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    Mitch McConnell Tag

    Donald Trump lashed out at the federal judge presiding over the Trump University fraud case, claiming his Mexican heritage made him ineligible to properly dispense justice. Because of course. Though Trump's verbal assault against Judge Gonzalo Curiel began earlier this year, Trump cranked them to eleven last week. "I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” said Trump. Trump also alleged Judge Curiel, "was a former colleague and friend of one of the Trump University plaintiffs’ lawyers," according to the Wall Street Journal. For their part, many a Republican Senator are refusing to condone Trump's judge fight and have gone so far as to condemn his rhetoric.

    Apparently, Mitch McConnell is trying to undermine the senate run of a conservative candidate from Indiana that he sees as a potential disruptive force like Ted Cruz. CNN reports:
    Rep. Marlin Stutzman is a member of the anti-leadership House Freedom Caucus, a conservative in the mold of Ted Cruz and a three-term Indiana congressman who voted against John Boehner as speaker. Now, he wants a promotion to the Senate -- and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his allies want to stop that. Privately, McConnell has made clear to his confidantes that he wants to bolster the candidacy of Stutzman's chief GOP rival, Rep. Todd Young, and push him over-the-top in the May 3 primary, according to sources familiar with the conversations.
    This move is purportedly motivated, at least in part, by Stutzman's vote against John Boehner. CNN continues:

    Having campaigned on closing Gitmo and on his first day in office signing an executive order to close it within the year, Obama has been steadily emptying the detention center, often in dubious deals and scandalous, logic-defying swaps.  This is something that he has been determined to accomplish while in office, and with time running out, he has today proposed a new plan to close Gitmo for good. Speaking somewhat uncomfortably about American values (as he always does), Obama laid out his reasoning behind and plan for closing Gitmo within the year. CNN reports:
    Obama outlined a blueprint that involves transferring the bulk of remaining detainees to other countries and moving the rest -- who can't be transferred abroad because they're deemed too dangerous -- to an as-yet-undetermined detention facility in the United States.

    Having just won reelection to his Senate seat for a sixth term in 2014, Mitch McConnell is back to making comments such as the one he made last year about his plans for "crushing" the TEA Party. This time, McConnell is announcing that he will ensure that no GOP candidate who "can't win" will be allowed to run for the U. S. Senate. The Hill reports:

    “The way you have a good election year is to nominate people who can win,” he told reporters during his final Capitol Hill press conference of 2015.

    He urged Republican primary voters to avoid the mistakes of the past, mentioning several Tea Party candidates who went down in flames in recent Senate elections.

    “What we did in 2014 was we didn’t have more Christine O’Donnell’s, Sharron Angles, Richard Mourdocks or Todd Akins. The people that were nominated [last year] were electable,” he said of the last midterm cycle.

    “That will happen again in 2016. We will not nominate anybody for the United States Senate on the Republican side who’s not appealing to a general-election audience,” he added.

    Rand Paul's disappointing poll numbers and fundraising for his presidential campaign are reportedly a cause for concern among the GOP both in his home state of Kentucky and in Washington. Last week, reports indicated that donors and the Kentucky GOP were urging Rand to focus on his senate reelection bid rather than on his flailing presidential campaign. The AP reported:
    A defiant Rand Paul is brushing off weak fundraising and weaker poll numbers as would-be donors and home state Republicans push him to abandon an uphill presidential bid to focus on his Senate re-election. . . . . But back in Kentucky, a growing chorus of Republicans suggested that Paul's Senate re-election was by no means guaranteed, despite the state's strong GOP leanings and the lack of a clear Democratic challenger. "He could lose both positions," said Patricia Vincent, chairwoman of the Graves County Republican Party. "He just needs to work a little bit more to make sure he still has a seat in the Senate."

    The failure of congressional Republicans to take action to stop President Obama's arguably unconstitutional and illegitimate executive actions, on immigration in particular, has created a growing unrest among those who put John Boehner in charge of the House and Mitch McConnell the Senate. While there have been failed revolts in the House against Boehner's leadership, by and large the anger has been kept out of the official GOP organizational structure. Until now. In what may be the first such action since the so-called "Cromnibus" and DHS funding passed, on Thursday night, March 12, 2015,the Tompkins County (NY) Republican Party Executive Committee voted "No Confidence" in the Congressional leadership. Tompkins County is in the Southern Tier of upstate NY, a mostly rural county that includes the liberal City of Ithaca. It is in the NY-23 District that overwhelmingly voted for Republican incumbent Tom Reed in the 2014 election. A source at the Tomkins Co. GOP told me:

    We knew this day was coming, although we'd hoped that somewhere in his heart, President Obama might find the decency to pass legislation that would create thousands of jobs, reinvigorate communities and small towns, likely decrease the instances of exploding trains, and pump much needed cash into our fledgling economy. Alas... Some have speculated that because the pipeline would've run through red states, President Obama would never be willing to reward those states with economic bounty. But we've been assured that the bipartisan, union-backed bill was vetoed because the President takes his job very seriously. Gregory Korte reports at USA Today:
    "The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously," Obama said in his veto message. "But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest — including our security, safety, and environment — it has earned my veto."
    Suddenly, the President is concerned about "well established executive branch procedures" *cough* executive immigration overreach *cough*. But I digress...

