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Scarborough: Let’s face it, the Kavanaugh hearing was a disaster for Democratic Senate candidates

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Hard to disagree, even with only a few polls in the bank this week. Dean Heller has pulled even in Nevada, McSally is suddenly up in Arizona, Cruz’s lead is growing in Texas, Cramer and Blackburn look to be en route to easy wins in North Dakota and Tennessee, respectively. And it may get worse for Democrats: It’s been nine days since Indiana and Missouri were polled, 10 days since Florida was, and nearly three weeks since Montana was. All four of those races were tight even before the Kavanaughpocalypse. If Republicans have suddenly gained in each, they may be on their way to picking up multiple seats in November.

The Democrats’ last-minute Kavanaugh play, in other words, may be seen in time as a strategic blunder on par with the GOP’s impeachment of Clinton 20 years ago. Although of course that narrative will be deeply complicated if they clean up in House races in November, as they’re currently on track to do. The Kavanaugh war doesn’t seem to have backfired nationally on them, only in red states. But when all of the big Senate battles are being fought in red states, you … might want to take that into account before pulling something that might reasonably infuriate red-state voters.

And you know what? Maybe they did. Maybe Feinstein and Schumer were prepared to sit on Ford’s letter all the way through confirmation, fearing precisely this sort of midterm-motivating backlash on the right, until someone leaked it to the media and forced their hand. I doubt it, though. Whoever leaked it thought, I assume, that the uproar would force Kavanaugh to withdraw, the seat would stay vacant through Election Day, and the prospect of blocking a new nominee indefinitely would propel Democratic voters to stratospheric turnout, returning the Senate to Democratic hands. Oops.

Here’s new data from YouGov on how likely different demographic groups are to say that they’re more enthusiastic about voting this year than in previous years. The most enthusiastic group is Republican men. Proof positive of a “Kavanaugh effect”?

Poll after poll during the Kavanaugh confirmation battle showed a wide gender gap post-Ford. We may be saying that here with Republican men and women, too. Seems like a Kavanaugh effect! YouGov notes, though, that 40 percent or so of Americans don’t even know how their senators voted on Kavanaugh. And more Republicans name various other issues, like the economy and immigration, as important to their vote than say so of Kavanaugh’s confirmation. It’s complicated.

Rick Tyler raises an interesting possibility in the Scarborough clip below. Sure, anger at how Kavanaugh was treated has something to do with the GOP surge lately, but don’t overlook the fact that the confirmation battle was also a showcase for all sorts of Republican pols whom Trump-skeptic righties might find more to their tastes than POTUS. Trump made plenty of cameos during the post-Ford confirmation process but the last month may have been the single longest stretch of his presidency that he wasn’t dominating the Republican message every night. There was a lot of McConnell, a lot of Grassley, a lot of Lindsey Graham, and at the end a lot of Susan Collins. Everyone (except Murkowski) ended up holding hands for the nominee. The sense of unity and the experience of hearing from right-wing politicians who may speak to certain voters more effectively than Trump does might have boosted Republican enthusiasm more than simple anger at the Kavanaugh process did.

There are other reasons too. Don’t look now but Trump, a border superhawk, is holding his own with Hispanic voters:

While Trump was enacting his anti-immigrant agenda, Latino voters seemed to have slowly warmed up to the president. In last week’s NPR/PBS/Marist poll, 41 percent of Hispanics approved of Trump’s performance (black Americans? 12 percent). This is no outlier. Another recent poll put Trump’s approval among Latinos at 35 percent. An average of both would put Trump—again, an overtly nativist president—within about 10 points of Barack Obama’s 49 percent approval among Hispanic at roughly the same time in his presidency.

This does not mean Donald Trump is a popular president among Hispanics. He is not. But he is not repudiated, either, not by a mile. In a recent interview with Vox, University of Southern California professor Roberto Suro explained that while Latino voters “hold negative views toward Trump,” they do so “by a much smaller margin than Democrats overall.” Suro suggests that Latinos more closely resemble independent voters rather than “a steadfast Democratic constituency.” The polls, says Suro, also dispute “the presumption that Trump’s immigration policies have alienated large numbers of Latinos.”

A roaring economy will do that for you. If Hispanics were as enraged at Trump’s border policies as Democrats want them to be, and if they were channeling that anger by registering and turning out, all of the GOP fury over Kavanaugh might not be enough to save the Senate. Beto O’Rourke would stand a very realistic chance of knocking off Cruz for Texas’s Senate seat. As it is, Trump is north of 40 percent in job approval among Latinos and Cruz is winning nearly 40 percent of Latinos in Texas polls, good enough to give him a comfortable lead overall against his liberal challenger. The “Kavanaugh effect” is a nice storyline for Republicans with a lot of truth to it but all electoral coalitions are bigger than a single silver-bullet issue. If the GOP holds the Senate this fall via Texas and Florida and Arizona, better than expected performance with Latinos may have something to do with it.

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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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