Jim Newell
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Do You Really Have to Watch the Debates?

Do You Really Have to Watch the Debates?

Over the course of four hours Wednesday and Thursday nights, the Democratic presidential candidates will debate for the first time this cycle. That’s both an excruciatingly long time to listen to Democrats and not much time at all, since those four hours will be divided among 20 candidates. The debates, in Miami, will run from 9 to 11 p.m. each night on NBC. The debate lineups, thanks to the Democratic National Committee and its propensity for meddling, lack coherence. On Wednesday night, the fastest-rising candidate in the field, Elizabeth Warren, will not face off against the other...

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Jim Newell
June 26, 2019
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How Joe Manchin Brought the Senate to a Screeching Halt

How Joe Manchin Brought the Senate to a Screeching Halt

AdvertisementAdvertisementThe first of many, many votes expected during the Senate’s consideration of Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill began around 11 a.m. Friday, with a vote on the As of 9:11 p.m. Friday night, here’s how many votes the Senate had completed: Zero. The minimum wage vote was still open, and had become theDemocrats were stalling to work out a big, predictable problem known as Joe Manchin.AdvertisementDemocrats had been attempting all week to work out internal disagreements on the bill before it came to the floor. They reached a deal on for direct payments. And on...

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Jim Newell
Mar 6
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Kelly Loeffler Serves Up Cold Trumpism Against Raphael Warnock

Kelly Loeffler Serves Up Cold Trumpism Against Raphael Warnock

Near the end of the Georgia Senate runoff debate Sunday night, moderators asked Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who was ultimately cleared in her insider trading investigation earlier this year, whether members of Congress should be barred from trading stocks.“Look,” she responded. “What’s at stake here, in this election, is the American Dream.”Loeffler is trying to grind out a win against Rev. Raphael Warnock more on the strength of QAnon than on that of the suburban women whom Gov. Brian Kemp felt she could appeal to when he appointed her earlier this year to the seat left empty by the retirement of...

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Jim Newell
Dec 7
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Neera Tanden’s Mean Tweets Might Doom Her Cabinet Nomination After All

Neera Tanden’s Mean Tweets Might Doom Her Cabinet Nomination After All

AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementOffice of Management and Budget director nominee Neera Tanden appreciated senators’ concerns about her She regretted calling Mitch McConnell “Voldemort,” and Susan Collins “the worst,” or tweeting that “vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz.” She regretted tweets insinuating that Russians hacked actual voting machines, to Donald Trump’s benefit, in the 2016 election. On the other side, she regretted fighting with profane Bernie Sanders–loving Marxist egg accounts about the prudence of pursuing single-payer health care legislation. She performed this...

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Jim Newell
Feb 20
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Democrats Prepare to Move on COVID Relief Without Republican Help

Democrats Prepare to Move on COVID Relief Without Republican Help

Senate Republicans don’t want to spend the $1.9 trillion on COVID relief that the Biden administration is proposing. None of them. Not Susan Collins, not Lisa Murkowski, not the eight other Republicans to their right that Democrats would need to get 60 votes. They don’t think it’s necessary. Most Senate Republicans haven’t thought broad . Mitch McConnell had to drag the conference into spending $900 billion at the end of 2020 in advance of the Georgia runoffs. Now they’re done.AdvertisementGiven that reality, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are teeing up the budget reconciliation...

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Jim Newell
Jan 29
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The Senate Is Still Arguing Over Who Controls the Senate

The Senate Is Still Arguing Over Who Controls the Senate

AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementOn Thursday afternoon, reporters asked Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin if he could tell them who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Was it Sen. Lindsey Graham, who had chaired it in the last Congress? Was it Sen. Chuck Grassley, who’s reclaiming his senior Republican status on the committee this Congress? Or was it Durbin, who’s supposed to be the new chairman under the new Democratic majority?Durbin told reporters he wasn’t sure. “We know it could be one of three people,” he said.AdvertisementThe Senate is weird right now. Democrats took the...

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Jim Newell
Jan 22
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Senate Parliamentarian Blocks $15 Minimum Wage

Senate Parliamentarian Blocks $15 Minimum Wage

AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementDemocrats hoping to increase the minimum wage in their COVID relief bill were handed a crushing defeat Thursday night. Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough advised that the increase was not allowed in budget reconciliation legislation, the process Democrats are using to bypass a Senate filibuster on their COVID relief bill.MacDonough’s decision was short and to the point, according to a Senate source. In her view, the budgetary impact of a minimum wage increase was to its non-budgetary impact. That would make it a violation of the Byrd Rule, the...

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Jim Newell
Feb 26
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The Future of the Senate Comes Down to These Seven Races

The Future of the Senate Comes Down to These Seven Races

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Surge, Slate’s 2020 campaign newsletter in which we take a look at if you have not voted yet, do not put your ballot in the mail. Drop it off at a ballot drop box or vote in person.This will be our last Senate ranking of the cycle, unless we find a way to break down two potential January runoffs with four possible candidates in Georgia seven different ways. In this final edition, we find that all of the races that would determine control of the Senate are within the margin of error and question God’s plan for us. The algorithm this week instructed...

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Jim Newell
Oct 30
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What’s Going On With Mitch McConnell’s Hands?

What’s Going On With Mitch McConnell’s Hands?

Subscribe to Slate Plus to support our politics coverage. You’ll get unlimited articles and bonus segments on your favorite podcasts.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been trying to walk with his right hand in his pocket this week when photographers are around. But even a politician as deliberate as Mitch McConnell can’t help but allow the ol’ digits to breathe every now and then. And at the Senate Republican leadership press conference on Tuesday afternoon, his right hand looked like this:And his mouth looked like this:The photos began spreading on Twitter later that day. Unlike...

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Jim Newell
Oct 23
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Bernie Sanders Loyalists Seize Control of the Nevada Democratic Party

Bernie Sanders Loyalists Seize Control of the Nevada Democratic Party

AdvertisementAdvertisementThe 2016 Nevada Democratic convention . Bernie Sanders state delegates, who’d tried to out-organize Hillary Clinton delegates to eke out a few more spots to the national convention, felt the party establishment had rigged the process against them, just as they felt the party establishment had rigged things a few months earlier. Chairs , the state party chair received death threats, and the convention had to be wrapped up abruptly because things had gotten so out of control. Democratic Party officials worried about whether this would be a prelude to a messy...

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Jim Newell
Mar 11
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