JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri lawmakers ended a contentious legislative session Friday having spent much of their five months in the Capitol fighting over the boundaries for the state’s new congressional maps. Along the way they managed to pass a massive $49 billion budget that includes more money to pay teachers, billions of dollars in brick-and-mortar projects and full funding to cover an expanded population of Medicaid recipients. And despite Republican infighting, Senate leaders managed to navigate a politically tricky landscape to help secure GOP priorities like changes in election laws,...
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Finger-pointing has already begun around Donald Trump's third presidential campaign, but his aides insist everything is going as planned.
Advisers and confidants have questioned why Trump hasn't held any public events since announcing his 2024 campaign last month, and instead has hosted a white nationalist and antisemitic rapper Kanye West at Mar-a-Lago and called to terminate the U.S. Constitution to make himself president now, reported The Daily Beast.
“The former president announced his 2024 run against the wishes of most of the GOP and his close advisers, largely out of frustration with momentum shifting to Ron DeSantis,” said Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former White House communications director for Trump and current co-host on The View. “Now he’s several weeks into a presidential run with no real apparatus, zero message, and no events. So far, it’s a spite-run and it’s being received as poorly as one could expect.”
Another former White House adviser, Larry Kudlow, told Fox Business that Trump's strategy so far was mystifying.
“I don’t understand what our former boss is doing,” Kudlow said. “I love the guy [but he is] hanging out with white nationalists, hanging out with antisemitic people, talking about ending the Constitution or postponing the Constitution.”
His last MAGA rally was more than a month ago in Ohio, on behalf of J.D. Vance -- the only one of his Senate endorsements to win -- and allies have been dismayed by his inability to generate any positive buzz after a disappointing GOP midterm election and a string of legal defeats.
“Since the announcement for his re-elect, I don’t think that by any measurable standard you can say it’s been going well,” former adviser David Urban told Politico. “You’ve had unforced error after unforced error.”
One adviser told The Daily Beast that younger, “inexperienced” staffers were to blame for the shaky rollout, but a source close to Trump said that building up a campaign team was being prioritized over rallies for now.
A source close to Trump explained the hiatus as all part of the plan, with recruiting staff currently taking precedence over rallies.
“They’re being methodical, looking at the numbers, planning the campaign, and recruiting the right team to execute the plan," the source said. "Why would an announced candidate travel to a state where there is no leadership in place? Selecting and publicizing a cadre of key leaders in vital early primary states would be a significant accomplishment before Christmas.”
Another Trumpworld source told The Daily Beast the ex-president would attend holiday events this month at Mar-a-Lago and hit the road early next year.
“This is a marathon and our game plan is being implemented even though the presidential primary calendar hasn’t been set yet and the 2022 midterm cycle just ended,” said Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung. “Our strategy is by design. We’re focused on building out a robust operation that has already been tested on every political level and putting in place a foundation to wage an overwhelming campaign that’s never been seen before.”“We are not going to play into the media’s game where they are trying to dictate how we campaign," Cheung added. "We’re also building out teams in early-voting states and expanding our massive data operation to ensure we dominate on all fronts.”
An official with the Biden Energy Department has been accused of stealing luggage for a second time, this time from Harry Reid International Airport, 8NewsNow reports.
A felony warrant has been issued for Sam Brinton, who is a deputy assistant secretary of the office of spent fuel and waste disposition, according to the Office of Nuclear Energy’s website. Brinton originally gained attention due the fact that they identify as non-binary. Brinton also allegedly stole a woman’s suitcase from a Minneapolis airport in September.
Brinton, 35, was charged with grand larceny with a value between $1,200 and $5,000.
Court documents say Brinton was placed on leave from the Energy Department after they were charged with felony theft for stealing a woman’s Vera Bradley suitcase from baggage claim at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport on Sept. 16.
The suitcase and the woman’s belongings inside it were valued at $2,325. Brinton initially denied taking the luggage but later claimed they mistook it for their own bag — despite never having checked a bag in before their flight. Video surveillance showed them pulling off the suitcase’s ID tag after taking it from the baggage claim carousel. They were later seen using the suitcase on at least two occasions.
GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia and 15 other Republicans sent a letter to Energy Secretary on Tuesday calling for Brinton's removal from the department.
“We demand the resignation of Sam Brinton, and we implore you to set aside petty politics and appoint only the most qualified and dedicated individuals to influence America’s energy sector,” the GOP lawmakers wrote.
An op-ed was published in LGBTQ Nation this week, saying that while Brinton's actions are their own fault, "the fallout faced by the LGBTQ+ community could have easily been avoided."
"The red flags regarding Brinton were overwhelming and obvious to all who cared to see them. Unfortunately, some of America’s top LGBTQ+ activists and organizations were willfully blind to Brinton’s shortcomings," LGBTQ Nation's Wayne Besen wrote.
"These organizations, such as the Trevor Project and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), ignored clear warning signs and incontrovertible evidence because Brinton provided these groups with a seemingly perfect ex-gay survivor story to expose horrific conversion therapy practices and ideology," Besen wrote. "While these advocates were well-intentioned, they took a shortcut, looked the other way, and elevated them without ever asking: Is Sam Brinton’s story too good to be true?"
Reacting to the announcement that controversial Sen. Kyrtsen Sinema (AZ) has left the Democratic Party to become an independent, CNN's Melanie Zanona and Van Jones both suggested that all eyes should be on Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to see if he follows suit in an effort to continue his hold over his colleagues.
Sinema's move on Friday comes just days after the Democrats not only retained their hold on the U.S. Senate, but added another seat giving them a 51-49 majority that includes independent Senators Bernie Sanders (VT) and Angus King (ME) who both caucus with the Democrats.
According to CNN's Zanona, there are already questions about Manchin's plans.
'It's a big question, a valid question and it's unclear at this point," she told the "CNN This Morning" hosts. "I would point out there are two Independents who caucus with Democrats, Bernie Sanders and Angus King. She didn't say whether she was going to caucus with Democrats but she said she was going to keep her committee assignments. If that promise holds, Democrats still control the committees -- that was a big deal, they have control over committees -- so theoretically that won't change"
"But when it comes to the floor, Democrats aren't going to have the neat and tidy 51-49 Senate they anticipated, "she elaborated. "This potentially gives Joe Manchin outsized influence again and so the question is whether Sinema feels more emboldened to vote freely and does Joe Manchin follow suit?"
"I think that fundamentally what you see now, [Rep.] Rueben Gallego (D-AZ) is going to almost certainly now challenge her for that Senate seat," co-panelist Van Jones contributed. "There's been a lot of pressure on him, a younger progressive Latino in her state. I think he probably steps up, you have to watch what he does."
"I agree, this puts Manchin in an interesting position," he continued. "Everyone is worried about the 2024 calendar where you have a lot of vulnerable democrats. and in some ways this can seem like it's above partisanship et cetera. It could also be her reading tea leaves in her state."
"She's not an independent, she's an enigma and that is different," he added. "So watch Rueben Gallego going forward, watch Joe Manchin going forward."
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CNN 12 09 2022 07 16 11 youtu.be