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National News

Thousands of coal miners who are suffering from an advanced stage of black lung disease fear that, if Congress doesn’t act, a government fund set up to help them won’t have enough money. […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: NPR Politics

Noel King talks to Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware about the unexpected developments in two major Washington stories on Tuesday. NPR’s Mara Liasson weighs in on their conversation. […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: NPR Politics

The U.S. Department of Energy’s nuclear security office is developing a project to help other countries handle nuclear waste, an effort to keep the United States competitive against global rivals in disposal technology, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

[…]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: Reuters Politics

Days after a judge in Texas declared that the Obamacare healthcare law is unconstitutional, Maryland’s Democratic attorney general on Wednesday will pursue his request that another judge rule the opposite way.

[…]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: Reuters Politics

During the November elections, a number of Democratic House candidates made gun control a central theme of their midterms campaigns, and dozens more gave the issue strong emphasis on the trail. Next month, they might have a chance to follow through on their campaign promises with legislation requiring federal background checks on all gun sales.The legislation isn’t likely to become law. It will be a bit like Republican House efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act back in 2017, said Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA: a symbolic gesture that never becomes the law of the land, but […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: The Atlantic – Politics

Welcome to FiveThirtyEight’s weekly politics chat. The transcript below has been lightly edited.

sarahf (Sarah Frostenson, politics editor): We discussed last week how President Trump didn’t seem too keen on compromising with Democratic House and Senate leadership — or at least his meeting with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer did not go well — but how do we expect Congress to navigate their relationship with Trump?
For instance, do we think Sen. Lamar Alexander’s retirement will give us another Bob Corker or Jeff Flake in the Senate (AKA a Republican senator not afraid of speaking out […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: Five Thirty Eight – Politics

The Senate passed a bipartisan overhaul of the criminal justice system which will revise sentencing laws. David Greene talks to Senator Cory Booker. NPR’s Ayesha Rascoe weighs in on the conversation. […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: NPR Politics

The government will partially close at midnight Friday, unless Congress and the White House can agree on how to fund several key agencies despite the president’s insistence on funding a border wall. […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: NPR Politics

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed legislation long in the making and backed by President Donald Trump to reduce sentences for certain prison inmates.

[…]

Tue, Dec 18, 2018
Source: Reuters Politics

If at first you lose a Senate race … hope for an appointment! Despite a narrow defeat in Arizona’s 2018 U.S. Senate race, Republican Rep. Martha McSally will still be headed to Congress’s upper chamber next year. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced on Tuesday that he is appointing McSally to fill the state’s other Senate seat, formerly held by the late Sen. John McCain and currently held by Jon Kyl, who Ducey initially appointed to the seat; Kyl announced last week that he will resign on Dec. 31.
So what might we expect from Sen. McSally? Well, perhaps she won’t be […]

Tue, Dec 18, 2018
Source: Five Thirty Eight – Politics

Featured News

Blogosphere

Mike's Blog Round Up

The Root: Add #BankingWhileBlack to the list of shameful racial profiling.
ACASignUps: Add Charles Gaba’s swag to your holiday gift-giving list.
Balloon Juice: Add Farout to your bucket list.
Off the Charts: Add Medicare to the casualty list if the shocking Texas Obamacare ruling is upheld.
Speaking of which, your quote of the day:”If any person in this entire debate has blood on their hands in regard to Medicare, it’s Barack Obama.” (Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee Chairman, August 14, 2012)
Guest blogging Mike’s Blog Round Up this week is Jon Perr from Perrspectives. Send your tips, recommendations, comments and angst to mbru AT crooksandliars […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: Crooks and Liars – Blog

Rachel Maddow opened this segment by talking about Judge Emmit Sullivan’s apparent mistake when he said Michael Flynn was still working for Turkey while he worked in the White House. Maddow thinks Sullivan may have gotten it right the first time.
“Now, it’s not clear how much Michael Flynn agreed to this, but I do think that these are worthwhile inquiries,” Julia Ainsley responded.
“I mean, that’s why I’ve been inquiring about it for such a long time. Why did this request come up? And yes, there was push back. People in the FBI said ‘look, Turkey sent over boxes and boxes […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: Crooks and Liars – Blog

