Ronna McDaniel Won’t Defend Uncle Mitt Romney Against GOP Reprisal

GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel was asked on CBS’ Face The Nation how she felt about her uncle Sen Mitt Romney (R-UT), being banned from an upcoming CPAC event and specifically whether this was retaliation for Sen Romney not always siding with President Trump. Shockingly, Ronna McDaniels showed no sympathy for her uncle and instead made excuses for the decision to ban him from the CPAC event.

Host Margaret Brennan(video at 6:00 onwards):“The Conservative Political Action Conference [CPAC] has disinvited him [Mitt Romney] from an upcoming meeting. They’ve put up this ad online, there are TV ads against him. Do you think this is proper, political retaliation?”

GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel:“That’s the grassroots part of our party and they are upset. They are upset when people aren’t supporting the president and supporting our party, and they think if you’re not supporting him [Trump], you’re helping a Democrat get elected. That’s a very common belief among the grassroots of our party.” Basically nobody can ever disagree with Trump in Ronna McDaniel’s GOP.

Bottom line folks, American democracy is the envy of the world in large part because of its tolerace for dissent. Where, as here, GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Trump are trying to normalize stiffling of political dissent and excusing it as normal grassroots outrage, all democracy-loving Americans have a duty to forcefully push back and call out their third-world dictatorship tactics.

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Did Saudis Bribe Trump For Military Support?

In a recent sit down interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, President Trump made a startling revelation about his dealings with the Saudi government that has left many people wondering whether the oil rich kingdom is bribing Trump for U.S. military assistance.

Trump told Laura Ingraham, “We’re sending more [troops] to Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia is paying us for it. We’re doing something that nobody has ever done. I said to Saudi Arabia,….listen, you are a very rich country, you want more troops, I’m going to send them to you but you have to pay us. They are paying us. They’ve already deposited $1 billion in the bank. We are going to help them but these rich countries have to pay for them.”

There is no other way to interpret Trump’s remarks other than the Saudi’s requested U.S. military assistance and Trump, cogniizant of their immense wealth, asked the Kingdom to pay for the militsry assistance–essentially a bribe. According to Trump, the Saudis have already deposited $1 billion in some unspecified account.

You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it. It appears AM Joy’s host Joy Reid came away with the same impression after watching Trump’s interview with Laura Ingraham. Joy Reid told her guest Rep Barbara Lee (D-CA) that Trump “talks about the military as if they are a mercenary force that he can loan out or sell out to other countries for money.”

Because this is a serious issue that involves the military, the U.S. Congress has a duty to get to the bottom of Trump’s startling revelation. Was this just another Trump bald-faced lie, or did he accidentally reveal a real scandal?

Bottom line folks, we ask and demand so much from our precious men and women in the armed forces. We owe them a solemn commitment that when we send them overseas to risk their lives and limbs for us, it will strictly be for our national security purposes and not as security guards for rich foreign tyrants as, this current situation suggests. Members of congress must get to the bottom of this $1 billion bank deposit.

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Sec Pompeo Says Iraqis Are Not Protesting Soleimani’s Killing

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation show and made the shocking assertion that Iraqi’s are not protesting the recent U.S. killing of a top Iranian military general Qassim Soleimani in their country (Iraq).

What’s even more startling about Sec Pompeo’s assertion is the fact that just today, the Iraqi parliament voted for a resolution to remove U.S. forces from Iraq as a result of Soleimani’s killing, a point which host Margaret Brennan correctly emphasized. Reasonable people will agree that the very fact that the Iraqi parliament was considering removing U.S. troops from their country is a sign of significant displeasure/protest against the U.S.

Specifically, Sec Pompeo told host Margaret Brennan when asked about the Iraqi parliament vote to kick out U.S. troops. “Make no mistake about it. The Iraqi people too are protesting, but not against America. What you are seeing on TV is happening at the direction of [Iran]..” To host Margaret Brennan’s credit, she did not blindly accept Sec Pompeo’s ridiculous assertion that the Iraqi’s are not protesting against the U.S. or that the vote in the Iraqi parliament was at the direction of Iran.

