Term-limited Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) nomination to an ambassadorship “is returning to the White House because of U.S. Senate Rule 31, which requires that senators agree unanimously to continue considering nominees as a year ends. It wasn’t immediately clear which senator or senators objected to keeping Brownback’s nomination alive. Democrats have questioned his record on gay rights.”
Brownback “faces mounting pressure to clarify whether he or Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) will be in charge when the Kansas Legislature gets back to work in early January — even if that means Brownback’s early resignation.”
“The Legislature reconvenes Jan. 8, and the governor is expected to deliver the State of the State address and a budget proposal soon after.” (Kansas City Star)
The Kansas City Star editorial board called on Brownback to resign.
“Kansas needs new leadership as much as oppressed religious minorities around the world need your passion for their situation. We do wish you the best in that capacity, or in anything else you choose to do. But as a fictional victim of religious persecution in pre-revolutionary Russia — yes, in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ — asked God to ‘bless and keep the tsar, far away from us,’ we wish you well, too, far from Topeka.” (Kansas City Star)
WEAVING A NARRATIVE. Republican consultant John Weaver, who “does not work for the Greg Orman campaign,” penned an op-ed praising the potential independent candidate.
Weaver: “What’s quickly become clear is that both political parties are threatened by Orman’s candidacy. They rightly view him as a disruptor of the status quo and their attacks demonstrate that they know he can win. And while the people of Kansas would be the winners under a Gov. Orman — a governor who would put the people ahead of partisanship — the political establishment would be the losers, and they don’t want that.” (Kansas City Star)
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"Two days after President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian officials offered a string of assertions about what the two leaders had achieved. 'Important verbal agreements' were reached at the Helsinki meeting, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, told reporters in Moscow Wednesday, including preservation of the New Start and INF agreements," and cooperation in Syria.
"Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election. The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation. Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed."