US PRESIDENT Trump Knows Fear – At Long Last After Democrats Upset Republicans At Mid- Term

The Senate and House races in Florida have gone to a recount, and Stacey Abrams in Georgia is standing strong against Brian Kemp’s brazen attempts to steal the race in broad daylight. In short, the 2018 midterm elections are not over, but the Democrats fared far better than the early wisdom suggested.

This is what we’ve waited for
This is it, boys, this is war
The president is on the line
As ninety-nine red balloons go by …

— Nena, “99 Luftballons”

Image result for blue wave
BEN SARGENT

There is a soul-searing symmetry to the fact that the morning after yet another man with yet another gun slaughtered yet another crowd of people in yet another all-American massacre, a mother who lost her son to gun violence and made that loss her cause of action won her election to Congress.

Six years ago, Jordan Davis was sitting in a car with friends at a Florida gas station when a man named Michael Dunn opened fire on them because he thought the music they were playing was too loud. Davis was killed in the hail of bullets. His mother, Lucy McBath, became a gun-violence activist and joined forces with the Parkland survivors after that nightmare unfolded.

McBath ran for the Georgia 6th House seat this year, and on Thursday morning, her Republican opponent Rep. Karen Handel conceded the race. “For me,” McBath told CNN back in May, “I was looking beyond my own tragedy, looking for the other tragedies that were most definitely going to happen if I didn’t keep talking about this crisis.” The victory marked the 29th House seat picked up by the Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections, further cementing their majority control of the chamber.

That is the election, in a nutshell, an amalgam of joy and sorrow. It is inspiring for what did happen and utterly galling for what might have been. Democrats handily won control of the House but lost ground in the Senate, a harrowing fact when one notes that Democratic Senate candidates collectively got 10 million more votes than their Republican opponents. Power in the Senate is further devolving to a hard-right Republican majority who only represent about 18 percent of the country. Nothing good comes from this.

Beto O’Rourke lost in heartbreaking fashion in Texas, as Andrew Gillum appeared to win Florida — although that may change. However, neither Scott Walker nor Kris Kobach will be governors come January. Voters in Oregon handily defeated an anti-choice ballot measure while voters in Alabama and West Virginia approved them. Ballot initiatives to expand Medicaid won in Idaho, Utah and Nebraska but lost in Montana. Nearly a million and a half people with felony convictions regained the right to vote in Florida, while four states passed “victims’ rights” measures that will exacerbate incarceration.

One of the most consequential outcomes of the 2018 midterms was the full-spectrum dominance of a diverse cross-section of women all across the country. “At least ninety-eight women were elected to the House on Tuesday night,” reports Margaret Talbot for The New Yorker, “eighty-four Democrats and fourteen Republicans — which means that more women will be serving in Congress than ever before.”

All this good, bad and ugly took place in the umbra of rampant national vote suppression by Republicans that begs the question: What would Tuesday’s results have been if so many millions of voters had not been deprived of the franchise in so many shamelessly rigged elections?

In Georgia, hundreds of voting machines meant for Democrat-leaning districts were left locked in a government warehouse, causing huge lines and long waits. In North Dakota, Native Americans who live on reservations were stripped of their voting rights because of a GOP-passed law requiring voters to have street addresses, which many reservation residents don’t have. The list of brazen efforts to suppress voting rights during this last election is seemingly endless and must be investigated down to the last stolen vote.

Towering over it all, however, is the change set to take place in the House of Representatives. Women, Muslims, African-Americans, war veterans, members of the Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities, young people, gun violence activists, teachers, union activists, all the people who Donald Trump disdains came together on Tuesday night to create this new truth:

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, House Banking Committee Chairman Maxine Waters, House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings, House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal and House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler.

On January 3, 2019, those people will stand athwart a renegade White House with subpoena power in hand and the popular winds at their back. That, more than anything, explains the incredible chaos which unfolded in the immediate aftermath of one of the most consequential elections in living memory.

