Barack Obama said the current conflict in the Middle East is a “moral reckoning for all of us,” The Hill reports.
Said Obama: “All of this is taking place against the backdrop of decades of failure to achieve a durable peace for both Israelis and Palestinians. One that is based on genuine security for Israel, a recognition of its right to exist, and a peace that is based on an end of the occupation and the creation of a viable state and self-determination for the Palestinian people.”
He added: “Now, I will admit, it is impossible to be dispassionate in the face of this carnage. It is hard to feel hopeful. The images of families mourning, of bodies being pulled from rubble, force a moral reckoning on all of us.”
NBC News on possible peace negotiations in the Russian War on Ukraine: “The conversations have included very broad outlines of what Ukraine might need to give up to reach a deal… They began amid concerns among U.S. and European officials that the war has reached a stalemate and about the ability to continue providing aid to Ukraine… Biden administration officials also are worried that Ukraine is running out of forces…”
“And there is unease in the U.S. government with how much less public attention the war in Ukraine has garnered since the Israel-Hamas war began.”
“Rudy Giuliani is bleeding cash, losing attorneys, racking up lawsuits against him, facing criminal charges, and alienating longtime friends and Republican Party stalwarts. And yet, as his life comes apart around him, Giuliani is still promising to go down with the Donald Trump-sized ship,” Rolling Stone reports.
“The former top Trump lawyer bragged to associates in recent months that he’d never ‘break’ or betray Trump, even as his own legal problem exploded and indictments were handed down.”
“The pledge highlights both Giuliani’s declared loyalty in the face of extreme legal jeopardy and the former president’s growing isolation among the circle of advisers who helped him try to overturn the 2020 election. As the Trump legal team games out which of his co-defendants are most likely to cooperate with prosecutors, Giuliani appears to be one of the few alleged co-conspirators whose loyalty is viewed as uniquely reliable.”
“Sen. John Fetterman is predicting that fellow Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is unlikely to remain in the Senate past the end of his term in January 2025,” Insider reports.
“The Pennsylvania Democrat made the remark during an interview with the Washington Post, taking a swipe at his West Virginia colleague over his efforts to reinstate the Senate’s dress code in September.”
Said Fetterman: “At first I was really kind of angry at him. And then I realized, well, he’s not going to be around much longer and I’m going to get his parking space.”
Paul Kane: “Needing a net gain of just five seats to claim the majority, House Democrats are close to an even-money bet to prevail Nov. 5, 2024, according to a survey of top nonpartisan analysts, with 11 Republican seats in deep-blue California and New York among the Democrats’ top targets.”
“Democrats are trying to buck almost 75 years of history in which the House majority has not changed hands during a presidential election cycle.”
“And Senate Republicans, needing a two-seat gain for a full majority, enter 2024 without a single seat of their own in jeopardy, so far, as Democrats defend three seats in states Donald Trump won easily in 2020 and four others the ex-president lost narrowly.”
“All this turmoil has created the possibility of a historic anomaly that would befit the incredibly volatile political climate of the past three decades: Never before have the House and Senate majorities switched hands in the same election with a different party taking over in each chamber.”
David Frum: “Whatever your theory, it should take into account a curious coincidence: how closely Biden’s approval numbers have tracked the numbers from former President Barack Obama’s first term. Obama’s numbers slumped in the second half of his third year, 2011. In the middle of that October, his disapproval number reached 41 percent, not very far off from Biden’s 37 percent at the same point in October 2023.”
“The world of 2011 was a very different place from the world of 2023. The job market was weak, not red hot the way it is now. Immigrants were returning home, not arriving by the millions. China’s economy was booming, not slumping.”
“Yet if the external facts diverged, the internal dynamics of U.S. politics 12 years ago bore many similarities to those of today. Republican leaders in the House faced a mutiny from their radical fringe. Then, as now, that fringe was impelled by conspiratorial theories: birtherism in those days, elaborate fantasies about Ukraine and the president’s scapegrace son today. Speaker John Boehner barely held on to his job—at the price of a battle over the debt ceiling in May 2011 that pushed the United States to the edge of default.”
“Then, as now, the chaos in Washington was blamed on the president.”
“Shortly after the rally was announced, I asked Steve Bannon, who had served as the CEO of Trump’s 2016 campaign and had once again emerged as one of Trump’s most important advisers, why the former president would go to Waco for his big campaign reboot. He wasn’t coy.
Said Bannon: “We’re the Trump Davidians.”
Even less subtle than the venue of the rally was how Trump kicked it off, standing silently onstage with his hand on his heart while he waited for “The Star‐Spangled Banner” to play. This wasn’t a traditional version of the national anthem. Trump’s campaign had queued up “Justice for All,” a rendition of the song recorded over a jailhouse phone by a group of about 20 inmates being held in Washington, D.C., for taking part in the assault on the U.S. Capitol.
And there’s this: “When I spoke with Bannon a few days later, he wouldn’t stop touting Trump’s performance, referring to it as his “Come Retribution” speech.”
What I didn’t realize was that “Come Retribution,” according to some Civil War historians, served as the code words for the Confederate Secret Service’s plot to take hostage—and eventually assassinate—President Abraham Lincoln.”
Cook Political Report: “The House is so narrowly divided that developments that used to seem like drops in the bucket — a court striking down a redistricting map here, a retirement or special election there — have taken on outsized importance. And although House control hasn’t flipped during a presidential cycle since 1952, Republicans are defending slightly more vulnerable seats: We rate 17 GOP seats in Toss Up or more vulnerable, compared to 12 Democratic-held seats.”
“If our 24 Toss Ups were to break down the middle and every Lean, Likely or Solid seat were to break as expected, Democrats would gain two seats — about halfway to the majority. But as 2020 and 2022 illustrated, the Toss Up column tends to break in one party’s direction.”
“Georgia will not try to block lawmakers from returning to the Capitol later this month to redraw political lines after a judge ruled the maps drawn in 2021 violated the law,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
“In late September, a conservative group opposing Donald Trump quietly tested four TV ads that aimed to weaken the former president by focusing on a central issue of the campaign: His myriad legal troubles,” Politico reports.
“All of the ads shared one thing in common beyond the topic on which they focused. They all failed or backfired.”