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https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/kavanaugh-senate-committee-vote/index.html

Jeff Flake agreed to let Kavanaugh's nomination go to the floor, but he says he will vote Yes on the actual nomination only after an FBI investigation is held.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/28/politics/joe-donnelly-kavanaugh-nomination/index.html

Red State Democrats Joe Donnelly and Jon Tester have announced they will vote no on Kavanaugh, making it look like red state Democrats will not break ranks as anticipated, and Mitch McConnell will basically be held hostage by Flake.

Lisa Murkowski has asked for the investigation to be "quick" but we'll see where that goes.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/20/politics/ralph-norman-brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court/index.html

Disgusting. In one of the South Carolina Congressional races, the Republican opened a debate with the "joke" that Ruth Bader Ginsburg claimed she was groped by Abraham Lincoln. The Democrat responded he was not too surprised the Republican thought sexual assault is funny, considering he once pulled a loaded gun on his constituents.

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45 minutes ago, Bergamo (Ogilvie) said:

Jeff Flake agreed to let Kavanaugh's nomination go to the floor, but he says he will vote Yes on the actual nomination only after an FBI investigation is held.

Seems rather fair as long as nothing shady happens with the investigation. 

46 minutes ago, Bergamo (Ogilvie) said:

Lisa Murkowski has asked for the investigation to be "quick" but we'll see where that goes.

I mean, it's important to get a full search so that nothing is missed.

47 minutes ago, Bergamo (Ogilvie) said:

Disgusting. In one of the South Carolina Congressional races, the Republican opened a debate with the "joke" that Ruth Bader Ginsburg claimed she was groped by Abraham Lincoln. The Democrat responded he was not too surprised the Republican thought sexual assault is funny, considering he once pulled a loaded gun on his constituents.

Yeah, I don't think enough context could make that right. It's stuff like that that (along with other things) that really prevents me from being a full Republican, despite not really supporting the Democrat party.

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If anything this entire process has only made me want to fully run for some positions in my local level and work my way up as soon as I finish grad school. Running as a independent or making some name for something new. Im tired of these games both with the Dems and Reps. Its pitiful. Both in the tactics in this entire process. I find both parties just mind numbing annoying.

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1 hour ago, Meta77 said:

If anything this entire process has only made me want to fully run for some positions in my local level and work my way up as soon as I finish grad school. Running as a independent or making some name for something new. Im tired of these games both with the Dems and Reps. Its pitiful. Both in the tactics in this entire process. I find both parties just mind numbing annoying.

Same. The sad thing is that it seems the only way to go far in the political scene is confirming either of the 2 parties.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/28/politics/kavanaugh-senate-judiciary-vote/index.html

Trump has approved an FBI probe into Kavanaugh.

The probe will last one week, and Jeff Flake, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Joe Manchin (the Democrat from West Virginia) have all said they will not vote Yes until the probe is complete.

So now we wait.

1 hour ago, Meta77 said:

If anything this entire process has only made me want to fully run for some positions in my local level and work my way up as soon as I finish grad school. Running as a independent or making some name for something new. Im tired of these games both with the Dems and Reps. Its pitiful. Both in the tactics in this entire process. I find both parties just mind numbing annoying.

Statistically, beyond the local level, the only way to run as an independent and win is to be a major party candidate first. The two-party system is extremely well-entrenched.

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To be honest, I'm on the fence about this whole argument. I don't know for sure if Kavanaugh actually taped Ford (with apparently a friend of Dr. Ford denying that he did assault her among other things that make me skeptical); however, it's kind of weird that Ford got a polygraph and not Kavanaugh (according to some, a polygraph doesn't mean much, but what do I know?). 

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3 hours ago, RedFox99 said:

To be honest, I'm on the fence about this whole argument. I don't know for sure if Kavanaugh actually taped Ford (with apparently a friend of Dr. Ford denying that he did assault her among other things that make me skeptical); however, it's kind of weird that Ford got a polygraph and not Kavanaugh (according to some, a polygraph doesn't mean much, but what do I know?). 

As I recall Ford’s friend only said she didn’t have any specific memory of the party in question, which makes sense. She didn’t witness the assault, as far as she was concerned it would have been just another party.

Polygraph machines are  not especially reliable in and of themselves. The results as much about what the test administrator observes as they are about the machine’s readout. They can be pretty accurate with a skilled professional at the helm, but they’re certainly not 100% accurate.

As I said a few pages back, and as Senator Feinstein said before the hearing, this isn’t a trial, it’s a job interview. If we listen to Dr. Ford and we’re wrong the worst that’ll happen is that Kavanaugh won’t get a promotion. If we listen to Kavanaugh and we’re wrong the worst that’ll happen is that America will spend the next 30+ years with a rapist on the Supreme Court. Strip away the partisan politics and it’s really a no-brainer.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/29/politics/poll-of-the-week-florida-senate-bill-nelson/index.html

Shifting gears, Rick Scott's campaign in Florida is starting to slip in the polls. Before this poll, he was always seen ahead or tied with incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson.

