ORLANDO, Fla. — Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax official, and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., on at least one occasion several years ago were recorded together entering the Seminole County Tax Collector’s Office when it was closed on a weekend night, according to a person familiar with office operations who saw the videotape. The person said the footage showed Greenberg and Gaetz walking into the tax collector’s Lake Mary office on Primera Drive. Greenberg was seen going through baskets where driver’s licenses, turned in by residents for disposal, were stored and later went into a back room...
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'Moral coward' Republicans will stay silent about Trump — even as he's facing indictment: John Brennan
On Friday's edition of MSNBC's "Deadline: White House," former CIA Director John Brennan slammed the Republican Party as "moral cowards" for sticking by former President Donald Trump through all of his ugly behavior and scandals.
And all of that could put Republicans in a deep bind if Trump ends up indicted in the federal investigation of classified documents stashed at his Mar-a-Lago resort, he continued.
"Some of those items might have been benign, but what I'm worried about are those top-secret documents that are critically important to our national security," said Brennan. "And he seemed to treat all of these items with that callous disregard, believing that he had the ability and was entitled to keep them in whatever manner he wanted. And so again, I think this just underscores just how irresponsible and reckless he was throughout his presidency. This has come to light, but just imagine some of the stories that some of those advisers could tell should they want to about what he actually did with this nation's secrets."
"Do you think we'll ever find out?" asked anchor Nicolle Wallace.
"I don't think we'll find out everything, but I'm hoping that there's going to be accountability for what I do believe is criminal responsibility on Donald Trump's part," said Brennan. "And I'm still shocked that today, there's any American that supports him or has even the slightest bit of respect for him. But if he is going to be indicted and going to be convicted, I think it will make it much more difficult for a lot of these Republicans in Congress, these moral cowards, who continue to not talk about him in real terms, in terms of what he has done to this country."
"So, again, if we can — if the courts are going to find him guilty of this criminal behavior, I think it will block his path to the presidency once again," Brennan added. "But I think it will clearly expose just how irresponsible, reckless he was when he was at the White House."
John Brennan calls Republicans "moral cowards" www.youtube.com
Biden proposed this overhaul of the DNC’s nominating process, which will now see South Carolina Democrats—including many Black voters credited with breathing new life into then-candidate Biden’s ailing 2020 campaign— take the lead in picking the party’s standard bearer every four years. Three days later, both New Hampshire and Nevada Democrats take their turns. The following week now goes to Georgia voters who have proven all-important in general elections, even as their presidential preferences haven’t mattered as much. Then Michigan voters will cast their ballots the following week.
The reshuffling of the DNC’s primary map is already causing identity crises in these storied early-voting states, while it also promises an interparty battle yet to come because New Hampshire state law requires its residents vote first in presidential primaries.
Still, the changes have been a long time coming.
“It's been a 30-year odyssey,” Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) told Raw Story at the Capitol. “I think that what the president did shows that he knows that any road to the White House goes through the heartland of America. We’ve fought for years that no one state should have a lock on going first.”
Dingell and other Michiganders, including the tenacious late Sen. Carl Levin, have been tirelessly calling to upend the traditional primary map since the nineties. In 2016, these midwestern critics—along with their coastal allies who have never felt represented by Iowa or New Hampshire voters—started to be taken more seriously after Hillary Clinton lost Michigan to Donald Trump by a mere 10,704 votes.
The calls became a resounding chorus after Iowa bungled its 2020 caucuses. Unable to announce a winner on election night, the state—and the Democratic Party—became a national punchline. It didn’t help their cause when Republicans swept all four of Iowa’s House seats, along with its four key statewide races, in this year’s midterms.
The new strategy isn’t about punishing the old guard, Dingell argues, but about making the primary process more representative, diverse, and impactful by bringing the voters who matter most in the general election into the process early. It’s also about changing the conversation.
“You saw what happened in Nevada, where it was a competitive state. We’re watching Georgia play out. And Michigan’s a purple state that has the diversity of the country,” Dingell said. “We need presidential primary candidates to have to campaign and talk about issues that are the issues that decide the election in November.”
Over in Nevada, Democrats are (somewhat quietly) smarting from what many see as a snub from the party bosses, because if they want diversity, welcome to Nevada. The state witnessed a 6.2% spike on the Census Bureau’s Diversity Index from 2010-2020. Who can argue with that data?
“I’m for a more diverse reflection of the primary calendar. That's why I believe Nevada should be first in the nation,” Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV) told Raw Story at the Capitol on Thursday, “based on the diversity and the importance of having our voices heard early in the process.”
At this point, it doesn’t seem like there’s much more Nevada—or the other states and territories who lobbied for more prominent spots—can do.
Biden’s overhaul has been approved by the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, and it still needs the approval of the entire DNC. But, after a decades-long fight, these voices of change in the DNC feel they’ve already overcome their biggest obstacles. Now they’re eager to watch their blueprint for a more in-tune and responsive Democratic Party be erected.
As for opponents and protesters? Democratic party leaders are, once again, promising to strip convention delegates from any state that jumps ahead of their party-mandated calendar slot.
Even so, New Hampshire Democrats say they’re constrained by their own state law—and a lot of nostalgic state pride. That means the politically-trodden northeastern state—whose general elections are always hotly contested by both parties—is now set on a collision course with Biden and his DNC.
“We have a law that we will abide by that sets us first, so we're going to stick to what our constituents want,” Rep. Ann Kuster (D-NH) told reporters just off the House floor on Friday. “We will abide by New Hampshire law.”
On Friday, Newsweek analyzed how Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) could be on the brink of losing their status as the Senate's most powerful members.
"Both notably denied Democrats' efforts to overturn Republicans' blockade of their party's sweeping reforms to the country's election laws, drawing scorn from their president and their party," wrote Nick Reynolds. "Manchin used his vote to strong-arm both into concessions for a natural gas pipeline in his home state in a massive domestic spending bill earlier this year (he later pulled that bill under bipartisan pressure) and has had a prolonged flirtation with the Republican Party, going as far as attending events with Republican donors in red states like Texas. And Sinema, labeled by Time magazine in one article as 'Republicans' Favorite Democrat,' has used her position in the middle to cut deals across the aisle as well as within her own party, which regularly found itself at the negotiating table with her to broker legislation that could get to 50 votes."
All of this was possible because Democrats controlled the Senate with exactly 50 seats, requiring unanimous cooperation from the party and Vice President Kamala Harris' tiebreaking vote to pass anything on a purely partisan basis — leaving the two most conservative Democrats as gatekeepers.
However, on Tuesday, if voters re-elect Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), as polls suggest is more likely than not, Democrats will be bumped up to a 51-seat majority — and that means they will only need one of the two to pass legislation, not both.
"Manchin, one of Congress' most conservative Democrats, still votes with President Joe Biden's position 89 percent of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight; Sinema votes the party line 95 percent of the time," said the report. "And beyond the recent spending packages, both senators have unique priorities and their own agendas, rarely voting as a bloc. If the pair do find themselves in a situation where they can throw their weight around, it will be a challenge. Especially with one more vote to contend with."
There is also a chance that this will be the last session of Congress with either senator. Both face re-election in 2024. Manchin represents West Virginia, a state former President Donald Trump carried by over 40 points; Sinema, meanwhile, has high disapproval from Democratic voters in Arizona, and Rep. Ruben Gallego has put out strong hints of mounting a primary challenge against her.