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January 1, Democrats Battle for New Hampshire



This Day in History | 1986

5 foot 7 inch NBA player Spudd Web wins the All-Star slam dunk contest.

Good morning Middle Americans, 

Don’t worry if you didn’t get a chance to watch the Democratic Debate from New Hampshire last night, we watched it for you. And we must say, Mayor Pete Buttigieg continues to shine as the pressure mounts on the youngest contestant in this race.  At several moments last night – the mayor found himself at the center of the debate, the others constantly raising his lack of experience.  But Mayor Pete seemed to take every punch and turn it back around. Sen. Amy Klobuchar also held her own and shined a bit brighter than the rest. It’s almost like you could see the two on a ticket together. 

The first lady is about to hit the campaign trail. Melania Trump who seemed to shy away from the spotlight in 2016, now seems to relish it. And why not? She’s definitely the hottest first lady in American history.  

ICE rounded up 115 illegal immigrants in New Jersey. The arrests were part of a five day sweep of the Garden State. One of the guys ICE agents nabbed was wanted for murder in Brazil.  

Jobs on jobs on jobs. That’s how we are describing the latest jobs report. January was mild, so that allowed more construction and outdoor work than Wall Street expected. So that was good. But this conoravirus is starting to get very serious as in so serious it’s starting to impact the US markets. The Dow, NASDAQ, S&P, Russel indexes all closed down Friday. 

Finally, another one bites the dust. Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh has dropped out of the Republican presidential primary. Yes, that’s a thing. And it sounds like he’s just as crazy as he’s always been. Walsh left the race with this parting shot, “I’d rather have a socialist in the White House, than Donald Trump.” Wow. Really, Joe? Think about how crazy that sounds after reading the jobs report. 

Read all about it. 

– Fraser Dixon

Mayor Pete, Sen. Klobuchar Shine at New Hampshire Debate

(NY Post) – The Democratic Party’s two youngest frontrunners — Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar — faired the best during Friday night’s nearly three-hour forum, as their competition struggled to find decisive lines of attack, said Post debate expert Eric Phillips.

“The clearest piece of evidence that nobody knows where this is going is that nobody knew who to gang up on,” said Phillips, who spent three years at City Hall as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s longest-serving press secretary. “If I’m Pete Buttigieg, I’m feeling pretty good about how tonight went.”

The other candidates, especially Klobuchar, repeatedly took aim at the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, but failed to land any punches hard enough to stop Buttigieg’s momentum from his surprising performance in the Iowa caucuses.

But, Phillips added, Klobuchar’s failure to score a direct hit was offset by her other strengths during the debate, giving her campaign another solid performance to bank on as she struggles to make inroads.

Melania Trump, Once a Reluctant Campaigner, is Hitting the Trail

(CNN) – For a first lady who generally begs off rallies, fundraising shindigs and campaign events, Melania Trump appears poised to be a larger campaign presence for President Donald Trump’s reelection.

The first lady is scheduled to headline at least two fundraisers this spring, both supporting the Trump Victory Fund, a joint PAC between the Trump 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee. The fundraisers, first reported by Politico, are set to take place in March, with one in the Los Angeles area and one at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private West Palm Beach club.

The first lady’s office did not respond to CNN requests for comment and the Trump campaign would not confirm the fundraisers.

“First lady Melania Trump is a sought-after voice from the first family, who has the overwhelming approval and admiration of the American people,” Kayleigh McEnany, national press secretary for the Trump campaign, told CNN.

Find out more here

ICE arrests 115 immigrants during 5-day N.J. sweep, Including Man Wanted for Murder in Brazil

(The New Jersey Star-Ledger) – Federal authorities arrested 115 people in the United States illegally from 23 different countries – including one man wanted for murder – during a five-day sweep in New Jersey that ended Saturday.

In Newark, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations took into custody a 53-year-old Brazilian national wanted in that country for homicide, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday in announcing the arrests. An ICE spokesman on Wednesday did not immediately have further details on the charges or the name of the suspect.

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US Added 225,000 Jobs in January, vs 158,000 Expected

(CNBC) – An unseasonably mild January helped power the U.S. jobs market to more gains, with nonfarm payrolls rising 225,000 for the month, well above Wall Street estimates.

The unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.6%, but for the right reason as the labor force participation rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 63.4%, matching its highest level since June 2013, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones were looking for payroll growth of 158,000 and the jobless rate to stay at 3.5%, its lowest in more than 50 years.

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Fmr. GOP Rep. Joe Walsh: ‘I would rather have a socialist in the White House than Donald Trump’ 

(Market Watch) – One of President Trump’s few Republican challengers in the 2020 presidential race has dropped out — but not without a few parting shots.

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) ended his presidential bid on CNN Friday morning, and said he would be throwing all of his support toward the eventual Democratic candidate, as “any Democrat would be better than Trump in the White House.”

He claimed that the GOP as it stands today is “not my party,” writing on his campaign page that “It’s incumbent on us as a country — and as citizens — to reject the current direction of the Republican Party and work to elect Democrats who are closest to our values.”

Walsh revealed in an op-ed for the Washington Post published late Thursday afternoon that getting booed at the Republican caucus in Iowa was the final slap in the face that convinced him to drop out. Trump won about 97% of the vote in the Republican Party’s Iowa caucuses earlier this week. Walsh and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld each claimed about 1%.

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