From Dahlia Lithwick at SLATE:
Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski Think Donald Trump Is No Longer a Danger
On Wednesday, the Senate [voted] to acquit President Donald Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress following a marathon few days of speeches, half of which came from Republican senators justifying their votes to acquit. Having listened through the hodgepodge of whataboutism, process complaints, and occasional outright fascism, one hesitates to focus on Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins because their reputations as GOP “moderates” have always been more a stylist’s branding choice than reality, and because holding Republican women in power to a higher standard than men has never redounded to the benefit of anyone, including women. But when powerful women who should see through the gaslighting instead pick up the proffered gaslighting torch and set small brushfires, it’s worth taking note.
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From THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR:
The sordid tale of former Sen. John Ensign (R) of Nevada is casting its dark ethical – and perhaps legal – shadow wider and wider in Washington.
Aside from the likelihood that Ensign will face criminal charges, recent revelations don’t paint a very good picture of Sen. Tom Coburn, former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, nor the Justice Department.
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From Paul Harris at the Mail & Guardian online:
The bright lights of the Las Vegas strip were an apt setting for the Donald Trump carnival roadshow to end up in last week. Amid the garish neon of the gigantic Treasure Island Casino, the business mogul-turned-reality TV star-turned-potential Republican presidential candidate made his latest stop.
Speaking at an event called The Reagan Revolution: From Ronald to Donald, Trump made his pitch to an audience of Nevada Republican bigwigs and curious onlookers in one of the key early-voting states in the nomination process. In the casino’s ballroom, which featured an ice statue of himself, Trump gave a virtuoso performance that was full of braggadocio and littered with expletives. “Our leaders are stupid, they are stupid people,” he said, before referring to the Chinese government as “motherfuckers” against whom he’d raise trade tariffs.
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LAS VEGAS — The pieces continue to fall into place for a political shake up like Nevada has never seen.
Senator John Ensign is stepping down, Congressman Dean Heller may take his place and the chain reaction is now uncharted territory that could cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Governor Brian Sandoval said Friday he will name a replacement for Ensign before May 3rd. If Heller is the selection, as has been expected, state leaders actually have no idea of what exactly to do next.
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From the Los Angeles Times:
Nevada Sen. John Ensign, facing an ethics investigation stemming from an affair with a campaign aide, said Monday he would not seek reelection because he wanted to spare his family from an “exceptionally ugly” campaign.
“At this point in my life, I have to put my family first,” Ensign told reporters at a news conference in Las Vegas.
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From POLITICAL HOTSHEET at CBS NEWS:
As the conflict in Wisconsin shifts from a battle over budget deficits into an ideological debate, some high-profile Republicans — potential presidential contenders — are lining up behind Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Former Minnesota governor and possible presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty released a video today that uses dramatic music and quick cuts of protest footage to show support for Walker. At the end of the minute-long video, Pawlenty is shown on a news program saying, “It’s really important that America stand with Walker, stand with Wisconsin.”
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