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Lawmakers have given up trying to deal with Trump on shutdown: ‘We are in this horrible purgatory’

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As the longest government shutdown goes into its fourth week, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have all but given up trying to bring it to an end because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to bend on his demand for border wall funding, reports Politico.

Asked how things are going, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) succinctly described the lawmakers’ dilemma as “We are in this horrible purgatory between heaven and hell.”

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According to the report, the inability of Republicans to figure out what Trump would agree to, that could lead to a budget deal he would sign, has tied their hands when it comes to even attempting negotiating.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) lamented the situation she has been put in as her constituents — in a state that depends heavily on federal dollars — press her to get the government up and running.

“Glum. Glum. I’m not a glum person. I’m not somebody who gets down. But I’ve been discouraged,” Murkowski explained. “People I work for back home in Alaska are asking me to ‘fix it.’ And it’s hard for one person to fix anything around here. Unless you’re the president. Or the speaker. Or the majority leader.”

Independent Senator Angus King (ME) concurred.

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“It’s very frustrating for me because my whole instinct is: Let’s find a way to get this solved. But so far anyway, his idea of negotiating is to say ‘here’s what I want, I’ll give you nothing,’” King remarked. “I could sit down with Mike Pence for an afternoon and we might come to some agreement. And then [Trump would] blow it up.”

The report goes on to state that Republicans led by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rob Portman (R-OH) hoped to fashion a compromise that would meet with Trump’s approval –while attempting to get 20 fellow Republicans to support it — only to see it fall apart due to reluctance to fail once again.

As it stands, with Trump also being buffeted by new allegations of possible impeachable offenses, lawmakers think a plan to get federal employees back to work with pay looks bleak.

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“I think he’s going to agree to open up the government on a hope and a prayer when donkeys fly. OK?” explained Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), with Connolly chiming in, “Democrats are more than willing to try to give him a face-saving way to step down. He doesn’t seem to want to even consider it.”

You can read more here.


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2020 Election

Trump’s longshot bid to win New Mexico has political leaders baffled: ‘He’s a batsh*t racist’

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Despite losing New Mexico by eight points in the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump and his campaign manager Brad Pascale are making big plans to win the state in 2020 -- and that has political observers baffled.

With Trump appearing in New Mexico on Monday night, Politico reports the president has his work cut out for him in a state that saw the GOP lose the governorship and one House seat in 2018.

"The Land of Enchantment has voted for a Republican presidential candidate only once since 1992. With a considerable nonwhite voter population and all-Democratic congressional delegation, it’s not exactly fertile ground for a surprise GOP victory," the report notes before adding that Parscale feels they can make inroads this go-around.

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Oil prices soar more than 10% after Saudi plant attacks

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Oil prices surged more than 10 percent Monday after attacks on two Saudi Arabian plants that slashed output in the world's top producer by half, with Donald Trump blaming Iran and raising the possibility of a military strike on the country.

West Texas Intermediate jumped 10.68 percent to $60.71 and Brent climbed 11.77 percent to $67.31 in early Asia trading following the blasts at facilities run by state-owned giant Aramco.

The attack by Tehran-backed Huthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply.

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2020 Election

Most top Democratic presidential candidates demand Kavanaugh’s impeachment – but not all

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Most of the top Democratic presidential candidates are issuing calls demanding U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh be impeached, after new allegations of sexual misconduct in a bombshell New York Times report late Saturday night. Most of the candidates, but not all.

Julián Castro, Saturday night at 11:25 PM:

It’s more clear than ever that Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath. He should be impeached.

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