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Sen. Marco Rubio’s tweets have highlighted the media’s double standards. In one tweet, Sen. Rubio tweeted “I too have concerns about how all this with #NorthKorea will turn out. But I don’t recall all the ‘experts’ criticizing Obama when he met with a brutal dictator in #Cuba who also oversaw a police state & also killed & jailed his opponents. #DoubleStandard”

In another tweet, Sen. Rubio tweeted “President’s meeting with #KJU exposed incredible hypocrisy of many in media. When Obama did these things, he was described as enlightened. When Trump does it he is reckless & foolish. 1 yr ago they attacked Trump for leading us towards war, now attack for being too quick for peace.”

For instance, Chris Matthews said of President Trump “These are awful people and he wants to become best friends with them.” I don’t recall Tingles getting upset with President Obama when he met with Raul Castro, the murderous dictator of Cuba.

When President Obama visited Cuba, they went to a baseball game. Obama proceeded to do the wave while sitting in the stands:

When President Trump met with KJU, it was all business. The negotiations lasted more than 5 hours. They talked about serious subjects. When President Obama was in Cuba, they attended a baseball game, where he was filmed doing the wave.

Today, Democrats are complaining that President Trump didn’t produce any deliverables. I don’t remember Sen. Schumer complaining about President Obama’s trip to Cuba not producing any deliverables. That’s because President Obama’s Cuba trip was about building Obama’s legacy. Trump’s trip was about him doing his best to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to state sponsors of terrorism.

President Obama’s presidency is best known for its missed opportunities. Thus far, President Trump’s legacy is about capitalizing on each opportunity.

Lately, Sen. Schumer has made a habit of saying that Republicans will rue the day the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passes. It isn’t that he actually believes this. It’s that he’s trying to spin a major loss for Senate Democrats into a smaller loss. Seriously, only Bernie Sanders is stupid enough to think that the bill won’t create jobs and get the economy running better.

Sen. Schumer issued a statement that said “Under this bill, the working class, middle class and upper middle class get skewered, while the rich and wealthy corporations make out like bandits. It is just the opposite of what America needs — and Republicans will rue the day they pass this.”

It’s important to remember that that’s coming from a man who tried protecting Sen. Franken by recommending a do-nothing ethics committee investigation. Anyone that’s willing to protect a pervert like Franken isn’t a person whose opinion I’d value. Marco Rubio, a person whose political instincts I value, though not always his policies, has changed his vote from no to yes on the bill.

Implicit in Schumer’s statement is Sen. Schumer’s admission that the bill will pass. That’s a victory for Republicans and the American people. Since President Trump was elected, the economy has surged. GDP is higher. Consumer confidence is soaring. Unemployment is at a 17-year low. Regulations that’ve been cut by this Congress and this administration have taken government’s boot off the economy’s throat. People’s 401(k)s are getting richer.

For all of Sen. Schumer’s whining, people are better off now than they were a year ago. Despite President Obama’s BS, the economy isn’t stronger because the Trump built off the blueprint that President Obama put in place. It’s flourishing because President Trump tore President Obama’s blueprint down, then rebuilt it from scratch. GDP for Q1 2017 was 1.7%. Q3 of 2017 is dramatically different, with GDP up at 3.3% with an asterisk. (That asterisk is that it would’ve been higher if not for 5 major hurricanes hitting the Gulf Coast in a single month.)

This is fantastic news:

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said Friday that the chamber would vote on the plan Tuesday, with the Senate vote to follow shortly thereafter.

Expect there to be a lavish bill signing ceremony at the White House either Wednesday or Thursday. Sen. Schumer’s spin won’t change the fact that the middle class will see more in their paychecks after the start of the new year.

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James Comey has notified the appropriate committees that he’s re-opening his investigation into Hillary Clinton. According to the article, “FBI Director James Comey wrote in a letter to top members of Congress Friday that the bureau has ‘learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.'”

The letter was sent to Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, as well as ranking members of those committees. Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Robert Goodlatte, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and Sen. Charles Grassley, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also were sent this letter.

The key part of Director Comey’s letter is the second paragraph, which says “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday and I agreed that the FBI should take proper investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether these emails contain classified information, as well as assess their importance to our investigation.”

Here’s the text of Director Comey’s letter:

As much as I’d like to see the FBI recommend Hillary for prosecution, I’m still skeptical that’s what will happen. First, it’s virtually impossible for me to picture the FBI doing the right thing. Let’s be honest, too. There’s verified proof that Hillary sent classified information via her private server. Regardless of what happens with the investigation, this will have an impact on down-ticket races. Here’s a copy of the letter Marco Rubio just sent Patrick Murphy, his challenger:

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Last week, Gov. Dayton said that the ACA was unaffordable. This week, in Gov. Dayton’s Strib op-ed, he’s insisting that things really aren’t that bad, saying most people “will NOT see actual health insurance increases of 50 percent or more, because many people, who buy their policies through MNsure, will receive federal tax credits that will significantly lower their costs.”

