Arizona

Crucial Senate Races On Road To Democratic Majority In 116th Congress

The US Senate will be a major battleground this coming November.

Ten “Red State” Democrats face the challenge of winning their seats, with a few of them the most endangered.

If the Senate is to go Democratic, all ten seats must be won by their Democratic veterans, but that is a tall order, and is tied to the hearings over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The most endangered regarding that issue are West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, and Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly.

Also possibly in trouble on that issue is Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.

These four Senators are seen as moderate, rather than liberal Democrats, and all of them except McCaskill, voted for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch last year.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Jr., Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Montana Senator Jon Tester all seem safer in their Senate races as of now, but that could change.

The most endangered incumbent, with or without the Kavanaugh vote, is Florida Senator Bill Nelson, who has Governor Rick Scott as his opponent, and with Scott having triple the amount of funds that Nelson has been able to garner. Scott is horrific, but he won two close races for Governor in 2010 and 2014, using his own wealth.

Now there is a new threat, that New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich might have more trouble being reelected, as former Governor and Libertarian Party 2016 Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, has just entered the race as an Independent, and in a three way race, anything is possible.

The problem is that even if all of these 11 Senators are successfully reelected, the Democrats still must win two more seats, with Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas as possibilities in that order.

If the Democrats are able to win 51 seats in 2018, it would have to be considered a true miracle!

Eve Of Richard Nixon Resignation From Presidency 44 Years Ago, And Sense Trump Is On Road To Similar End

We are on the eve of the 44 year anniversary of the resignation of the 37th President, Richard Nixon, who faced the reality that he had been impeached by the House Judiciary Committee, by a bipartisan vote.

Nixon had also been ordered by the Supreme Court, which included four Justices selected by him, to hand over the Watergate “smoking” tapes, which demonstrated his guilt.

It was certain that the US Senate would move to convict him on impeachment charges, had he chosen to fight, but Republican Senators, headed by Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania and Barry Goldwater of Arizona, and leading House members, had gone to the White House to inform Nixon that he did not have the support to survive an impeachment trial vote of two thirds of the Senate and more, convicting him, and removing him from office.

It was tomorrow, August 8, 1974, that Nixon went on television, and announced he would resign at noon the next day, August 9, and Vice President Gerald Ford would succeed him in the Oval Office.

As we come up to this anniversary, there is a growing sense that Donald Trump is on the road to a similar end.

No one believed Richard Nixon would resign, but he did, and few are willing to believe that Donald Trump will resign, but it looks more and more likely.

Trump is indicting himself on Twitter, and his involvement in Obstruction of Justice seems clear, along with other violations.

And his family members are in trouble too, particularly Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner.

The Robert Mueller investigation is moving fast forward, and it seems, at least to this author and blogger, to be inevitable that Vice President Mike Pence will be President by the end of the year.

We shall see how accurate this author and blogger is, so stay tuned!

Possible Democratic Gains In US Senate In Midterm Elections Of 2018

The Democrats have a massive challenge ahead, somehow to reelect all ten “Red State” Democratic Senators, but also, at the same time, to gain at least two additional seats and have a majority of 51 or more in the US Senate.

This is crucial to stop the worst of Trump Administration policies, and to insure that any future Supreme Court or Circuit or District Court judgeships not be as extreme right wing, as are occurring now.

Six seats seem open to switching to the Democrats:

Arizona, where Jeff Flake is retiring, and where Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema is ahead of three potential Republican opponents.

Nevada, where Dean Heller is the most endangered Republican Senator up for reelection, challenged by Congresswoman Jacky Rosen, and she has been ahead of Heller in many public opinion polls.

Tennessee, where Bob Corker is retiring, and former Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen is seen as ahead of Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn.

Texas, where Ted Cruz is gaining a serious challenge from Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, and O’Rourke has raised more money than Cruz, who famously is disliked by all his fellow Senators by the testimony of many Democrats and even Republican colleagues.

Mississippi, where Thad Cochran retired suddenly due to bad health, and will have a special election to fill the seat, temporarily filled, and the hope that an upset is possible, as occurred in Alabama last fall, with Doug Jones taking a normal Republican seat. Mike Espy, former Congressman, Secretary of Agriculture for two years under Bill Clinton, and an African American, is seen as having some chance to take the seat, although not seen as likely to win, but a surprise could occur.

