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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "elections" (Page 19)

Brexit Live Updates: Lawmakers Order Release of Private No-Deal Correspondence

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160177842_b22b4c6e-4d34-40ef-9232-53c6e2b1728c-articleLarge Brexit Live Updates: Lawmakers Order Release of Private No-Deal Correspondence Rudd, Amber (1963- ) Politics and Government Legislatures and Parliaments Leadsom, Andrea (1963- ) Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain) British Pound (Currency) Bercow, John

Brexit has brought chaos to Britain’s Parliament proceedings.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

At the center of the controversy around Mr. Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament has been the question of why he really did it. Was it, as his office contended, an ordinary procedural move that had nothing to do with Brexit? Or was it expressly designed to keep lawmakers from intervening in the government’s hard-line Brexit plans?

What Is Brexit? What Does ‘No-Deal’ Mean?

Jan. 24, 2019

To answer that question, lawmakers on Monday night voted by a narrow margin — 311 to 302 — to force the government to publish private correspondence that would show its thinking.

The same vote will also force the government to publish a classified document known as Operation Yellowhammer, which outlines the government’s assessment of the impact of a no-deal Brexit. Many analysts fear that leaving without a formal agreement would lead to food and medicine shortages, among other calamities.

Dominic Grieve, a former Conservative lawmaker who was exiled by Mr. Johnson last week, said before the vote that public officials had told him the government’s handling of the suspension of Parliament “smacked of scandal.”

The government objected, with Geoffrey Cox, the attorney general, questioning what legal right the government had to force workers to open up their private email accounts and messages.

John Bercow, the animated speaker of the House of Commons, said on Monday that he would step down by Oct. 31, the day Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union. He said he would not run should a general election be called before then.

“This has been, let me put it explicitly, the greatest honor and privilege of my life, for which I will be eternally grateful,” he said, becoming emotional as he thanked his wife and children for their support.

Video

Westlake Legal Group merlin_160490562_e960c6af-00aa-4484-8240-697ffbc08543-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Brexit Live Updates: Lawmakers Order Release of Private No-Deal Correspondence Rudd, Amber (1963- ) Politics and Government Legislatures and Parliaments Leadsom, Andrea (1963- ) Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain) British Pound (Currency) Bercow, John

John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, announced that he would leave by Oct. 31, the day Britain is scheduled to exit the European Union.CreditCreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

He also warned lawmakers to respect the process of the parliamentary system, noting, “We degrade this Parliament at our peril.”

The role of speaker has traditionally been an impartial, background figure, but Mr. Bercow brought new aggression to the role throughout the fraught Brexit debates that have dominated discussions in Parliament for years.

His actions — particularly his criticism of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament, and his decision to bar a third vote on Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement and effectively halt the government’s agenda — have made him some enemies in the Conservative Party.

Mr. Bercow’s plan to step down upends a Conservative Party plan to break with longtime convention and field a candidate to challenge him in the next general election. The party had said that Mr. Bercow broke the rules by allowing Parliament to take control of the Brexit process and hobble the government’s position.

Writing in the The Mail on Sunday, Andrea Leadsom, the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, accused Mr. Bercow of “a flagrant abuse of this process” and of “giving power to the opposition.”

“Bring back an impartial speaker,” she declared.

Last year, when Ms. Leadsom was leader of the House of Commons, Mr. Bercow was accused of calling her a “stupid woman” and “useless.” He admitted to muttering the words during a disagreement but denied insulting her personally.

Legislation that would require Britain to seek another Brexit extension from the European Union if there is no withdrawal agreement by Oct. 19 became law on Monday, a move that Prime Minister Boris Johnson bitterly opposed.

The opposition Labour Party and others have insisted that they will not consider Mr. Johnson’s request to hold a general election until after a no-deal Brexit was ruled out.

That sets the stage for another battle: whether, and when, to hold a general election. The vote on the snap general election is expected to take place between 9 p.m. and the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The success of the no-deal legislation is due in no small part to the decision last week by 21 members of Mr. Johnson’s Conservative Party to defy him on the question of whether to leave without a deal. They were expelled from the party for their defiance.

The Tory revolt against Mr. Johnson, and his ruthless purging of the rebels, have reverberated through British politics, threatening his hold on power.

The prime minister and many of his allies say that Britain must preserve the possibility of leaving without a deal in order to maintain leverage in negotiations with Brussels. Opponents of a no-deal withdrawal say it simply cannot be considered because of the potentially catastrophic consequences for the British economy.

After just one week’s work following the summer vacation, British lawmakers will be sent away again Monday night when Parliament is “prorogued,” or suspended, until Oct. 14, the prime minister’s office said.

Lawmakers will first vote on whether to hold a snap election with the expectation that, as they did last week, they will refuse to give Prime Minister Boris Johnson the two-thirds majority he needs to call a vote next month.

Then Parliament will be suspended after formal announcements in both chambers and a ceremony that includes a cry in Norman French.

The suspension means that, if Mr. Johnson loses on Monday, he would not be able to attempt votes later this week to try to secure the snap election before the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline.

Boris Johnson Will Prorogue Parliament

Westlake Legal Group brexit-calendar-update-600 Brexit Live Updates: Lawmakers Order Release of Private No-Deal Correspondence Rudd, Amber (1963- ) Politics and Government Legislatures and Parliaments Leadsom, Andrea (1963- ) Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain) British Pound (Currency) Bercow, John

Before Boris Johnson decided to suspended Parliament,

lawmakers had about five weeks in session to debate a Brexit deal.

Parliament

returns

Break for party

conferences

Parliament scheduled

to return

E.U. summit

Britain leaves the E.U.

But Mr. Johnson’s latest move delays the return of lawmakers,

leaving less than three weeks until the Brexit deadline.

Parliament suspended after today

The queen’s speech

and debates will

add further delays

E.U. summit

Britain leaves the E.U.

Westlake Legal Group brexit-calendar-update-300 Brexit Live Updates: Lawmakers Order Release of Private No-Deal Correspondence Rudd, Amber (1963- ) Politics and Government Legislatures and Parliaments Leadsom, Andrea (1963- ) Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain) British Pound (Currency) Bercow, John

Before Boris Johnson decided to suspended Parliament, lawmakers had about five weeks in session to debate a Brexit deal.

Parliament

returns

Break for party

conferences

Parliament

scheduled

to return

E.U. summit

Britain leaves

the E.U.