Gov. Dayton, if these subsidies “significantly lower” health insurance premium costs, why did you insist that the “Affordable Care Act isn’t affordable” anymore? We know you said that because it’s captured in this video:

Gov. Dayton’s most stunning admission in his op-ed is when he said “And while it is true that the Minnesota Department of Commerce finally “approved” the health insurers’ rate increases and enrollment caps, that approval was required to prevent those companies from following Minnesota Blue Cross Blue Shield and major insurers in other states from pulling entirely out of the individual market. Their departures are forcing about 2 million people in 32 other states to also find new coverage.”

That’s admitting that the major insurance companies will pull out of the individual markets if they aren’t granted major premium increases each year! It’s worth noting that Sen. Rubio forced this by getting a bill passed that ended insurance company bailouts. Think about that. President Obama knew that his signature achievement would bankrupt insurance companies if it didn’t have a bailout provision in it.

Compare that with Minnesota prior to Obamacare/MNsure. Minnesota virtually eliminated the uninsured by establishing a high-risk pool in 1976. Thanks to that system, Minnesota’s uninsured rate was a paltry 7.2% in 2007. Last week, I wrote this post, noting that the national uninsured rate was 15.5%.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL enthusiastically passed MNsure when the DFL controlled the legislature and Dayton was the DFL governor. In his op-ed, Gov. Dayton insists he needs an all-DFL legislature:

I ask you to vote for two years with DFL majorities in both the Minnesota House and Senate, in order to fulfill my pledge to you: A Better Minnesota.

Minnesotans, the last time we had a DFL governor and DFL majorities in the House and Senate, we got a Senate Office Building for fat-cat politicians and skyrocketing health insurance premiums. Exploding health insurance premiums and a $90,000,000 building for fat-cat politicians isn’t taking us in the right direction. I’m betting people think that that’s taking Minnesota in the wrong direction.

Finally, Gov. Dayton, if things aren’t that bad, why are you, Rep. Thissen and Commissioner Rothman calling this a crisis?

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Republicans should willingly accept the fight that the Democrats have picked on defense spending. Democrats just picked the fight by filibustering the bill that would fund the military, including funding overseas operations against ISIS. If Democrats are willing to shut down the government over fulfilling the Democrats’ special interest allies’ wish list, Republicans should highlight that. If Democrats want to commit political suicide, then it’s Republicans’ responsibility to make them pay for that stupidity.

First, it’s important to know that “Senate Democrats Tuesday blocked for a third time a key defense spending bill, signaling they will not take up any spending legislation outside of an all-inclusive package that incorporates both military and domestic spending.” According to the article, Democrats blocked the bill because “Democratic leaders said they don’t trust the GOP to negotiate in good faith on the remaining domestic spending bills if they agree to the military spending separately.”

It’s time for Democrats to put on their big boy britches and negotiate in good faith. If they won’t fund the military unless they get everything they want for their special interest allies, then they aren’t fit to chair the Senate’s committees. Period. They aren’t fit for those responsibilities because they’re too beholden to the special interests to do what’s right for America.

Sen. Rubio issued this statement:

The federal government’s chief responsibility is to keep Americans safe and provide the resources our military needs to do its job, and it’s a shame Senate Democrats are refusing to do either by blocking this bill for the third time this year.

In addition to funding our military, this bill would also have made it crystal clear to the administration that dangerous terrorists must remain at the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay. In these last four months of President Obama’s term, we need to do everything possible to stop him from releasing dangerous terrorists to other countries, or bringing them into the U.S. This includes keeping the 18 “forever prisoners“, which an independent board has deemed too dangerous to ever release, right where they are.

This is a fight that Republicans should fight with Democrats. Let the people see that Democrats aren’t ready to chair the important committees that fund this nation’s national security operations. Let the people see that Democrats consistently put a higher priority on political gamesmanship than they put on doing what’s right for our troops.

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This article isn’t good news for Chuck Schumer. Sen. Schumer wants to be the Senate Majority Leader in January. At this point, that’s looking like an uphill fight. The worse news is that it’s looking like the Democrats’ fight is getting more uphill by the week.

The article’s second paragraph says “The Quinnipiac University poll of more than 1,000 Florida voters shows Rubio with a double-digit lead over each of the two likely Democratic nominees, Rep. Patrick Murphy (50%-37%) and Rep. Alan Grayson (50%-38%). The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.”

