With Bolton Appointment Trump is setting up more White House Clashes

Sources close to President Trump say he feels John Bolton, hurriedly named last night to replace H.R. McMaster as national security adviser, will finally deliver the foreign policy the president wants — particularly on Iran and North Korea, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports:
  • Bolton, who was U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under President George W. Bush, was not White House chief of staff John Kelly’s candidate for the job. Kelly had nothing to do with his appointment, according to a source close to Bolton. Nor was he Defense Secretary James Mattis’ choice. 
  • A source close to Bolton: “He only owes his job to one man and one man only ... And that man is Donald J. Trump.” 
We can’t overstate how dramatic a change it is for Trump to replace H.R. McMaster with Bolton:
  • It’s not just that Bolton is more hawkish on Iran and North Korea — though of course he is. It’s that Bolton knows his way around the bureaucracy and won’t take anybody’s crap. He won’t show deference to Mattis or the generals, say sources who know him well.
  • Allies of McMaster have long complained that John Kelly, Mattis and outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson considered him a junior partner and treated him like garbage.
  • A source close to McMaster told Swan: "One of the downsides of what happened is I only wish Tillerson was around to experience this. The two of them that wanted him out most —Mattis and Tillerson — I only wish they were both around to endure the pain of National Security Adviser Bolton. They hated him [McMaster] but they're going to like this a lot less." 
  • Until now, Mattis and Tillerson have been trying to restrain what they consider some of the president’s more dangerous instincts, and have been on the opposite side of major issues, including moving the U.S embassy to Jerusalem and trying to persuade Trump not to tear up the Iran nuclear deal.
  • Sources who know Bolton expect he will stare down Mattis, tell him when he’s wrong, and will be a Henry Kissinger-type presence in the room. Now that Tillerson is gone, he could fundamentally tip the balance of power on Trump’s national security team, senior officials expect. 

Source Axios 


How Tillerson was fired

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  • The Washington Post reported Tillerson found out last Saturday he was going to be replaced when Chief of Staff John Kelly called him.
  • The Washington Post’s Ashley Parker later walked their report back about the phone call this weekend, and clarified Tillerson was told his days were numbered, not that he was fired.
  • NBC News reported Tillerson officially found out he was fired when he read Trump’s tweet today.
  • Bloomberg and the AP reported Kelly told Tillerson on Friday that he would be fired, but that the timeline was uncertain. AP cited a White House official who "said Chief of Staff John Kelly had called Tillerson on Friday and again on Saturday to warn him that Trump was about to take imminent action if he did not step aside, and that a replacement had already been identified," the AP's Josh Lederman and Matt Lee write. "When Tillerson didn’t act, Trump fired him, that official said."
The State Department did not immediately offer a comment on Tillerson's firing.


Texas Primaries Narrow Democratic Fields

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After months of speculation, the 2018 midterm elections are officially underway with initial primaries in Texas. 
There's more evidence of a Democratic surge previously seen in Virginia and in special elections around the country, but also the reality that some of the swarm of Democratic candidates aren't even going to make it to the general election.
While operatives on both sides of the aisle treat primaries like the plague, they can be a proving ground for candidates (particularly first-time candidates) and an opportunity to ramp up their campaigns before moving on to more competitive general elections. Some of Democrats' most publicized and well-funded candidates fell short of making the runoff in Texas on Tuesday night.
The primaries are significant considering Democrats have multiple targeted races including the 7th, 23rd and 32nd Districts. But the Democratic nominee won't be known in each race until after the May 22 runoff. That doesn't mean Democrats can't win in November. In spite of competitive and expensive Democratic primaries, President Donald Trump will likely unify and energize the Democratic Party in each race before November.
Pairs of Democrats and Republicans are headed for runoffs in a handful of solid districts that aren't at risk of a party takeover. While three candidates, Republican Van Taylor (3rd District) and Democrats Sylvia Garcia (29th District) and Veronica Escobar (16th District) won their primaries outright and are all-but-certain to be the first new Members of the next Congress (including the first Hispanic women from Texas).
As expected, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke won their primaries and will face off in the general election. O'Rourke continues to raise money at a considerable clip, in spite of shunning PAC money, but still faces an uphill battle. We're keeping our Solid Republican rating for now, but it could get more competitive in the months ahead.
Here's a quick rundown of the primaries (even though all of the votes had not been counted yet as of late Tuesday night) and the general election ratings:

