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Mitch McConnell Has Just Again Blocked the Senate From Voting to End the Shutdown and Reopen the Government



Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the second time in two weeks has just blocked Democratic bills that would end the shutdown and reopen the government from being voted on.

Leader McConnell, a Republican of Kentucky, has been largely absent from the entire shutdown, instead holding back and allowing voters to blame the President and Congressional Democrats for the shutdown.

“The solution to this is a negotiation between the one person in the country who can sign something into law, the president of the United States, and our Democratic colleagues,” McConnell said Tuesday morning, as The Hill reported.

Leader McConnell has refused to challenge President Trump with any legislation, instead working to support the President at every turn. He says he will not allow any bill to receive a vote if he cannot be certain Trump will sign it.

President Trump has never been put in a position where he has vetoed a bill, and the Senate has never been tested to override a Trump veto.

In December, the Senate voted unanimously to keep the federal government open and running, but the President announced he would not sign the legislation once the House voted on it. The Senate  has the ability to override a Trump veto on funding the government.

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Trump’s Chilling Re-Election Calculus Is to Focus on Economy Instead of Lives Says Former Administration Official: Report



Two top Washington Post journalists are out with a stunning story Saturday morning, an inside look at President Donald Trump’s “risky push to reopen the country amid the coronavirus crisis.”

Robert Costa and Philip Rucker took a deep dive into this week’s developments, writing that “in private discussions, the president has been driven much more by economic concerns, according to people involved in internal debates or briefed on them. Trump has long viewed the stock market as a barometer for his own reelection hopes, and he has been distraught at the meltdown in recent weeks. He has been inundated with calls from business leaders, wealthy supporters and conservative allies urging him to get Americans back to work and stave off further calamity, even if doing so carries health risks.”

Then, this chilling insight from a former Trump official:

“There’s a fatalism that no matter what he does, he’s going to get blamed by half of the country,” said a former senior administration official with knowledge of Trump’s thinking. “If there is something he has some measure of control over, which is the economy, why not potentially try to take action? Yes, there will be a death toll, and he’ll get blamed one way or another, but in all likelihood, whether he gets reelected or not will depend on where the economy is and where people’s perceptions of the economy are six months from now. That’s where he is primarily focused.”

Read the entire story here.

Image: Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour via Flickr 

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SCOTUS Rules Gerrymandering Has Nothing to Do with Them



The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled on Thursday that federal courts may not block partisan gerrymandering. It was a 5-4 decision that fell along partisan lines: read GOP.

Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the opinion of the court. He wrote: “We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.”

Justice Kagan, Justice Ginsberg, Justice Breyer, and Justice Sotomayor joined together in dissenting the ruling.

Kagan wrote: “For the first time ever, this Court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task beyond judicial capabilities. And not just any constitutional violation. The partisan gerrymanders in these cases deprived citizens of the most fundamental of their constitutional rights: the rights to participate equally in the political process, to join with others to advance political beliefs, and to choose their political representatives.”

She added, “In so doing, the partisan gerry-manders here debased and dishonored our democracy, turning upside-down the core American idea that all governmental power derives from the people.”

Read the full decision here.

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