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Franken, Menendez & Moore and a banner day for the U.S. Senate


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On the roster: Franken, Menendez & Moore and a banner day for the U.S. Senate – I’ll LET YOU KNOW What: The DOG days – Home passes tax PACKAGE – Clinton responds to Uranium One Unique ASSISTANCE – Dominos are falling ON THIS crime spree… 

FRANKEN, MENENDEZ & MOORE AND A BANNER DAY FOR THE U.S. SENATE 
And They wonder why people have such low confidence in government…

Today’s News in politics Was the informational similar of Thanksgiving dinner on the bus depot. There’s loads to eat, However you’d higher have a powerful abdomen.   

Up first on the smorgasbord of horribles is the News that the senior senator from Minnesota is accused of being aggressively inappropriate Whereas in another country on a USO tour. 

Al Franken is claimed to have given an unwelcome kiss to his co-big name Leeann Tweeden. Tweeden, on the tour to support her defense force man husband and his fellows, mentioned that Franken took too actually the bombshell role she Was Taking Part In In The convey. 

The comic-turned-polemicist-became-baby-kisser made issues worse WITH THE AID OF mugging for a photo where he seemed to be groping Tweeden over her Kevlar vest as she slept on the militia transport airplane home. 

Franken has now run for cover to a Senate ethics committee investigation. This May Occasionally as a minimum purchase him some time. 

There’s not much a Senate ethics panel can or almost certainly must do concerning the caddish conduct of contributors two years prior to their election. It May Be a topic for the voters of Minnesota in 2020, but the ethics probe isn’t prone to do much. 

Except…

Taking Part In for time in a scandal like that is Most Effective a good factor if there aren’t Extra incidents in the market. If that is an isolated incidence, Franken can lay low for just a few weeks and hope that voters are distracted BY WAY OF other scandals. 

That’s labored for Sen. Bob Menendez D-N.J., the next unsavory morsel on our Information buffet. 

When the News broke two years ago about Menendez’s shady trips to the Dominican Republic, it gave the look of he wouldn’t continue to exist. When the sleazy allegations had been compounded with corruption fees from federal prosecutors for allegedly promoting federal favors to a wealthy pal, the protection Used To Be intense, and it gave the impression not likely he might serve out his term. 

But As Of Late, a positive Menendez treated a hung jury in his bribery case as a vindication. Whereas his re-election bid nonetheless sounds pretty preposterous given approval rankings on par with the state’s direly unpopular governor. However WITH THE AID OF brazening out his scandal, Menendez hopes to be the newest beneficiary of the debt of shame as a public virtue. 

One for whom time has accomplished no favors, Though, is Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore

In The wake of preliminary accusations of creepy behavior BY WAY OF Moore as a prosecuting Lawyer in small-city Alabama, more than one different accusers stepped forward, some with memories even more harrowing than the unique. 

A defiant Moore and his supporters were attacking the accusers and claiming conspiracy, But It Is becoming clear that there’s enough cause of difficulty that Alabama voters are not likely to give him the chance to Represent the state. 

The earlier pipe dream of Senate Republicans that in some way Moore can be elected after which kicked out of the Senate now appears just a little preposterous. 

Moore, who stands as the first particular person in political historical past to open a press conference about a sex scandal with a shaggy dog story about hemorrhoids, does now not seem likely to win. 

Democrat Doug Jones seems to be ably capitalizing on the scandal and increasingly more Republicans seem to have concluded that It Will be higher to have a average Democrat in that seat for 2 years than need to deal with the ongoing catastrophes of Moore. 

But When Moore had been to somehow pull out the win, don’t child your self that he would in some way be hastily booted out of the Senate. 

There’s a reason that Franken is so desperate to take the case of his accuser to the ethics committee: The Process is slow and, BY USING design, murky. Moore would have precisely The Identical advantages. 

One Day, two senators, one Senate nominee and three sleazy scandals. What a Thursday for the annals of self-governance. 

There Was a great deal of discussion as of late about the consequences of shamelessness in American politics. We had a just right dose of that Nowadays. 

However we should additionally remember the fact that these people in elected Place Of Business or aspiring to it, who yes themselves that they are Extra necessary than the lead to or their message, are steadily essentially the most liable to a lot of these stumbles.

