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Kavanaugh effect? New GOP poll has Manchin’s lead in West Virginia down to … one point

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If we didn’t have a bunch of independent polls showing Republicans surging in red-state Senate races, I wouldn’t bother with this one. It’s a GOP poll, it’s likely self-serving, it’s a major outlier from the RCP average, where Manchin leads comfortably by 9.4 points.

But it must be noted: The last independent poll of West Virginia was finished on September 26th. That was the day before the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing, days before the FBI probe was ordered, and more than a week before the Senate finally voted to confirm the newest justice. Two weeks is a long time in politics in the Trump era. Has Manchin lost eight points off his lead in that stretch? Probably not. But if you’d asked me how likely it was that Marsha Blackburn might bounce out to a 17-point lead in her own race in Tennessee after trailing Democrat Phil Bredesen for much of it, I’d have said, “Highly unlikely.” So here we are.

If in fact West Virginia is now neck-and-neck, the spin will be interesting in light of Manchin’s Kavanaugh vote. Righties will point to it and say, “See? This guy would be getting wiped out like Heidi Heitkamp right now if he’d have voted no. Voting yes was obviously the right call.” Lefties, meanwhile, will point to it and say, “See? Manchin voted yes and still saw his lead disintegrate among ungrateful West Virginia voters. You can’t appease right-wingers, who hate Democrats for what they believe, by voting with them sometimes. He should have voted no.”

Manchin led Morrisey 41 to 40 percent in the survey conducted for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Morrisey’s campaign and obtained first by Roll Call…

The poll went into the field the day after the Senate voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Manchin was the only Democrat to vote for Kavanaugh on Saturday…

Manchin has led in recent public and private polling of the race. In a Tarrance Group survey conducted for the Senate Leadership Fund Sept. 23-25, Manchin led Morrisey 47 to 43 percent. Manchin’s own polling of the race, conducted Sept. 19-23, gave him a 12-point lead.

Serious question: How many voters even know how their state’s senators voted on Kavanaugh? Some obviously do, but there’s a reason low-information voters are called “low information.” There’s surely a contingent on both sides in every state that simply assumes their senator voted the way his or her party did — and in the Kavanaugh matter, those assumptions would be accurate 98 percent of the time. The only two outliers are Alaska and West Virginia. And unlike Manchin, Lisa Murkowski would *benefit* from that false assumption. There may be casual voters up north who heard that Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Republican majority, assumed Murkowski voted yes, and are pleased as punch. In West Virginia, the assumption would work the other way: The g-ddamned Democrats voted no. And Joe Manchin’s a Democrat.

The AP wrote about the reaction back home to Manchin’s “yes” vote a few days ago. It’s a mixed bag, as you’d expect. Some Republicans are happy and some Democrats are, uh…

Danielle Walker cried on Joe Manchin’s shoulder after she shared her story of sexual assault in the senator’s office. She thought he listened.

The 42-year-old Morgantown woman said she was both devastated and furious when Manchin became the only Democrat in the U.S. Senate to support President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

“I feel raped all over again,” Walker told The Associated Press…

“At some point you have to draw a line,” [local Democratic Party official Julia] Hamilton said. “I have heard from many, many people — especially women. They won’t be voting for Manchin either.”

That’s another reason why I’m skeptical of the new GOP poll but not incredulous. Manchin, like Bredesen, may be getting it from both sides, watching Patrick Morrisey’s numbers rise as angry Republicans rally to send a message to Democrats nationally and watching his own numbers erode as angry Democrats flee in protest of his support for Kavanaugh. A nine-point lead shrinking to one in the span of two weeks is implausible. But certainly not impossible in the current climate.

West Virginia’s a red state, though. How is the Kavanaughpocalypse playing in purple states? Two other polls out tonight have mixed but interesting results. In Minnesota, which was very purple in 2016 but maybe/probably bluer when Trump’s not on the ballot, Democrat Tina Smith is suddenly up big, now leading Karin Housley by 16 points. That’s in line with NBC’s last poll of the race in July, which had her ahead by 14, but all other polls of the state recently saw her lead shrinking to single digits. It may be that Housley had begun to catch up to Smith and then the Democratic backlash to Kavanaugh reversed the trend. On the other hand, in purplish Wisconsin, Scott Walker finally has his first lead of the campaign, edging Democrat Tony Evers by one point. If that sounds underwhelming, note that Evers had led or been tied in six of eight polls taken this year. (One had him ahead by double digits.) Last month the same pollster responsible for today’s survey, Marquette, had him up five. Now Walker’s gained six points on him. I wonder why.

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The robot dog that will murder you will also dance on your grave

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To cleanse the palate, obviously I don’t know if there’ll be “graves” as such after the robot apocalypse. I assume it’ll depend on their olfactory capabilities. If they’re not equipped to detect scent, maybe the ‘bots will just leave us where we lie to decay in the sun, our streets transformed into rivers of putrefied viscera from the sheer mass of leaking carcasses.

It’s my great privilege to share thoughts like that with you at the end of a long day.