Coattails being what they are, this does not bode well for the GOP's chances at Florida's Governorship or its numerous key House races.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/28/politics/opioids-package-passes-house/index.html

The House has passed a multibillion dollar package to combat the opioid epidemic by a massive bipartisan margin, with almost every House member in favor. Opioid overdoses claimed tens of thousands of lives in 2016 and Trump's stronger approach on opioids is one cited reason why he won over Clinton (conversely, his in-office weakness on opioids has led to an erosion of support).

The House goes into recess on October 12th and will not be back in session until November 13th. After that, the House basically has less than 20 days to pass whatever it wants before the inauguration of the next House. Expect lots of controversy in those final November and December weeks.

That's not counting the Senate, which takes far less days off. Their recess isn't until October 29th.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/30/politics/beto-orourke-willie-nelson/index.html

Willie Nelson debuted a new song, "Vote 'Em Out" at one of Beto O'Rourke's rallies last night. With between 50 and 55,000 people, the rally was the largest for a single candidate since 2016. Nelson's performance no doubt was a factor here, but there is enormous support for O'Rourke, and even if he can't quite topple Ted Cruz from the Senate, this could have serious effects on lower offices as those dissatisfied with the GOP turn out in large numbers.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/20/politics/nancy-pelosi-house-democrats-leadership-vote-majority/index.html

There is a movement among House Democrats to change the vote for the party's nominee for the Speakership to 218 votes, rather than the simple majority of Democrats that it is now. That would be half the House chamber. The message is clear: if that measure passes, a Democrat would need practically every caucus member's support in order to be nominated for the Speakership (which they would win easily in the formal Speaker election since they'd by definition have a majority of the House). With Nancy Pelosi only enjoying the support of two-thirds of House Democrats, she would be tossed out.

Some proponents have said the bill is not meant to be anti-Pelosi, but to avoid the embarrassing leadership vacuum the GOP had to deal with after John Boehner stepped down as Speaker.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/20/politics/colorado-sixth-district-mike-coffman/index.html

One of the more interesting races to watch for an idea of if Democrats can take the House. Congressman Coffman is a Colorado Republican who has made a name for himself for his commitment to ethnic diversity. He has learned Spanish to show solidarity with Hispanic constituents, has argued vehemently against human rights abuses in Ethiopia to earn the favor of Ethiopian constituents, and he attends a variety of cultural celebrations. In an ethnically diverse district where independents are the largest political affiliation, he is a model Republican candidate. If Democrats can oust him, that means the GOP as a whole is in trouble.

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Establishing party rules that promote consensus and limit infighting is probably a smart move. Disunity is death in politics, and the GOP have been lucky enough to make gains in spite of that, but it can only take them so far, which is why there is a lot of frustration over the GOP barely doing anything for the base despite having all three houses of government, because they simply cannot get their house in order.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/29/politics/warren-2020-presidential-run-midterms/index.html

Elizabeth Warren, who up until now has constantly ruled out a 2020 campaign, has said she will look at a Presidential run after the midterms.

It is quite possible that Warren has largely avoided generating hype for any candidacy because the election is still so far out, separating her from others like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Many observers have had their eyes on Warren for a while, however, since she seems to most closely align with what Democratic activists have been pushing: economic justice combined with social justice, with record numbers of women candidates this election cycle. Given Trump has some existential grudge against her, furthermore, people think she would be a perfect opponent for him.

Her age might come up as an issue, but she is 3 years younger than Trump, which weakens it as a point of criticism. She's also 8 years younger than Bernie Sanders, so she looks like a better choice of progressive candidate than him in that regard.

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4 hours ago, Bergamo (Ogilvie) said:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/29/politics/warren-2020-presidential-run-midterms/index.html

Elizabeth Warren, who up until now has constantly ruled out a 2020 campaign, has said she will look at a Presidential run after the midterms.

It is quite possible that Warren has largely avoided generating hype for any candidacy because the election is still so far out, separating her from others like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Warren already has her assigned Trump nickname, Pocahontas, thanks to the kerfuffle over her ancestry. Odds are good that she may have been lying low to avoid drawing more fire, because years of sustained attacks would likely harm her chances in a similar manner to Clinton.

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I look forward to Trump's incoherent ramblings come 2020 because there's no clear whale on the Democratic side. He banked so much on being able to smear Clinton as irredeemably corrupt, but he'll have a much harder time making the message stick to a wider field of candidates with varying interests.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/01/politics/congress-fbi-kavanaugh-white-house/index.html

Bad news for Kavanaugh. Collins, Murkowski, and Flake do not believe the current FBI investigation is sufficient and want it to be more expansive, including the other witnesses that the GOP leadership have been quick to dismiss.