It began with Donald Trump giving easily the most unsettling, unhinged press conference of his tenure, and brothers and sisters, that is saying something. The peak moment came when Trump shouted down CNN reporter Jim Acosta for asking questions about the Mueller investigation. At one point, it looked for all the world like the two of them were about to come to blows.

A White House aide attempted to take Acosta’s microphone away from him during the exchange, and Acosta discovered later in the day that his White House privileges had been summarily revoked. Adding insult to injury, the White House press office fobbed off a demonstrably doctored video claiming Acosta had been violent with the microphone-grabbing aide. The ruse was promptly exposed, and a variety of national press organizations are now raising every shade of Hell on Acosta’s behalf.

Mere minutes after his press conference meltdown, Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, replacing him with confirmed lickspittleMatt Whitaker, who will now have immediate oversight control of the Mueller investigation. This despite Whittaker’s public attacks on the investigation and the fact that putting him in charge of the investigation may very well be flatly unconstitutional.

What sort of fellow is Mr. Whittaker? Esquire blogger Charles P. Pierce was able to flag some comments made by Whittaker during his 2014 run for Senate:

I have a Christian worldview. Our rights come from our Creator and they are guaranteed by the Constitution. So I would start all analysis of any law or anything else first with the Constitution and then work from there.

OK, then.

It is to be devoutly hoped (pun intended) that Mr. Mueller saw this storm coming and has the contents of his investigation saved on flash drives that are easy to swallow should the need arise. No, I am not kidding. The period of time between right now and January 3 may be, mark my words, the strangest and most dangerous passage this nation has crossed in decades.

Why? Because before Tuesday, Trump only suspected someone might come along with a big enough stick to do him actual damage. Now, he knows they’re coming for sure, and if Wednesday’s presser was any indication, he is not taking the new order of things in stride. Matters did not improve as the weekend, and Trump’s trip to Paris, came crashing together in yet another presidential fit of temper.

Mueller was waiting out the midterms, and Adam Schiff is measuring the drapes for his new office while sharpening his fangs with 40-grit sandpaper. Trump knows they’re coming now, and he can impede some of it, but not all of it before the building falls on him.

I could be wrong, but I believe we are about to bear witness to a scorched-earth retreat the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Boer War. I strongly suspect Donald Trump is going to try to burn everything, and everyone, to save himself from the awful grace of consequences. He can’t stop all of it, but between now and the first week of January, he’s going to try with all his might.

Sessions was only the beginning. Anyone who was hoping for a bit of quiet time after the midterms has not, frankly, been paying enough attention. Worse, what is happening now will seem tame by the new year. It definitely gets weirder from here

US MIDTERM ELECTIONS – I took my 3-year-old to Congress to fight for health care. I feel like we won the midterms.

Republicans voted against our health care. It just cost them the House.

Elena Hung and her daughter, Xiomara, meet Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on the Hill last year. Bella Lucy for Vox

|AIWA! NO!My daughter Xiomara spent the first five months of her life in the neonatal intensive care unit. She was born with a number of medical conditions affecting her airway, lungs, heart, and kidneys — luckily, due to her medical care, she is thriving today.

When I look back on those 169 days I spent at her hospital bedside, I am overwhelmed with gratitude all over again. Because of the Affordable Care Act, I was able to focus on her care instead of worrying about how to afford our bills or filing for bankruptcy.

Under the ACA, families like mine who have children with complex medical needs cannot be denied medical coverage due to preexisting conditions or face a lifetime cap. When the GOP threatened to take away that peace of mind in early 2017, I knew I had to speak up. I have always been a fiercely private person, but I found something more precious than my privacy to protect: my daughter.

On Tuesday night, after a hard-fought battle to protect our care, health care advocates like me won. Children with complex medical needs like Xiomara won. The Republican Party voted against our health care more than 50 times, and it just cost them control of the House of Representatives. Exit polls showed that health care was the No. 1 issue for voters this midterm election, and a majority — almost 60 percent — of Americans said Democrats would better address preexisting conditions as a health care issue.

