What to expect in the Alabama Senate election

By Jen Kirby Doug Jones and Roy Moore square off in a chaotic special election with national consequences. What should have been a sleepy, special election to fill now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions's Alabama Senate seat turned into a chaotic, closely watched race on the national stage after Republican candidate Roy Moore was accused of sexual molestation and pursuing underage women while he was in his 30s. Moore is now in a competitive contest against Democrat Doug Jones. The latest polls are all over the map. Most have Moore with a lead, but show Jones within the margin of error. In ...
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The Poll That Built a University

The Poll That Built a University

By SShepard@politico.com (Steven Shepard) HAMDEN, Connecticut—John Lahey arrived in Hamden, Connecticut, in 1987 with a mandate to grow a small college, Quinnipiac, into something much larger. Back then, the school, named for the Native American tribe that once inhabited the area, was a local commuter institution with just a few thousand students. But it had bigger ambitions.A self-described “political junkie” from the Riverdale section of the Bronx, Lahey didn't propose investing in Division I athletics or building a medical school, as other small colleges have done — though he would do both in the coming decades. He came up with ...
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David Petraeus Would Still Work for Trump, Under ‘Certain Conditions’

David Petraeus Would Still Work for Trump, Under ‘Certain Conditions’

By isaac@politico.com (Edward-Isaac Dovere) Subscribe to Off Message on Apple Podcasts here. | Subscribe via Stitcher here.NEW YORK—David Petraeus had a rule when he was in command in Afghanistan and Iraq: “Be first with the truth.”Recalling that was Petraeus' cautious way of answering a question about whether President Donald Trump is right to say that America is winning the war against the Islamic State. Later, the retired four-star general and former CIA director told me in an interview for POLITICO's Off Message podcast, “There are other presidents who have also made some declarations that they undoubtedly wished that they hadn't ...
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Alabama Senate election: 5 things to watch

Alabama Senate election: 5 things to watch

By dstrauss@politico.com (Daniel Strauss) Alabama's tumultuous special Senate election will take a final unconventional turn on Tuesday, either electing a Republican facing allegations of child predation or giving Democrats their first statewide win in nearly a decade in one of the reddest states in America.Republican Roy Moore was presumed to be the favorite, despite a history of controversial comments and actions, after defeating appointed Sen. Luther Strange in the GOP primary. But Moore's standing fell after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers. Remarkably, Moore remained competitive despite Senate Republicans pulling their support and some calling ...
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Moore, wife blast Washington establishment and media in final appeal

Moore, wife blast Washington establishment and media in final appeal

By gdebenedetti@politico.com (Gabriel Debenedetti) MIDLAND CITY, Ala. — A defiant Roy Moore returned to the campaign trail Monday evening, delivering a thundering speech at an election eve rally in which he implored Alabamians to ignore outsiders who he said were bent on stopping him in the Senate special election.“We dare to defend our rights and we will defend our rights,” Moore, who has been abandoned by much of the Republican Party establishment, told an audience of several hundred packed into a barn. “We're up to our neck in people that don't want change in Washington, D.C., they want to keep ...
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Vox Sentences: No one knows what’s going to happen in Alabama

By Ella Nilsen Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world, curated by Ella Nilsen. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions. Alabama prepares for election day; an attempted terrorist attack in New York snarls the morning commute; Venezuela slides further into dictatorship. Jones-ing for a win Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Alabama residents head to the polls tomorrow to vote for a new US senator, in a race that has captured the attention of the country. [Vox / Brian Resnick] ...
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Looming pension shortfalls to complicate next shutdown fight

Looming pension shortfalls to complicate next shutdown fight

By eschor@politico.com (Elana Schor) The next potential sleeper cause of a government shutdown? Pensions.Congress barely averted a shutdown last year amid a fight over miners' health care. Now the looming collapse of pension plans for the miners — as well as thousands of Teamster truck drivers and food service workers — is fueling another, even more expensive, round of brinkmanship.Key Democrats are vowing to fight for a fix as part of any forthcoming deal to fund the government. And they warn that if Congress doesn't step in soon to forestall the insolvency of several key pension plans — including the ...
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Today in Trumpworld: Trump