But Mr. Johnson’s latest move delays the return of lawmakers, leaving less than three weeks

until the Brexit deadline.

Parliament

suspended after today

The queen’s speech

and debates

will add

further delays

Britain leaves

the E.U.

The prime minister, who just had a humbling week in Parliament, will be spared any further appearances there for five weeks. But the absence of lawmakers at a moment of looming national crisis is likely to fuel criticism of Mr. Johnson’s hardball tactics and his determination to leave the European Union next month, without an agreement if necessary.

Lawmakers have passed a bill designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit, and the legislation received its final approval — a procedure known as royal assent — on Monday.

Mr. Johnson’s spokesman said that the prime minister would not break that law, but insisted that he would not request an extension to the Brexit deadline as the new legislation requires if he cannot reach a deal with the European Union or get Parliament’s approval for a no-deal exit.

How Mr. Johnson plans to achieve that was not explained.

The European Commission headquarters in Brussels.CreditFrancisco Seco/Associated Press

Ordinarily, this would be a week of unadulterated excitement in Brussels. On Tuesday, Ursula von der Leyen, who is set to become European Commission president on Nov. 1, is to present her college — or group — of commissioners who will lead different policy areas of the European Union bureaucracy for the next five years.

But Brexit is threatening to put a dampener on this twice-a-decade exercise, as questions of a possible extension to Britain’s withdrawal deadline raise concerns about how the country can remain a member of the bloc without having a commissioner.

The commission, which typically has one representative from each European Union country, has so far refused be drawn into speculation about a potential delay. Mina Andreeva, the commission spokeswoman, said on Monday that the bloc was working under the assumption that Britain would leave by the Oct. 31 deadline.

Other European Union members signaled that they were running out of patience. France, leading a group of nations skeptical of another extension, reiterated its position that any extension would have to come with a detailed plan of what Britain intends to do with the extra time.

“We are not going to do this every three months,” Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister said, speaking with the Europe 1 radio program on Sunday.

The British Brexit negotiator, David Frost, is to return to Brussels on Wednesday to continue “technical discussions” with his European counterparts. These twice-weekly meetings in Brussels were heralded as a breakthrough by the British government, but they have so far yielded nothing in terms of an alternative to the Irish border backstop — a major sticking point in current talks.

Brexit supporters rallied outside Parliament last week.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to try again on Monday to call a general election, a move that is expected to suffer the same fate as a first effort that fell short last week.

Mr. Johnson’s working majority has quickly evaporated, and new elections would give him a chance to re-establish a stable power base. But mistrust among his opponents is so high that they would not support a new vote until the legislation blocking a no-deal exit was locked in.

That has created an unusual situation in which his opponents, who would normally jump at a chance to vote him out of office, are fighting an attempt to hold a new election, which can happen only after a two-thirds majority in Parliament supports it.

“It’s the most sensational paradox,” Mr. Johnson, who came to power less than two months ago, said on Friday. “Never in history has the opposition party been given the chance for election and has turned it down.”

Many lawmakers in the opposition Labour Party want to wait at least until November to hold an election. They fear that a strong victory in October would allow Mr. Johnson to reverse any no-deal legislation.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made clear that he wants Britain to leave the European Union by Oct. 31.CreditJessica Taylor/U.K. Parliament, via Shutterstock

The battle over an extension has raised the specter of whether Mr. Johnson would risk jail to get his way.

Mr. Johnson has made clear that he wants to complete Brexit by the end of October, declaring that he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask the European Union for another delay. But legal experts have warned that he could face jail time if he refused to abide by the bill to prevent a no-deal Brexit, which was approved on Friday and is set to become law on Monday.

On Saturday, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said, “We’re in quite extraordinary territory when the prime minister says he is above the law.”

A former top prosecutor, Lord MacDonald, told Sky News that if Mr. Johnson refused to request an extension, “that would amount to contempt of court, which could find that person in prison.”

The government appears willing to “test to the limit” the new law, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab telling reporters that the government would abide by the law, but that it would also “look very carefully” at its “interpretation” of the “bad” legislation.

Prime Ministers Leo Varadkar of Ireland, left, and Boris Johnson of Britain in Dublin on Monday.CreditCharles Mcquillan/Getty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson began the week in a different European capital, Dublin. But the message was the same as it was last week in London: His vow to leave the European Union without a deal was a non-starter.

“There’s no such thing as a clean break — or just getting it done,” the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, said to Mr. Johnson, throwing his own words back at him.

On a chilly, gray day, with the Irish and British flags flapping behind them, Mr. Varadkar and Mr. Johnson both spoke of the need to find solutions. But the gulf between them seemed wide.

The Irish border remains the biggest barrier to a Brexit deal. All sides want to avoid the imposition of significant checks between Ireland, a member of the European Union, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. A hard border could renew sectarian tensions that raged for decades.

Mr. Johnson has rejected the so-called backstop agreement reached by his predecessor, Theresa May, which would all but keep Northern Ireland inside the single European market for a few years, so that Ireland would not have to inspect goods flowing in from the north.

Mr. Johnson quashed any expectations that he had brought new proposals. He simply restated the case that he made last week to British lawmakers.

“We must get Brexit done because the U.K. must come out on Oct. 31, or else I fear permanent damage will be done to confidence in our democracy in the U.K,” Mr. Johnson said in Dublin on Monday. “I know that this problem of Brexit was not, to be perfectly frank, a conundrum that Ireland ever wished for.”

While both men emphasized the need for a deal, neither seemed to have high expectations for the visit. Mr. Varadkar noted it would be a “herculean task” for Mr. Johnson to negotiate a new deal before the Oct. 31 deadline.

Nicholas Soames was expelled from the Conservative Party for supporting a motion to stop Britain from leaving the European Union without a deal.CreditNeil Hall/EPA, via Shutterstock

There are fights, and then there are family fights, just as there are insults, and family insults.

From the moment last week when Prime Minister Boris Johnson expelled 21 Conservative rebel lawmakers who defied him in a critical vote, the Tories have been in full family fight mode, and the insults have been colorful, to say the least.

A barrage of insults came from Nicholas Soames, one of the lawmakers who was expelled from the party. Mr. Soames, a grandson of Winston Churchill, took pointed issue with Mr. Johnson — “Boris Johnson is nothing like Winston Churchill” — but especially with Jacob Rees-Mogg, the House of Commons leader who was widely lampooned after he reclined on the front bench of Parliament during the Brexit debate last week.

