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McConnell left powerless on the sidelines with a fracturing party and a stalled agenda after Trump shuts everything down

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had big plans for the New Year to push through federal judgeships and bills dear to his heart only to be left standing on the sideline as a spectator when President Donald Trump shut the federal government in a fit of pique because Democrats won’t pay for his border wall.

According to a report at Bloomberg, McConnell planned to use an increase in the majority of Republicans in the Senate — having picked up two more seats in the midterm elections — to assert his continuing authority until Trump threw a wrench in his plans.

The report states McConnell “… had hoped to end last year with a deal on spending bills and a host of new federal judges. He openly mocked the idea of shutting down the government as a tried-and-failed strategy. He ended up with no new judges and a government shutdown on his watch that he now concedes could linger on for weeks.”

According to the report, McConnell has absented himself from the budget talks that hold the key to re-opening the government because he hasn’t got a handle on what Trump will settle for — and can’t trust him not to change his mind.

“McConnell had a deal to keep the government open. After getting positive signals from the White House, he shepherded through the Senate stopgap legislation to keep the government open through Feb. 8, deferring a battle over funding for the border wall Trump wants,” Bloomberg reports before adding, “But the president wrecked those plans. After being criticized by conservatives in the media and the House, Trump denounced the temporary measure. McConnell and outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan bowed to Trump’s wishes and the shutdown was on.”

Bloomberg reports that McConnell has stepped back into the shadows, letting the White House take the lead over his Senate colleagues — some of whom are growing weary of the president.

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“This time McConnell doesn’t seem to have any answers, beyond saying Democrats and the president need to cut a deal,” the report states.

Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated on Friday that McConnell needs to get off the bench and do something to get the government running again.

“Why is Leader McConnell shuffling off to the sidelines, pointing his fingers at everyone else and saying he won’t be involved? Probably because he realizes this president, President Trump, is erratic, unreliable, and sometimes irrational,” Schumer told reporters on Friday.. “America needs Leader McConnell to get involved to stop this shutdown.”

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Trump isn’t a president, he’s a gangster

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The FBI had to wiretap mafia bosses like John Gotti and Vincent “The Chin” Gigante to catch them breaking the law. All they had to do to catch Donald Trump on Wednesday night was turn on ABC News. Trump proceeded to commit multiple felonies out in the open on national television when he told George Stephanopoulos he would be happy to accept dirt on his opponent from foreign governments in his 2020 re-election campaign.

"Somebody comes up and says, ‘hey, I have information on your opponent,' do you call the FBI?" Trump asked rhetorically. "It's not an interference, they have information — I think I'd take it," Trump said. "I'll tell you what, I've seen a lot of things over my life. I don't think in my whole life I've ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don't call the FBI. You throw somebody out of your office, you do whatever you do.” He paused for a moment. “Oh, give me a break — life doesn't work that way."

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Is Trump setting the stage for a Chernobyl in America?

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According to a columnist for the Daily Beast, HBO's widely praised mini-series about the nuclear power plant accident in Chernobyl in 1986 should serve as a cautionary tale during the Donald Trump era which has seen the White House choose political ideology over science.

Noting that Chernobyl creator, Craig Mazin has pointed out that he was motivated to create the miniseries as a "riposte to the global war on truth," the Beast's Clive Irving said Americans would be wise to sit up an take notice.

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Here’s what you need to know about the bizarre lawsuit between Oberlin College and a local bakery

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Oberlin College has been ordered by a jury to pay $44 million to a local bakery and convenience store after the midwestern liberal arts school was found responsible for defamation, infliction of emotional distress and intentional interference of business relationships.

The verdict comes nearly three years after a skirmish broke out between Jonathan Aladin, a black student at the liberal arts college, and Allyn Gibson Jr., the son and grandson of the owners of Gibson's Bakery and Food Market, a family-owned establishment near the college's campus in Oberlin, Ohio.

The altercation set off a bitter standoff between the liberal arts college and the local bakery, which has been a fixture in the college community for more than 100 years, over free speech, racial profiling and discrimination.

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