assessment as being, among other things, “dangerously wrong.”

And while it’s tempting to end the conversation there, it’s nearly as important to acknowledge serious concerns about the president’s capacity for empathy and character.

In this case, Donald Trump – while in France – thought it’d be a good idea to publish an ignorant tweet, blaming Americans for a deadly natural disaster, while the crisis was still unfolding.

The American president’s first instinct wasn’t compassion or consolation. Rather, as Californians fled and died, Trump’s judgment led him to blame and threaten.

I’ve long been fascinated by the limits of the Republican’s capacity for empathy, but this is a rather extreme example of Trump’s indifference to a deadly crisis in his own country.

Postscript: As for Trump’s threat to end “Fed payments” to the Golden State, in addition to the bizarre idea of an American president threatening an American state in the midst of a natural disaster, it’s worth appreciating the fact that Trump has threatened to cut off federal funding to California a half-dozen times for a half-dozen reasons.

The Republican never follows through – because he can’t – but he keeps repeating the hollow rhetoric anyway.

Monday, November 12, 2018

The only time Trump smiled was for the guy who kills journalists and political opponents

Mod: Donald can't seem to love his Vladimir Putin nearly enough.

Photo Shows Trump Beaming When Putin Joins World Leaders in Paris (Slate link): President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin shared an oddly warm greeting Sunday when the two took part in a ceremony in Paris marking 100 years since the end of World War I. The two leaders arrived separately from the more than 60 heads of state who took part in the commemorations and when Putin showed up it seems clear Trump was happy to see him. A photo that quickly went viral and many said was surprisingly telling, shows Trump flashing a big smile when he sees Putin, whereas France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel look at him much more sternly.

Donald's heart is all a-flutter.
It was the first time Putin and Trump saw each other since their now infamous Helsinki summit in July. And on Sunday, it was “the only moment” Trump “brightened up,” wrote the Guardian’s Julian Borger. “He flashed a goofy smile, all the more noticeable alongside Macron and Merkel who had switched their demeanor to steel resolve on spotting the Russian leader.”

Putin murders journalists & opponents, recently used a nerve agent to assassinate a dissident on British soil, annexed Crimea, facilitates war crimes, and attacked American democracy. This is how Trump reacted when he saw him,” wrote Washington Post columnist Brian Klaas. David Schneider gave his Twitter followers a piece of advice: “Find someone who looks at you the way Trump looks at Putin.”

The smiling picture was one part of the warm greeting that the two shared that included nods at each other, a shoulder tap from Trump and another tap courtesy of Putin, who even flashed a thumbs up sign. Trump and Putin were going to have a one-on-one meeting in Paris but the preliminary plans were scrapped as Macron feared it would overshadow the Armistice Day ceremonies. But later, Putin told Russian news agencies he did talk to Trump in Paris.

White House confirms Trump will not visit Arlington cemetery on Veteran's Day as rain is expected (Raw Story link): The White House on Monday confirmed that President Donald Trump will not visit Arlington National Cemetery on Veteran’s Day.

According to Washington Post correspondent Josh Dawsey, the White House announced “a lid” on presidential movements at 10 a.m. ET, meaning the president is not scheduled to leave the White House for the remainder of the day. Although President Barack Obama visited Arlington National Cemetery for Veterans Day services on several occasions, President Trump has chosen to avoid the remembrance of military deaths at the national cemetery. forecasted a 100 percent chance of rain at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Donald Trump's Veterans' Day Weekend Salute: Stay in the hotel because it is raining

Some presidents honored America's military veterans even when it rained.

Mod: Hopefully America's military veterans and families will understand how the rain can afflict people who suffer from both bone spurs and hair arrangement challenges.

Donald Trump cancels First World War cemetery visit because it's raining (The Mirror link): Donald Trump cancelled his visit to a First World War cemetery, where hundreds of American troops are buried, due to rainy weather in northern France.

The US president was due to pay tribute to the Americans who sacrificed their lives in the Great War 100 years after the conflict's end.

But the White House announced that Trump, 72, and wife Melania, 48, would not fly to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in Belleau by helicopter.

It said their appearance at the military cemetery, north-east of Paris, had been cancelled due to poor weather and an American delegation would take their place.

