A new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds a majority of Americans ― 55% ― disapprove of President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency along the U.S.-Mexico border in order to pay for construction of a border wall. Just 37% approve.
The emergency declaration is significantly more unpopular in the poll than building the wall itself, of which 49% disapprove and 45% approve.
“State election officials in North Carolina said that a political operative for Republican Mark Harris orchestrated a ‘coordinated, unlawful, and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme’ in the 9th Congressional District last year, hiding evidence of the operation as it unfolded and obstructing the state’s investigation after the election,” the Washington Post reports.
“Those explosive charges opened an evidentiary hearing in Raleigh Monday, where the North Carolina State Board of Elections began listening to witness testimony to decide whether enough ballots were tampered with to taint the outcome of the 9th District race.”
The Charlotte Observer has more on the hearing.
President Trump is dragging Republicans down with him, and they don't have the guts to say no: https://t.co/55qOVk84EO
— Paul Waldman (@paulwaldman1) February 18, 2019
First Read: “Just how many problems did President Trump create for himself — and others — in Friday’s 50-minute disjointed and flat-out bizarre statement and news conference, when he announced his national emergency to build his border wall?”
Let us count the ways:
- He arguably undermined the legal basis for declaring a national emergency.
- He said it was a “lie” that the preponderance of illegal drugs crossing the border do so at ports of entry — when the DEA reported in 2018 that it was the most common method for transnational criminal organizations.
- He said Japanese Prime Minister Abe recommended him for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on North Korea, which has created an uproar in Japan.
- He claimed Obama was “close to starting a big war with North Korea,” which former Obama White House aides deny.
- After signing criminal-justice reform into law, he appeared to endorse China’s policy of giving the death penalty to drug dealers.
The threat of climate change is so dire it requires at least the level of mobilization we engaged against Al Qaeda and the Axis Powers.
The danger of doing nothing far outweighs the cost of doing something.https://t.co/U0TkvRXcI3
— David Atkins #11Justices (@DavidOAtkins) February 17, 2019
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CBS News that middle school children in Kentucky would be better off if funds that would otherwise have gone to building new schools were used for a border wall.
Said Graham: “It’s better for the middle school kids in Kentucky to have a secure border. We’ll get them the school they need, but right now we’ve got a national emergency.”
There are 3.7 million K-12 teachers across America. Implementing a refundable tax credit program would both improve teaching standards and restore the nation’s economic health.https://t.co/YE7v75XvNn
— Washington Monthly (@washmonthly) February 15, 2019
“Days after a federal judge imposed a limited gag order on him, Roger Stone posted a photograph of that judge to his Instagram page that included her name, a close-up of her face and what appeared to be the crosshairs of a gun sight near her head,” the Washington Post reports.
“Stone, a longtime confidant of President Trump, deleted the picture soon afterward, then reposted it without the crosshairs before deleting that second post as well.”
NBC News says Stone later posted a statement on Instagram saying the image had been “misinterpreted.”
The president who once framed fake Time magazine covers celebrating his greatness just wants to be happy to be nominated https://t.co/bzK78dd6UJ
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) February 18, 2019
“Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wouldn’t say Monday whether he nominated President Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating with North Korea, even though local media reports suggest that he did,” the Washington Post reports.
“Trump said Friday that Abe had personally given him ‘the most beautiful copy’ of a five-page nomination letter recommending him for the prize for opening talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and lowering tensions.”
“But Abe wouldn’t confirm that Monday.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “will unveil a major new initiative on Tuesday designed to make sure every family can afford high-quality child care,” the HuffPost reports.
“The plan seeks to make access to child care universal… by offering federal funds to providers that offer care at their facilities on a sliding income scale. No family would have to spend more than 7 percent of its household income on child care, no matter the number of kids. Families with incomes below twice the poverty line, which is roughly $50,000 a year for a family of four, would pay nothing.”
Trump's continued obsession with his wall proves that he is either too delusional, too incompetent or too subservient to conservative infotainment to handle the presidency.https://t.co/IjdjT4gwGf
— David Atkins #11Justices (@DavidOAtkins) February 17, 2019
Politico: “Even as speculation mounts that special counsel Robert Mueller might be winding down his investigation, a parallel threat to President Trump only seems to be growing within his own Justice Department: the Southern District of New York.”
“Manhattan-based federal prosecutors can challenge Trump in ways Mueller can’t. They have jurisdiction over the president’s political operation and businesses — subjects that aren’t protected by executive privilege, a tool Trump is considering invoking to block portions of Mueller’s report.”
“Legal circles are also buzzing over whether SDNY might buck DOJ guidance and seek to indict a sitting president.”
Public opinion may help Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax stay in office, despite recent calls for their resignations, writes @andrewkragie: https://t.co/x2ar9uxfip
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) February 18, 2019
Politico: “While most polls show the former vice president hovering around 30 percent of the Democratic primary vote, well ahead of second-place Sen. Bernie Sanders, two recent surveys paint a starkly different picture — raising the question of whether Biden is a real front-runner or just has big name-recognition. Those polls show far more Democratic voters undecided about which candidate to support, and they pegged Biden’s backing at a much less intimidating 9 to 12 percent.”
The big divide among 2020 Democrats over trade — and why it matters https://t.co/U4EYRPbBK8
— Vox (@voxdotcom) February 18, 2019
“A majority of Americans in every state except Vermont would fail a test based on the questions in the U.S. citizenship test, according to Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation survey.
“It suggests most Americans can’t live up to the standards we set for people applying to be U.S. citizens — and we set those standards because we expect Americans to be informed and engaged. Only four out of 10 Americans would have passed the test, and just 27% of those under age 45.”
Here's a whip count of almost* every Republican senator's position on the emergency declaration. There's more opposition than you might think. https://t.co/WRt07bgh3w
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 18, 2019
“A new effort to let Iowans virtually caucus for president could expand participation in the 2020 Democratic caucuses by almost a third,” a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows.
“The results show that 21 percent of Iowans say they will definitely or probably participate in the 2020 Democratic caucuses. Eight percent initially said they were unlikely to caucus for Democrats in person, but also say they would definitely or probably participate if they had the option to do so remotely.”
In texts with the leader of Patriot Prayer, a Portland officer discussed arrest warrants and the location of unrelated leftist protests. https://t.co/IfFZMr0zjg
— Slate (@Slate) February 17, 2019
Associated Press: “As she cranks up her presidential campaign, Gillibrand isn’t trying to hide her working-mom juggle — she’s running on it. More than any other contender in a field crowded with women, the mom of two is using her dual roles of mother and candidate to pitch herself to Democratic voters.”
“She opens her standard campaign speech vowing to ‘fight for your children as hard as I would fight for my own.’ She’s floated the idea of making an RV trip through Iowa this summer, to be able to prepare meals for her family while she travels to meet supporters. During her first week as a candidate, she baked cookies with a voter, dismissing any complexity in the symbolism. And on a recent Tuesday evening, she even invited a reporter into her Capitol Hill home for dinner with her family.”
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) are launching a new probe of what they called the “complex web of relationships” between members of the National Rifle Association and Russian individuals with close ties to the Kremlin, ABC News reports.