Politico: “While it’s true that most presidents who see their party suffer major losses in their first midterm election get reelected anyway, Trump isn’t most presidents — and there are lots of blaring-red warning lights in this month’s election results for his bid for a second term.”
“Unlike most of his predecessors, he’s been persistently unpopular, with approval ratings mired in the 40-percent range — so far, he’s the only president in the modern era whose job approval ratings have never been over 50 percent, according to Gallup.”
“Some of Democrats’ biggest gains came in the states that powered Trump’s Electoral College victory in 2016: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And while a president’s base has stayed home in previous midterm elections, leading to losses, the record turnout in this year’s races suggests 2018 was more like a 2016 re-run than Trump voters standing on the sidelines.”
The Trump administration released a major new climate science report on Friday, warning of “hundreds of billions of dollars” in annual losses to some economic sectors without scaled up actions to adapt to current changes and slash emissions to avoid future warming, Axios reports.
Washington Post: “The report’s authors, who represent numerous federal agencies, say they are more certain than ever that climate change poses a severe threat to Americans’ health and pocketbooks, as well as to the country’s infrastructure and natural resources. And while it avoids policy recommendations, the report’s sense of urgency and alarm stand in stark contrast to the lack of any apparent plan from President Trump to tackle the problems which, according to the government he runs, are increasingly dire.”
“The congressionally mandated document — the first of its kind issued during the Trump administration — details how climate-fueled disasters and other types of worrying changes are becoming more commonplace around the country and how much worse they could become in the absence of efforts to combat global warming.”
NPR: “The midterm elections illuminated a gap in Republican fundraising. While wealthy conservatives continued to fund party committees and superPACs, Democrats beat Republicans in the contest for small-donor contributions.”
“In 73 hot House races, Democrats raised more than $62 million from donors of $200 or less. Republicans raised barely $27 million.”
“The gusher shocked Republicans.”
— The New Republic (@newrepublic) November 21, 2018
Concord Monitor: “It may not be outwardly visible, but behind the scenes, the 2020 race for the White House is definitely underway in New Hampshire, the state that for a century has held the first presidential primary.”
“Potential Democratic presidential contenders are busy putting plans in place to launch likely White House campaigns. They’re also quietly courting Granite State Democratic lawmakers and rainmakers.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) “just won reelection resoundingly in a Trump state running on Trump’s issues — taking a hard line on trade and helping blue-collar workers,” Politico reports.
“Now the Ohio senator is talking increasingly like he’s prepared to take on the president himself.”
“In an expansive interview that began in his Senate office, Brown sketched the outlines of a potential presidential campaign that connects with the working-class, particularly Rust Belt voters who’ve fled the Democratic Party for Trump — but with a less divisive message.”
Brown told BuzzFeed News that his decision about running for president could hinge on whether another progressive Democrat can gain traction with an economic message aimed at the working class. Said Brown: “I don’t really want to judge other candidates, what they’re doing, what they’re saying. But I’m concerned… I think the most important political decision in my lifetime will be replacing Donald Trump in 2020.”
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) November 21, 2018
President Trump “asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review lower court rulings blocking a policy barring certain transgender people from serving in the military, declining to wait for the decisions from federal appeals courts currently considering the issue,” Reuters reports.
“Trump announced in March that he would endorse a plan by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to restrict the military service of transgender people who experience a condition called gender dysphoria. The policy replaced an outright ban on transgender service members that Trump announced last year on Twitter, citing concern over military focus and medical costs.”
“But judges in federal courts in Washington state, California, and Washington, D.C., refused to lift injunctions that they had issued against Trump’s original ban to allow the updated policy to be enforced.”
Beneath the right's scorn for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a deeper antipathy toward leftist governance and Latinos that is not new, but has found in the Puerto Rican Bronx native a tailor-made boogeyman. @zakcheneyrice writes https://t.co/fkFe0lLB9L
— Intelligencer (@intelligencer) November 21, 2018
The longtime executive editor of the National Enquirer, Barry Levine, is penning a book for Hachette about the president, Page Six reports.
