Chuck Grassley

Kamala Harris Becomes Highest Ranked Woman Leader In American History, With Nancy Pelosi Next!

Vice President Elect Kamala Harris will become the highest ranked woman leader in American history, when she takes the oath as Vice President on January 20, 2021.

She will be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, and right behind her in the line of succession will be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

And if President Elect Joe Biden decides to choose a woman to be Secretary of State, then three of the top four in the line of succession will be women, with only the President Pro Tempore of the Senate being male, either Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa or Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, depending on what happens with the two Georgia Senate runoffs on January 5, 2021.

Already, we have had three women serving as Secretary of State—Madeleine Albright under Bill Clinton in his second term; Condoleezza Rice under George W. Bush in his second term; and Hillary Clinton under Barack Obama in his first term.

The bet is that former National Security Adviser and Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, who is African American, will be chosen by Joe Biden to be his Secretary of State, although Wendy Sherman, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, who is white, serving from 2011-2015 under Barack Obama, is also a possible choice, and certainly will be utilized in some way by Joe Biden.

Trump With COVID 19 Creates Turmoil And Crisis, And Brings Up 25th Amendment And Succession Law

Donald Trump, having contracted the COVID 19 Virus, creates turmoil and crisis, and brings up the 25th Amendment of 1967, and the Presidential Succession Law of 1947.

Trump has been reckless in NOT promoting face masks and distancing, particularly at his close up rallies, but also in the Oval Office and at other White House sites, and his family refusing to wear masks at the Presidential Debate last Tuesday was totally irresponsible!

Trump should be sidelined for a week or more if he has a mild case, but if severe, it creates a real crisis, that requires the 25th Amendment to be invoked, and brings up the Presidential Succession Law, passed by a Republican dominated Congress in 1947.

If Trump is unable for a period of time to perform his duties, then Vice President Mike Pence can take over as Acting President, as George H. W. Bush did in 1985 when President Ronald Reagan had cancer surgery; and twice under President George W. Bush, having colonoscopies, Dick Cheney was briefly Acting President.

It should have happened when Ronald Reagan was shot on March 30, 1981, but it was not invoked.

Were Trump to fail to survive, Mike Pence would become President, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would be next in line, followed by Senate President Pro Tempore Chuck Grassley of Iowa. The fact that Pelosi is 80 and Grassley 87 is alarming, of course, and right after them would be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is 56, and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin who is 57.

Whatever one’s feelings toward Donald Trump, we should all hope for his complete recovery, but it certainly upends the Presidential Election of 2020, and makes the likelihood of a Vice Presidential debate next week less likely, and would seem to lead to the cancellation of the two remaining Presidential Debates, which really should not be occurring after the disastrous first Presidential Debate, in any case!

Time will tell of course, never a dull moment!

Finally, it is truly ironic that the news of Trump having COVID 19 occurs on the 101st Anniversary of Woodrow Wilson suffering a paralytic stroke in 1919, five months after contracting the Spanish Flu Virus while at the Versailles Peace Conference in France after World War I.

Wilson was never as energetic after suffering from the virus, and it seems to have undermined his case for the Versailles Treaty. And once he had the stroke, his wife ran cabinet meetings, and Vice President Thomas Marshall and the American people through the news media were NOT kept informed about his condition, and we had the longest period of incapacity of any President, lasting until he left office 17 months later in March 1921.

Hope That At Least Four Republican Senators Will Delay A Vote To Replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg

This is a very depressing time, and Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are adding to it by the outrageous rapid move to promote a Supreme Court nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg so quickly.

With only six weeks until the election, and with the normal period before the process for a Supreme Court nominee being about 75 days, what is the hurry to do this?

In 2016, the Republicans refused to consider a Supreme Court nominee for an entire year, rather than allow Barack Obama to put Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court!

The argument was that in the year of a Presidential election, no replacement for the Court should be considered.

If the Court could do with eight members for a year, then they can do with only 8 members until January, when the next inauguration takes place.

No one can argue that if Donald Trump were to win a second term, of course, he could pick a replacement.

But if Joe Biden win the election, then the new President should make the choice for a lifetime appointment of about 30 years.