As Vox’s Dylan Scott wrote, Obamacare repeal “proved devastatingly unpopular when the GOP actually tried to pass it, and voters made them, and Trump, pay the price on Election Day.”

Taking the fight to Congress

Ever since the GOP took control of the government, Republicans have been obsessed with attacking Americans’ access to affordable health care and disability rights in every corner of our country. Last summer, the Senate tried (and failed) to pass a health care repeal bill that would have cut Medicaid by more than $800 billion and left 23 million Americans uninsured.

Last December, they followed suit by passing a disastrous tax bill that is estimated to leave 13 million Americans without health insurance in the next 10 years. The Republican attacks on our health care never died down as they backed a lawsuit that threatens people with preexisting conditions, loosened restrictions on junk insurance policies that skirt consumer protections outlined in the Affordable Care Act, and made Medicaid harder and harder for families to access.

Every step of the way, health care advocates, including patients and caregivers, fought back. We made sure that lawmakers looked our children in the eyes, heard our stories, and remembered our families.

Along with my friends who also have medically complex children, I went to Capitol Hill last year — with our kids and their medical bags in tow! — and spoke directly with the lawmakers elected to represent us. Before I knew it, my life was consumed by political advocacy. I began to raise my voice louder than I thought possible.

Through Little Lobbyists, a parent-led group of families with children with complex medical needs, we shared our stories and explained what was possible with access to health care — and what was at stake without it. We had countless meetings. We spoke at rallies and press events. We made phone calls. We wrote op-eds and letters to the editor across the country. We educated our community and empowered them to hold their elected officials accountable. We mobilized voters. For nearly two years, we fought back nonstop.

Hung and Xiomara meet Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). Bella Lucy for Vox

As the results rolled in on Tuesday night, it was clear that our work made the difference. While I watched the map turn from red to blue, Xiomara was asleep in the room next to me; her ventilator, feeding tube, and emergency medical bags safely close by. I saw the hard work of millions of health care advocates come to life, and in that moment, I was hopeful.

I am tired, but like millions of advocates across the country, I won’t back down. I have never given up on my daughter, and I won’t give up now.

Americans vote on health care. It’s a life-or-death issue.

It’s not a difficult equation: If our lawmakers dare threaten the health care that American families rely on, then we will do everything in our power to hold them accountable and vote them out of office.

In the lead-up to Tuesday’s results, it became obvious that health care advocates were driving Americans to the ballot box. Friends and community members shared their health care story to empower the people around them. Polling pointed to health care as the No. 1 issue in the elections. Health care became Democrats’ closing argument.

Republicans, finally recognizing that voters were going to hold them accountable, lied about their own voting records. They tried to rewrite their history of voting against people with preexisting conditions, but the American people wouldn’t be fooled.

The results of the midterm elections have sent an undeniable message to the Republican Party: Attempting to repeal our health care is not a winning issue. Our health care is non-negotiable. I am more hopeful than I have been in months; the American people won, and my daughter’s health care was protected.

Notably, the Democrats taking control of the House means that the Republicans won’t be able to move forward on their plans to defund Medicaid or repeal the Affordable Care Act, which ensures that people with preexisting conditions have coverage and that there is no annual or lifetime limits on care. This is huge; it makes all the difference to families likes mine with children with complex medical needs and disabilities.

Elena Hung is co-founder and president of Little Lobbyists and co-chair of the Health Care Voter campaign.

CNN’s Toobin says Trump is begging for impeachment: ‘If Mueller gets fired they will find it impossible to stop’

Trump is begging for impeachment: If Mueller gets fired they will find it impossible to stop; Toobin

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin (Screen cap).
|AIWA! NO!|A CNN panel on Thursday said that President Donald Trump is clearly executing a plot to shut down special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe — but they warned he could be courting trouble for doing so now that Democrats have subpoena power.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony in Quantico, Va, 2017.
Evan Vucci,AP

Panelist John Avlon laid out how Trump not only fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but replaced him with a hardcore loyalist who has in the past mused about ending the Mueller probe by slashing its budget so it cannot effectively conduct its investigation.