    Let's face it, Alison Grimes hasn't been helped by any of her recent missteps regarding whether she voted for Obama. She repeated the refusal to answer the question on local TV again:
    U.S. Senate Candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes continues to refuse to say who she voted for in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. On Friday, Grimes sat down with WYMT’s Steve Hensley for a taping of an episode of “Issues & Answers: The Mountain Edition.” Here is an excerpt from the interview: Steve Hensley: “You've also said in the past that you voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential primary so what's the difference?” Secretary Grimes: “In 2008 I was not Secretary of State and what happened at that convention is all on record so nothing that wasn't already fully disclosed was offered up. It's a matter of principle as I told Bill Goodman, I'm the chief elections official. It is a constitutional right provided in Kentucky's constitution for all Kentuckians to cast their ballot in privacy.” Hensley: “If President Obama offered to campaign for you in Kentucky, would you accept?” Grimes: “Well, I've said I speak for myself, Senator McConnell doesn't understand that. He and his henchmen have spent about 50 million dollars trying to put Barack Obama on the ballot this year. He's not, I am.”

    James O'Keefe and the crew at Veritas Action Fund are in search of a supporter of Alison Grimes supporter who actually believes her campaign position that she's not anti-coal industry. The other day O'Keefe released a video in which various assorted Democratic operatives and Grimes supporters used the "L" word in describing her position. Today O'Keefe has released another video in which a financial backer using the "F" word as to what Grimes will do to the coal industry if elected. Language Warning Here's a partial transcript posted by O'Keefe:

    Democratic operative Kathy Groob tweeted a handful of racist tweets about Senator McConnell's wife. Outrage ensued and Groob apologized and then deleted her Twitter account. Fox News reports:

    A Democratic operative deleted her Twitter account Monday following a series of what some called racist remarks about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao.

    Chao, former U.S. Labor Secretary under President George W. Bush, is Asian.

    Kathy Groob, who describes herself as an “advocate for women in politics,” sent a series of tweets related to Chao at a political event Saturday.

    According to WKMS, Groob sent the tweets in response to comments McConnell made at the event, in which he referred to his wife as "the only Kentucky woman who served in a president’s cabinet."

    Following widespread criticism from her own party, Groob later apologized for her “poor choice of words” and deleted her Twitter account.

    The tweets that started it all:

    Kathy Groob Tweets Elaine Chao Asian not KY

    The Kentucky Senate race is essentially tied in the polling. A poll released today by a Republican pollster shows Alison Lundergan Grimes up by 3 points, within the margin of error. Elizabeth Warren is about to inject herself into the race in a big way. Warren's student loan bill, which even an author at liberal Slate.com called "a glorified talking point," failed to pass an early procedural vote on Wednesday. In response, Warren declared war on Mitch McConnell, vowing to campaign and raise money for Grimes. The notion of taking political retribution is in keeping with Warren's vow to have "plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor" of those who oppose her. HuffPo reports, Elizabeth Warren To Hit Back At Mitch McConnell By Campaigning For Alison Lundergan Grimes:
    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) railed against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday for failing to support her student loan refinancing proposal, which the Senate killed in a 56-38 vote earlier in the day.... When MSNBC's Chris Hayes asked Warren how she planned to fight back, the senator gave a response that could shake things up in Kentucky, where McConnell faces a tough race for reelection against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. "One way I'm going to start fighting back is I'm going to go down to Kentucky and I'm going to campaign for Alison Lundergan Grimes," Warren said. "She's tough, she's feisty, she endorsed the student loan bill, said she wanted to bring down interest rates for Kentuckians. ... So my view is I'm going to get out there and try to make this happen for her."
    Seems to me that making Warren an issue in the race is risky for Grimes.

    Kentucky

    Well, that was quick. Major media have called the race for Mitch McConnell. Erick Erickson says he donated to McConnell even before the polls closed. Rally around the Mitch?

    Georgia

    You can follow the incoming returns at the AP Election website and at Politico.
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