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The chief frustration among Democrats regarding the impeachment of President Donald Trump, aside from his brazen disregard for the law, is his unprecedented stonewalling. By ignoring lawfully issued subpoenas and refusing to allow members of his administration to testify before Congress, Trump has effectively forced Democrats into a political corner. Waiting for the battle to play out in the courts will take longer than the limited timeline of 2020 will allow. Moving forward without the “smoking gun” that undoubtedly lies somewhere within Trump’s Fortress of Criminal Solitude leaves room for Trump sycophants to defend him and muddy the political waters. Both paths seem to lead to a place that allows Trump to proclaim victory not based on the substance of the allegations, but on his continuous and unprecedented disregard for…

This photo of Congressman Scott Perry (PA-10) talking to young African-American children while WEARING A GODDAMN BULLETPROOF VEST may be the: WORST. PHOTO-OP. EVER. While it would be easy to assume the picture was photoshopped or otherwise altered, it appears on Perry’s official website. The level of political tone-deafness needed to think posting a photo of a United States Congressman standing next to two young African-American children was a good idea is almost unfathomable. The look on the kid standing at the far left pretty much sums it up: This kid is not buying whatever brand bullshit Scott Perry is selling. With the entire nation on edge in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio (or as President Trump calls it, “Toledo”) fueled by…

One of the cardinal rules for Thanksgiving dinner in recent years is to avoid talking about politics at family gatherings. In fact, the concept of the racist Drunk Uncle is now equally identifiable with Thanksgiving as cranberry sauce, with the common denominator being that nobody wants to put either of them anywhere near their mouth. But if you’re looking for some cutesy Buzzfeed-style garbage about “navigating politics at Thanksgiving”, look elsewhere. This year, with some notable exceptions we’ll discuss shortly, you need to talk about politics with your family at Thanksgiving. Here’s why. A Country Divided (Like Crazy Divided) Not only is America now more divided than any time in recent history, but our ability to pick and choose our news sources based on our political biases also leaves us…

Donald Trump’s one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki is by definition an event of global political importance, but Trump’s demand that the two men meet without anyone else in the room is shocking even by Trump’s standards. The inexplicable affinity Trump has undeniably demonstrated for Putin raises eyebrows in of itself; add in the contradictory statements made and then denied by Trump about British Prime Minister Theresa May in his interview with the Sun newspaper, and you can hear the sound of jaws hitting the floor around the globe. For these reasons, among others, the FBI should plant a surveillance bug on Donald Trump before his secret meeting with Putin. Just slap a microphone under the mountain of scotch tape he uses to hold his tie in…

As someone who eats and breathes politics, I’m usually pretty quick to offer my take on a story, whether it’s solicited or not. Saying what’s on my mind has never been a problem for me. So as the story of children being detained in cages at the U.S. – Mexico border first broke, I assumed I would sit down at my computer after my kids had gone to bed for the night. The plan was to write a post blasting Trump and his administration for pursuing such a craven policy and then brazenly lying about it. Then I heard the audio of the children, and I realized this was different. The impact of those voices transcends politics as we know it, at least for me. My default emotional state when…

So here’s an interesting twist. With the release of the new Congressional Map by the PA Supreme Court earlier today, much of the old 18th District is now the new 14th District. There are two interesting exceptions- neither Rick Saccone or Conor Lamb actually live in the new 14th District, where they are running to replace Congressman Tim Murphy, who resigned after a sex scandal last year. According to FEC filings, Saccone lives in Elizabeth, Allegheny County, and Lamb lives in Mt. Lebanon, Allegheny County. Allegheny County is now split between the 17th (Beaver/Allegheny) and 18th (Allegheny) Districts. (We confirmed these addresses, but aren’t printing them because people can be jagoffs about this kind of thing and we respect the privacy of a candidate’s family.) It is also worth noting…

Just days before nominating petitions are about to begin to circulate, the PA Supreme Court today unveiled the much-awaited map of the state’s eighteen Congressional Districts in response to the Court’s recent ruling on partisan political gerrymandering. Here is the new map: This map, which will be in effect for the Primary Election on May 15, 2018, dramatically differs from the map struck down as unconstitutional last month. The district numbers have also changed in many areas.  While the political calculus of this new map is still up for debate, Democrats will likely see improved prospects in some of the new districts, specifically the 17th (Beaver/Allegheny), 16th (Erie/Crawford/Mercer/Lawrence/Butler), 1st (Bucks), 10th (Dauphin/Cumberland/York), 4th (Montgomery), and 7th (Lehigh/Northampton). By comparison, the new 14th District (Washington/Greene/Fayette/Westmoreland) appears to be much of the…

With millions of dollars being spent and no shortage of national media attention in advance of the March 13 Special Election for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, it appears the last thing the candidates want to do is actually let the contest be decided by issues. That would be crazy, right? I mean, who gets elected by telling voters what they believe and letting an informed electorate decide? In the wake of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida earlier this week, the campaigns of both candidates, Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone, issued the following statements. See if you can tell which statement came from each candidate: CANDIDATE A: “We have to look at people with mental health problems” but not “disarm law-abiding citizens.” As for proposals like enhanced background checks, he…

The Republican Field Now that the dust has settled on the Tim Murphy scandal (and the ink is dry on his resignation from Congress), the hunt is officially on to replace him in the 18th Congressional District. As part of our long-form project, 18th in ’18: Congressional Clusterf*ck, we are going to provide in-depth analysis of the district, the candidates, and amazingly enough, the issues. Today we begin with a rundown of the announced Republican candidates. At first glance, the path to the Republican nomination looks to be the most treacherous. The field is filled with current Republican elected officials who are colleagues in Harrisburg but will be combatants in the campaign. For many, this will be the first time on the receiving end of a brutal political machine that…

One of the things I wanted to do when I started this site was to cover and analyze an open Congressional race in an area carried by Donald Trump in 2016. Little did I know at the time my own Congressional district would fit that description perfectly with incumbent Tim Murphy’s announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2018 due to a well-publicized scandal involving extramarital affairs, abortion, and God only know what else. So the PA 18th it is, I suppose. I think I am in a unique position to cover and comment on this race. I’ve lived in the district my entire life and I’ve been involved in nearly every election cycle since 2006 as a volunteer, candidate, or elected official. I know many of the players,…