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Control of the Senate in 2022 Hinges on These 10 Races

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The fate of the U.S. Senate may hinge on the following top 5 battleground states: Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Wisconsin when the 2022 midterm election rolls around.

“For a few months, Georgia was the center of the American political universe. Biden painted the state the lightest shade of blue after decades of Republican wins, and Democrats flipped two Senate seats to capture control of the chamber. Now one of those winners, Sen. Raphael Warnock, is defending the seat he won in a special election in a potentially tougher political climate,” MSNBC reported. “A former pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Warnock has been a progressive voice in the Senate, advocating for voting rights and economic aid to struggling Americans.”

Warnock has a shot of winning the seat with his likely opponent being Herschel Walker, a University of Georgia football hero who won the Heisman Trophy in 1982.

In Arizona, retired NASA astronaut and Navy pilot Mark Kelly, who won a special election in 2020, is expected to win his re-election campaign for a six-year term next fall. The Democrat outperformed Biden by more than 40,000 votes in a historically red state that has become one of the most competitive in the country. His opponents are “election fraud” believers Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Blake Masters.

Switching over to Pennsylvania, “Democrats have their best chance at a Senate pickup here next year with an open seat left by the retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has dominated the fundraising race and is leading his chief rival, Rep. Conor Lamb, in primary polls. Also in the race are Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta,” MSNBC stated.

In Nevada, the matchup is set against first-term Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican former state attorney general Adam Laxalt, who is endorsed by Trump and the favorite of the party establishment in Washington. Laxalt was co-chair of Trump’s Nevada campaign and challenged the election results in the state after Biden won.

“Wisconsin has been a nail-biter in recent presidential elections. Trump won the state by less than 1 point in 2016 and lost it by less than 1 point in 2020,” according to the MSNBC report. “In the Democratic primary, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes has sought to solidify his early position, releasing an internal poll in the fall that shows him with a commanding lead, ahead of Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson… Will Republican incumbent Ron Johnson run for a third term? He has held his cards close to the vest and, earlier this month, punted again when NBC News asked if he’ll run. While Johnson defied skeptics in his 2010 and 2016 bids, Democrats see an opening to paint him outside the mainstream with his transformation into a culture warrior and his flirtation with the nativist ‘great replacement’ theory.”

An additional five races may help shape the future of the United States beginning in 2022.

In North Carolina, Democrats are backing former state Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley. The Granite State of New Hampshire was the GOP’s best chance to flip a Democratic seat next year — until Gov. Chris Sununu, the target of aggressive recruiting, decided against running so add another tally to the Democrats here. In Ohio, Republican Sen. Rob Portman is not seeking re-election, which leaves his seat up for the taking. It’s a tight one, but Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan is the front-runner in a primary that also includes Morgan Harper, a progressive attorney.

Moving over to Florida, Sen. Mark Rubio may be throwing his hat back into the presidential ring if he doesn’t win a third term, which could potentially go to Democratic Rep. Val Demings, however unlikely based on recent poll numbers.

Then there’s the deep-red state of Missouri where GOP voters nominated Eric Greitens — a former governor who left office mired in scandal — to succeed Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican not seeking re-election. The Republican field also includes state Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long and attorney Mark McCloskey, best known for waving a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters outside his St. Louis home in 2020, MSNBC reported. A poll of likely GOP primary voters this month by the political news service Missouri Scout found Greitens and Schmitt locked in a close race, with Hartzler a distant third.

Democrats currently lead the chamber, but will it hold? That’s the expensive question to be answered in 2022.

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Florida’s Rubio Challenged Over His Past Opposition to Disaster Relief — and Gets Fact-Checked

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With Florida reeling from the massive amount of damage — estimated in the billions — inflicted by Hurricane Ian, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) was asked by CNN host Dana Bash how to reconcile his request for financial help from the federal government given his opposition to similar requests from other states following a natural disaster.

In a rare appearance on CNN, Rubio tried to explain away his complaints about other funding bills by stating he felt they were larded with pork-barrel projects that he didn’t feel were justified.

“Senator, you wrote a letter Friday to the Senate Appropriations Committee asking for disaster relief dollars for desperately needed resources to rebuild Florida communities,” host Bash began. “After Hurricane Sandy hit northeastern states in 2012, you voted no on the $50 billion relief package.”

“I know you supported a smaller version,” she continued. “But why should other senators vote for relief for your state when you didn’t vote for a package to help theirs?”

RELATED: Florida GOP senator cornered on CNN over delayed evacuation order before Hurricane Ian hit

“Oh, I’ve always voted for hurricane and disaster relief,” the Florida Republican protested. “I’ve even voted for it without pay-fors. What I didn’t vote for in Sandy is because they included a roof for a museum in Washington, d.c., for fisheries in Alaska. It had been loaded up with things that had nothing to do with disaster relief.”

