With former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) running for the seat being vacated by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), he hands his party “a conceivable, if extremely narrow, path back to a Senate majority in 2018,” the New York Times reports.
“Democrats are defending 25 Senate seats next year, 10 of them in states that President Trump won. But if Mr. Bredesen can mount a strong campaign, Tennessee would join Nevada and Arizona as states where Republican-held Senate seats could be in jeopardy. Republicans currently have a two-seat majority. A win by Doug Jones, a Democrat, in the Alabama special election on Tuesday would provide a wider path to the majority.”
It feels very much like 2006. Democrats won states they were supposed to, like Virginia and Montana, to win the majority.
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) December 7, 2017
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) is expected to resign from Congress, Roll Call reports.
“It is unclear exactly why Franks is stepping down, but one Arizona Republican said there had been rumors of inappropriate behavior. The Republican said the congressman had apparently been making plans to run for Senate in 2012, but abruptly canceled those plans.”
The Hill: “As the news of his resignation broke, fellow Republicans approached Franks on the House floor, all stone-faced. Several fellow conservatives sat with Franks, bent their heads, and prayed.”
It seems, from the details, that Franks wanted his female staffers to be his surrogates, carrying his baby. Ohhhhhhhkkkkaaayyyyyy.
Al Franken's selfish, damaging resignation speech https://t.co/qhytmOiauC
— Vox (@voxdotcom) December 7, 2017
— Michael Trujillo (@mikehtrujillo) December 7, 2017
Good. Get them out. The Great #PervPurge of 2017.
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told the Weekly Standard that the committee will never support Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R), who has been accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls.
Said Gardner: “Roy Moore will never have the support of the senatorial committee. We will never endorse him. We won’t support him. I won’t let that happen. Nothing will change. I stand by my previous statement.”
Former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager will be sentenced to 19 to 24 years in prison for the deadly shooting of Walter Scott, an unarmed 50-year-old black man. And Slager might have gotten away with it were it not for the bystander video. https://t.co/n1cEA0i6QX pic.twitter.com/Yl21Y08iO9
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) December 7, 2017
“The House passed a two-week stopgap spending bill one day before a deadline to avoid a government shutdown,” The Hill reports. “House Republicans managed to pass the legislation on their own in the 235-193 vote, despite often coming short of securing a majority of the majority on measures to keep the government open in recent years.”
The Senate also approved the bill which heads to President Trump for his signature. So the big showdown will happen in two weeks, right before Christmas.
The Obamacare enrollment period ends on December 15th, can signups match last year's? https://t.co/ip7qjamrED
— Vox (@voxdotcom) December 8, 2017
Julian Zelizer: “With Nixon, the three-pronged strategy did not work. In the end, the revelations became so damning that the court of public opinion turned against him and Congress prepared to move forward with impeachment. President Trump might actually be able to pull off what Nixon failed to accomplish. He has a number of advantages that Nixon lacked—from a Congress controlled by fiercely partisan Republicans whose political calculations have led them to stand by their president regardless of almost anything that he does, to a conservative media that perpetually broadcasts his points of view.”
“Those who believe that a damaging investigation will inevitably produce negative political results for President Trump should not be deluded. The questions on the table will be: What can Robert Mueller and his team do to counteract Trump’s counteroffensive? Can they withstand the kind of attacks that they will continue to face, which will only become worse as the president becomes more frightened, and will the final report that his team produces be so damaging that it has the capacity to break through the partisan firewall that has insulated this president? Will the Republican Congress ever take a more proactive stance, or might there be a Democratic Congress after 2018 to pick up the slack? Can Mueller carve a legal path, accepted by the courts, that opens the president to criminal prosecution?”
"The Trump-era GOP has grown impervious to virtually any opinion that resists its own internal consensus. Next November’s midterm elections will begin answering whether the party has drawn that closed circle too narrowly to preserve its upper hand in DC." https://t.co/XKf3E5bAwN
— Ronald Brownstein (@RonBrownstein) December 7, 2017
Ron Brownstein: “There is a more straightforward reason why not a single Democrat backed the legislation: The GOP not only entirely excluded Democrats from the process of drafting the bills, but the party punished Democratic constituencies—from residents of high-tax states to graduate students—in the bills’ substance. The tax plans represent a political closed circle: bills written solely by Republicans and passed solely by Republican votes that shower their greatest benefits on Republican constituencies. Meanwhile, the biggest losers in the plans are the constituencies of the Democrats who universally opposed them. It’s not just redistribution: The tax bills are also grounded in retribution.”
“In that way, the tax debate offers the clearest measure of how powerfully the Republican Party in the Trump era is folding inward. Neither Trump nor GOP congressional leaders are even pretending to represent the entire country—or to consider perspectives beyond those of their core coalition.”
Former Franken staffer @jess_mc: "Democrats need to make this count. We need to replace these guys with bold, progressive women and we need to hold the other side to the same principle" #inners pic.twitter.com/KkO6QDfDLR
— All In w/Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) December 8, 2017
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), “a member of House GOP leadership and the head of a working group of House Republicans on the debt limit, said lawmakers were considering increasing the debt ceiling as part of the bill funding the government for the rest of the fiscal year, known as an omnibus,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“GOP leaders are likely to seek to raise the debt limit enough to last at least through next November’s midterm elections, lawmakers and aides said. They will have to act, likely by March, to avoid a default.”
Lawmakers in Australia's parliament burst into song- literally- after passing a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. pic.twitter.com/lAuQgPSnC7
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 7, 2017
“Republican activists and lawmakers are engaged in a multi-front attack on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of possible connections between associates of President Trump and Russian agents, trying to stop or curtail the investigation as it moves further into Trump’s inner circle,” the Washington Post reports.
“For months, the president and his allies have been seizing on any whiff of possible impropriety by Mueller’s team or the FBI to argue that the Russia probe is stacked against Trump — potentially building the political support needed to dismiss the special counsel.”
“Several law enforcement officials said they are concerned that the constant drumbeat of conservative criticism seems designed to erode Mueller’s credibility, making it more politically palatable to remove, restrict or simply ignore his recommendations as his investigation progresses.”
A refresher on all the questionable behavior Michael Flynn has been accused of https://t.co/ujzoqR4Lfq
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) December 7, 2017
Kerry Eleveld: “When Alabama Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones said Tuesday that he “damn sure” did his job “to ensure that men who hurt little girls should go to jail,” he wasn’t bluffing. A quick Nexis search of his years working as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 1997 to 2001 turned up at least a dozen instances in which Jones worked to put men accused of exploiting children behind bars.”
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) December 7, 2017
Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson provide reasons as to why Congressional Republicans appear to be so unfazed by the fact that they support a president with a 32% approval rate, who a majority of voters thinks is unfit to serve, and they support a tax bill with just 25% support, and that their Party has a 24% approval rate, and that they themselves have a 16% approval rate
“1. They have built a formidable electoral firewall through gerrymandering in the House and a Senate that gives more power to less-populated states.
2. The distribution of Republicans voters means that swing seats are significantly more Republican-leaning than the country as a whole.
3. The growing role of big money in politics has increased their ability to pass tax cuts for wealthy donors because it funds their campaigns.
4. They’ve gotten very good at distracting voters.”
The media really did try to make the 2016 election about Hillary Clinton's emails https://t.co/1GaO068mDg
— Vox (@voxdotcom) December 8, 2017