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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Witness

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's dishonesty and his record of disregarding the rule of lawThe 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

The Senate is about to bar witnesses in the Trump impeachment trial.

Not a popular move.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Trump Lawyers: The President Can Pretty Much Do Anything

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign  The update  -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms


Congressional Record 1/29/20, S650, Alan Dershowitz:
Every public official whom I know believes that his election is in the public interest. Mostly, you are right. Your election is in the public interest. If a President does something which he believes will help him get elected—in the public interest—that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.

S686 . Patrick Philbin:
But mere information is not something that would violate the campaign  finance laws. And if there is credible information, credible information of wrongdoing by someone who is running for a public office--it is not campaign interference for credible information about wrongdoing to be brought to light, if it is credible information.
So I think that the idea that any information that happens to come from overseas is necessarily campaign interference is a mistake. That is a non sequitur. Information that is credible, that potentially shows wrongdoing by someone who happens to be running for office, if it is credible information, is relevant information for the voters to know about, for people to be able to decide on who is the best candidate for an office.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

House GOP Lags in Fundraising

In Defying the Odds, we discuss campaign finance and campaign technologyThe 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

Jake Sherman at Politico:
House Republican leaders privately conceded in a closed meeting Tuesday morning that they are in the midst of a full-blown fundraising crisis, which would imperil any chance they have at regaining their majority in 2020.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) put it bluntly: "They are kicking our ass," he said, in a meeting at the Capitol Hill Club, the private GOP haunt around the corner from the Capitol, referring to Democrats.

Indeed, McCarthy is right. The DCCC outraised the NRCC by $40 million in 2019, and individual Democratic candidates are besting their GOP opponents at an alarming rate. Democrats currently hold a 35-seat majority in the House, and there are five vacancies. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a House GOP-aligned super PAC, raised $32.6 million in 2019, and has a $28-million cash stash.

The disparity is even more shocking because the NRCC had a record off-year fundraising haul, but the DCCC has proven much more prolific.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Joni Helps Joe

Bernie Bros Redux

In Defying the Odds, we discuss  the presidential nomination process.

The Bernie Bros are the doppelgangers of the MAGA hats.

Scott Bixby at The Daily Beast:
Sen. Bernie Sanders has called their behavior “disgusting.” Would-be supporters of the Vermont independent have cited them as the reason they can’t endorse him. His campaign has even privately apologized to rivals for online pile-ons that crossed the line into open harassment.
And still, the Bernie Bro army marches on.
Matt Flegenheimer, Rebecca R. Ruiz and Nellie Bowles at NYT:
Some progressive activists who declined to back Mr. Sanders have begun traveling with private security after incurring online harassment. Several well-known feminist writers said they had received death threats. A state party chairwoman changed her phone number. A Portland lawyer saw her business rating tumble on an online review site after tussling with Sanders supporters on Twitter.

Other notable targets have included Ady Barkan, a prominent liberal activist with A.L.S. — whom some Sanders-cheering accounts accused of lacking decision-making faculties due to his illness as he prepared to endorse Senator Elizabeth Warren — and Fred Guttenberg, the father of a shooting victim from the 2018 Parkland massacre, who had criticized Mr. Sanders’s statements about gun violence.
“Politics is a contact sport,” said Bakari Sellers, a former South Carolina State legislator who supported Ms. Harris in the Democratic primary. “But you have to be very cognizant when you say anything critical of Bernie online. You might have to put your phone down. There’s going to be a blowback, and it could be sexist, racist and vile.”
In recent days, he said, one man sent a profanity-filled private message on Instagram, calling Mr. Sellers, who is black, an “Uncle Tom” and wishing him brain cancer.
When Mr. Sanders’s supporters swarm someone online, they often find multiple access points to that person’s life, compiling what can amount to investigative dossiers. They will attack all public social media accounts, posting personal insults that might flow in by the hundreds. Some of the missives are direct threats of violence, which can be reported to Twitter or Facebook and taken down.
More commonly, there is a barrage of jabs and threats sometimes framed as jokes. If the target is a woman, and it often is, these insults can veer toward her physical appearance.
For some perceived Sanders critics, there has been mail sent to home addresses — or the home addresses of relatives. The contents were unremarkable: news articles about the political perils of centrism. The message seemed clear: We know where you live.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Bolton

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's dishonesty and his record of disregarding the rule of lawThe 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

George T. Conway at WP:
Search the transcript of Saturday’s impeachment trial, as President Trump’s lawyers began their opening arguments, and you’ll see there’s a name nowhere to be found: John Bolton, the former national security adviser.