With it looking like red state Democrats will not form the fifth column that was anticipated, if these three stand their ground, Kavanaugh's nomination could very well be sunk.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/01/politics/ice-arrests-immigrant-child-sponsors-legislation/index.html

A bipartisan bill will be introduced that will prohibit ICE from arresting undocumented people who come forward to sponsor undocumented children. This is in response to numerous would-be sponsors being promptly arrested and subjected to deportation by ICE when they showed up to give children a home.

https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/trump-rally-tennessee-01-10-18/index.html

Trump is holding a rally in Tennessee to try and tie the Republican Senate candidate to himself, hoping it will stave off a possible upset by popular former Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen.

In true Trump fashion, he spun many lies, such as painting Bredesen as a huge supporter of Pelosi and Schumer, even though Bredesen is on the record for not supporting their continued leadership.

The fact Trump is campaigning in all these ruby red states is fairly telling. The GOP is scared shitless, and they're hoping he can protect the GOP from historic losses that would have been thought impossible a year ago.

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2 hours ago, Bergamo (Ogilvie) said:

I look forward to Trump's incoherent ramblings come 2020 because there's no clear whale on the Democratic side. He banked so much on being able to smear Clinton as irredeemably corrupt, but he'll have a much harder time making the message stick to a wider field of candidates with varying interests.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/01/politics/congress-fbi-kavanaugh-white-house/index.html

It won't be for lack of effort on the part of his campaign team, though - they've been conducting opposition research on every possible Democratic contender for the presidency almost since the day Trump took office at the beginning of last year. But it almost doesn't matter if they do uncover anything or not, since his go-to modus operandi is to lie about his opponents and their platforms, motivations, past actions etc, regardless.

Comey believes the FBI is more than capable of carrying this investigation out in the allotted time. I'm inclined to believe him - they have thousands of agents at their disposal, who could be dragged off whatever other cases they're working to get involved in this one for a few days. Kavanaugh was broadcasting tells in his hearing (lying about the meaning of Devil's Triangle etc) that point to bigger lies, they know how to handle assault victims and question witnesses, they know what's up. This should be an easy one.

XD

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3 hours ago, Patticus said:

XD

To be fair, I have heard from more reliable sources that Trump is indeed a teetotaler (one of the few things I'll admit to having in common with him). Apparently he swore off drugs and booze because his brother was an alcoholic who died young as a result of his drinking. Sadly, that also means that everything horrible Trump has done, all the bigoted remarks, all the idiotic policies, all the incoherent tweets... yeah... That's Trump sober.

 

4 hours ago, Bergamo (Ogilvie) said:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/01/politics/congress-fbi-kavanaugh-white-house/index.html

Bad news for Kavanaugh. Collins, Murkowski, and Flake do not believe the current FBI investigation is sufficient and want it to be more expansive, including the other witnesses that the GOP leadership have been quick to dismiss.

With it looking like red state Democrats will not form the fifth column that was anticipated, if these three stand their ground, Kavanaugh's nomination could very well be sunk.

And now we know why the Republicans were fighting so hard to avoid an FBI investigation. It hasn't been 24 hours since the probe was expanded and we've already got police records more or less confirming Chad Ludington's claim that Kavanaugh instigated a bar fight back in 1985. 

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/01/politics/nyt-police-kavanaugh-bar-fight/index.html

Even more damning, there's evidence that Kavanaugh tried to suppress the Ramirez story before it became public.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/mutual-friend-ramirez-kavanaugh-anxious-come-forward-evidence-n915566

Kavanaugh flat out stated under oath that he first learned of the allegations from the New Yorker article. If this pans out it would be the most solid grounds for a perjury charge yet.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/01/politics/beto-orourke-apologizes-college-newspaper/index.html

Beto O'Rourke has apologized for an article he wrote when he was 19, when he stated the only qualifications for actresses in a musical were their "breasts and buttocks." He is presumably owning up to his objectifying remarks so as to stave off the GOP using them against him in the race.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/30/politics/flake-fbi-kavanaugh-investigation/index.html

Jeff Flake has said he would consider the nomination over if there is evidence Kavanaugh lied during the hearing. Well, we have that now, so if he sticks true to that statement and gets joined by one more Republican...

Trump really needs to just withdraw Kavanaugh's nomination and put someone else up for discussion.

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Even if Kavanaugh is 100% innocent of all the assault allegations, the very fact that he 1: knowingly lied under oath, 2: launched a partisan attack on the Democrats/Clintons during his testimony, and 3: was generally belligerent during the hearing, show him to be a man of very poor character, with an inability to remain impartial, who should not be considered for a lifetime appointment to the top bench in the country/western world.

