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Major GOP revolt over Trump impeachment prevented by Mitch McConnell’s maneuvering: report

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Sen. Mitch McConnell, photo by Gage Skidmore

After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released a draconian set of impeachment trial rules that broke his promise to abide by the standards used in President Bill Clinton’s trial, he appeared to walk back some of the harsher provisions, like the one allowing the Senate to reject evidence from the House and the one requiring all opening arguments be delivered within a two-day span.

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Some analysts, like CNN historian Tim Naftali, took this as a sign that McConnell has a weaker grip on his caucus than he is letting on. But according to Politico’s John Bresnahan and Burgess Everett, McConnell’s retreat was a tactical maneuver that ultimately helped him keep his party in line.

“These were concessions, but only the slightest of ones — and the shift gave McConnell further license to ignore Senate Democrats’ broader complaints,” they wrote. “With all 52 of his GOP senators united behind him, McConnell was able to defeat a series of Democratic amendments calling for more documents from the White House and other federal agencies caught up in the Ukraine scandal.”

“On the biggest issue — whether to call additional witnesses now, including former national security advisor John Bolton and others — McConnell refused to yield,” they continued. “At the Kentucky Republican’s urging, the Senate postponed a decision on that question until after the opening arguments, despite vehement objections from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).”

“It’s McConnell 101,” they concluded. “The Senate majority leader plays by the rules, but he uses them as a weapon to help his cause as much as a restriction on what he can do. The only limits are based on what his members will agree to. And it’s nothing new to his adversaries.”

It remains to be seen whether McConnell will be able to prevent defections when the time comes to vote for witnesses. But for now, he has managed to head off a threat that could have broken his control over the process.

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Things are so bad for Republicans the GOP had to send money to Texas

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In 2016, then-anti-Trump Republican Sen. Linsey Graham proclaimed, "If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed.......and we will deserve it." It seems his prediction is coming closer to fruition.

Financial reporting reveals that the Republican Party was forced to send $1.3 million to ruby-red Texas as the election nears.

It was something spotted by ProPublica developer and ex-reporter Derek Willis Sunday.

"That's never happened before," he tweeted.

He noted that the Texas GOP raised $3.3 million in August, but nearly half of that came from their national parents.

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What the London ‘Blitz’ reveals about how much pain and tragedy people can handle in 2020

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It's hard to imagine how 2020 could possibly get worse. "If we lose Betty White," a friend said on a drive to the Supreme Court to lay flowers.

So many Americans have lost friends or family members to COVID-19. Thousands of Americans survived the virus only to desperately needed organ transplants and forever will struggle to breathe the way they once did. Others are still suffering without smell or taste even three months after having the virus. Millions of Americans are out of work. Debt is stacking up for those trying to survive in the COVID economy. A lack of health insurance can mean hospitalizations from the virus are putting people into bankruptcy.

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Stop trying to convince people you’re right — it will never persuade anyone: expert

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MSNBC host Joshua Johnson noted that this year has been full of strife, with Americans having a lot to stand up about. Whether the slaying of unarmed Black men and police brutality, or healthcare, and the coronavirus, Americans are lining up to protest.

Johnson asked if people try to start tough conversations, how do they keep it productive, and when it's time to give up. In her book, We Need to Talk, Celest Headlee explains tools that people can use to have productive conversations about tough issues that help move the needle.

"Keep in mind that a protest isn't a conversation, right?" she first began. "That's a different kind of communication. The first thing is that our goal in conversations is not always a productive one. In other words, oftentimes, we go into these conversations hoping to change somebody's mind or convince them that they are wrong. You're just never going to accomplish that. There's no evidence. We haven't been able to -- through years and years of research we haven't been able to find evidence that over a conversation somebody said, 'You're right, I was completely wrong.' You've convinced me. So, we have to stop trying to do that. We have to find a new purpose for those conversations."

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