THE RULEBOOK: INCENTIVIZED 
“It’s too authentic, then again disgraceful It Could Be to human nature, that international locations usually will make struggle every time they’ve a prospect of getting anything else THROUGH it… for the purposes and objects basically personal, similar to thirst for militia glory…” – John Jay, Federalist No. Four

TIME OUT: THE EVOLUTION OF THE DUNK
Atlantic: “The dunk has persevered because it came alive throughout the height of the civil-rights movement. There Were dunks earlier than then, after all, but the shifting social subtext of the ‘60s loaned the act a political relevancy. … The dunk Was Once unskilled, the traditionalists argued, and destroying the sanctity of the game. They put forth superbly reductive arguments, devoid of critical notion or inquiry, Nevertheless It stuck. The NCAA’s ban on dunking survived for just about a decade, unless 1976. The NCAA claimed the ban Was instituted to give protection to the avid gamers, however the NCAA Was Once Most Effective protecting white fragility. … The dunk marked a shift in a game that has veered in new guidelines because. Compared To Forty years in the past, the dunk isn’t what it as soon as Used To Be. There’s little room left for innovation, limited real property left to assert. … Each era solid from the one prior to, Each adding their very own inventive expression and personal stylistic tics.”

Flag on the play? – E-mail us at
HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM along with your guidelines, comments or questions.

SCOREBOARD
Trump internet job-approval rating: -20 factors
Exchange from one week ago: down 1.2 points

[President Trump’s SCORE is determined by subtracting his moderate job disapproval rating in the five most recent, methodologically sound public polls from his reasonable approval rating, calculated in The Identical model.]

I’LL TELL YOU WHAT: THE CANINE DAYS
This week Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt discuss President Trump’s in another country commute, the allegations against Choose Roy Moore and banana peppers. Plus, Chris shares the place he realized math and Dana vents about her Lambo, Lambert debacle. PAY ATTENTION AND SUBSCRIBE HERE

House PASSES TAX PACKAGE DEAL
NYT: “the home passed a sweeping rewrite of the tax code on Thursday, taking a big soar ahead as Republicans are trying to find to enact $1.5 trillion in tax cuts for businesses and folks and ship the primary Major legislative fulfillment of President Trump’s tenure. the home voted to 227 to 205 to approve the invoice, Rapidly after Mr. Trump got here to Capitol Hill to address Home Republicans. … The Republicans who voted no have been from big apple, New Jersey, California and North Carolina. The tax overhaul still faces significant barriers, as Republicans must align the home rules with a bill that is working its way during the Senate Finance Committee this week and contains large differences that should be bridged. Republicans are below force to get law to Mr. Trump’s desk BY USING Christmas, especially after failing in their attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act this year, despite the fact that their party has full keep watch over of presidency.”

Trump tells Home GOP: Welfare cuts to follow tax deal – Bloomberg: “President Donald Trump delivered a pep talk to deal with Republicans as they had been poised to MOVE a tax overhaul invoice Thursday afternoon and entreated them to next target executive welfare packages. Trump advised group in a Thursday seek advice from to the Capitol that ‘We’ve obtained to get this completed’ and then turn to slicing spending on welfare programs, Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz quoted the president as saying. Representative Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican, stated Trump didn’t share any preferences on the coverage differences between the home and Senate versions of the bill. ‘I are expecting he’ll be out on the road to promote it,’ Cole stated… Only about 10 Home Republicans had declared BY USING Wednesday that they’d vote no — and many of them noted a suggestion to repeal or restrict folks’ state and native tax deductions. … Republicans can spare 22 votes without Democratic beef up.”

Collins chilly toward ObamaCare mandate repeal in tax deal – 
Reuters: “A day after Senate Republican chief Mitch McConnell decided to link the 2 concerns in a risky strategy, [Susan Collins], a average Republican from Maine, Was citing knowledge that she referred to as worrisome, casting new doubts over the tax plan’s outlook. She instructed newshounds In The Capitol on Wednesday that her body of workers’s research showed pairing tax cuts with an efficient repeal of the individual mandate of Obamacare, formally referred to as the Reasonably Priced Care Act (ACA), generally is a mistake. ‘I’ve data that demonstrates for sure center-profits individuals and couples, who do not qualify for subsidies beneath the ACA … that the premium raise will outweigh the tax lower that they get,’ she mentioned.”

