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Happy Hour over: Fundraising firm drops Bachmann

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who can’t seem to hold onto a chief of staff for more than a year at a time, has now lost her fundraising firm as well.

According to a report which first appeared in Roll Call on Wednesday, “The Gula Graham Group, a Republican fundraising and consulting firm, ended their three-year relationship with Bachmann last week.”

The Gula Graham Group arranges fundraising events for a select group of Republican members of Congress, like the “Happy Hour” they put on for Bachmann last spring at the Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar with an admission fee of $500 per attendee.

The firms’s co-founder, Mike Gula, told Roll Call, “I can confirm that the Gula Graham Group no longer works for Congresswoman Bachmann. We chose to go in a different direction.”

Bachmann also lost her chief of staff, Michelle Marston, just last month. “I’m just not talking about it, and frankly I don’t think there’s a story here,” Marston told Politico at the time. A conservative Republican member of the House, however, suggested the real problem was that “when your captain’s crazy, it’s time to find a new ship.”

Marston had joined Bachmann’s staff only last February, replacing Rich Dunn, who hadn’t held the positiion very long either. In April 2008, Think Progress noted of Bachmann, “The Hill reports that ‘ten of the 14 people’ she ‘hired early last year have left’ her office. ‘The casualty list includes two chiefs of staff, a district director, a press secretary, two legislative assistants, a staff assistant, a caseworker, an outreach and grants coordinator and a district scheduler.’ A third chief of staff ‘rescinded his decision to take the position prior’ to being officially placed on the payroll.”

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A comparison of the Gula Graham Group’s current client listing with a version in the Google cache, shows that Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) has recently been dropped from the list as well. Gerlach, however, was a client of Mike Gula’s for many years, and his departure might merely reflect the fact that he is now running for governor of Pennsylvania and not seeking reelection to Congress. In Bachmann’s case there is no such obvious explanation

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Lawrence O’Donnell throttles Donny Deutsch for saying Elizabeth Warren can’t beat Trump: ‘This is pure guesswork’

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Lawrence O'Donnell and Donny Deutsch had quite the exchange in the post-debate conversation on MSNBC Wednesday.

Deutsch tried to say that Sen. Elizabeth Warren's outstanding debate performance doesn't matter because Warren can't win in a match-up against President Donald Trump.

"I do not believe Elizabeth Warren, on stage with Donald Trump, beats him," he told the MSNBC panel. "And I think if we're honest with ourselves and we look hard at ourselves, I think a lot of people agree with me. It's — and I also think when you can label somebody a socialist, 57 percent of this country thinks that word is un-American. I'm not saying it's fair. When he can blanket Elizabeth Warren as a socialist, and he's on stage with her, the Democrats lose."

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Father and daughter drowning at the border fuels anger at Trump immigration policies

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A shocking photograph of a Salvadoran man and his baby daughter drowned in the Rio Grande fueled a surge of emotion around the world Wednesday -- as US Democrats furiously denounced Donald Trump's immigration policies.

"Trump is responsible for these deaths," said Beto O'Rourke, one of several Democratic White House hopefuls who took to Twitter to lash out at the president.

Former vice president Joe Biden, who is also seeking the presidency in 2020, called the image "gut-wrenching."

"History will judge how we respond to the Trump administration's treatment of immigrant families & children -- we can't be silent," he said.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate

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Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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