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The Morning Briefing: PA-18 Undecided, New Boss Lady at CIA and Much, Much More

Good Wednesday morning and Happy PI Day

I don't have the president's schedule for today yet.

PA-18 status

A pro-life, pro-2A, anti-Nancy Pelosi, former military Democrat is leading the GOP candidate by a razor-thin margin in the Pennsylvania special election. Absentee ballots have not been completely counted yet. As of 11:30 p.m. ET last night, AP said the race is too close to call. The Democrats are declaring victory.

For the GOP, lots of freakouts or suggested freakouts by the smart set, but the Democrats aren't running candidates like Conor Lamb in their races around America, they are running Chelsea Mannings, so we will see how that plays out in November. It's too early to predict the outcomes in midterms, but each race takes place in a different climate and if the underfunded Democrat party is at odds with the cash money rich p*ssy hat-wearing #resistance, it's not clear there will be a blue wave. I'm not saying there's nothing to be concerned about, because in off years, the party in power gets hit on their congressional majorities, but keep a sober head as you evaluate the 2018 races and don't buy into the media's desperation to hype a GOP demise.

If Lamb does win, I hope the Trump-friendly PA-18 voters keep an eye on him to see if he will vote for the president's agenda or join with the obstructionist Democrats.

Related:

Moulton: Pa. House election shows Dems 'can compete and win everywhere'

RNC spokeswoman: Dem 'has essentially run as a Republican' in Pa. House race

Tillerson out, Pompeo in, torture lady to head CIA

Yesterday, President Trump tweeted that Tillerson was out at State, that CIA's Pompeo was in at State, and that a career spook who tortured terrorists (is that a feature or a bug?) was his pick for CIA head. Feminists should be overjoyed!

Haspel reportedly headed the agency's "black site" in Thailand that, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA's rendition program, held senior al Qaeda operatives Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Raham al-Nashiri.

The report determined that Zubaydah was subjected to the controversial practice of waterboarding 83 times to gather intelligence about al Qaeda's operations. Waterboarding was among the "enhanced interrogation techniques" the CIA used on top al Qaeda detainees that human rights groups said amounted to torture.

According to the report, Zubaydah was also subjected to other "stress" techniques such as being slammed against walls, sleep deprivation and being placed in a coffin-sized box for up to 226 hours.

Senator John McCain isn't pleased. “The torture of detainees in U.S. custody during the last decade was one of the darkest chapters in American history,” McCain said. “Ms. Haspel needs to explain the nature and extent of her involvement in the CIA’s interrogation program during the confirmation process.”