This is now a safe Republican seat. That poll takes this seat off the list of seats that the Democrats might potentially pick up.

That’s quite a difference from when Sen. Rubio initially announced that he’d seek re-election. At the time, the Cook Political Report said “Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has reversed his decision to retire from the Senate at the end of this Congress and will run for a second term. In doing so, he has breathed new life into the GOP’s chances of holding the seat, but that doesn’t mean that he has become anything more than the very slightest of favorites in November. The race will remain in the Toss Up column.” It will be interesting to see how Cook explains what tipped that race that quickly.

Remember that this poll happened before the terrorist attack in Nice, France. If I were a betting man, I’d bet the proverbial ranch that Rubio will have opened up a bigger lead next month, especially if the tempo of ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks keeps increasing.

Quinnipiac’s Swing State Poll isn’t good news for Ohio Democrats, either. Their poll says “Sen. Rob Portman [leads]former Gov. Ted Strickland 47–40%.” A couple months back, Portman trailed by 9 points. The next Quinnipiac Swing State Poll had them tied. Now, Portman has opened an outside-the-margin-of-error lead over Gov. Strickland. Clearly, it’s trending in Sen. Portman’s direction. What’s interesting about this is the fact that Gov. Strickland has higher name recognition than Sen. Portman.

Finally, it’s safe to say that Sen. Toomey is sitting in a strong position for re-election:

The man-woman matchup in the Pennsylvania Senate race produces only a small gender gap. Men back Toomey 53%-35%, while women are divided with 45 percent for Toomey and 42 percent for McGinty.

In the pure horse race poll, “Sen. Pat Toomey over Democrat Katie McGinty 49%-39%.” It’s probably too early to say this race is over but it isn’t too early to say that Sen. Toomey is in a solid position to win re-election.

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Since the start of 2016 or earlier, pundits have predicted that Democrats would retake their majority in the US Senate. That’s been the conventional wisdom pretty much the entire year. According to this article, those predictions might be greatly exaggerated.

This article isn’t the only thing that points to a contrary outcome in November. The latest Quinnipiac Swing State Poll brought smiles to the NRSC leadership team. Quinnipiac’s poll starts by saying “Republican incumbent U.S. Senators in three critical swing states fare better today as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida leads either of two Democratic challengers, while Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey outpoints his Democratic challenger and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman is in a dead heat with a well-known challenger, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today.”

It then highlights the fact that “Sen. Rubio leads U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy 47-40 percent and tops U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson 48-40 percent.” Amelia Chasse talked about the Florida race in a rather unflattering light towards Democrats:

Another DSCC primary pick, Florida’s Patrick Murphy, has had his inflated resume methodically torn apart by a series of investigative reports, to the point where Salon called him a “disaster candidate.”

Prior to that, Chasse spoke about Katie McGinty, the Democrats’ candidate in Pennsylvania in an unflattering light:

Establishment groups spent nearly $5 million to drag Katie McGinty, a bureaucrat with a revolving door problem, through another contentious primary, only to have her claim to be the first in her family to attend college immediately exposed as a lie.

According to Quinnipiac’s Swing State Poll, McGinty trails incumbent Pat Toomey “49%-40%.” That isn’t the type of margin that’s likely to produce a November nailbiter. In Ohio, pundits predicted Rob Portman’s demise. That might not happen:

Sen. Rob Portman is in a dead heat with former Gov. Ted Strickland in Ohio. But that is an improvement for Portman, who earlier in the campaign was down as much as 9 points.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that Republicans are leading in the 2 biggest swing states and that they’re in much better shape in Ohio than they were a couple months ago.

Then there’s Ron Johnson. Though that race is tight, Wisconsin’s GOP GOTV operation is a powerful machine. Further, Feingold is running into difficulty explaining why he did nothing to fix the VA hospital in Tomah after getting notified about its difficulties.

That’s before talking about some potential GOP pickups. This video shows why Darryl Glenn has positioned himself well in Colorado:

Talking about a recent case of black-on-black violence in San Bernardino, CA, Glenn said that BLM wasn’t part of the solution before saying that what’s required is for policy leaders, community leaders and law enforcement to get together in a room and have a substantive conversation about the things that need to happen to end the distrust between law enforcement and minority communities. Couple the fact that he’s endorsed by Ted Cruz and that much of Cruz’s GOTV operation is now working for Glenn. That’s a powerful combination in Colorado.

Finally, don’t think that Harry Reid’s seat isn’t in play, too. If these things come together, it isn’t impossible to see Republicans holding a similar margin in 2017 as they have right now.