2nd District. State Rep. Kevin Roberts is well-positioned to make the GOP primary runoff against either donor/activist Kathaleen Wall (who spent millions of dollars of her own money)  or former Navy Seal Dan Crenshaw in the open seat left by retiring GOP Rep. Ted Poe. The Harris County district stretches from the west to the north of Houston, and Donald Trump won it 52-43 percent in 2016. Democrat Todd Litton will progress to the general election without a runoff, and party strategists believe that he has the profile to take advantage of an electoral wave. Rating: Solid R. 
3rd District. As expected, GOP state Sen. Van Taylor won the GOP nomination in the open seat of retiring Republican Rep. Sam Johnson. Taylor lost a challenge to Democratic Rep. Chet Edwards in 2006 in the 17th District but represents 94 percent of the 3rd District in the Legislature. Taylor is a Marine veteran and real estate investment banker who has a Master's in Business Administration from Harvard, and calls himself one of the most conservative senators in Austin. Club for Growth endorsed Taylor, who supported Ted Cruz in the 2016 presidential primary, and he hasn't ruled out becoming a member of the Freedom Caucus. He's the prohibitive favorite in the general election in a seat Donald Trump won with 55 percent. Rating: Solid R.
5th District. Former Jeb Hensarling campaign manager Bunni Pounds and state Rep. Lance Gooden advanced to the GOP runoff after finishing first and second in the primary for the open seat left behind by Hensarling. Former state Rep. Kenneth Sheets, a lawyer and Marine veteran, who was endorsed by Rep. Pete Sessions, former chairman of the NRCC, failed to finish in the top two. Trump defeated Clinton 63-34 percent in the district, which sits southeast of Dallas, so there is little chance of a Democratic takeover. Rating: Solid R.
6th District. Retired Navy pilot Jake Ellzey and Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector Ron Wright progressed to the GOP runoff to replace Republican Rep. Joe Barton. Wright worked with Barton for nine years, and was chief of staff for the last two. Democrats are headed for a runoff as well, between journalist/consultant Jana Sanchez and 2016 nominee Ruby Woolridge. The GOP nominee will start the general election with an advantage in a district Trump won 54-42 percent. Rating: Solid R. 
7th District. Local non-profit director Alex Triantaphyllis led the Democratic field in cash on hand at the end of 2017 with $634,000, but failed to make the runoff. Lizzie Pannill Fletcher ($437,000) received the most votes, followed by "The Resistance" activist Laura Moser ($329,000). The DCCC publicly opposed Moser in the weeks before the primary by making her opposition research public, but it may have given her a boost from anti-establishment sympathizers. 
The DCCC went after Moser before the primary because party operatives believed she would be a weak general election candidate considering her recent move from Washington, D.C. and her past comment about not wanting to live in Texas. Some Democrats fear her nomination will jeopardize the party's ability to win a district that Clinton only carried by 2 points (49-49 percent). 
Fletcher has an endorsement from EMILY's List and should be equipped to run a competitive primary, but if the district becomes a proxy war for the Bernie Sanders faction of the party, the race could become unpredictable. Democrats have never won Harris County in a non-presidential year, and they are hopeful that this could be the year where the Houston-based county finally swings in their direction. 
Some Republicans acknowledge that Culberson could be in trouble, given both the national environment and slower start to his campaign. Rating: Tilt R.