Bottom line folks, the Trump administration has never taken seriously the public’s demands that it tells them the truth about issues of great public concern. The administration’s blatant disregard for the truth is coming back to bite them as it now confronts the serious Iran crisis. The public has come to a point where they no longer believe anything the administration says–including the justification for Soleimani’s strike. It certainly doesn’t help when Sec Pompeo shows up on a leading Sunday political show and makes a demonstrably false assertion. Hopefully for everybody’s sake, the Trump administration will change course and level with the public about the Iran crisis. This is serious business.

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GOP Senator John Kennedy Slams Trump For Tweeting

GOP Senator John Kennedy (LA) appearing on CNN’s State of the Union show, took a rare swipe at President Trump over his twitter habits saying Trump “tweeting a little less will not cause brain damage.”

Senator Kennedy was responding to a question by host Jake Tapper about Trump tweeting out the name of the alleged Ukrainegate whistleblower.

Sen Kennedy responded, “I have enough trouble paddling my own canoe but I do agree with Mrs Trump[Melania], and I’ve suggested before to the White House that if the President would tweet a little bit less, it won’t cause brain damage. But the President does not have to take my advice nor do I expect him to.”

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it is that President Trump does not take kindly to criticism, regardless of its source or validity. It will be interesting to see how he handles Sen Kennedy’s clever jab about his tweeting habits.

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Conway Versus Blitzer On Marriage And Politics

In case you missed it, an interesting feud played out on cable tv the other day when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer brought in President Trump’s Counselor Kellyanne Conway to discuss the ongoing impeachment hearings and asked Conway to respond to her husband’s critical comments about President Trump–her boss.

Kellyanne Conway, understandably, took issue with Blitzer’s line of questioning and slammed the professionalism of both Blitzer and CNN. Specifically, Conway fired back saying, “What you [Blitzer] just quoted is said every single day by other voices. But you wanted to put it in my husband’s voice because you think somehow that that will help your ratings, or that you are really sticking it to Kellyanne Conway. And let me make it very clear, you didn’t stick it to Kellyanne Conway. I think you embarrassed yourself. And I’m embarrassed for you because this is CNN now? I looked up to you when I was in college and law school. I would turn on CNN to see what Wolf Blitzer had to say about war, famine, disruption abroad. I really respected you for all those years as somebody who would give us the news and now the news is what somebody’s husband says on a different network?” Suffice it to say, Conway got really ticked off by Blitzer injecting her husband into the debate and seriously counter-punched–probably a lesson from her boss.

For the record, Blitzer did not take Conway’s punishing blows lying down. He offered a plausible defense arguing that the famous political odd couple James Carville and Mary Matalin were always questioned about their differing political views and never once got “sensitive” about it. This good comeback by Blitzer compelled Conway to force a smile, adding, “I’m not in a sensitive discussion….I’m smiling.” Conway’s a character folks!!

Bottom line, is it ever proper to question a politician or government employee about their spouse’s political positions, especially where, as here, they have diametrically opposite views? Was Kellyanne Conway justified in both getting offended and slamming Blitzer and CNN for lack of professionalism, or was Blitzer’s question fair game given Conway’s line of work? Simply put, where’s the line folks when it comes to marriage and politics?

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Did Kevin McCarthy Have An Affair With Congresswoman Renee Ellmers?

Former Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Rep Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

During the last few days the public has been inundated by unflattering mainstream media reports about Congresswoman Katie Hill (D-CA). This started when nude photos of her surfaced online showing her engaged in an affair with one of her female campaign staffers. Rep Hill initially defended her conduct, blaming the release of the photos on what she alleged was her spiteful ex-husband out to ruin her career. Her biggest problem however was not the fact that her nude photos had been published against her will, but rather that they proved she was engaged in an affair with her campaign staffer–a violation of congressional code of conduct. With Speaker Pelosi, a known disciplinarian at the helm, Rep Hill read the tea leaves and correctly opted for resignation.