Today in Trumpworld: Trump’s sexual misconduct allegations

...read more Read more here: Today in Trumpworld: Trump's sexual misconduct allegations ...
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Pollsters dodge Alabama prediction game

Pollsters dodge Alabama prediction game

By SShepard@politico.com (Steven Shepard) Who's leading in Tuesday's special Senate election in Alabama? The race is so peculiar and has so many variables that some pollsters are reluctant to say. Rather than put out a single result that could be viewed as a projection in the race between Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore, several polling outfits have simply released a number of different turnout models that explain how the composition of the electorate could swing the election. It's an approach that they say best reflects the tremendous uncertainty surrounding a historically unusual, off-year, mid-December special election in a ...
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Meet Lee Busby, the Alabama write-in candidate challenging Roy Moore

By Jen Kirby The former Marine says Alabama voters don't like either of their choices. So he jumped in the race. Republicans toyed with, and then quickly abandoned, the possibility of a write-in campaign to challenge Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race. But at least one guy still thought it was a good idea “I don't mean it's a cakewalk to kick off a campaign 15 days before, with no money, no organization, no experience,” Col. Lee Busby, who is running as a GOP-leaning write-in, told Vox. “But it struck me that the absence of representation in the middle ...
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White House claims there are eyewitnesses who can prove Trump didn’t sexually harass anyone

By Emily Stewart Sarah Huckabee Sanders says she has reports of eyewitness accounts disputing Trump's accusers. The first four women reporters called on at the White House press briefing Monday all asked about the same issue: the multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault against President Donald Trump. In response, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the Trump administration would be putting out “multiple reports” of eyewitness accounts refuting the allegations. It wasn't immediately clear which reports she meant. The questions were part of an especially heated briefing — Huckabee Sanders also fielded a number of questions regarding ...
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Democrats seek alleged evidence of anti-Clinton

Democrats seek alleged evidence of anti-Clinton ‘bias’ at the FBI

By kcheney@politico.com (Kyle Cheney) Turning the tables on Republican charges that the FBI's Russia probe is tainted by political bias, two top House Democrats are demanding Justice Department documents they say could reveal “politically-motivated misconduct" at the bureau meant to harm Hillary Clinton's 2016 election chances, including potential leaks to a conservative website about the Clinton email investigation.Days before Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is set to testify before the House judiciary committee, the two lawmakers are calling on Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to turn over any material showing FBI agents or officials revealing “animus” toward Clinton. "The ...
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Secret super PAC backing Jones in Alabama exposed

Secret super PAC backing Jones in Alabama exposed

By gdebenedetti@politico.com (Gabriel Debenedetti) BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A mystery super PAC backing Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama is controlled by a pair of groups closely aligned with the national Democratic Party, even as the candidate strives to dissociate himself from Washington interests.Highway 31, which has dropped more than $4.1 million in support of Jones and against Roy Moore ahead of Tuesday's Senate special election, is a joint project of two of the largest national Democratic super PACs — Senate Majority PAC and Priorities USA Action — along with a group of Alabama Democrats, multiple senior officials familiar with the arrangement ...
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These are the people who would lose under Medicaid work requirements

By Dylan Scott This is the web version of VoxCare, a daily newsletter from Vox on the latest twists and turns in America's health care debate. Like what you're reading? Sign up to get VoxCare in your inbox here. We just got some of our strongest evidence yet that there is no pandemic of Medicaid enrollees who are avoiding work to stay on the program's rolls, even as the Trump administration prepares to institute work requirements in some states that have requested them. The research, conducted by the University of Michigan and published on Monday in JAMA, looks at the ...
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The Trump economy is nothing special

By Matthew Yglesias A funny thing happened on Inauguration Day, and the exact same economic conditions that had existed throughout 2016 — steady but nonspectacular job growth, low unemployment, sluggish but real wage growth, record stock market valuations — changed political valences. Suddenly, performance Trump labeled disastrous under Obama was spectacular under Trump. In some ways, even more oddly, while in 2016 pundits saw Trump's political success as a sign that real economic conditions were worse than the statistics in, say, 2017, pundits marvel that Trump could be so unpopular despite the strong economy. A more useful exercise, I think, ...
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Sen. Gillibrand: President Trump Should “Immediately Resign” Over Sex Abuse Claims

