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On the roster: Northam draws ire, claims of infanticide - Let’s make a deal? Shutdown fighters start work - Schultz fights back against Dem outrage - Demographic changes reshaping electorate for 2020 - Ya burnt
NORTHAM DRAWS IRE, CLAIMS OF INFANTICIDE
Fox News: “Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam came under fire Wednesday after he waded into the fight over a controversial abortion bill that one sponsor said could allow women to terminate a pregnancy up until the moment before birth -- with critics saying Northam indicated a child could be killed after birth. … Northam, a former pediatric neurologist, … said that third-trimester abortions are done with ‘the consent of obviously the mother, with consent of the physician, multiple physicians by the way, and it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities or there may be a fetus that’s not viable.’ ‘So in this particular example if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen, the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.’”
How it started - Richmond Times Dispatch: “The dustup began Tuesday afternoon after the House GOP caucus Twitter account shared a video showing Del. Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax, speaking before a House subcommittee about legislation she filed that would have lifted a variety of state-level abortion restrictions. The most controversial element of the bill, which Republicans voted down shortly after the exchange, touches on a raw nerve of the abortion debate: The rules surrounding abortions when a pregnancy has progressed far enough that a fetus may stand a chance of surviving, perhaps only briefly, outside the womb.”
THE RULEBOOK: JUSTICE IS SERVED
“The majesty of the national authority must be manifested through the medium of the courts of justice.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 16
TIME OUT: ‘SUNDAY, BLOODY SUNDAY’
History: “[On this day in 1972] In Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 13 unarmed civil rights demonstrators are shot dead by British Army paratroopers in an event that becomes known as ‘Bloody Sunday.’ The protesters, all Northern Catholics, were marching in protest of the British policy of internment of suspected Irish nationalists. British authorities had ordered the march banned, and sent troops to confront the demonstrators when it went ahead. The soldiers fired indiscriminately into the crowd of protesters, killing 13 and wounding 17. The killings brought worldwide attention to the crisis in Northern Ireland and sparked protests all across Ireland. In Dublin, the capital of independent Ireland, outraged Irish citizens lit the British embassy aflame on February 2. The crisis in Northern Ireland escalated in 1969 when British troops were sent to the British possession to suppress nationalist activity by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and to quell religious violence between Protestants and Catholics.”
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Trump job performance
Average approval: 41 percent
Average disapproval: 55.2 percent
Net Score: -14.2 points
Change from one week ago: up 3.8 points
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 38% approve - 57% disapprove; Monmouth University: 43% approve - 53% disapprove; NBC News/WSJ: 43% approve - 54% disapprove; ABC News/WaPo: 38% approve - 58% disapprove; Fox News: 43% approve - 54% disapprove.]
I’LL TELL YOU WHAT: COFFEE VERSUS COVFEFE
This week Dana Perino discusses her interview with billionaire and possible 2020 presidential candidate Howard Schultz and Chris Stirewalt weighs in the feasibility of Medicare for all. Plus, Dana answers the mailbag and Chris tackles trivia. LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE
LET’S MAKE A DEAL? SHUTDOWN FIGHTERS START WORK
Fox News: “A bipartisan committee of House and Senate lawmakers met for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, aiming to work out a deal on border security. But Democrats and Republicans both dug in over whether new physical barriers are a necessary element. Though both sides expressed optimism they could reach a deal that would stop the government from shutting down again, Democrats dismissed president Trump's call for a border wall while Republicans argued that a barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border is needed in some places. ‘Smart border security is not overly reliant on physical barriers, which the Trump administration has failed to demonstrate are cost-effective compared to better technology and more personnel,’ said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y. … Others on the committee include … chairs and ranking members of both the House and Senate Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittees. After lawmakers delivered opening remarks on Wednesday, the lawmakers adjourned, kicking negotiations behind the scenes.”
