DC Memo: No Debate

Hello and welcome to the DC Memo. This week you can find me doing my best to avoid the omicron. Yeah, that’s it. I’m sorry there’s nothing else fun to report, but I’m happy to say that I’ve avoided the novel variant of COVID-19 so far. I hope putting this in writing doesn’t hurt my chances. This week in the memo: We may not see a presidential debate in 2024; lots of news from the 2022 midterm congressional candidates; and Minnesota Senator Tina Smith is pressuring Biden to get more COVID-19 tests available.

More debate?

According to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, the Republican National Committee plans to change its rules soon to require 2024 presidential candidates to sign a pledge not to participate in any debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

If this plan goes ahead, it would be one of the most substantial changes in the way presidential and vice-presidential debates have been conducted in the past 30 years. Republicans have complained that the debate process has become too biased in favor of Democrats, rather than maintaining a nonpartisan stance as it was designed.

More from The Times:

One of the RNC’s main concerns was the timing of the first debate of the 2024 election cycle.

In 2020, more than one million ballots were cast ahead of the first presidential debate on September 29 that year, after some states changed their election rules due to the coronavirus pandemic and expanded both postal voting and advance voting. The party has pushed the commission to hold a debate before early voting begins in 2024.

Former President Donald J. Trump has criticized the commission since his first campaign, against Hillary Clinton in 2016, when he complained that one of his co-chairs, Mike McCurry, was a White House press secretary under President Bill Clinton. He also complained that the debates were being held at the same time as NFL games. Mr. McCurry later condemned Mr. Trump’s attacks on the media as president.

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He couldn’t beat Phillips, but he says he will beat Walz

Kendall Qualls, an army veteran and former medical device and pharmaceutical company executive, has announced he is running for governor, hoping to unseat DFL Governor Tim Walz. Qualls ran against Third District Rep. Dean Phillips in the 2020 election, but lost in the suburban district.

After this loss, Qualls founded a new organization called TakeCharge MN to “[counter] the dominant narrative in popular culture that America is structured to undermine the lives of black Americans.

A GOP candidate hasn’t won a statewide job in Minnesota since 2006, but some Republicans have argued that recent polls for Walz and President Joe Biden highlight a chance to change that midterm. of 2022.

“I am running for governor of Minnesota because we are at a crossroads in our country. For more than a decade, the radical left has transformed the culture of the country where it is unrecognizable,” Qualls said in a press release. “We’re not going to be the generation that lost the America we knew and loved.”

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He’s never raced before, but he says he can beat Phillips

Mark Blaxill, former Minnesota Republican Party treasurer, hopes he can do better than Qualls in 2020. Blaxill announced his campaign for Congress in Minnesota’s Third Congressional District this week, saying in a press release that he won’t had “never been more concerned about the direction that so-called “progressive” political ideas are taking in our country. »

Blaxill mentioned a desire to “tame runaway inflation” and return to “sound health policies.” He also said that “the American dream cannot survive with more mandates”.

Blaxill grew up in New Jersey and earned her bachelor’s degree in public policy and international affairs from Princeton University, followed by an MBA from Harvard Business School. He worked as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group for 25 years, then founded two startups focused on brokerage and business. In 2021, he served as Treasurer of the Republican Party of Minnesota.

She presents herself as a more liberal alternative to McCollum

So much mid-term news this week. Amane Badhasso, a Democratic organizer and agent who arrived in Minnesota as a refugee from Kenya, announced her campaign against Fourth District Rep. Betty McCollum last year. This week, her campaign was featured by The Intercept, highlighting that she raised over $300,000 in the fourth quarter of 2021.

McCollum, who spent 21 years as a representative for the Fourth District, has been a reliable vote for progressive Democrats and a leader on the issue of Palestinian rights. She declined to join the Progressive Caucus, of which Fifth District Representative Ilhan Omar is the whip, and has kept a relatively low profile compared to other progressive lawmakers.

Badhasso told The Intercept that she would raise “little or no substantial objections” to McCollum’s voting record, and that she has long applauded McCollum’s advocacy on behalf of the Palestinians, but that the representative had no quite widely.

I don’t challenge her on that basis. There is so much more we need to do. We cannot just be a champion on one issue,” Badhasso said.

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become irritable

Minnesota Senator Tina Smith joined Democratic Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Tim Kaine of Virginia in writing a letter urging the Biden administration to ensure easy access to rapid COVID-19 testing for Americans across the country. (I don’t know about you, but every pharmacy I’ve visited in DC in the past two weeks has been completely sold out on rapid tests. Luckily, libraries here have been giving out free tests, but they’re going fast.)

In the letter, the senators urged the Biden administration to take steps to streamline access to home testing. The letter comes after the Biden administration announced additional actions to combat COVID-19, including through rapid COVID-19 testing.

As you work to develop guidelines to allow Americans with private health insurance to be reimbursed for rapid at-home COVID-19 testing, we urge you to take steps to make this process as transparent as possible. for individual patients,” the lawmakers said in the letter.

MyPillow Guy Says He Will Send You To Jail

In this week’s edition of Unbalanced Things, MyPillow CEO and Minnesota native Mike Lindell says: Lindell said this week that he had enough evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election to send 300 million ‘Americans in Jail.

On a talk show titled Real America’s Voice, Lindell said, “Everything you’re going to see in these next seven months to get rid of the [voting] machines, you’re going to see the Supreme Court case come out. All these great things, everybody. Lindell said he had the “puzzle pieces” to prove the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump.

“And you talk about evidence,” Lindell added. “We have enough evidence to put everyone in prison for life, 300 and a few million people. We have had this since November and December. »

Unfortunately, with 300 million people making up the vast majority of the US population, there may not be enough people left to buy pillows.

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what i read

  • “Second Chance Ethics: Pig Heart Transplant Recipient Stabbed Man Seven Years Ago,” The Washington Post reported. I saw the original story that sparked this one earlier this week: the first successful pig heart transplant! Very cool! But a woman whose brother was stabbed in 1988, crippling him, recognized the name of the transplant recipient when reading the story. Her brother spent 19 years in a wheelchair before having a stroke in 2005 and dying two years later, a week before his 41st birthday. She told the Post she wished “it had gone to a deserving recipient.” It’s not so much a feel-good story for some anymore, but a key principle of medicine is to treat everyone who is sick, no matter who they are or what they have done.
  • “Women are 32% more likely to die after surgery if their surgeon is a man, study finds,” The Lily. We have heard of some disparities in health outcomes between men and women, and especially women of color. But a new study published in the medical journal JAMA Surgery found that patients of female surgeons have lower death rates, fewer health complications and lower readmission rates than male surgeons, and the results are more pronounced. for patients. Thirty-two percent is a huge gap, and definitely something to consider. However, reading some of the comments on this article and the online discourse, it seems that some people pointed out that the data did not take into account that there were more older, experienced male doctors assigned to surgeries at risk than their female counterparts, just by the fact that there were decades of male-dominated surgeons in the past. If any doctors want to weigh in on this, I’m all ears.

That’s it for me this week. Thanks for reading. As always, feel free to send any questions, comments, or what your plans are for life in prison after MyPillow Guy has us all locked up at ahackett@minnpost.com, or find me on Twitter at @byashleyhackett.

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