“He is in serious danger of believing his own shtick,” Mr. Soames told the Times of London on Saturday. “He is an absolute fraud, he is a living example of what a moderately cut double-breasted suit and a decent tie can do with an ultraposh voice.”

Mr. Soames then offered some earthier anatomical imagery before describing Mr. Rees-Mogg’s speech during the Brexit debate as “the lowest form of student union hackery, insolence and bad manners.”

And to think they were once on the same team.

Reporting was contributed by Mark Landler, Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Benjamin Mueller, Michael Wolgelenter, Yonette Joseph and Megan Specia.

‘They’re All Idiots’: Amid Brexit Chaos, Britons Lose Faith in Politicians

Sept. 6, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 06brexit-voices1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Brexit Live Updates: Lawmakers Order Release of Private No-Deal Correspondence Rudd, Amber (1963- ) Politics and Government Legislatures and Parliaments Leadsom, Andrea (1963- ) Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain) British Pound (Currency) Bercow, John
Parliament’s Next Brexit Brawl: When to Hold Elections

Sept. 5, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 05brexit1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Brexit Live Updates: Lawmakers Order Release of Private No-Deal Correspondence Rudd, Amber (1963- ) Politics and Government Legislatures and Parliaments Leadsom, Andrea (1963- ) Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain) British Pound (Currency) Bercow, John
Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s Rasputin, Is Feeling the Heat of Brexit

Sept. 8, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_160145592_44fc0844-ff95-46ab-bae8-8162fd36bde2-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Brexit Live Updates: Lawmakers Order Release of Private No-Deal Correspondence Rudd, Amber (1963- ) Politics and Government Legislatures and Parliaments Leadsom, Andrea (1963- ) Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain) British Pound (Currency) Bercow, John
Boris Johnson Finds His Party Loyalists Aren’t as Loyal as Trump’s

Sept. 8, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 07tory-1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Brexit Live Updates: Lawmakers Order Release of Private No-Deal Correspondence Rudd, Amber (1963- ) Politics and Government Legislatures and Parliaments Leadsom, Andrea (1963- ) Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain) British Pound (Currency) Bercow, John

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Kamala Harris Tries to Sell Lie About Not Hearing Slur at Her Town Hall, and the Internet Is Roasting Her

Westlake Legal Group kamala-harris-donkeyhotey-620x443 Kamala Harris Tries to Sell Lie About Not Hearing Slur at Her Town Hall, and the Internet Is Roasting Her town hall Politics Mentally Retarded kamala harris Front Page Stories Featured Story elections democrats Campaigns campaign Allow Media Exception 2020

Kamala Harris – Caricature by DonkeyHotey, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

Kamala Harris really made a big mistake when she told a man at her town hall that when he called President Donald Trump “mentally retarded” and gave her approval.

You can see for yourself that Harris looks at the man in the face as he calls Trump the slur, and then responds with laughter and saying “well said.”

As my colleague Bonchie points out, the internet reamed Harris over this.

Harris didn’t take ownership for her mistake and instead attempted to pretend that she didn’t hear the man and went on about how such a phrase is beyond unacceptable. Had she heard it, said Harris, she would have corrected the man.

“When my staff played the video from my town hall yesterday, it was upsetting,” said Harris in a tweet. “I didn’t hear the words the man used in that moment, but if I had I would’ve stopped and corrected him. I’m sorry. That word and others like it aren’t acceptable. Ever.”

This was the wrong move. Harris clearly heard the phrase and her reaction to it makes the fact that she heard it unmistakable. Her lying to the American people about it only angered them, and they responded in force.

This includes Sebastion Gorka, who let Harris have it with both barrels. First, he called her a “bald-faced” liar, then questioned how she was ever a prosecutor after recounting what everyone saw.

“You lie with such alacrity, everyone imprisoned by you should have their cases reopened,” tweeted Gorka.

Gorka wasn’t the only one. The internet took down Harris like lions on a wounded gazelle, and not just people from the right.

Its moments like this that have caused Democrats to lose faith in Harris, who was once a prime candidate to overtake Biden and win the nomination. Thanks to a string of embarrassing moments and a pummeling at the hands of Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Harris’s poll numbers have been rapidly declining.

In fact, she’s lost all virtual support from the black community after it was revealed that her time as DA in California put a lot of black citizens in far more trouble with the state than they should have been.

Now Harris is fighting a current that has turned against her, and moments like this really shine a light on her character that many people find repulsive.

It’s very Clintonesque.

This has been a pattern from the left lately. We’re supposed to believe them instead of our own eyes and ears. Debra Messing recently claimed she was not calling for the creation of a blacklist while calling for the creation of a blacklist. Even the media is asking us to believe Antifa is generally peaceful even while we watch videos of them being violent.

It seems the left wants us to live in a fantasy world with them.

The post Kamala Harris Tries to Sell Lie About Not Hearing Slur at Her Town Hall, and the Internet Is Roasting Her appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group kamala-harris-donkeyhotey-300x214 Kamala Harris Tries to Sell Lie About Not Hearing Slur at Her Town Hall, and the Internet Is Roasting Her town hall Politics Mentally Retarded kamala harris Front Page Stories Featured Story elections democrats Campaigns campaign Allow Media Exception 2020   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Video: Lyin’ Beto Dodges on Door to Door Police Visits, Says He “Expects Americans to Comply” With Gun Buyback

Westlake Legal Group BetoORourkeDebateAPimage-620x317 Video: Lyin’ Beto Dodges on Door to Door Police Visits, Says He “Expects Americans to Comply” With Gun Buyback Texas Social Media Politics North Carolina New Hampshire Media mass shootings Joe Biden Guns gun rights gun control Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post elections democrats Culture Campaigns Beto O'Rourke beto Allow Media Exception 2020 Elections 2020

Democratic presidential candidate former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke speaks at a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Failed Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) took a campaign swing through New Hampshire over the weekend, including making an appearance at the New Hampshire State Democratic Convention. While there, he faced questions about his controversial mandatory gun buyback confiscation program, which critics have said would require door to door visits from law enforcement to force compliance.

He was asked about the enforcement issue specifically during a press conference at the convention. Here’s what he said:

“No. I don’t see the law enforcement going door to door. I see Americans complying with the law. I see us working with gun owners, non-gun owners, local, county, state, federal law enforcement to come up with the best possible solution. I have yet to meet an owner of an AR-15 who thinks it’s OK that we have these kind of mass killings in this country,” O’Rourke said when asked by the Washington Examiner about specifics of his plan.