In a statement, the White House said the Trumps' visit had been "cancelled due to scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather".

The couple were due to make the approximate 50-mile journey from the French capital to the 42-acre site in the Hauts-de-France region by helicopter.

The statement added: "An American delegation led by Chief of Staff General John Kelly and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford will attend on their behalf.”

The hillside Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial is located where the Battle of Belleau Wood was fought in June 1918. Almost 2,000 American soldiers were killed during the weeks-long battle against German forces.

White House decision to cancel veteran's cemetery on France visit creates a storm of its own (NBC News link): The White House’s decision on Saturday to scrap the president’s visit to a cemetery for fallen American soldiers due to weather is creating a bit of a storm of its own.

President Donald Trump was scheduled to take a 30-minute helicopter ride from Paris to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in Belleau, France. But a rainy forecast for the city made it too risky for him to safely fly there, the White House said a couple hours before he was to arrive at the cemetery.

"The President and First Lady’s trip to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial has been canceled due to scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather,” the White House announced.

White House chief of staff John Kelly and Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the roughly 50-mile long trip to the cemetery in a small motorcade of vehicles.

The drive took about 90 minutes each way. Separately, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel traveled a similar distance by car to a commemorative event in northern France.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Author explains science behind cult behavior, applies it to Trump supporters

Mod: Interesting thoughts on why Trump supporters so vehemently support ideas that are obviously untrue, and often even nuts.

Example: Thinking all of Trump's candidates won.
Author explains science behind cult behavior, applies it to Trump supporters (Daily Kos link): On Wednesday, CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta got into a heated exchange with white supremacist in chief Donald Trump. During that exchange, one of the low-level complicit supremacists attempted to grab Acosta’s microphone out of his hand while he was still speaking. All of this was captured on one million cameras at one of the very few press conferences Donald Trump has had since becoming president.

A few hours later, it was announced that Acosta’s access to the White House had been suspended. Trump had effectively censored an entire news outlet because he was embarrassed that he could not handle a couple of very serious questions. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, emerging from whatever blood-letting rituals she practices these days to assuage the burning feeling in her soul, said that Acosta had in essence assaulted the woman that was grabbing for the microphone. In true Trump administration fashion, the official White House’s official Twitter account tweeted out a video of the incident as edited and put together by InfoWars.

You do not need to even see the footage to know that the White House’s explanation of events is a lie. It’s wrong. It’s misleading. Writer Amanda Marcotte published a Twitter thread breaking down an important distinction here. Trump supporters saying that Acosta did something wrong are lying. They know they are lying. This isn’t a difference of opinion or willful ignorance; it’s a collective gaslighting that shows their allegiance to all things Trump.

She explains that she blocks them because they are a cult. This is something our very own Faith Gardner has written about: the Republican Party’s evolution into a cult. Marcotte has written about cults as well, and synthesizes some of her knowledge in the thread.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Former FBI agent says Sarah Sanders libeled CNN’s Jim Acosta with ‘doctored’ InfoWars video: ‘Your tweet is Exhibit A’

Mod: Looks like the Trump gang has been pushing some fake news in the form of a doctored InfoWars video. Does that make them the "enemy of the people?"

Former FBI agent says Sarah Sanders libeled CNN’s Jim Acosta with ‘doctored’ InfoWars video: ‘Your tweet is Exhibit A’ (Raw Story link): A former FBI special agent says White House press secretary Sarah Sanders libeled CNN reporter Jim Acosta by sharing an altered video of his interaction with an intern during a presidential news conference.

Asha Rangappa, a CNN contributor and former counterintelligence agent, said Sanders had met the standard of proof for libel — publishing a false statement to damage a person’s reputation. “.@PressSec you are seriously tweeting out an obviously doctored video – from InfoWars no less – to substantiate a false accusation of assault against a journalist???” Rangappa tweeted.

“The standard for libel against a public figure is acting with ‘actual malice,’ and your tweet is Exhibit A,” she added.

The White House revoked Acosta’s access to the White House after President Donald Trump called him a “rude, terrible person” for asking questions during the briefing, and an intern attempted to grab his microphone.

