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IMPEACHMENT UPDATE … Donald J. Trump is still President of the United States.
NON-DENIAL DENIAL … “Koch Institute Calls Anti-Semitism Charge ‘Absurd,’ Stands by Scholar Who Called American Rabbis Israel’s ‘Fifth Column’,” by WFB’s Eliana Johnson: Will Ruger, the vice president for research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute … did not respond to a request for comment about whether the foundation considers a series of statements from Quincy Institute fellows bigoted or anti-Semitic.
Those statements include a 2013 accusation from Lawrence Wilkerson, a nonresident fellow at the institute, that Syria’s use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians “could’ve been an Israeli false flag operation.” Wilkerson … also argued in 2007 that “the Jewish lobby in America” had been the primary driver of the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
VC BERNIE … “Bernie Sanders in 1972: U.S. Actions in Vietnam ‘Almost as Bad as What Hitler Did’,” by WFB’s Adam Kredo: Speaking to a class of ninth graders during his 1972 gubernatorial run in Vermont, Sanders accused the United States of committing atrocities the students would not believe and defended the communist North Vietnamese fighters, according to reporting in the Rutland Herald, a Vermont newspaper. Sanders compared U.S. actions in Vietnam to those of Adolf Hitler, who murdered some six million Jews.
THE FIRST STAGE OF GRIEF … “Nancy Pelosi: ‘You cannot be acquitted if you don’t have a trial’,” via WT: “You cannot be acquitted if you don’t have a trial. You don’t have a trial if you don’t have witnesses and documentation and all of that,” the California Democrat said …
“I hope and I pray that the senators can handle the truth and will listen to not only other witnesses but John Bolton as well. And we’ll see what happens after that,” she said. “The fate of our nation is riding on how this is resolved.”
CHIEF PANDER BEAR … “Warren Says Her Education Secretary Must Meet Trans Child’s Approval,” via DAILY CALLER: [Sen. Elizabeth] Warren added that because it was a young trans person who had asked her about a “welcoming community,” she will also require that young trans person to interview the future education secretary.
“I’m gonna have a secretary of education that this young trans person interviews on my behalf,” Warren said. “And only if this person believes that our secretary of education nominee is someone who is committed to creating a welcoming environment, a safe environment, and a full educational curriculum for everyone, will that person actually be advanced to be secretary of education.”
SUFFRAGE FOR PSYCHOS … “Sanders’s Support for Racist Killer Dylann Roof’s Right to Vote Could Pose Challenge in Crucial S.C. Primary,” by WFB’s Andrew Stiles: Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I., Vt.) support for extending voting rights to violent felons such as Dylann Roof, the racist gunman who murdered nine people at a black church in South Carolina, could prove problematic as the Democratic presidential candidates set their sights on the Palmetto State primary …
Sanders confirmed that he would extend voting rights to “terrible people,” including those convicted of violent crimes, as part of his mission to create a “vibrant democracy” in America.
NOT BARACK … “In Iowa’s small black community, little love for the caucuses or Joe Biden,” via REUTERS: Residents here, in two dozen interviews, said they felt overlooked by the Democratic candidates, a troubling sign for a party that will need the support of African-American voters for its eventual nominee in the Nov. 3 presidential election …
Contrary to national polls that show Joe Biden is the most popular Democratic candidate among African Americans, only two of the 24 interviewed said they preferred former President Barack Obama’s vice president.
WHY SO SERIOUS? … “AP-NORC poll: GOP more fired up for 2020, Democrats anxious,” via AP: On the verge of the first votes being cast in a primary contest with no clear leader, 66 percent of Democrats report anxiety about the election, compared with 46 percent of Republicans. Democrats are also more likely to feel frustration. Republicans, meanwhile, are more likely than Democrats to declare excitement about the race, and the share of enthusiastic Republicans appears to be rising.
SEND THE BOMBERS … “Trump Admin Again Grants Iran Pass to Conduct Nuclear Work, Angering GOP Hawks,” by WFB’s Adam Kredo: Multiple lawmakers and former administration officials … told the Washington Free Beacon that senior officials in the administration continue to undermine President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran …
“Sanctioning Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization isn’t effective if we keep their program on life support through waivers for international assistance,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) said … “Don’t reward the ayatollahs for their nuclear blackmail.”
AND THE MISSILES … “Here’s why Patriot missile defense systems aren’t in Iraq yet,” via MILITARY TIMES: According to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, there’s a legal hurdle the military must overcome to deploy those systems there.
“One of the things we have to do is make sure we have permission from the host government, and that’s one of the matters we have to work on and work through,” Esper said at a news conference Thursday. “We need the permission of the Iraqis. That’s one issue. There may be others with regard to the placement, things like that, more tactical, operational—it’s a combination of things.”
LET’S HEAR HIM OUT … “MSNBC Pundit: If Acquitted, Trump Will ‘Shut Down Voting’ in California,” via MRC: During MSNBC’s special coverage of the Senate impeachment trial on Thursday, Jason Johnson, a favorite pundit of the left-wing cable channel, went on a tirade and warned viewers that an acquittal of President Trump would embolden him to “shut down voting” in the entire state of California ahead of the 2020 election.
LIBS HARASS FEMALE SENATOR … “‘F—ing Traitor’: Sen. Collins Releases Abusive Voicemails Ahead of Impeachment Vote,” by WFB’s Cameron Cawthorne: “You’re going to lose, Susan Collins. You’re going to lose. You’re just a little b—h for Donald Trump,” a woman said …
Collins and her staff received various abusive and threatening voicemails in September 2018 ahead of the confirmation vote for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, including a call from someone wishing Collins’s 25-year-old staffer would be raped and impregnated.
NEXT, THEY’LL PUNISH THEM WITH GIRL SCOUT COOKIES … “Brooklyn bakers tried to send cakes to 53 GOP senators asking them to let John Bolton testify in Trump’s impeachment trial,” via CNN: Colin Bishopp, the executive director for the environmental nonprofit PACE Foundation, worked with Brooklyn-based Butter & Scotch to send what they’re calling “impeachment cakes” to the offices of 53 GOP senators.
So far, cakes have only been delivered to the offices of Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi. Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s office turned his cake away.
FIELD OF BORES … “Whatever Happened to the Democratic Primary?,” by WFB’s Matthew Continetti: The trial of President Trump hasn’t just overshadowed the campaign. It’s stopped it. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar, who are in the game in Iowa, as well as Michael Bennet, who is not, have been strapped to their chairs. Think of all the selfies Warren has missed out on. She must be despondent …
[Joe] Biden’s troubles suggest another reason for the lack of excitement. The candidates are weak and uninteresting. Biden is barely comprehensible. [Pete] Buttigieg has all the pizzazz of a PowerPoint. Warren reminds you of your least favorite professor.
DAYS SINCE JOE BIDEN DID A SUNDAY SHOW: 1,146. Come back, Joe!
“You know who really doesn’t have it? Joe Biden.” —Former President Barack Obama
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