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Where Things Stand: Sinema Doesn’t Just Love The Filibuster. She Wants To Strengthen It

One of the two most thorn-in-Democrats’-side senators rather brazenly planted her flag on the filibuster today — and she did it at a … Mitch McConnell event of all places.

Calling Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) the “most effective first-term senator” he’s seen in his decades in the upper chamber, McConnell introduced Sinema ahead of her speech and Q&A at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville.

“She is, today, what we have too few of in the Democratic Party: a genuine moderate and a deal-maker,” he said.

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DeSantis Still Mum 

The Post has another updated narrative of the events surrounding Florida’s shipment of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard. It is mainly more human detail about the journey of one Venezuelan migrant named Jose. But it does give a bit more flavor or “Perla’s” MO, including offering McDonald’s voucher to migrants who’d gone without food in exchange for signing a transport waiver most of which hadn’t been translated into Spanish. The other thing that is clear is that reporters seem to have more detail than made it into this article about the contracting arrangements by which Florida paid for these operatives in Texas to run their operation for them.

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Revisiting the Ukraine War 

Back on March 30th, little more than a month into the Russo-Ukraine War, I published an email from TPM Reader BF who I identified as from the U.S. national security world. You can read the post here. But the gist, according to BF, was that I had it all wrong, that “notwithstanding its battlefield embarrassments and mishaps Putin is on the verge of getting everything he wants and Ukraine is on the verge of what amounts to surrender.”

Last week I heard from another reader asking for an update from BF in light of the last six months. That follow-on note was a bit ungenerous in its tone and somewhat tendentious in its read of BF’s comments. But the overall suggestion seemed worthwhile. When I asked, BF was game. So here’s his response …

[ed. note: BF’s response was written on September 15th, so before the recent mobilization announcement.]

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Into the Storm 

The congressional generic ballot continues to drift slowly in the Democrats’ direction. But there’s been some tightening in key Senate races that have looked promising for Democrats. These are all very small shifts that are as likely to be noise as actual trends. But the fact that most of these small moves are in the GOP direction suggests it’s something more than noise. The simplest explanation is that a variety of factors allowed Democrats to dominate the airwaves through the late summer. Republicans had fundraising challenges; they hadn’t settled yet on nominees; their various committees and mega-donors were feuding among themselves. That’s changed now. And that change seems to be showing up in the polls.

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Surprise Surprise

One of the questions I’ve mentioned a few times in the DeSantis Vineyard story is that the company Florida is paying for the migrant flights isn’t the one which is actually running the flights. The former is Vertol Systems, newly of Florida, and the latter Ohio-based Ultimate Jet Charters. Vertol is mostly a helicopter company and doesn’t seem to have the kind of planes needed for this kind of work, which sort of raises the questions of why they got the contract. (Since the news of all this broke Vertol took its website offline.) Since Vertol can’t do it, they’ve subcontracted the work to Ultimate Jet Charters. This new Miami Herald article goes into all the details and reveals that Vertol has close ties to Larry Keefe, the DeSantis appointee charged with running his anti-immigration policies. Who could have guessed.

Of course, this isn’t the first state contract given to a governor’s cronies and it doesn’t get us closer to knowing the real question: who is DeSantis working with in Texas? And where’s “Perla”?

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Listen To This: Oh Dearie

A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is live! This week, Josh and Kate discuss Trump’s special master woes and activist efforts to keep a potentially catastrophic case out of the Supreme Court’s hands.

You can listen to the new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast here.

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‘Perla’ Behind Another Flight and Stranded Migrants 

There was a scramble at Delaware Coastal Airport near Georgetown, Delware Tuesday as state authorities and immigrant support organizations rushed to be ready to receive a plane filled with migrants from Texas. The DeSantis administration leaked word to reporters in Florida about the flight. There was no official word from anyone in Delaware but rumors abounded that such a flight was on its way from Texas and would arrive by 1:30 p.m. But the plane never showed. Courtesy of TPM Reader DC we have a report on the commotion here. Later, DeSantis spokesperson Christine Pushaw tweeted that the whole flight rumor was “disinformation.” But it wasn’t. Venezuelan migrants in San Antonio had been recruited. A charter flight had been booked.

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The Josh marshall podcast

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Ep. 241: Oh Dearie

Josh and Kate discuss Trump’s special master woes and activist efforts to keep a potentially catastrophic case out of the Supreme Court’s hands.

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