Tag: Mitch McConnell

Seriously, McConnell, What the Hell?


Mitch McConnell and his crony, big donor buddies are estimated to have spent $10 million in Alabama (I have also heard $30M) because they preferred one Republican candidate over another Republican candidate. They lost their bet, and squandered millions of dollars that would have been helpful in next year’s Senate races.

I suspect the GOP really doesn’t really want a 57- or 58-seat Senate majority. I think they like it better that they can pretend to forward conservative agenda items and then blame their failures on the defection of a handful of left-leaning Republican senators. But I digress.

Trump Bypasses Ryan and McConnell; Cuts Deal with the Real Congressional Leaders


So here’s why PDT bypassed Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and went to work with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on the debt increase: What do you do when you’re a customer and an employee isn’t doing his job? You demand to talk to their supervisor. Which is essentially what Trump did, he went to the people who are actually running the House and Senate.

Ryan and McConnell are all butt-hurt now, but seriously, what was their plan anyway? They were going to cave to the Democrats eventually, they always do. Trump just forced them to cut to the chase.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America sigh as public squabbles between President Trump and GOP congressional leaders and members leaves us wondering if they will get anything consequential accomplished by the end of the year.  They also wince as terrible poll numbers for President Trump on several questions reflect what may be a rough road ahead for Republicans in 2018.  And they roll their eyes and unload on Hillary Clinton over her new book excerpts.

Richard Epstein looks at the virtues and vices of the failed congressional plans to repeal and replace Obamacare, explains what comes next, and lays out what meaningful free market reform would look like.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America endure three bad martinis today as two more GOP Senators bail on the plan to overhaul Obamacare and a new effort to vote on a clean repeal is already in grave danger of failing.  They criticize President Trump for keeping Obama’s infamous Iran Nuclear Deal without giving his advisers enough time to develop a new policy.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions is another source of disappointment today as he declares his intention to increase the use of civil asset forfeiture, which allows the federal government to seize the property of suspected criminals — without charging them with a crime.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America groan over Donald Trump Jr.’s stunningly poor judgment and apparent willingness to seek campaign assistance from a foreign government, while also lamenting the continued media hysteria over these latest revelations.  They are wary of Mitch McConnell’s decision to delay the traditional August recess, worrying that it might not be very productive and, therefore, more damaging to an already embarrassed GOP.  Finally, in a discussion of David Brooks’ controversial column about class divisions in America that features a bizarre anecdote about sandwich elitism, Jim admits that he himself is, to quote Shakespeare, “lowly taught, but highly fed.”

David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the “tough guy” stance that President Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis are taking in deterring further chemical attacks in Syria. They dive into the complications surrounding the healthcare debate, as Mitch McConnell scraps the vote on the most recent GOP bill and many of the Republicans opposed believe the government should be doing more. Finally, they discuss the PC complaints that the new Dunkirk film — a historical World War II drama  — is “too white,” even though the vast majority of soldiers involved were white.

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This 9/11 bill story is the most effective example of White House / media synergy I’ve seen to date. First, the actual facts: This Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) was a strongly bipartisan bill.  It had over 25 co-sponsors in the Senate alone.  It was so popular, in fact, that it was overwhelmingly […]

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An Unwillingness to Fight?


shutterstock_279048509One common argument we’ve heard this election cycle is that people are angry at Republicans because of the GOP’s fecklessness and unwillingness to reign in the Obama Administration. But based on this data, that anger may have been misplaced:

A president’s budget proposal tends to be a curious document that acts as part wishful thinking and part a projection of hope into the future. For example, Bush’s last budget proposal showed a federal government that was on track to produce a balanced budget within a few years. Obama’s budget, on the other hand, anticipated a massive spending increase in the first year (due to stimulus spending) followed by pretty typical increases of about 6 percent per year. That “6 percent” is important because in 2009 it was the rate at which federal spending had grown year over year for almost 30 years. So that is the number the Obama team used as their standard for how quickly spending should keep growing. But after Republicans took control of Congress in 2011, despite what you may have heard, they really did put a brake on federal spending. A really good brake. In fact, since 2011, federal spending has increased at only 1.3 percent per year … the slowest rate since the aftermath of World War II.

That looks pretty good to me, and it translates into some serious money:

Why I’ve Changed My Mind On Trump


Early on, I was a bit seduced by Donald Trump, mostly because he has exquisite taste in enemies and because my political instincts incline me toward populist upstarts and against arrogant establishments. In the early 1990s, for example, I was an early and enthusiastic supporter of the Reform Party of Canada. At the time, the Canadian political establishment was at its most corrupt, arrogant, and insular and the Reform Party was the right antidote.

The Power of the Purse


1280px-Sleeping_asian_elephantLast week, Mona Charen published a post on Ricochet, defending the Republican establishment. She began by observing that “The Republican Party is choosing an odd time to commit suicide,” and she rightly drew attention to the fact that “in the Obama era the Democrats lost 13 US Senate seats, 69 House seats, 910 legislative seats, 11 governorships, and 30 legislative chambers.” The only thing that “stood between Republicans and real reform at the federal level was the White House,” she observed, “and the Democrats were sleepwalking toward nominating the least popular major player in American politics.” Then, she rightly noted that the Republicans had “managed to find someone who is even less acceptable,” and she added a few choice words about Donald Trump – all of them, alas, plausible, but (and this may turn out to be important down the road) not all of them, as they pertain to the future, certain.