A hopeful sign is that two women Republican Senators—Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine—have stated that the elected President in November should make the appointment, and that they do not support a rapid replacement before the election or after if Joe Biden wins in November.

Collins has been very disappointing in supporting the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, and she is in deep trouble in her Senate reelection campaign in Maine.

Murkowski does not have to face voters until 2022, and in the past, she won reelection to her seat against both a Republican and a Democrat in 2010, so she is more to be trusted than Collins.

But there is also Mitt Romney, who one would think is principled enough based on his opposition to Donald Trump, that he could be a third vote.

Four votes are needed, however, to stop a nominee from being confirmed for now, and Senate President Pro Tempore Chuck Grassley of Iowa, has said in the past he is against a replacement in an election year, so maybe he will also oppose a quick action.

There is also speculations that Cory Gardner, in a tough race in Colorado, might wish to avoid voting on a nominee before the election.

There are also those Senators seen as more moderate conservatives, but none of them can be relied upon: Rob Portman of Ohio, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Of course, Mitch McConnell himself, and Lindsey Graham, both facing election in their states, had posed the same principle in 2016, but not now, so purely, both are hypocrites. One can hope that possibly their opponents will gain more funding and possibly defeat them, although the odds are long.

Then, there is Ted Cruz, a despicable piece of trash, who also said the same thing about election year appointments, but now is on a list of potential Supreme Court nominees, although Trump has said a woman will be selected next week!

All of the other Republicans running for reelection seem unlikely to show any principle, although Ben Sasse of Nebraska is one we could hope might do so, but seems unlikely to have the courage to take a stand.

So we may end up with a 6-3 Court, setting us back to the 19th century in so many ways, and if nothing else, it should encourage more than ever before for massive contributions to Democrats for the Senate and for Joe Biden nationally, as this nightmare of Donald Trump must come to an end in November!

Many Republicans Not Attending National Convention In Jacksonville, Florida

President Donald Trump may wish for a grand audience of thousands of delegates cheering him on at the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida in late August, but it looks as if many US Senators and others will not attend, due to the CoronaVirus Pandemic raging in the nation, and particularly in Florida.

Among those announcing they will not attend include two retiring Republican Senators, Pat Roberts of Kansas and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, with Roberts being 84 and Alexander 80 years of age.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who is 78, also has indicated he is unlikely to attend.

Additionally, the following Senators have made statements that they will not attend:

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Susan Collins of Maine

Mitt Romney of Utah

Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who will be 87 in September

Expect more Senators and many Congressmen and other party figures to decide not to attend, and it is possible that the entire convention will have to be remote, which is the present plan of the Democrats, as the only practical solution in the middle of a pandemic which has killed 135,000 people in just over four months.

Joe Biden plans to go to Milwaukee in person to give his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, but without a large audience, and Donald Trump, if he was smart, which he is not, should do the same thing, as this pandemic has transformed life in America for the foreseeable future.

Some Republican Senators Begin Expressing Criticism Of Donald Trump

In the midst of the impeachment crisis, some Republican Senators are beginning to separate themselves from Donald Trump, after being silent for so long.

So we have Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Susan Collins of Maine, and Joni Ernst of Iowa expressing sharp criticism of Trump, with Romney the strongest in his statements, and Trump bitterly attacking him, and stupidly, calling for his impeachment, something that cannot be done against a member of Congress, but only the executive and judicial branches of government.

All of the above are facing reelection in 2020, except for Romney, who does not face voters again until 2024.

How much further Sasse, Collins, and Ernst will go against Trump will be interesting to watch, and one senses that others, including those not facing reelection in 2020, will start to turn against him, with long serving member Chuck Grassley of Iowa defending the “whistleblower” investigation on the Ukraine controversy.

So the impeachment drama, and how it will affect the Congressional and Presidential elections of 2020, continues to draw attention, as, with 13 months to go, the unpredictability of what will occur in November 2020 is clearly very concerning.

Would Any Republican Senators Vote For Conviction Of Donald Trump In Impeachment Trial? It Is Possible Up To 23 Would Do So, Three More Than Needed To Remove Trump From Oval Office!

