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On the roster: Voter fraud means new election in North Carolina – Klobuchar’s horrible boss stories pile up – N.H. poll: 40 percent of GOP voters want primary fight – Vilsack won’t challenge Ernst – ‘Love you! Bye, bye!’
VOTER FRAUD MEANS NEW ELECTION IN NORTH CAROLINA
Raleigh News & Observer: “After a stunning reversal by Republican Mark Harris, North Carolina election officials Thursday unanimously ordered a new election in the 9th Congressional District, which has gained national attention as the last unresolved House race for the 2018 election. The state elections board’s vote came after four days of testimony about what the board’s staff called ‘a coordinated, unlawful, and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme’ in Bladen and Robeson counties. And it came less than an hour after a startling announcement by Harris, who had been fighting to have his apparent victory certified. … The state board will set dates for a new election in the district with election officials outlining a possible May primary and October general election. A new state law requires a primary election, though legal challenges are expected. It is not certain whether Harris will run again. [Democrat Dan McCready] already has raised more than $500,000 toward a new election.”
State Republicans in a quandary – WCNC: “Charlotte-area Republican leaders are now plotting their strategy following the North Carolina’s Board of Elections decision to have a new election in the 9th congressional district. …Union County GOP chair Dan Barry said, in retrospect, the party was wrong to push for certification of the race before the evidence came out. Barry said it’s too premature to consider possible candidates to run in the special election.”
THE RULEBOOK: NO ONE LIKES A BAD NEIGHBOR
“The interfering and unneighborly regulations of some States, contrary to the true spirit of the Union, have, in different instances, given just cause of umbrage and complaint to others…” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 22
TIME OUT: HUMAN SIZED DINOSAUR DISCOVERED
Atlantic: “In 2012, Lindsay Zanno was searching for dinosaur fossils in the hillsides of eastern Utah when she found a bone protruding from the hillside. … It took several years … to work out that they were once the right leg of a tyrannosaur—a cousin of the famed Tyrannosaurus rex. But at just 170 pounds and six feet long from nose to tail, this new human-size dinosaur was much smaller than its more famous relative. … Its discovery means that 96 million years ago, North American tyrannosaurs were still pretty small. That dramatically narrows the timing of their eventual ascension to a much shorter 15-million-year span. … ‘This doesn’t completely solve the mystery of why the tyrannosaurs took over from allosaurs, but like a partial fingerprint at a crime scene, it provides important context and helps rule out some theories,’ [Steve Brusatte] says.”
Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
Trump job performance
Average approval: 41.8 percent
Average disapproval: 54.4 percent
Net Score: -12.6 points
Change from one week ago: no change
[Average includes: Fox News: 46% approve – 52% disapprove; Gallup: 44% approve – 52% unapproved; CNN: 42% approve – 54% disapproval; IBD: 39% approve – 57% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 38% approve – 57% disapprove.]
KLOBUCHAR’S HORRIBLE BOSS STORIES PILE UP
NYT: “Senator Amy Klobuchar was hungry, forkless and losing patience. An aide, joining her on a trip to South Carolina in 2008, had procured a salad for his boss while hauling their bags through an airport terminal. But once onboard, he delivered the grim news: He had fumbled the plastic eating utensils before reaching the gate, and the crew did not have any forks on such a short flight. What happened next was typical: Ms. Klobuchar berated her aide instantly for the slip-up. What happened after that was not: She pulled a comb from her bag and began eating the salad with it… The moment … encapsulates the underside of life on the Minnesota senator’s team… [M]any of these former aides say she was not just demanding but often dehumanizing — not merely a tough boss in a capital full of them but the steward of a work environment colored by volatility, highhandedness and distrust.”
Dems team up against Bernie over his stance on Maduro – Politico: “Florida Democrats are denouncing Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for refusing to call Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro a dictator — a politically explosive issue in the nation’s biggest swing state. Sanders also would not say whether he considered Venezuela’s assembly leader, Juan Guaidó, as the nation’s interim president, which is the position of the United States and a majority of Latin American countries European countries. Both of Sanders’ positions play into the hands of President Trump and the GOP, say Democrats. … Democrats, already alarmed that Trump’s inroads with Venezuelans could help him peel off an otherwise-reliable Democratic voting bloc in a toss-up state, were quick to denounce Sanders’ comments. ‘He is not going to be the nominee of the Democratic Party. He has demonstrated again that he does not understand this situation,’ Rep. Donna Shalala, a Miami Democrat who represents Venezuelan exiles and, told POLITICO.”
