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Morning Briefing: All the Hopeful News for Democrats to Come Out of the Pennsylvania Special Election

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | March 14, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | March 14, 2018 |


— As of this writing, Democrat Connor Lamb is claiming victory in the Pennsylvania special election, although with the race as close as it is, no one else has called it a victory for him, and there will likely be a recount.

Regardless of who ultimately wins, let me reiterate what we said in last night’s Pajiba Love about the special election last night. By tomorrow, it won’t matter who won. This is a district that will be ghosted in eight months once PA gets new maps. But what’s more telling is that this is a House district where there was a 20 point swing in favor of the Democrats. This, on top of Roy Moore’s loss in Alabama and the nearly 40 state congressional districts that have flipped from red to blue is a very promising sign for the Democrats in November. My favorite stat, however, is that there are 114 more competitive districts than the Pennsylvania 18th. I’m not saying that the Democrats are going to win all 114, but they don’t have to. They only need an additional 24.

These guys might want to commence boot shaking:

Here’s a sort of funny adendum from the Libertarian candidate who scored more votes than the margin of victory:

— I should add here that yesterday morning, I collected a lot of news to write about, mostly about the GOP House Intelligence Report, and right before I was scheduled to publish, it all became moot by the firing of Rex Tillerson. I’m on a plane this morning, so I’ve actually scheduled this at 5:30 a.m., so by the time you ultimately wake up and see all of this, Trump may have fired three more cabinet members. “Last night’s news” probably means nothing to West Coasters these days.

— The reason why I’m mostly nervous that this post will be meaningless by 9 EST is that Donald Trump is already hinting at more staff shakeups (anything to keep Stormy Daniels out of the news, right?). He’s apparently eying Energy Secretary Rick “Dumbest Man on the Planet” Perry to replace David Shulkin, the embattled head of Veterans Affairs. Shulkin was an Obama holdover who was popular within the White House and was doing a lot of good work until a report surfaced that suggested some ethical improprieties with one trip. But mostly, Trump seems fed up with him because he talks about internal politics publicly.

Oh, and there’s also speculation that H.R. McMaster will be out soon.

— In news that won’t be stale later today, the family of Seth Rich is suing Fox News — and Sean Hannity is mentioned numerous times in the complaint — for fueling a conspiracy theory that Rich was murdered by Hillary Clinton and for depicting him as a “criminal and traitor to the United States.” Good. If places like Fox News are going to make up shit, I hope they get their asses sued into oblivion.

— Speaking of retiring House Republicans, Trey Gowdy is one of them, and he announced that he disagrees with his colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee about one of its findings: That Putin was trying to rig the election against Hillary. “[Russia was] motivated in whole or in part by a desire to harm her candidacy or undermine her Presidency had she prevailed.” Wanting Clinton to lose is the same as wanting Trump to win.

— Yet another foe of Putin has been found dead in London. Abramson tilts way too conspiracy theory for me, but he’s not wrong about this:

— This guy, am I right?

— Ya boy Paul Manafort is facing 305 years in prison, a federal judge told him yesterday. Maybe that will get him talking:

“Given the nature of the charges against the defendant and the apparent weight of the evidence against him, defendant faces the very real possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.”

Header Image of Tina Fey because she’s from the 18th District in PA.