I’m curious about what possessed Boston Dynamics to put this clip together. Could be nothing more than boredom or a creative way to show off Spot’s motor skills. But I wonder if all the freaky-deaky videos of humanoid robots demonstrating ever more impressive feats of mobility has created a strange sort of PR problem for them. They don’t want every promo they do to seem menacing, however inadvertently. Soon they’ll have people breaking into their factory, trying to stop them before they build the first T-800. Time to do something whimsical instead.

This thing is set to go on sale next year, by the way. Not to everyday consumers; the price tag will likely ensure that it remains a corporate plaything. But you’ll be seeing them around sooner than you think. Plus, some ultra-rich tech bros are destined to buy them and show them off as look-what-I-got novelties. We all know who the first one will be.

Weird but true: In a few decades’ time, this thing shaking its ass in your face as it does a victory twerk might be the last thing you ever see.

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WOW! Claire McCaskill Speaks Out After Project Veritas Reveals She’s a Complete Fraud — Lies and Blames Hawley (VIDEO)

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James O’Keefe strikes again!

On Monday evening, Project Veritas released an undercover video of endangered Missouri Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill admitting to being deceptive about her stance on firearms and immigration policies.

McCaskill is a red-state Democrat Senator so she has to appear pro 2nd Amendment to her constituents because Missourians love their guns.

Claire McCaskill’s staffers were also caught on video saying she puts on a moderate front to get the Republican votes.

The top staffer then continued saying McCaskill believes everything Obama does.

THIS WAS A DEVASTATING VIDEO! Claire McCaskill was COMPLETELY EXPOSED!

Senator McCaskill’s staffers admitted she is pro-DACA, pro-DREAMERS and against the border wall even though she runs ads to the contrary claiming she is strong on border security.
The Project Veritas Video has been viewed over 267,000 times so far!

On Tuesday morning Claire McCaskill responded to the stunning revelations.
McCaskill went on Ozarks First to try to dig herself out of this deep hole.


Claire lied some more, blamed Josh Hawley for the undercover video.

Senator McCaskill: I’ve been very up front about all my positions. I remember this person was trying to get me to say something different than what my positions are… It is startling that Josh Hawley would be part of fraudulently embedding something in my campaign.

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Coincidence or corruption? In Andrew Cuomo’s government it’s hard to tell

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Given the parade of people in the orbit of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who have recently either been shipped off to jail or come under investigation, it’s amazing that none of the dirt ever sticks to Cuomo himself. How does he account for the various people who funneled money toward his campaign, and then were later discovered to have benefitted from state government “generosity” and wound up in handcuffs? It’s all just a coincidence.

Today we’re hearing news of yet another of these amazing coincidences. This story starts with a situation we first covered more than a year ago and it dealt with some donors who helped Cuomo out during his 2014 campaign. A medical corporation named Crystal Run Healthcare was run by a few people who had funneled more than $400K to Cuomo’s campaigns over the previous four years. When the “Buffalo Billion” was announced (a plan to invest a billion dollars of taxpayer money into projects creating jobs in the western, upstate region) Crytal Run was at the front of the line. They wound up receiving more than $25M dollars for two new medical centers.

But there were some fishy elements to the story. First of all, they had actually broken ground on both of those new projects six months before the grants were even announced or applications were being taken. It’s almost as if they knew they had the money coming from somewhere. Then we found out that the Crystal Run had coughed up a flurry of maximum donations only weeks before the checks to them were cut. In addition to that, there was a meeting held less than two weeks after the announcement of the grants where Crystal Run executives met with state officials, including a top aide from inside Cuomo’s office.

How did Cuomo explain it? It was all just a happy coincidence and the meeting didn’t matter because they didn’t even talk about the grants. The meeting was about Medicaid.

But now the local press has gotten hold of emails from Crystal Run showing that they did indeed discuss their two new developments and the grants, and that the state representatives at the meeting were “very receptive” to their requests. (NY Post)

Now, despite earlier denials from everyone involved, it turns out company execs got a private sitdown with top state officials in 2015, just 12 days after Albany started seeking applications for $1.2 billion in development grants. Crystal Run wound up with $25.4 million of that (the only for-profit company to qualify) for two projects.

Team Cuomo insists those projects never even got mentioned at the meeting, saying it was only about Medicaid. Yet the Albany Times Union reports that an e-mail sent two weeks later by Crystal Run’s chief legal officer stressed that company execs had “shared our vision for growth,” including the two “expansions,” with the health commissioner and a top aide who worked in Cuomo’s office.

Both officials, the e-mail noted, “were, obviously, supportive, as we are bringing real jobs to real people” — and had agreed that “further discussion was warranted” with the state economic-development agency “at the highest levels.”

How much more evidence do we need at this point? Cuomo’s spokespeople obviously lied about what went on at that meeting. They have records from the company who benefitted from it after making massive contributions. (Two of the people involved in organizing these meetings, donations, and windfalls have already been convicted or indicted on related charges.) And yet Andrew Cuomo continues to insist that all the grants were handled fairly and above board. These are all just amazing coincidences. And somehow, while his closest aides head off to the crowbar motel, Cuomo floats along and prosecutors can’t seem to lay a glove on him. On top of that, he’s on track to cruise to electoral victory for another four years in office.

I guess that’s just a happy coincidence too, eh?

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