Rep. Van Drew, ahead of expected party switch, compares impeachment to how ‘third-world countries operate’

closeTempers flare on House floor as Rep. Louie Gohmert shouts at Rep. Jerry NadlerVideo

Tempers flare on House floor as Rep. Louie Gohmert shouts at Rep. Jerry Nadler

Texas Republican Louie Gohmert returns to the podium to address House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler's 'Russian propaganda' claim.

Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew hasn’t officially switched parties yet, but the New Jersey congressman said he moved over to stand on the GOP side of the aisle Wednesday for the historic impeachment votes because it was “appropriate.”

The freshman Democrat opposes impeachment and is expected to jump to the Republican Party for political survival in a district President Trump carried in 2016.

“As I’ve said all along, I’m going to vote ‘no,’” Van Drew told reporters at the Capitol. “So I think they [Republicans] are all going to vote ‘no’ so it’s certainly appropriate in this case regardless of any other discussions we might be having.”


Van Drew, still officially a Democrat, sat with Republicans when impeachment debate kicked off and said he was welcomed warmly. He even got a pep talk from Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who was condemned on the House floor in January for white supremacist comments.

“Jeff right now today is the loneliest man in Congress,” King told Fox News. “I’ve got sympathy and empathy for that circumstance. And I just expressed that to him. Let him know [to] follow your conscience and follow your heart in what you do today. Let it be something that fits within who you are and it’ll be OK.”

Van Drew confirmed that King had kind words for him and all the Republicans were “very, very nice.” But he denied feeling lonely: “I have a lot friends,” he told Fox News.


News of Van Drew’s planned party switch broke over the weekend, followed by an exodus of his Democratic staff, who resigned in protest.

Van Drew and Rep. Colin Peterson, D-Minn, were the only Democrats to vote "no" against the launch of the impeachment inquiry on Halloween. And the pair again were the lone dissenters on an earlier vote Wednesday on the rule to kick off the impeachment debate.

“I’ve always felt this impeachment is going to do a tremendous amount of harm to the country,” Van Drew said. “It’s really going to create more division, more hardship, more hate, more civil unrest. It’s going to disfranchise thousands and thousands of people who voted.”

Van Drew doesn’t believe Trump’s conduct amounts to removal from office and compared impeachment to erasing the 2016 election vote result.

“I sometimes believe that not everyone understands the severe seriousness of impeachment. It is how an oligarchy operates. It is how third-world countries operate…the vote is what counts,” he said.


Van Drew is among the 31 Democrats who won in districts Trump won in 2016. These swing-district Democrats are feeling the heat from an onslaught of attack ads from GOP-aligned groups, and some have acknowledged their vote for impeachment could cost them their seat.

Van Drew was coy when asked if he’d making is party switch official at the White House ceremony, saying “we’ll see.” He said an announcement will come “very shortly” but not on Wednesday.

“Today is all about impeachment,” he said.

Original Article

Forty five to be the third impeached

closeRep. Elissa Slotkin explains why she is voting yes on articles of impeachment against President TrumpVideo

Rep. Elissa Slotkin explains why she is voting yes on articles of impeachment against President Trump

President Trump requested a foreign power investigate a political rival for his personal benefit, says Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, Democratic member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**
On the roster: Forty five to be the third impeached – Bloomy gets financial disclosure extension – Collins jumps in – Audible: Bye, homie – Drawn out case