The president’s lawyers made no mention of him. And now there’s no need to speculate why. Because the news about what’s in Bolton’s forthcoming book is out — and it shows that his testimony would be devastating to Trump.

The New York Times reported Sunday night that Bolton submitted his manuscript to the White House for pre-publication review four weeks ago. Which means, in all likelihood, that at least some members of the president’s defense team have known exactly what Bolton would say if called to the stand.

According to the Times, Bolton’s manuscript states, among other things, that President Trump told Bolton “in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 in million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens.” Trump reportedly said “he preferred sending no assistance to Ukraine until officials turned over all materials … that related to Mr. Biden and supporters of Mrs. Clinton in Ukraine.”

Quid. Pro. Quo.

We knew that already. But Bolton’s testimony would make that devastating conclusion inescapable, even to Republican senators who have striven mightily to blind themselves to the obvious.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Ominous Talk

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's character and record of dishonesty.  We also talk about the odd people who surround him. Trump and his followers have sometimes hinted at violence.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Trump: "Take Her Out"

In Un-American:  The Fake Patriostism of Donald J. Trump (forthcoming from Rowman and Littlefield), I discuss Trump's character and record of dishonesty.  
 

Kenneth P. Vogel and Ben Protess at NYT:
 A former associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, said on Friday that he had turned over to congressional Democrats a recording from 2018 of the president ordering the removal of Marie L. Yovanovitch as the United States ambassador to Ukraine.
The associate, Lev Parnas, who worked with Mr. Giuliani to oust the ambassador and to pressure the Ukrainian government to pursue investigations to help Mr. Trump, located the recording on Friday after its existence was first reported by ABC News, said Joseph A. Bondy, Mr. Parnas’s lawyer.
Mr. Bondy said the recording was “of high materiality to the impeachment inquiry” of Mr. Trump and that he had provided it to the House Intelligence Committee, whose chairman, Representative Adam B. Schiff, is leading the impeachment managers in their presentation of the case.
...
In the recording, ABC News reported, Mr. Parnas can be heard saying that “the biggest problem there, I think where we need to start is we gotta get rid of” Ms. Yovanovitch.
“She’s basically walking around telling everybody, ‘Wait, he’s gonna get impeached, just wait,’” Mr. Parnas says on the recording, according to ABC News.
“Get rid of her!” a voice that sounds like Mr. Trump’s responds, according to ABC News. “Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. O.K.? Do it.”

Friday, January 24, 2020

Pompeo Loses It

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the people surrounding Trump. (The update -- published in 2019 --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.)
The choice of servants is of no little importance to a prince, and they are good or not according to the discrimination of the prince. And the first opinion which one forms of a prince, and of his understanding, is by observing the men he has around him; and when they are capable and faithful he may always be considered wise, because he has known how to recognize the capable and to keep them faithful. But when they are otherwise one cannot form a good opinion of him, for the prime error which he made was in choosing them.

-- Machiavelli

Early Voting in the 2020 Nomination Contest

In Defying the Odds, we discuss  the presidential nomination process. The update looks at political and demographic trends through the 2018 midterm.

Kathleen Ronayne at AP:
Early voting in the crush of Super Tuesday states that hold primaries on March 3 amounts to a parallel campaign for the Democratic nomination. While much of the focus is on who will come out on top in the traditional first four voting states, early voting will allow a much broader swath of voters to play a key role in picking the nominee.
In Minnesota, in-person early voting began Jan. 17. Vermont’s deadline to mail out its absentee ballots was the same day. Many of the 14 Super Tuesday states will offer some form of early voting between now and mid-February.
...
The biggest early voting state, California, will mail ballots to more than 12 million voters starting Feb. 3, the same day as the Iowa caucuses, though not all of those voters will get a Democratic primary ballot. Colorado, North Carolina and Texas, which offer combinations of mail-in and in-person early voting, are also likely to have a high percentage of early voters, said Michael McDonald, a voting expert who directs the United States Elections Project at the University of Florida.

... At least one state, Minnesota, gives voters an option to retrieve their ballot and change their votes up to a week before Election Day.