For the most part, I share Mona’s misgivings. I have followed Donald Trump in the tabloids for decades, and I am no admirer of the man. But I think her analysis of the situation that catapulted him into prominence unsound. Here is what she had to say:

And what sin has brought down this despoiler upon the Republican Party? Why are so many self-styled conservatives complacent about his success? Failure to stop Obamacare? Please. That was never possible with Obama in office. It would have been possible, in fact it was probable, that it would have been replaced if Republicans held majorities in Congress and got an agreeable executive. Now? No. Failure to get control of the border? Illegal immigration from Mexico has slowed to a trickle and, in fact, more Mexicans are now leaving than coming. Failure to defund the Export-Import Bank? Yes, crony capitalism is disgraceful, but . . .

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From The Hill: McConnell: Obama ‘a little preachy’ “Well he’s a little preachy. You know, he likes to tell you what you think, in your presence. It’s a little bit annoying,” McConnell told Yahoo News when asked during a Sirius XM interview to name the president’s “most annoying” traits.  Preview Open

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Giving Thanks For Congress


Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 12.56.48 PMEvery Thanksgiving I sympathize with lobbyists: can you imagine sharing their obligation to feel grateful for Congress? Amidst the vast, un-American growth of the administrative state, the world’s greatest deliberative body continues to do what it does best: taxing our children and passing the savings onto us.

The distinction progressives make between public and private is a false one. Many Americans know what it’s like to struggle beneath the weight of debt: not a day that goes by when my mailbox isn’t stuffed with offers from Visa or MasterCard informing me that I have been pre-declined.

Recall the heyday of the Tea Party, which relentlessly pointed out that every penny of the stimulus would have to be paid for by our children and grandchildren. Frankly, that’s the only thing I like about it. Even the New Deal wasn’t able to extend the Great Depression beyond a decade. Today, nearly one decade after the orgy of spending instituted during the George W. Bush administration, crony capitalists can say it was worth it. With each passing year, it seems government assumes more and more responsibility for our lives. Take solar subsidies — please! As Republicans and Democrats debate how much taxpayers should fund solar energy, let’s take a step back and realize that politicians have figured out a way to charge us for the sun.

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Frustration with the Democratic filibusters has sparked a new debate among GOP lawmakers over whether to use the nuclear option to eliminate the legislative stalling tactic. That’s unlikely to happen, given that McConnell and even conservative firebrands such as Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) believe it is an important safeguard of minority rights. Read more […]

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Happy Halloween, Ricochet, America, soon to be former Speaker Boehner! Speaker Boehner has announced he will step down just before Halloween This is the right thing to do & the timing is no doubt intended to suggest all hell is breaking loose. Maybe you can have the pope back to anoint the next one, just […]

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Rejoice! Rejoice! Victory, oh Victory!


shutterstock_158132165The most common form of contemporary conservative electoral argument is flawed in its premise. They argue that we don’t win elections because we don’t follow their advice (give up on social issues / double down on social issues / the same for fiscal issues and/or foreign stuff / use stronger language / use more moderate language / educate the public on abstract issues / stop talking about abstract issues / talk about gaffes more / talk about gaffes less).

In fact, we win elections. We run the legislature in most states, reaching a level of (small d) democratic control rarely seen in American history. We have most governor’s mansions, again, right at the edge of the historical record. We have the House; after decades of suffering from Ike’s neutrality and Watergate, we got it back in 1994 and we’ve mostly kept it. We have the Senate. Even presidentially, we’ve lost just five out of the last twelve races, with the “always losing” argument often resting on the last two. If you decide on the basis of receiving two tails after tossing a coin twice that the coin must be faulty and have no heads on it, you’re probably excessively predisposed that belief.

When people tell you that we’re losing and the only way to win is to buy their snake oil, whether classy snake oil like Arthur Brooks’ or off-brand oils like Mike Murphy’s or Mark Levin’s, they’re wrong in two ways. Firstly, we’re winning, and secondly, many of those who are winning are not from their faction of the party. Ron Johnson and Pat Toomey win in blue-purple states while being unapologetically socially conservative, whatever Murphy might prefer; while Graham, McCain, Murkowski, Capito, Cochran, and Alexander can win in red states despite Levin’s assurances that their path is doomed to fail.

Mitch McConnell, the Corker Bill, and the Secret to Trump’s Success — Revealed


McConnell, flanked by Corker, Barrasso and Thune, holds a news conference after the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in WashingtonAce of Spades points out a GOP pattern: They construct a compromise with the White House that gives Obama all the power he requests and then pretend to vote against it, so that “they can then they go home to their districts and states and say ‘we did everything we could to stop him, but by jiminy, we just couldn’t manage it.'”

Do you remember how Mitch McConnell schemed to increase the debt limit, while suckering conservatives with a claim that conservatives voted against it?

The scheme worked like this: Congress authorized the president to increase the debt limit on his authority. (Actually, we’re already at the stage of falsehood, because he wouldn’t be raising the debt limit on his own authority, but with the authority Congress had just voted him.)

The Counterattack Begins


Friday morning saw something rare on the floor of the United States Senate. It was badly needed for the sake of the American people and — like most good deeds — will probably not go unpunished if the GOP leadership, leftist media, and Beltway insiders. In fact, the reprisals began almost immediately.

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Yes, Mitch McConnell slipped it into his version of the highway bill.  Judging by the vote for it — every Democrat and 24 Republicans — it might look like game over. But the House leadership isn’t playing along.  They passed their own bill, without the Ex-Im, and Kevin McCarthy says they’re not in the least interested in rushing […]

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