“I would never put out there we should use a disaster relief package for Florida as a way to pay for all kinds of other things people want around the country,” he continued. “So I think that’s that’s the key at moments like this. In Sandy, unfortunately, they loaded it up, they really did, with a bunch of things that had nothing to do with Sandy. I voted for every disaster relief package especially that’s clean and I’ll continue to do so. When it comes to Florida, we’ll do that again and make sure the package is clean and doesn’t have stuff for other people in there.”

“I read the congressional research report and the roof was damaged.” Bash corrected him. “In any event, my question is about the future. Are you telling me that if Hurricane Ian relief contains anything that smells like pork, you’ll vote no?”

“Sure. I’ll fight against it having pork in it– that’s the key,” he responded.

Watch below or at the link:

 

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Republicans suggest defunding Veteran Affairs even though it helps 9 million vets

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Republican legislators are starting to suggest defunding the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the office founded in 1989 to assist with veteran needs. The VA assists with getting veterans mental and physical healthcare, educational opportunities, community support, and other everyday housing and living needs.

An Arizona legislator, captured on video participating in a mock congressional hearing, said he supported shutting down the department.

“That’s sort of what I’m thinking because … I hear no good stories. I had zero in my district,” the legislator said in a video posted by the far-right watchdog group Patriot Takes. “So I guess it’s a matter of us leading the fight to defund it.”

A second video, posted by the same account, showed Republican Florida Representative Matt Gaetz advocating for defunding the VA while speaking at an event held by FreedomWorks, a conservative and libertarian advocacy group.

“This is my question to the group. Is it savable? Why not abolish the VA, take all of the money that we are otherwise spending and go to an any willing provider system inside of our communities?” Gaetz says in the video. “And then, if people get bad care, they can vote with their feet and you don’t have a two-tier system of healthcare in this country with our veterans and then with everyone else.”

Generally speaking, Republican policies favor the privatization of all government functions, thinking that a “small government,” “free-market,” “for-profit” privatization provided by a corporation can solve any market ill.

In reality, if entire communities are deprived of VA access, U.S. military veterans will be left largely on their own to get their life needs met after military service. Those who lack money or transportation won’t be able to “vote with their feet” and find a local care provider to handle their specific issues… they’ll either have to spend massive amounts to get such essential care or just go without.

In late July, 41 Senate Republicans voted against a bill aimed at protecting veterans exposed to toxic materials during their military service. The legislation would have expanded care to 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. It would have also added 23 toxic and burn pit exposure-related illnesses to the VA database, Newsweek reported.

After massive blowback, Senate Republicans re-voted on the bill and helped it pass.

Patriot Takes posted the video hoping that it would encourage veterans and military members to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections.

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Former GOP Congressman Has ‘Legitimate Concerns’ Clarence Thomas Was Involved in ‘Push to Overturn the Election’

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Questions surfaced after Justice Clarence Thomas was the only member of the U.S. Supreme Court to oppose the release of Mark Meadows’ texts and information to the Jan. 6 committee. It turned out that in those text messages that the justice didn’t want revealed were communications with his wife.

Former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), wrote in his new book that he thinks Justice Thomas is far more involved in his wife Ginni Thomas’ 2020 election overthrow attempts.

Riggleman, who left the committee in April, included many of the text messages that had previously been released from Ginni Thomas, along with the note that he had a difficult time trying to get the House Select Committee to sound the alarm on her actions.

“Supreme Court spouses are typically low profile. Ginni’s involvement with political groups had already led to questions about whether Clarence would need to recuse himself in cases with a political component,” wrote Riggleman. If Clarence had been in the logs, it would be a much bigger deal than all that. When I began to suspect Ginni and Clarence had texted with Meadows, I put together a technical brief outlining how we might be able to cement the identifications.”

IN OTHER NEWS: GOP lawmaker leaves people baffled with his opinion of drug seizures

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) called him to express concern that telling Americans that such an influential figure had gone full-Q. Cheney was worried it would turn the whole committee into a political sideshow and overshadow all of the other work the committee was doing. The release of Riggleman’s book has left the committee members furiousover possible leaks after spending a year with so few.

Riggleman persisted in pressing Cheney to tell Americans about the Thomases.

“The committee needed to show the American people that there was an organized, violent effort to reverse the election—and that there were indications it could have been directed by the White House,” he wrote. “Thanks to their prominence, Ginni and Clarence would make a lot of headlines, but those headlines might overwhelm the other important work we were doing.”

The conversation with Cheney didn’t go well, with the two “type A personalities” duking-out their arguments. Riggleman argued that data wasn’t political. It wasn’t right or wrong.

“I also thought that, given Clarence’s position and Ginni’s prominence in conservative circles, the American public had to know what she had been up to,” argued Riggleman. “Some of the messages went beyond simply cheering Meadows on. It was legitimate for me to have concerns as to whether a Supreme Court justice had been involved in the legally questionable push to overturn the election. Was it possible that one of the country’s nine top judges was on board with an authoritarian interpretation of the Constitution? The implications were overwhelming. Cheney found it all improbable. I think she still had more faith in the institutional GOP than I did at that point.”

Riggleman’s book, The Breach, is on sale now and Raw Story has complete coverage here.

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