Sanders accused Acosta of “placing his hands on a young woman” during the incident, and then shared a video circulated by InfoWars editor Paul Joseph Watson that is briefly slowed down at one point to make Acosta’s actions look more aggressive.

White House press secretary uses fake Infowars video to justify banning CNN reporter (Vox link): Press secretary Sarah Sanders shared an altered video on Wednesday evening that appears to have originated with far-right conspiracy site Infowars to justify banning CNN reporter Jim Acosta from the White House after a tense exchange with President Donald Trump. This followed a tense post-midterm election news conference at the White House earlier in the day, when Acosta challenged Trump’s use of the migrant caravan to stoke immigration fears among his base before the election, in what many reported was an effort to stop losing Republican control of the House. Ultimately, Republicans lost enough seats to hand control to Democrats.

However, Trump spent much of his first public statement mocking Republicans who lost, personally attacking reporters (including Acosta), and bragging about Republican gains in the Senate. It was quite a reversal of President Barack Obama’s first post-midterms news conference in 2010, in which he described the election as a “shellacking.”

But Trump’s attacks on Acosta during the news conference weren’t enough for the White House. Later in the day, Sanders posted a string of tweets in which she accused Acosta of “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern.”

When Trump insulted Acosta at the press conference, a White House intern approached him and tried to physically remove a microphone from his hands. Their arms touched as the woman reached across Acosta’s body to grab the microphone he was holding in his hand.

Looking back at the video, it does not in fact show Acosta “placing his hands” on the woman. But about 90 minutes after she posted her string of tweets, Infowars editor Paul Joseph Watson tweeted out a video of the incident that was doctored to make it look like Acosta chopped the woman’s arm with his hand.

Less than an hour later, Sanders tweeted out the doctored video, writing, “We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video.”

Comparing the actual footage of the news conference with the Watson/Sanders videos clearly shows that the latter has been manipulated.

Infowars has been banned from Twitter, YouTube, Apple, and Facebook for spreading false information. And while all of those platforms have struggled to stop the spread of fake text news, new technology released within the last year makes it much easier to create fake videos as well.

Ironically, shortly after the intern tried to pry the mic away from Acosta during the news conference, Trump admonished him that “when you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people.”

CNN On-Air Personalities Targeted By Trump Getting Armed Security (TMZ link): President Trump's relentless attacks on CNN have forced the network to take extreme measures -- offering armed security to on-air talent who have reason to fear for their safety.

Network sources tell TMZ ... CNN brass offered reporters and anchors who have been targets of President Trump around-the-clock protection. We're told the logic is simple ... there are Trump fanatics who believe the President when he calls the media and certain reporters "the enemy of the people," and the fear is that they will take violent action.

There's actual proof here ... the person who sent mail bombs targeted CNN at least twice.

We're told CNN has told the targeted employees they can choose the level of protection they want, ranging from round-the-clock armed guards to more limited security, such as following the personality to and from work.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Trump forced Jeff Sessions out of the White House and the memes were hilarious

Mod: Jeff Sessions will be missed. For several different reasons. Here's one.

Trump forced Jeff Sessions out of the White House and the memes were hilarious ( link): Wednesday proved to be a dramatic day in US politics.

The midterm elections saw the Democrats reclaim the House of Representatives from the Republicans, which was a catalyst for a string of startling decisions from Donald Trump.

In a press conference at the White House, Trump discussed his own impeachment with journalists, leading a bad-tempered confrontation with CNN's Jim Acosta.

Shortly after that, Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at the request of the president, with 71-year-old handing his resignation to Chief of Staff John Kelly.

In the letter, Sessions confirmed that Trump had asked him to resign from the position and thanked him for allowing him to be a part of his campaign.

"I have been honored to serve as Attorney General and have worked to implement the law enforcement agenda based on the rule of law that formed a central part of your campaign for the presidency."

Trump later thanked Sessions for his contribution to his administration and announced that Matthew G. Whitaker will be serving as the Acting Attorney General.

Sessions' timely departure could have huge implications on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's links with Russia.

Although we will have to wait and see how that plays out, Twitter managed a have a bit of fun with this otherwise serious story.

Throughout his entire political career, which dates back to his time as a senator from Alabama, Session's appearance has been compared to a jolly little elf with rosy cheeks who bakes cookies.

