From NY Post: Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Monday announced her intention to run for president in 2020 as a champion of middle-class Americans and a foe of big banks and Wall Street fat cats.
Warren, who said she was creating an exploratory committee that will allow her to raise funds and hire staffers, will be among a crowded field of Democrats taking a shot at the White House.
“America’s middle class is under attack,” Warren said in a four-minute, 30-second video posted to YouTube. “How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie. And they enlisted politicians to cut them a bigger slice.”
In the video, the 69-year-old former law professor lays out her vision of the future, while setting herself up as a foil to President Trump and members of his administration.
“I’ve spent my career getting to the bottom of why America’s promise works for some families, but others who work just as hard slip through the cracks into disaster,” she says. “What I’ve found is terrifying. These aren’t cracks that families are falling into, they’re traps.”
The Republican National Committee dismissed Warren’s candidacy, saying her “out of touch” agenda poses no threat to Trump. “With her lack of support from voters – including in her home state – on top of her phony claim to minority status, now that she is formally running Americans will see her for what she is: another extreme far-left obstructionist and a total fraud,” Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.
The president, who has announced that he will seek re-election in 2020, has trashed Warren in the past for her claims that she is partly Native American, referring to her as “Pocahontas.”
Warren in October released DNA testing results that showed there was “strong evidence” that she has Native American blood. The release was intended to quell questions about her heritage but prompted criticism from Native American leaders and left some supported puzzled why she would rekindle the controversy.
A number of Democrats are expected to announce presidential campaigns in the next few months, including former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who lost a Senate bid in November to GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, are also weighing getting in the race.
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From NY Post: Cory Booker is returning to the first-in-the-nation primary state for a trip that could turn out to be a tuneup for the New Jersey senator’s potential Democratic presidential campaign.
Booker’s been invited by the New Hampshire Democratic Party to headline their post-midterm election “Victory Celebration” Saturday in Manchester. He’ll also be the main attraction at house parties in Concord, Nashua, and Keene.
Booker’s said repeatedly in recent weeks that he’ll take the holiday season to assess whether he launches a White House campaign.
The visit is Booker’s second to New Hampshire in two months. He campaigned with now-Congressman-elect Chris Pappas and gubernatorial nominee Molly Kelly at a rally at the University of New Hampshire, and with Congresswoman Annie Kuster at Dartmouth College in late October, shortly before the midterm elections.
“Booker, as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was one of the leaders in the push against the confirmation of now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh — and raised eyebrows by, in one particular flourish, comparing himself to Thracian gladiator Spartacus.
The Associated Press reported that Booker has been particularly aggressive in his push for a 2020 bid and hasbeen courting activists and prospective staff. Booker told PIX11 that he will take time over the holidays to “sit back and meet with family, friends and advisors and decide whether to run for re-election which has been my sole focus or now begin to think about running for president.”
“This holiday season will be a great time for me to sit down … bring together folks and make a decision,” Booker said. “Not about what’s best for me but really with what I believe in my heart is best for the country demorat agenda.”
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Good. Make an example out of this unhinged demorat.
From Fox News: The arrest of a Democratic congressional intern this week for allegedly publishing the private information of three Republican lawmakers, with police investigating more possible incidents, underscores what has become an increasingly confrontational approach by the anti-Trump ‘resistance.’
Jackson Cosko, who recently worked as an unpaid intern for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, was arrested for posting the personal information of Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah on Wikipedia — including their home addresses.
Fox News learned Wednesday that Capitol Hill police are investigating additional doxxing incidents involving at least two senators, including Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. It was not clear if Cosko — who worked with other Democratic lawmakers including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and former Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. — was involved.
Cosko had worked in a host of roles in the House and Senate, including as press assistant and legislative correspondent, according to his LinkedIn page.
Former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” Thursday that the wide range of charges against Cosko, including witness tampering and burglary, suggests there could be more to the case than meets the eye.
“With seven different charges out there, it really does makes it sound like it’s more sophisticated and widespread because now you see Sen. Rand Paul is also having issues,” he said, although he added that it wasn’t clear if Cosko was connected to the Paul case.
While it was not clear what the motivation was behind the posting of personal information (known as “doxxing”), Graham, Lee and Hatch have been outspoken defenders of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh amid sexual assault allegations against him. The doxxing on Thursday came moments after Graham had scorched Senate Democrats in a fiery speech for what he called “an unethical sham” in their treatment of Kavanaugh.
The incident marks the latest in escalating attacks against Republican lawmakers and Trump administration officials — particularly in relation to the Kavanaugh controversy — by far left-wing activists, which have occasionally picked up the support of Democratic lawmakers.
A day after the doxxing, two female activists cornered Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., in an elevator on Friday and screamed at him, with one of them repeatedly demanding he look at her as she accused him of suggesting her own sexual assault “doesn’t matter.”
Moments later, Flake demanded an FBI investigation into the accusations against Kavanaugh — forcing GOP leaders, faced with little room for error on Senate votes, to accede. It was not clear if the dressing down caused Flake to waver, but he later told The Atlantic that the incident “struck a chord.”
Days earlier on Monday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his wife Heidi were hounded out of a restaurant by protesters peppering the senator with questions about Kavanaugh and chanting “we believe survivors” and “cancel Kavanaugh.” His Democratic opponent in the Texas Senate race, Beto O’Rouke, condemned the incident and said his family “should be treated with respect.”
The tactic of hounding lawmakers and Trump officials out of restaurants became more prevalent in June, when White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen were driven out of restaurants amid the backlash over the separation of illegal immigrant families at the border.
