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Showing posts from March, 2018

President Trump "Considering a Veto" of Omnibus Bill

In a tweet published on Friday morning, President Donald Trump stated that he would consider vetoing the omnibus spending bill passed by the House and the Senate.

The omnibus bill, which carries a $1.3 trillion price tag, is reminiscent of the giant spending packages that defined the era of former President Barack Obama. Unsurprisingly, the legislation is unpopular with President Trump's conservative base.


The bill's length -- 2,232 pages -- is a source of contention, along with the fact that it allocates only $1.5 billion for the construction of border fortifications.

Even worse for conservatives, the package has wording that specifically excludes the border wall that the president has in mind.

CNS News reports:
The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill [formerly] supported by President Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell provides almost $1.6 billion for “fencing” and “levees” on the Southwest Border.But the bill is very specific on how the…

Bolton Named as National Security Advisor

On Thursday evening, President Donald Trump announced that Lt. General H.R. McMaster, his National Security Advisor, will be replaced by former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.


McMaster and Trump have had a strained relationship since the former replaced Lt. General Michael Flynn in February. Regarding their dynamic, POLITICO wrote:

McMaster’s exit brings an end to his uneven tenure as leader of the NSC, marked by internal clashes with the president and other top administration officials and months of swirling speculation about his looming departure.
On the other hand, Trump has a strong relationship with John Bolton, who served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under former President George W. Bush. In a report, Axios described the "personal chemistry" between Bolton and Trump.

Bolton is a neoconservative hawk who advocates for a tougher line against Iran and preliminary strikes on North Korea. He was considered for the coveted secretary of State spot before the nomin…

Cindy Hyde-Smith Appointed to Senate

Cindy Hyde-Smith, the Mississippi agriculture commissioner, was appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant (R-Mississippi) to take Sen. Thad Cochran's seat.

Cochran, a Republican who has served in the position since 1978, retires from the Senate on the first of April due to poor health.


Hyde-Smith, who will be the first member of the U.S. Congress from the State of Mississippi, was a member of the Democratic Party until 2010.

Suspiciously, Hyde-Smith, formerly a state senator, switched parties a year before pursuing statewide office in one of the most conservative states in the nation.

On November 6, 2018, Cochran's old seat will be on the ballot along with the seat currently occupied by Sen. Roger Wicker, also a Republican.

However, it is not clear whether Hyde-Smith will be guaranteed the Republican vote in what will likely be a three-way race with a Democrat. She is being challenged from the right by state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who planned to challenge Wicker in the primary prior to the …

Primary Challengers Fail in Illinois

In the Illinois primaries, the incumbents were successful at retaining the support of their respective parties.

In the closely-watched Democratic primary for the 3rd congressional district of Illinois, incumbent Representative Dan Lipinski was able to ward off Marie Newman, who was challenging him from the left. Lipinski, who had the support of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi but not the the DCCC, was smeared for his pro-life stance.
Newman, on the other hand, was ardently pro-choice and was backed by abortion rights groups like Emily's List.
Lipinski won 51% of the vote to Newman's 49%. Newman conceded on Wednesday morning.

On the Republican side of the aisle, incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner survived a challenge by state Senator Jeanne Ives. Ives was able to attract widespread grassroots support by attacking Rauner for his pro-choice stance.
Rauner, considered one of the most vulnerable of the Republicans up for reelection in 2018, will face J.B. Pritzker, who secured the nomination…

Poll: Blankenship Within Striking Distance of Morrisey

In the Republican primary for U.S. Senate from West Virginia, coal baron Don Blankenship -- whose candidacy was formerly seen as a long shot -- is polling at 22.6% in an Osage Research survey.


Thanks to Blankenship's $1.1 million in television advertising, he trails only Patrick Morrisey, the attorney general of West Virginia. Morrisey has the support of 24.1% of the respondents, and his lead is within the poll's 4.38% margin-of-error.

Blankenship was the CEO of Massey Energy from 2000 to 2010, but his career was marred by a coal dust explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, West Virginia. The disaster led to the deaths of 29 miners, and Blankenship was found guilty of violating mining safety regulations.

After he was released from prison in May 2017, Blankenship ramped up his attacks on former President Barack Obama's regulatory regime. He accuses the Obama administration of targeting -- and framing -- him for the safety violations.

Blankenship said that "…

Pennsylvania Election is Disappointing for GOP

Despite the fact that the special election in Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district is still too close to call, Democratic candidate Conor Lamb, a former prosecutor, leads the Republican, state Rep. Rick Saccone by 0.3%.


Stated otherwise, Lamb currently has a lead of 627 votes over Saccone. This is a huge swing in a district that has a partisan lean of Republican+21 and went for President Donald Trump by almost 20 points in the 2016 election.

There are still votes to be counted, but Nathaniel Rakich of FiveThirtyEight outlined how improbable it would be for Saccone to pull through. He wrote,

The exact margin will likely change, but it’s going to be very difficult for Saccone to make up [the] deficit. The only votes left to be counted are around 200 absentee ballots in Greene County (expected to be announced on Wednesday) as well as a handful of provisional and overseas ballots, which may take days to finalize. There may not even be 641 ballots left to count. Nor is a recount l…

Cohn Resigns from Trump Administration

Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, announced on Wednesday that he is resigning from the Trump administration.


Cohn, a Democrat who advocates for globalist economic policy, often butted heads with other members of President Donald Trump's White House, including Stephen Bannon, former chief strategist.

Cohn's beliefs on trade policy were often the source of contention within the administration, and a boiling point was reached last week due to heated deliberations on whether to slap tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum.

The New York Times wrote:

Mr. Trump’s announcement last week that he would levy tariffs on aluminum and steel imports was the most immediate catalyst for Mr. Cohn’s departure, according to people familiar with his thinking.
Despite his positions on trade policy, Cohn was a key player in stewarding the passage of the Tax Cuts and Job Act, which cut the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.

Additionally, Cohn was a onetime frontrunner for the F…

Senator Cochran Announces Retirement

On Tuesday, longtime U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that he will be retiring on April 1, 2018.

In a statement, Cochran cited health issues as the reason for his early departure.


Cochran has been a member of the Senate since 1978, and prior to that, he served as a U.S. congressman for three terms. He was a longtime advocate for pork-barrel spending, a position that earned him the ire of limited government conservatives.

In 2014, Cochran faced a competitive primary race against Mississippi Senator Chris McDaniel, a Tea Party firebrand who has served in the Mississippi Legislature since 2008.

Under suspicious and controversial circumstances, Cochran clinched the GOP nomination and went on to win the general election. Having never conceded the 2014 race, McDaniel recently announced that he will be challenging U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) in the 2018 GOP primary.

Now that Cochran is stepping down, two U.S.…