CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 19: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to supporters as he visits a campaign headquarters January 19, 2012 in Charleston, South Carolina. Today, one of Romney's opponents in the primary Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped his bid for the Republican presidential nomination and endorsed competitor former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Seems last night’s drubbing in South Carolina left Mitt Romney pretty rattled. Today, speaking on Fox News Sunday, he announced he would release his tax returns after all, this coming Tuesday — when most Republicans will be busy bashing President Obama’s State of the Union address. “I think we just made a mistake in holding off as long as we did,” Romney said. “It just was adistraction.”
All across America, university towns are thriving. Their skilled workforces and research activities draw in business investment, while their medical facilities and high quality of life attract residents from smaller rural towns.
As a result, there are a lot of ideas for how public policy can help turn small and decaying rural towns into slightly bigger and more prosperous college towns. One way is simply to start new universities and put them there, and in fact I once suggested that the federal government create a system of elite universities, much like the one that exists in India.
There is a better way: Build up the research capabilities of the country’s existing smaller and less well-known colleges.
A mighty strange talking point, considering Dems may end up winning close to 40 seats
I asked Kathleen Rice - a leader of the Dem anti-Pelosi movement - if she’s concerned this fight will show their party in disarray. “It was not as successful as some hoped it would be, we didn’t pick up as many seats as we thought we were going to get,” she said of the midterms
“In response to the court, we will temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass. We will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future. There must be decorum at the White House,” Sarah Sanders says of losing Acosta case.
War of words escalates in Pelosi speakership battle
Pelosi allies warning her Dem critics: A floor fight over her speakership “would be the nuclear option,” amounting to “mutually assured destruction” that “would lead to us losing the majority potentially on the first vote of a new Congress,” @CongressmanRaja says
Parsing a possible legal hail mary from Stacey Abrams
since election day, georgia republican brian kemp – a divisive figure in large part because of his history of voter suppression in the state – has maintained his lead of tens of thousands of votes over stacy abrams, and is also just above the 50 percent threshold that would avoid a runoff between the two candidates. now, abrams is considering a novel legal strategy to try to force that runoff. can you explain what’s going on?
OK. First off, the Secretary of State–the position Kemp just resigned as part of his victory claim–is likely to certify Kemp’s election this afternoon, which would normally end the whole process.
There is a state law (never utilized) that allows a suit within five days of certification alleging “misconduct, fraud or irregularities … sufficient to change or place in doubt the results.”
That’s what Abrams is thinking about doing.
But that would mean she’d have to make a convincing case that more than 18,000 voters who might have voted for her were prevented from doing so by various voter suppression methods. That’s the number of votes Kemp has above the majority needed to avoid a runoff.
we know that kemp has been a champion of various methods favored by republicans around the country that seem intentionally designed to make it harder for minorities to vote. but presumably, abrams would need to go beyond merely stating that fact and get into the weeds of individual cases?
That’s the big question: would a judge require individual showings, or is a pervasive pattern enough? The former would create a standard that’s pretty hard to meet, particularly if the courts stick to that five-day deadline.
this strikes me as a serious longshot – do you agree?
Yes, and it’s not entirely clear Abrams will pursue it. Her campaign is also looking at federal remedies based on constitutional arguments–another long-shot.
do you think this could be more about sending a message about the salience of voting rights going forward than it is about actually winning the election?
Yes. Though many are warning Abrams that going down this road could damage her political future in Georgia. She’s already being discussed as a 2020 Senate candidate.
yeah. I think that, unfortunately, even if her claims are valid, the majority of people are probably not sympathetic to endless challenges after a losing campaign.
DeVos unveils major rollback of Obama campus rules
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Friday released her long-awaited rewrite of rules governing campus sexual harassment and assault allegations, narrowing the cases schools must investigate and giving the accused more rights.
The proposed regulation replaces less formal Obama-era guidelines tilting more toward accusers. DeVos rescinded the Obama measure a year ago.
Under the proposal, fewer allegations would be considered sexual harassment and schools would be responsible only for investigating incidents that are part of campus programs and activities and that were properly reported. Accused students would be entitled to lawyers and cross-examination.
In the absence of a clear motive for last year’s Las Vegas shooting, wild conjecture fills the void
In the sweaty, waning days of August, I went to a Cheesecake Factory in the Virginia suburbsto learn about a conspiracy that would rock the FBI, if true. The two men who met me for lunch, a retired CIA agent and a former National Security Council official in the Trump administration, were wearing shorts and flip-flops. Otherwise, they were all business, and utterly serious. “There’s substantial evidence that ISIS was involved in this,” the former NSC staffer told me, a few minutes after we had settled into our booth at the back of the restaurant.
He was referring to the worst mass shooting in American history, which happened last year in Las Vegas when Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and wounded more than 800 others at an outdoor concert. According to a final report issued by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on August 3, Paddock’s motive was unclear, but he “acted alone” and had no links to “any hate group or any domestic or foreign terrorist organization.
Stacey Abrams’ campaign and legal team is preparing an unprecedented legal challenge in the unresolved Georgia governor’s race that could leave the state’s Supreme Court deciding whether to force another round of voting.
The Democrat’s longshot strategy relies on a statute that’s never been used in such a high-stakes contest. It is being discussed as Georgia elections officials appear to be on the cusp of certifying Republican Brian Kemp as the winner of a bitterly fought campaign that’s been marred by charges of electoral malfeasance.
Dems take another seat in Orange County, longtime Republican stronghold
Democrat Katie Porter captured a Republican-held U.S. House seat Thursday in the heart of what once was Southern California’s Reagan country, extending a rout of the state’s GOP House delegation that might not be over.
Porter’s upset in Orange County is a sign of changing times in a region once known nationally as a GOP fortress. The coastal county southeast of Los Angeles was home to President Richard Nixon, and President Ronald Reagan once likened it to a Republican heaven.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged under seal, prosecutors inadvertently revealed in a recently unsealed court filing — a development that could significantly advance the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and have major implications for those who publish government secrets.
The disclosure came in a filing in a case unrelated to Assange. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer, urging a judge to keep the matter sealed, wrote that “due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged.” Later, Dwyer wrote the charges would “need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested.”
Dwyer is also assigned to the WikiLeaks case. People familiar with the matter said what Dwyer was disclosing was true, but unintentional.
Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker told Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham in a meeting on Thursday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation will proceed, according to a person familiar with the meeting.
Mick Mulvaney is ready for another new White House job
Over the summer, Trump considered a willing Mulvaney as a potential replacement for his chief of staff, John Kelly. However, in recent days, Mulvaney has abandoned that ambition and told allies and other officials that he is now interested in succeeding [Commerce Secretary Wilbur] Ross, according to several people familiar with the conversations.
Angry over the war in Yemen and Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, a bipartisan group of senators has a plan to punish Saudi Arabia
Republican and Democratic U.S. senators introduced legislation on Thursday seeking to strike back at Saudi Arabia over the death of a Saudi journalist at a consulate in Turkey and for its role in Yemen’s devastating civil war.
If it were to become law, the bill would suspend weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and prohibit U.S. refueling of Saudi coalition aircraft for Riyadh’s campaign in Yemen against the Houthis, Shi’ite Muslim fighters that Yemen’s neighbors view as agents of Iran, the lawmakers said.
It also would impose sanctions on anyone blocking humanitarian access in Yemen and anyone supporting the Houthis in Yemen.