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South Dakota governor pushes back against Trump's call for her to challenge Thune for his Senate seat

January 2, 2021 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

As President Donald Trump continues his attempts to divide the Republican Party, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) is pushing back against his call for her to run against Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and challenge him for his Senate seat.

On Friday, Jan. 1, Trump tweeted his praises of Noem as he shared his expectations of her for the upcoming 2022 primary election, according to the Angus-Leader.

“I hope to see the great Governor of South Dakota [Kristi Noem], run against RINO @SenJohnThune, in the upcoming 2022 Primary,” Trump tweeted. “She would do a fantastic job in the U.S. Senate, but if not Kristi, others are already lining up. South Dakota wants strong leadership, NOW!”

In response to Trump’s remarks, Noem pushed back again. Ian Fury, the governor’s communications director, told the publication that her “position hasn’t changed.” Although Trump also claimed others are lining up to challenge Thune for his seat, no potential candidates have been reported.

Trump’s latest attack aimed at Thune follows the Republican senator’s pushback against the president’s efforts to overturn the presidential election.

In December, Thune was one of the few Republican lawmakers to accept the election results and acknowledging President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. He also made it clear that he saw no evidence of voter fraud and has no intention of challenging the Electoral College as he admitted that he believes the legal challenges will go nowhere.

“In the Senate, it would go down like a shot dog,” said Thune. “I just don’t think that it makes a lot of sense to put everybody through this when you know what the ultimate outcome is going to be.”

As expected, Thune’s remarks angered Trump as it is no secret that the president views opposing opinions as a form of betrayal. However, the Republican governor shared a different perspective of the previous calls for her to challenge Thune for his Senate seat.

At that time, Noem tweeted, “[John Thune] is a friend of mine, and I will not be challenging him. I’m honored to be Governor of South Dakota and will ask the people to give me an opportunity to continue serving them as Governor in 2022.

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Source: ALTERNET

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Ted Cruz and more than 10 other senators are now threatening to challenge the Electoral College vote

January 2, 2021 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

As January 6 approaches, more Republican lawmakers are joining the Trump bandwagon to challenge the Electoral College vote despite having no substantial evidence of widespread voter fraud to suggest the presidential election was rigged.

On Saturday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) along with Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Senators-Elect Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) released a statement just days ahead of the Electoral College certification process.

According to Cruz, he and the 10 named senators are demanding an “emergency 10-day audit” of the election results. If their demands are not met, they will reject the Electoral College certification affirming President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

“We should follow that precedent. To wit, Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states,” the statement reads, “Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.”

“Accordingly, we intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed.”

While the senators are requesting for Trump’s 75 million voters to be considered, their contradictory stance also ignores the 80 million voters who cast ballots for Biden.

“When the voters fairly decide an election, pursuant to the rule of law, the losing candidate should acknowledge and respect the legitimacy of that election,” Cruz wrote, adding, “And, if the voters choose to elect a new office-holder, our Nation should have a peaceful transfer of power.”

The Republican lawmakers also claimed their actions are “not to thwart the democratic process” although they are aiming to overturn the presidential election without concrete, probable cause for doing so.

“These are matters worthy of the Congress, and entrusted to us to defend. We do not take this action lightly. We are acting not to thwart the democratic process, but rather to protect it,” the statement read. “And every one of us should act together to ensure that the election was lawfully conducted under the Constitution and to do everything we can to restore faith in our Democracy.”

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Source: ALTERNET

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A party divided: Lindsey Graham slams Mitch McConnell

January 2, 2021 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is pushing back against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) over his adamant refusal to bring a vote to the Senate floor for $2,000 direct payments to American workers.

In a Senate session on Thursday, Dec. 31, McConnell argued that the sharp increase in stimulus payment amount would be a form of “socialism for the rich.” The top-ranking Republican senator, also a multi-millionaire, offered a relatively out-of-touch perspective of the proposed stimulus increase.

“Borrowing from our grandkids to do socialism for rich people is a terrible way to get help to families who actually need it,” McConnell said.

However, Graham made it clear he blatantly disagrees with McConnell’s stance. On Friday, Jan. 1, he took to Twitter as he argued that the increase is not a form of socialism but rather a necessity.