Mississippi, where Roger Wicker faces a challenge from state legislator David Baria, Minority Leader of the state legislature, who is seen as having a reasonable chance to win.

The first three of these six seats seem likely to go to the Democrats, which if true, would allow the loss of one of the ten “Red State” Democrats, and still have 51 seats, but that does not leave much room for error.

If all six seats, magically, went Democratic, and no loss of any of the “Red State” Democrats in November occurred, in theory, the Democrats could have as many as 55 seats, but that is clearly a result with very low potential to occur.

One more issue: New Mexico, where Democrat Martin Heinrich should have no trouble winning, but if former Republican Governor and 2016 Libertarian Party Presidential nominee Gary Johnson decides to run for the Senate, creating a three way race, it could put Heinrich’s seat in jeopardy.

So the challenge for Democrats to gain a Senate majority of 51 votes is clouded by overwhelming challenges!

Bob Corker And Jeff Flake Both Retiring, Should Use Their Influence On The Senate Foreign Relations Committee To Quell Donald Trump

Two Republican Senators have decided not to run for reelection, and both have been critics of Donald Trump.

Bob Corker of Tennessee is the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, and Jeff Flake of Arizona is on the committee.

Both have no reason to cooperate with Donald Trump, now after this horrific week of foreign policy. We have witnessed the trashing of NATO and the European Union, and criticism of leaders of major allies, including Angela Merkel of Germany, Theresa May of Great Britain, Emmanuel Macron of France, and Justin Trudeau of Canada by Trump. At the same time, we have seen the praise and secret diplomacy of Trump with Vladimir Putin, causing an uproar, and now Trump’s invitation to Putin to come to the White House in the fall, possibly before the midterm elections, or alternately to witness the military parade ordered by Trump for Veterans Day, to be celebrated Saturday November 10 in Washington DC.

Corker and Flake, along with others, should denounce the Putin invitation and the wasted money on an unnecessary military parade, so that Donald Trump’s ego is further glorified.

The two Senators should do everything possible to make life for Trump more difficult, and should refuse to move forward on any policy, foreign or domestic, where their votes are needed to make a majority.

Both should order more subpoenas to require administration cabinet members to testify under oath, and make clear that they have declared war on the corrupt Presidency of Donald Trump!

Their leadership could make a difference in so many ways, and encourage more Senators on the Republican side to join them and the ill Senator John McCain of Arizona, and the principled Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, who has been a never ending critic of Donald Trump, and could face retribution when he faces his own reelection in 2020.

Of course, it is possible to imagine that Bob Corker, Jeff Flake, and Ben Sasse could end up challenging Trump for the Republican Presidential nomination of 2020 against Trump, or Vice President Mike Pence, were he to become President later in this term.

The Trump Juggernaut Overrunning Moderate Democrats: Between A Rock And A Hard Place!

The Democratic Party is at a crossroads, and moderate Senate Democrats are “between a rock and a hard place”, with the Trump juggernaut about to run them down!

There are 10 Democratic moderates who are running for reelection in states won by Donald Trump.

If they all remained loyal to their party, and IF Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski joined them, a Supreme Court pick could be stopped, but that is asking for too much to be assured.

And if they do not support the Trump nominee, it could kill their chances of reelection.

But of course, if they vote for the Trump nominee, many Democrats and moderates might decide it is not worth voting, and they will lose their elections anyway.

So what to do?

Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota voted for Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, last year.

All three are in great danger of losing their seats, with or without the Supreme Court nominee controversy they now face.

Then we have Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Jon Tester of Montana, also in great danger of losing their seats.

The other five “Red State” Democrats are probably safer, and unlikely to lose their seats—Bob Casey Jr of Pennsylvania (who however is anti abortion in his background); Sherrod Brown of Ohio; Debbie Stebanow of Michigan; Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin; and Bill Nelson of Florida (but his seat will be the most expensive race ever, with opponent Rick Scott spending tens of millions to defeat Nelson).

So if one is to promote the left wing Democratic view, we would say to hell with these Senators, whose voting record is far from ideal, but the alternative to staying united no matter what these ten Senators decide to do on the Supreme Court nominee of Trump, is to see the Republicans gain more seats and lock up the Senate for the long haul.

That is why it seems to this blogger that to promote or expect a left wing Democrat as the Presidential nominee, while ideal in theory, is likely to kill off any chance of the Democrats winning the Presidency in 2020, after what could be a Democratic debacle in the Senate races this year.

