Finally, at long last, Jeff Flake takes a stand

Flake says: “I have informed the majority leader I will not vote” for 21 judicial nominees pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee or vote to confirm 32 judges awaiting confirmation on floor

Mitch McConnell is never going to pass this bill

McConnell objects to Jeff Flake’s request to quickly pass bipartisan bill to protect special counsels like Robert Mueller

May squeezes Brexit deal through Cabinet – now comes the hard part

Prime Minister Theresa May won the backing of her senior ministers for a draft European Union divorce deal on Wednesday, freeing her to tackle the much more perilous struggle of getting parliament to approve the agreement.

the national interest
the national interest
Trump: Photo ID Is Needed to Legally Purchase Cereal. (It Isn’t.)
The president is sure vote fraud is rampant; does not have a clear sense of how it works.
White Evangelicals Keep Standing Up for Their (Grand Old) Party
When it comes to politics, the big gap isn’t between the religious and the irreligious, but between white Evangelicals and everyone else.

Another Dem Congressional pickup made official

Trenton, N.J. (AP)—Political newcomer Andy Kim defeats two-term Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur in New Jersey to widen Democrats’ House edge.

Fact check: Wait, what?

TRUMP: “If you buy a box of cereal — you have a voter ID”
vision 2020
vision 2020
Democrats Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Run an Anti-Trump Campaign in 2020
Some Democratic operatives appear to have badly mislearned the lessons of 2016.

The rebellion against Nancy Pelosi may be more serious than it appeared

Multiple Democratic members who publicly support Pelosi are speculating to me on background that she doesn’t have the numbers and can’t get there.

This afternoon’s Twitter talking point

Best U.S. airports according to WSJ: 1. Denver 2. Orlando 3. Phoenix…


Some Queens residents aren’t thrilled about Amazon setting up shop

Seems like a completely logical use of resources

The Sec of Defense, the Sec of DHS and the commissioner of CBP are all walking around in a barren field in south Texas touring a military deployment for a migrant caravan that is arriving 1,500 miles away in Tijuana
marijuana legalization
marijuana legalization
From Drug War to Dispensaries: An Oral History of Weed Legalization’s First Wave
In the 1990s, state policies on marijuana were draconian. Then, an unlikely alliance that included George Soros and the Men’s Wearhouse CEO emerged.
Don’t Be a Miranda, Come See Cynthia Nixon at Vulture Fest
The actress turned politician appears on November 18 at the Hollywood Roosevelt for a conversation with New York’s Adam Moss.

An ill-advised thing to say from a possible 2020 contender

“If Stacey Abrams doesn’t win in Georgia, they stole it,” @SherrodBrown says at @NationalAction. “It’s clear.”

That’s a lot of Acosta supporters

New:: The AP; Bloomberg; First Look; Fox News; Gannett; National Press Club; NBC News; The New York Times; Politico; Press Freedom Defense Fund; E.W. Scripps; USA Today; and The Washington Post have filed joint friend-of-the-court briefs to support CNN’s and Jim Acosta’s lawsuit.
life in pixels
life in pixels
Fox News’ Silent War on Twitter
The network has found a way to treat Twitter with the same bitter contempt it’s always treated the New York Times.
naked capitalism
naked capitalism
Fake ‘Unicorns’ Are Running Roughshod Over the Venture Capital Industry
A study finding that venture capital-backed companies are pervasively overvalued might be an existential threat to the venture capital industry.
2018 midterms
2018 midterms
Overheated Machines, Deadlines, and Other News From the Latest Florida Recount
A statewide machine recount is supposed to end on Thursday, followed by a hand recount that could upset apparent Republican victories.

Alt-right extremist arrested in DC has ties to Twitter conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec

The Clark brothers appear to have been trying to find their footing in the far-right political scene over the past several years, showing up at “Build the Wall” rallies outside the White House or at events with Spencer. One of them tried to join Identity Evropa, a prominent white nationalist organization, but was rejected, according to a source in the organization.

