Trump also fired another watchdog investigating Elaine Chao, wife of Mitch McConnell

On the same night that he fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, a watchdog who was allegedly investigating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over any number of potentially corrupt activities, Trump also terminated a watchdog working for the Department of Transportation. As Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington explains:

At DOT, the acting IG was overseeing a high profile investigation of Secretary Chao’s alleged favoritism benefiting her husband Senator Mitch McConnell’s political prospects, but has now been replaced with a political appointee from within the agency. The acting IG’s ouster calls into question the future of the Chao-McConnell investigation, other critical oversight, and whether the watchdog was dismissed for unearthing damaging information.

[…]

Trump’s decision to sideline DOT acting IG Mitch Behm (who has 17 years of experience with OIG) was lost in the shuffle of outrage following the announcement that Trump planned to fire the State Department IG, but potential conflicts of interest abound. The most high profile is the DOT OIG’s review of allegations that Secretary Chao gave Senator McConnell’s constituents special treatment and helped steer millions of federal dollars to Kentucky as he is facing low approval ratings and a tough reelection bid.

Secretary Chao also served as Deputy Secretary of Transportation under President George HW Bush and Secretary of Labor under President George W Bush. Her father is a wealthy and successful Chinese-American shipping magnate who has donated tens of millions of dollars to Senator Mitch McConnell, even before he married Chao in 1993 (McConnell's first wife, Sherrill Redmon, is a feminist scholar at Smith; neither she or their Democrat daughters discuss their relationship with McConnell). Read the rest

Two great deep-dives mine the endless hole at the bottom of Mitch McConnell's inhumanity

Mitch McConnell is terrible. I've known this for a long time, though it probably first came to my attention personally after his open commitment to making Obama a "one-term president," which was near a decade before he started gleefully referring to himself as the "Grim Reaper." But while it's been no surprise to watch his Machiavellian enabling of Trump, I've never really understood how any rational human could look at McConnell and see someone worth rallying behind. He revels in the destruction of all social fabric and proudly caters to corporate interests that do objectively demonstrable harm to human life. Even if you take Republican voters at their word about the things they claim to care for, McConnell still disavows it all.

Most private American citizens could probably reach a general consensus on the things that are wrong in Washington, even if they continue to disagree on the solutions — but Mitch McConnell embodies every single one one of those problems, and doesn't even try to hide it. Worse, he prides himself on it. He is a walking nuclear bomb, branded with corporate logos, who says, "Government is evil and will destroy your lives, and if you vote for me, I'll prove it."

I recently read (or more accurately, listened to, via Audm) two longform articles that really dig into the Lovecraftian horror that is Mitch McConnell's overall existence. And while I emerged from these articles with an even more profound disgust for the man, I have at least come to a better understanding of his special brand of nihilism. Read the rest

Registered voters in Kentucky have reached an all-time high ahead of Mitch McConnell's re-election

From the American Independent:

A record number of Kentucky residents are registered to vote as of Jan. 31, Secretary of State Michael Adams (R) announced on Tuesday.

More than 3.4 million Kentuckians are now registered, marking a new high for the state.

[…]

According to the Kentucky Secretary of State's Office, 48% of Kentucky voters are registered as Democrats, 43% are Republicans, and 9% are "listed under other affiliations."

The fact that more than half of the registered voters in famously red Kentucky have registered as Democrats is particularly remarkable. But it's not that surprising once you consider that Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell's approval rating had dropped to a whopping 18 percent this past fall. Kentuckians may finally be fed-up with the self-proclaimed Grim Reaper who has contributed absolutely nothing positive to the world in his 35 freakin' years in the Senate — except for enshrining the GOP's self-serving power structure, which only exists to gratify itself.

The only good news for McConnell is that he's moderately more popular than Senator Susan "Trump will definitely learn his lesson this time" Collins of Maine.

If you're looking for some more Schadenfreude, Rolling Stone put out a great article this past September that paints a comprehensive picture of the growing Kentuckian hatred for McConnell's nihilism.

McConnell's re-election campaign will run against Marine Corp veteran and Democratic nominee Amy McGrath this November. It's not the only high-stakes re-election seat this year, but it's certainly an important one for anyone who doesn't want a scorched Earth left behind. Read the rest

Read Mitch McConnell's proposed rules for the Trump impeachment trial

CNN has the full 4-page organizing resolution for the Trump impeachment trial that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent to the Senate on Monday.

As CNN notes, the impeachment trial for President Bill Clinton gave the defense and the House prosecution committee each 24-hours — spread out over a maximum of 4 days — to make their opening statements. For the Trump trial, however, each side only gets 2 days to make their statements. But on any given day, the hearings don't begin until 1pm, and will thus drag on late into the night.

After the opening statements, the Senate will have a total of 16 hours to question the House Committee or the White House Defense. Only then will the Senate vote on whether or not to subpoena witnesses or other evidence.

The GOP's defense strategy becomes painfully clear in the structure set forward on those pages: make sure no one has a chance to say or reveal anything beyond what's already known by the public, then force a vote as soon as possible. Which is why I'm expecting the White House's opening statement to be a full-on Chewbacca Defense but with Bidens instead of Wookies.

Impeachment resolution shortens trial's opening arguments to two days per side [Lauren Fox, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb /  CNN]

Image via the White House / Flickr Read the rest

Rep. Cummings' pallbearer refuses to shake 'Moscow Mitch' McConnell's hand

It is unsurprising that anyone in America would snub Mitch McConnell, however, the look on Chuck Schumer's face is priceless.

Read the rest

It's very pleasing to watch Mitch McConnell get chewed out by a constituent

It must be hard for Senator McConnell pretend he cares about the little people. Read the rest

Republican leaders' support for Trump unwavering despite his boasts of groping women

Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Mitch McConnell reaffirmed their support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Saturday, offering only milquetoast rebukes to his boasts of groping women.

Ryan:

“I am sickened by what I heard today. Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests.”

McConnell:

“As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape.”

Some Republicans have had enough: Carly Fiorina and Sen. Kelly Ayotte withdrew their endorsements today, as did Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Update:Sen. John McCain too.

Illo: Beschizza. Read the rest