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Senate Democrats blast GOP for voting against transparency, begin ‘midnight vigil’

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Senate Democrats on Monday blasted their Republican colleagues for voting against the DISCLOSE Act and plan to give speeches late into the night during a “midnight vigil.

“Democrats sought to require large political donors to disclose their identities so voters could judge their motivations for themselves,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. “This wasn’t a new concept. In fact, many Republicans who blocked this bill today once supported it. But today those same Republicans chose to side with powerful, anonymous donors, who like their nominee Mitt Romney appear to believe they get to play by their own set of rules.”

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“Judging by Republicans’ vote today and Governor Romney’s refusal to release more tax returns, Republicans have clearly decided that secrecy is more important to them than being straight with the American people,” he added.

The DISCLOSE Act would prevent outside campaign groups from hiding their donors. The bill would require organizations that spend $10,000 or more during an election cycle to file a report with the Federal Election Commission within 24 hours and identify any donors who gave $10,000 or more.

It would also require the head of any organization that puts out a political ad on TV or radio to publicly state that he or she approves the message, similar to what candidates must do now.

The legislation would prevent partisan “social welfare” organizations like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS from being able to hide wealthy donors. The IRS requires that nonprofit “social welfare” organizations “operate primarily to further the common good.” The organizations are prohibited from running ads in support of or opposition to candidates for public office. But groups like Crossroads GPS have attempted to circumvent the ban on partisan activities by attacking Democratic candidates in ads without explicitly urging people to vote against them.

The DISCLOSE Act was killed in a 51 to 44 party-line vote on a procedural motion. The bill needed at least 60 votes to move forward.

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Republicans said the legislation was an attempt to intimidate wealthy donors and an attack on free speech rights.

“As a result of this legislation, advocacy groups ranging from the NAACP to the Sierra Club to the Chamber of Commerce — all of whom already disclose their donors to the IRS — would now be forced to subject their members to public intimidation and harassment,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said.

Democrats hope to force a second vote on the bill on Tuesday.

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“We recognize that you don’t win every fight in round one, and this is a fight worth continuing,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the lead sponsor of the DISCLOSE Act.

“Putting an end to secret election spending by special interests is an essential step in protecting middle class priorities. For that reason, we are committed to continuing the debate on the DISCLOSE Act late into the night and asking for a second vote tomorrow if need be. We can’t let the special interests off the hook after just one round.”

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‘Insane baby’ Trump mocked after holding a press briefing — and then fleeing after just 60 seconds

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday held a "press briefing" that consisted of him boasting about the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting a record-high 30,000 points -- and then running away without taking any questions.

The president's truly brief press briefing utterly baffled observers, many of whom wondered why the president couldn't have simply bragged about the stock market on his Twitter account.

Check out some reactions below.

oh my god that insane baby

— Oliver Willis (@owillis) November 24, 2020

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2020 Election

Trump abruptly ends news conference after 1 minute as reporters grill him on conceding

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President Donald Trump took one minute out of his day on Thursday to hold a press conference in which he took credit for gains in the stock market, which came after President-elect Joe Biden's transition was allowed to formally begin.

At his press conference which lasted almost exactly one minute, Trump credited his administration for after the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded above 30,000 for the first time.

"The stock market, it's just broken 30,000," the president said. "Never broken that number. That's a sacred number. Nobody thought they would ever see it. That's the ninth time since the beginning of 2020 and it's the 48th time that we have broken records in -- during the Trump administration."

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Paul Krugman says Trump’s final days in office are like a Star Wars sequel: ‘The Loser Strikes Back’

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Writing in the New York Times this Tuesday, columnist Paul Krugman says that while we all knew that President Trump would react badly to losing the 2020 election,  his temper tantrum and the "willingness of almost the entire Republican Party to indulge him have surpassed even pessimists’ expectations."

According to Krugman, Trump's crusade to wreck America on his way out is like a Star Wars sequel, titled: "The Loser Strikes Back."

Krugman writes that Trump administration officials are already trying to sabotage the economy, "setting the stage for a possible financial crisis on Joe Biden’s watch."

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