Tax plan could set off Medicare cuts – Bloomberg: “The Congressional Budget Place Of Business says the $1.5 trillion concept would set off $25 billion in computerized spending cuts next yr to Medicare, plus every other $111 billion in savings to different packages, including farm subsidies. That’s on account of a regulation referred to as Paygo. While some conservative Republicans would welcome the cuts, moderates In The party are more likely to flinch — and President Donald Trump has promised time and again to not lower Medicare. Waiving the automatic cuts may take 60 votes In The Senate, requiring make stronger from at least eight Democrats in a chamber Republicans keep watch over Fifty Two-48.”

CLINTON RESPONDS TO URANIUM ONE Different TIPS
Politico: “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has slammed President Donald Trump for suggesting that a unique prosecutor investigate her position Within The Uranium One deal… ‘Taking myself out of it, this is such an abuse of power and it goes right at the rule of legislation,’ Clinton advised Mom Jones in an interview posted Wednesday night. ‘… In The Event That They send a sign that we are going to be like some dictatorship … that rips on the cloth of the contract that we’ve that we can belief our justice Machine.’ On Tuesday, Clinton’s aides and allies commenced mounting a security to the unproven allegations BY MEANS OF some that she engaged in a quid professional quo as secretary of state: that in alternate for previous donations to the Clinton Basis, she licensed the sale of a Canadian firm, Uranium One, with mining pursuits In The U.S. to Rosatom, the Russian nuclear agency.”

The Decide’s Ruling: The Hillary Chronicles – Fox Information Senior Judicial Analyst Decide Andrew Napolitano examines the subsequent chapter of investigations involving the Clintons: “No Matter Comey’s purpose for not prosecuting Hillary Clinton and the DOJ’s ratification of it, the present DOJ is just not sure BY MEANS OF these erroneous choices. The evidence Within The public domain of Clinton’s espionage and bribery is more than enough to be presented to a grand jury. The Same cannot be mentioned about FBI involvements with the Steele file or the use of intelligence information for political functions, as a result of we don’t but recognize who did it, so we need aggressive investigation.” More HERE.

Kushner bought WikiLeaks, Russia emails in 2016 – Politico: “Jared Kushner acquired emails in September 2016 about WikiLeaks and about a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” and forwarded them to some other campaign reputable, according to a letter to his Lawyer from the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) mentioned Kushner failed to show over the related paperwork once they asked for them final month. ‘We savour your voluntary cooperation with the Committee’s investigation, but the production appears to were incomplete,’ the pair wrote in a letter dated Thursday to Kushner’s Legal Professional, Abbe Lowell.”

Hicks might be the lacking piece for Mueller – Politico: “Special ASSISTANCE Robert Mueller’s workforce is getting ready to interview the girl who’s considered all of it: Hope Hicks. She’s been A Part Of Donald Trump’s internal circle for years… As a senior White House adviser and now as communications director, she’s been In The room for moments essential to Mueller’s probe, which has grown to incorporate the president’s response to the Russia investigation itself. Hicks’ historical past with Trump makes her one of the vital More helpful witnesses for Mueller as he seems for insights into the president’s habits and moods. She additionally is among the few people Smartly positioned to recount the president’s reactions at more than a few moments because the Russia scandal has sidetracked his presidency — together with the Mueller appointment itself.”

Federal Decide orders for transparency in Trump file battle – Politico: “A federal Choose assigned to a battle between a House committee and the personal investigation firm at the back of the so-known as Trump dossier complained Wednesday that an excessive amount of of the legal struggle has been conducted in secret. At a brief listening to in U.S. District Court Docket in Washington, Choose Richard Leon instructed attorneys involved In The case that the dispute over the home Intelligence Committee’s calls for for the bank records of investigative firm Fusion GPS is of Major public magnitude and must be taken care of with larger transparency. ‘If There Have Been ever a case the place [public access] is in one of the best pastime of all involved, that is one,’ stated Leon, an appointee of President George W. Bush. ‘This Isn’t the roughly case, in my judgment, the place there should be so much if any time in the back of the [closed] door, Except it’s important…’”

