44 ex-senators warn the U.S. is ‘entering a dangerous period’
A bipartisan group of nearly four dozen former senators warned current and future members of the Senate on Monday that the United States is “entering a dangerous period,” and urged them to defend America’s democracy by serving national interests rather than political ideologies.
“We are on the eve of the conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation and the House’s commencement of investigations of the president and his administration,” the 44 ex-lawmakers wrote in an op-ed published by The Washington Post. “The likely convergence of these two events will occur at a time when simmering regional conflicts and global power confrontations continue to threaten our security, economy and geopolitical stability.”
The senators continued: “It is a time, like other critical junctures in our history, when our nation must engage at every level with strategic precision and the hand of both the president and the Senate. We are at an inflection point in which the foundational principles of our democracy and our national security interests are at stake, and the rule of law and the ability of our institutions to function freely and independently must be upheld.”
Thousands of mailed ballots in Florida were not counted
Florida officials say thousands of mailed ballots were not counted because they were delivered too late to state election offices.
The Department of State late last week informed a federal judge that 6,670 ballots were mailed ahead of the Nov. 6 election but were not counted because they were not received by Election Day. The tally prepared by state officials includes totals from 65 of Florida’s 67 counties. The two counties yet to report their totals are Palm Beach, a Democratic stronghold in south Florida, and Polk in central Florida.
A group called VoteVets Action Fund along with two Democratic organizations filed a lawsuit a few days after the 2017 election that argued the ballots should count if they were mailed before Election Day.
But U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said the restriction was reasonable and that Florida election officials have a right to establish deadlines. He turned down an emergency request that all properly postmarked ballots received up to 10 days after the election be counted.
The lawsuit, however, is still pending and Walker asked that state election officials report how many ballots were mailed before Election Day but ultimately were not counted.
State officials testified in court that nearly 4,000 mailed-in ballots were set aside because local officials decided the signatures on did not match. The Department of State last week informed Walker that his ruling resulted in 637 votes being counted in the final totals.
GOP Senator Orrin Hatch Flatly Says He Doesn’t Care if Trump Was ‘Involved in Crimes’
Orrin Hatch is the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. Senate–like, ever. As such, his words carry at least a modicum of authority among his caucus. Hatch, in his own words, doesn’t care if President Donald Trump broke the law.
CNN’s Manu Raju caught up with Hatch late Monday afternoon and asked Utah’s senior senator about the Friday news that prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) had determined Trump directed his longtime attorney and fixer Michael Cohen to commit campaign finance violations. Hatch was unshaken.
“The Democrats will do anything to hurt this president,” the long-serving senator said.
Hatch elaborated on his steadfast support for the 45th president:
«I don’t think he was involved in crimes but even then, you know, you can make anything a crime under the current laws; if you want to you can blow it way out of proportion–you can do a lot of things.»
The Senator who grew up in poverty knows a thing or two about making something out of nothing.
Ocasio-Cortez: Paul Ryan got called a ‘genius’ when he was elected at 28, I get accused of being ‘a fraud’
“Double standards are Paul Ryan being elected at 28 and immediately being given the benefit of his ill-considered policies considered genius; and me winning a primary at 28 to immediately be treated with suspicion & scrutinized, down to my clothing, of being a fraud,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, linking to an article from Vox editor-at-large Ezra Klein entitled “Paul Ryan’s long con.”
Ocasio-Cortez is considered to be a rising progressive star in the Democratic Party, and, at 28, became the youngest woman elected to Congress last month.
She’s drawn attention for being increasingly outspoken in the weeks after she earned a New York House seat. Among other things, she’s called for more young people to run for Congress, saying it is key for the body to “represent the American people.”
“Frankly, if we’re not in the halls of Congress, then Congress isn’t working, which is why we need way more young people in office,” she said. Ocasio-Cortez has also confirmed that she will pay her interns at least $15 an hour.