Thursday, April 25, 2019

Last Call For It's All About Revenge Now, Con't

Some of the most damning information in the Mueller report involves Trump's orders to go after his enemies. We know Jeff Sessions was fired as Attorney General because he wouldn't intervene on the Mueller probe itself, but we also now know he was fired because he wouldn't lock up Trump's political enemies, mainly Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Mueller’s report released last week brimmed with examples of Mr. Trump seeking to protect himself from the investigation. But his request of Mr. Sessions — and two similar ones detailed in the report — stands apart because it shows Mr. Trump trying to wield the power of law enforcement to target a political rival, a step that no president since Richard M. Nixon is known to have taken.

And at the time Mr. Trump pressured Mr. Sessions, the president was already under investigation for potentially obstructing justice and knew that his top aides and cabinet members were being interviewed in that inquiry.

Mr. Trump wanted Mrs. Clinton investigated for her use of a private email server to conduct government business while secretary of state, the report said, even though investigators had examined her conduct and declined to bring charges in a case closed in 2016.

No evidence has emerged that Mr. Sessions ever ordered the case reopened. Like many of Mr. Trump’s aides, as laid out in the report and other accounts, Mr. Sessions instead declined to act, preventing Mr. Trump from crossing a line that might have imperiled his presidency.

Instead, Mr. Sessions asked a Justice Department official in November 2017 to review claims by the president and his allies about Mrs. Clinton and the F.B.I.’s handling of the investigation into ties between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia. The department’s inspector general had already been scrutinizing the issues and painted a harsh portrait of the bureau in a report last year but found no evidence that politics had influenced the decision not to prosecute Mrs. Clinton.

It was unclear what effect the disclosures about Mr. Trump’s discussions with Mr. Sessions could have on the president as House Democrats consider whether to move forward with impeachment proceedings.

Sessions wouldn't do it.

Do you think Trump would have hired Barr if he wasn't willing to start prosecuting Democrats at Trump's command?

Chasing Those Trump Voters Again

Democratic strategists are once again back to "Only more rural white men can save the party from doom".
Former Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly, who both lost their 2018 re-election races in North Dakota and Indiana, respectively, are launching the One Country Project to help their party win back rural voters ahead of the 2020 cycle. Their team looked at rural votes by county and state from 2000 to 2018 and found that if Democrats don't break their performance with rural voters, they're projected to once again win the popular vote but lose the electoral college in 2020.  
Details: Their focus is primarily on Democratic Senate races and the presidential election, but they eventually want to work with races up and down the ballot in these rural areas.

Heitkamp and Donnelly will work with campaigns before the election, giving them messaging, data, polling, and a strategy to break through with these voters who "didn’t feel that we shared their beliefs" in past elections, Donnelly told Axios in an interview.

"Culturally, they’re focused on faith and family and country, and Donald Trump tells them all the time that we’re not, even though we are."

What they're saying: "What we heard on the ground is that the Democratic Party no longer speaks for the entire country," Heitkamp said. "They’ve forgotten the middle of the country and forgot to even show up. Even past Democratic voters didn’t recognize the Democratic Party of 2018."

By the numbers: Their data, shared exclusively with Axios, projects that Democrats' popular vote would increase from +2.1% in 2016 to +3.6% in 2020.

But, using a similar margin that Obama won by in 2012, One Country Project estimates Democrats would end up with just 232 electoral college votes in the upcoming presidential cycle. (Hillary Clinton won 227 in 2016.)

They also project Democrats would be poised to have a better performance in states like Arizona, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas and Georgia.

Assuming these trends among rural voters continue, the team predicts Minnesota, Maine and New Hampshire will become even more competitive in 2020.

The reason why Republicans are doing better in those states is massive voter suppression efforts of black and Hispanic voters, not because of "rural white voter trends".

We can do both, but getting rid of the voter suppression is far more important than making Trump voters comfortable enough to maybe not vote for Trump.

Another Hat Lands In The Ring, Con't

And it's the big one for Dems, the one we've been waiting for, good or bad.  Former VP Joe Biden has officially announced his candidacy for president in 2020.

Biden leads off with Charlottesville, Virginia's white supremacist march and why it shocked the nation, a move that frankly I didn't expect from him.

“I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time. If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation,” Biden says in the video, showing images of the August 2017 protests by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. 
Biden called those demonstrations “a defining moment” for the country. 
“Our standing in the world, our very democracy — everything that’s made America America is at stake. That’s why I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.”

If anything, opening up with this is a clear message to voters in both parties, but Biden still has a ton of baggage to deal with and four decades of a problematic voting record.

Joe Biden's mission in the presidential bid he launched on Thursday is to prove he's not a man out of step with the times. 
He must convince a Democratic Party pulsating with forces of youth, gender and racial diversity that is moving left on health care and college funding to ultimately turn to a traditional middle-of-the road nominee to take on President Donald Trump. 
Biden is an aging white male, a physically expressive old-school pol with a nose for the ideological center who still believes a political opponent is not a blood enemy. 
And his third try to finally reach the political summit comes at the one moment in American history when such qualities have turned into liabilities. 
But Biden has one huge card to sell to Democrats desperate to oust Trump: He might be their best hope of beating the President, especially in the Midwestern, blue-collar heartland. And his experience and dignity could be the antidote to Trump's rage. 
Biden enters the crowded primary after months of soul searching as a clear but not prohibitive front-runner. 
Invoking America's better angels, Biden is offering experience and a character forged by tragedy to purge the scandals, lies and constitutional chicanery of the current President and to close the societal schisms he has widened.

Again, if Biden is the nominee, he'll have my support in 2020 because Donald Trump and the GOP can go to hell.  If it takes Biden to get him out of there, great.

We'll see.


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