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Mitch McConnell launches preemptive attack on Roy Moore’s Senate seat

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Mitch McConnell launches preemptive attack on Roy Moores Senate seat

Mitch McConnell really doesn’t want Roy Moore to be a Senator. He tenaciously opposed him in the primaries. Wild rumors have been floated that it was McConnell’s super PAC’s oppo research that led to the Washington Post article in a botched attempt to bump Moore out of the primaries. If this is the case, unlikely as it may be, then he was double crossed. WaPo waited to use the story until after Moore secured the nomination.

Regardless of how involved McConnell was in the hit piece, he’s not holding back shots anymore. The Senate Majority Leader declared that if Moore wins the December 12 special election in Alabama, the Senate would launch an immediate ethics probe. Such an investigation could force Moore to testify under oath and would likely be the precursor to an expulsion attempt. Under Article 1, Section 5 of the Constitution, a two-thirds vote is required within the Senate to expel a member.

“It would be a rather unusual beginning,” McConnell told The Wall Street Journal at a CEO Council event on Tuesday. “I’d like to save the seat, and it’s a heck of a dilemma when you’ve got a completely unacceptable candidate bearing the label of your party within a month of the election.”

McConnell’s play may have a beneficial ulterior motive for the GOP. If Moore wins, the seat is safely in the Republicans’ hands if Moore is expelled or forced to resign with Republican Alabama Governor Ivey as the person to pick his replacement. McConnell has even floated plugging in Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a write-in candidate. While any write-in candidate, even someone as popular in Alabama as Sessions, would have virtually no chance of winning if Moore stays in the race, it would make the “Sessions Gambit” more plausible with McConnell moving chess pieces around now.

Further Reading

McConnell: Moore will face Senate ethics probe if he wins election

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/360404-mcconnell-moore-will-face-senate-ethics-probe-if-he-wins-electionThe Senate last expelled a member in 1862. McConnell oversaw the Senate’s ethics panel when then-Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.) resigned in 1995 amid sexual harassment allegations and under the threat of expulsion.

Senate Republicans are increasing their pressure for Moore to step down from the Alabama Senate race after a bombshell report in The Washington Post, in which a woman accused Moore of making sexual advances toward her when she was 14 and he was 32. On Monday, a fifth woman came forward, saying he sexually assaulted her when she was 16.

The Sessions Gambit: White House floats rumor of plan to replace Roy Moore

https://noqreport.com/2017/11/13/mitch-mcconnell-can-get-rid-roy-moore-still-keep-seat-gop/Adding fuel to this scenario is the White House who seems to already be planning out this gambit. According to the NY Times, two White House sources have floated the idea of replacing Moore with Jeff Sessions. It would kill two birds with one stone for the White House. First, the President has expressed varying degrees of unhappiness with his Attorney General, so moving him back where he came from could end the President’s problem without causing a stir. Second, such a scenario of replacing Moore would be viewed negatively by many who voted for him, particularly if either Luther Strange or Mo Brooks, Moore’s main competitors in the primary, was appointed. Sessions is extremely popular in Alabama, so if he’s the replacement, the repercussions from voters would be minimized.

Mitch McConnell publicly floats Jeff Sessions as write-in alternative to Roy Moore

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/mitch-mcconnell-publicly-floats-jeff-sessions-as-write-in-alternative-to-roy-moore/article/2640675McConnell made the comments to the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council while talking about who could mount a successful write-in campaign, like Sen. Lisa Murkowski did in Alaska in 2010. McConnell said she was popular in the state and was universally well-known, qualities that Sessions has in Alabama.

“The name being most often discussed may not be available, but the Alabamian who would fit that standard would be the attorney general,” McConnell said. “He’s totally well-known and is extremely popular in Alabama.”

Carl is a gaming fanatic, forever stuck on Reddit and all-around lover of food. He writes about food, politics, and cars for several publications and lives in northern California.

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  1. ed

    November 14, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    I’m sure both Trump and McConnell would LOVE to move Sessions back to the Senate.
    Then Trump could assign a more “malleable” AG that would comply with Trump’s demands to fire Mueller, end investigations into Clinton activities and that would act as Trump’s “legal firewall” in the same way that Holder protected Obama.

    Make no mistake: Trump wants Sessions gone. Trump wants an AG that will do Trump’s bidding and shut down all investigations into Trump’s collusions with Russians, China, US Mafia or Democrats. Sessions has shown that he is NOT Trump’s lapdog and Trump is NOT happy. Nor is McConnell because it’s not implausible that Sessions has dirt on McConnell and knows where McConnell’s skeletons are buried. As AG, Sessions could take down McConnell if it came to open conflict. McConnell clearly wants Sessions back under his control.

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News

Romney swipes at Trump over ‘s***hole’ comment

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Romney swipes at Trump over shole comment

Some celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by honoring the civil rights leader. Others just take the day off. Potential (nearly certain) Senate candidate Mitt Romney used his national holiday to take a swipe at President Trump’s comments about “s***hole countries” that were reported last week.

My Take

It was a strange play. It’s obviously a populist view that goes against a semi-populist President who sees his greatest divergent from American culture in his opinions about race and immigration, but for Romney to tie it into MLK Day is a little odd. There is plenty of time to demonstrate he would be a candidate who opposes the President. There’s only one strategic reason to do it now: If he intends to support the President in the near future.

By Tweeting this, Romney could be doing two things to help his cause. First, he builds credibility as a GOP Senator who is not beholden to the President’s every whim. Second, it gets that out of the way up front so he can turn around and talk about the good things the President is doing.

Then again, it’s probably just a politician playing politics.

