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On the roster: Harris reveals ‘KamalaCare’ health plan - House Dems just shy of majority to back impeachment - Intel chief Dan Coats to resign - Senate needs: Clear budget deal, confirm nominations before recess - One way to numb pain
HARRIS REVEALS ‘KAMALACARE’ HEALTH PLAN
Politico: “Kamala Harris on Monday unveiled a plan to achieve universal health care coverage by growing Medicare with the help of private insurers, an effort that splits the difference with her chief Democratic presidential rivals and equips the California senator with her own signature health care proposal ahead of this week’s debates. … Under ‘KamalaCare,’ which would be phased in over a decade, Harris has at last settled on a way to keep private health insurers in the fold after seesawing on the question since January — and she would do so by leaning on an existing and popular federal program. Harris’ offering maintains her commitment to universal health care coverage — demanded by her party’s base — while lowering the temperature among the guardians of Obamacare who fear that overreaching would wipe out their hard-fought gains. … But Harris’ proposal skimps on myriad details, including the plan’s cost, and will likely still face skepticism from progressives … as well as from conservatives and deep-pocketed health care lobbyists staunchly opposed to any form of Medicare expansion.”
Biden aides continue to defend his age and health - NYT: “As Mr. [Joe] Biden prepares for the next debate this Wednesday night, which will include a rematch with Ms. Harris, he and his advisers are grappling with how to make sure he doesn’t appear so shaky, cognizant that a repeat performance could do lasting damage to his campaign and erode his advantage in the polls. Several advisers emphasized that Mr. Biden is in excellent health, and said he will be more prepared to defend his record and more willing to draw contrasts with his opponents than he was at the June debate. … Mr. Biden’s allies describe him as a fitness fanatic and reasonably disciplined eater who also enjoys ice cream and cheeseburgers. As vice president, he favored staples like yogurt and juice, salads with protein and for dinner, pasta or fish, said John Flynn… Mr. Flynn added that he sometimes briefed Mr. Biden at the gym.”
O’Rourke says he’s taking on a ‘me being me’ approach - WaPo: “Beto O’Rourke’s campaign has all of the outward signs of what his run for the presidency was supposed to be and what his most devoted supporters believe it still can be. … After a first debate appearance that raised alarm among his major donors, there is ever-increasing pressure on O’Rourke to shine at Tuesday’s debate and remind Democrats why so many thought he could be a front-runner just a few months ago. O’Rourke says he is now taking the approach of ‘me being me,’ and he has been hyper-focused on the immigration crisis that has so much resonance in his hometown of El Paso — while spending less time talking about his previous leading issue, climate change. … O’Rourke and those close to him are convinced that if he meets enough people — especially in Iowa, which will hold the nation’s first nominating contest in February — he can surge ahead.”
DNC debate rules are putting Steyer in a pinch - Politico: “[Tom Steyer’s] online panhandling is a surreal consequence of the Democratic Party’s presidential debate rules. Steyer launched his 2020 campaign a little over two weeks ago and plans to self-fund his White House run with $100 million of his own money. But he still needs 130,000 people to donate to him by August 28 (and get at least 2 percent in four polls) to qualify for the third primary debate in mid-September and prove his mettle against rival candidates. The bars imposed by the DNC pose a major test of whether Steyer’s message and his millions can actually attract enough support for a viable presidential campaign — and fast. … So Steyer is flooding Facebook and Google with ads — at least $927,000 worth so far — trying to buy up new donors and airing over $4.3 million on TV spots that could give him a boost in the polls.”
Rahm Emanuel to Dems: Don’t make Detroit a repeat of Miami - Medium: “Primary debates are about two things. First, candidates need to distinguish themselves from the rest of the field — something some of you did more successfully than others in Miami. Second, and more important, these events are about delivering a message that will position your candidacy as our standard-bearer in the general election. Let me be subtle: On this second front, not so good. So here are some suggestions for the next go-round. Let’s start with the basics. If you’re going to evict Donald Trump from the White House and secure the country’s future, you have to replicate what the last two Democratic presidents did so successfully on their campaigns. You need to unite all primary voters.”
THE RULEBOOK: DEFENSE ESSENTIALS
“The authorities essential to the common defense are these: to raise armies; to build and equip fleets; to prescribe rules for the government of both; to direct their operations; to provide for their support.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 23
TIME OUT: STRIKE THAT OFF THE BUCKET LIST
GMA: “Beverly Mylek and Brenda Sutton, two adventurous grandmas, took to the sky together to check an item off their bucket lists: jumping out of planes from more than 13,000 feet. … Both women completed their wishes through MyJump, a nonprofit that helps seniors achieve what's left on their bucket list. Founder Webb Weiman said he was inspired to start MyJump when he witnessed his widowed father refuse to leave his bedroom after his wife passed away. ‘I wanted to prove to him that there is life beyond the rocking chair and inspire others living in isolation that it's never too late to achieve your dreams,’ Weiman, 57, said. … To invite people to fulfill their bucket lists, Weiman and his nonprofit visit senior communities and share fulfilled bucket lists, from skydiving, to race car driving, parasailing, ziplining, truck and motorcycle driving, and hot-air ballooning. Weiman said one senior, Louise Spencer, 92, wanted to drive an 18-wheeler to honor her late husband who was a trucker.”
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Trump job performance
Average approval: 45.2 percent
Average disapproval: 51.4 percent
Net Score: -6.2 points
Change from one week ago: down 0.4 points
[Average includes: Fox News: 46% approve - 51% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve - 53% disapprove; Gallup: 44% approve - 51% disapprove; NBC News/WSJ: 45% approve - 52% disapprove; ABC News/WaPo: 47% approve - 50% disapprove.]