In May 2017, the Clark brothers teamed up with far-right “Pizzagate” propagandist Jack Posobiec, who was then the D.C. bureau chief for the far-right website Rebel Media, to shoot footage for a film Posobiec was working on about Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee staffer whose murder near the Clarks’ home in Bloomingdale has spawned numerous far-right conspiracy theories.

Even Fox News is leaping to Jim Acosta’s defense

Fox News issues statement supporting CNN in its lawsuit against the White House. “We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court. Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized.”

DOJ goes to bat for Matt Whitaker

New: Justice Department has issued a defense of President Trump’s controversial appointment of Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general Wednesday, offering several reasons why the appointment is consistent with the constitution, federal statutes and past precedent.

Interesting Twitter thread from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager about the best way to take on Trump

After 16, no one thinks holding up a mirror to Trump - or engaging him tit for tat- is a winning strategy. However, sticking to a plan of ignoring Trump is a lot harder in a one-on-one matchup than for House challengers running individualized races

Things are going great down in Florida

Palm Beach County’s race to recount votes is heating up — literally.

The county’s decade-old ballot-counting machines overheated and gave incorrect totals, forcing the county to restart its recount of about 175,000 early votes, supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said Tuesday night.

The department has flown in mechanics to repair the machines.

just asking questions
just asking questions
Tim Wu on How Enforcing Competition Law Could Have Stopped Big Tech
His new book argues that it’s time to revive the trustbusting tradition.

Another illustration of 2018’s prodigious turnout

Can Dems beat the president by not taking his bait?

A week out from a midterm election that saw the Democratic Party gain the majority in the House of Representatives, two Senate seats in the Southwest, and governorships across the nation, candidates, party officials, and the party’s largest super PAC took away a clear message going into 2020: Focusing time and attention on President Trump and the activities of the White House alone is not going to cut it.

“To succeed in 2020, a Democrat will need to have the skill and discipline to deftly pivot from Trump’s BS to the issues that matter,” Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, told The Daily Beast. “If you are trying to get retweets and social engagement, you are going to optimize for all things Trump and in doing so, you are playing his game.

Brooklyn Students Are Protesting Silicon Valley’s Favorite Education Program
Students at the Secondary School of Journalism staged a walkout to get the “personalized learning” regimen removed from their classrooms.

At least someone in U.S. government is still concerned about this kind of thing

Vice President Mike Pence confronted Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday over the “violence and persecution” of her country’s Rohingya Muslims.

Sat next to Suu Kyi and with the news media present, Pence said her country’s atrocities were “without excuse.” The vice president also called on her to hold those responsible to account.

Report finds that U.S. is killing a lot of innocent people in Yemen

There is no comprehensive count of civilian deaths because of the difficulty of confirming identities and allegiances of those killed. But in an examination of drone strikes this year alone, The Associated Press found that at least 30 of the dead likely did not belong to al-Qaida.

That is around a third of all those killed in drone strikes so far in 2018. The Pentagon does not release its assessment of the death toll, but an independent database considered one of the most credible in tracking violence in Yemen counted 88 people — militants and non-militants — killed by drones this year.

the national interest
the national interest
Forget Impeachment. Mueller’s Real Threat to Trump Is in 2020.
Trump won’t be impeached, but he does face more legal peril than any president in history.
Tales From the Impending L-Train Apocalypse
How locals are preparing for April’s L-train shutdown.
Maybe It’s Time for America to Split Up
The country is hopelessly split. So why not make it official and break up?

Mr. Ventura goes to Saint Paul

Four seats have now flipped from Republican to Democrat in California this year, and more might be coming

BREAKING: Democrat Josh Harder wins U.S. House seat in California farm belt, defeats 4-term Republican Rep. Jeff Denham.

A tenuous cease-fire is reached in Gaza

Hamas and other militant groups said Tuesday they had accepted an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire to end two days of intense fighting with Israel that had pushed the sworn enemies to the brink of a new war.

