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What Now?! – 7/28/19

President Trump slammed House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) on Twitter  as a “brutal bully,” claiming the longtime congressman’s Baltimore district is “far worse” and “more dangerous” than the southern border.

Said Trump: ““Cumming’s District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is under fire from Democrats for repeatedly blocking election security legislation in recent days, The Hill reports.

“The simmering anger among Senate Democrats reached a boiling point this week when McConnell blocked two attempts to pass election bills shortly after former special counsel Robert Mueller warned that foreign governments will interfere in the 2020 elections.”

Said minority leader Chuck Schumer: “We are not going to let Leader McConnell put the bills passed by the House into his legislative graveyard without a fight. You’re going to hear from us on this issue over and over again.”

Playbook: “While we were all watching Robert Mueller and Democrats this week, here’s what happened to House Republicans: Three popular and well-respected members of Congress decided they weren’t going to run for reelection. Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell, Texas Rep. Pete Olson and Alabama Rep. Martha Roby all said they were calling it quits.”

“Republicans say they lost the House because of too many retirements last cycle, yet they are seeing a steady stream of lawmakers forgo reelection once again.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) “has spent the first six months of his governorship positioning himself as the West Coast anti-Trump while taking pains to distinguish himself from his legendary predecessor, Jerry Brown,” Politico reports.

“Those two strands intersect in a piece of legislation sitting on Newsom’s desk that would compel President Donald Trump and other presidential candidates to release their tax returns if they want to appear on California ballots.”

“Although going after Trump is typically political gold for Newsom, the bill — which Brown vetoed in 2017 — poses a tricky balancing act for the rookie governor: Signing it would shore up Newsom’s base and boost his national profile within the Democratic Party, with other Democratic-led states following his lead. But doing so may rile up dormant California Republicans, and fray Sacramento’s relationship with the Trump administration, which Newsom has tried to keep functional despite bitter disputes over everything from immigration to auto emissions policy.”

Actually, there is a better reason for Newsom to actually oppose this bill: if Trump is off the ballot, that will depress turnout for Democrats up and down the state, which could cause Democratic incumbents in the House to lose their newly won seats from 2018, and it could severely erode the Democrats’ popular vote margin nationwide. Indeed, in 2016, the vast majority of the 3 million lead over Trump came from California.

David M Drucker at Vanity Fair on GOP insiders fearing Kamala could be the next Obama:

Rattled by her deft vivisection of Joe Biden at the last debate, Republicans wonder how Harris might do against a real villain like Trump. “She doesn’t come across as a nutjob,” worries one GOP operative. “Kamala is a nightmare,” says another.

“She made a mistake with private health care,” this Republican operative conceded, referring to Harris’s serial flip-flops on Medicare for All and whether her plans for overhauling health care would lead to the abolition of private insurance. “But she doesn’t come across as a nutjob.”

Harris, 54, is California’s junior U.S. senator and former state attorney general. She might have more natural political skill than any of her competitors for the Democratic nomination. She certainly checks more boxes—African American, woman, racially diverse, a legitimate strength in a party occasionally obsessed with identity politics. Harris also is something of a Washington outsider, or could claim to be, at least, having served in Congress for less than three years. Unlike Biden, she has not spent decades on Capitol Hill making tough choices or agreeing to imperfect compromises.

If any of this rings familiar, it’s because it is. The last Democrat to win the presidency, Barack Obama, was all of those things, save for the obvious. That is why some Republicans take it as an article of faith that by the time the Democrats gather in Milwaukee a little less than a year from now to coronate their nominee, Harris will be the guest of honor. Who else could they possibly nominate? some Republicans have told me, convinced. But in dismantling Biden on the big stage in Miami, Harris showcased how she might earn it—and why next week’s debate in Detroit could be decisive.”

Renato Mariotti says that actually, Robert Mueller was awesome.

History will show that he had one big goal, and nailed it.

When Mueller wanted to say more, he did. He described in detail the threat posed by the Russian attack on our electoral process, testifying that “they’re doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign.” He warned that “many more countries are developing the capability to replicate what the Russians had done.” When Mueller had the rare opportunity to testify about matters that were not partisan—matters that should concern all Americans—he testified freely and strongly.

At times, Mueller faced harsh questioning from Republicans who lashed him and his team as biased or worse. His calm demeanor was another sign of his professionalism. It would have been easy for Mueller to fight back—he has in previous appearances, after all—but that would have pulled him into the fray. It was not weakness but rather quiet strength that caused Mueller to do nothing more than calmly reply, “I take your question,” in response to GOP Congressman Louie Gohmert’s hyperbolic charge that he “perpetuated injustice.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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