When pressed further about how he plans to enforce his proposal for those who would not comply, he responded, “How do you — how do we enforce any law? There’s a significant reliance on people complying with the law. You know that a law is not created in a vacuum.”

Watch video of his answer below, in which the struggling-for-relevance 2020 presidential candidate also stated he would work with Congress for ways to implement his plan that would respect gun rights as well as protect American lives:

Saying that he “expects” gun owners to comply with his confiscation plan, even though disturbing and deeply troubling, is a far cry from what he’s stated previously on this issue. For example, just a few days ago he was asked how he would address fears that the government was going to “take away assault rifles.” Here’s how he answered:

I want to be really clear that that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Americans who own AR-15s and AK-47s will have to sell them to the government. We’re not going to allow them to stay on our streets, to show up in our communities, to be used against us …

Watch:

He asserted later that same day that “We need to buy back every single assault weapon”:

His response to the DC Examiner on whether or not door to door visits would take place under his administration to force gun owners to hand over their “assault weapons” is a flat out lie. There may be a few people who would voluntarily comply with the mandatory program, but there will be many more who are well aware of their 2nd Amendment rights who are not just going to obediently hand over their weapons to the government.

There is simply no other way for the government to get its hands on “every single assault weapon” without law enforcement stepping in and knocking on doors while armed to the teeth.

“View” co-host and gun owner Meghan McCain correctly pointed out last week that if Beto were to be elected and implement a program like this, there would be violence in response from citizens.

He absurdly and despicably responded that McCain’s comments were an incitement to violence, but in reality she simply stated what Beto O’Rourke deep down knows to be true, but won’t say out loud.

He’s from Texas. He knows she’s right. He knows there are a not-so-small-number of people with registered weapons who will not gift wrap them with a pretty little bow and drop them off at the nearest police station, and who are not going to open their doors eagerly when the feds come knocking.

Yet he still made this idea a central part of his campaign platform.

The good thing is that, in spite of Beto’s expressed wishes to force gun owners to surrender certain weapons to the government, his campaign is going nowhere fast. The bad news is that there are other Democratic presidential candidates who are on board with the idea, including frontrunner Joe Biden.

——-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

The post Video: Lyin’ Beto Dodges on Door to Door Police Visits, Says He “Expects Americans to Comply” With Gun Buyback appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group BetoORourkeDebateAPimage-300x153 Video: Lyin’ Beto Dodges on Door to Door Police Visits, Says He “Expects Americans to Comply” With Gun Buyback Texas Social Media Politics North Carolina New Hampshire Media mass shootings Joe Biden Guns gun rights gun control Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post elections democrats Culture Campaigns Beto O'Rourke beto Allow Media Exception 2020 Elections 2020   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Brexit Live Updates: John Bercow to Step Down as Speaker

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160177842_b22b4c6e-4d34-40ef-9232-53c6e2b1728c-articleLarge Brexit Live Updates: John Bercow to Step Down as Speaker Rudd, Amber (1963- ) Politics and Government Legislatures and Parliaments Leadsom, Andrea (1963- ) Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain) British Pound (Currency) Bercow, John

Brexit has brought chaos to Britain’s Parliament proceedings.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

John Bercow, the animated speaker of the House of Commons, said on Monday that he would step down by Oct. 31, the day Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union. He said he would not run should a general election be called before then.

“This has been, let me put it explicitly, the greatest honor and privilege of my life, for which I will be eternally grateful,” he said, becoming emotional as he thanked his wife and children for their support.

He also warned lawmakers to respect the process of the parliamentary system, noting, “We degrade this Parliament at our peril.”

The role of speaker has traditionally been an impartial, background figure, but Mr. Bercow brought new aggression to the role throughout the fraught Brexit debates that have dominated discussions in Parliament for years.

His actions — particularly his criticism of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament, and his decision to bar a third vote on Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement and effectively halt the government’s agenda — have made him some enemies in the Conservative Party.

Video

Westlake Legal Group merlin_160490562_e960c6af-00aa-4484-8240-697ffbc08543-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Brexit Live Updates: John Bercow to Step Down as Speaker Rudd, Amber (1963- ) Politics and Government Legislatures and Parliaments Leadsom, Andrea (1963- ) Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain) British Pound (Currency) Bercow, John

John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, announced that he would leave by Oct. 31, the day Britain is scheduled to exit the European Union.CreditCreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mr. Bercow’s plan to step down upends a Conservative Party plan to break with longtime convention and field a candidate to challenge him in the next general election. The party had said that Mr. Bercow broke the rules by allowing Parliament to take control of the Brexit process and hobble the government’s position.

Writing in the The Mail on Sunday, Andrea Leadsom, the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, accused Mr. Bercow of “a flagrant abuse of this process” and of “giving power to the opposition.”

“Bring back an impartial speaker,” she declared.

Last year, when Ms. Leadsom was leader of the House of Commons, Mr. Bercow was accused of calling her a “stupid woman” and “useless.” He admitted to muttering the words during a disagreement but denied insulting her personally.

Legislation that would require Britain to seek another Brexit extension from the European Union if there is no withdrawal agreement by Oct. 19 became law on Monday, a move that Prime Minister Boris Johnson bitterly opposed.

The opposition Labour Party and others have insisted that they will not consider Mr. Johnson’s request to hold a general election until after a no-deal Brexit was ruled out.

That sets the stage for another battle: whether, and when, to hold a general election. The vote on the snap general election is expected to take place between 9 p.m. and the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The success of the no-deal legislation is due in no small part to the decision last week by 21 members of Mr. Johnson’s Conservative Party to defy him on the question of whether to leave without a deal. They were expelled from the party for their defiance.

The Tory revolt against Mr. Johnson, and his ruthless purging of the rebels, have reverberated through British politics, threatening his hold on power.

The prime minister and many of his allies say that Britain must preserve the possibility of leaving without a deal in order to maintain leverage in negotiations with Brussels. Opponents of a no-deal withdrawal say it simply cannot be considered because of the potentially catastrophic consequences for the British economy.

After just one week’s work following the summer vacation, British lawmakers will be sent away again Monday night when Parliament is “prorogued,” or suspended, until Oct. 14, the prime minister’s office said.

