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‘Obstructionist-in-chief’ McConnell pilloried by conservative scholar with plea for Kentucky voters to dump him

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In a column for the conservative Bulwark, a former assistant U.S. Attorney who worked with under Ken Starr during the Whitewater investigation implored Kentucky voters to dump Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying he has used the rules of the Senate to crown himself king.

According to Kimberly Wehle, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, McConnell has used his ascension to the majority leader’s spot to become the “obstructionist-in-chief.”

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Pointing at a government that appears frozen in place, Wehle wrote, “Voters are pointing fingers, variously, at House Democrats, Republican senators, federal agencies, the federal judiciary, their state and local counterparts, and of course Donald J. Trump himself,” before adding, “Much of the logjam in government falls at the feet of a single man whose power does not stem from the Constitution at all. As Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell has repeatedly and single-handedly flouted the will of the people and the prerogatives of his governmental counterparts otherwise mandated by the U.S. Constitution.”

Wehle notes that McConnell’s use — or misuse — of power has allowed him to ignore the will of the public, Congress and even presidents.

“Nothing in the Constitution authorizes the Senate Majority Leader to thwart the president’s appointment power by refusing to trigger the advice and consent process in the first place (though neither does anything explicitly prevent McConnell from doing what he did),” she explained before pointing out the ramifications.

“Keep in mind that in a representative democracy of 327 million people, McConnell is a single senator from a single state. What this means is that a relative handful of Kentuckians hold the rest of America by the throat. This is not democracy,” she wrote.

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“Yet in the hands of an obstructionist-in-chief like McConnell, these ‘ad hoc arrangements’ have functioned to override the constitutional prerogatives of a sitting president and the rest of Congress,” she continued. “In short, McConnell can stop any congressional action in its tracks by refusing to bring it to the Senate floor. In a country founded on the violent and sacrificial rejection of a monarchy, Mitch McConnell has crowned himself the King of the Senate.”

Stating “This constitutional blind spot in government by ‘We the People’ must be fixed,” the law professor suggested, “McConnell has way too much power, and as long as he remains at the helm, senators won’t even get the chance to consider rule changes that would enhance the voice of the people. Kentucky voters: America needs your help.”

You can read the whole piece here.

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2020 Election

Beto O’Rourke says religious institutions should lose tax-exempt status if they oppose gay marriage

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The Democratic presidential candidate gave an unequivocal answer Thursday night during a CNN town hall on LGBTQ rights, drawing intense criticism from Republicans and religious groups.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke said religious institutions should be stripped of their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage, a position that sparked swift and fierce criticism from social conservatives.

The former El Paso congressman made the comment Thursday night during a CNN town hall on LGBTQ rights. Anchor Don Lemon asked O'Rourke, "Do you think religious institutions — like colleges, churches, charities — should lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage?"

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2020 Election

From Minnesota to Michigan, Trump aims to turn scandal into reelection fuel

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As impeachment pressure mounted on Donald Trump, the president left Washington for the second day in a row Friday to rally hardcore supporters in a bid to turn the scandal into fuel for his 2020 reelection.

Framing himself as the victim of a plot between "corrupt Democrat politicians" and the "fake news media," Trump galvanized supporters at a rally in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

In provocative comments to an enthused base Trump insisted his Democratic rivals -- who are leading the investigation against him in the House -- were "pursuing an illegal, unconstitutional, bullshit impeachment."

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2020 Election

After raising $4.5 million in third quarter, O’Rourke says he needs to ‘break through’ now more than ever

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The Democratic presidential candidate improved on his second-quarter haul but remains in the lower third of candidates who've released their latest numbers so far.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke raised $4.5 million in the third quarter, his campaign announced Friday as he acknowledged it was more urgent than ever to "break through" in the still-crowded primary.

The third-quarter total is an improvement over the $3.6 million that the former El Paso congressman took in during the previous quarter, and it came despite a halt to fundraising for roughly two weeks in August after the deadly El Paso shooting. Still, the total puts him behind a majority of primary rivals who have released their third-quarter figures so far, including two leading candidates who each raised around $25 million.

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