With Rep Hill’s resignation however, new questions are emerging about an explosive story that first surfaced in 2015 regarding an alleged long term romantic affair between Rep Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and then Rep Renee Ellmers (R-NC) both of whom were married with children at the time (Ellmers no longer serving). Rep Kevin McCarthy was considered by many of his House Republican colleagues as the natural replacement for then outgoing Speaker John Boehner.

Many of Rep McCarthy’s Republican supporters did not give much credence to the rumors about an extramarital affair and he was still considered the heavy favorite to succeed Speaker Boehner. However in a strange and shocking twist, right before the votes were cast for the Speakership, Rep McCarthy took himself out of contention (withdrew)–something his colleagues reasonably interpreted as an admission of guilt. In the end, Paul Ryan succeeded John Boehner as the 54th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Both Reps McCarthy and Ellmers vehemently denied the allegations, with Ellmers calling them “batsh*t crazy” and adding, “As someone who has been targeted by completely false accusations and innuendo, I have been moved by the outpouring of support and prayers from my colleagues, constituents and friends. Now I will be praying for those who find it acceptable to bear false witness.”

Yours Truly will not go out on a limb and accuse the two members of congress of having an extramarital affair based on the 2015 allegations. However, given the recent Katie Hill resignation, reasonable people will agree that someone needs to look into these allegations so as to establish conclusively that there was no affair between McCarthy and Ellmers. Nothing in the media reports suggest that there was any investigation into the allegations against these two members of congress. The media simply accepted their denials as fact.

In addition to that, reasonable people will also agree that Rep McCarthy’s abrupt decision not to pursue the Speakership gives these allegations some modicum of weight. Why would Rep McCarthy relinquish a position as cherished as the House Speakership simply because someone was spreading baseless rumors about him? Surely this knee-jerk reaction by Rep McCarthy flies in the face of Rep Ellmers’ characterization of the rumors as “batsh*t crazy”.

Bottom line folks, Rep Katie Hill was a young and very promising member of congress whose political career came to a crushing halt because she exercised poor judgement while serving. It is only fair that Reps McCarthy be held to the same standard, and if found to have similarly exercised poor judgement while serving, be shown the exit door. Congressional code of conduct is meaningless if the public views it as only applicable to one political party and not the other.

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SCOTUS Packing–The Ultimate Dem Troll Topic

Republicans have lately celebrated Trump’s uncanny ability to endlessly troll Democrats, driving them absolutely nuts whether that be through his tweets, wacky things he says, insults etc. Strangely, it is this unique quality that endears Trump to some of his most ardent fans. Well it turns out Democrats have lately discovered their own ultimate GOP troll topic and that is the idea of Supreme Court packing--raising the number of Supreme Court seats from the current 9 to 11 seats(some even proposing 15). Folks if you ever want to piss off/get even with a Trump-Republican, just bring up the Supreme Court packing topic. You might have to run for cover.

There are many reasons why Trump Republicans find the idea of Supreme Court packing so offensive. The most obvious is the fact that a lot of conservatives who backed Trump in 2016 essentially suspended all their long-held principles using the argument “it’s all about the Supreme Court.” Therefore the thought that they may have made this huge sacrifice for nothing is very troubling to them and understandably so.

There is also the issue of practicality. America is growing diverse with every single passing day while the GOP is getting older and Whiter. Unless the GOP makes a very dramatic shift soon, a reasonable inference can be made that the Democratic Party will fare better under a more diverse electorate than the GOP. In other words if the current demographics trajectory continues, the Democratic Party benefits more electorally than the GOP. More importantly, it means in the very near future we will have a conservative Supreme Court that will be out of step with the country’s political majority.

This will create the perfect climate for the party in power(presumably Democrats) to “do something” about a Supreme Court that’s “not in step” with the rest of the country. In other words, whereas Supreme Court packing appears a radical topic at this juncture, a lot of Republicans know it may not be as radical in the very near future. As a matter of fact a group of Democratic Senators recently made this exact argument in a recent filing with the Supreme Court–that the American public will soon demand changes at the High Court.