“With all due respect to my Republican colleagues, a $2k direct payment for individuals and families who are struggling is not socialism,” Graham said. “In my view, it is necessary in the times in which we live.”

“The country is being overwhelmed by #COVID, hospitals are full, and business are hanging by a thread. Direct payments may not be the most efficient way to help people in need but, given the situation we face are extremely necessary,” he continued.

Graham also reiterated that President Donald Trump had also requested the increase as he called for a “standalone vote” for the “Going from $600 to $2,000 doesn’t make you a socialist,” Graham said in a tweet. “Mr. President, keep fighting for the American people who are suffering. Insist on a standalone vote.”

Despite the bipartisan calls for a vote on increased stimulus payments, McConnell continues to ignore the needs of the American people only focusing on pursuing his own agenda. Business Insider requested comments from the White House but received no response as of yet.

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Source: ALTERNET

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Gone too far? Trump campaign tries to distance itself from Lin Wood after bizarre tweets about Mike Pence

January 2, 2021 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

Trump campaign lawyer Lin Wood may have gone off the deep end with his latest threatening tweet aimed at Vice President Mike Pence.

On Friday, Jan. 1, Wood took to Twitter with a barrage of tweets as he slammed Democrats and Republicans of being “main participants in the theft of the election,” according to The Daily Beast. Wood also claimed that Pence, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) should be arrested for alleged treason. He suggested that Pence should face “execution by firing squad.”

“When arrests for treason begin, put Chief Justice John Roberts, VP Mike Pence @VP @Mike_Pence, & Mitch McConnell @senatemajldr at top of list,” Wood tweeted.

Then, he replied to another Twitter user saying “If Pence is arrested, @SecPompeo will save the election. Pence will be in jail awaiting trial for treason. He will face execution by firing squad. He is a coward & will sing like a bird & confess ALL.”

It did not take long for Wood’s tweets to catch the attention of Twitter users. Trump’s campaign has sought to distance from Wood’s dangerous remarks. Jenna Ellis, one of Trump’s campaign lawyers, also spoke out against Wood tweeting, “To be clear: I do not support the statements from Attorney Lin Wood. I support the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution.”

In fact, Wood’s disturbing tweets even caught the attention of his former client, Nick Sandmann, the conservative teen who Wood represented in his defamation case against multiple news outlets. He also admitted how disturbing and bizarre Wood’s tweets were.

“I’m sorry but what the hell,” Sandmann tweeted.

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Who could follow Trump? Here are the top five GOP contenders for 2024

January 2, 2021 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

President Donald Trump’s dark cloud may remain over the Republican Party for years to come but there are a number of leaders and lawmakers within the party who may be looking to emerge as conservative frontrunners ahead of the 2024 presidential election. The Hill has offered a detailed breakdown of the top five Republicans who could be at the forefront of the party by 2024.

Former North Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R): Not only is Haley an experienced politician but she was also appointed as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under the Trump administration. According to the publication, there is an “easy” case to justify Haley possibly running for president in 2024 simply because she is “cut from more conventional ideological cloth than the president, as a mainstream, pro-business Republican.”

It’s easy to make the case for Haley: Her role in the Trump administration aligns her with the president and gives her some good will with his supporters. At the same time, she has other assets that could appeal to the kind of well-educated suburbanites who turned against Trump with decisive effect in November.

Although some of Trump’s fierce supporters have been apprehensive about Haley, the publication believes she would still be a strong contender for the Republican Party.

Vice President Mike Pence (R): For several months, there has been speculation that Pence would run for president. Following Election Day, Pence made more of an effort to watch his words and steer clear of Trump’s post-presidential legal battle. While it is possible for Pence to emerge as the 2024 Republican presidential candidate due to the position he holds now and his close affiliation to Trump, he could be faced with challenges to gain conservative voters.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) As a deeply conservative lawmaker, Cotton, a U.S. Army veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is positioned to be a frontrunner for right-wing voters. The Hill also highlights how Cotton holds controversial views on key issues plaguing the country. Amid nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd, Cotton penned a controversial editorial published by the New York Times.

His views on race have stoked controversy, however. A furor followed the publication of a New York Times op-ed he wrote in June, amid protests over the killing of George Floyd, headlined “Send in the Troops.” In it, Cotton called for “an …read more

Source: ALTERNET