Steyer fires shots at Dem rivals

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On the roster: Steyer fires shots at Dem rivals – I’ll Tell You What: We’re all on the same grain – Trump expected to use executive action on census – Acosta defends role in Epstein plea deal – To-may-to, to-mah-to

STEYER FIRES SHOTS AT DEM RIVALS
Fox News: “Touting himself as an outsider with a proven grassroots organizing record, newly declared Democratic White House candidate Tom Steyer took aim Thursday at some of his top rivals for the party’s presidential nomination. ‘The top three candidates have been in Congress and the Senate for a combined 70 years,’ the billionaire progressive and environmental advocate and philanthropist told Fox on Thursday. This was a likely reference to former Vice President Joe Biden (a former senator) and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as well as possibly Sen. Elizabeth Warren. But without naming names, Steyer characterized some of the leading contenders for the nomination as insiders and part of the problem. … Asked about the criticism from some of his rivals, Steyer said in an interview with and NHTalkRadio.com that ‘the real question here is not about money or personality. The real question is who has a vision for what we need to do in America and can connect with the American people.’”

Buttigieg shares plan to address racial inequality – NPR: “South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg got a really big boost to his campaign recently, announcing a staggering $24.8 million fundraising haul over the past three months. But that hasn’t changed one of the toughest realities his candidacy faces: support among black voters that barely registers in the polls. Countering skeptics who doubt he can win crucial African American voters in the 2020 Democratic primary, Buttigieg rolled out the details of his plan to combat systemic racial inequality, named for legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass, on NPR’s Morning Edition. … His ‘Douglass Plan’ aims to establish a $10 billion fund for black entrepreneurs over five years, invest $25 billion in historically black colleges, legalize marijuana, expunge past drug convictions, reduce the prison population by half and pass a new Voting Rights Act to further empower the federal government to ensure voting access.”

Warren shares plan to address immigration reform – Politico: “The Massachusetts senator … unveiled Thursday a package of ideas to restructure the government’s approach to immigration ‘to create a rules-based system that is fair, humane, and that reflects our values,’ she wrote in a blog post. … Warren calls for eliminating criminal penalties for people ‘entering the country without authorization’ but would leave in place civil penalties for illegal border crossings. She also calls for separating law enforcement from immigration enforcement responsibilities, arguing that ‘combining these functions sows distrust and harms public safety.’ Warren says she will ‘reshape … from top to bottom’ both U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, pledging to ‘change the culture’ at the agencies and begin ‘focusing their efforts on homeland security efforts like screening cargo, identifying counterfeit goods, and preventing smuggling and trafficking.’”

Biden wants to end detention of migrant children, offers no plan – CBS News: “Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday pledged not to hold migrant children in detention centers if elected president, according to several lawmakers who met with him in Washington on Wednesday. Biden’s commitment came during a conversation about migrant detention centers in a closed-door meeting with more than 20 members of BOLDPAC, a political action committee that helps bankroll the campaigns of members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Biden did not offer any further details on what he exactly he would do with the thousands of young migrants currently housed in facilities run by the federal government and private contractors. The specific changes he would make to the current system of migrant detention also remain unclear.”

#YangGang raises $2.8 million in second quarter – Politico: “Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, one of the outsider Democrats running for president, raised $2.8 million in the second quarter of the year, his campaign told POLITICO. The campaign said that 99.6 percent of its donors were small-dollar donors, meaning they gave less than $200. Yang’s campaign declined to provide a figure for its cash on hand as of June 30. Yang’s haul is significantly less than the top five candidates … but is either on par or ahead of several other traditional candidates who have already announced their fundraising totals. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado raised $2.8 million in the quarter, and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock raised $2 million. POLITICO reported that former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper raised just over $1 million in the second three months of the year.”

