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Watch: Mitch McConnell brags about his most cynical power grab to date

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is up for reelection in Kentucky in 2020, and his new ad features the Republican power broker bragging about one of his most extreme violations of precedent and Constitutional norms yet.

The video replays the aftermath of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia near the end of President Barack Obama’s last term. When Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland — by all accounts, a moderate and accomplished jurist — to fill Scalia’s place, the majority leader refused to ever take up a vote on his nomination. After Trump was elected, McConnell blew up the Senate filibuster for Supreme Court nominations to ram through the controversial appointment of Neil Gorsuch.

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This power grab has only risen partisan tensions in the country and raised the furor around every Supreme Court nomination. It also drove a push in the Democratic Party for expanding the Supreme Court to dilute the perceived ill-gotten influence of the conservatives.

The fact that McConnell chose to focus on this breach of norms as a selling point for his candidacy shows just how cynical and snide he is. So too does the fact that, as one Twitter user pointed out, McConnell’s campaign website used a picture of Garland as his “404 error” page.

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Bill Barr has an army of over 132,000 federal law officers at his fingertips to snuff out protests: report

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In a deep dive into how Attorney General Bill Barr took control of policing earlier in the week at Lafayette Park so that Donald Trump could have a photo-op in front of historic St. John’s Church, Politico reports that the Justice Department has a veritable army of civilian law officers at the AG's disposal should he wish to quell any more protests.

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California mayor resigns after saying no ‘good person of color’ has ever been killed by police

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A southern California mayor resigned after making a racist statement about black Americans killed by police officers.

Temecula Mayor James Stewart apologized and tried to explain his statement in an email, in which he claimed he didn't “believe there’s ever been a good person of color killed by a police officer” locally, reported The Press-Enterprise.

“Unfortunately I did not take the time to proofread what was recorded," Stewart told the newspaper. "I absolutely did not say that. What I said is, and I don’t believe there has ever been a person of color murdered by police, on context to Temecula or Riverside County. I absolutely did not say ‘good.’ I have no idea how that popped up.”

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‘No president is a dictator’: John Kelly backs Mattis’s take on Trump — and says we need leaders with ‘ethics’

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President Donald Trump's former chief of staff on Friday spoke out in defense of former Trump Secretary of Defense James Mattis's scathing assessment of President Donald Trump.

In an interview with former Trump White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, Kelly said that "I agree" with what Mattis said about how dangerous it is for the president to propose using the American military against American citizens who are protesting against police brutality.

"The idea you would unleash American active duty folks unless it's an extreme situation... the troops hate it," Kelly said. "They don't see it as their jobs. They don't want to be used in that way."

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