Three items just hitting the news.
The Federal Appeals Court has just upheld the block on Trump's travel ban. The ruling comes from a rare panel of 13 judges in the court, rather than the usual three. The vote was 10-3. While this might seem like more really bad news for Trump unable to bring to reality one of his biggest campaign promises despite yet another attempt, there's actually good news for him with the announcement -- it's that he's no longer in Saudi Arabia and therefore doesn't have to to deal with the story there.
Joe Lieberman has withdrawn his name from consideration as FBI director. Because his is involved with the law firm of the man Trump just hired to be his personal lawyer to deal with any possible Russian matters and possible impeachment, Lieberman felt this would be a conflict of interest.
And for all the news headlines of the Montana Republican candidate in Congress being charged with assault against a reporters, as Montana goes to the polls today -- as much as 70% of ballots cast in the election are expected to be by mail, sent in before the story became news. (I initially wrote "hit the news," but then realized that was not the best term for this...) The popularity of "Vote by mail" has been increasing each election for years in Montana, with it reaching 65% in the last cycle. At the moment about two-thirds of all mail-in ballots requested have already been returned, with more clearly already in the mail by not received yet. On the other hand, it's important to keep in mind, too, that in a close election -- and this race is considered close -- 30% of the electorate is still viewed as a significantly large number. There's one bit of whimsy in all this -- the Republican-headed election board in Montana wanted to do this election entirely as vote-by-mail only, to save money, but the GOP blocked that. If the 30% at the polls ends up making the difference and swings the election, the Republican Party will only have itself to blame.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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