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York told CNN on Monday afternoon that in the wake of the accusations of sexual abuse leveled at him, President Donald Trump should immediately resign. "And if he doesn't, we should have the investigation," she said. "President Trump has committed assault, according to these women, and those are very credible allegations of misconduct and criminal activity, and he should be fully investigated and he should resign," Gillibrand told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview. "These allegations are credible. They are numerous, " Gillibrand said. "I've heard these women's testimony, and many of them ...
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Our Institutional Crisis Is Upon Us

By E.J. Dionne WASHINGTON -- Our democratic republic is in far more danger than it was even a few weeks ago. Until this point, there was an underlying faith in much of the political world that if Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian collusion in the election of Donald Trump turned up damning material about the president, Republicans in Congress would feel obligated by their commitment to the country's well-being to take him on. We would often hear recollections of how Republicans during Watergate -- Sen. Barry Goldwater would inevitably come up -- decided that the smoking guns were too smoky ...
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Saudi Arabia is allowing movie theaters to open for the first time in 35 years

By Zeeshan Aleem But it's more about the economy than it is about cultural openness. For the first time in more than 35 years, Saudis will be able to do something the rest of the world takes for granted: go to the movies. But it's more than just a change for people looking for a fun night out. It's also the latest example of how the government is willing to overturn long-held social rules as it searches for new ways to juice its stagnating economy. Saudi Arabia began closing movie theaters after it embraced an extremely conservative interpretation of Islam ...
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Alabama Senate race hurtles to a dramatic finish

Alabama Senate race hurtles to a dramatic finish

By gdebenedetti@politico.com (Gabriel Debenedetti) BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — On the day before voters cast their votes in Alabama's roller-coaster Senate special election, Democrat Doug Jones is enlisting last-minute help from former President Barack Obama, while Republican Roy Moore is expected to emerge from hiding at a final-hour rally with Steve Bannon.The anticipation surrounding the highest-profile special election in years grew with a surprise poll from Fox News showing Jones ahead by double-digits — defying a slew of other surveys that had Moore clinging to a narrow lead.While Moore prepped for an evening rally with Bannon, the former White House chief strategist ...
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One chart shows Democrats are now more eager than ever to run for office

By Ella Nilsen It's too early to tell if Democrats can flip the House in 2018. But hundreds of candidates are already lining up. When Michael Malbin started crunching Federal Elections Committee data this summer to see how the 2018 midterms were shaping up, the sheer number of Democratic challengers blew him away. Back in June, there were already 209 Democratic candidates entering House races who had raised at least $5,000, compared to just 28 Republican candidates. When Malbin, the executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute, checked the updated numbers this fall, the number of Republicans had risen slightly ...
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Alabama Special Election Takes Place in One of the Reddest States

Alabama Special Election Takes Place in One of the Reddest States

Accusations of sexual misconduct complicate what could have been an easy win for the GOP in one of the nation's most conservative states. ...read more Read more here: Alabama Special Election Takes Place in One of the Reddest States ...
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3 winners and 3 losers from this year’s Golden Globes nominations

By Alissa Wilkinson The nominations for the 2018 Golden Globes were predictably unpredictable. The nominations for the Golden Globes, made by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are notoriously capricious and unpredictable, satisfying no one and startling many. This year's nominations are no different, with some obvious choices (like The Shape of Water and Game of Thrones) alongside some real curveballs. In a field as crowded as this one — there are dozens of TV shows and films nominated for awards, with few clear frontrunners in any category going forward — it's hard to make sweeping pronouncements about trends in the ...
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The attempted Manhattan subway terror attack: what we know so far

By Zeeshan Aleem The former NYPD commissioner says preliminary info suggests it was done in the name of ISIS. A man detonated a pipe bomb in a subway near Times Square at around 7:30 am Monday, in what New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling “an attempted terrorist attack.” What we know The NYPD has identified the suspect as a 27-year-old Brooklyn resident from Bangladesh named Akayed Ullah. Police Commissioner James O'Neill said at a press conference Tuesday that the suspect intentionally detonated an "improvised low-tech explosive device attached to his body." The suspect injured himself and at least ...
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Roy Moore was once again caught making remarks that can be interpreted as okay with slavery