That move was encouraged by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who days later called on supporters to confront Trump officials in public spaces.
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” she told a crowd.
In July, Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ., who recently compared himself to Thracian gladiator Spartacus, told supporters to go to Capitol Hill and “get in the face of some congresspeople.”
This week, Republicans have been pushing back against such tactics. Some have pointed to the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., at a Republican baseball practice last year as a reminder of how heated rhetoric can lead to much worse.
Kelley Paul, the wife of Sen. Paul, wrote in an open letter to Sen. Booker, saying that she now keeps a loaded gun by her bed after her family has “experienced violence and threats of violence at a horrifying level.”
“I would call on you to retract your statement,” she said. “I would call on you to condemn violence, the leaking of elected officials’ personal addresses (our address was leaked from a Senate directory given only to senators), and the intimidation and threats that are being hurled at them and their families.”
The Daily Caller reported that Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., and his wife were chased through Reagan National Airport by activists — who kept yelling at him even as he tried to use the bathroom.
On the Senate floor on Wednesday, Perdue blamed Democrats for inciting such behavior, and read quotes he said were inciting harassment of Republicans in public.
“This is America, but these are the tactics of the Brownshirts in Germany in the 1930s, Mr. President,” he said. “Unacceptable. Totally irresponsible.”
From Fox News: Bill Clinton spokesperson-turned ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos has been called out for hypocrisy after a combative interview with press secretary Sarah Sanders on Tuesday, when the “Good Morning America” star accused President Trump of always siding with men when it comes to sexual misconduct claims.
“It is absolutely amazing that Stephanopoulos has the gall to say it seems like President Trump is always siding with the men when it comes to accusations of sexual impropriety and sexual assault given his work in the Clinton administration,” conservative strategist Chris Barron told Fox News.
The interview started off with a series of questions about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein before the conversation shifted to the ongoing sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“The president consistently, every single time, takes the side of the man,” Stephanopoulos said.
Sanders fired back, “It’s interesting that you say that. It’s a lot of Democrats that like to ignore Keith Ellison and Cory Booker. They love to fight and champion women until they disagree with them.”
Stephanopoulos reminded Sanders that Al Franken lost his job over inappropriate sexual behavior.
“A number of other Democrats should have the same type of scrutiny,” Sanders said, before Stephanopoulos interrupted, “Every single time, the president has taken the side of the man against women accusers.”
Sanders said that Trump knows Brett Kavanaugh and has heard his story, explaining that there hasn’t been a “shred of evidence” to back up claims made against the Supreme Court nominee — but the “GMA” star quickly changed the subject.
“Maybe ABC should have found someone with a little more credibility around this issue to ask these questions,” Barron said. “Factually, Stephanopoulos is also flat wrong. President Trump has been a high-profile defender of women like Juanita Broaddrick who were victimized by President Clinton and demonized by the main stream media.”
From Yahoo: Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said that Democrats have a message “much bigger” than opposing President Trump and that the party is focused on telling Americans “we see them.”
“The issues are not simple, so the message is not going not be simple,” Harris told Yahoo News in a small gaggle of reporters after she gave a speech at the “Women Unshackled” criminal justice conference Tuesday morning. Harris said Democrats should not have a “monosyllabic” simple slogan, but instead focus on issues that matter to Americans, like jobs, the economy, health care, climate change and criminal justice reform.
“It’s going to be multitiered, but essentially it’s about telling the American public we see them,” Harris said of the Democrats’ message. “All Americans want to know that they are healthy, that their children and their parents are going to have access to health care and dignity. All Americans want to know they can get a job and keep a job. All Americans want to be able to retire with dignity.” “These are truths, and when we see people for who they really are, and instead of some demographic based on what a pollster looks at, I think we’ll all be better for it,” she added.
Democrats have struggled to articulate a unified message since Trump won. And the issue of the party’s branding sparked up again after a top House Democrat, Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., recently told the Associated Press that the message is “being worked on.” Harris is a buzzed-about potential candidate for president in 2020 and has already raised significant amounts of money for her Senate colleagues running in 2018. Harris has said she’s not giving “any consideration” to running for president, but Democratic donors are increasingly speculating about her as a top contender.
Harris’ criminal justice speech Tuesday to a bipartisan group of lawmakers and activists was greeted with enthusiastic applause, and the senator was nearly mobbed afterward with fans wanting to take selfies with her. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., are also speaking at the event, organized by the U.S. Justice Action Network.
In her speech, Harris criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for steering the country back toward another war on drugs, which she called an “abject failure” and “crazy.”
“We made a mistake when decades ago we decided to criminalize what is a public health matter,” Harris said, advocating for drug treatment instead of jail time for nonviolent offenders.
She also spoke of her recent visit to a women’s prison in Chowchilla, Calif., where she talked to incarcerated women who were making American flags. “I walked away thinking, ‘Isn’t it part of who we are as Americans that we believe in second chances?’” she said. Harris, a former prosecutor elected just last November, has made criminal justice reform one of her top issues in her short time in the Senate. She has co-sponsored legislation with other Democratic lawmakers to ban the practice of shackling pregnant inmates, and she announced during her speech that she would also be introducing legislation to reform the bail process so that decisions about whether to release prisoners ahead of their trials is based more upon the security risk of doing so and not upon how much money the prisoner has.
The senator told reporters she’s “optimistic” that legislation could pass, even in a divided Washington. “I think this is something that should not be thought of as even bipartisan — this should be a nonpartisan issue,” Harris said.