AP: “The U.S. House pressed toward its historic votes to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday, arguing over the charges he faces and the legitimacy of the probe that brought Congress and the day that will leave a lasting mark on his tenure at the White House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who arrived at the back of the chamber as the daylong session was underway, has the Democratic votes needed to make Trump just the third U.S. president to be impeached, exercising what she called ‘one of the most solemn powers granted to us by the Constitution.’ … Democrats overwhelmingly approved the rules for the debate, 228-197, with just two defections from Pelosi’s ranks, an early indication of how the votes will eventually fall on the articles of impeachment. No Republicans supported the procedural vote, but Democrats picked up backing from Rep. Justin Amash, the Michigan conservative, who left the GOP this year to become an independent over his support for impeachment.”
Trump to travel to Michigan to rally fans – Fox News: “President Trump on Wednesday will be far away from Capitol Hill — and the Washington establishment he has long criticized as an irredeemable ‘swamp’ — as the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives prepares to impeach him in a likely party-line vote on charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power. Instead, the president will be on friendly turf in downtown Battle Creek, Mich., hosting a rally that may rank among his most defiant — a marked contrast from the approach of former President Bill Clinton, who mostly stayed under the radar during his own impeachment proceedings in 1998. There will be unusually tight security near the Capitol building in Washington on Wednesday, Fox News was told, and some of those measures were visible Tuesday night.”
Political impact in swing states more muted than expected – WaPo: “When the dust clears, the result is most likely to look more like a draw than a victory, say political strategists from both sides. Ten weeks of the House impeachment inquiry have spun an already polarized country through yet another centrifuge of outrage, further separating champions of the president from those who see him a danger to the country. Yet polls suggest few have been converted in their views of Trump by the allegations about his dealings with Ukraine, though the president has once again been shown to have behaved in a way most Americans do not like.”
House GOP wants to take their show to Senate side – ABC News: “President Donald Trump is considering a mix of White House lawyers and some of the president’s most aggressive defenders serving in the House of Representatives to play a larger role in his defense, multiple sources familiar with the internal discussions told ABC News. The debate over who could best represent the president in the Senate comes as the president’s advisers have squabbled about what his impeachment defense before the Senate should look like, and who should be responsible for making the case for acquittal, the sources said. GOP Reps. Jim Jordan, John Ratcliffe and Mark Meadows are under consideration by the White House, along with Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee Doug Collins and Rep. Elise Stefanik.”
“[America] has been sensible of her malady. She has obtained a regular and unanimous advice from men of her own deliberate choice. And she is warned by others against following this advice under pain of the most fatal consequences.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 38
Atlantic: “The first line of Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird is one of quiet confusion. ‘Something didn’t make sense,’ Scout Finch tells the audience of the tale that’s about to unfold. Sorkin’s dramatization of Harper Lee’s novel, which opened on Broadway last December, is an unexpectedly probing work that refuses to let an American classic go unchallenged. Instead, it stages two trials: One is from the book, in which Scout’s attorney father, Atticus Finch, defends Tom Robinson, an African American man accused of rape in 1930s Alabama, and tries to combat the community’s entrenched racism. In Sorkin’s play, the other trial is of Atticus’s own nobility, and how it doesn’t always square with his grander vision of justice. Though the adaptation broadly follows the narrative arc of Lee’s novel, it uses Scout, her brother Jem, and her friend Dill (all played by adult actors) to cast a wary eye over some of the book’s more idealistic details.”
Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
Biden: 26.6 points (↓ 1 point from last wk.)
Sanders: 18 points (↓ 0.2 points from last wk.)
Warren: 14.8 points (↓ 3.6 points from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 9.2 points (↑ 0.6 points from last wk.)
Bloomberg: 5.4 points (first listing)
[Averages include: Quinnipiac University, USA Today/Suffolk University, NPR/PBS/Marist, Fox News and IBD.]
Average approval: 43.6 percent
Average disapproval: 51.2 percent
Net Score: -7.6 percent
Change from one week ago: ↑ 2 points
[Average includes: CNBC: 40% approve – 49% disapprove; CNN: 44% approve – 52% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 43% approve – 52% disapprove; USA Today/Suffolk University: 48% approve – 50% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 43% approve – 53% disapprove.]
You can join Chris and Brianna every day on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favorite political note as they go through the must-read headlines of the day right from their office – with plenty of personality. Click here to sign up and watch!
AP: “Billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg won’t have to file a mandatory financial disclosure until after Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential contest, under an extension granted by the Federal Election Commission this week. Presidential candidates are required to reveal their investments, businesses and streams of income. Only Bloomberg, fellow billionaire Tom Steyer and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick have yet to do so. Each of those candidates was late entering the Democratic presidential primary. Bloomberg, who has long considered a White House bid, sits atop a sprawling business empire and is worth more than $50 billion, easily making him the wealthiest candidate in the contest. … The FEC on Monday granted his request, giving him until Feb. 4 to file — one day after the Iowa caucuses.”