“Whitaker’s only credibility and criteria is that he is a hard partisan who has been accused of being a back channel — and some say spy — to the White House from the Justice Department,” he said, in reference to new acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. “And he has written and spoken out several times — repeatedly, in fact — about the Mueller probe and retweeting an article that called it a ‘lynch mob’… the fix is in on that front.”

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin then said that incoming House speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders absolutely do not want to impeach Trump at this time, in no small part because there is no chance of him being convicted by a Republican Senate.

However, he said that moving to get rid of Mueller in such a brazen matter was practically begging Democrats to start impeachment hearings.

“If Robert Mueller gets fired, they will find it impossible to stop the impeachment in the House of Representatives,” he said.

Watch the video below.

Obama, Trump stump for dueling visions as hotly contested US midterms approach

AIWA! NO!Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Barack Obama made dueling election appearances on Sunday, offering sharply different views on the country’s problems but agreeing on the high stakes for voters in the final 48 hours of a tight campaign.

With opinion polls showing dozens of tight U.S. congressional and gubernatorial races in Tuesday’s election, the current and former presidents said the results would determine what kind of country Americans live in for the next two years.

President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama traded blow after blow as they crossed the country in the final weekend of campaigning before Tuesday’s midterm elections.

“This election will decide whether we build on this extraordinary prosperity we have created,” Trump told a cheering crowd in Macon, Georgia, warning that Democrats would “take a giant wrecking ball to our economy.”

Trump campaigned with Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is in a tight race with Democrat Stacey Abrams for the governor’s office.

Obama condemned Trump, without addressing him by name, and Republicans for what he described as their divisive policies and repeated lies. He hammered Trump and Republicans for repeatedly trying to repeal his signature healthcare law while at the same time claiming to support the law’s protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

“The only check right now on the behavior of these Republicans is you and your vote,” Obama told supporters in Gary, Indiana, during a rally for endangered Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly.

“The character of our country is on the ballot,” he said.

View image on Twitter

Joe Donnelly

@JoeforIndiana

US Senate candidate, IN

Your vote is your voice. Thank you to my friend @BarackObama for rallying Hoosiers to vote today. Let’s win this.http://GetToThePolls.com 

Trump and Obama are the most popular figures in their parties, and their appearances on the campaign trail are designed to stoke enthusiasm among core supporters in the late stages of a midterm congressional election widely seen as a referendum on Trump’s first two years in the White House.

U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP gives incoherent, unhinged campaign rant — from the White House

In a desperate bid to scare voters ahead of midterms, Trump unleashed a fit of rage from inside the White House ThursdayDonald Trump

|Caroline Orr, Shareblue MEDIA|AIWA! NO!|In a presidential address that was anything but presidential, Trump on Thursday afternoon unleashed a fit of lies and anti-immigrant rage straight from the White House and onto the TV screens of millions of Americans.

The address, which was essentially a regurgitation of the same unhinged rhetoric he spews at campaign rallies, came just a day after Trump tweeted out an inflammatory video that was widely condemned as even worse than the notoriously racist Willie Horton campaign ad.

Trump kicked off the speech by stoking fears about the so-called “caravan” of asylum-seekers slowly making their way north from Central America, which has become his go-to talking point in the weeks leading up to midterms.

“Some people call it an invasion,” Trump said, referring to his own preferred terminology for the asylum-seekers.

“This isn’t an innocent group of people,” he continued, claiming without evidence that the migrants have “injured” and “attacked” scores of Mexican police officers and troops.

He then railed against our current immigration laws, blaming the so-called “crisis” on Democrats, despite the fact that Republicans control both chamber of Congress and the White House.

While the address was billed as a policy speech, Trump didn’t actually introduce any new policies as promised. Instead, he stuck by his usual script of incoherent ranting, apocalyptic fear-mongering, and unhinged conspiratorial rhetoric.