I don't think Kavanaugh believes his nomination will survive, either; I believe he made a conscious choice to be belligerent and overtly partisan, because I think that, as he knows his nomination is probably doomed, he wants instead to replace Jeff Sessions as AG. Trump is heavily rumoured to be looking at replacing him after the midterms are over.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/02/politics/donald-trump-brett-kavanaugh-testimony/index.html

Meaningless because of who it comes from, but Trump has said lying to Congress would be a red line for him.

Meanwhile, get ready to hate the GOP leadership a bit more:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/02/politics/mcconnell-kavanaugh-vote-fbi-report/index.html

Mitch McConnell has said there will be a vote this week, refusing to delay the vote any further. He seemed to condition this on the FBI report getting out, but knowing Mitch...

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/02/politics/lindsey-graham-renominate-kavanaugh/index.html

Lindsey Graham, meanwhile, is continuing to be Kavanaugh's biggest advocate, saying that if the nomination fails, Trump should renominate him. According to Graham, this would put the vote directly in the hands of the American people, presumably meaning the midterms would get to decide.

What trash logic, because if he really cared about the people choosing, he would be playing the game of not considering Kavanaugh at all, echoing McConnell's nonsensical idea back in 2016. You can bet this slimeball will try to push Kavanaugh in a lame duck session if the GOP loses control of the Senate next month.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/02/politics/trump-brett-kavanaugh-turning-point-election-educated-white-women-voters/index.html

The Kavanaugh case might empower a blue wave, because it is turning college educated white women against the GOP in much higher numbers than before. 61% believe Ford, and 58% believe the Kavanaugh nomination should be shelved.

The case is highlighting class differences, because just over half of white women without college degrees believe Kavanaugh. Analysts attribute this to career experiences: blue collar women are more likely to work positions where there is less competition with men, so gender issues are less salient for them.

8 hours ago, RedFox99 said:

Were things this ugly when the Clinton things happened?

Arguably yes.

Newt Gingrich was quick to run the 1998 campaign on bringing Clinton down with impeachment in light of the Lewinsky scandal.

...it's one of the rare midterm elections where the President's Party gained seats.

This is why Democrats are smart to not make "impeach Trump" their message this year. It does not sell as well as one would think. Although hilariously, the GOP has been focusing on how Democrats will impeach Trump if they take power.

Noteworthy thing about the Clinton impeachment: it was passed by the lame duck Congress after the GOP ended up losing seats in the 1998 race. The Democrats only gained 5 seats, but that would have been enough to sink one of the two charges Clinton was impeached for. So yeah, there's some political ugliness right there.

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10 hours ago, Bowbowis said:

So much for his claims of getting "a small loan of a million dollars." It was $61m.

This was a very interesting piece of information to learn...

 

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4 hours ago, Coyote (Ogilvie) said:

This is why Democrats are smart to not make "impeach Trump" their message this year. It does not sell as well as one would think. Although hilariously, the GOP has been focusing on how Democrats will impeach Trump if they take power.

Well that does seem to the message that I get when browsing through Twitter and sometimes Tumblr. 

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https://www.bizjournals.com/newyork/news/2018/10/03/nj-governor-recreational-marijuana-be-legal-soon.html

With Canada's legalized marijuana law taking effect in two weeks, the pressure will be on both of the USA's borders to end prohibition.

New Jersey continues to wrestle with a legal marijuana bill, but Governor Phil Murphy is optimistic about a vote being held this month. North Dakota and Michigan are considering legalizing recreational marijuana in this year's midterm elections via ballot measures, and Governor Cuomo of New York has created a special group to write a bill that would legalize and regulate it within New York.

If this keeps up, I would not be surprised if a bill to reconsider marijuana's exact legal status comes before Congress, especially if the Democrats take both chambers.

8 hours ago, RedFox99 said:

Well that does seem to the message that I get when browsing through Twitter and sometimes Tumblr. 

Pelosi and Schumer have largely avoided it, and Pelosi's likely usurpers in the House tend to be courting moderates who would not really be interested in an impeachment.

It's largely keyboard warriors and Russian bots calling for impeachment at this point. Especially since, even with a Democratic wipeout in the midterms, they will not get remotely close to 67 seats, and there's no way any Republican Senator would vote to remove Trump.

The American government was not built with partisan loyalties in mind. It was meant to balance state interests, not partisan interests, and it certainly was not built with hyperpartisan primaries selecting Senators in mind.

If the Democrats take power in November, the Senate will be focused on blocking overly conservative appointees, while the House will be focused on rules changes to allow more bipartisan bills. We will probably see more focus on DACA bills and Obamacare reform (one bipartisan proposal is getting rid of the medical device tax and making it easier to get waivers from the HHS Secretary) than anything resembling impeaching Trump, especially because Democrats will need a few Republican members of Congress to override Trump vetoes.

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