Buttigieg didn’t fully disclose on bundlers – Politico: “Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign omitted more than 20 high-level fundraisers from a list of top bundlers it disclosed last week. The public list of bundlers, featuring more than 100 people who have raised at least $25,000 for Buttigieg, was meant to bring a close to more than a week of feuding between Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren over campaign transparency. But the list left off a number of people the Buttigieg campaign had previously touted as top donors in an internal campaign fundraising report obtained by POLITICO. They include uberwealthy supporters such as Boston power broker Jack Connors Jr. — who declared he was ‘all in for Pete Buttigieg’ in a June fundraiser invite — and Hollywood producer Jordan Horowitz, whose films include ‘La La Land.’”
RNC dumps New Hampshire director –Politico: “The Republican National Committee has fired the director of its Trump Victory Team in New Hampshire just four months after he was brought on to lead the party’s statewide effort to reelect Donald Trump and deliver down-ballot gains for the GOP next fall. State director Eric Mitchell was cut loose last Friday from the joint operation between the president’s 2020 campaign and Republican officials in the Granite State because of persistent issues with his performance, according to three people familiar with his dismissal. He was named state director in mid-August, the same day Trump traveled to Manchester for one of his signature ‘Keep America Great’ rallies.”
AP: “Republican Sen. Susan Collins officially launched her bid for reelection Wednesday, setting up an expensive and closely watched battle that’s starting against the backdrop of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. Collins made her formal announcement in an email to supporters, saying her ‘bipartisan commonsense approach’ has been key to many legislative successes and will be important in an era of bitter partisanship. ‘The fundamental question I had to ask myself in making my decision was this: In today’s polarized political environment, is there still a role for a centrist who believes in getting things done through compromise, collegiality, and bipartisanship? I have concluded that the answer to this question is ‘yes’ and I will, therefore, seek the honor of continuing to serve as Maine’s United States senator.’”
Drucker: McConnell’s Pompeo pitch includes 2024 White House run – WashEx: “When Mitch McConnell pitches Mike Pompeo on running for the Senate in 2020, a periodic occurrence, the majority leader does not fail to mention that the chamber is a great steppingstone should the secretary of state harbor higher aspirations. Fearing former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach could win the Republican nomination to succeed retiring Sen. Pat Roberts and put an otherwise red seat in jeopardy, McConnell and other party insiders are desperate for Pompeo to run. But concern about the politically divisive Kobach aside, Republican strategists tend to agree that running for Senate is the better play for Pompeo if his White House ambitions are real, especially if President Trump loses reelection. For Pompeo, a Senate seat would help him stay relevant heading into the 2024 presidential campaign. He would be in demand for TV and conservative talk radio appearances, allowing him to cultivate grassroots enthusiasm and internet fundraising.”
Georgia purges 309,000 voters from state rolls – WaPo: “Overnight, the number of registered voters in Georgia shrank by more than 300,000 in a contested but court-sanctioned action that could redefine the 2020 election, critics warned. State officials have downplayed the mass cancellation, arguing it is routine ‘list maintenance.’ Others say the practice amounts to a large-scale and undemocratic voter purge, which comes just over three months before Georgia’s presidential primaries. This week, a federal judge allowed the secretary of state’s office to remove about 4 percent of registered voters from the rolls, a move officials said was aimed at those who have recently died or left Georgia. But there were also more than 120,000 people included in that cull simply because they hadn’t voted since 2012 or responded to mailings from the state, according to a lawsuit filed to halt the purge.”
Fox Poll: Socialism rises in popularity, capitalism still favoredFox News
North American trade deal heads to the House floorPolitico
Trump’s economic approval hits highest numbers in a yearCNBC
“The day a judge stops being impartial, and starts to do things to please the home crowd, that's the day the judge should step down from office.”– Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in an interview with BBC.
“Does the House of Representatives really have the power to subpoena during the hearings on impeachment? Compare it with a police officer arresting someone then requiring him/her to freely provide enough information for the cops to scramble a few words to conjure up a charge. The trial is actually held in the Senate so, what's up?” – Jim King, Chesapeake, Va.
[Ed. note: Maybe think of it this way: Congress has the power to remove a president from office. Full stop. It could do so without hearings in the House or do it on a boat or with a goat, on a train or in the rain. It’s not a criminal proceeding but rather a political power granted to the most powerful branch. Congress also has the power to compel people to testify on various matters, but that power has been limited over the years by courts and tradition. But courts have limited the power of Congress on certain subjects, e.g. discussions between the president and his top advisers. But Congress is at the peak of its powers in considering a declaration of war or an impeachment, so courts would presumably be more deferential on inquiries related to those matters than, say, sugar subsidies or turtle tunnels.]
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
KESQ: “Police are looking for a man accused of stealing from a caricature artist during Riverside's Festival of Lights Parade. According to Riverside [California] PD, at around 11:50 p.m. on Dec. 5, the suspect approached a caricature artist and asked for a portrait of himself. The artist agreed, however, once they finished, the suspect grabbed the artist's money bag. The bag contained about $500 in cash. The suspect fled the area on foot but left his portrait behind. No, the suspect does not look exactly like the [portrait]… [But] Riverside PD are using that portrait, despite its exaggerated characteristics and features, to help identify the suspect.”
“A future trivia question and historical footnote, the spectacular 10-day flameout of Anthony Scaramucci qualifies as the most entertaining episode yet of the ongoing reality show that is the Trump presidency. (Working title: ‘The Pompadours of 1600 Pennsylvania.’)” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on Aug. 3, 2017.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Original Article

