Tonight Is The First Democratic Debate Of 2016 – Not That The DNC is Doing Much To Tell Anyone
Trump gets thousands of hours of free advertising called cable news stories, the GOP has had twice as many debates as the Democrats have â€“ why is the DNC not working hard to energize Democrats and promote democratic candidates?
You’ve heard the criticismsÂ before, that Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC are trying to hand the election to Hillary Clinton by not scheduling many debates and scheduling them at times most people aren’t around to watch.Â
Who knows if that’s true. But whether you’re a Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton or Martin O’Malley supporter, you have to agree that while the intent of the DNC is anyone’s guess, it’s clear the Democratic National Committee has done far too little to promote its presidential candidates.
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Personally, this isn’t about picking winners or losers, this is about getting as many people as possible excited about where progressives want to take this country, and about advancing important liberal ideas and policies that will advance the nation. And, quite frankly, as a matter of pride, it’s about showing the country as a whole that any Democratic presidential candidateÂ is a far better choice than any Republican to lead America.
Today, Sunday, January 17, at 9:00 PM is the first Democratic presidential debate, and yet, you might not even be aware of it.
The DNC has “promoted” the event over the past 24 hours with all of two Facebook posts and four tweets.
Put this in your calendar for tomorrow night ðŸ“† Fourth Democratic Debate 9pm-11pm ET NBC News and YouTubeÂ pic.twitter.com/9Qbpbt0Kwp
â€” The Democrats (@TheDemocrats)Â January 16, 2016
Tonight Democrats will be talking about… #DemDebate https://t.co/foAvBooXcu
â€” The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) January 17, 2016
Sadly, even the few social media posts the DNC has put out are ho-hum, boring:
Miss grown-up conversations in Thursday’s #GOPDebate? Tune in to #DemDebate tonight to hear what adults sound like. pic.twitter.com/t9EzABkBnq
â€” The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) January 17, 2016
Sure, Democrats are the adults in the political sphere, by far especially this presidential cycle, but there are so many important issues Democrats are passionate about. Why hasn’t the DNC does much to mention them? It’s like they’re not even trying.Â
And the network that’s carrying the debate tonight, NBC, has done far less than Fox News does when it hosts a GOP debate.Â
Even Fox Business â€“Â not even the main Fox News channel, but Fox Business â€“Â which hostedÂ the last GOP debate this past Thursday, worked much harder in TV ads and on social media to attract an audience than NBC News and MSNBC have.
And the numbers from previous debates certainly show.
“Missed last Saturdayâ€™s Democratic debate?,” PBS asked nearly a month ago, about the December 19 debateÂ â€“ that was, yes, the Saturday before Christmas, traditionally one of the busiest holiday shopping days. “Youâ€™re not alone: 6.7 million people tuned into the New Hampshire face-off, according to Nielsen ratings. By contrast, 18 million viewers watched the Republican debate, which was held four days earlier in Las Vegas.”
NEW:Â Watch Live Here â€“ Plus Everything You Need To Know About Watching Tonight’s Democratic Debate
It wasn’t only those two debates where viewershipÂ â€“ a credible measure of interest in candidates, issues, parties, and campaignsÂ â€“ were dramatically, if not exponentiallyÂ different.
“The first two Republican debates of this cycle â€“ in August and September of this year â€“ each topped 23 million viewers, a new high,” PBS reports, adding that the October Democratic debate hit 15 million viewers.
On Tuesday, November 10, the GOP debate drew 13.5 million viewers. By contrast, the Saturday night, November 14 Democratic debate drew 8.5 million viewers.
This tweet from political pundit Gottalaff perfectly puts these numbers in perspective:
#DemDebate viewers v #GOPDebate viewers via @maddow Entire video segment: https://t.co/5R7lCeZAoG pic.twitter.com/QC9P1VeFdm
â€” GottaLaff (@GottaLaff) January 17, 2016
You might think, given these pathetic viewership numbers, the DNC (and the networks carrying the debates, for that matter) would pull out all the stops to get voters interested and maybe even excited in watching the debate.
Sadly, you’d be wrong.
UPDATE: As several of our readers on Facebook have noted, there’s an NFL game that could run over and take away viewers, and tonight is the premiere of the final season of Downton Abbey, just to make it even harder to get viewers to watch the debate.
Image via The Democrats/Twitter
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Debt Ceiling: McCarthy Faces ‘Lingering Anger’ and a Possible Revolt as Far-Right House Members Start Issuing Threats
As House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) continues to negotiate a deal to avoid a debt crisis, members of the far-right Freedom Caucus are growing furious with him over broken promises he made to them.
According to MSNBC political analyst Steve Benen, with a slim GOP majority in the House, McCarthy is walking a tightrope to get a budget deal passed and may need help from House Democrats if members of his caucus refuse to go along with him.
As Benen points out, in order to win the speakership McCarthy agreed to an easier path for a motion to “vacate the chair” which could end his tenure as Speaker. That could come into play if the Freedom Caucus stages a revolt.
