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Rep. Barney Frank: Wisconsin recall was ‘a big mistake’

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Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) on Wednesday said it was a bad move for Democrats and unions to attempt to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).

“I think the people on the Democratic side made a big mistake and the funding thing was a big deal,” Frank told The Hill. “My side picked a fight they shouldn’t have picked. The recall was upsetting to people, the rerun of the election with [Democratic Milwaukee Mayor] Tom Barrett — it’s not a fight I would have picked.”

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Walker, along with Republicans Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and state Sens. Scott Fitzgerald, Terry Moulton and Jerry Petrowski all defeated their challengers on Tuesday night.

“Despite the disappointing outcome of tonight’s election, there is no question that over the past year this recall effort sent a message to Scott Walker that his brand of divisive politics is offensive and wrong,” DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said. “Thousands of Wisconsinites mounted this effort in the face of a flood of out of state, secret and corporate special interest money—amounting to a massive $31 million war chest for Governor Walker to just $4 million on our side.”

The recall elections were the culmination of months of effort by state Democrats and labor unions who spearheaded a backlash against the first-term governor, who ran afoul of public opinion last year. Shortly after taking office, the well-funded tea party favorite joined Republicans in the state senate in attempting to strip public labor unions of their ability to collectively bargain.

Last year, Wisconsin Democrats picked up two seats in the state Senate after defeating incumbent Republicans in recall elections. But Democrats fell short of the three seats needed to gain a majority.

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Here’s why Mike Pompeo picked the worst possible moment for his expletive-laden anti-Ukraine rant

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By all accounts, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's interview with "All Things Considered" host Mary Louise Kelly was a disaster. He reportedly swore at her, challenged her to pick Ukraine off an unmarked map, and said "Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?" — an incredibly insulting statement for America's top diplomat to say of an allied foreign country.

But as Politico noted, the timing of all this was especially ill-considered, because Pompeo is gearing up for an official visit to Ukraine — and even before this outburst, that visit was fraught with difficulties.

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Pompeo ridiculed by CNN panel for his ‘phony mock outrage’ response after being outed as a foul-mouthed bully

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Responding to a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued through the State Department accusing an NPR journalist of being "shameless" for going public with an encounter she had with him in his offices where he cursed at her, a CNN panel all but rolled their eyes at his "phony" outrage.

Speaking with host Anderson Cooper, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called out the blustery Pompeo as well as many Republicans who took "umbrage" at Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) mentioning a report that the Donald Trump would have their heads on "on a pike" if they crossed him.

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So much for ‘originalism’ — Trump’s impeachment defense is a constitutional dumpster fire

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In the absence of any exculpatory evidence, Donald Trump's defense against impeachment increasingly relies on arguments that fly directly in the face of the Constitution. Trump himself set the standard last July with his grandiose claim that "Article II says I can do anything I want," which encountered no serious pushback from his fellow Republicans.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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