Biden rebound continues, Warren falls to third

closeJoe Biden rebounds, Pete Buttigieg knocks Elizabeth Warren to third in new pollVideo

Joe Biden rebounds, Pete Buttigieg knocks Elizabeth Warren to third in new poll

New national Quinnipiac poll finds billionaire Michael Bloomberg is starting toward the bottom with 3 percent national support; Peter Doocy reports from Des Moines, Iowa.

**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**
On the roster: Biden rebound continues, Warren falls to third – Inspector general scathes FBI – Audible: Slam what now? – Axe yourself why

Quinnipiac University: “In the Democratic primary race for president, former Vice President Joe Biden is in the best position that he has been since the end of the summer, with 29 percent of the vote among Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released [Tuesday]. Biden is followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders with 17 percent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 15 percent, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 9 percent. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has 5 percent, businessman Andrew Yang receives 4 percent, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar gets 3 percent. No other candidate tops 2 percent. In a November 26 poll, Biden received 24 percent, Buttigieg got 16 percent, Warren had 14 percent, and Sanders got 13 percent.”
Head-to-heads show Dems with steady, decisive advantage – Quinnipiac University: “If the general election for president were being held today, 51 percent of registered voters say they would vote for Joe Biden, while 42 percent say they would vote for President Trump. When Trump is matched against other Democratic contenders the race remains in single digits: Bernie Sanders gets 51 percent, while Trump has 43 percent; Elizabeth Warren receives 50 percent and Trump gets 43 percent; Michael Bloomberg gets 48 percent to Trump's 42 percent; Pete Buttigieg has 48 percent, while Trump receives 43 percent; Amy Klobuchar receives 47 percent, while Trump has 43 percent.”
Buttigieg leads in another New Hampshire poll – WBUR: “Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and former Vice President Joe Biden are leading the crowded Democratic presidential primary race in New Hampshire, according to a new WBUR poll. With the first-in-the-nation primary less than nine weeks away, Buttigieg is running slightly ahead of Biden, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is in fourth place. … According to the WBUR survey (topline, crosstabs) of 442 likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters, 18% say Buttigieg is their top choice. … His rise to the top of the field in the Granite State has come as support for Warren appears to have slipped. Both are competing for highly educated voters, so it's not surprising they are now taking shots at each other.”
Biden considers making single-term pledge – Politico: “Former Vice President Joe Biden’s top advisers and prominent Democrats outside the Biden campaign have recently revived a long-running debate whether Biden should publicly pledge to serve only one term, with Biden himself signaling to aides that he would serve only a single term. While the option of making a public pledge remains available, Biden has for now settled on an alternative strategy: quietly indicating that he will almost certainly not run for a second term while declining to make a promise that he and his advisers fear could turn him into a lame duck and sap him of his political capital. According to four people who regularly talk to Biden … it is virtually inconceivable that he will run for reelection in 2024, when he would be the first octogenarian president. ‘If Biden is elected,’ a prominent adviser to the campaign said, ‘he’s going to be 82 years old in four years and he won’t be running for reelection.’”
Biden won’t back up campaign diversity claims – Politico: “Former Vice President Joe Biden claims to have ‘the most diverse staff of anybody running’ but his campaign won't prove it. Biden made the sweeping assertion in an interview with NPR this week while campaigning in Iowa. But when presented with staff diversity figures from other campaigns, Biden's campaign declined to release its own numbers. Jamal Brown, Biden’s national press secretary, emailed a statement that did not address the question but instead emphasized Biden’s support among voters of color. The campaigns of Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders’ campaigns all said that about 40 percent of their full-time campaign employees are people of color. … The Biden campaign's refusal to provide evidence backing the former vice president’s claim could provide an opening for his rivals to attack his veracity, as candidates work to create contrasts and score points ahead of the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses.”