The sudden announcement brought relief to a region that had been paralyzed by hundreds of Palestinian rocket attacks in southern Israel and scores of Israeli airstrikes on targets in the Gaza Strip. But it did not address the deeper issues that pushed Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers toward their latest violence and left doubts about international efforts to forge a broader truce agreement.

The type of ballot that was rejected by a machine in Florida but would be counted for Senator Bill Nelson during a manual recount

Photo: @angie_angers

48 dead, hundreds more missing

The number of deaths from California’s worst fire rose to 48 Tuesday as authorities and family members mounted desperate searches for the hundreds still missing.

The Camp fire has scorched 130,000 acres since Thursday, ripping through mountain towns in Butte County. More than 8,800 structures — mostly homes in Paradise — were leveled as the blaze charred the region.

Marco Rubio makes a fool of himself in a four-part Twitter thread

Imagine if NFL team was trailing 24-22 but in final seconds hits a 3 pt kick to win. Then AFTER game lawyers for losing team get a judge to order rules changed so that last second field goals are only 1 point

Well that’s how democrat lawyers plan to steal #Florida election 1/4

Bloomberg to decide if he’s running for president by February

Thanksgiving, Christmas and then maybe a few weeks into January — that’s when you really gotta sit down, talk to your advisers and say, ‘Look, do I have a chance?’ I think I know why I would want to run. I think I know what I think this country should do and what I would do. But I just don’t know whether it’s possible.

Michael Bloomberg

Theresa May got an earful from a grumpy Trump

As he jetted to Paris last Friday, President Trump received a congratulatory phone call aboard Air Force One. British Prime Minister Theresa May was calling to celebrate the Republican Party’s wins in the midterm elections — never mind that Democrats seized control of the House — but her appeal to the American president’s vanity was met with an ornery outburst.

Trump berated May for Great Britain not doing enough, in his assessment, to contain Iran. He questioned her over Brexit and complained about the trade deals he sees as unfair with European countries. May has endured Trump’s churlish temper before, but still her aides were shaken by his especially foul mood, according to U.S. and European officials briefed on the conversation.

2018 midterms
2018 midterms
2018 Turnout Was the Highest of Any Midterm in More Than a Century
Looks like a combative political culture, a lot of close races, and Donald J. Trump get voters out to participate.

Democrats keep gaining ground in California

Just in: Katie Porter (D) now beating Mimi Walter (R) by 261 votes in #CA45, 50.1-49.9%.

Gil Cisneros (D) has gained ground vs Young Kim (R) in tight race for #CA39 as Orange County reports more ballots, but trails by 711 votes 49.8 to 50.2.

More late ballots to favor dems.
migrant caravan
migrant caravan
For Trump and the Republicans, the Migrant Caravan Served Its Political Purpose
The Central American migrant caravan dominated Trumpland for weeks. Its political value expired after the midterms.

Really, what’s the rush?

More than a month after Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and nearly 2 years into term, Trump nominates a U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia: Retired Army General John Abizaid, a former commander of CENTCOM.
the national interest
the national interest
McConnell: The American People Didn’t Vote for What They Voted For
Republican senator sees election as a mandate to continue policy of not investigating any Trump crimes.
the top line
the top line
Why New York Is Paying Amazon $3 Billion to Do What Google Will Do for Free
The idea is that it’s very important that Amazon is going to Queens, and that by doing so, it will serve two key goals for the city. But is that true?

An important first for Harvard’s student newspaper

Kristine E. Guillaume ’20 will lead the newly elected 146th Guard of The Harvard Crimson, the organization’s President announced on Monday. Guillaume is the first black woman to serve as President of The Crimson in the paper’s 145-year history.

Guillaume, a joint African American Studies and History and Literature concentrator, is currently one of The Crimson’s Central Administration reporters. In that capacity, she interviewed two successive University Presidents — Drew G. Faust and Lawrence S. Bacow — and worked as part of the reporting team that covered Harvard’s 2018 presidential search.

Did Amazon fleece New York?