California has by far the largest population of would-be early voters. Paul Mitchell, who runs the nonpartisan Political Data Inc. that analyzes and sells voter data, predicts about a quarter of the state’s eventual Democratic electorate will have cast ballots by the time Nevada holds its caucuses on Feb. 22. He projects that will increase to 40% by the time South Carolina votes on Feb. 29.

“If you have people who are with you now, you need to bank those votes,” he said. “If you’re running a campaign and can turn out 1 million voters on Election Day, if you can get 200,000 of them to vote early, that reduces your workload.”

In Colorado, where everyone is mailed a ballot, state officials expect 60% of voters to send their ballots back early. In North Carolina, about a quarter of people could vote early, McDonald predicted.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Bloomberg and Trump

In Defying the Oddswe discuss campaign strategy and 0rganization  The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.  

At Axios, Mike Allen and Margaret Talev report that Bloomberg is emulating Trump's campaign methods:
  • Social creature: Trump's re-election campaign has deployed Facebook in a bigger way than any campaign in history, outspending all the Democrats combined. Bloomberg's team openly admires the digital prowess of Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and has built a "content factory" of constantly updating and iterating videos and messages that are narrowly targeted at — and constantly fed to — promising prospects.
  • Ubiquity: Trump forced himself into our lives with Twitter taunts and endless TV appearances. Bloomberg is buying his way into the minute-by-minute of our lives with TV ads. Bloomberg's team believes one of the key lessons of Trump campaign is that if voters see you on TV all the time, they'll take you seriously. At Bloomberg HQ, his TV ads play on a constant loop. It takes a while to realize it's not cable news, where his ads seem nearly as persistent.
  • Success sells: Like Trump, Bloomberg promises ad nauseam to replicate his professional success in governance. Many of Bloomberg's ads follow the rough arc of: 1) Hit Trump ... 2) Why the problem matters ... 3) What Mike did as New York mayor ... 4) What Mike would do as president. It's a key part of Bloomberg's effort to signal, both overtly and subliminally, that he's running against Trump — not the other Dems.
  • Slogan power: Bloomberg's massive data operation found that Bloomberg's record as mayor was one of his big selling points. And Bloomberg's inner circle thought "Make America Great Again" was an effective slogan. Voilà, the Bloomberg slogan: "Mike Will Get It Done." The twist: "It" can mean beating Trump, enacting gun control as president, or whatever the voter imagines.
  • It's all about brand, baby: Bloomberg, like Trump, has set up his campaign so his personal brand shines, win or lose. The former mayor is making plain he will spend up to $2 billion to win himself — or, if he loses, allocate some of that to the Democratic nominee and Bloomberg's pet causes. As a down payment, he's showering money on state and local parties to help them, up and down their tickets, regardless of who wins the primary.
Billionaire presidential long shot Michael Bloomberg is trying to poach staff from other campaigns with outsized salaries and fancy perks like three catered meals a day, an iPhone 11 and a MacBook Pro, according to sources.
Bloomberg is paying state press secretaries $10,000 a month, compared to the average going rate of $4,500 for other candidates and state political directors are making $12,000 a month, more than some senior campaign advisers earn, sources said.
National political director Carlos Sanchez pulls in $360,000 a year. Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s political director, made $240,000 in 2016.
Every Bloomberg staffer gets a MacBook Pro and an iPhone 11 on day one. They also enjoy three catered meals daily.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Trump Hits at Entitlement Cuts

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the tax and economics issue in the 2016 campaign.  The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. and explains why the Trump tax cut backfired on Republicans.

CNBC:
JOE KERNEN: Do I dare-- one last question.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Go ahead.
JOE KERNEN: Entitlements ever be on your plate?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: At some point they will be. We have tremendous growth. We’re going to have tremendous growth. This next year I-- it’ll be toward the end of the year. The growth is going to be incredible. And at the right time, we will take a look at that. You know, that’s actually the easiest of all things, if you look, cause it’s such a--
JOE KERNEN: If you’re willing--
PRESIDENT TRUMP: --big percentage.
JOE KERNEN: --to do some of the things that you said you wouldn’t do in the past, though, in terms of Medicare--
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’re going-- we’re going look.
Jeff Stein at WP:
It was unclear what Trump was referring to when he mentioned unprecedented growth. The economy is growing but not as fast as it has in the past, though the stock market is at record levels.

Adding to the confusion are private remarks Trump recently made that appeared to dismiss the importance of the budget deficit, which has ballooned to about $1 trillion a year under his administration.

