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7 questions heading into 10-candidate Democratic debate

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7 questions heading into 10-candidate Democratic debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — And then there were 10.

The Democratic Party’s strongest presidential contenders — according to polls and fundraising, at least — meet on the same debate stage for the first time Thursday night.

The lineup in Houston will be different but the dynamic familiar: Former Vice President Joe Biden will fight to preserve his front-runner status as a crowded stage of lower-tier candidates scrap for attention and momentum any way they can. Opportunities and risks abound for a race that is far from settled.

Seven big questions heading into the third Democratic debate, to be carried on ABC:

HOW WILL INTERNAL DIVISIONS PLAY OUT WITH A COMPLETELY NEW GROUP?

These 10 have never shared the stage before. Biden and Elizabeth Warren will stand shoulder-to-shoulder for the first time and may attract much of the pre-event hype, but any number of significant friction points could emerge in a group that highlights the extraordinary diversity of the 2020 class. There will be three women on stage, four racial minorities, one gay man and an age gap that spans four decades. Don’t forget about the ideological divide that features a democratic socialist on one side and an establishment-backed moderate on the other. There will almost certainly be fireworks on multiple fronts, especially with the second-tier candidates desperate for a breakout moment.


WHERE HAVE ALL THE MODERATES GONE?

This moment marks a dramatic contraction of the Democratic Party’s 2020 class, which has essentially been cut in half — for now, at least. Suddenly gone are several outspoken moderate voices — former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan — who were not shy in previous debates about warning the party against nominating someone too far to the left. Their absence leaves Biden with far fewer allies in his push for pragmatism over ideological purity. And it may make it easier for progressive policy besties Bernie Sanders and Warren to continue pulling the party leftward on health care, taxes, immigration and education. President Donald Trump is only too happy to let Democrats showcase their plans to transform America.


HOW FRAGILE IS THE FRONT-RUNNER?

Biden holds a significant lead over the crowded field, despite signs of soft support, a weak organization and repeated missteps. His performance on Thursday will either create more anxiety for his supporters or strengthen his claim on the mantle of undisputed front-runner. What’s clear is that Biden will be at the center of the action. He plans to be aggressive if provoked, and his opponents are prepared to test him. Kamala Harris wounded Biden in a testy exchange over race in June, but Biden effectively deflected attacks in last month’s meeting. Which Biden will show up?


CAN WARREN WIN?

Of all the candidates, Warren has shown the most upward trajectory so far, still trailing Biden but consistently placing among the top three. But that status will invite more scrutiny, including on the debate stage, of her many plans and the price tags they carry — issues that Trump could easily use against her in a general election. And unfortunately for Warren, no quality matters more to Democratic primary voters in the age of Trump than the ability to win. Warren has a prime-time opportunity to answer that question directly as she stands alongside Biden for the first time on the debate stage. Can she stand up to him, literally and figurately, to help convince skeptical voters that she can take down an older, outspoken and unapologetic man?


DOES AGE MATTER?

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has something the rest of the top tier does not: youth. At just 37 years old, he’s more than three decades younger than Biden, Sanders and Warren. He has so far been reluctant to seize on his opponents’ age to help himself, but with voting set to begin in less than five months, he’s under increasing pressure to use his comparative advantage more aggressively — especially as the 76-year-old Biden faces increasing questions on the campaign trail about whether he’s lost a step after four decades in politics. It’s a delicate issue that cuts both ways. But the generational divide is a key factor as Democrats work to reassemble the coalition that twice elected President Barack Obama.


DO THEY REALLY WANT DIVERSITY?

Democrats were quick to highlight the diverse slate of candidates they sent to Congress last year, but the top tier of the Democrats’ 2020 presidential field has been dominated by white people. The people of color in the race — Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Julián Castro and Andrew Yang — are fighting to change that. But Harris’ early-summer surge has disappeared, and the others have been mired in the single digits. That’s even as they have proved to be dynamic candidates on the campaign trail. But as Trump embraces a strategy that focuses almost exclusively on winning white voters, Harris, Booker and other minority candidates are tasked with convincing voters that diversity is both the nation’s strength and its future.