Republicans could claw back a House seat that was thought to be lost

#UT04 update: Salt Lake County gives Ben McAdams (D) 5,059 new votes, Rep. Mia Love (R) 4,722. McAdams’s overall lead stands at 1,357, but the latest batches have skewed slightly more R than the initial, making this a nail biter.
More Evidence That Welfare Work Requirements Don’t Lift People Out of Poverty
A new report suggests that poor people just tend to get poorer when they lose their benefits.

Bad news for some vape-loving teens

Juul Labs Inc, the U.S. market leader for electronic cigarettes, said Tuesday it will pull popular flavors such as mango, cucumber and fruit from retail store shelves in an effort to reduce surging teenage use of its products.

The move comes as Juul and other e-cigarette makers have faced heightened scrutiny from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amid a sharp increase in high school use of the devices, which look like a USB flash drive and vaporize a flavored liquid containing nicotine.

In a statement on Tuesday, Juul Chief Executive Kevin Burns said the company wants to be “the off-ramp for adult smokers to switch from cigarettes, not an on-ramp for America’s youth to initiate on nicotine.”

May Has Sold a Brexit Deal to the E.U. (But Not to the U.K.)
The British prime minister just reached a divorce agreement with Brussels — and her partners in London are already in revolt.

Has Trump been out of view in recent days because he’s sulking?

For weeks this fall, an ebullient President Trump traveled relentlessly to hold raise-the-rafters campaign rallies — sometimes three a day — in states where his presence was likely to help Republicans on the ballot.

But his mood apparently has changed as he has taken measure of the electoral backlash that voters delivered Nov. 6. With the certainty that the incoming Democratic House majority will go after his tax returns and investigate his actions, and the likelihood of additional indictments by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, Trump has retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment, according to multiple administration sources.

EPA does something useful for a change

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday announced plans to place more stringent restrictions on pollution from heavy-duty trucks, in a move that won the Trump administration rare praise from environmental groups.

Nearly two decades have passed since the EPA last updated its standards for emissions of nitrogen oxide, or NOx, that govern the nation’s heavy-duty trucking fleet. Two years ago, 20 state and local air regulators, backed by public health groups, petitioned the agency to revamp its regulations of NOx, citing adverse health impacts and harmful effects on air quality.

Yes, that famously fair arbiter of elections, Brian Kemp

Schumer is praising Kemp in Georgia and Ducey in Arizona for being more reasonable on counting votes than Rick Scott. Calls for Scott to recuse and vote count deadlines to be extended

A potential headache for Bernie Sanders dissipates

A top adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders said Tuesday that the Vermont independent’s wife, Jane Sanders, has been recently told by the US attorney in Vermont that they have closed an investigation into a land deal involving Burlington College during Jane Sanders’ presidency.

No charges will be brought, Jeff Weaver, who ran Bernie Sanders’$2 2016 presidential campaign and is authorized to speak on Jane Sanders’ behalf, told CNN. The US Attorney’s Office in Vermont declined to comment, telling CNN it did not comment on investigations. A message left with the senator’s office was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Another sign that the Mueller investigation is drawing to a close?

BREAKING: Trump expected to provide written answers to questions from Special Counsel Mueller as early as this week - source
just asking questions
just asking questions
Wesley Yang on Asian-Americans and the Struggle for Recognition
The author of The Souls of Yellow Folk says he “knew there was a risk that the book would be straw-manned by its critics. And it has been.”

Is a duel at sunrise next?

Just asked the First Lady’s office about deputy national security advisor Mira Ricardel : “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,” Stephanie Grisham The First Lady’s communication director to @ABC

A climate writer takes issue with some Dems’ climate-change tactics in Twitter thread

1. I can’t say I really understand the @sunrisemvmt climate protest outside of Pelosi’s office. Admittedly, I’m not a Youth, so perhaps I just don’t Get It, but I cannot reconstruct the strategic logic. A short thread, after which you may all yell at me.
Airbnb and eBay Follow Google’s Example, Change Sexual-Harassment Policies
Meanwhile, a number of big tech companies declined to comment on their sexual-harassment policies.