As he was back in the news, Twitter unleashed the jokes and memes on Sessions and it was quite a sight to behold.

It could be that he is Dobby the House Elf from Harry Potter and is now free to leave.

His history of racist remarks was also brought up.

Others were hardly surprised at the news.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Putin Loses Control of the House

Mod: So that CNN poll was right after all? Go figure. You just never know with those things. But that said, who was the biggest loser last night? No, it wasn't Trump.

Putin Loses Control of the House (The Borowitz Report link): Calling it “the biggest disappointment of my political career,” Vladimir Putin conceded late Tuesday night that he had lost control of the United States House of Representatives.

Putin made his concession speech from the Kremlin, where he congratulated the Democrats for waging a “tough fight.”

“Maybe if Facebook and Twitter hadn’t banned so many of my fake accounts, the results would have been different,” Putin said. “But I don’t want to make excuses—I threw everything I had at these races, and I lost.”

Putin did, however, have harsh words for Donald Trump, who opted for a fear-mongering closing argument about immigration despite the Russian President’s objections.

“I warned him that that would kill us in the suburbs, and he ignored me,” Putin said. “I hope this teaches him never to disobey my orders again."

Donald Trump furious with Paul Ryan, blaming him as GOP braces for rough election night (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel link): Even before the polls had closed, reports were already emerging that President Donald Trump was furious with retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan — and blaming him for not raising enough money for House Republicans.

A source told CNN that Trump was "really angry" at the Janesville Republican about "everything," the network reported Tuesday night.

The report comes days after Trump attacked Ryan over birthright citizenship, saying the outgoing speaker should be focused on the midterm elections and not disagreeing with him.

"Paul Ryan should be focusing on holding the Majority rather than giving his opinions on Birthright Citizenship, something he knows nothing about!" Trump tweeted Wednesday. "Our new Republican Majority will work on this, Closing the Immigration Loopholes and Securing our Border!"

But Ryan on Monday sought to downplay their dispute.

When asked on Fox News about the clash, Ryan said, "It's all good."

Mod: I guess there's nothing left to do now but have Adam Schiff call Robert Mueller and start the House investigations.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Election Eve Polling Shows Democrats With Strong Lead

Mod: The good thing about this poll is we're only hours away from seeing whether it was right or not.

CNN Poll: In final days, Democrats maintain advantage (CNN link): On the eve of the midterm elections, Democrats continue to hold a double-digit lead over Republicans in a generic congressional ballot among likely voters, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS. The party's 55% to 42% advantage in the new poll mirrors their lead in early October and is about the same as the 10-point edge they held just after Labor Day.

That's a slimmer edge than the party held in CNN's final poll before the 2006 midterm elections and similar to the Republicans' 10-point advantage just before the 2010 midterms.

Democrats benefit from a massive gender gap that has persisted throughout the fall (women favor Democrats 62% to 35%, while men are about evenly divided, 49% back the Republican, while 48% support the Democrat in their district), a wide lead among political independents (53% for the Democrat to 39% for the Republican), and strong support from black and Latino voters (88% of black voters and 66% of Latino voters favor the Democrats).

The gender gap cuts across lines of race and education, with non-white women (79% favor Democrats) and white women with college degrees (68% back the Democrat) breaking most heavily for the Democrats, while white men (57% Republican) and particularly white men without college degrees (65% back the Republican) are most deeply behind the GOP.

About 7 in 10 likely voters say that when they cast a ballot on Tuesday, they'll be sending a message about President Donald Trump, and more often than not, the message those voters want to send is one of opposition.

Overall, 42% of likely voters say their vote will be to express opposition to the president, while 28% say that it'll be to support him. Another 28% say their vote isn't about the president. That level of opposition is similar to the way likely voters felt just ahead of the 2006 election, when 41% said they were voting to oppose then-President George W. Bush. Fewer voters in that year, just 16%, said they were turning out to support the president.

Trump's approval rating in the poll stands at 39% overall, with 55% disapproving, slightly worse than in early October, when 41% approved of his performance and 52% disapproved. That is the worst pre-election approval rating for any president approaching their first midterm election in polling dating back to Eisenhower.