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HOUSE DEMS JUST SHY OF MAJORITY TO BACK IMPEACHMENT
Politico: “Four more rank-and-file Democrats called for opening an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on Sunday, inching lawmakers closer to a significant symbolic milestone: a majority of all House Democrats. Though the steadily climbing total may not move Speaker Nancy Pelosi off of her resistance to opening a formal impeachment inquiry, Sunday’s burst of support suggests momentum behind the effort is growing and accelerating. More than a dozen Democrats — including Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), a member of Pelosi’s leadership team — have newly signaled their support since former special counsel Robert Mueller testified to Congress on Wednesday. The four who issued their support on Sunday, all from Washington state, bring the total number of House Democrats who have publicly said they’d vote for an impeachment inquiry to 107 — 11 shy of a majority of the Democratic Caucus — with backers of an inquiry promising there are more waiting in the wings.”
Pergram: Impeachment may just mean what Democrats ‘choose it to mean’ - Fox News: “So are Congressional Democrats trying to impeach the President or not? ‘An impeachment inquiry is not an official thing,’ said one Judiciary Committee counsel. Instead, lawmakers on the committee say the court filing is just part of a Democratic inquest ‘to determine if they should recommend articles of impeachment.’ Perhaps Congressional Democrats are attempting to hold paradoxical postures. Impeaching Mr. Trump. But not really. It’s like the duality of superposition in quantum mechanics. … The articles of impeachment against the President drafted by Rep. Al Green (D-TX) never wound their way through any committee. … It’s conceivable the House could have impeached Mr. Trump on the spot had the House not blocked Green. Therein lies the problem for Democrats. All the public hears is ‘impeachment.’ They don’t understand the steps and the nuances.”
INTEL CHIEF DAN COATS TO RESIGN
NYT: “President Trump announced on Sunday that Dan Coats would step down as the director of national intelligence after a fraught tenure marked by tension with the Oval Office, and he tapped one of his staunch defenders, Representative John Ratcliffe, to take over the country’s expansive network of spy agencies. Mr. Coats, a former senator and longtime pillar of the Republican establishment who angered the president by providing unwelcome assessments of Russia, North Korea and other matters, told Mr. Trump last week that it was time to move on, officials said. His departure removes one of the most prominent national security officials willing to contradict the president. If Mr. Ratcliffe is confirmed by the Senate, he will offer a starkly different perspective in the Situation Room, one more in line with Mr. Trump’s thinking. Mr. Ratcliffe, a third-term Republican from Texas … and was among the sharpest questioners of Robert S. Mueller III, the former special counsel, at last week’s hearings.”
Dem senators aren’t having it - Politico: “Sen. Chris Murphy on Monday dismissed Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), President Donald Trump’s nominee to become the next director of national intelligence, as a ‘television character’ who is an ‘inappropriate choice’ for the historically nonpartisan post. ‘I don't know this guy,’ Murphy (D-Conn.) said on MSNBC. ‘I think he's a television character that the president has watched on TV, and he wants to put somebody in this position who's going to agree with his political take on intelligence.’ … Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) on Monday also predicted broad Democratic resistance to the administration’s efforts to confirm Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney and mayor of Heath, Texas, a town roughly 8,000. … ‘The president doesn't want people to challenge him, and when you think about an intelligence director, you want independent advice,’ he added.”
SENATE NEEDS: CLEAR BUDGET DEAL, CONFIRM NOMINATIONS BEFORE RECESS
Roll Call: “The Senate’s August recess jet fumes are getting stronger, but there is still an abundance of chamber business to take care of this week. The House is in recess until Sept. 9, but the Senate needs to clear the bipartisan budget caps agreement that would also suspend the debt limit into the summer of 2021, following House action last week. With Majority Leader Mitch McConnell having filed motions to limit debate on 19 of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominations, some cooperation will be needed to get done by Thursday. … The first action of the week will see the Senate likely fall short over overriding Trump’s vetoes of a series of bipartisan resolutions that would block arms sales, including to Saudi Arabia. … The primary legislative business, however, is sending to Trump the two-year spending cap and debt limit suspension.”
Freshmen House Dems have outraised their top opponents so far - AP
Dan McCready distances himself from left wing in N.C.-9’s special election - WaPo
Trump signs 9/11 bill - Fox News
AUDIBLE: DON’T BE A NOODLE
“Do you need me to check the sturdiness of the noodle?” – Beto O’Rourke said to Mae Collins while cooking dinner in her home in Flint, Michigan per Edward-Isaac Dovere with the Atlantic.
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ONE WAY TO NUMB PAIN
WJXT: “Surfer Frank O'Rourke was out near the pier [at Jacksonville Beach, Florida] at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday when the shark latched onto his arm, knocking him off his board. … O'Rourke's friend, RJ Berger, was right there when it happened. ‘It was kind of panic, like, ‘Did that just happen?’’ Berger said. … Berger guesses it was a 3- to 4-foot spinner or blacktip shark. He said O'Rourke will be OK. In fact, he was eager to show off his arm. ‘He immediately went to a bar ‘cause he was like, ‘I got bit by a shark,’ and people were like, ‘I'll buy you drinks.’ So he went and hung out at the pier,’ Berger said. O'Rourke is 23 years old and is a competitive surfer. He chose not to go to the hospital, but his friend told News4Jax he thinks O'Rourke could have afforded a stitch or two.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“The end of the cold war changed the structure of the world. The Gulf war merely revealed it.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing for The New Republic on July 29, 1991.
Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.