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Here’s the surprising reason Romney just defied Trump on a judicial nominee

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Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is certainly not former President Barack Obama’s biggest fan, but he took a stand on Tuesday against the White House and in defense of his former 2012 opponent in a surprising show of respect.

He cast the only Republican vote against judicial nominee Michael Truncale, who had been selected to preside over the Eastern District of Texas. Truncale had called Obama an “un-American imposter” in 2011, an insult that plays into the racist conspiracy theories that the former president wasn’t really a U.S. citizen. Even apart from the troubling bigotry that this comment seems to reveal, it is also just a blatantly partisan attack from someone who hopes to hold a seat as a fair-minded federal judge.

And yet, Truncale was confirmed in a vote of 49-46.

He told the Senate during his hearing that he does not endorse so-called “birther” theories that posit Obama’s real birthplace was Kenya, not Hawaii, but Romney still opposed him.

“He made particularly disparaging comments about President Obama. And as the Republican nominee for president, I just couldn’t subscribe to that in a federal judge,” Romney told Politico. “This was not a matter of qualifications or politics. This was something specifically to that issue as a former nominee of our party.”

It’s a particularly interesting issue to break with President Donald Trump on, given that Trump made his name in politics by actively stoking birtherism And during the time when Trump’s political profile was rising, Romney sought out and received Trump’s endorsement for president.

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But while the stand shows some integrity on Romney’s part, it’s hard to be sure how much credit to give him. He likely knew, after all, that his vote wouldn’t be the deciding factor in Truncale’s nomination. Showing some distance from Trump when the stakes are low may be an easy way for Romney to earn an unwarranted reputation for independence.

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Progressive reformer claims victory in fiercely-contested Queens DA race

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Progressive reformer Tiffany Cabán has declared victory in her campaign versus Melinda Katz in the Queens District Attorney race.

With 99% of precincts reporting, Cabán held a lead of 1,090 votes, The New York Times reports.

Cabán was backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Katz was backed by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who chairs the Queens Democratic Party, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)

https://twitter.com/CabanForQueens/status/1143721257353076737

https://twitter.com/CabanForQueens/status/1143721448168710151

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2020 Election

New 2020 poll shows Trump trailing all Democrats — some by double-digits

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President Donald Trump trails all of his Democratic rivals in hypothetical matchups of the 2020 presidential race, according to the result of a new poll released Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on Salon.

The survey, conducted by Emerson Polling, found that the president lags behind former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., by 10 points nationally — 45 percent to 55 percent. He also trails Sen. Elizabeth Warren by six points — 47 percent to 53 percent —and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg by four points — 48 percent to 52 percent.

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Beto O’Rourke’s ‘war tax’ policy proposal is straight out of ‘Starship Troopers’

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Amid an overcrowded Democratic presidential candidate field, it's hard to distinguish yourself from the pack if you don't slot easily into the scale that runs from "pro-corporate centrist" to "left-populist." If you're former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke —  who falls somewhere in the middle, politically, and somewhere towards the top, looks-wise — you pull a militaristic policy proposal out of your hat that recalls some of the most campy pseudo-fascist sci-fi ever written.

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