“… as the negotiations approach an apparent finish line, the House Republicans’ most radical faction is learning that it isn’t likely to get everything its members demanded — and for the Freedom Caucus, that’s not going to work,” he wrote in his MSNBC column.
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Citing a Washington Times report that stated, “[Freedom Caucus members] want everything from the debt limit bill passed by the House last month plus several new concessions from the White House,” Benen suggested far-right House Republicans are now issuing veiled threats.
In an interview, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) stated, “I am going to have to go have some blunt conversations with my colleagues and the leadership team. I don’t like the direction they are headed.”
With Politico reporting, “The [House Freedom Caucus] was already unlikely to support a final bipartisan deal, but lingering anger with Kevin McCarthy could have lasting implications on his speakership,” Benen added, “If this is simply a matter of lingering ill-will from members who come to believe that GOP leaders ‘caved,’ the practical consequences might be limited. But let’s also not forget that McCarthy, while begging his own members for their support during his protracted fight for the speaker’s gavel, agreed to tweak the motion-to-vacate-the-chair rules, which at least in theory, would make it easier for angry House Republicans to try to oust McCarthy from his leadership position.”
Adding the caveat that he is not predicting an imminent McCarthy ouster he added, “But if the scope of the Freedom Caucus’ discontent reaches a fever pitch, a hypothetical deal clears thanks to significant Democratic support, don’t be surprised if we all start hearing the phrase ‘vacate the chair” a lot more frequently.”
Prosecutors Tell Trump They Have a Recording of Him and a Witness: Report
Prosecutors in Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial have notified the ex-president’s attorneys they have a recording of him and a witness. The notification comes in the form of an automatic discovery form, CBS News reports, which “describes the nature of the charges against a defendant and a broad overview of the evidence that prosecutors will present at Trump’s preliminary hearing or at trial.”
CBS reports prosecutors have handed the recording over to Trump’s legal team.
It’s not known who the witness is, nor are any details known publicly about what the conversation entails, or even if it is just audio or if it includes video.
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According to the article’s author, CBS News’ Graham Kates, via Twitter, prosecutors say they also have recordings between two witnesses, a recording between a witness and a third party, and various recordings saved on a witness’s cell phones.
Manhattan prosecutors disclosed to Trump a recording of him and a witness in his criminal case. pic.twitter.com/EIz3bvpEkj
— Graham Kates (@GrahamKates) May 26, 2023
Trump is facing 34 felony counts in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case related to his allegedly unlawful attempt to hide hush money payoffs to a well-known porn star by falsifying business records to protect his 2016 presidential campaign.
See the discovery form above or at this link.
Image via Shutterstock
‘Likely to Be Indicted Soon’: Trump Might Face Seven Different Felonies, Government Watchdog Says
It’s no secret the U.S. Dept. of Justice is investigating Donald Trump for his role in attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and for his likely unlawful removal, retention, and refusal to return hundreds of documents with classified and top secret markings.
Earlier this week Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal reported, “Special counsel Jack Smith has all but finished obtaining testimony and other evidence in his criminal investigation into whether former President Donald Trump mishandled classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort.”
And while it’s unknown if or when Trump will be indicted, a government watchdog says the ex-president who is once again staging a White House run is “likely to be indicted soon.” The organization is offering details on what it claims could be seven felony charges he might face.
“The next criminal charges former President Donald Trump may face could well come from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump’s possession of nearly 300 classified documents — including some marked as top secret — at his Mar-a-Lago residence and business in the year and a half after he left office,” Betsy Schick and Debra Perlin of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) state in a lengthy report published Friday.
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“While Fani Willis’ Fulton County, Georgia investigation into election interference continues, as does a federal investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and Alvin Bragg has already indicted Trump in New York for his role in false statements connected to hush money payments to Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) during the 2016 presidential campaign, an indictment by Smith in the Mar-a-Lago investigation would yield the first federal charges against the former president,” CREW notes.
“Trump may face charges ranging from obstruction of justice and criminal contempt to conversion of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material.”
Here is a list of “possible crimes” Trump might be charged with, according to CREW:
Obstruction of justice (18 U.S.C. § 1519)
Criminal contempt (18 U.S.C. § 402)
False statements to federal authorities (18 U.S.C. § 1001)
Conversion of government property (18 U.S.C. § 641)
Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material (18 U.S.C. § 1924)
Removing and concealing government records (18 U.S.C. § 2071)
Gathering national defense information (18 U.S.C. § 793(e))
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CREW also offers that Trump’s attorneys may try to argue several different defenses, including:
No “knowing” removal
Deference to the intelligence community
Challenging the constitutionality of the Special Counsel regulations
Additionally, several reports this week also appear to suggest an indictment might be coming, and soon.
Citing a Washington Post report published Thursday, several top legal experts are predicting DOJ will charge Donald Trump, and those charges will include obstruction and violations of the Espionage Act.
Earlier this week NYU School of Law professor of law Ryan Goodman said Dept. of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith had struck “gold” after obtaining the contemporaneous notes of a Trump attorney who counseled the ex-president on his possibly unlawful handling of classified documents.
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