Sanders has ‘deep sense of satisfaction’ his positions are now ‘centrist’ among Dems – Fox News: “Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, expressed he had ‘a deep sense of satisfaction’ that the Democratic Party have embraced positions he previously held during the 2016 election. The top-tier 2020 candidate appeared on ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ and was asked about the ‘character’ of the Democratic primary. … ‘The good news is we have moved not only the debate, but legislation in states and in the federal government,’ Sanders continued. ‘But now what has to be done…. at the end of the day, it’s not good enough to talk about Medicare-For-All and talk about being on climate change… if you want real change, we need a political revolution.’ The 2020 Democratic candidates have shown how far left they have gotten during last month’s debate, when all ten candidates on the debate stage promised their health care plans would cover illegal immigrants, something mainstream Democrats opposed in 2009.”

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Check this out: Lessons about Dem primary from first six months of pollsFiveThirtyEight

THE RULEBOOK: A SELF-MADE COUNTRY
“It is evident that no other form [of government] would be reconcilable with the genius of the people of America; with the fundamental principles of the Revolution; or with that honorable determination which animates every votary of freedom, to rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 39

TIME OUT: ‘REMEMBER IT’S A SIN TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD’
History: “On this day in 1960, the 34-year-old novelist Nelle Harper Lee publishes her first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Set in Maycomb, a small Alabama town much like Lee’s native Monroeville, To Kill a Mockingbird is populated with indelible characters, including the book’s tomboy narrator, Jean Louise Finch (known as ‘Scout’), the mysterious recluse Boo Radley and Scout’s father, Atticus Finch, an upstanding lawyer who defends a black man accused of raping a white woman. Now a staple of junior high and high school classrooms and the subject of numerous censorship efforts, it offers a vivid depiction of life in the Jim Crow South during the Great Depression. … Lee’s book became an immediate success, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961 and eventually selling more than 40 million copies worldwide. Gregory Peck won an Oscar for his portrayal of Atticus in the 1962 film version, which also nabbed statuettes for screenwriting and art direction.”

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SCOREBOARD
Trump job performance
Average approval
: 44.5 percent
Average disapproval: 52 percent
Net Score: -7.4 points
Change from one week ago: no change 
[Average includes: Monmouth University: 42% approve – 51% disapprove; USA Today/Suffolk: 49% approve – 48% disapprove; : 45% approve – 53% disapprove; NBC/WSJ: 44% approve – 53% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve – 55% disapprove.]

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I’LL TELL YOU WHAT: WE’RE ALL ON THE SAME GRAIN
This week Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt discuss the legacy of the late H. Ross Perot, weigh in on the newest Democratic Presidential candidate and Chris recounts the flood that took over Washington, D.C. Plus, Dana has mailbag questions and see how Chris fared on trivia. LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE

TRUMP EXPECTED TO USE EXECUTIVE ACTION ON CENSUS
Fox News:President Trump plans to hold a news conference Thursday where he’s expected to announce an executive action related to the ongoing battle over the 2020 census. The announcement is likely related to his administration’s efforts to get a citizenship question on the census, after the Commerce Department’s attempts were stalled last month by the Supreme Court. Any executive action would likely trigger a new legal battle. The Supreme Court, in its opinion, did not say that the administration could not ask the question — but made clear that they needed to provide a valid reason for it. The court challenged the reasoning given that the Justice Department wanted the question to better enforce the Voting Rights Act. … An executive order by Trump would not, by itself, override court rulings blocking the question, but such a move could give administration lawyers a new basis to try to convince federal courts the question could be included.”

House Republicans ask Barr to provide Trump’s rationale – The Hill: “A group of House conservatives is calling on Attorney General William Barr to lay out President Trump’s rationale for adding a question on citizenship to the 2020 census, as lawmakers brace for Trump to issue a potential executive order on the issue. In a letter to Barr on Wednesday led by Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and signed by 18 other Republicans, the lawmakers asked for information to be provided in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling last month against adding the citizenship question to the decennial survey. ‘We are writing today to encourage you to work with President Trump to support the issuance of a memorandum or executive order appropriate under our Constitution and laws to clearly outline the President’s rationale for including a citizenship question on the census,’ they wrote.”