Yang qualifies for December debate, stage likely set at seven – NPR: “Businessman Andrew Yang has qualified for the sixth Democratic primary debate next week. The upstart entrepreneur and nonprofit executive becomes the seventh — and likely final — candidate to make the Dec. 19 debate cut. He reached the polling threshold after a Quinnipiac University poll was released Tuesday. Yang will join former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, billionaire businessman Tom Steyer and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the PBS NewsHour/Politico debate at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. The Asian American candidate also brings some needed diversity to the debate stage amid criticism that the event could feature only white candidates after California Sen. Kamala Harris, who had already qualified, dropped out last week.”
“The legislative department is everywhere extending the sphere of its activity, and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 48
Garden & Gun: “April McGreger, who for eleven years ran the beloved pickle and preserve business Farmer’s Daughter outside of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is in a mixed marriage. She was raised a Christian in Mississippi. Her husband, the illustrator Phil Blank, grew up in a Jewish family in Pennsylvania. Anyone who has been in one of those relationships knows that cooking for two sets of holidays can bring on what McGreger calls ‘celebratory cooking overload.’ The cultural crush can be even more difficult when a Southern cook who made her name with hyperlocal products such as Bradford watermelon rind pickles and scuppernong chutney wades into hundreds of years of Eastern European culinary tradition. All of this helps explain why McGreger will spend Hanukkah frying dozens of sweet potato latkes for her husband’s extended family. … She hopes sweet potato latkes will help her son stay close to his Southern roots.”
Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
Biden: 27.6 points (↑ 1.6 points from last wk.)
Warren: 18.4 points (↓ 1 point from last wk.)
Sanders: 18.2 points (↑ 1 point from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 8.6 points (↓ 1.6 points from last wk.)
[Averages include: Quinnipiac University, Monmouth University, CNN, NBC News/WSJ and ABC News/WaPo.]
Average approval: 43.4 percent
Average disapproval: 53 percent
Net Score: -9.6 percent
Change from one week ago: ↑ 0.2 points
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 41% approve – 55% disapprove; Monmouth University: 46% approve – 52% disapprove; CNN: 43% approve – 53% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve – 51% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve – 54% disapprove.]
You can join Chris and Brianna every day on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favorite political note as they go through the must-read headlines of the day right from their office – with plenty of personality. Click here to sign up and watch!
Fox News: “Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on Wednesday decried what he called ‘failure’ by the entire ‘chain of command’ involved in the FBI’s initial Trump-Russia investigation, saying they made ‘so many basic and fundamental errors’ on ‘one of the most sensitive FBI investigations.’ Horowitz appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday to testify on his report on the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation and alleged misconduct related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). He also criticized FBI leadership for the ‘inaccuracies’ and ‘omissions’ in their FISA applications for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, among other things. ‘We are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked investigative teams; on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations; after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI; even though the information sought through the use of FISA authority related so closely to an ongoing presidential campaign’ … Horowitz said in his opening statement before the committee.”
Senate GOP may skip impeachment witnesses altogether – WashEx: “Senate Republicans do not expect to call witnesses President Trump might want to hear from most in an impeachment trial, conceding there are not the votes to summon key figures such as Hunter Biden and the unidentified government whistleblower whose complaint sparked the process. Senate impeachment rules require a majority vote to call witnesses, and with just two out of 53 votes to spare, there is no ‘appetite’ among Republicans to pursue testimony from people that Democrats blocked Republicans from subpoenaing during the House investigation. Indeed, Republicans might forgo calling witnesses altogether, saying minds are made up on Trump’s guilt or innocence and that testimony at trial on the Senate floor would draw out the proceedings unnecessarily. ‘Here’s what I want to avoid: this thing going on longer than it needs to,’ Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told the Washington Examiner. ‘I want to end this.’”