As the likelihood of the impeachment of Donald Trump increases daily, the question arises whether any of the 53 Republican Senators would actually vote for his conviction and removal from the Presidency.

It has been reported that privately up to 30 Republican Senators would wish to do so, but are unwilling to risk their Senate seats to vote in public, where they need to be listed as to their vote on the matter.

Looking at the list of Republicans, it seems to this author and blogger that the following 23 might decide to convict Trump:

Richard Shelby of Alabama

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Marco Rubio of Florida

Johnny Isakson of Georgia

Chuck Grassley of Iowa

Joni Ernst of Iowa

Pat Roberts of Kansas

Rand Paul of Kentucky

John Kennedy of Louisiana

Susan Collins of Maine

Ben Sasse of Nebraska

Deb Fischer of Nebraska

Richard Burr of North Carolina

Rob Portman of Ohio

James Lankford of Oklahoma

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

Tim Scott of South Carolina

John Thune of South Dakota

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee

Mike Lee of Utah

Mitt Romney of Utah

Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

Mike Enzi of Wyoming

All of these Senators, except four, do not face election until 2022, or 2024 in the case of Fischer and Romney, while Roberts, Enzi and Alexander are retiring in 2020, and Isakson is retiring early at the end of 2019 due to poor health . Only Collins, Ernst, Sasse and Capito face election in 2020, but possibly could be considered “yes” votes for conviction.

If all of these 23 GOP Senators voted to convict, added to 47 Democrats and Independents, it would mean the vote to convict would be 70-30, enough by three, allowing, in theory, three of the Senators facing election in 2020 to decide NOT to remove Trump.

Senators Who Reached Age 90 In Office, Other Possible Additions To The List in Future Years To 2026, And Democratic House Leadership Reaching 80 By 2020

Strom Thurmond, Democrat and then Republican, South Carolina 100

Theodore F. Green, Democrat, Rhode Island 93

Robert Byrd, Democrat, West Virginia 92

Carl Hayden, Democrat, Arizona 91

Additionally, the potential future shows the following:

Dianne Feinstein, Democrat, California, would reach age 90 in next term ending 2024 with her reaching that age in 2023, with her victory in November for another six year term assured.

Chuck Grassley, Republican, Iowa, would reach age 90 in 2023 if he won another term in 2022.

Richard Shelby, Democrat and then Republican, Alabama, would reach age 90 in 2024, if he won another term in 2022.

James Inhofe, Republican, Oklahoma, would reach age 90 in 2024, if he won another term in 2020.

Pat Roberts, Republican, Kansas, would reach age 90 in 2026, if he won another term in 2020.

The question is whether it is good for the nation to have five Octogenarians in the US Senate in 2019, and this after John McCain died and Orrin Hatch is retiring.

It is, however, a growing trend, and the present Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives (Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn), all will reach 80 soon, with Pelosi reaching 80 in March 2020, Hoyer reaching 80 in June 2019, and Clyburn reaching 80 in July 2020, so all age 80 during the 116th Congress.

The debate will grow over the aging of Congress, and particularly of leadership and influence over the future of American democracy.

Octogenarians In Congress: Time For Age Limit Of 80, So That Younger Generation, “Fresh Blood”, Comes Into Both Houses

Age discrimination laws have disappeared in recent decades, but at the same time, there is the issue of members of Congress staying on into their 80s in growing numbers, and one has to wonder if that is good for the nation at large, or whether it helps to promote the image of Congress being out of sync with the nation, and preventing a younger generation of “fresh blood” from having opportunity to serve in Congress.

Presently, there are eight Senators and eleven House members who are in their 80s, and there are others in both chambers nearing 80 over the next few years.

Seven Republicans and one Democrat in the Senate, and eight Democrats and three Republicans in the House of Representatives are now in their 80s, and there is no indication that the House members are planning to retire in 2018.

Four of the House members are in the upper 80s right now—Democrats Sander Levin of Michigan who is 86; Democrat John Conyers of Michigan who is 88; Democrat Louise Slaughter who is 88; and Republican Sam Johnson of Texas who is 87.