The U.S. government is expected to spend $4.6 trillion this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and only bring in $3.6 trillion in revenue, leaving the $1 trillion gap. The government finances that gap by issuing debt to borrow money, and it is projected to pay close to $400 billion in interest on that debt this year.

Senator-Jurors

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. The 2020 race, the subject of our next book, has begun.
Nick Corasaniti at NYT:
The four senators currently running for president — Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet — have all had to detour from the campaign trail in the middle of a charged primary to sit for jury duty in the impeachment trial of President Trump.

With the race in Iowa incredibly fluid, the trial has become a scheduling speed bump for the senators. They risk losing hard-won advantages in a state that evaluates candidates on in-person appearances, while former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., and others are able to press into face-to-face campaigning.

Though news media coverage has focused on surrogates working overtime for duty-bound candidates — Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appearing for Mr. Sanders in Iowa; Julián Castro stumping for Ms. Warren in Nevada; Abigail Bessler, Ms. Klobuchar’s daughter, hosting “hotdish house parties” in Iowa — the campaigns say they will use digital tools to keep the candidates directly connected with voters.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Polarization 2020

In Defying the Odds, we discuss partisan polarization and views of Trump.     During the campaign, he openly encouraged violence by supportersThe 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

Jeffrey M. Jones at Gallup:
Eighty-two percentage points separated Republicans' (89%) and Democrats' (7%) average job approval ratings of President Donald Trump during his third year in office. This is the largest degree of political polarization in any presidential year measured by Gallup, surpassing the 79-point party gap in Trump's second year in office.
Trump's first year also ranks among the 10 most polarized years, along with the last five years of Barack Obama's presidency and several of George W. Bush's years in office.

The fact that the 10 most polarized years have all occurred in the past 16 years -- affecting both Democratic and Republican presidents -- underscores how politically polarized the nation has become. There have always been partisan gaps in ratings of president, just not to the degree seen over the past two decades.

Pew Research:
About half of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters (47%) describe their own political views as liberal, including 15% who describe their views as very liberal, according to an average of Pew Research Center political surveys conducted in 2019.
The share of Democratic voters who describe their political views as liberal has changed little over the past few years after increasing steadily between 2000 and 2016.
Liberals outnumber moderates (38%) and conservatives (14%) as a share of Democratic voters. Yet combined, conservatives and moderates continue to make up about half of Democratic voters (51%).

Monday, January 20, 2020

Trump and the Constitution: "It's Like a Foreign Language"

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's character and record of dishonesty.  He also has a weak understanding of the Constitution.  The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

In this Vanity Fair exceprt from A Very Stable Genius, Philip Rucker adn Carol Leonnig report on Trump's participation in an Alexandra Pelosi HBO documentary on the Constitution:

With LED lights on stilts in front of him, Trump took his seat. “You’re lucky you got the easy part,” Pelosi told him cheerfully. “It gets complicated after this.” But the president stumbled, trying to get out the words in the arcane, stilted form the founding fathers had written. Trump grew irritated. “It’s very hard to do because of the language here,” Trump told the crew. “It’s very hard to get through that whole thing without a stumble.” He added, “It’s like a different language, right?” The cameraman tried to calm Trump, telling him it was no big deal, to take a moment and start over. Trump tried again, but again remarked, “It’s like a foreign language.”
The section, like many parts of the Constitution, was slightly awkward—an anachronistic arrangement of words that don’t naturally trip off the tongue. Members of the crew exchanged looks, trying not to be obvious. Some believed Trump would eventually get it, but others were more concerned. The president, already bristling about his missteps, was getting angry. He chided the crew, accusing them of distracting him. “You know, your paper was making a lot of noise. It’s tough enough,” Trump said.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Impeachment Managers' Brief

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's dishonesty and his record of disregarding the rule of lawThe 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