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According to this article, down-ticket Republicans might as well start writing their concession speeches. This is proof that a little paranoia goes a long way. According to the article, “New polls that came out yesterday showing Hillary Clinton with a double digit lead over Donald Trump in the race for the White House has to have many House and Senate Republicans that are up for re-election this year shaking in their boots and running for the hills. The Trump Train nightmare is set to wreak havoc on a GOP-controlled Congress, cutting political careers short and leaving many looking for jobs.”

That’s before the author gets into full panic mode.

Jason Taylor, the man who wrote the article, then said “You have Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, who is going to have a tough fight for re-election, along with Richard Burr in North Carolina, Marco Rubio in Florida, Mark Kirk in Illinois, Roy Blunt in Missouri, Patrick Toomey in Pennsylvania and Rob Portman in Ohio just to name a few. Don’t get me wrong, anything is possible. I just think far too much damage has been done to hold the Senate.”

Now that it’s established that Mr. Taylor sounds like he’s in full panic mode, let’s introduce some reality into the conversation. This article highlights last week’s Quinnipiac poll. It paints an entirely different picture:

Brown continues, saying “In general, this poll of the three major swing states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, is good news for the GOP. Sen. Rob Portman is in a dead heat with former Gov. Ted Strickland in Ohio. But that is an improvement for Portman, who earlier in the campaign was down as much as 9 points. And in Pennsylvania, GOP Sen. Pat Toomey has a 9-point lead. It is far too early to say he’s a sure thing, but he is in good shape.”

Apparently, voters are smart enough to differentiate between the loudmouth at the top of the ticket and these senators. Who would’ve thunk it?

Prediction: Republicans will keep control of the House and Senate. Marco Rubio will score a strong victory in Florida. Ditto with Sen. Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania. Sen. Ron Johnson will defeat Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, thus ending Feingold’s anything-but-illustrious political career. Rob Portman has an uphill fight but he’s fought back into a tie with Ted Strickland after trailing by 9 points early. That’s before talking about Republicans flipping Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada and ousting Michael Benet in Colorado, both distinct possibilities.

Message to the Chicken Littles out there — the sky isn’t falling:

This Quinnipiac poll is the best news Mitch McConnell has seen in months. Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said “With Republican national leaders worried about keeping control of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Marco Rubio might ride to their rescue if he decides to reverse field and seek re-election. This Quinnipiac University poll finds Sen. Marco Rubio in good shape when matched against his two potential Democratic opponents.”

Brown continues, saying “In general, this poll of the three major swing states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, is good news for the GOP. Sen. Rob Portman is in a dead heat with former Gov. Ted Strickland in Ohio. But that is an improvement for Portman, who earlier in the campaign was down as much as 9 points. And in Pennsylvania, GOP Sen. Pat Toomey has a 9-point lead. It is far too early to say he’s a sure thing, but he is in good shape.”

This has to be considered good news for the GOP, too:

Pennsylvania

While the presidential matchup in Pennsylvania and the U.S. Senate race both feature a Democratic woman running against a Republican man, Sen. Pat Toomey has the advantage of incumbency. He leads 56 – 35 percent among men, while women are divided with 44 percent for Katie McGinty and 42 percent for Toomey.

If Republicans hold those 3 seats, they’ll hold their majority in the Senate. I expect them to hold Wisconsin, too, where Ron Johnson will benefit from the fact that he’s running 5+ points ahead of Trump in Wisconsin.

Something noteworthy is happening, too. Each of these candidates are running well ahead of Mr. Trump. While it’s still early, this suggests that voters are differentiating between Mr. Trump and mainstream Republicans. If that’s what’s happening, then that’s good news for those who’ve been worried about a major GOP thumping this upcoming November.

With Rubio now officially running for re-election, coupled with this news, the NRSC just got a major morale boost.

If I were a betting man, and I am from time to time, I’d bet that Sen. Rubio will run for re-election.

According to the article, “Politico reported Wednesday that López-Cantera had urged Rubio to jump in the race, saying he would back out if the senator ran for reelection.” I can’t see Sen. Rubio saying no at this point, especially considering the fact that his friend has a) urged him to run and b) promised to drop out if Sen. Rubio runs for re-election.

After the Orlando bombing, and considering the fact that Sen. Rubio would have a prominent role in crafting policies to prevent terrorist attacks, it’s difficult picturing Sen. Rubio declining this option.

Further, this is pretty much proof that Sen. Rubio isn’t on Trump’s short list of VP candidates. Either that or Sen. Rubio doesn’t want to be on Mr. Trump’s short list. Either way, if Sen. Rubio runs for re-election, that eliminates the possibility of the Democrats flipping that seat. It doesn’t hurt the Democrats’ chances of picking up Florida’s senate seat. It eliminates that possibility.

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