What seems likely to happen is that the three Democrats who voted for Gorsuch will vote for the Trump Supreme Court choice and will survive, and the other seven Democrats—particularly the three women—McCaskill, Stabenow and Baldwin—will vote against and yet survive as well. Casey will be conflicted but probably vote NO and survive, as well as Brown. And Tester should still be able to win another term as well.

The toughest seat to keep will be Bill Nelson in Florida, but it seems likely he will vote NO on the nominee.

So at the end, the likely vote will be 53-46, all 50 GOP Senators, including Collins and Murkowski, with the exception of the absent John McCain, and Manchin, Donnelly, and Heitkamp, with anger and disgust by Democrats, but the only likely road to those seats being saved.

So IF all seats are saved, except possibly Florida, and then IF Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and maybe Texas are gained, the Democrats MIGHT have a 51-49 or 52-48 Democratic Senate, and the battle against Trump will have another day and more to fight, the best possible under present circumstances.

Of course, all progressives have to pray for the good health and continued life of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, to serve until 2021, a tall order, as if that does not happen, the Supreme Court is lost with a certainty until close to 2045-2050, past the lifetime of this blogger and probably all of my readers.

This is a gloomy reality, but we have to do whatever we can do to promote a Democratic majority in both houses, and accept that not all Democrats will be progressives, but will at least be of the party persuasion!

The Surrender Of The Republican Party To The Cult Of Donald Trump Seems Complete

The Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George H W Bush, Gerald Ford, and even Ronald Reagan is gone.

So is the party of Robert LaFollette, Sr., George Norris, Nelson Rockefeller, Mark Hatfield, Clifford Case, William Scranton, and innumerable others who served as Governors or US Senators.

The Republican Party of 2018 has sold its soul to the idea of maintaining office at all costs, and all principles, morals, and ethics have totally disappeared.

No one, literally no one, who is running for election now or in the near future, is willing to gamble losing his or her position of power.

Only those who are dying, as John McCain–or not running for reelection, such as Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona—or not in office or those who have journalistic integrity despite their Republican or conservative credentials in the past—have the willingness to speak up. Or the most recent example of South Carolina Congressman and former Governor Mark Sanford, a strong conservative Republican, who lost his party’s primary despite his conservative credentials, because he had the “nerve” to criticize Donald Trump!

The only way to purge the party future is for all officeholders, or most of them, who are facing election and staying silent, to be forced out of office by the voters in the midterm Congressional and state elections in November 2018.

This is, and it is not meant to sound dramatic, but this is the only hope for American democracy, that the Democrats have a massive, overwhelming victory.

If not, we are living in a period where the Constitution and Bill of Rights are being destroyed before our eyes, with most Americans not caring, or complicit by silence and lack of interest and participation in voting, in the downfall of the American experiment as the great constitutional democracy America was meant to be!

We are living in a time of a cult, a mass worship of a very flawed, evil human being, who has no concern for the future, but only for his own material wealth and stroking of his ego.

We have a very sick, mentally deranged individual who has the capability of destroying the planet, or caving in to the whims of other totalitarian leaders who he wises to emulate.

If there is a history to be written in the future, however, Donald Trump will be condemned as the most despicable, evil leader we have ever manufactured!

Trump’s Crime Against Children And Parents At The Mexico Border: A Crime Against Humanity, For Which His Administration Should Be Prosecuted!

It is enough to make any decent human being vomit to witness what is happening at the US border with Mexico in Texas, California, Arizona, and New Mexico, where immigrant migrant children are being ripped from the arms and protection of their mothers and fathers by border agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who are acting like Nazi Gestapo agents.

Babies being breastfed by their mothers; wailing toddlers; children of older age; and preteens and teenagers are being effectively incarcerated by order of the racist, nativist government of Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions and others in the Trump regime, in former Walmarts and newly planned “Tent Cities” in the hot summer in Texas, reminding us of former Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio who set up such inhumane conditions, and was pardoned by Donald Trump!

And Jeff Sessions has the gall to quote the Bible in defense of the inhumanity being practiced, and Bible Toters are promoting child abuse, creating emotional damage to children which will last a lifetime, and will likely cause mental trauma that may lead to these children as adults to commit crimes in revenge for their mistreatment.

One can be certain that many parents will never find their children again as record keeping and accountability are not evident, and that there will be many cases of their babies being sold into slavery, and that sexual abuse will occur, including mixing boys of prepubescent and teenage years together, encouraging bullyism and abuse by older against younger.

The horrors of what is going on makes Trump and his government ever more lacking in ethics, morals, common decency, conscience, compassion or empathy!

The so called “family values” claim of the Republican Party is a mockery, and yet we see little reaction by Republican Congressional leaders and those in Texas!

This is a massive violation of human rights that cannot be allowed to stand, as what Trump is doing is against international law, and stains the image of all decent Americans, that we allow such abuses to go on for any amount of time without immediate rectification!

Trump and his cabinet advisers involved in this crime against humanity need to be removed and prosecuted for what they have done to our nation and its people!

Could The Equal Rights Amendment Become The 28th Amendment? The 27th Amendment As A Case Study

Lo and Behold!

The proposed Equal Rights Amendment, passed through both houses of Congress by wide margins, and then ratified by 35 states between 1972 and 1977, three states short of the three fourths or 38 states needed to ratify, and abandoned after one three year extension from the original seven year plan, in 1982, suddenly has life again!

Nevada’s legislature became state 36 in 2017, and Illinois just became the 37th recently, and now North Carolina is moving ahead on the measure, even though it is 41 years since the original 35 states ratified it, and 46 years since it was passed by both houses of Congress. Also, as a backup, the states of Arizona, Utah, Florida and Virginia are moving in the same direction.

There is precedent for this great delay in the 27th Amendment, suggested in 1789, and only finally ratified by enough states in 1992, mandating that Congress cannot raise its own pay during the same session of Congress that they enact a raise, but only for the succeeding Congress.

If that can happen 203 years after the original enactment, then why not 46 years?

George Will, the conservative ideologue, is bitterly opposed, as he argues progress has been made for women as members of Congress and in society and in law. from what it was in the 1970s.

While that is true, there is still no reason NOT to put women in the Constitution specifically, as the only mention is the 19th Amendment in 1920, giving women the right to vote long after the first push for suffrage at the Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848.

Proof Of How Far To The Right The Republican Party Has Gone: Rudy Giuliani And Mike Huckabee In 2008 And 2018

When one looks back at the 2008 Presidential campaign, when Senator John McCain of Arizona was the Republican Presidential nominee against Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, one realizes just how far Right the Republican Party has become in just a decade.

At that time, this observer recalled thinking that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee were quite moderate as compared to most of the candidates competing with both of them for the Republican Presidential nomination.

Giuliani was ahead in polls for the nomination in 2007, and came across as quite liberal in many ways, and his Mayoralty record made him look impressive, particularly after September 11, occurring near the end of his last term.

Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses in 2008 and was third in total delegates behind McCain and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and came across as quite rational and not as an extremist.

Today, ten years later, both of these men have seen their reputations end up in tatters, as they both are among the most despicable supporters of Donald Trump. Giuliani has clearly engaged in helping Trump in his corruption, and is an embarrassment to his own reputation.

Huckabee has become a right wing extremist evangelical pastor, and his daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has done a horrific performance as the White House Press Secretary, actually worse than Sean Spicer, the previous Press Secretary in the first six months of the Trump Presidency.

Disrespect For Senator John McCain Another Sign Of Totally Disgraceful Behavior By Trump And His Staff

The controversy over the disgraceful comments of Kelly Sadler, a Trump White House staff member, about Senator John McCain should have been resolved days ago, with the firing of this woman who has no decency or morals, in making fun of the Arizona Senator as he lays in a position of suffering from cancer, and possible death soon.

What should have been an apology by the Trump White House instead has been one of complaining about the leak of what Kelly Sadler said, and it demonstrates just how evil and despicable Donald Trump is.

Trump has never apologized for anything he or his staff has said or done in his three years since entering the Presidential race.

But his whole life has been one of mean spirited and nasty behavior in the business and social world as well.

This issue is worsened by the unwillingness of Republicans in Congress to condemn him or demand an apology from Kelly Sadler.

Donald Trump, a draft dodger, who has never contributed anything positive other than enriching himself, proves once again that he has no dignity or decency, while John McCain is a true American hero, much to be admired and praised.

Let us hope McCain recovers sufficiently to have a longer life span, as is the case with Jimmy Carter.