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January 1, Bloomberg Suffers Brutal Debate Defeat



This Day in History | 1962

John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the earth. 

Good Morning Middle Americans, 

We wonder how Michael Bloomberg is feeling today. It can’t be good. Last night, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and a couple of the other Democratic 2020 presidential candidates absolutely destroyed Bloomberg during his first debate.  Bloomberg has been surging in the polls, thanks to the hundreds of millions of dollars he’s spent on campaign ads. The question now is, does all that he’s gained evaporate with his dismal debate performance. We shall see. 

Also today – long time Trump advisor Roger Stone will learn his fate. Stone faces sentencing for lying to congress during Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s 2016 campaign interference. Stone’s defense team vows to appeal. 

An appeals court has handed Florida governor Ron DeSantis a defeat. The court ruled that the state cannot prevent felons, who have not paid all their fines and fees associated with their cases, from voting. The decision could have a huge impact on the 2020 elections in the very important swing state of Florida. 

Finally some college students are not happy about their university’s decision to select First Lady Melania Trump as this year’s “woman of distinction”.

Read all about it. 

– Fraser Dixon

Debate Night Brawl: Bloomberg Attacked by Rivals

(AP) — From the opening bell, Democrats savaged New York billionaire Mike Bloomberg and raised pointed questions about Bernie Sanders’ take-no-prisoners politics during a contentious debate Wednesday night that threatened to further muddy the party’s urgent quest to defeat President Donald Trump.

Bloomberg, the former New York mayor who was once a Republican, was forced to defend his record and past comments related to race, gender and his personal wealth in an occasionally rocky debate stage debut. Sanders, meanwhile, tried to beat back pointed questions about his embrace of democratic socialism and his health following a heart attack last year.

The ninth debate of this cycle featured the most aggressive sustained period of infighting in the Democrats’ yearlong search for a presidential nominee. The tension reflected growing anxiety among candidates and party leaders that the nomination fight could yield a candidate who will struggle to build a winning coalition in November to beat Trump.

Read more here

Watch highlights from the debate here

Roger Stone Faces Sentencing Today 

(Politico) – Roger Stone has come a long way.

He was once the subject of an acrimonious departure from the Trump campaign, despised by one of Donald Trump’s closest aides. When he was later convicted of lying to the Congress, obstructing investigators and intimidating a witness, the same person cheered from the sidelines.

But now, as Stone prepares to find out his punishment on Thursday, the longtime Trump political whisperer has become a MAGA-world symbol of deep state overreach and judicial corruption. The president is championing his cause on Twitter, risking a rift with his attorney general. Stone’s erstwhile critics are now decrying his unfair treatment.

Learn more here

Appeals Court: Florida Can’t Bar Felons From Voting

(CBS News) – Florida cannot bar felons who served their time from registering to vote simply because they have failed to pay all fines and fees stemming from their cases, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Tallahassee federal judge’s preliminary injunction that the implementation of Amendment 4 – approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2018 to allow most felons who served their time to regain the right to vote – amounted to an unfair poll tax that would disenfranchise many of them. 

A spokeswoman for Republican Governor Ron DeSantis said the state will immediately ask the entire 11th Circuit to reconsider the ruling. In addition, a full trial on the issue is set to begin this spring.

Find out more here

College Students Protest Melania’s ‘Woman of Distinction’ Award

(The Hill) – First lady Melania Trump on Wednesday received a “Woman of Distinction” award from Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA), despite pushback from some students and alumni in Florida over the move.

Melania Trump, who changed her primary residence to Palm Beach along with President Trump last year, said she was “grateful” to accept the award. According to the school’s website, the award is given to women “who cherish community and family and want to preserve these ideals for others.”

“As the first lady of the United States, it is a great honor to serve the people of this incredible country,” she said at the university’s annual Women of Distinction luncheon at The Breakers Hotel, where she accepted the award.

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