Continetti: ‘Why Kamala Harris may be her own worst enemy’ – Free Beacon:“As Democrats search for someone new to lead them against President Trump, [Kamala Harris] has distinguished herself from the field. … In these early weeks of what is certain to be a seemingly endless and certainly vitriolic campaign, Harris has demonstrated both strengths and weaknesses. Her strength is that she seems a perfect fit for the current shape of the Democratic Party. Her weakness is a blithe and insouciant manner that is sure to cause her trouble. … What trips up Kamala Harris is an evident desire to please her audience. She wants no enemies to her left, no identity politics left untouched. She can’t run as a prosecutor—crime fighting is so 1990s—but she can run as brash, bold, and woke. Her verbal miscues are possible evidence that this latest political fashion doesn’t quite fit. She has made a habit of making unforced errors, and the game is only in its first month.”
N.H. POLL: 40 PERCENT OF GOP VOTERS WANT PRIMARY FIGHT
UMass Amherst: “With nearly 40 percent of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire saying they would welcome a primary challenger to President Trump, a new poll by the University of Massachusetts Amherst could highlight potential problems for the president. Thirty-nine percent of likely Republican voters in the Granite State said they think that President Trump should be challenged in the 2020 primary, according to poll results released today by the UMass Poll. … ‘While nearly 40 percent of all likely Republican voters believe President Trump should face a primary challenge, almost half of college-educated Republican voters believe that Trump should be ‘primaried,’’ said Tatishe Nteta, associate professor of political science and director of the UMass Poll. … Asked if the Mueller report would make them reconsider their vote for Trump, just 22 percent said it would affect their support for Trump if the report concludes that Trump conspired with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.”
Hogan attacks RNC for protecting Trump from primary battle – Politico: “Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday he expects to make a springtime trip to New Hampshire as he weighs a 2020 challenge to Donald Trump — and accused the Republican National Committee of going to extraordinary lengths to shield the president from a potentially draining primary. ‘Typically they try to be fair arbiters of a process and I’ve never seen anything like it and I’ve been involved in the Republican Party for most of my life. It’s unprecedented. And in my opinion it’s not the way we should be going about our politics,’ Hogan, a popular two-term Maryland governor, said in an interview with POLITICO. ‘It’s very undemocratic and to say, ‘We’re in some cases not going to allow a debate, we may not have a primary…’’ ‘And the question is, what are they afraid of?’ he added.”
VILSACK WON’T CHALLENGE ERNST
Des Moines Register: “Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack will not run for the U.S. Senate against Sen. Joni Ernst in 2020. Iowa operative Matt Paul confirmed the decision to the Register on behalf of Vilsack Friday. He had downplayed speculation that he might enter the race but has not sworn off the possibility completely. … In a Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll this month a majority of Iowans — 53 percent — said they have a favorable view of Vilsack, who has a long history in the public eye. Vilsack also was U.S. secretary of agriculture under President Barack Obama and currently is the CEO and president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council.”
Steve King re-election run means more headaches for GOP – Des Moines Register: “A defiant Rep. Steve King confirmed Thursday that he will run for a 10th term as an Iowa congressman, despite controversies over his history of caustic remarks, including about race and immigration. The Kiron Republican has been criticized by national and state leaders of his own party, has been stripped of committee assignments in Congress and has drawn three primary challengers for the 2020 race. In a Thursday taping of Iowa Public Television’s ‘Iowa Press’ program, host David Yepsen asked him: ‘Are you sorry for anything that you’ve said?’ The congressman replied: ‘I have nothing to apologize for, Dave.’ King confirmed that he will run for re-election in 2020, despite drawing three challengers for the Republican nomination.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee wore Confederate Army uniform in college yearbook photo – Tennessean
Zinke said to face grand jury for lying to investigators about casino deal – WaPo
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson concerned over Trump’s emergency declaration – Politico
Cohen will testify to Senate Intel Committee on Tuesday – WSJ
Historians worry as Obama ditches precedent, accountability with presidential library – NYT
The curious case of Nomiki Konst – Politico
AUDIBLE: PLEASE CLAP
“The president of the United States is declaring a national emergency to honor an applause line in a rally.” – Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on a conference call with reporters on Friday morning. Pelosi announced that the House will vote Tuesday on a resolution to try to block the president’s emergency declaration.
ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
This weekend Mr. Sunday will sit down with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and DNC Chairman Tom Perez. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.
#mediabuzz – Host Howard Kurtz has the latest take on the week’s media coverage. Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. ET.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Thank you for your editorial on civics education. I am an old lady, so I really don’t know what they are teaching in schools today. I am shocked by my grandchildren’s ignorance on certain things I thought all students learned. I am afraid voting by a lot of people is done by popularity and personality and not by policy. I doubt if they ask ‘is this good America.’” – Jean Farrell, Fleming Island, Fla.
[Ed. note: I don’t know what you consider an “old lady,” Ms. Farrell. But you most certainly seem to be a wise one.]
“For my entire life presidents have been declaring national emergencies and paying for them with monies that have been allocated elsewhere. I fail to see how anyone can suddenly conclude that this wall building action is suddenly any more constitutional than any of the previous actions. Our tax dollars have gone to build border walls in multiple other countries and no one ever said a thing. Now someone has the courage to try to protect the very citizens that they were elected to serve and everyone gets all shocked and dismayed and cries foul. I do see a problem and it starts and ends with term limits, not with some construction project!” – Brian J. Steiner, Fargo, N.D.
[Ed. note: I’m not sure how old you are, Mr. Steiner, but only twice that I’m aware of have American presidents re-allocated congressionally appropriated dollars on domestic projects. Once was after 9/11 and the other was for reprogramming health funds in the face of the 2009 swine flu outbreak. In this case, the president repeatedly asked Congress to fund his project, even when both chambers were under his party’s control, and Congress repeatedly refused him. The will of Congress here is not ambiguous in any way. There have been nearly 60 emergency declarations in total since the law was passed aiming at reining in presidential overreach on the subject in 1975. The vast majority relate to things like foreign sanctions, arms trading etc. Whatever you may think about this bit of imperial execution, it is at the least different than the ones that came before it.]
“I took several of the sample citizenship tests and consistently answered all 20 questions correctly. For one test, I answered 19 correctly. Above the average yes, but what concerns me most is the one question that I got wrong. The question was, ‘Why did the colonists fight the British?’ Is one of the correct answers really ‘because the British army stayed in their houses?’ If that was the case, maybe we could have just asked them to leave! Didn’t ‘taxation without representation’ play a part in it? Just saying.” – Paul K. Schnier, Shoreham, N.Y.
[Ed. note: It was a very big deal, indeed, Mr. Schnier. I give you the Third Amendment: “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” The quartering of British soldiers was a huge vexation for the colonists. Imagine you and your family are at home on your farm in Shoreham and British troops marching out Long Island suddenly present themselves at your door. You and your family are forced out of your beds and watch helplessly as your house gets trashed and the redcoats eat and drink up all of your stores. In the morning, after you’ve provided them with a hearty breakfast, they march on. Maybe you get paid back by the governor, maybe you don’t. Never forget the degree to which he French and Indian war and the costs, disruptions and frictions it created gave birth to our own revolution.]
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‘LOVE YOU! BYE, BYE!’
WJZY: “Another Ring video is getting a lot of attention after a little boy used the home security and surveillance system to ask his father to help find his favorite TV channel. In the video that’s now gone viral, the smart little boy from Haslett, Michigan is seen telling his dad that he couldn’t find the ‘Kid Channel’ on his television. So, he went outside to the doorbell surveillance camera to ask his dad for help in a hilarious and cute video that’s now been seen more than six million times. In the video, the boy, called ‘Baby Gracie,’ by his dad, explained that his mom was across the street and said he could come home and watch ‘the Kid Channel.’ The boy’s father is heard in the video walking through how to turn on the TV and use the remote. ‘Baby Gracie’ is seen bouncing off the screen with an enthusiastic ‘Love you! Bye bye!’”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“Where do Republicans get that special talent for turning gold to dross? They score an electoral ‘massacre’ (the Economist) in 2014 and, a year later, what do they have to show for it other than another threat to shut down the government?” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on Nov. 5, 2015.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.