With David Folkenflik
Farewell to Bush 41. U.S.-China trade uncertainty. Power plays in Wisconsin. Potential election fraud in North Carolina — by Republicans. Our roundtable takes stock.
Lisa Falkenberg, vice president and editor of opinion at the Houston Chronicle. (@ChronFalkenberg)
From The Reading List
McClatchy: "Argentina ‘BFF’ status questioned as Trump fawns over ‘like-minded’ Brazil leader" — "President Donald Trump walked off, leaving the Argentine president reaching out and alone on stage.
"Mauricio Macri, who in the past was seen as Trump’s best friend in the region, appeared to call out to Trump, who kept walking off the stage as the meeting of the world’s top 20 economies came to a close.
"It was a clear miscommunication during a photo opportunity between leaders, but the uncomfortable moment seemed to symbolize an evolving mood in Argentina that Trump is pulling away from the once-favored Argentine leader for a newer, perhaps more attractive one from Brazil."
Houston Chronicle: "Meacham: George H.W. Bush and the price of politics [Opinion]" — "His guests were just about everything George H.W. Bush had never been and never could be: ideological, hard-edged and spoiling for a partisan revolution. It was spring 1989, and Newt Gingrich, a young congressman from Georgia, had been elected the House Republican whip, a key leadership post in the Washington of the 41st president. Bush, who was more comfortable in the fading moderate precincts of the Republican Party, didn’t know Gingrich well, but the perennially hospitable president invited him and Vin Weber, the Minnesota Republican congressman who had managed Gingrich’s whip campaign, down to the White House for a beer. The conversation was pleasant, but the visitors felt there was something Bush was not quite saying. Weber decided to put the question to the president directly.
"'Mr. President, you’ve been very nice to us,' Weber said as they were preparing to leave. 'Tell us what your biggest fear is about us.'
"'Well,' Bush answered, 'I’m worried that sometimes your idealism will get in the way of what I think is sound governance.' In the most polite way possible, in a single sentence, Bush had summarized his anxiety that when politics and principle clashed, politics was going to win."
The Hill: "North Carolina GOP calls for bipartisan investigation into election fraud claims" — "Senior North Carolina Republican officials on Thursday called for a bipartisan investigation into claims of absentee ballot fraud in one of the most closely divided U.S. House races in the country.
"In a press conference in Raleigh, three Republican state senators who represent parts of North Carolina’s 9th congressional district asked Gov. Roy Cooper (D) to create a bipartisan task force to investigate allegations that a contractor working for Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris was illegally urging people to collect voters’ absentee ballots.
"'What needs to happen right now is a comprehensive and transparent and nonpartisan investigative process so that voters can have confidence that the system is operating as it should,' state Sen. Dan Bishop (R) said Tuesday.
"Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by just 905 votes, about eight-tenths of a percentage point. But questions have been raised about voting irregularities in rural Bladen County, where a suspicious number of absentee ballots favored Harris over McCready.
"Affidavits submitted by voters to the North Carolina State Board of Elections allege that people came to their homes and urged them to hand over their absentee ballots. Some of those people encouraged voters to leave some races blank."
This program aired on December 7, 2018.