Further Reading

Mitt Romney Calls Out Donald Trump With MLK Day Tweet

https://www.redstate.com/arbogast/2018/01/15/mitt-romney-calls-donald-trump-mlk-day-tweet/With Orrin Hatch (finally) retiring, the recruitment efforts to get Mitt Romney to run for that seat started immediately. With the revelation that Romney received treatment for prostate cancer over the summer, it may not be a slam dunk he runs, but if he does, Donald Trump shouldn’t expect Mitt to just get in line.

The fallout from the “s**thole” comments continue for President Trump, providing another means for him to get in his own way. The economy hums along. Corporations continue to announce wage increases and bonus payouts due to the GOP tax cut. Trump had the opportunity to get something done on DACA (which 2/3 of the country supports), and he chooses instead to yelp to the press that he’s the least racist person in the world.

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Democrats

Emoji loving Manning running for Senate

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After getting off early in the eleventh hour of Obama’s presidency, Manning became an “activist” taking on and getting roasted by many conservatives on Twitter, most memorably, Ben Shapiro. Now he’s filed for a Senate run for Ben Cardin’s seat in Maryland. This would be Manning stepping up to the big leagues of politics for sure.

It’s somewhat similar to Austin Petersen in Missouri, in that we have someone who has built up a social media following prior to launching a high profile campaign. This strategy definitely worked for Trump, among other things, but we await how social media darlings perform in campaigns.

However, this is also possible battle in the Democrat civil war between the Old Party and the Socialists. In The Most Important Races of 2018: Part 1, one of the elections mentioned was the Illinois District 3 race because one of the most moderate pro-life Democrats was being challenged by the pro-abortion and far more leftist Marrie Newman.

This was the first instance of a very formidable leftist challenging a Democrat for not being socialist enough. Manning, whatever his first name is these days, is on the side of Socialist for in the potential intra-party civil war. He is on the Colin Kaepernick, Linda Sarsour, and perhaps Bernie Sanders level.

This looks like it could be battle number two but Ben Cardin is a rock solid product of the Maryland Democrat machine. So in a way, this seems like two liberal going at it but key differences in policies are likely to be found in the area of foreign policy and dealing with Trump.

Being transgender isn’t enough to win a seat in liberal Maryland. The seriousness of Manning will largely depend on his finances.  Maryland seats are so easy to win by Democrats because of how blue the state is and the heavy gerrymandering for the House districts. So when a new seat opens up in Maryland, Democrats invest loads of money to fight for the easy to retain seat.

Thus David Trone spent 10 million losing a House primary in 2016 while Chris Van Hollen spent enormous amounts of money to win his Senate Primary (he was trying to upgrade from the House to the Senate because Barbara Mikulski was retiring). Both of these high dollar primaries were for open seats, so if Manning wants to primary Ben Cardin, he will need a lot of money.

Maryland is Democrat because of its proximity to the Federal government. There are tons of government workers and contractors in Maryland, and several companies where workers need security clearances. Odds are the convicted intel thief isn’t going to get off so easy with voters just because he put lipstick on. It will also be interesting to see Manning’s ability to win the black vote because Bernie Sanders failed to beat Hillary in this category despite being BLM and beyond.

Lastly, it Manning’s likability among independents will also make or break him. Maryland has closed primaries so they won’t be able to stop him if Democrats abandon long-time Senator Cardin.

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Final Thoughts

Republican nominees have their rallying cry. Cardin could be deposed or simply step aside to let the young man take his place and retire at 75. If Manning becomes the nominee, the race just became watchable. In the past, Republican efforts to take the seat have been pitiful, to say the least, but Manning is likely an amateur at campaigning and a polarizing figure, to put it mildly. He lacks experience and has a criminal record. So GOP might have a chance to steal this seat for six years. One thing is for certain: this Senate race just got interesting.

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Foreign Affairs

Iran nuclear sanctions waived again, but human rights sanctions imposed

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Iran nuclear sanctions waived again but human rights sanctions imposed

President Trump and the United States continue to support the Iran nuclear deal. Today, he signed a 120-day waiver on sanctions that should be imposed on the nation for breaching the 2015 deal. He did so with a promise that this would be the last waiver he’ll sign.

“I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies’ agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal. This is a last chance,” Trump said in a statement Friday. “In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately.”

At the same time, the administration issued 14 new sanctions against individuals involved in human rights violations during the Iran protests as well as those who support the Iran missile program. These sanctions, while very minor, lend a small amount of credibility to the administration, which has openly supported the protests in the Muslim theocracy.

Further Reading

‘Last Chance’ for Iran, Trump Says, as Sanctions on Tehran Regime Waived Again

https://www.algemeiner.com/2018/01/12/last-chance-for-iran-trump-says-as-sanctions-on-tehran-regime-waived-again/US President Donald Trump said on Friday he would waive nuclear sanctions against Iran for the last time to give Washington and its European allies a chance to fix the “terrible flaws” of the 2015 nuclear deal.

A senior administration official said Trump wants the deal strengthened with a follow-on agreement in 120 days or the United States will unilaterally withdraw from the international pact.

If the U.S. Is Not Isolated on the Iran Deal There Is Something Really Wrong With Our National Soul

https://www.redstate.com/streiff/2018/01/12/u.s.-not-isolated-iran-deal-something-really-wrong-national-soul/One of the first lessons you should learn as you transition into adulthood is that you don’t go along just because everyone else is doing something. The arguments for staying in the JCPOA, as best I can tell, is that the other parties (Russia, China, Germany, France, the UK, and Iran) won’t like us if we leave and we’ll lose unspecified money in sales. So a) popularity and b) money. If you want to argue that a deal that is essentially unenforceable and unverifiable prevents Iran from developing nukes, have at it. I’m not going to argue with you because I don’t argue over imaginary happenings.

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