FBI gave Clinton E Mail probe Was labeled with ‘Different’ standing – The Hill: “Rapidly before ultimate 12 months’s election, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote an E Mail on his professional govt account pointing out that the Hillary Clinton E Mail probe had been given ‘Different’ standing, according to documents launched Wednesday. McCabe’s Oct. 23, 2016, E Mail to press officers Within The FBI stated the probe Was beneath the regulate of a small group of high-rating folks on the FBI’s headquarters in Washington. ‘As I now know the choice Was made to research it at HQ with a small team,’ McCabe wrote In The Electronic Mail. He mentioned he had no input when the Clinton E Mail investigation started in summer 2015, Whereas he Used To Be serving as assistant director accountable for the FBI’s Washington Workplace.”

Sessions to meet with House intelligence panel – Reuters: “U.S. Legal Professional Common Jeff Classes is scheduled to seem in the back of closed doors for an interview with the U.S. Home of Representatives’ intelligence committee on Nov. 30, a Department of Justice spokesman stated on Wednesday. The panel is among a few congressional committees, along with the Division of Justice’s Special TIPS Robert Mueller, investigating alleged Russian interference Within The 2016 presidential marketing campaign and possible collusion BY MEANS OF President Donald Trump’s campaign.”

Document: SENATORS REACH DEAL ON Heritage CHECKS 
Politico: “A bipartisan crew of senators has struck a deal to bolster a federal database used to Take A Look At the backgrounds of gun buyers In The aftermath of several recent mass shootings. The Brand New legislative push is led VIA Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), two highly effective figures of their respective events relating to gun coverage. Though their invoice has now not been formally launched, it ambitions the Nationwide Fast Felony Historical Past Test Device, which each senators have mentioned is deeply improper. Their plan is twofold, in line with two sources aware of it: One is to incentivize states to ship More details about Legal histories to the Gadget, referred to as NICS. States regularly aren’t required to do so, Except their own rules mandate it or they have got to do with the intention to receive federal funding. It Would also be sure that federal businesses observe thru on their own requirement that they send information to the database.”

HISPANIC CAUCUS REFUSES REPUBLICAN
WashEx: “A Democrats-Handiest Hispanic caucus denied Republican Carlos Curbelo’s membership request Thursday after weeks of hypothesis and a bitter dispute between the Florida congressman and members of the group. What first seemed to be a drama-free request BY MEANS OF Curbelo to sign up for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus turned into a bad feud that left many members of the caucus agitated. Some ended up accusing the Republican of Taking Part In politics. ‘After due consideration, the CHC decided not to settle for Rep. Curbelo’s request to enroll in the caucus,’ said CHC spokesperson Carlos Paz, Jr. ‘The CHC isn’t Simply an organization for Hispanics; it is a caucus that represents certain values. This vote displays the place of many of our participants that Rep. Curbelo and his file aren’t in step with these values.’ Curbelo known as the decisions ‘shameful’ and accused the caucus of building a wall around the group.”

PLAY-THROUGH-PLAY 
Trump administration launched principles on the disclosure of cyber flaws – Reuters

Zinke flagged for not properly documenting commute – WaPo

McCain urges Tillerson to finish State Division hiring freeze – The Hill

Sens. Tillis, Burr put Trump’s EPA chemical safety nomination in peril – The Hill

AUDIBLE: #SPIRITFINGERS
“Carry It On is a movie about high school cheerleaders.” – NRSC Executive Director Chris Hansen answered in a retweet of Roy Moore’s tweet saying, “Pricey Mitch McConnell, Carry. It. On.”

FROM THE BLEACHERS
“As so much as I take care of the Smartly-being of Each and ALL girls, I additionally care about protecting our democracy in opposition to mob rule no matter how worthwhile the lynchable offense. Nobody doubts that the timing of all these courageous latter-day accusations is politically prompted. So the conundrum is this: Will We put political candidates on notice that In The Event That They run for Place Of Job, they forfeit all rights to face their inevitable accusers of misdeeds in a Court Docket of regulation?” – Eric HutchinsSanta Barbara, Calif.