16th District. El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar won the Democratic primary over former El Paso School Board President Dori Fenenbock. Fenenbock had previously donated to GOP candidates and looked like a credible threat with her fundraising and personal money. Given Clinton's 68-27 percent victory in the 16th District, Escobar is a prohibitive favorite to join Sylvia Garcia (29th District) as the first Hispanic women elected to represent Texas in Congress and the Hispanic majority district will be represented by a Hispanic Member for the first time since 2012. Rating: Solid D.
21st District. Former Ted Cruz chief of staff Chip Roy won the most votes Tuesday night, while 2014/2016 primary challenger Matt McCall won the second runoff slot over former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison aide William Negley. Former Rep. Quico Canseco struggled to reach 5 percent of the vote. GOP Rep. Lamar Smith is not seeking re-election. Democrats have been excited about Joseph Kopser, a veteran who founded a tech business, but he didn't win enough votes to gain the nomination outright, and will face minister Mary Wilson in the runoff. Trump won the district 52-42 percent, but the demographics could cause the race to get more competitive. Rating: Solid R.
23rd District. Iraq War veteran/former USTR official Gina Ortiz Jones progressed to the Democratic primary runoff but her opponent was unclear on Election Night. Judy Canales and Rick Trevino were battling for second place while attorney Jay Hulings, who received considerable national attention and raised the most money, was in danger of finishing fourth. GOP Rep. Will Hurd won't be easy to defeat but the sprawling border district is primed for a Democratic takeover considering Clinton won it 50-46 percent. This is the type of district Democrats need to win for a majority but a good example that it won't be easy. Rating: Toss-Up.
27th District. Bech Bruun, who stepped down from his position on the Texas Water Development Board to run for the open seat, and business owner Michael Cloud advanced to the GOP primary runoff. Trump won the district 60-37 percent in 2016 and this seat is not a priority for Democrats now that GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold is not seeking re-election to this Corpus Christi district. Rating: Solid R. 
29th District. Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia's is the likely congresswoman-elect to replace Democratic Rep. Gene Green. Garcia avoided a primary runoff despite New York Sen. Chuck Schumer's late endorsement of Tahir Javed, who spent considerable personal money, and she'll avoid a competitive general election in a district that Clinton carried 71-25 percent. Rating: Solid D.  
31st District. Democrats have been cautiously optimistic about MJ Hegar, but it looks like being an Air Force veteran who received the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device and wrote a memoir that might turn into a movie starring Angelina Jolie wasn't enough to avoid a runoff against physician Christine Mann. Trump carried the district (which sits north of Austin) 54-41 percent but GOP Rep. John Carter's primary performance wasn't anything to write home about. His challenger spent $33,000 through Feb. 14 and received more than 30 percent of the vote. Rating: Solid R.  
32nd District. Colin Allred had not been considered a top contender to face a GOP incumbent in a district that Clinton narrowly carried, but he was the top vote-getter Tuesday night and will progress to the Democratic runoff against business woman Lillian Salerno or Dallas TV reporter Brett Shipp. In one of the more surprising results of the night, Ed Meier, who seemed to be in the top tier of Democratic candidates as a former Clinton staffer, looked likely to fall short of the runoff. GOP Rep. Pete Sessions, the former chairman of the NRCC, will be a tough opponent but Trump won the seat narrowly, 49-47 percent, and the district's demographics could produce a backlash against President Trump and Republicans. Rating: Likely R.