Lawmakers will first vote on whether to hold a snap election with the expectation that, as they did last week, they will refuse to give Prime Minister Boris Johnson the two-thirds majority he needs to call a vote next month.

Then Parliament will be suspended after formal announcements in both chambers and a ceremony that includes a cry in Norman French.

The suspension means that, if Mr. Johnson loses on Monday, he would not be able to attempt votes later this week to try to secure the snap election before the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline.

Boris Johnson Will Prorogue Parliament

Westlake Legal Group brexit-calendar-update-600 Brexit Live Updates: John Bercow to Step Down as Speaker Rudd, Amber (1963- ) Politics and Government Legislatures and Parliaments Leadsom, Andrea (1963- ) Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain) British Pound (Currency) Bercow, John

Before Boris Johnson decided to suspended Parliament,

lawmakers had about five weeks in session to debate a Brexit deal.

Parliament

returns

Break for party

conferences

Parliament scheduled

to return

E.U. summit

Britain leaves the E.U.

But Mr. Johnson’s latest move delays the return of lawmakers,

leaving less than three weeks until the Brexit deadline.

Parliament suspended after today

The queen’s speech

and debates will

add further delays

E.U. summit

Britain leaves the E.U.

Westlake Legal Group brexit-calendar-update-300 Brexit Live Updates: John Bercow to Step Down as Speaker Rudd, Amber (1963- ) Politics and Government Legislatures and Parliaments Leadsom, Andrea (1963- ) Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain) British Pound (Currency) Bercow, John

Before Boris Johnson decided to suspended Parliament, lawmakers had about five weeks in session to debate a Brexit deal.

Parliament

returns

Break for party

conferences

Parliament

scheduled

to return

E.U. summit

Britain leaves

the E.U.

But Mr. Johnson’s latest move delays the return of lawmakers, leaving less than three weeks

until the Brexit deadline.

Parliament

suspended after today

The queen’s speech

and debates

will add

further delays

Britain leaves

the E.U.

The prime minister, who just had a humbling week in Parliament, will be spared any further appearances there for five weeks. But the absence of lawmakers at a moment of looming national crisis is likely to fuel criticism of Mr. Johnson’s hardball tactics and his determination to leave the European Union next month, without an agreement if necessary.

Lawmakers have passed a bill designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit, and the legislation received its final approval — a procedure known as royal assent — on Monday.

Mr. Johnson’s spokesman said that the prime minister would not break that law, but insisted that he would not request an extension to the Brexit deadline as the new legislation requires if he cannot reach a deal with the European Union or get Parliament’s approval for a no-deal exit.

How Mr. Johnson plans to achieve that was not explained.

The European Commission headquarters in Brussels.CreditFrancisco Seco/Associated Press

Ordinarily, this would be a week of unadulterated excitement in Brussels. On Tuesday, Ursula von der Leyen, who is set to become European Commission president on Nov. 1, is to present her college — or group — of commissioners who will lead different policy areas of the European Union bureaucracy for the next five years.

But Brexit is threatening to put a dampener on this twice-a-decade exercise, as questions of a possible extension to Britain’s withdrawal deadline raise concerns about how the country can remain a member of the bloc without having a commissioner.

The commission, which typically has one representative from each European Union country, has so far refused be drawn into speculation about a potential delay. Mina Andreeva, the commission spokeswoman, said on Monday that the bloc was working under the assumption that Britain would leave by the Oct. 31 deadline.

Other European Union members signaled that they were running out of patience. France, leading a group of nations skeptical of another extension, reiterated its position that any extension would have to come with a detailed plan of what Britain intends to do with the extra time.

“We are not going to do this every three months,” Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister said, speaking with the Europe 1 radio program on Sunday.

The British Brexit negotiator, David Frost, is to return to Brussels on Wednesday to continue “technical discussions” with his European counterparts. These twice-weekly meetings in Brussels were heralded as a breakthrough by the British government, but they have so far yielded nothing in terms of an alternative to the Irish border backstop — a major sticking point in current talks.

Brexit supporters rallied outside Parliament last week.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to try again on Monday to call a general election, a move that is expected to suffer the same fate as a first effort that fell short last week.

Mr. Johnson’s working majority has quickly evaporated, and new elections would give him a chance to re-establish a stable power base. But mistrust among his opponents is so high that they would not support a new vote until the legislation blocking a no-deal exit was locked in.

That has created an unusual situation in which his opponents, who would normally jump at a chance to vote him out of office, are fighting an attempt to hold a new election, which can happen only after a two-thirds majority in Parliament supports it.

“It’s the most sensational paradox,” Mr. Johnson, who came to power less than two months ago, said on Friday. “Never in history has the opposition party been given the chance for election and has turned it down.”

Many lawmakers in the opposition Labour Party want to wait at least until November to hold an election. They fear that a strong victory in October would allow Mr. Johnson to reverse any no-deal legislation.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made clear that he wants Britain to leave the European Union by Oct. 31.CreditJessica Taylor/U.K. Parliament, via Shutterstock

The battle over an extension has raised the specter of whether Mr. Johnson would risk jail to get his way.

Mr. Johnson has made clear that he wants to complete Brexit by the end of October, declaring that he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask the European Union for another delay. But legal experts have warned that he could face jail time if he refused to abide by the bill to prevent a no-deal Brexit, which was approved on Friday and is set to become law on Monday.

On Saturday, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said, “We’re in quite extraordinary territory when the prime minister says he is above the law.”

A former top prosecutor, Lord MacDonald, told Sky News that if Mr. Johnson refused to request an extension, “that would amount to contempt of court, which could find that person in prison.”

The government appears willing to “test to the limit” the new law, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab telling reporters that the government would abide by the law, but that it would also “look very carefully” at its “interpretation” of the “bad” legislation.

Prime Ministers Leo Varadkar of Ireland, left, and Boris Johnson of Britain in Dublin on Monday.CreditCharles Mcquillan/Getty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson began the week in a different European capital, Dublin. But the message was the same as it was last week in London: His vow to leave the European Union without a deal was a non-starter.

“There’s no such thing as a clean break — or just getting it done,” the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, said to Mr. Johnson, throwing his own words back at him.

On a chilly, gray day, with the Irish and British flags flapping behind them, Mr. Varadkar and Mr. Johnson both spoke of the need to find solutions. But the gulf between them seemed wide.

The Irish border remains the biggest barrier to a Brexit deal. All sides want to avoid the imposition of significant checks between Ireland, a member of the European Union, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. A hard border could renew sectarian tensions that raged for decades.

