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7 things Trump didn’t get quite right in rally-style Ohio speech

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4. “America built the Empire State Building in 1 year. Think of it. One year. It’s actually like nine months.”

It took one year and 45 days, according to the building management.

5. “When I got in, there were over 100 federal judges that weren’t appointed. Now I don’t know why Obama left that, it was like a big beautiful present to all of us. Why the hell did he leave that?”

Republicans chose not to approve a large number of President Barack Obama’s judicial appointees. During his last two years, just 22 nominees were confirmed, the lowest number since the final two years of Harry Truman’s presidency. Meanwhile, dozens were blocked.

6. “When somebody does a bad jobs in the Veterans Administration, they couldn’t do anything about it. They were protected. You could do anything… They had people that wouldn’t work, you couldn’t do anything.”

It is not true to say that you couldn’t remove bad employees at the VA before Trump became president. Thousands were fired from the VA under Obama for performance or discipline reasons, according to reported Office of Personnel Management data.

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‘No vision’ Keir has been ‘underwhelming’ and faces bleak results warns ex-Corbyn adviser

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KEIR STARMER has been urged by a former adviser of Jeremy Corbyn to set an agenda for Labour or risk losing more key voters.

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Texas Democrats waging all-night fight against restrictive election bill

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Texas Democrats are waging an all-night fight against a restrictive election bill, vowing to file more than 100 amendments in an effort to derail or limit the impact of legislation that would create criminal penalties in the election process and empower partisan poll watchers.

Debate on the bill began around 6 p.m. local time, after negotiations between the two parties broke down earlier Thursday. Texas state Rep. Jessica González, the Democratic vice chair of the House Elections Committee, said Democrats had sought to “soften” some of the language and limit the criminal penalties created in the bill, but were unable to reach an agreement.

“At this point, we have no other choice,” González told NBC News during the debate. “We went ahead and filed our amendments.”

The floor fight comes after Democrats and activists spent the day rallying against the bill they argue will suppress voters and disenfranchise voters of color. Republicans led by state Rep. Briscoe Cain, the chair of the Elections Committee, say the House bill will ensure ballot integrity and protect Texas voters from coercion and fraud.

Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has urged lawmakers to pass election legislation and made doing so a priority for the session.

State and national Democrats hosted a news conference on Capitol grounds early Thursday, and dozens of protestors held signs and chanted “voter suppression has got to go” as lawmakers walked onto the House floor for the 10 a.m. session.

“The response to more competitive elections in Texas by the Republican Party has been to try and stop people who disagree with them from voting,” said U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat. “Their strategy is not good governance, it’s not great ideas anymore, their strategy in Texas is to keep you from voting. That’s the Republican Party in Texas today, and quite honestly, it’s the Republican party across the country.”

Former President Donald Trump’s stolen election lie has inspired hundreds of restrictive election bills across the country, despite the fact that there is no evidence of widespread fraud in U.S. elections. By all official accounts, the 2020 election was secure and the results certified accurate. But state lawmakers — many of whom joined with Trump to cast doubt on the system — are nonetheless legislating to restrict the vote, arguing that new measures are needed to restore trust in the system.

Debating more than a hundred amendments could take hours, advocates and Democrats said, and Republicans are expected to propose their own amendments as well; in the first two and a half hours of debate, lawmakers discussed the bill and just one Democratic amendment.

“My Democratic colleagues and I have more than 100 amendments,” state Rep. James Talarico, tweeted Thursday afternoon before the floor fight kicked off. “We’re prepared to fight this all night. Good trouble. Necessary trouble.”

Democrats do not have anywhere near the votes to stop the bill — Republicans have 83 seats in the House, compared to Democrats’ 67 seats — but critics argue it is nonetheless necessary to fight a bill they say will make voting scarier and harder.

The bill makes it a state jail felony for election officials to “solicit” or “distribute” mail ballot applications unless the voter asks for that ballot first, something advocates say will make it harder for election officials to do their job and communicate with voters who are eligible to vote by mail about the option.

It requires anyone helping voters to cast a ballot to disclose why their help is needed and what their relationship to the voter is, and imposes criminal penalties for certain errors by helpers.

The bill also empowers partisan poll watchers, something Democrats warn could make it easier for partisan officials to intimidate voters. Republicans in Harris County are already planning to recruit thousands of Republican poll watchers, particularly in the suburbs of Houston, and send them into communities of color in Houston’s urban center.

The bill was originally proposed as House Bill 6, but Republican lawmakers used a legislative maneuver to ensure that the legislation will advance quickly. Last week, Republicans replaced the text of a different bill, Senate elections bill, SB 7, with HB 6. There are two votes required on SB 7 to advance it out of the House, after which the Senate and House elections bills are expected to end up in conference committee where they will be reconciled by lawmakers.



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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms won’t run for reelection

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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will not seek re-election this fall, the first-term Democrat announced Thursday night.

Bottoms plans to hold a news conference Friday morning with more details.

The mayor shared the news Thursday evening in a call with staff and allies, which the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was first to report.

Bottoms, who was elected in 2017, rose to national prominence during the 2020 election cycle as one of then-candidate Joe Biden’s earliest supporters and an outspoken critic of Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision to reopen Georgia, going toe-to-toe with him in court over her decision to enforce a mask mandate in the city of Atlanta.

She also was in the spotlight during the national civil rights upheaval ignited by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last May.

The announcement comes days after the reinstatement of the Atlanta police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks in June. The officer will remain on administrative leave.

Bottoms had already begun fundraising for her reelection campaign, including an event with Biden. A few others have decided to run, but Bottoms’ announcement could widen the field. Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore, a Democrat, has already announced plans to seek the post in the Nov. 2 election.

Bottoms faced a number of issues in the city over the past year regarding crime and public safety. In 2020, for instance, the city had a record number of homicides, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“The mayor fully plans to lead through the end of her term,” her communications director, Elise Durham, said Thursday night.



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