Source Inside Election


The Trump White House is a place where turmoil never ends

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The Trump show has lost a star player — and it leaves the president a more isolated figure in a stretch that's likely to get significantly more intense. Hope Hicks will be remembered for her youth in a top White House job, for her service to Donald Trump dating back to before he was a candidate, for admitting to white lies, and for being a communications director who rarely communicated directly with the public. But inside the Trump White House, she was known as a loyalist who had the president's complete trust, and someone who managed to engender the trust of those who worked for her as well. That's a vanishing breed. Just hours before Hicks announced her intention to resign, Trump ratcheted up his criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions — among the first political figures to support his candidacy — by labeling his conduct “DISGRACEFUL!” in a tweet. Rob Porter was famously ousted as staff secretary under scandalous circumstances, and chief of staff John Kelly has been on thin ice with Trump since at least then. The president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, lost his top-level security clearances, and may not be long for his job in the White House. Trump values trust and loyalty. He may be looking a little harder to find it going forward.



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The chairman of the Republican Party in Bay County, Michigan, Brandon DeFrain, recently announced his resignation via a Facebook post.  He had served as chairman since 2014.

DeFrain had many reasons for resigning, and went through all of them on his 333 word Facebook post.  DeFrain wrote:
“I can no longer remain silent about our President.  I have not seen a leader, I’ve only seen more of the same.  More racism in our streets, on social media and schools, more hatred between family members, more people feeling as if their human and civil rights are being violated, more drug overdoses and more people feeling tormented and discriminated against because of who they worship and who they love.  I’m tired of attempting to defend a machine that does not defend the people I love.  Since Inauguration Day I’ve shared my opinion in close circles and mainly with family members, friends, and my wife.  I haven’t spoke much about the current state of political affairs because in the past, I believed in giving our leaders a chance.  Since I’ve been involved in politics I’ve spent my time learning about the passion on both sides.  I have found myself torn.  This leads to where my mind is today.  I do not support the actions coming from the White House.  I felt a strong sense of unity in Bay County during the 2016 election.  Despite some of the terrible things being said in campaigns around the country, I felt that people in our community could come together and embrace change.  But it seems that national politics only lead to us haring each other regardless of who we vote for.  I will no longer seek political office as a partisan represented candidate and I will no longer be more than an independent thinker working for the good of my family and my community.  I am resigning from my affiliation with ALL political parties so that I may be better aligned with my own values.  Those values that represent all people, faith, gender, class, thought, race and every other denomination on our planet.  I care about every human on this earth and I desire to live in a way that pursues freedom for all.”
DeFrain had previously endorsed Donald Trump, and, per vice chair David Scholl, was “very instrumental in getting the word out and helping the party have a presence in Bay County”.  Trump won Bay County in the 2016 Presidential Election with 53% of the vote.
Bradon DeFrain isn’t the first Republican to become disgusted with his party and decide to leave.  It is unlikely that he will be the last.


New Clearance Report Shows Why Trump May Be FORCED To Fire Jared Kushner

New Clearance Report Shows Why Trump May Be FORCED To Fire Jared Kushner

As it turns out, Jared Kushner may be on his way out the door at the White House, and all because of something he has no control of. According to a Thursday report from CNN, Kushner's security clearance - something that's legally required in order to work in the West Wing - isn't just being held…

Trump Gets Caught in another web of Lies

Beginning in 2014, the Kremlin began laying the groundwork for information warfare against the American electorate, collecting intelligence and establishing masked computer networks to employ social media in a weaponized manneragainst our democracy. The hub of this secret effort was the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg, which functioned as a front for Russian intelligence; at its 2016 peak, it was spending $1.25 million per month on operations to influence our election with online disinformation and propaganda. This effort aimed to sow distrust among Americans, further poisoning our already polarized election, while boosting Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders at the expense of Hillary Clinton and Trump’s rivals in the Republican primaries

These indictments fundamentally shift the debate about what happened in 2016. Despite nonstop claims for more than a year by President Trump that Russian interference in his election is a “Democratic hoax,” an assertion that has been parroted virulently by his backers, it’s now glaringly obvious that Kremlin officials indeed did clandestinely interfere to help put Donald Trump in the White House. Here, the president’s repeated assurances that Moscow did not meddle in his election—because Vladimir Putin told him so!—appear worse than merely unbelievable.
Predictably, the White House has latched on to the fact that Mueller’s indictments state that no members of Team Trump wittingly parlayed with Russian spies in 2016, who masked their identities. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s statement, “There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charge conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election,” has been judged especially significant by the president and his defenders. However, Rosenstein’s careful parsing of his statement about this indictment implies that more may be coming.
In truth, this is just the first wave of Mueller’s indictments against Team Trump. More, and worse, is headed to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The special counsel’s efforts to rope White House staffers into obstruction charges now take on different coloration as what they were trying to hide is coming into focus. At a minimum, events like the Team Trump June 9, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with the Russian attorney Natalya Veselnitskaya—in reality, a Russian intelligence officer—ostensibly to discuss adoptions, look more sinister when viewed against the backdrop of the broader Kremlin conspiracy against our election. As do pro-Kremlin changes to the Republican platform on Ukraine that were pushed by Team Trump at the party’s mid-July 2016 convention in Cleveland.
Even the most senior White House officials are no longer willing to publicly endorse the president’s repeated lies about what happened in 2016. The head of Trump’s own National Security Council, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, in response to the Mueller indictments, stated in Munich that the facts of Russian meddling in our election are “beyond dispute.” For the increasingly besieged White House, there is no going back now—and there are no exits.
Perhaps sensing this, the president went to Twitter for a series of rants against the Russia investigation, the FBI, and his political opponents that has been unusually hostile and overblown even by Trump’s impressive standards. Of particular interest is how President Trump has latched on to the fact that, per Mueller’s indictment, the Kremlin began laying the groundwork for information warfare against our election way back in 2014.
As the president tweeted on Saturday: “Funny how the Fake News Media doesn’t want to say that the Russian group was formed in 2014, long before my run for President. Maybe they knew I was going to run even though I didn’t know!”

