Mitch McConnell

The gap at DOJ

Featured image Rachel Brand, the third highest ranking official in the Justice Department has resigned. She will become Walmart’s “Executive Vice President, Global Governance and Corporate Secretary.” With Brand’s departure, here is what the top echelon of the Department of Justice looks like: Attorney General – Jeff Sessions Deputy Attorney General – Rod Rosenstein Associate Attorney General – vacant Solicitor General – Noel Francisco Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division – vacant, nomination »

McConnell puts big government freight train back on track

Featured image Skepticism is always in order on the substance of any agreement between Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats, especially if the subject is spending. When it comes to the spending deal Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer reached, skepticism should probably give way to alarm. The deal raises spending caps on discretionary spending by nearly $300 billion over two years. According to Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, this means »

The Deal, Take Three

Featured image My first take on the deal that ended the brief partial government shutdown was that Chuck Schumer caved and the deal was a big win for Republicans. My second take was that my first take might be wrong — that the Democrats may have received more than they are getting credit for, and may be able to parlay what they got into a win, or at least a draw, down »

Did the GOP really win the shutdown showdown?

Featured image My initial reaction to the deal that ended the partial government shutdown was that Chuck Schumer caved and that the deal was a big win for Republicans. That’s the conventional view shared by, to name just a few, Brit Hume, Marc Thiessen, and Ben Shapiro . However, I’m no longer sure this was a true victory for Republicans, at least those of the conservative variety. The Democrats may have received »

The wages of injudicious insurgency

Featured image Last month, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader McConnell got together at the White House. According to reports, they discussed, among other things, Steve Bannon’s threat to back insurgent candidates in an effort to defeat numerous GOP Senators in primaries. I thought that, from McConnell’s perspective, convincing Trump not to support this effort was the primary purpose of the lunch. McConnell reminded Trump about past insurgent primary winners who went »

What Will Mitch McConnell Do About the Democrats’ Disgraceful Senate Blockade?

Featured image Despite being in office for nearly a year, President Trump has been unable to staff his administration. In the early days, he was slow to make nominations–not surprisingly, given that he wasn’t surrounded by a cadre of former officials and government hangers-on. But that is no longer true. Now, the problem is that Senate Democrats are stalling Trump’s nominees. In one agency after another, they are carrying obstructionism to unprecedented »

McConnell’s “confirmation frenzy”

Featured image Senate Majority Leader McConnell today filed cloture motions to advance the confirmation of four of President Trump’s court of appeals nominees. The nominees are Allison Eid (10th Circuit); Stephanos Bibas (3rd Circuit); Joan Larsen (6th Circuit); and Amy Coney Barrett (7th Circuit). Eid and Larsen were on the list of potential Supreme Court nominees then-candidate Trump came up with during the campaign. Barrett is the nominee attacked by Democrats as »

Trump and McConnell hang out

Featured image President Trump met with Senate Majority Leader McConnell today. Then, they held a lengthy joint press conference. The transcript is here. White House officials described the lunch as focused mainly on efforts to cut taxes. Reportedly, Trump and McConnell also discussed Steve Bannon’s threat to back insurgent candidates in an effort to defeat numerous GOP Senators in primaries. It’s likely that convincing Trump not to support this effort was the »

Goodbye, blue slips!?

Featured image In news of interest to those of us who have been following the judicial confirmation wars in the Senate in general and in the matter of the nomination of Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit in particular, Fred Barnes reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken the reins, whipped the horse and expedited matters. Fred supplies this bill of particulars (the first of which I have slightly »

The McConnell factor in Alabama [UPDATED]

Featured image In my post last night about the GOP Senate primary in Alabama, I noted that Judge Roy Moore has a large and somewhat surprising lead over Luther Strange, who was appointed to replace Jeff Sessions and has been endorsed by President Trump. In lieu of offering a full explanation, I pleaded ignorance of Alabama politics. Fortunately, a longtime Power Line reader and GOP insider from Alabama has offered his insights. »

Stop the Democrats’ Obstruction!

Featured image The Wall Street Journal has an important editorial about what it calls the “Schumer blockade.” For a while, President Trump was slow in making executive branch appointments. But he has nearly caught up, and the problem now is Democratic obstructionism. As the Journal says: The Trump Presidency is well into its seventh month but the Trump Administration still barely exists. Senate Democrats are abusing Senate rules to undermine the executive »

Comey sacking creates no momentum for a special Russia investigation

Featured image Democrats have persistently called for a special congressional investigation of all matters at the intersection of Russia and the 2016 presidential campaign. The firing of James Comey has renewed such calls and made them more vociferous. But has it created momentum for such an investigation? As of now, the answer appears to be: no. Don’t take my word for it. Amber Phillip of the Washington Post writes: President Trump just »

McConnell to finish what Schumer started

Featured image Josh Holmes fills in the history leading to the imminent confirmation of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court in the Politico Magazine column “McConnell is finishing what Schumer started.” Holmes’s column traces the judicial filibuster wars to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and pays tribute to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in playing his “long game” leading to what should be a happy ending tomorrow. This story has been out »

Not So Cool Hand Chuck

Featured image Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared on both FOX News Sunday and Meet the Press yesterday, mostly to address the prospective confirmation of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Senator McConnell spoke “with the calm confidence of a Christian holding four aces” (to borrow Walter Blair’s misquotation of Mark Twain). He vowed that Judge Gorsuch would be confirmed and that Democrats would dictate the manner of his confirmation. McConnell noted »

Who won, McConnell or Warren?

Featured image Yesterday, in writing about the Senate’s rebuke and silencing of Elizabeth Warren for disparaging Jeff Sessions, I discussed the rule invoked by Mitch McConnell to accomplish this. Rule 19 provides that Senators are not allowed to “directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.” I suggested that Rule 19 is an anachronism. It »

Elizabeth Warren rebuked, barred from speaking to Senate about Sessions

Featured image Sen. Elizabeth Warren, trying to stake her claim as the left’s darling for purposes of the 2020 presidential race, was delivering a rant against her colleague, Sen. Jeff Sessions. Warren asserted that “to put Senator Sessions in charge of the Department of Justice is an insult to African-Americans.” To support this claim, roundly disputed by African-Americans who know Jeff Sessions, Warren resorted to quotes from 1986 when the Senate did »

Senate Republicans block Lee Amendment, preserve AFFH

Featured image The Lee Amendment to defund President Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation failed in the Senate yesterday because not enough Republicans backed it. The Amendment was tabled by a vote of 60-37. Jeremy Carl aptly describes this vote as a defeat for conservatism, community control, and common sense. It is a victory, as Carl says, for turning the federal government into a National Zoning board, forcing high density housing »