GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA - OCTOBER 28: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been reviewed by U.S. Military prior to transmission) A group of detainees kneels during an early morning Islamic prayer in their camp at the U.S. military prison for "enemy combatants" on October 28, 2009 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Although U.S. President Barack Obama pledged in his first executive order last January to close the infamous prison within a year's time, the government has been struggling to try the accused terrorists and to transfer them out ahead of the deadline. Military officials at the prison point to improved living standards and state of the art medical treatment available to detainees, but the facility's international reputation remains tied to the "enhanced interrogation techniques" such as waterboarding employed under the Bush administration. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Photo: John Moore/2009 Getty Images
The U.S. government has renewed its effort to shut down Guantánamo Bay, but the two men who were recently released aren’t celebrating. On Thursday, the Pentagon announced two detainees were transferred to their home country of Algeria, though they said they fear persecution and would rather stay in Cuba. A State Department spokesman said they’re confident that Algeria will “abide by lawful procedures.” Wells Dixon, a lawyer for one of the men, countered that they’re just “numbers on a spreadsheet” for the agency. “I think the State Department doesn’t care if it ruins their lives,” he added. They’ve been held since 2002 and never charged, so that seems like a goodbet.
A 5-year-old girl injured in a shooting Monday evening in West Baltimore remained in a hospital in serious but stable condition Tuesday morning, police said.
By a stunning and tragic coincidence, she is the younger sister of Taylor Hayes, a 7-year-old child who was fatally shot in July, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation. The elder Hayes was shot this summer while sitting in the back seat of a car in Southwest Baltimore. She died two weeks later.
State sponsors of terrorism: Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and … Venezuela?
The Trump administration is preparing to add Venezuela to the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism in what would be a dramatic escalation against the socialist government of Nicolás Maduro, according to U.S. officials and internal government emails.
… Republican lawmakers led by Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) have pushed for the designation, citing Venezuela’s alleged ties to Lebanese Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and other groups.
Republicans have long accused Venezuela of having ties to terrorist organizations. But experts have played down the threat and strength of those connections. They warn that a designation that does not offer concrete evidence could weaken the legitimacy of the U.S. list, which critics say already is applied inconsistently.
“I suspect this will be based on hearsay and sources of questionable integrity,” said David Smilde, a senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America.
Photo: The Washington Post/The Washington Post/Getty Images
Trump thwarted once again by federal judge
A federal judge barred the Trump administration from refusing asylum to immigrants who cross the southern border illegally.
President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Nov. 9 that said anyone who crossed the southern border between official ports of entry would be ineligible for asylum. As the first of several caravans of migrants have started arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump said an asylum ban was necessary to stop what he’s attacked as a national security threat.
But in his ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar agreed with legal groups that immediately sued, arguing that U.S. immigration law clearly allows someone to seek asylum even if they enter the country between official ports of entry.
“Whatever the scope of the President’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” said Tigar, a nominee of former President Barack Obama.
Zinke blames “radical environmentalists” for devastating California wildfires
It’s not time for finger-pointing. We know the problem. It’s been years of neglect, and in many cases it’s been these radical environmentalists that want nature to take its course.…You know what? This is on them.
Smoke from the Camp Fire has made it to the East Coast
The first billionaire candidate for 2020?
If he can’t impeach Donald Trump, he may try to oust the president the old-fashioned way.
Former billionaire investor, climate activist and impeachment agitator Tom Steyer will take several steps toward a 2020 presidential bid Tuesday.
That will include a six-figure web ad buy on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, along with a full-page ad in USA Today and other Gannett newspapers outlining a political platform, a revamped TomSteyer.com and the announcement of five town halls across the country, the first of which will be in the crucial early primary state of South Carolina, according to copies of the ad and platform provided to POLITICO.
Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of emails last year to White House aides, Cabinet officials and her assistants using a personal account, many of them in violation of federal records rules, according to people familiar with a White House examination of her correspondence.
White House ethics officials learned of Trump’s repeated use of personal email when reviewing emails gathered last fall by five Cabinet agencies to respond to a public records lawsuit. That review revealed that throughout much of 2017, she often discussed or relayed official White House business using a private email account with a domain that she shares with her husband, Jared Kushner.
It’s almost like they didn’t need to be there in the first place
The Pentagon is set to begin a drawdown of its 5,800 troops from the Southwest border as early as this week, the Army commander overseeing the mission told POLITICO today — even as the approaching caravan of refugees prompted U.S. customs officers to close a port of entry near Tijuana, Mexico.
All the active-duty troops that President Donald Trump ordered sent to the border before the midterm elections should be home by Christmas, said Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, who is running the mission from San Antonio, Texas.
Medical facilities are not immune from gun violence in America
A shooting at a Chicago hospital has wounded multiple people, including a suspect and a police officer, authorities said.