[Ed. observe: It’s without a doubt excellent to be concerned about the dangers of mob rule, Mr. Hutchins. However what we’re talking about RIGHT HERE is an election, now not a Criminal trial. Let’s consider it in a different way: If former industry pals of a candidate stepped ahead in a adequate number and with credible claims of shady practices towards a candidate, shouldn’t voters take that into consideration? A Part Of the problem RIGHT HERE is that after sex is concerned, reputational hurt comes Extra rapidly and with higher depth. But It Surely’s proper for voters to consider the persona of the people who searching for high Place Of Business. I don’t see a lot in the way in which of partisan political motivation from Moore’s accusers, But I don’t disagree that their effort is to disclaim him a Senate seat. That doesn’t make their claims unfaithful. Just as we ask juries to conclude Criminal guilt or innocence, we ask voters to render their judgement on political candidates. I Believe it’s fine for those issues to happen in an knowledgeable method.]

“Relating To the accusations towards Moore, Whereas it’s easy to think about that they’re politically motivated, we will’t deny the current motion of girls (and some Males) standing up against those who’ve abused them, spiraling out of events in Hollywood. It doesn’t seem particularly targeted along political strains, and Men of terrible character and judgement on both sides of the political spectrum must proceed to expect repercussions for their actions. It Can Be disheartening when a star or baby-kisser you’re a fan of gets knocked off their excessive horse for this type of factor, But we’re in zero tolerance territory RIGHT HERE. It’s truthful to be cautious about witch hunts and folks trolling for consideration, But IN THIS case it feels like an actual cultural drawback has been uncovered and there’s a direction correction taking place. I Just hope one thing positive sticks after the mud clears.” – Jim Montgomery, Frisco, Texas

[Ed. observe: Excellent level, Mr. Bernard Law Montgomery! We’re in a new world as it pertains to this difficulty, However what issues most are the lessons learned from this wrenching experience.]

“Why are all of the speaking heads after the GOP management in Congress to mitigate the affect of repealing state and local tax deductions? Put the force where it belongs – on state and native governments!” – Joanna Wragg, Bonita Springs, Fla.

[Ed. word: I take your level, Ms. Wragg. But for voters who would see their tax payments go up dramatically on account of this rules, It Could most certainly be wise responsible everybody concerned. That would include their Consultant in Congress. There Is A great deal that is unfair about the way state and federal governments levy taxes and distribute spending. Some states and cities could also be profiting from federal deductions to push taxes higher than would otherwise be politically palatable. However I’m certain that these hit BY MEANS OF a federal tax increase wouldn’t be a lot concerned about narrow-casting their blame.]  

“Only A quick notice of appreciation for what you do and the way in which you do it. Your day-to-day Record brightens my time at work Every afternoon. I Wanted to especially call out the respect you’ve on your readers and the journalistic establishment you’re part of. I Will Be Able To imagine few careers which invite the imply-spiritedness of others so much as politics, or being a political journalist who invitations and accepts feedback reminiscent of you. My recognize for you grows with Every giggle you elicit during the serious discourse of political banter, However Extra so from Each critique became apart from The Bleachers Within The respectful, professional manner you do. So many people lack the boldness and regulate to stay cool-headed In The face of criticism. Hats off to you, sir, for the example you put on your peers and readers.” – Matthew Caster, Dayton, Texas

[Ed. word: Smartly, shucks, Mr. Caster…]

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DOMINOS ARE FALLING IN THIS CRIME SPREE… 
AP: “Cops in a Massachusetts town jokingly suggest drivers get a bit of More creative If They make their very own unlawful license plates. The Hopkinton Police Department says in a Fb put up Sunday a driver Used To Be stopped with a license plate constructed from a pizza box. The Division discourages folks from making their very own plates. But When he or she does, the Department says to not use a cardboard box and felt tip pens. Hopkinton police say the motive force is going through fees that include working an uninsured and unregistered car and attaching ‘fake selfmade’ plates.”

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this Report. Want FOX Information Halftime Document on your inbox every day? Sign Up HERE.

 

Chris Stirewalt joined Fox Information Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based totally in Washington, D.C.



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