Senate nears threshold to block Trump

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On the roster: Senate nears threshold to block Trump - Harris won’t run, GOP needs candidate - 2020 early-state Dem activist temperature check - It’s election day in Chicago - You’re doing it wrong

Raleigh News & Observer: “North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis plans to break with President Donald Trump over his national emergency declaration, which would allow him to go around Congress to secure funds for a southern border wall. Tillis, a Republican, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post explaining his decision to vote for a resolution of disapproval, rebuking Trump. The Democratic-led U.S House is expected to pass the resolution Tuesday evening, a move that would require the Senate to consider the resolution within three weeks. … ‘As a conservative, I cannot endorse a precedent that I know future left-wing presidents will exploit to advance radical policies that will erode economic and individual freedoms,’ Tills wrote. Tillis, who is up for re-election in 2020, is the third Republican to publicly pronounce his or her intention to vote for the resolution of disapproval. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have also indicated they are likely to support the resolution.”

What are other Republicans saying? - WaPo: “Few Republican Senators have released definitive statements on the resolution, but many have made statements on the emergency. … At least six Republican senators, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), have expressed opposition to the national emergency since it was declared. All six support more border security but saw the move as executive overreach and potentially unconstitutional. … Republicans are also concerned the national emergency could spawn numerous court battles, which it already has, and a lengthy judicial review. …  At least eleven GOP senators, including [Lindsey] Graham and Rick Scott (R-Fla.), early proponents of the national emergency, have expressed support for the declaration, which they described as a necessary use of executive power and which some saw as a fulfillment of Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall.”

Wisconsin Gov. Evers withdraws troops from border - AP: “Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Monday ordered the state’s National Guard troops to withdraw from the border with Mexico, drawing the ire of a Republican congressman from Illinois who serves as a pilot in the Wisconsin detachment. Former Republican Gov. Scott Walker ordered troops to Arizona in June to assist with administrative duties along the border. Evers, a Democrat, issued an executive order Monday withdrawing them. Evers announced the order late Monday afternoon. … Adam Kinzinger, a Republican congressman from Illinois, tweeted on Monday that he is a member of the Wisconsin National Guard and criticized Evers for his decision. In a series of tweets, he said he was sent to the border as a member of the Wisconsin National Guard and his crew caught a man crossing the border with 70 pounds of methamphetamine. ‘Wonder the damage that would do in Milwaukee...’ he tweeted.”

“The power of making treaties is an important one, especially as it relates to war, peace, and commerce; and it should not be delegated but in such a mode, and with such precautions, as will afford the highest security that it will be exercised by men the best qualified for the purpose, and in the manner most conducive to the public good.” – John Jay, Federalist No. 64

Smithsonian: “Scholars have long known that Charles Dickens was cruel to his wife, Catherine. In their early letters, the novelist addressed her affectionally … but that tone changed dramatically some two decades into their marriage once he met and began an affair with then-18-year-old actress Ellen Ternan. … Catherine's side of the breakup tale has remained mostly obscured from history until now. Her rarely heard perspective comes back with vengeance thanks to a trove of 98 previously unseen letters that show Charles … was actually gas lighting his wife as they separated. The missives were unearthed by University of York professor John Bowen, who specializes in 19th-century fiction. He first became aware of their existence when he noticed them listed in an auction catalogue from 2014. … The letters were written by Dickens family friend and neighbor Edward Dutton Cook to a fellow journalist, and they include details about the couple’s separation, which Catherine shared with Cook in 1879, the year she died.”

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Trump job performance 
Average approval:
 41.8 percent
Average disapproval: 54.4 percent
Net Score: -12.6 points
Change from one week ago: no change  
[Average includes: Fox News: 46% approve - 52% disapprove; Gallup: 44% approve - 52% unapproved; CNN: 42% approve - 54% disapproval; IBD: 39% approve - 57% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 38% approve - 57% disapprove.]

Politico: “Republican Mark Harris announced on Tuesday that he will not run in the new election for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, citing his compromised health. A new election was called last week after Harris’ campaign was the subject of fraud allegations that tainted the midterm election. The state board of elections declined to certify the race between Harris and Democrat Dan McCready in 2018, instead voting last week to order a new election. ‘Given my health situation, the need to regain full strength, and the timing of this surgery the last week of March, I have decided not to file in the new election for Congressional District 9,’ Harris said in a statement. ‘It is my hope that in the upcoming primary, a solid conservative leader will emerge to articulate the critical issues that face our nation.’ Harris said he will support Stony Rushing, a Union County commissioner, in the Republican primary for the district.”

N.C. special election draws attention to 2020 - Roll Call: “What may be the most high-profile special election of 2019 is likely to attract national attention as a harbinger of things to come in a competitive state next year. … In a nationalized political environment, the outcome would contribute to the narrative about North Carolina heading into 2020, when GOP Sen. Thom Tillis is up for his first re-election. Inside Elections rates the Senate race Tilts Republican. The demographically shifting state is also a must-win for Trump, who carried it by less than 4 points in 2016. Republicans fear a divisive and messy 9th District primary in a high-profile special election could jeopardize the seat and complicate their efforts in other federal races next year. … Democrats have the advantage of time and money. McCready has been consistently fundraising — raising more than $500,000 by the end of 2018 — well before the new election was called for.”

