When Mitch McConnell wants to destroy you, you’ll know it.
The Senate minority leader has declared war against the Senate Conservatives Fund, an outside group supporting his Republican primary opponent, Matt Bevin. But rather than moving on and focusing on his Democratic opponent, McConnell and his allies have trained their attacks on SCF and its allies — with no apparent endgame in sight.
The latest salvo came Monday, when National Review published a story that detailed the Kentucky senator’s deep displeasure with Nebraska GOP candidate Ben Sasse for being endorsed by the conservative group. McConnell let him know about it during a one-on-one meeting earlier this month.
“As he walked out of the room, Sasse turned to [McConnell adviser Josh] Holmes — ‘That didn’t go well!’ ” wrote NR‘s Jonathan Strong.
The report also revealed that pressure from “McConnell allies” forced SCF’s bookkeeper into leaving the group last week.
Right now, McConnell is fighting a three-front war: Bevin, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, and the outside conservative group. At times, his campaign seems most focused on the latter:
““ In early November, the National Republican Senatorial Committee announced it would not issue contracts to Jamestown Associates because of the work the conservative consulting group did with SCF. This moment, according to Republicans on both sides of the feud, was the spark that lit the fuse of the ongoing battle.
““ The no-holds-barred approach to outside critics was best described by Holmes, in the same New York Times story. “SCF has been wandering around the country destroying the Republican Party like a drunk who tears up every bar they walk into,” Holmes said. “The difference this cycle is that they strolled into Mitch McConnell’s bar and he doesn’t throw you out, he locks the door.”
““ An NRSC spokesman criticized SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins by name in a National Journal story about the Michigan Senate race.
““ Last month, McConnell said in a conference call with GOP donors that SCF needed to be punched in the face like a schoolyard bully, according to the Washington Examiner.
““ A spokeswoman for McConnell’s reelection campaign called criticism from SCF blaming McConnell for fallout over the nuclear option “profoundly stupid.”
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."