Trump to sign executive order targeting anti-Semitism on college campusesNYT
Trump paid $2 million in damages for misuse of charity fundsWaPo
“We put it in, slam it in the oven, take it out and there it is — get Brexit done.” – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson campaigning at a caterer as pies were being made on the eve of Thursday’s parliamentary elections.
“My wife wants to give a generous donation to Biden, believing Biden to be the weakest candidate. I keep waiting for Warren and Sanders to forge an alliance that would vault one of them into ‘first place’ with a combined 35% backing of Democrat voters. What are your thoughts? Can Liz and Bernie make peace with one another (probably with Warren at the top of the ticket) and win the contest to be the Democrat nominee?” – Lois and Jack Conrad, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
[Ed. note: I will say this for you guys: You’ve elevated strategic voting to the next level! As for your second question, I think any such alliance to be highly unlikely. There’s real antipathy there. Remember that people treat adversaries better than heretics. Sanders is pretty clearly banking on taking his fight to Milwaukee. As for the matter of where to make a donation to do the most harm to Democratic chances, I would only remind you of all the Republicans who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 primaries on the grounds that it would weaken Hillary Clinton or deliver an Obama nomination, making it easier for the GOP. The future is not a straight-line projection, certainly when it comes to politics.]
“During the past few ‘I'll Tell You What’ podcasts, I've had the delightful experience of taking in (and laughing roundly at) the recap of Dana's take on and your reaction to her pronunciation of the word ‘raccoon.’ I missed the original episode the first time around, but I'm heartily glad I have experienced the highlight reel the second. Dana's blueblood-ish pronunciation made me think of a pet belonging to the nouveau riche summering in Newport in an Edith Wharton novel (not that I believe the Vanderbilt’s would have ever made social calls with raccoons in tow). Yours was the pragmatic take: RAC-coon. As a native Tennesseean, I can tell you our pronunciation draws out both syllables equally and longer with a bit more liquid in the second vowel sound: rac-cooon. Regardless, I think we all know what's to be done when it's confirmed there's a raccoon out back somewhere.” – Cari Shanks, Argyle, Texas (by way of Cleveland, Tenn.)
[Ed. note: But did you know that the Coolidges kept a pet raccoon at the White House? Maybe not the cottages at Newport, but pretty darned swishy for a ringtail!]
“I want to commend you for writing a courageous and uplifting article in Monday’s Halftime Report. You are right, that the world is not addicted to the awful, but to the hopeful. It seems nowadays that the media at large seems to have taken the old adage ‘if it bleeds, it leads,’ and pushed it to our breaking point. … I think the remedy is in part one that you constantly (in a good way) proclaim, that the news needs to be more local, as does the politics. Yet in this information (overload) age, I don’t see how that will ever be a profitable venture.” – Joshua A. Biggs, Susanville, Calif.
[Ed. note: I so much wish I knew the answer to that conundrum. And I promise that if I knew it, I would be out there doing it. We are watching now as the new owners of Gannett, the largest newspaper publisher in the land, looks for another $300 million in cuts. One suggestion on the table is loosening anti-trust restrictions to allow news outlets to collectively bargain with social media providers on rates, etc. But given the demand, I have to believe someone is going to find a new way to make it work. I just hope they hurry! ]
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
WFTS: “A middle school in Manatee County evacuated its students after someone sprayed too much Axe body spray. According to school officials, the bus carrying Buffalo Creek Middle School students had to remove students off the bus because of the strong odor. The bus stopped at the intersection of 119th Avenue East and Erie Road near Parrish. Another bus arrived at the smelly scene to pick up the students. A local EMS came to check out the students but thankfully, no one was transported to the hospital from having too much Axe body spray.”
“First, how naive we are about what constitutions are and what they mean around the world. And the second thing, the reason for the first, is how much reverence we have — in the United States and very few other countries — for this document.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) in a column from his posthumous book, “The Point of It All,” on Nov. 29, 2018.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Original Article