This has to be the least of John Kelly’s offenses

Kelly has also gotten on the wrong side of first lady Melania Trump over staffing issues and travel requests. Some of the disputes with the East Wing have escalated to the president, the seven people familiar with the clashes said.

“There have been instances where the East Wing staff were not treated as equals to the male-dominated decision makers in Chief Kelly’s office,” one White House official said. “Promotions were denied then finally granted after months of requests,” the official said.

2018 midterms
2018 midterms
Judges Stop Certification of Kemp As Georgia Winner, Giving Abrams Hope
Two different judicial actions cast some doubt on Kemp’s win over Abrams in the governor’s race, and also a very close congressional contest.

New York’s progressive mayor is pumped about Amazon-NYCHA “synergy”

de blasio just now: “One of the biggest companies on earth next to the biggest public housing development in the United States — the synergy is going to be extraordinary.”

The next guest star in the Trump-Russia drama: mysterious professor Joseph Mifsud

A lawyer closely associated with Joseph Mifsud claims that the Maltese professor, who allegedly delivered word of Hillary Clinton’s stolen emails to Donald Trump’s campaign, is willing to testify to the US Senate.

Mifsud disappeared after he was identified as the unnamed professor alleged by FBI investigators in court documents unsealed in October 2017 to have told Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of thousands of emails, months before the Democrats themselves were aware that their computer system had been hacked.

He has not been seen in public since November that year. His former girlfriend in Ukraine says he disappeared, prosecutors in Italy investigating a decade-old case couldn’t locate him, and US investigators have complained they weren’t able to interrogate the professor thoroughly when he was last in the US in February 2017. Democratic National Committee lawyers even suggested he may be dead.

How Did Everything Go So Wrong for Carmelo Anthony?
The short answer: The NBA he was made for doesn’t exist anymore.

The self-driving revolution might be sexier than imagined

Self-driving cars will change the way we travel and work. But according to researchers studying the potential implications of autonomous vehicles (AVs), they could also have a profound impact on another aspect of life: How we have sex.

One recent study concluded that nearly 60% of all Americans have had sex in a car. This time-worn tradition may only increase when you consider that self-driving cars are essentially private rooms on wheels. It’s an insight that comes from a new paper published in the Annals of Tourism Research, which reviewed many studies on both cities and autonomous vehicles to identify burgeoning trends.

Rome Tried to Break Up Its Version of the MTA, and Only Apathy Stopped It
A big majority of voters were in favor — but so few people voted that it didn’t matter.

WSJ: Trump will fire Nielsen, may replace Kelly with Pence’s chief of staff

The first domino in the latest shake-up is likely to be the removal of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who is a close ally of Mr. Kelly, White House officials said. The president has decided to replace Ms. Nielsen, but hasn’t finalized the timing, White House officials said, in part because there isn’t an obvious candidate to replace her, officials said. Changes are also being contemplated for the National Security Council.

Mr. Trump has told aides that he is aware that forcing out Ms. Nielsen may result in Mr. Kelly quitting, administration officials said. Mr. Trump has told these aides that he is resigned to the possibility of Mr. Kelly leaving, and that he probably will replace Mr. Kelly with Nick Ayers, who is currently chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.

Federal judge’s ruling may swing close congressional election

Voting rights folks just scored another big court victory in Georgia this morning: Gwinnett County can’t reject absentee ballots just because the year of birth was filled out wrong on the ballot envelope. Watch the Woodall-Bourdeaux race (GA-07) closely…

The Resistance comes to Washington

An unmistakable trend in the wrong direction

FBI just released its 2017 Hate Crime Report

45’s Year 1 as POTUS shows record highs w/THOUSANDS more hate crimes than before

•5,928 hate crimes

•5,462 hate crimes

•5,818 hate crimes

•6,063 hate crimes

•8,437 hate crimes
Facebook Wasn’t Keeping a Close Eye on How Its Data Was Being Used
New info emerges about privacy audits and the company’s agreement with the FTC.