SCHULTZ FIGHTS BACK AGAINST DEM OUTRAGE
Fox News: “Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, in an interview with Fox News, fired back Wednesday at Democrats who are fuming over the possibility he could launch an independent presidential bid and claiming such a move would boost President Trump in 2020. ‘I think the Democrats need a little bit less caffeine right now,’ Schultz said. Speaking to Dana Perino on ‘The Daily Briefing,’ Schultz said critics claiming he'd play a spoiler role by siphoning off Democratic votes are overreacting and claimed he is just as likely to draw moderate Republican voters from Trump. ‘I think they've over-rotated completely because it's very possible that if I run for president as a centrist independent that more lifelong Republicans will come my way than Democrats. So I think the whole thing is just an overreaction in 24 hours,’ he said. … The 65-year-old Seattle billionaire launched a tour Monday to promote his latest book, ‘From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America.’”
Kevin Williamson: ‘Howard Schultz did not leave his party’ - National Review: “The Democrats are in a funny position. They all assume that 2020 is the year to run as a Democrat, believing Trump to be doomed. Their triumphalism may be premature, but they are not without reason for hope. The Democrats believe that 2020 is theirs because they believe that the Republican Party has gone mad, an opportunity that Democrats have decided to make the most of by . . . going just as bonkers themselves. Self-proclaimed socialists are the Democratic headliners of 2019, along with Senator Elizabeth Warren, who boasted that she ‘created much of the intellectual foundation’ for Occupy Wall Street. Reasonably sane figures with respectable executive résumés are, for the moment, spat at.”
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti will not join 2020 race - LAT: “Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday that he will not run for president, declining to take a long-shot gamble that Democrats would pick a little-known local official to challenge President Trump. After nearly two years of flirting with the idea that he could leap from City Hall to the world’s most powerful job, the mild-mannered mayor reached a decision in keeping with his reputation for avoiding political risk. He also passed up a chance to run for governor last year when the odds seemed stacked against him. At a City Hall news conference, Garcetti said he decided over the last couple of weeks to stay put as mayor because he ‘realized that this is what I am meant to do and this is where I want to be.’ ‘It may be out of vogue today, but I kind of believe that whenever possible, you should finish the job that you set out to do,’ he said.”
Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign crashes on the launchpad - Politico: “Tulsi Gabbard’s presidential campaign hasn’t officially launched yet but it’s already melting down. Two-and-a-half weeks after the Hawaii Democrat told CNN she had decided to run for the White House—an announcement that even her own staff didn't know was coming, after weeks of debating the timing of the rollout—the 37-year-old congresswoman has struggled to contain the chaos. Campaign manager Rania Batrice and Gabbard’s consulting firm Revolution Messaging are set to depart after this weekend’s official kickoff in Hawaii, two sources familiar with the situation told POLITICO. Gabbard is leaning on her sister, Vrindavan, to fill the void. Meanwhile, the congresswoman is under fire back home after picking a fight with Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and a prominent Democratic state lawmaker is already challenging Gabbard in next year’s congressional primary. That means she faces the possibility of losing the presidential race and her House seat as well.”
Podesta: Hillary is not running in 2020 - Axios: “Hillary Clinton's former campaign chairman John Podesta told CNN's Erin Burnett Tuesday evening that Clinton has said she is not running for president in 2020, and that recent reports that she has not closed the door on another White House bid are ‘media catnip.’”
DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGES RESHAPING ELECTORATE FOR 2020
Pew Research Center: “The 2020 U.S. presidential election is rapidly coming into view – and so is the electorate that will determine its outcome. While demographic changes unfold slowly, it’s already clear that the 2020 electorate will be unique in several ways. Nonwhites will account for a third of eligible voters – their largest share ever – driven by long-term increases among certain groups, especially Hispanics. At the same time, one-in-ten eligible voters will be members of Generation Z, the Americans who will be between the ages 18 and 23 next year. That will occur as Millennials and all other older generations account for a smaller share of eligible voters than they did in 2016. What might these demographic shifts mean politically? In 2016, nonwhite voters were more likely to back Democrat Hillary Clinton, while white voters were more likely to back Republican Donald Trump. Younger generations, meanwhile, differ notably from older generations in their views on key social and political issues. It remains unclear how these patterns might factor into the 2020 election and, as always, a great deal will depend on who turns out to vote.”