At one point, Trump floated a conspiracy theory about outside groups funding the so-called “caravan,” saying “there’s a lot of professionalism” involved in the journey. “There seems to be a lot of money passing,” he added.

That’s the same conspiracy theory that reportedly motivated the gunman who carried out the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history just five days ago.

In a particularly dark moment of the speech, Trump hinted that he may allow U.S. troops to shoot at people trying to cross the border, absurdly claiming that getting hit with a rock is just as bad as getting shot.

As usual, the entire speech was meant to stoke fear, since appealing to voters’ primal emotions is all Trump knows how to do.

With midterms just days away, Trump is more desperate than ever. And since he has no accomplishments to brag about, he is now boxed into a corner, peddling a constant stream of anti-immigrant propaganda and yelling things about “open borders,” “caravans,” “catch and release,” and “bad guys.”

For someone who claims to have the “best words,” he sure can’t seem to find many new ones.

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The media today: Midterm coverage beyond Trump

The media today; Midterm coverage beyond Trump|Pete Vernon, CJR |AIWA! NO!|After the 2016 contest for the presidency, when many media outlets missed the rise of Donald Trump, they were left grasping for explanations.

There had been too much focus on the horse race, not enough coverage of people on the ground, a fundamental misunderstanding of what polls actually say. All were seen as missteps. Now, less than three weeks out from the midterm elections, it’s hard to quantify whether there has been any meaningful shift from empty prognosticating, though news outlets are talking a good game about having learned from the past.

For CJR, David Uberti notes that some newsrooms that got Trump’s election spectacularly wrong have done away with their numerical projections entirely. Others have taken steps to tell their audience understand what the numbers mean. “As news organizations rev up their coverage for midterm elections, the credibility of polling analysis is back on the line,” Uberti writes. “And the question of how to predict what might happen looms ever larger given the political stakes, leaving prognosticators to reconsider how they frame predictions for laypeople—if they produce them at all.”

The midterms have been cast as a referendum on President Trump, but competitions for Senate and House seats are inherently local competitions. Ahead of November 6, CJR invited writers from around the country to spotlight stories that deserve closer scrutiny in their states. The subjects that the writers chose varied from coal to racial divides to voter suppression, and several dispatches lamented the dwindling resources of local news outlets.

From Montana, Anne Helen Petersen writes that the local press “simply lacks the resources or wherewithal to pursue the larger issues, institutions, and money-flows in depth.” The state’s lone congressional seat is held by Republican Greg Gianforte, who assaulted a reporter on the eve of his special election in the spring of 2017. “How do you cover a candidate whose antagonism towards the press includes physical abuse?” Petersen wonders.

Kris Kobach, the secretary of state of Kansas, is running for governor there. Kobach, a Republican who led President Trump’s voting fraud panel (since disbanded), has turned Kansas into the “epicenter of a national voter-suppression crisis,” Sarah Smarsh reports. “Readers, viewers and listeners deserve to understand the forces that might compromise the power of their ballots, from gerrymandering to unlawful purging of voter rolls,” she writes. “With pivotal midterm races across the country, no election coverage—in Kansas, and beyond—is complete without deep investigations into the voting process.”

And in Virginia, journalists are dealing with how to report on the racial demagoguery spouted by Corey Stewart, a Republican candidate for senate who has been abandoned by leading officials in his own party. “The press and public,” Elizabeth Catte writes, are “putting lessons learned covering Trump, about being less reactionary in news production and consumption, in practice.”

Trump’s dominance of national news storylines and his desire to inject his role into hundreds of local races mean that midterm voters may be thinking more nationally than in years past. But as CJR’s dispatches from around the country show, there are plenty of local and regional concerns that deserve coverage, too.

Below, more on the subjects that are driving some of the races around the country.