CAN ANYONE IN THE LOWER TIER BREAK OUT?

Ten candidates have already been cut from the debate stage altogether (yes, a few may return next month). But anyone on stage has a path to the nomination — on paper, at least. But time is getting short for those now participating in their third debate and still stuck in low single digits like Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Castro and Yang. It’s quickly becoming time to put up or shut up. To break out they may have to get creative. Reports suggest that Yang, who has been captured on video crowd-surfing in recent days, is promising to do something Thursday night that’s never been done by a presidential candidate before.

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Left scrambles to downplay Biden’s words, ‘If the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money’

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Left scrambles to downplay Bidens words If the prosecutors not fired youre not getting the money

We all know Joe Biden is a gaffe-machine. We also know he was involved in many of the scandals and foul play that were littered throughout President Obama’s time in the White House. Now, we’re learning that Biden used his power as Vice President to pressure the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor who was investigating a firm that employed Biden’s own son, Hunter.

This didn’t come from a FOIA request or deep investigations into Biden’s past. It came from the clumsy presidential frontrunner’s own mouth. While speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations, Biden discussed his dealings with Ukraine, including the threats he made if the prosecutor wasn’t fired.

“If the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money,” Biden said. “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired.”

Fox News host Jeanine Pirro and Representative Mark Meadows discussed it last night on her show:

It isn’t often that I disagree with assessments from my team, but this article claiming the media is done with Biden is wrong. He’s right that Biden’s campaign may be over, but progressive media will try to prevent it. There may be some far-left media outlets who were displeased with Biden from the beginning and are now using the Ukraine story to sink him further, but mainstream media is generally still in Biden’s corner. This story from the NY Times, an attempt to debunk the Trump administration’s claims that Biden played dirty to protect his son, lays out most of the facts while coming to completely wrong conclusions, as they’re wont to do.

Biden’s Work in Ukraine: What We Know and Don’t Know

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/22/us/politics/biden-ukraine-trump.htmlThe president has often been vague about the specifics of his allegations, but one detail that he and his allies have repeatedly cited is the former vice president’s threatening to withhold $1 billion in United States loan guarantees if Ukraine’s leaders did not dismiss the prosecutor. Mr. Trump’s campaign on Saturday publicized footage of Mr. Biden recounting the threat.

The prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, was soon voted out by the Ukrainian Parliament.

His dismissal had been sought not just by Mr. Biden, but also by others in the Obama administration, as well other Western governments and international lenders. Mr. Shokin had been repeatedly accused of turning a blind eye to corruption in his office and among the Ukrainian political elite, and criticized for failing to bring corruption cases.

There are two huge, gaping hole in the NY Times’ assessment that he was being pushed out by many in and out of the White House at the time. First, neither the U.S. government nor any other is likely to be concerned about corruption within a sovereign nation’s state prosecutor’s office. It’s just not something we do, and we especially wouldn’t hold a billion dollar loan guarantee back because we didn’t like a prosecutor.

But more importantly, the NY Times readily admits the prosecutor WAS investigating Hunter Biden’s company. His replacement looked into the matter and came to the quick, politically expedient conclusion that there was nothing to see here. That certainly sounds like political pressure being used to subvert an investigation into a company with deep financial ties to the son of a Vice President. It definitely doesn’t sound like the United States government’s sudden desire to end corruption in a prosecutor’s office for the sake of doing the right thing.

No, legacy media is not pushing the Ukraine scandal because they don’t like Joe Biden. They’re pushing the Ukraine scandal because they don’t like President Trump and they believe the American people are too stupid to connect the dots back to Biden. They believe their propaganda machine can offer Biden the cover he needs while pointing their fingers at a phone call, a whistleblower, and an exchange between world leaders that almost certainly did nothing to break any laws.

Democrats and the media are so desperate to push the unpopular impeachment narrative that they’ll take their chances with harming Biden along the way. They think we’re too dumb to see the truth. I, for one, refuse to believe their lies.

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Jonah Goldberg: Beto O’Rourke’s supporters have no sense of humor

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Jonah Goldberg_ Beto O'Rourke's supporters have no sense of humor

There has been coverage for the last four years by mainstream media about how “deplorable” President Trump’s supporters are. My personal experience with them, even when I was a “Never-Trump” conservative, was that they’re passionate, yes, but overall they’re not abusive.