Vanity Fair Chronicles Waning Days Of The Trump Administration

Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman reports that White House staff is worried about Trump’s visit to Mar-A-Lago, where he will be off the Twitter leash full-time:
As the Robert Mueller loop tightens around the president, his erratic behavior is causing alarm among his most senior staff. “The staff is fed up he’s acting like a nut. They can’t get him to stop tweeting,” a former official said.
Trump still has the ability to compartmentalize, and his mood has yo-yoed. Last night, he was jovial at a White House Christmas party attended by Don Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle, Ryan Zinke, Scott Walker, Chris Christie […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: Crooks and Liars – Blog

Most of you probably know about the famous test of blind auditioning for symphony orchestras, in which every candidate performs behind a curtain: after it was adopted, suddenly a whole lot more women got hired. The folks running the auditions—almost all men—had previously made up endless excuses for choosing men over women: their style was “more muscular,” they “presented themselves” better, etc. But it all turned out to be plain old gender bias. Behind a curtain, the women magically all sounded just as muscular as the men.
Needless to say, the same thing happens in other fields. Take astronomy. Every year […]

Tue, Dec 18, 2018
Source: Mother Jones – Kevin Drum

You may recognize the guy playing Stephen Miller in this Colbert interview. Peter Grosz is Mike Pence on Comedy Central’s “The President Show.”
That spray-on hair has a way of getting out of hand, am I right?
Open thread below…

[…]

Tue, Dec 18, 2018
Source: Crooks and Liars – Blog

On “Meet the Press,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer dodged a question on Medicare for All by saying he will support “a plan that can pass and that can provide the best, cheapest health care for all Americans.”
This non-answer shows that the battle to define what “cheapest” means in the context of health care is going to shape the entire agenda of the Democratic Party in the coming years.
In health care, “best” is an inescapably nebulous term around which there will never be agreement. There are hundreds of different ways to define and measure it. But in health care policy, […]

Tue, Dec 18, 2018
Source: Fire Dog Lake – Blog

The University of Michigan’s adolescent drug survey announced some dramatic results today:
Increases in adolescent vaping from 2017 to 2018 were the largest ever recorded in the past 43 years for any adolescent substance use outcome in the U.S.
Here’s a chart:
I had two immediate reactions:
In just a few years, vaping has wiped out two decades of work getting teens to quit (or never start) cigarette smoking. In 1997, the survey recorded that 36 percent of 12th graders had smoked in the past 30 days. This year, the combination of vaping and cigarette use hit 34 percent.
Can this really be true? After […]

Tue, Dec 18, 2018
Source: Mother Jones – Kevin Drum

This is a tufted deer at the Prospect Park Zoo. I was browsing through the photos I had taken at the zoo when Marian walked in, pointed at the deer, and said “ohhhh.” So that was it. The decision was made.
September 14, 2018 — Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn […]

Tue, Dec 18, 2018
Source: Mother Jones – Kevin Drum

This is quite a day. Robert Mueller had recommended that Michael Flynn—Donald Trump’s erstwhile National Security Advisor—serve no prison time for lying to the FBI because he had cooperated fully in their investigation. Unfortunately for Flynn, the judge wasn’t satisfied with the redacted report from Mueller and demanded to see the whole thing. He was not a happy man after he had read it. Here’s the LA Times:
Saying he was not “hiding my disgust, my disdain” for Flynn’s crime, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ripped into the retired three-star Army general in a blistering rebuke from the bench before […]