This claim is absurd on its face. That Donald Trump floated the idea of running for the White House several times before he officially threw his hat in the ring on June 16, 2015, is a matter of public record. Moreover, he applied for a trademark on his slogan “Make America Great Again” back in November 2012, just six days after Barack Obama was reelected. Donald Trump’s Twitter feed between then and the official announcement of his candidacy included several references to his impending presidential run. The future candidate was re-tweeting others’ use of the #Trump2016 hashtag as far back as 2013, another indication that the White House was on Trump’s mind long before June 2015.
Then there’s highly classified intelligence demonstrating that Donald Trump was planning on running for the presidency—with Kremlin backing—years before the 2016 election. Back in the spring of 2014, a European intelligence service, a NATO ally of the United States, received a top-secret report that the Russians would back Donald Trump for the White House in the next election. The source was a mid-level Russian intelligence official who had plausible access to secret Kremlin plans.
Moreover, this source had a track record of providing accurate information, so his Trump bombshell merited examination. However, our partners determined that the notion was so absurd—after all, Trump was a reality TV star, a mere carnival barker, not a serious person—that the report had to be Russian disinformation. The source was put “on ice” for several months and his information was not shared with the Americans, since our friends didn’t want to appear so foolish as to suggest Donald Trump would run for president with secret Russian help.
However, American intelligence was hearing similar whispers back in early 2014. The National Security Agency’s global signals intelligence apparatus picked up conversations about a coming Trump presidential run with Kremlin backing. These were what the SIGINT world calls “reflections”—that is, Russians talking to other Russians, without Americans (much less Team Trump members) involved. These intercepted conversations included discussions of Trump’s coming White House run and how Moscow planned to boost him; the SIGINT involved, while not detailed, left the indelible impression that this secret effort had approval from “the top” in the Kremlin. Some of NSA’s foreign spy partners intercepted similar conversations in 2014.
Of greatest interest, NSA and its partners noted a spike in Kremlin conversations about Trump and the presidency in mid-November 2013, which was when Donald Trump was in Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant. While that visit has been the source of considerable salacious gossip—both in the notorious Steele dossierand in subsequent Kremlin efforts to fool American intelligence—for its alleged sexual shenanigans, its real purpose may have been more serious and sinister, according to several U.S. and Allied intelligence officials I’ve discussed the matter with.
Based on SIGINT reflections back in November 2013, it appeared likely that Trump had discussions with Kremlin officials when he was visiting Moscow, in preparation for his coming run for the White House. “It’s one hell of a coincidence,” an NSA official told me, “that high-ranking Russians suddenly start talking about getting Trump in the White House right after he’s in Moscow.” It’s unclear what intelligence, if any, was shared with the Obama White House about these SIGINT reflections, since its conclusions were tentative; there was no top-secret “smoking gun.” We can hope that Bob Mueller and his prosecutors will now get to the bottom of this murky intelligence puzzle.

In the meantime, President Trump keeps rage-tweeting. In the last 24 hours, he has issued bizarre rants against prominent Democrats involved in the Russia probe, patently false claims that he never denied Russian attacks on our election, put-downs of his own National Security Council boss, and, most insidiously, the claim that the FBI failed to prevent the recent terrible school shooting in Florida because the Bureau was spending too much time on the Russia investigation. That vile assertion has no basis in any fact or reality and betrays a highly stressed president under siege, without off-ramps, who knows that more indictments are coming his way.

Source The Observer
John Schindler is a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst..


'It's Bullsh*t!': Trump Supporter Refuses To Believe She Unwittingly Worked With Russians

'It's Bullsh*t!': Trump Supporter Refuses To Believe She Unwittingly Worked With Russians

According to Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 Russians unsealed last Friday, Being Patriotic was a group formed by the Russians to conduct influence campaigns by organizing rallies for Trump. Part of the strategy was to co-opt unwitting and sincere American Trump supporters for these rallies. A CNN reporter interviewed Florine Gruen Goldfarb as part of a…

Is Donald Trump Derelict in his duty

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1. Russia attacked the United States in 2016 by disrupting the presidential election.
2. The origin of the attack is a matter of consensus among American intelligence agencies.
3. The current president of the United States refuses to acknowledge the attack, refuses to respond to it and refuses to help protect the country against a likely follow-up attack.
4. In the wake of the mass murder of 17 Americans in Florida, the president falsely claimed that the F.B.I. failed to prevent the massacre because it was too occupied with the Russia investigation. In doing so, he repeated his frequent lie that the Russian operation did not exist.
There is no longer any doubt that President Trump is failing to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, as he solemnly swore to do.
“At every turn, Trump has failed to do what a patriotic president would do — failed to put the national interest first,” writes David Frum in The Atlantic.
My colleague Tom Friedman writes: “This is code red. The biggest threat to the integrity of our democracy today is in the Oval Office.”
Lawfare’s Susan Hennessey writes: “Much of my education has been about grasping nuance, shades of gray. Resisting the urge to oversimplify the complexity of human motivation. This year has taught me that, actually, a lot of what really matters comes down to good people and bad people. And these are bad people.”