Second judge denies DOJ to change lawyers – WaPo: “A second federal judge has denied the Justice Department’s bid to withdraw its attorneys from the legal battle over adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, though he signaled Wednesday that he might ultimately allow the move if the new lawyers were prepared to address discrepancies between what the previous team had told the court and the Trump administration’s current posture. U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel in Maryland wrote in a six-page order that he shared the concerns of a federal judge in New York who similarly blocked the Justice Department maneuver this week, but noted that in his district, unlike the other judge’s, attorneys do not have to provide ‘satisfactory reasons for withdrawal.’”

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The Judge’s Ruling: Census asks too many questions – This week Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano weighs in on the Supreme Court’s decision to not include a citizenship question in the census: “Though this has taken on serious political overtones, it is simply an issue about the government rejecting personal liberties – again. So, when the census folks first revealed their intention to ask the citizenship question, two challenges were filed in different federal courts, and each sought to ascertain the reason for the question. That’s because – even though the Constitution only mandates and only permits one question: ‘How many persons live here?’ – federal law, in defiance of the Constitution, permits ancillary questions if the answers to those questions will assist the mission of the Census Bureau or the broader federal government.” More here.

ACOSTA DEFENDS ROLE IN EPSTEIN PLEA DEAL
Fox News: “Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta pushed back Wednesday against calls for him to step down over his past involvement in a plea deal for financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was charged in federal court this week with sex trafficking — saying his office fought for a tougher punishment after state prosecutors were ready to let him ‘walk free.’ … Acosta, who was U.S. attorney for Florida at the time … negotiated a deal that resulted in two state solicitation charges, but no federal charges. But, he said Wednesday that his office intervened only after state prosecutors were ready to let Epstein walk free. ‘Simply put, the Palm Beach state attorney’s office was ready to let Epstein walk free, no jail time,’ he said. ‘Prosecutors in my former office found this to be completely unacceptable.’ Acosta argued that it was his office that secured jail time, restitution and for Epstein to register as a sex offender.”

Epstein lawyers seek $77 million bail package – NBC News: “Jeffrey Epstein’s lawyers on Thursday asked a federal judge to release the accused child sex predator on a bail package worth up to $77 million. The request was made in court papers filed three days after federal prosecutors in New York proposed that Epstein remain behind bars without bond for allegedly preying on dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005. ‘The government seeks to remand a self-made New York native and lifelong American resident based on dated allegations for which he was already convicted and punished,’ Epstein’s lawyers wrote. New York prosecutors charged Epstein, 66, with sex trafficking and conspiracy more than a decade after he signed a controversial non-prosecution deal in 2007 that allowed him to dodge a federal indictment alleging he abused several underage girls.”

PLAY-BY-PLAY
House Judiciary Committee votes to authorize subpoenas for 12 Mueller witnessesPolitico

White House pushes Congress to reach spending deal, raise debt ceiling ahead of August recessWaPo

Report: ICE deportation raids set to begin SundayFox News

AUDIBLE: *MIC DROP*
“I have no regrets about anything. Regrets is not what I do.” – Speaker Nancy Pelosi defending her comments during a closed door meeting on Wednesday where she reportedly lectured Democrats for personally attacking one another.

Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

TO-MAY-TO, TO-MAH-TO
WMAZ-TV: “A miscommunication resulted in an unusual birthday cake for a Milledgeville [Georgia] woman. Kensli Davis is a huge fan of Disney’s animated movie, ‘Moana.’ Her mother ordered a cake for Davis’ celebration. They were surprised to see the cake decorated with a marijuana design. She says the cake came from Dairy Queen. ‘I think they thought that she said ‘marijuana’ because we are from south Georgia and kind of have an accent. So, ‘Moana,’ marijuana?’ said Davis. She’s ordered other cakes from the same location for more than 10 years. … The mishap didn’t stop her from eating it. ‘I was very shocked and it was hilarious to me,’ said Davis. … ‘I was very impressed by the artistic capabilities of them to be able to do the design that they did,’ said Davis. She still plans on buying a birthday cake next year.”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“It is an iron law: History abhors hegemony. Yet for a decade, the decade of the unipolar moment, there was no challenge to the United States anywhere.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing for The Weekly Standard on Nov. 12, 2001.

Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

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