Trump could face steep re-election battle in Michigan - WDIV: “President Donald Trump will face an uphill re-election battle in Michigan in 2020, according to a new WDIV/Detroit News poll. The poll, released Monday, found that the ‘blue wave’ in 2018 could continue in 2020. … The motivation to vote in the 2020 election among Michigan voters is at the highest levels ever measured by the Glengariff Group. On a ten-point scale, Michigan voters say they are motivated to vote at 9.6 – higher than the 9.4 measured in late October 2018. … Voters were asked if the nation was on the right track or the wrong track. Throughout 2018, Michigan voters were consistent in their views. Today, 55.7 percent of Michigan now view the nation on the wrong track – a ten-point drop in the percentage of Michigan voters who believe the nation is on the right track. … By a margin of 37.5 percent-53.3 percent, Michigan voters have an unfavorable impression of Donald Trump. These numbers remain largely unchanged from 2018.”
FOX POLL: TRUST IN JUDICIAL, EXECUTIVE BRANCHES DROPS
Fox News: “The U.S. Supreme Court has been the most trusted branch of government among voters for more than a decade -- and while that still holds true, faith in the court is now near its lowest. In addition, the number saying the executive branch is their most trusted stands at a new low. When asked which of the three branches of government they trust the most, 35 percent of voters choose the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the latest Fox News Poll. That’s down from 45 percent in February 2017. A record-low 33 percent chose the court in June 2005 (the first time the question was asked on the Fox News Poll). The executive branch is chosen by 18 percent, down from 26 percent two years ago. Thirteen percent pick Congress as the branch they most trust, that remains unchanged. The poll, released Wednesday, was conducted before the partial government shutdown ended January 25.”
Would Chris Christie be a better president than Trump? He thinks so - The Week
Trump will miss deadline for budget - Politico
Florida Republican: ‘I aspire to be the conservative [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez]’ - Politico
Study finds loss of newspapers correlates to political polarization - AP
AUDIBLE: WORD TO THE WISE
“A little advice for @staceyabrams as she prepares our Democratic rebuttal: … Misplace your chapstick … Good luck!” – Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., on Tuesday tweeted advice to Stacey Abrams after the announcement that she will be delivering the Democratic response to the State of the Union address.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“If the Dems have their way and eliminate private health insurance, what becomes of the millions of Americans employed in the healthcare insurance industry? Millions will suddenly be unemployed and may or may not have transferrable skills. Some may find new jobs in the Medicare system. But what becomes of the others who suddenly have no jobs and no way to support themselves and their families? What does that do to our economy? Something to ponder …” – Jill Levy, Campbell, Calif.
[Ed. note: The insurance industry is HUGE. And it’s also the cause of as much as 40 percent of health expenditures. Americans don’t have hunger insurance, they just buy food because they know they will need it. Much of the health care and services that Americans use are absolutely predictable, so image the waste of running ordinary transactions – ordinary prescriptions, annual checkups etc. – through an insurance company. Conservatives and liberals alike agree that our system has all manner of perverse incentives, duplications and cost dislocations. And both sides have proposals that might make it better. What no one has been able to answer, though, is how to demolish the structure without trapping everyone inside.]
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Yahoo: “If you’re going to get a tattoo in a language you don’t speak, a quick Google search never hurts. Ariana Grande appears to have overlooked this step, falling prey to a common tattoo fail ― inking incorrect Japanese kanji characters on the palm of her hand. The pop star intended to permanently pay tribute to her new single ‘7 Rings’ with some body art. Instead, she tattooed the word ‘shichirin,’ which translates to a small Japanese-style charcoal grill. The ‘thank u, next’ singer debuted the new ink on Instagram Tuesday with a photo of her palm to commemorate the single and its record-breaking music video, which correctly featured the Japanese translation of ‘7 Rings’: 七つの指輪. But fans were quick to point out that Grande’s new tattoo, without the three middle characters, takes on an entirely different meaning.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“It's inherently risky for any charismatic politician to legislate. To act is to choose and to choose is to disappoint the expectations of many who had poured their hopes into the empty vessel -- of which candidate Obama was the greatest representative in recent American political history.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing for Real Clear Politics on Jan. 15, 2010.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.