Mr. Johnson has rejected the so-called backstop agreement reached by his predecessor, Theresa May, which would all but keep Northern Ireland inside the single European market for a few years, so that Ireland would not have to inspect goods flowing in from the north.

Mr. Johnson quashed any expectations that he had brought new proposals. He simply restated the case that he made last week to British lawmakers.

“We must get Brexit done because the U.K. must come out on Oct. 31, or else I fear permanent damage will be done to confidence in our democracy in the U.K,” Mr. Johnson said in Dublin on Monday. “I know that this problem of Brexit was not, to be perfectly frank, a conundrum that Ireland ever wished for.”

While both men emphasized the need for a deal, neither seemed to have high expectations for the visit. Mr. Varadkar noted it would be a “herculean task” for Mr. Johnson to negotiate a new deal before the Oct. 31 deadline.

Nicholas Soames was expelled from the Conservative Party for supporting a motion to stop Britain from leaving the European Union without a deal.CreditNeil Hall/EPA, via Shutterstock

There are fights, and then there are family fights, just as there are insults, and family insults.

From the moment last week when Prime Minister Boris Johnson expelled 21 Conservative rebel lawmakers who defied him in a critical vote, the Tories have been in full family fight mode, and the insults have been colorful, to say the least.

A barrage of insults came from Nicholas Soames, one of the lawmakers who was expelled from the party. Mr. Soames, a grandson of Winston Churchill, took pointed issue with Mr. Johnson — “Boris Johnson is nothing like Winston Churchill” — but especially with Jacob Rees-Mogg, the House of Commons leader who was widely lampooned after he reclined on the front bench of Parliament during the Brexit debate last week.

“He is in serious danger of believing his own shtick,” Mr. Soames told the Times of London on Saturday. “He is an absolute fraud, he is a living example of what a moderately cut double-breasted suit and a decent tie can do with an ultraposh voice.”

Mr. Soames then offered some earthier anatomical imagery before describing Mr. Rees-Mogg’s speech during the Brexit debate as “the lowest form of student union hackery, insolence and bad manners.”

And to think they were once on the same team.

Reporting was contributed by Mark Landler, Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Benjamin Mueller, Michael Wolgelenter, Yonette Joseph and Megan Specia.

‘They’re All Idiots’: Amid Brexit Chaos, Britons Lose Faith in Politicians

Sept. 6, 2019

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Parliament’s Next Brexit Brawl: When to Hold Elections

Sept. 5, 2019

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Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s Rasputin, Is Feeling the Heat of Brexit

Sept. 8, 2019

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Boris Johnson Finds His Party Loyalists Aren’t as Loyal as Trump’s

Sept. 8, 2019

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The Democrats Can Make Tulsi Gabbard Its Saving Grace or Its Worst Nightmare

In the sea of 2020 Democratic candidates opposing Trump, only Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard finds that she has both Democrats and Republicans nodding along with her from time to time. Gabbard is in no way a candidate that conservative would vote into office, but they do have a sweet spot for her and it comes from the simple fact that, unlike the rest of her leftist colleagues, Gabbard has principles.

Gabbard has a habit of defying Democratic orthodoxy and has had this penchant of ruffling the feathers of the Democratic establishment for some time. She defied the DNC during the 2016 elections by resigning from her post as vice-chair when it was discovered that the DNC had rigged 2016 for Hillary Clinton, and endorsed Bernie Sanders as a result. She’s also wasn’t a big fan of Obama’s foreign policy and made it clear that the U.S. engaging in foreign regime changes has to stop.

She even committed a taboo on the left by accusing her fellow lawmakers of “religious bigotry” when they questioned Brian Buescher, President Trump’s nominee for the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, about his connections to the Knights of Columbus.

To be clear, Gabbard holds many positions that a Democrat would. She’s an environmentalist that opposes nuclear plants, she wants gun control, is pro-abortion, and likes the idea of Medicare for all. Again, she’s not being considered as a candidate by any conservative, but when it comes to a Democrat that could be worked with, Conservatives feel comfortable with Gabbard. They can, at least, work with her.

It’s not her stances that Republicans and Libertarians love, it’s her character.

This should be solid news for Democrats, especially those moderates looking for someone they feel wouldn’t cave to the radicalism that has infected the party and are actually considering voting for Trump.

But it’s that radicalism that has infected the party that will see to it that Gabbard’s candidacy never sees the light of day. In fact, the new unofficial powers-that-be in the Democratic party have turned on Gabbard and are doing everything in their power to scare Democrats away from her.

The Daily Beast, Jacobin, and even major networks like CNN have been casting shade toward Gabbard in one form or another. The Daily Beast attempted to cast Gabbard as a friend of the “far-right.” CNN and MSNBC attempted to nail Gabbard to the wall on her meeting with Middle-East dictator Bashar As-Assad. Gabbard was forced to defend herself by saying that this was peace effort to prevent more senseless war with the goal of protecting more of her brothers and sisters in uniform from dying.

Interestingly enough, the mainstream hit on Gabbard came after she swept the legs out from California’s Kamala Harris, which was the mainstream media’s favorite candidate at the time.

Between her resistance to the idea of open borders, her wish to audit the fed, her hardline stances on fighting back terrorism, and more, she has found herself to be something of a hated step-child by the hard-left Democrats that currently rule the party. This is bad news for Democrats. If the lumbering machine would shrug off radicalism and put its weight behind Gabbard, it would attract moderates back to their tent and give the left some credibility back.

It wouldn’t be a complete turnaround for it, but it would be a good start.

Still, in this way, Gabbard is a dark mark on the Democrats. As the question of coming back to the middle is asked around the party, Gabbard is the answer staring them in the face, and they’re refusing to look at her in any serious capacity, even as she’s consistently the most searched for candidate after debates. From the perspective of those in the middle and those on the right, this isn’t a good look. It’s a sign that the Democrat party has fallen to infection and that the options in 2020 are between Trump and idealistic insanity.

No matter how you slice it, Gabbard is having an effect, and the left has to choose whether or not that effect will benefit them or hurt them.

The post The Democrats Can Make Tulsi Gabbard Its Saving Grace or Its Worst Nightmare appeared first on RedState.