The fact that smart Republicans know Supreme Court packing is actually a very practical proposal is driving them nuts. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Senate Republicans have worked so hard and employed a lot of chicanery in the process (Gorsuch & Kavanaugh) to achieve a conservative Supreme Court. The prospect of all this “hard work” going to waste when Democrats pack the Supreme Court is understandably annoying. You recently saw how super Trump-Republican Lindsey Graham blew a gasket over Supreme Court packing talk

Bottom line folks, whether Supreme Court packing is a topic Democrats are just throwing out there to piss off Trump-Republicans or one they are actively working on remains to be seen. Yours Truly is certainly enjoying the heartburn this ultimate Dem troll topic is causing Trump-Republicans. Maybe, just maybe, this will cause Senate Republicans to deal fairly with Democrats in the unfortunate event that Trump is called upon to fill yet another Supreme Court seat.

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Republican FEC Commissioners Blocking Probe Into NRA-Russia Ties

In Yesterday’s MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show, FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub dropped the bombshell revelation that Republican Commissioners blocked efforts by the agency to investigate whether Russia funnelled money through the NRA to support Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. This if proven would be extremely reprehensible conduct by the FEC Commisioners. The relevant Maddow segment is available here.

According to the FEC website, the Republican FEC Commisioners who have served since 2017(Trump’s presidency) are Matthew S. Petersen, Caroline C. Hunter and Lee E. Goodman. It is therefore safe to assume that these are the three Republican Commissioners Chair Weintraub was referring to when she spoke to Maddow.

Bottom line folks, we are increasingly seeing efforts by seemingly upstanding Republicans to stall investigations into what Russia did in the 2016 elections. I’m sure many people who know these FEC Commissioners view them as upstanding citizens who would always do what is in the best interests of the United States. We must however not suspend our skepticism over Trump-GOP’s continuing ties to Russia and where, as here, serious questions have been raised about Commissioners Petersen, Hunter, and Goodman, we can only hope that the mainstream media and Democrats will hold them to account regarding their very questionable conduct.

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Only 9% Of Kentuckians Donating To McConnell’s Campaign

Democrat Amy McGrath’s Senatorial camoaign has just landed on some very exciting news in the form of a Courier-Journal piece which says of the $3 million Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell raised in the last quarter, only 9% came from Kentucky donors–the people he purportedly represents in the U.S. Senate. It turns out, according to the piece that a huge chunk of Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign dollars came from big corporate donors in New York and Texas. This is not a good story for Mitch McConnell especially given the fact that his Democratic challenger Amy McGrath is raising most of her money from grassroots Kentucky voters. McGrath’s campaign knows it and have seized upon this report as is evidenced from her Tweet below.

It is well known in politics that while donations are a good indicator of political energy in a campaign, one should not read too much into them. In this particular case, a forceful argument can be made that because Amy McGrath is getting most of her donations from grassroots Kentucky voters as opposed to big corporate interests, she is more attuned to the local Kentucky voter than her rival Mitch McConnell. This is certainly a good start for Amy McGrath and hopefully she can build on this message that she is the “candidate for Kentuckians” as opposed to Mitch McConnell who is bankrolled by corporate interests from out of state. The fact that McConnell has been in Washington for eternity also plays in Amy McGrath’s favor because she can forcefully make the case that Washington is broken and needs a fresh face to fix it.

Bottom line the Kentucky Senate race is undoubtedly one of the marque races in 2020 alongside Maine(Susan Collins) and Texas (John Cornyn). Coincidentally, an almost similar story came out a few months ago about Senator Collins saying that most of her campaign contributions are coming from corporate donors outside Maine and that her approval numbers in Maine are way below what they have consistently been for years. Will 2020 be the end of the political careers of the two Washington veterans McConnell and Collins? Their polling and campaign contribution patterns certainly seem to suggest so. Is Yours Truly reading too much into early poll numbers and campaign contributions? Time will tell or as Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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