Meanwhile, three of the eight Senators were just reelected to terms ending in 2022—Richard Shelby of Alabama who will be 88 then; John McCain of Arizona who will be 86 then; and Chuck Grassley of Iowa who will be 89 then.

Three others have terms ending in 2020—Pat Roberts of Kansas who will be 84 then; Thad Cochran of Mississippi who will be 83 then; and James Inhofe of Oklahoma who will be 86 then.

The other two Senators face election in 2018–Diane Feinstein of California who will be 85; and Orrin Hatch of Utah who will be 84.

The aging of Congress has been a growing trend, and it does not bode well for the future, as far as public support for Congress is concerned.

There is no realistic possibility of legislated age limits, but the growing number of octogenarians in Congress is not a good development.

“Coattails” Vs. “Split Ticket”: Which Will Occur In November?

Now with two weeks to the election, speculation is rising that Hillary Clinton may win a landslide victory over Donald Trump, and that she might have “coattails”, help to carry in a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and Senate.

The Senate part of this equation seems very likely, but to gain the House of Representatives majority will be very difficult, with the Republicans having a 30 seat majority right now, greater than at any point since 1928.

The last time a President coming into office had the effect of switching both houses of Congress was 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower brought in Republican majorities, which, however, were lost by 1954.

After that, the House of Representatives did not fall into Republican hands again for 40 years, until 1994!

The Senate, however, did fall into Republican hands with the victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980, only to be reversed in 1986.

So best bet is that the House majority will be knocked down a great amount, maybe 20 seats gain, but short of a majority for the Democrats.

On the other hand, the Senate seems likely to turn over, and Hillary Clinton could help to switch the states of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, as well as Indiana, and keeping Nevada, the only contested Democratic seat, meaning a eight state gain for the Democrats, from 46 seats to 54, and including the likely defeat of Marco Rubio and John McCain.

Missouri, a less likely state for Hillary Clinton, but within reach, could also see Jason Kander, the Democratic nominee, defeat Senator Roy Blunt, but not seen as such, unless Missouri reverts to being a bellwether state which it was for a century, but not so in 2012.

Iowa and Ohio seem more likely to keep Chuck Grassley and Rob Portman, even if Hillary Clinton wins their states.

So the idea of a “split ticket”, only 11 percent in recent election years, seems only likely in those two Midwestern states, and maybe in Missouri and Indiana, but Hillary likely to carry other states listed above and help to make the Senate Democratic majority.

Potential To Add Seven Democratic Women Senators In November Races

The potential exists to add seven Democratic women to the US Senate, and replace one Democratic woman with another Democratic woman this November.

Senator Barbara Boxer of California is retiring, and Kamala Harris is running to replace her, although her opponent, also a Democrat, is Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. So no matter what happens, a Democratic woman in the Senate from California is being replaced by a woman from the Democratic Party.

Maggie Hassan, Governor of New Hampshire, is trying to defeat another woman, Republican Kelly Ayotte, for her Senate seat, and has a good chance of winning

Also, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada is running to replace Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, but is in a tough race, that may be the only Democratic seat in danger, against Republican nominee Joe Heck.

Tammy Duckworth is running for the Illinois Senate seat held by Republican Mark Kirk, and is favored to win.

Katie McGinty is running in Pennsylvania against Republican Pat Toomey, a race seen as very close.

Deborah Ross is running in North Carolina against Republican Richard Burr, another close race.

Ann Kirkpatrick is in a very competitive race in Arizona against well known Republican Senator John McCain.

Finally, Patty Judge is running in Iowa to replace Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a tough fight.

There are 20 women in the US Senate now, 14 Democrats and 6 Republicans. One woman, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, will be replaced by a man, Chris Van Hollen. And Kelly Ayotte could be the one Republican woman who leaves the Senate if she loses to Maggie Hassan.

So the end result could be 5 Republican women and a grand total of 20 Democrats if all the women listed above were to win.

That is certainly unlikely to happen, but if it did, we would have the highest number of women Senators in any Congress in American history—25!