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WATCH: McDonnell sets out Labour’s reasoning for refusing an election

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Denial: Kamala Harris Falsely Claims Her Campaign Is in “Top Tier” Even as Polling Shows She’s in a Freefall

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Sen. Kamala Harris (CA) is making a campaign swing through New Hampshire this week, and while there Fox News asked her about whether or not she feels she’s still in the top tier even as the media is painting the Democratic presidential nominating race as a three-way race between Joe Biden and Sens. Sanders and Warren:

“Of course I’m part of that top tier and we all know that,” the California Democrat told Fox News and Seacoast Online on Friday evening, during an interview before headlining a party fundraising gala in Portsmouth, N.H.

“This is a campaign that has to be about each person working hard and earning the support. I plan on earning the support of each and every voter,” she also stated.

Watch:

In Harris’s mind she might be a “top tier” candidate but the reality is her campaign has been in a freefall since mid July.

She enjoyed a nice bump in polling numbers, positive press coverage, and fundraising in the aftermath of the first debate at the end of June where she broadsided Joe Biden over the forced busing issue and his praise of working with segregationist Senators back in the 1970s in order to get things done.

Media types and liberal commentators were treating her as the invincible candidate, but as July rolled on, her numbers began to start declining. And after Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) absolutely took Harris to the woodshed over her troubling criminal justice reform record as California’s attorney general, her numbers dropped even more .

Even more troubling for her is the dramatic drop in support from key Democratic voting bloks like black voters and female voters.

Ever since her poor performance at the second debate at the end of July, she has not been able to get her mojo back at all and has struggled to define herself and her campaign.

In fact, things have gotten so bad for Harris that just a little over a month after she mocked Gabbard for her low polling numbers, Harris finds herself only 2 points ahead of the Hawaii Congresswoman in a recent poll, with the margin of error putting her even with Gabbard:

The next Democratic debate is Thursday. Expect her to again attack Biden (but perhaps not from a racial angle this time around), and to take a few swings at Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), too, as Warren’s numbers have consistently risen since mid-May, which firmly puts her in the top tier.

——-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

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Déjà Vu? Why Have 15 House Republicans Announced Their Retirements?

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Over the August recess, eight House Republicans announced their retirements bringing the total number of Republican incumbents choosing not to seek reelection to 15. This group includes GOP Reps. Bill Flores (TX),  Susan Brooks (IN), Jim Sensenbrenner (WI), Will Hurd (R-TX), Kenny Marchant (TX), Sean Duffy (WI) and John Shimkus (IL), Rob Bishop (UT), Martha Roby (AL), Paul Mitchell (MI), Pete Olson (TX), Bradley Byrne (AL), Greg Gianforte (MT), Rob Woodall (GA) and Mike Conaway (TX). (Two are seeking higher office.)

To put this into perspective, only four Democratic incumbents have announced they will not run in 2020.

Five of the fifteen retirees are from Texas, which have some calling the trend “Texodus.”

This is shaping up to be frighteningly similar to the situation in 2018 when 34 House Republicans chose not to run for reelection compared to only eight Democrats. The result was that ten of these seats flipped from Republican to Democrat while only three seats flipped from Democrat to Republican.

Republican concern over this alarming trend is not misplaced as it depresses GOP hopes of winning back the House majority. What’s causing so many Republicans to run for the exit?

There are a few who may be looking at a tough fight in 2020, and have chosen to retire instead. That may be the case for Rep. Hurd and several others.

However, most of them occupy safe, conservative seats.

As members of the minority party, there’s no doubt they feel frustrated and irrelevant. And if they believe Democrats will retain power in 2020, they’ve simply chosen to avoid another two years of the same.

Former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), who lost his bid for reelection in 2018, believes that is the case for some of these lawmakers. He told The Hill, “The most likely outcome is a status-quo election for the House. And that certainly influences people’s decision [to retire], whether they think they can regain the majority or not. For sure, some of those members who retired, [staying in the minority] was a factor in their thinking.”

Julian Zelizer, an expert in congressional history at Princeton University, spoke to The Hill as well. “I don’t think Republicans envision flipping the House in the near future and being in the minority is not fun. Some are also tired of having to defend the party, not just in the era of Trump but in the era of the Tea Party. So the incentives increase to do something else.”

Another former House Republican, Tom Davis (R-VA), said that is one factor, but hardly the only one. He told The Hill that “the GOP base has shifted, creating new power centers that are forcing once-comfortable lawmakers to have to hustle a little bit.”

He added that because lawmakers have not received a pay raise in over ten years, it may be a question of finances. Should I stay here and earn $174,000 or go into the private sector and command a far more lucrative income?

But what Davis sees as the most significant factor are the “changing electoral patterns” brought on by the rise of the populist movement that propelled Trump to the White House…The overall atmosphere in Washington is not very pleasant. This is a global phenomenon caused by the rapidity of change, the instant communications, the rising expectations of those people who are unhappy with the change, who don’t see [government] helping fast enough and who feel their status threatened.”

Other pundits speculate that Republicans are tired of defending Trump. Is Trump himself the reason for the large number of departures?

Curbelo believes Trump was a big part of why he lost. He said, “Trump is a big part of it. Something Trump has done is take away Republicans’ ability to have their own identity, so you’re asked to compete every two years, and your record and your work have little to do with how people are going to vote. That has frustrated a lot of members as well. My work, my record was not really a relevant factor in 2018.”

I don’t buy Curbelo’s argument. There is such a thing as personal responsibility.

Neither does Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) who recently announced he won’t seek reelection. Flores, 65, said he never intended to have a long career in Congress. He said, “I’m optimistic about opportunities for [the GOP] in 2020. When you boil down all the noise, you come up with a couple of key issues: Are people better off than they were four years ago? Most people would say yes. And do we want to go socialist? Most people would say no.”

Rush Limbaugh discussed possible reasons for the high number of House retirements on his radio show last week.

Pundits have told him the reason is that these lawmakers are being “term limited out of their committee chairmanships, and they don’t want to go back to just being regular members of the House. Once you become a committee chairman, you can’t go back to being a regular bencher.” I would argue that the same is true for Democrats.

He disagrees with those who blame the exodus on Trump as well.

Limbaugh brought up a theory that I disagree with, although I’ve been wrong before. Up front, he told his listeners that he has no evidence for this, “because this is just a supposition,” but thinks it’s possible “based on how I have seen Democrats and their operatives act.” He told his audience:

Nobody, no human being is clean and pure as the wind-driven snow.