Tue, Dec 18, 2018
Source: Mother Jones – Kevin Drum

Nam Nguyen came to the United States as a refugee in 1985. He was 9 years old and an unaccompanied minor.
Orphaned in the wake of the Vietnam War, Nguyen left the country on a boat in 1984 for an Indonesia refugee camp, where the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees sponsored his asylum request.
Under a 2008 agreement between the Vietnam and the U.S., Nguyen is protected from deportation along with any other Vietnam refugees, who entered the U.S. prior to 1995. (This is when diplomatic relations between the two countries were restored.)
Vietnam has faced pressure to change the agreement under […]

Mon, Dec 17, 2018
Source: Fire Dog Lake – Blog

Elections News

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

● KY-Gov: Mason-Dixon is the first pollster to release numbers for next year’s contest for governor in Kentucky, and they have some unwelcome news for GOP incumbent Matt Bevin. The governor posts an ugly 38-53 approval rating, a big drop from the already meh 45-41 score Mason-Dixon found a year ago. Morning Consult likewise gave Bevin an awful 30-55 rating during the third quarter of […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: Daily Kos – Elections

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is termed-out, and the city is in for a crowded 2019 contest to replace him. All the candidates will face off on March 5 on one nonpartisan ballot, and there would be an April 23 runoff if no one takes a majority of the vote. The candidate filing deadline is Jan. 18. Tampa is a very blue city, but it’s been open to electing moderate Democrats like Buckhorn.

The early frontrunner looks like Jane Castor, who was the city’s first gay police chief and would hold that same distinction if she won the mayor’s office. Castor, […]

Tue, Dec 18, 2018
Source: Daily Kos – Elections

Mason-Dixon is the first pollster to release numbers for next year’s contest for governor in Kentucky, and they have some unwelcome news for GOP incumbent Matt Bevin. The governor posts an ugly 38-53 approval rating, a big drop from his (already meh) 45-41 score Mason-Dixon found a year ago. Morning Consult likewise gave Bevin an awful 30-55 rating during the third quarter of 2018.

Mason-Dixon also tests Bevin against three prospective Democratic opponents. Attorney General Andy Beshear posts the strongest numbers, with a 48-40 lead over the incumbent, while state House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins edges Bevin 42-41. However, Secretary of […]

Tue, Dec 18, 2018
Source: Daily Kos – Elections

Goal Thermometer

On Tuesday, Gov. Doug Ducey announced that he was appointing Rep. Martha McSally, who narrowly lost the 2018 Senate race to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, to Arizona’s other Senate seat. McSally, who will take over after interim Sen. Jon Kyl resigns on Dec. 31, will need to face the voters again in a November 2020 special election for the final two years of the late John McCain’s term. Whoever wins will be up again in 2022 for a full six-year term.

National Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have reportedly been pushing Ducey to appoint McSally for a while. However, McSally […]

Tue, Dec 18, 2018
Source: Daily Kos – Elections

International News

It’s one of the world’s most mineral rich nations, so why are its people among the planet’s poorest? […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: BBC – Africa

Accusations against Bishop Alexander Salazar first surfaced in 2002. […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: Washington Post – World

South African authorities issue arrest warrant for Grace Mugabe, accused of assaulting a woman in Johannesburg last year […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: Washington Post – World

South Sudan security forces strip, kick, rob peace deal monitors, internal report says […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: Washington Post – World

Philippine military officials say communist guerrillas abducted two soldiers and several militiamen and seized several rifles in an attack on an army base in the country’s south in the latest flare-up of a nearly half-century-long insurgency […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: Washington Post – World

Diamond Platnumz angers officials by singing banned lyrics which include the word “horny”. […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: BBC – Africa

Serbian Kosta Papic is named as the new eSwatini coach nine months after the departure of Dutchman Peter de Jongh. […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: BBC – Africa

The agreement follows a high-profile diplomatic row that has lasted for months. […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: BBC – Europe

Cameroon forward Nchout Njoya Ajara moves from Sandviken Ladies to Norwegian rivals Valerenga. […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: BBC – Africa

The European Commission is to publish contingency proposals in case the UK exits without a deal. […]

Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source: BBC – Europe

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