IN THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP ;
President Trump’s solicitation of foreign interference in our elections to secure his own
political success is precisely why the Framers of our Constitution provided Congress with the power to impeach a corrupt President and remove him from office. One of the Founding generation’s principal fears was that foreign governments would seek to manipulate American elections—the defining feature of our self-government. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams warned of “foreign Interference, Intrigue, Influence” and predicted that, “as often as Elections happen, the danger of foreign Influence recurs.” The Framers therefore would have considered a President’s attempt to corrupt America’s democratic processes by demanding political favors from foreign powers to be a singularly pernicious act. They designed impeachment as the remedy for such misconduct because a President who manipulates U.S. elections to his advantage can avoid being held accountable by the voters through those same elections. And they would have viewed a President’s efforts to encourage foreign election interference as all the more dangerous where, as here, those efforts are part of an ongoing pattern of misconduct for which the President is unrepentant.
The House of Representatives gathered overwhelming evidence of President Trump’s
misconduct, which is summarized in the attached Statement of Material Facts and in the
comprehensive reports prepared by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on the Judiciary. On the strength of that evidence, the House approved the First Article of Impeachment against President Trump for abuse of power. The Senate should now convict him on that Article. President Trump’s continuing presence in office undermines the integrity of our democratic processes and endangers our national security.
President Trump obstructed Congress by undertaking an unprecedented campaign to
prevent House Committees from investigating his misconduct. The Constitution entrusts the House with the “sole Power of Impeachment.” The Framers thus ensured what common sense requires—that the House, and not the President, determines the existence, scope, and procedures of an impeachment investigation into the President’s conduct. The House cannot conduct such an investigation effectively if it cannot obtain information from the President or the Executive Branch about the Presidential misconduct it is investigating. Under our constitutional system of divided powers, a President cannot be permitted to hide his offenses from view by refusing to comply with a Congressional impeachment inquiry and ordering Executive Branch agencies to do the same. That
conclusion is particularly important given the Department of Justice’s position that the President cannot be indicted. If the President could both avoid accountability under the criminal laws and preclude an effective impeachment investigation, he would truly be above the law.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

House Fundraising: Advantage D

In Defying the Odds, we discuss campaign finance and campaign technologyThe 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

Sarah Ewall-Rice at CBS:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the group that works to elect Democrats to Congress, is touting a fundraising advantage and expanding its battleground map after learning it outraised its GOP counterparts by $40 million in 2019.

The DCCC announced this week it raised $125 million last year, roughly $20 more than it raised in 2017, the last off year between elections. The fundraising was fueled by $59.6 million in grassroots contributions. At the same time, the 42 Democratic "frontline" members in competitive races raked in more than $91 million in 2019.
"We know that this gives them a huge tactical advantage in their districts because they can buy TV time at a significantly lower rate than the committee, than outside groups, than anyone else," said DCCC political director Kory Kozloski in a call with reporters. "They're going to have the resources to tell their stories in a significant way, in a way that incumbents have never had before, in a way that Democratic candidates in many cases have never had before."

Earlier this week, the National Republican Congressional Committee chair Tom Emmer revealed his committee raised $85 million in 2019, $40 million less than the DCCC. Emmer raised alarm bells to Republicans as they seek to take back the House in 2020.

Friday, January 17, 2020

"Dopes and Babies"

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's character and record of dishonestyThe 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

At The Washington Post, Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker report on a 7/20/17 national security briefing for Trump.  He berated the military for not winning in Afghanistan and taking the oil the Middle East.
Trump by now was in one of his rages. He was so angry that he wasn’t taking many breaths. All morning, he had been coarse and cavalier, but the next several things he bellowed went beyond that description. They stunned nearly everyone in the room, and some vowed that they would never repeat them. Indeed, they have not been reported until now.

“I wouldn’t go to war with you people,” Trump told the assembled brass.

Addressing the room, the commander in chief barked, “You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.”

For a president known for verbiage he euphemistically called “locker room talk,” this was the gravest insult he could have delivered to these people, in this sacred space. The flag officers in the room were shocked. Some staff began looking down at their papers, rearranging folders, almost wishing themselves out of the room. A few considered walking out. They tried not to reveal their revulsion on their faces, but questions raced through their minds. “How does the commander in chief say that?” one thought. “What would our worst adversaries think if they knew he said this?”
Mattis and Pence held their tongues.
Others at the table noticed Trump’s stream of venom had taken an emotional toll. So many people in that room had gone to war and risked their lives for their country, and now they were being dressed down by a president who had not. They felt sick to their stomachs. Tillerson told others he thought he saw a woman in the room silently crying. He was furious and decided he couldn’t stand it another minute. His voice broke into Trump’s tirade, this one about trying to make money off U.S. troops.

“No, that’s just wrong,” the secretary of state said. “Mr. President, you’re totally wrong. None of that is true.”

Tillerson’s father and uncle had both been combat veterans, and he was deeply proud of their service.