David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt

Op-Ed Columnist


Will the new District Map In Pennsylvania help the Dems take Back The House

On Monday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court released the state’s new congressional map, which replaces the GOP’s now-invalid gerrymander and will be used for the rest of the decade. Political scientist Brian Amos has calculated preliminary 2016 presidential results for the new districts, though comparing them to the old districts isn’t necessarily straightforward.
That’s because the court’s new lines not only juggled the state’s congressional districts, it renumbered them as well. In the coming days, we’ll learn more about where incumbents who were planning to seek re-election will in fact run this fall, but for now, we’ve linked each new district with the old district that makes up a plurality of each new district. You can find that data, along with presidential numbers for both the old and new seats, right here.
Let’s start with the big number: Donald Trump won 10 seats under the new lines, compared to eight for Hillary Clinton. Given that Trump only carried the Keystone State by a 48.2 to 47.5 margin in 2016, that’s a much more equitable distribution than the 12 Trump and six Clinton seats under the old map.
And based on our best guesses as to which incumbents will run where, Democratic chances would likely improve against Republicans in PA-01 (Mike Fitzpatrick, old PA-08), PA-05 (OPEN/Pat Meehan, old PA-07), PA-06 (Ryan Costello, old PA-06), PA-07 (OPEN/Charlie Dent, old PA-15), PA-10(Scott Perry, old PA-04), PA-17 (Keith Rothfus, old PA-12). However, PA-11 (Lloyd Smucker, old PA-16) has gone from light red to implacably Republican.
There’s a lot to keep straight, though! For starters, you’ll want to keep our brand-new interactive map handy. We've also put together a table showing what portions of Pennsylvania's 2012-2016 congressional districts make up each new seat. (Click here for an explainer on how to interpret this spreadsheet.) This data forms the basis for which old district forms a plurality of each new district in the table above.
Note, though, that two old districts are not represented in that chart. One of them, PA-11, belongs to Republican Rep. Lou Barletta’s and was pretty much dismantled. A plurality (31 percent) of the old PA-11 is in the new PA-10, but because 59 percent of the new PA-10 is made up of Republican Rep. Scott Perry’s old PA-04, we list that seat next to the new PA-10. Barletta is running for the Senate, though, and won’t care, but other incumbents will face serious disruption.
That’s because no matter what district they now choose to call home, they’ll face electorates that are largely new to them. For instance, only half of Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle’s old PA-13 is in the new PA-02, while about 40 percent of retiring Democratic Rep. Bob Brady’s old PA-01 wound up there. (Incidentally, Brady’s old PA-01 is the other old district that doesn’t appear in the table above.)
The devil, though, is often in the county-level details, and to get a sense for how that will play, we’ve put together an updated list of how much of each county makes up each new seat, and how much of each county is contained in each new seat. For instance, Boyle’s Philadelphia made up just about half of the old PA-13, while it makes up all of the new 2nd District, so it makes sense for him to run there.

So, what happens now? The most immediate item on the calendar is the state’s March 20 filing deadline for House candidates (candidates for every other office in Pennsylvania must file by March 6), though they’ll need to start collecting ballot petitions well before then. Consequently, anyone who wants to run for the House this year needs to decide pretty quickly where they’ll run. The primary will be held on May 15 for all offices.
We should note that that Republicans in the legislature are once again going to federal court to try to block the new map, even though the U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene on their behalf earlier this month. As election law expert Rick Hasen notes, their odds of prevailing are very long, so this map in all likelihood is here to stay.
And on a note that is both highly symbolic and deeply important, this new map means that there are now 25 Republican-held House seats nationally that Hillary Clinton carried, up from 23. That’s one more than the number of Republican seats Democrats would need to flip in order to regain control over the House in November.

Source DailyKos.com   electionsdigest@dailykos.com