We’ve all got something in our closets. We’ve all done something that we don’t want people to know about. I think the Democrats are finding dirt, and they’re going to these Republicans, and they’re saying, “Do you want people to know about this? We are glad to publicize this about you.” “Oh, no, no. No, no! Please don’t.” “Well, okay. Then you gotta retire.” Now, I can’t prove it, but some of this stuff — and some of it may be legitimate. I mean, people retiring after ten years, they may think it’s enough. It’s five terms.

But it’s a lot of power to be giving up. But it just seems to be that these retirements are predominantly Republican, and it’s all happening under the radar. You hear about another retirement here, retirement there. They never add up in your mind. They’re all indiscriminate, little isolated stories — and what’s odd? Nothing’s odd about somebody retiring from Congress. But it seems there’s an exorbitant number of Republicans doing so, and I just have my suspicions about it. That’s all.

He also believes that Democrats have been making inroads at “super-local levels.” He points to Democrats transforming North Carolina and Texas starting at the local level. There’s no denying that these states are no longer solid red.

A caller spoke about the recent scandal involving the Republican Speaker of the Texas State House, Dennis Bonnen, who many consider to be a RINO. Bonnen is said to be a powerful politician in Texas. The story begins with a meeting between Bonnen and one of his top lieutenants, and a conservative activist named Michael Quinn Sullivan in early June. According to the Dallas News:

Sullivan alleges, Bonnen offered writers for his website, Texas Scorecard, media credentials in exchange for refraining from criticizing the legislative session and targeting a group of 10 Republican incumbents. That allegation, which Bonnen denies, has led to political turmoil, a Texas Rangers investigation and a lawsuit.

The caller said, “He [Bonnen] didn’t want ’em back in office because they were attacking him, or they were calling him out as a RINO. Well, there were several other Republicans that knew about it and were going along with this. This has been a huge issue down here. Huge.”

Rush replied that type of thing is going on in other places too, then shifted back to his original argument.

What I really think is going is that a lot of this is being done as opposition research, dirty tricks, what have you, by Democrats, who are hell-bent on taking back Texas or converting Texas to their column. And, you know, the Democrats… Keep one thing in mind. After Obama was elected… People forget this. Barack Obama was a Death Star for the Democrat Party. After his two presidential elections, the Democrat Party lost over 1,000 seats total. Not just in the Congress, of course, but we’re talking statehouse, state senate, governorship, any number of offices. He was just horrible.

Of course, the Drive-Bys didn’t talk about any of this. I remember James Carville. After Trump won in 2016, James Carville was running around complaining that the Democrat Party had never, ever in his lifetime had so little electoral power. Well, my contention is that they’re doing what they can to bring it back at this super local level where they lost it with the election of Obama. Look, the Republicans can play the game, too, and they may well be. I just don’t know. You just don’t hear about a lot of Democrat retirements. But we will keep a sharp eye on this.

Whatever the reason for the high number of Republican retirements, the GOP would be wise to direct their attention to it immediately. Although retirements don’t necessarily mean losing the seats, it’s certainly a sign that Republicans need to work a little harder in the next year if they hope to win back the House majority. It’s an uphill battle and victory will require a large commitment of money and time. But there are fourteen months between now and the election. It will be challenging, but hardly impossible.

Additionally, their task may become far easier once DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Prosecutor John Durham release their reports.

The post Déjà Vu? Why Have 15 House Republicans Announced Their Retirements? appeared first on RedState.

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Comedy Central: ‘The Daily Show’ Produces Video Montage Of Amy Klobuchar Telling The Same Joke At Countless Events

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We all remember the kickoff to Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) presidential campaign. Hoping to showcase her Minnesota grit, she addressed a crowd at Boom Island Park during a blizzard. By the time she finished speaking, both Klobuchar and her supporters were covered with snow.

President Trump found the whole scene to be quite amusing. He sent out a tweet which said, “Well, it happened again. Amy Klobuchar announced that she is running for President, talking proudly of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Bad timing. By the end of her speech she looked like a Snowman(woman)!”

Klobuchar responded with a tweet of her own which she found to be extremely amusing. She wrote, “Science is on my side, [President Trump]. Looking forward to debating you about climate change (and many other issues),” Klobuchar responded. “And I wonder how your hair would fare in a blizzard?”

She got such a major kick out of her witty response that she repeated it over and over and over again.

The Daily Show put together a montage of Klobuchar telling this joke at countless campaign events. The audiences laugh politely, but it is the senator herself who enjoys it the most.

By the end of the video, the screen is full of numerous subscreens showing Klobuchar at different venues endlessly echoing the punch line.

Someone should really tell her to stop.

Watch the video.

The post Comedy Central: ‘The Daily Show’ Produces Video Montage Of Amy Klobuchar Telling The Same Joke At Countless Events appeared first on RedState.

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Troll Game Strong: Trump Campaign Turns ‘Sharpiegate’ Lemons Into Lemonade With New Trump-Branded Markers

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President Donald Trump speaks at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Washington. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is left. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t followed Sharpiegate too closely, because it just comes off as yet another tiresome example of a media-driven “scandal” of sorts that really wasn’t.

But regardless of who said what first, or who infamously expanded the Hurricane Dorian forecast cone on the weather map with a Sharpie marker, the Trump campaign has come up with a creative way to capitalize on the controversy: With their own version of a Sharpie marker.

Politico reports:

Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has added a Trump-branded permanent marker to its web store, capitalizing on the Sharpie-gate drama and expanding the campaign’s culture war offerings that already include stick-it-to-the-liberals plastic straws.

The marker, announced on Twitter this morning by campaign manager Brad Parscale, is the latest effort by the campaign to amplify and then commodify what could have been a relatively minor controversy.

“Buy the official Trump marker, which is different than every other marker on the market, because this one has the special ability to drive @CNN and the rest of the fake news crazy!” Parscale tweeted.

Here’s what it looks like:

As the Politico story noted, and as Sarah Lee wrote back in July, the campaign is also selling environmentally friendly “Trump straws”, which look like this:

The campaign has also trolled Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) with a “Pencil-Neck Adam Schiff Tee”:

And then there was the “Fredo Unhinged” tee, which was sold in the aftermath of CNN “Prime Time” anchor Chris Cuomo’s unhinged meltdown in response to a critic who called him “Fredo” at a New York City bar last month:

Like Cocaine Mitch’s reelection campaign team, the Trump campaign’s troll game is strong.

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— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

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