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Saturday, Dec 16th

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Dem Murphy wins New Jersey governor's race

Murphy wins new Jersey governor's race

Democrat Phil Murphy is projected to win the New Jersey governor’s race, according to multiple networks.

Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive and U.S. ambassador to Germany, defeated Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R), who struggled to gain traction in the race.

Murphy's victory will also help Democrats maintain control of Sen. Bob Menendez's (D-N.J.) seat if he's convicted in his trial. If Menendez resigns from office, New Jersey's governor will be tasked with appointing his replacement.

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Democrat Ralph Northam Wins Virginia Governor Race, NBC News Projects

Ralph Northam wins Governor's race in VirginiaDemocrat Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia governor race on Tuesday, according to an NBC News projection.

With 65 percent of the vote in, Northam had 51 percent and Gillespie trailed with 48 percent.

Both national parties have spent millions of dollars in Virginia and are closely watching it as the first major barometer of the political climate since Donald Trump's unexpected victory last year.

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How a Russian troll sowed conflict using fake photos and news coverage

Russian troll identified

It looked like a Twitter account of the Tennessee GOP, but it was actually a prime example of how the Russia troll farm operated – garnering hundreds of shares and widespread media coverage for messaging that wasn’t just false, but came from a fabricated account.

And it happened not during the presidential campaign, but this past August.

TEN_GOP boasted 145,000 followers when it posted two tweets of photos falsely representing the size of the crowd at a rally for President Donald Trump. When it was called out on the false photos – after they had already been shared hundreds of times – the person running the account deleted the posts and offered an apology while mocking “loser liberals.”

Offshore cash helped fund Steve Bannon's attacks on Hillary Clinton

Steve Bannon used offshore cash to fund Clinton attacks

Eighteen months before guiding Donald Trump to election victory, Steve Bannon delivered the opening shot in the ruthless Republican campaign to paint their Democratic opponent as corrupt.

The future White House chief strategist produced a book in May 2015 accusing Hillary Clinton of trading favours for donations to her charitable foundation. Its questionable central charge, on the sale of a uranium company to Russia, recently became the subject of a House inquiry and feverish talk on conservative media.

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CNN poll: Trump approval hits new low

Trump at all time low

President Trump’s approval rating is at its lowest point yet following indictments against some of his former campaign associates, according to a CNN poll released Monday.

Thirty-six percent approve of the way Trump is handling his job, down 1 point from his previous low. Meanwhile, 58 percent disapprove of his performance. The new numbers come nearly a year after his 2016 election victory.

There is also growing concern about the ongoing investigations into Russia's election interference, the poll shows.

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Trump coal backer wins big under Perry's power plan

Trump coal backer wins big

A proposal by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to alter the nation's electricity markets would provide a windfall for a small group of companies — most strikingly one owned by coal magnate Bob Murray, a prominent backer of President Donald Trump.

Perry's plan would force consumers to subsidize ailing coal-fired and nuclear power plants with billions of dollars, in what he calls an effort to ensure that the nation’s power network can withstand threats like terrorist attacks or severe weather. But his narrowly written proposal would mostly affect plants in a stretch of the Midwest and Northeast where Murray's mining company, Murray Energy, is the predominant supplier, according to a POLITICO analysis of Energy Department data.

TVNL Comment:  Pay to play is alive and well.  drain the swamp?  Yeah, right.

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Sexism on America’s Front Lines: Six top national security pros sound off

Sexism in Wh National Secuirty CouncilWomen in national security face one of most male-dominated professions there is, which is why we brought together Rosenberger, Shulman, Eoyang and several other veterans of high-ranking jobs in the White House National Security Council, Pentagon, State Department and Capitol Hill last week for a frank, thoughtful and at times deeply disturbing conversation.

Each has played a role in many of the key foreign policy debates of the past decade, from helping steer U.S. policy toward Russia or North Korea to overseeing the Pentagon’s strategic plans. These women have got the nuclear triad down cold, and they have taught me a lot over the years about what really goes on in the NSC or the Pentagon when a crisis hits.

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