By German Lopez Maybe he believes what he keeps saying. Once again, past remarks from Alabama's Republican candidate for US Senate, Roy Moore, have exposed him saying something that can be interpreted as, if not pro-slavery, slavery-tolerant. Andrew Kaczynski at CNN uncovered 2011 remarks in which Moore responded positively to a radio host's comment that all constitutional amendments after the 10th should be abolished. Moore said, “That would eliminate many problems. You know, people don't understand how some of these amendments have completely tried to wreck the form of government that our forefathers intended.” Moore, who is facing Democrat Doug ...
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Putin just visited Syria for a photo op with his favorite brutal dictator

By Alex Ward Putin and Assad are fans of victory laps these days. In November, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad traveled to Russia to literally hug Russian President Vladimir Putin for helping him stay in power during the country's civil war. On Monday, Putin flew to Syria to celebrate what is effectively the defeat of the rebels that had spent years fighting to oust Assad. Putin said that he would order a “significant” withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria now that the two militaries had defeated what he called a “lethal group of international terrorists,” but acknowledged that at least two ...
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Republicans' Tax Plan Takes a Quirky Swipe at the Little Guys

By Stephen Moore & Lawrence Kudlow Republicans are supposed to be the party that cuts the job-killing capital-gains tax, not raises it. But because of a quirk in the Senate-passed bill, the tax on capital gains may go up — and for some types of long-held assets, fairly substantially. Most members of Congress don't even know of this stealth capital-gains hike. Here's the story. At the start of the year, Republicans promised to reverse the near-60 percent rise in the capital-gains tax under President Barack Obama — a hike that helped bring investment rates to historic lows. The GOP plan ...
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Why We Must Raise Defense Spending

By Robert Samuelson WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon and the welfare state have been locked in brutal combat for decades, and the Pentagon has gotten clobbered. Protecting the country was once the first obligation of government. No more. Welfare programs -- Social Security, Medicare, food stamps and other benefits -- dwarf defense spending. As a result, we have become more vulnerable. Here is the assessment of Mackenzie Eaglen, a defense specialist at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute: "The United States now fields a military that could not meet even the requirements of a benign Clinton-era world. The... ...read more Read more ...
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Golden Globes 2018: the complete list of nominations

By Alex Abad-Santos The Globes kick off awards season. The 2018 Golden Globes nominations are here. The awards have a reputation for being unpredictable, and the 2018 edition will be no exception — especially given the crowded field of nominees. In the film categories, The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro's grown-up fairy tale about a mute woman and a fish-man, led with seven nominations, followed closely by Steven Spielberg's The Post and Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri with six apiece. Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird was nominated in four categories, and Call Me by Your Name, Dunkirk, The ...
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House Republicans voted on a "concealed carry reciprocity" bill that could weaken states’ gun law enforcement

By Jen Kirby A top priority for the NRA will face an uphill battle in the Senate. In October, Stephen Paddock fired round after round from the window of his Las Vegas hotel room, spraying bullets on thousands of concertgoers below. He killed 58 people and injured more than 500. About a month later, in Sutherland Springs, Texas, gunman Devin Patrick Kelley burst into a church and massacred 26 of its congregants. A month after that, on December 6, the House of Representatives passed its first major piece of gun legislation — a bill that requires each state to recognize ...
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Nebraska RNC official resigns to protest support of Moore

Nebraska RNC official resigns to protest support of Moore

By aisenstadt@politico.com (Alex Isenstadt) Nebraska Republican National Committeewoman Joyce Simmons sent an email to fellow party officers on Monday morning announcing her resignation in protest of the committee's financial support for Roy Moore. Simmons declined to comment when asked. An RNC spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In the letter, she wrote that she submitted her resignation to Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel on Friday. “I strongly disagree with the recent RNC financial support directed to the Alabama Republican Party for use in the Roy Moore race. There is much I could say about this ...
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