The same cannot be said about many of the Democratic supporters on social media who seem to be so easily triggered by criticism or jokes, they’re ready to kill anything or anyone that speaks ill of their chosen messiah. Beto O’Rourke’s camp is one of the worst, and I found that Jonah Goldberg seems to have had a similar experience.

It’s one thing to be passionate. It’s another thing altogether to get threatening with others, especially over harmless jokes. Is Beto O’Rourke a “furry”? Probably not. But it’s funny nonetheless. His fans need to stand down before dying on that particular hill.

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Eric Early condemns Schiff’s latest impeachment talk

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Eric Early condemns Schiffs latest impeachment talk

LOS ANGELES – September 22 – Eric Early, the leading Republican challenger for California’s Congressional District 28, condemned Adam Schiff’s latest impeachment comments as “baseless” and “pure partisan hackery.”

On CNN’s State of the Union Sunday morning, Schiff, who has spent the past few years unsuccessfully trying to prove collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian agents, hopped on the latest baseless allegations against President Donald Trump as grounds for impeachment.

“Once again, Adam Schiff drove past countless homeless encampments in Los Angeles on this way to the T.V. studio to promote conspiracy theories about our President,” Early said. “His comments are nothing more than an effort to attack the President and rescue Joe Biden’s failing presidential campaign.”

“Voters are getting sick of Schiff’s schtick, which is nothing more than a mix of a man clearly intoxicated by the sound of his own voice and pure partisan hackery,” Early said. “Angelenos deserve better.”

www.EarlyEarly.com

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For 25 years, Eric has fought in the courts to help people stay in their homes and help job creators, businesses and innovators succeed and stay in California while building his own successful law firm. Eric was a candidate in 2018 for California Attorney General against Xavier Becerra, receiving almost one million votes as a first-time candidate.

Eric’s parents immigrated legally to the United States in the 1930s. His father enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 17, and was shipped to the Korean War, fought in the First Marine Division at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, and was awarded a Purple Heart. Eric’s parents moved the family to Long Island, and lived in a middle-class neighborhood of Irish, Italian and Jewish families.

Growing up in New York, California was a symbol of the American Dream, a place where people’s imagination, drive, talents and hard work could allow them to live a good life, while enjoying California’s natural beauty and climate. California became Eric’s home in 1986, where he started his own family.

Eric’s career as an attorney did not follow the usual path. He attended New York University’s undergraduate film school, and then held various positions, including producing commercials for Hasbro Toys, directing short children’s films for The Great Space Coaster, working as post-production supervisor on hundreds of animated episodes of The Transformers, G.I. Joe, Jem and the Holograms, My Little Pony, and writing several animated episodes of G.I. Joe and Jem and the Holograms. At one point, he produced trailers for “King of the B-Movies”, Roger Corman.

While working full time to support his family, Eric attended Southwestern Law School’s evening program and after graduation worked at one of the most prominent law firms in the state, where he was a Partner for a decade. Eric was regularly involved in complex litigation matters in California and throughout the country, primarily focusing on business, entertainment, real estate, title and escrow related litigation. In 2010, Eric started his own firm along with several of his colleagues, Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae LLP (“Early Sullivan”). Early Sullivan, which now has 30 attorneys, has been recognized as Boutique Firm of the Year by the California Daily Journal, and has been named as a Best Law Firm by U.S. News for several years running. Eric has been the firm’s Managing Partner since its doors opened, has successfully tried several cases to verdict – one of the results being awarded Defense Verdict of the Year by the Daily Journal, and has overseen countless complex lawsuits in which the firm’s clients have prevailed. During the normal course of his practice, Eric has also handled several cases in which he has represented homeowners whose properties have been victimized by real estate fraud, in which fraudsters try to steal their homes. He has been able to regain control of the properties for his clients.

Among various honors, Eric is the Past President of Southwestern Law School’s Entertainment and IP Alumni Association, was selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America every year since 2017; and has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer every year since 2005.

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