Five Thirty Eight: “[Political scientist Seth Masket] reached out to the 60 activists twice recently… Each time, [he] heard back from roughly 35 of the activists. Of those, only nine said they had committed to a candidate… That level of indecision doesn’t seem all that unusual given the size of the field. Most modern presidential nomination contests have an obvious front-runner, but when they don’t (as was the case with the Democratic field in 1988), activists may take their time choosing a candidate. Several … suggested that they may wait until the summer or fall of 2019 [or wait until they] meet with the candidates before making up their minds. … Overall, in February, there were five candidates — [Kamala Harris], [Cory Booker], Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar — who were being considered or had been committed to by more than 35 percent of these activists. It is notable to see Brown’s and Klobuchar’s names included in this group, since at the beginning of February, each had received little national media attention and neither had gained much traction in the polls.”

Klobuchar, Harris approach Iowa with same goal but different reasons - Atlantic: “Demographically and economically, Iowa isn’t actually that representative… Enter two candidates … who both see the state as crucial… Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris need the same thing, but they need it for opposite reasons. … For Klobuchar, Iowa is her neighbor to the south… A win in the Iowa caucuses could validate her pitch that the 2020 election is calling out for someone who can link the years her grandfather spent working in a mine to the ‘grit’ to stand in a snowstorm for her own campaign announcement two weeks ago, and connect a purported hard-nosed pragmatism to years of big wins in her home state. … But the state is key for [Harris] too: She wants a top finish here next February that would solidify her as a front-runner and give her the momentum going into a four-week blitz around the country…”

Biden team ‘collecting resumes’ ahead of  final decision - Fox News: “A decision by former Vice President Joe Biden on running for the White House could still be more than a month away, but that’s not stopping members of his team from taking the initial steps to build a campaign structure. ‘They’re collecting resumes but making no commitments,’ a source close to Biden’s inner circle told Fox News on Tuesday. ‘They’re thinking about where people fit’ into a possible presidential campaign. The source asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely. … ‘We know we’ll lose people,’ the source acknowledged, with regard to the time Biden is taking to reach a decision. But those concerns don’t appear to weigh too heavily on the former vice president when it comes to his timetable.”

Sanders believes he can win in ‘Trump Country’ - Politico: “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at times Monday sounded like he was already running against President Trump in a general election, rather than the crowded field of Democrats he must first do battle with in the 2020 primary. During a televised town hall on CNN, Sanders criticized Trump for abandoning working Americans, promised to campaign in ‘Trump Country,’ and even gave a nod to a county in Pennsylvania that voted for Trump after backing Barack Obama twice. … Sanders also attempted to reach out to voters of color, speaking at length about racial disparities, including the wealth gap between black and white Americans. Sanders said he believes he can defeat Trump in Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, four swing states that were key to the president’s victory in 2016.”

Sanders will release his tax returns - National Journal: “Sen. Bernie Sanders is preparing to release his tax returns, sources with knowledge of his plans told National Journal. The display of personal financial transparency goes well beyond what the Vermont independent did during his 2016 presidential bid, when he failed to produce a comprehensive look at prior returns. One source familiar with the campaign’s internal discussions suggested that 10 years of filings would be released. The Sanders campaign did not respond to detailed questions about his plan by press time. Sanders brought in roughly $1.75 million in book royalties across 2016 and 2017, on top of his $174,000 Senate salary. But he still ranks among the least wealthy senators, according to the most recent public data.”

Gillibrand defends Green New Deal, big-money fundraisers - Fox News: “Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand compared the Green New Deal to NASA's race for the Moon in the 1960s, telling Fox News' ‘Special Report’ Monday night that ‘global climate change ... is the greatest threat to humanity we have.’ … Gillibrand and [Chris Wallace] then had a lively exchange over Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's vow to not hold any ‘big-money fundraisers’ during her campaign. Wallace asked Gillibrand if she saw any contradiction between Warren's promise and Gillibrand's plans to hold a March fundraiser at the home of Pfizer executive Sally Susman. … ‘Of course, I’m going to ask Americans all across this country to support my campaign,’ Gillibrand said.”

USA Today: “Voters head to the polls Tuesday to pick a new mayor to take on the challenges weighing down the nation’s third-largest city: Billions of dollars in unmet pension obligations, endemic corruption and persistent gun violence. A record 14 candidates are on the ballot. Most of the candidates announced they were running after two-term Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced in September that he wouldn’t seek a third term. The field includes eight people of color and ten who have never held elected office. … Under Chicago’s election rules, if no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will face off in an April 2 runoff. No candidate is polling at more than 14 percent, according to a survey published Sunday by 270 Strategies.”

Trump lands in Vietnam for Kim Jong Un summit - Fox News

Pergram: Cohen on Capitol Hill could be crucial to understanding the direction of both parties before 2020 - Fox News

Nikki Haley re-enters political world through new policy group - WaPo

Dem to face primary challenge for Cory Gardner’s seat - The Colorado Sun

“I can remember college, you take a test and people gather around to talk about the test. I was never part of that gathering because there was not a damn thing I could do about what I'd written, so I didn't do that. I took the test; that's all I could do. Don't look back.” – Former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid in a wide-ranging interview with CNN discussing his legacy, the Bush era and other topics.

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WSBTV: “A Florida man stole more than $30,000 in rare coins and cashed them in for a fraction of their value at change machines at area grocery stores, investigators said. Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office investigators said Shane Anthony Mele, 40, stole the rare presidential coins, valued at $1,000 each, and other items worth a total of $350,000, the Palm Beach Post reports. Investigators said Mele sold some of the coins to a pawn shop for $4,000, then exchanged the majority of them through CoinStar change machines at grocery stores, which would only give face value for them, a fraction of their worth. Mele was arrested and charged with grand theft and unrelated drug charges.”

“Great leaders are willing to retire unloved and unpopular as the price for great exertion.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing for the Houston Chronicle on Nov. 6, 2004.

Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.