Shots were fired Monday afternoon at Mercy Hospital on the city’s South Side, and officers were searching the facility. Police issued a statement on Twitter saying there were “reports of multiple victims.”
A witness named James Gray told Chicago television station ABC 7 that he saw multiple people shot: “It looked like he was turning and shooting people at random.”
From @presssec: new rules for reporters at WH press conferences. - one question per reporter, then yield floor and microphone. - followup question “may be permitted.” Then yield floor and microphone. - “failure to abide” may result in suspension/revocation” of WH press pass.
Thanksgiving tip for those in the Northeast: Don’t go outside
Reading the election results almost two weeks later
so, the conventional wisdom on election night was that democrats had not achieved the resounding repudiation of president trump they were looking for. yes, they’d won the house, but not overwhelmingly. and progressive favorites stacey abrams, andrew gillum, and beto o’rourke had gone down to defeat. meanwhile, republicans had made slight gains in the senate. a few days later, the thinking shifted in Democrats’ favor, as more late-breaking results came in from various states, especially california, which is notoriously slow at counting ballots, and where the party did extremely well. we’re not almost two weeks out from the election, enough time to look at things more dispassionately. how do you rate the performance now?
Trying to get away from the endless and interminable and redundant arguments over how to define a “wave.”
yes, I agree, there is little more tedious than parsing what defines a wave
Democrats won the House popular vote and picked up 37 or 38 seats. Dems won 22 of 34 Senate races (with one in Mississippi still to go), and by just about any measure, more Senate votes. And they picked up seven net governorship and seven state legislative chambers.
Part of the problem is that an insanely pro-GOP Senate landscape made a good Democratic performance look bad.
And the other problem was sky-high Democratic expectations, plus the overwhelming attention given to close races in Florida, Georgia and Texas.
Which all went Republican.
yes, and the pressure to prematurely label the evening one way or another, which is endemic to election coverage (and which I don’t see going away any time soon)
the other thing, I think, is that trump is such an outlier of a person and president that some people view anything less than a sweeping rejection the likes of which we’ve never seen before as a bit of a letdown
Yeah, the commentariat has not adjusted well to the slow counts that ever-increasing voting-by-mail plus provisional ballots have introduced.
As for Trump, I guess part of the polarization over him is that it’s hard for partisans to interpret anything that happens as anything other than total victory or defeat for MAGA. And the MSM tends to respond with quick judgments of a “split decision,” which is very misleading.
yep. haven’t seen TOO much of that since the election, to be fair. but back to the actual gains made by dems, which it’s easy to lose track of amid the hundreds of results. what do you think was their most important victory other than winning the House? for me, it might have been knocking off scott walker in wisconsin.
Guess it depends on your interpretation of “important.” If you mean “soul-satisfying for progressives,” then yeah, finally taking down the guy who had most consistently applied the worst kind of conservative policies to a previously progressive state was a very big deal.
Sweeping Orange County, California’s congressional seats was another big deal emotionally, particularly for those of us old enough to remember O.C. as a John Birch Society hotbed.
From a more practical point of view, all those congressional wins mattered–first, as part of a House takeover, and second, as a foundation for (maybe) a Dem reconquest of the Senate in 2020.
And the gubernatorial and state legislative gains will help with the next round of redistricting, though there’s some unfinished business on that front in 2020.
As I’ve argued at some length, even some losses were important for Dems–particularly the Florida and Georgia gubernatorial elections and the Texas Senate race. They showed that finally “national Democrats” (including African-Americans) can do better in the former Confederacy than Blue Dogs–at least in states with the requisite combination of a large minority vote and some upscale suburbs.
yes, and that may also have big repercussion in terms of what kind of candidate democrats want to nominate in 2020
Well, it certainly reinforces the idea that there’s a “sunbelt strategy” for 2020 that could work as an alternative to Democrats obsessing about the Rust Belt states Trump carried.
right – arizona and georgia really could be in play
and, of course, florida
And North Carolina.
so, all in all, a democratic party that is somewhat addicted to being traumatized should be feeling pretty good
Yeah. There were some painful near-misses, but not really much grounds for a struggle-for-the-soul-of-the-party thing. That’s good, since Democrats will need all their energy to winnow their 40-candidate presidential field.
A Florida elections expert digs into what went wrong for Democrats on Tuesday
This election was the third consecutive Governor’s race decided by a point or less, bracketing two consecutive Presidential elections decided by a point. This drives homes two points: One, Florida, for all its dynamic growth and demographic changes, is very stable; and Two, when organizations like Quinnipiac try to peddle off polls showing candidates in Florida with 6-point leads, or 9-point leads, you now know what to do with that information (a post/rant on public polling is coming soon).
There are a lot of reasons why Florida is very competitive…but it is what it is. Big chunks of Florida cancel each other out, and both parties have large, and quite dug-in bases – and neither have a base that alone gets them to 50% + 1. Winning Florida (or losing it) is about managing the margins throughout Florida.