“The men and women who put on a uniform don’t do it to become soldiers of fortune,” Tillerson said. “That’s not why they put on a uniform and go out and die . . . They do it to protect our freedom.”

There was silence in the Tank. Several military officers in the room were grateful to the secretary of state for defending them when no one else would. The meeting soon ended and Trump walked out, saying goodbye to a group of servicemen lining the corridor as he made his way to his motorcade waiting outside. Mattis, Tillerson, and Cohn were deflated. Standing in the hall with a small cluster of people he trusted, Tillerson finally let down his guard.

“He’s a f---ing moron,” the secretary of state said of the president.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Withholding Ukraine Aid Was Illegal

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's dishonesty and his record of disregarding the rule of lawThe 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

From the Government Accountability Office:
“Today, GAO issued a legal decision concluding that the Office of Management and Budget violated the law when it withheld approximately $214 million appropriated to DOD for security assistance to Ukraine. The President has narrow, limited authority to withhold appropriations under the Impoundment Control Act of 1974. OMB told GAO that it withheld the funds to ensure that they were not spent “in a manner that could conflict with the President’s foreign policy.” The law does not permit OMB to withhold funds for policy reasons.” The full decision can be found here: https://www.gao.gov/products/B-331564

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Impeachment Apocalypse Redux

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's dishonesty and his record of disregarding the rule of lawThe 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.



Speaker Nancy Pelosi today named Impeachment Managers.
Chair Adam Schiff of California, Lead Manager: Congressman Adam Schiff, Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is serving his 10th term in Congress. Before Congress, Mr. Schiff was a California State Senator and served as federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles for 6 years, most notably prosecuting the first FBI agent ever to be indicted for espionage.
Chair Jerry Nadler of New York: Congressman Jerry Nadler, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, is serving his 15th term in Congress. Mr. Nadler has served as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties for 13 years. Before Congress, Mr. Nadler served in the New York State Assembly for 16 years.
Chair Zoe Lofgren of California: Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, Chair of the Committee on House Administration, which has jurisdiction over federal elections, is a senior Member of the House Judiciary Committee. Ms. Lofgren is serving her 13th term in Congress. The Congresswoman has played a role in three presidential impeachment proceedings: as a staffer for a Judiciary Committee Member during Nixon, as a Judiciary Committee Member during Clinton, and now as a Manager.
Chair Hakeem Jeffries of New York: Congressman Hakeem Jeffries is the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and is currently serving his 4th term in Congress. Mr. Jeffries is a Member of the House Judiciary Committee. Before Congress, Mr. Jeffries served in the New York State Assembly for 6 years. An accomplished litigator in private practice before running for elected office, Mr. Jeffries clerked for the Honorable Harold Baer Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida: Congresswoman Val Demings is a Member of both the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Judiciary Committee. Ms. Demings is serving her 2nd term in Congress. Before Congress, Ms. Demings served in the Orlando Police Department for 27 years, including serving successfully as Orlando’s first female Chief of Police.
Congressman Jason Crow of Colorado: Congressman Jason Crow is Member of the House Armed Services Committee. Mr. Crow served his country bravely as an Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan. Before running for elected office, Mr. Crow was a respected litigator in private practice in Colorado.
Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia of Texas: Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia is a Member of the House Judiciary Committee. Before Congress, Ms. Garcia served in the Texas State Senate. Previously, Ms. Garcia was the Director and Presiding Judge of the Houston Municipal System and was elected City Controller. Ms. Garcia was later elected the first Hispanic and first woman to be elected in her own right to the Harris County Commissioner’s Court.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Bloomberg's Massive, Well-Paid Staff

In Defying the Oddswe discuss campaign 0rganization  The 2019 update-includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.  

Christopher Cadelago and Goldenberg at Politico:
Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has brought on more than 700 staffers spread out across 33 states, with a growing number of organizers joining his ranks in states that vote on Super Tuesday, aides told POLITICO.
All told, the former New York mayor's operation totals more than 1,000 people, a figure that includes hundreds of staffers who work out of his Manhattan headquarters.
...
 To lure staffers, Bloomberg’s campaign is offering salaries that in some cases far exceed typical wages paid by his opponents. The campaign has also agreed to pay them well into the summer or through the November election, regardless of whether he's the nominee. Advisers said the move is designed to ensure new hires, like Bloomberg himself, are committed to eliminating Trump.