McConnell Refuses To Allow Debate On Amendments To Make Time For Koch Bros Forum

According to PoliticusUSA, Senate Democrats are livid because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell abruptly cut off debate on the Keystone XL bill so that Republicans could attend a weekend conference with the Koch brothers.

Democrats accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of shutting down a Senate that was supposed to be run in a more open way than under the previous administration.

Politico: “They also wondered aloud if Republicans were trying to wrap up all Keystone business to accommodate a conference scheduled for this weekend in Palm Springs, Calif., that’s affiliated with the billionaire conservatives Charles and David Koch.”

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The Koch Brothers’ American Recovery Policy Forum In Palm Springs

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According to Politico, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida offered an early glimpse of the GOP presidential primary debates at a forum Sunday in front of hundreds of donors affiliated with the Koch network.

They mainly focused their economic attacks on President Barack Obama while showcasing their own differences on foreign policy.

The three 2016 Republican presidential contenders laid out their arguments on issues such as the minimum wage, income inequality, tax reform and relations with Cuba at a resort in Palm Springs, California during the American Recovery Policy Forum, which was organized by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce.

The group oversees the political operation created by the billionaire industrialist megadonors Charles and David Koch.

The forum was moderated by ABC’s Jonathan Karl and was part of the annual winter meeting of the Kochs’ political operation. It was live-streamed to the media, giving the public a first-time peek into the usually secretive event.

Chron.com:  “Cruz and his rivals, seated in couches and free from the clamor of a presidential debate, discussed Cuba policy, the need for a minimum wage and the successes and failures of Mitt Romney in a low-key back-and-forth in California. The trio sparred a bit over the need for the GOP to address income inequality, with Cruz saying it remained obvious that the widening gap demanded attention.”

The Washington Post:  “The panel, moderated by ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, took place at a private meeting of wealthy donors hosted by Freedom Partners, a tax-exempt group that serves as the hub of a political network supported by Charles and David Koch and other conservative financiers. In a first, the organization shared a live Web stream of the event with news organizations.”

Oddly, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell seemed to shut down the debate on the Keystone XL and wrap up business in order to make time for the Koch meeting in California.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/koch-forum-rand-paul-marco-rubio-ted-cruz-114588.html#ixzz3Px8zw768

Attempted Bombing At NAACP Building In Colorado

According to the LA Times, a homemade explosive blew up on Tuesday outside the Colorado Springs, Colorado, chapter of the NAACP. The FBI has called it a deliberate incident.

The chapter’s offices, as well as Mr. G’s Hair Design Studios barber shop located inside the building, sustained minor damage from the explosion. No deaths or injuries have been reported.

Witnesses reported hearing a “loud boom” around 10:45 a.m. local time. “There was smoke everywhere, the building on the side was burnt,” one onlooker told local television station KDVR. The Los Angeles Times reports an improvised bomb appears to have been positioned against the outside wall of the building on South El Paso Street.

According to the FBI, it was set right next to a gasoline can, which didn’t burst during the explosion.

More:

http://www.newsweek.com/naacp-chapter-bombing-colorado-springs-deliberate-says-fbi-297399