Other notable stories:

  • The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi tries to figure out why the murder of Jamal Khashoggi captured the outrage and media attention that previous atrocities by the Saudi government did not. “The answer may be a combination of the time and place of Khashoggi’s disappearance, and the gruesome circumstances of his apparent death, which may have made his story more ‘relatable’ to American viewers and readers,” Farhi writes. “The accumulation of details has created the kind of sustained news coverage that the faceless victims of war and violence rarely receive.”
  • This one has caught the imagination of the world, unfortunately,” Trump told The New York Times in a brief Oval Office interview on Thursday. The president acknowledged that he believes Khashoggi is dead, and that high-level Saudi government officials were likely involved, but “stopped short of saying the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was responsible for Mr. Khashoggi’s death.”
  • CJR columnist Trevor Timm addresses the Trump administration’s crackdown on journalists’ sources, focusing on the recent arrest of senior Treasury official Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards. “Leak investigations strike at the heart of the press’s job,” Timm writes. “We should all consider this growing crackdown on leaks a danger to investigative journalism and stick up for the alleged sources involved.”

Michael Cohen’s Lawyer Says Trump Should Be Worried Because Of Audio Tape

trump at un
Trump waiting for his slot to deliver speech at UN General Assembly

In the interview, Trump said he was “totally uninvolved” with Cohen’s dealings, and added his former attorney had other clients.

“Michael Cohen, if you take a look at what he did, this had to do with loans, and I guess the taxi industry is something that I have nothing to do with, he did this on his own time,” he said.

Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, told USA Today his client had two words as reply to the president’s statements: “Audio and tape.” Davis also stated the president should be worried.

Davis took to Twitter on Tuesday to reply to Trump’s statement. “Under oath @MichaelCohen212 [Michael Cohen] acknowledged and took responsibility for @realdonaldtrump @potus [Donald Trump] bad behavior. Trump calling anyone a #liar is a compliment!” he said.

In another tweet, he said Trump would never testify under oath as he could not afford to tell the truth.

Lanny Davis@LannyDavis

2-@MichaelCohen212 who testified under oath doesn’t fear the . @realdonaldtrump @potus will NEVER testify under oath because he can not afford to tell the .

In an Associated Press interview, transcripts of which were released Tuesday, Trump talked about Cohen, Jamal Khashoggi, Brett Kavanaugh, and the upcoming elections, among other things.

“Michael Cohen was your personal attorney for many years. He testified under oath in federal court that you directed him to commit a crime. Did you, sir?” the interviewer asked Trump, to which the president said, “Totally false. It’s totally false.”

Following Trump’s reply, the interviewer asked whether Cohen was lying under oath, and the president replied, “Oh, absolutely he’s lying. And Michael Cohen was a PR person who did small legal work, very small legal work. And what he did was very sad, when you look. By the way, he was in trouble not for what he did for me; he was in trouble for what he did for himself. You do know that? Having to do with loans, mortgages, taxicabs, and various other things, if you read the paper. He wasn’t in trouble for what he did for me; he was in trouble for what he did for other people.”

 

Michael Cohen's Lawyer Says Trump Should Be Worried
President Donald Trump in an interview Tuesday said Michael Cohen lied under oath, an allegation the latter’s lawyer dismissed. In this image, Cohen exits federal court, New York City, Aug. 21, 2018. Photo: Getty Images/Drew Angerer

 

In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts which included violating federal campaign finance laws. Some of the violations were linked to the attorney’s hush payment to two women who alleged they had an affair with Trump. Cohen said the president also directed him to pay $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Earlier this year, Cohen released a tape of the conversation he had with the president in 2016. In the three-minute recording, the two can be heard talking about how to purchase the rights to the story of former Playboy model Karen McDougal who alleged she had a yearlong affair with Trump. Though the audio was not clear at the time, Trump can be heard saying “pay with cash.”

Last week, Davis announced his client, Cohen, changed his registration back to Democrat from Republican. The conversion happened Friday, which was the deadline for New Yorkers to register to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.

Cohen had initially converted to Republican in 2017. “It took a great man to get me to the make the switch,” he said at the time referring to Trump. He described his current move as an effort to distance “himself from the values of the current” administration.

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