“A source says that the book will look into ‘Trump and his women,’ although other insiders tell us that it could be more wide-ranging, even looking at the formerly cozy relationship between the Enquirer’s owner, David Pecker, and Trump. That said, it’s unclear exactly what Levine’s contract with the Enquirer would allow him to reveal about Pecker.”
New Jersey provides a preview of the possibilities — and the challenges — for states where Democrats just won powerhttps://t.co/ogZVLvDn5N
— Dylan Scott (@dylanlscott) November 21, 2018
New York Times: “While the list of possible Democratic candidates seems to expand every day, political prognosticators have long assumed there would be a Bernie 2.0.”
“But if Mr. Sanders, 77, was a sensation in 2016, electrifying crowds and awakening fervor on the far left, he is no longer a singular figure among Democrats. Outflanked on the left by rising stars like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Beto O’Rourke, his stronghold on the party’s progressive wing has weakened. Many of his key policy positions, including Medicare for All and tuition-free public college, have been embraced by others — a victory for him, he would argue, but one that makes his agenda seem less novel.”
“And while his out-front political presence has kept his name in the mix of 2020 chatter, it has also weakened the anti-establishment appeal he rode to success two years ago.”
The Department of Homeland Security is paying undercover informants to gather intelligence from the migrant caravan by monitoring their text-message conversations as they travel toward the U.S. border, NBC News reports.
Politico: “Meanwhile, the caravans of thousands of Central Americans continue moving north through Mexico — unblocked by either Trump’s Nov. 9 asylum proclamation or the deployments of U.S. troops whose main duties have included placing concertina wire and other barriers at ports of entry.”
Here's my biggest takeaway from the midterms: https://t.co/ysjAje86Kf
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 20, 2018
Nate Silver: “This year’s results do serve as a warning to Trump in one important sense, however: His base alone will not be enough to win a second term. Throughout the stretch run of the 2018 midterm campaign, Trump and Republicans highlighted highly charged partisan issues, from the Central American migrant caravan to Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. And Republican voters did indeed turn out in very high numbers: GOP candidates for the House received more than 50 million votes, more than the roughly 45 million they got in 2010.”
“But it wasn’t enough, or even close to enough. Problem No. 1 is that Republicans lost among swing voters: Independent voters went for Democrats by a 12-point margin, and voters who voted for a third-party candidate in 2016 went to Democrats by 13 points.”
“Trump and Republicans also have Problem No. 2, however: Their base is smaller than the Democratic one.”
U.S. stocks just erased all their 2018 gains. Here’s why https://t.co/ndtYIjjqHI
— Intelligencer (@intelligencer) November 20, 2018
Los Angeles Times: “There are concrete indications that special counsel Robert Mueller is now about the business of laying down the last big pieces of the puzzle of Russian intervention in the 2016 election.”
“Mueller already has done the difficult digging on the Russian side of the equation, bringing detailed indictments in February 2018 for a wide-ranging Russian trolling operation related to the campaign, as well as the July 2016 hacking of Democratic Party emails. Now he’s looking to tie those allegations to people close to the Trump campaign.”
“The upshot may be allegations of ‘collusion,’ of the sort the president has long denied. The actual charges are likely to be one of three criminal conspiracies: violating federal election laws, violating computer laws, or soliciting or receiving something of value from a foreign government. Charges, in other words, that not even the most ardent Trump die-hard could trivialize. They bring with them the possibility that Mueller might opt to name President Trump himself as an unindicted co-conspirator.”
Democrats will win the White House and fix the “damn” mess in the nation’s capital by listening to their incoming governors who just swept the midwest.
— Crooked Media (@crookedmedia) November 20, 2018
“Roger Stone associate Jerome Corsi said Friday he is in plea negotiations with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office,” CNN reports.
“Corsi, confirming an earlier Washington Post report, declined to comment further.”
Last week, he said publicly he expected to be indicted by Mueller for “giving false information to the special counsel or to one of the other grand jury.”
“Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are planning on looking into Ivanka Trump’s use of a personal email account to determine whether she violated federal law,” The Hill reports.
A Democratic aide said that the committee is planning “to continue our investigation of the presidential records act and federal records act, and we want to know if Ivanka complied with the law.”