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Socialists win in Portugal in rebuke to far-right populism

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Socialists emerged victorious from Sunday’s elections in Portugal in another sign that right-wing populism in Europe may be losing steam.

The Socialist Party, to which Prime Minister António Costa belongs, still fell short of winning an absolute majority.

Politico reported:

The Socialists won 36.6 percent of the vote with over 99 percent of stations reporting, followed by the center-right Social Democratic Party (PSD) on 27.9 percent, its worst result since 1983.

With the smaller conservative CDS-People’s Party (CDS-PP) getting just 4.2 percent, the night was a serious reversal for Portugal’s mainstream right.

On the left, the old-school Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) saw its support drop to a historic low of 6.5 percent and the Left Bloc, a media-savvy, urban-based party, confirmed its position as Portugal’s third party, falling slightly to 9.7 percent.

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The Iberian nation, noted Deutsche Welle, is “one of the few European countries where right-wing populists remain insignificant.”

Voting information outlet Europe Elects broke down the figures:

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The results mean that Costa now “needs to negotiate a new deal with one or both of his far-left allies in the previous legislature,” as Reuters noted.

Guardian columnist Owen Jones, in a tweet, suggested that voters were likely happy with the leftward shift the Social Party made in that previous legislature:

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https://twitter.com/OwenJones84/status/1180942323305369601

Ricardo Ferreira Reis, polling center director at Lisbon’s Católica University, made a similar observation. “This result,” he told RTP television, “can be seen as a vote for a government led by the Socialist Party with parliamentary support or in coalition with other forces on the left.”

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European Council president Donald Tusk congratulated Costa on the win, saying his “electoral success comes at a challenging time for Europe and the world.”

“European unity is more needed now than ever,” Tusk continued, “and I trust that your government will continue playing a constructive role in the most relevant themes such as the climate emergency, trade conflicts, our multi-year budget, migration, the completion of the Economic and Monetary Union as well as Brexit.”

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Carl Bernstein: There are 7-9 ‘wobbly’ Republicans who want witnesses but Mitch McConnell is trying to block them

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In a CNN panel discussion Wednesday, notorious Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein revealed that there are seven to nine Republican senators who are wavering after the compelling argument that the House has provided for the impeachment. The problem, however, is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is refusing to allow any break from the party line.

"I think this is a hugely damaging narrative that was laid out today, and that Mitch McConnell understands, and has understood for a while that this hugely damaging narrative was going to affect his members," said Bernstein. "And that his strategy -- I've talked to some Republicans about this -- #MidnightMitch is to wear out his own members so that they don't vote for more witnesses because there are six, seven, eight, nine wobbly Republicans."

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Republican Kevin McCarthy gets taken down by former top GOP colleague

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was attacked by a former Republican colleague who alleged McCarthy and his fellow members of Congress have allowed the House GOP to become the official shill for the White House.

In a profile for the New York Times, former Oversight Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) shamed the GOP House for the way that a once-respectable institution has fallen.

“Congress no longer operates as an independent branch of government, but as an appendage of the executive branch,” said Davis. “He is made for that role.”

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Former senator reveals to Maddow how one brave Democrat can reveal key document in impeachment trial

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Near the end of Wednesday's impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that an agreement had been made to allow senators to read supplemental testimony from Vice President Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams.

The document will remain classified, despite claims that there is no classified material in the document, only evidence that is damning to the president.

"In terms of this document potentially being improperly classified, which is something that has been raised in writing by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and raised on the floor of the Senate tonight by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)," MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow noted. "Obviously, it was the vice president's office that said it was classified, they are getting publicly criticized for that. If it has been improperly classified and it should be something that the public can see, who adjudicates that?"

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