Jeff Flake

The Kavanaugh Supreme Court Battle Increases Chances Of Democratic Controlled Senate In 116th Congress

The battle over the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, who now faces further scrutiny, due to sexual assault charges, improves the chances of the Democrats being able to win the US Senate for the 116th Congress.

As a result of this situation, none of the ten “Red State” Democrats need to feel political pressure to back Kavanaugh, as three of them did for Neil Gorsuch in 2017.

And it seems highly likely that two Republican women Senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, will now be able to justify refusing to support Kavanaugh, if he does not withdraw.

Even two Senators who are leaving at the end of the year, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona, might also reject Kavanaugh if he comes up for a vote after next week’s hearings for his accuser, as well as for Kavanaugh himself.

So it now seems likely that there will be no new Supreme Court nominee before the election, and probably not before the new Congress, and if the Democrats can win Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas, or at least two of those states, and keep all 49 of their Senators, then they have the ability to tell Donald Trump, that they will refuse to accept any appointment to the Court, except Merrick Garland, who was denied a hearing in 2016.

Since Garland is a moderate centrist, and in his mid 60s, his appointment to the Court would be shorter in duration, but it would keep a balanced Court, and allow a good man to gain what he was entitled to two years ago.

So there may be yet some justice in this whole situation, or else Trump may have to live with a long term eight member Court.

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 Need For Top Advisers Around Trump To Resign, Or Lose Their Credibility

It is now three days since Helsinki, and the President is totally off the wall in his view of the Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign, constantly changing his language, demonstrating total confusion and mental instability.

And we see his top advisers standing by smiling or having a poker face, and contradicting everything he says when not in his presence.

This includes his intelligence advisers, and his national security team.

Meanwhile, except for the few Republicans who are leaving Congress (Senator Bob Corker, Senator Jeff Flake, Congressman Mark Sanford), or Senator John McCain, who is in his last term even if he survives long term from his cancer battle, no one else is speaking out. There is the additional exception of John Kasich, who is leaving the Ohio Governorship, and also of Ben Sasse of Nebraska (who will face reelection in 2020 but has always spoken out), and Senate candidate Mitt Romney who is keeping his independence, knowing he will win the Utah Senate seat easily in November.

Everyone else is putting their career ahead of the country, absolutely despicable behavior.

As stated yesterday, US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman needs to resign in protest, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and others in the cabinet, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, all need to group together and go to the White House and demand Trump resign, or they will announce their joint resignation.

One might say this would create total chaos, but it would be a public statement by the entire group, showing patriotism over political loyalty, and Vice President Mike Pence might be forced to join with them to insist, that for the good of the country, it is time for Trump to go!

We need a Barry Goldwater and Hugh Scott, as with Richard Nixon and Watergate in 1974, and the people named above have the ability to restore their integrity and reputation by doing the right thing, and soon!

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!

The House Of Representatives And The Presidency

The history of the Presidency shows us that Presidents come from the Governorship of a state, or the US Senate, or military leadership, or from being a Cabinet member under a President.

Only one House of Representatives member has gone directly from the lower chamber to the White House, James A. Garfield of Ohio, elected in 1880, but tragically shot after four months in office, and dying after six and a half months in September 1881.

A total of 19 Presidents served in the House of Representatives, however, including:

James Madison
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
James K. Polk
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
Rutherford B. Hayes
James A Garfield
William McKinley
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
George H. W. Bush

Some interesting observations:

Gerald Ford served the longest in the House, nearly 25 years, hoping to be Speaker of the House one day.

James A. Garfield served the second longest, almost 18 years, followed by John Quincy Adams.

James K. Polk served as Speaker of the House of Representatives as part of his service.

While only Garfield was elected President from the House, four who served in the House succeeded to the Presidency from the Vice Presidency during a term and were not elected–John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson and Gerald Ford, with Ford the only one not elected to the Vice Presidency, but rather being appointed through the 25th Amendment.

14 of the 19 Presidents who served in the House of Representatives did so before the 20th century, with only 5 serving from the 1930s to the 1970s.

When one looks at the present House of Representatives, there are a number of Democrats who are seen as potential Presidential contenders and also a few Republicans who might join the race, depending on circumstances.

For the Democrats:

Joe Kennedy III (Massachusetts)
Seth Moulton (Massachusetts)
John Delaney (Maryland)
Joaquin Castro (Texas)
Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii)
Adam Schiff (California)
Eric Swalwell (California)

Other potential Democrats who have served in the House of Representatives in the past include:

Bernie Sanders (Vermont)
Kirsten Gillibrand (New York)
Chris Murphy (Connecticut)
Sherrod Brown (Ohio)

For the Republicans:

Mike Pence (Indiana)
Paul Ryan (Wisconsin)
John Kasich (Ohio)
Jeff Flake (Arizona)
Tom Cotton (Arkansas)

Growing Opportunity For Democrats To Win Texas And Tennessee, Increasing Possibility Of Democratic Senate In 2019

Indications are that the Democrats are strongly favored to win the House of Representatives majority in November 2018, as only 23 seats are needed as a minimum to gain the majority of 218 to control the lower chamber.

The Senate is more difficult as there are 10 Democrats who face election in states won by Donald Trump, but it is now evident that the prospects for the Democrats to gain up to four seats of Republican Senators are growing.

Arizona, where Jeff Flake is retiring, looks like a likely Democratic win, and Nevada, where Dean Heller is much endangered, seems also likely to go Democratic. Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona Congresswoman is favored over any of three potential Republican candidates in Arizona, and Congresswoman Jacky Rosen is at least even with Dean Heller in Nevada.

But now, Texas and Tennessee also look like possible Democratic gains in November.

Beto O’Rourke, Congressman from El Paso, is really giving Ted Cruz a major battle in Texas, and former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen is leading Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn by ten points for retiring Senator Bob Corker’s seat.

Hopes are that these four seats can be won to overcome the loss of a couple of seats of the ten endangered Democrats from Trump won states.

Tip Of The Iceberg? Some Republicans Warn Mueller Should Be Allowed To Finish Investigation

It is interesting to note that some top Republicans have stated over the past weekend that Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be allowed to finish his investigation into Donald Trump and his administration on charges of possible Russian Collusion, Obstruction of Justice, and other charges, without any intervention or action by Donald Trump.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina made that very clear.

So did Florida Senator Marco Rubio, South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy and Arizona Senator John McCain. Also, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake has spoken up.

But notice that Graham and Rubio are not facing voters this fall; McCain is in the hospital; and Gowdy and Flake are not seeking reelection.

And a spokesman for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan issued a similar statement for Ryan. Ryan has all along proved to be a gutless wonder, who may yet decide not to run for reelection, but in any case, is not willing to stick his neck out too much.

One can be sure that if Barack Obama had dared to behave like Trump has for 14 months, the Republicans would be out to get his head immediately!

Is this “the tip of the iceberg”? Will the Republican Congress demonstrate candor and take their responsibilities of oversight of the executive Branch seriously, and the protection of the Constitution, or allow abuse of power by Donald Trump?

Hard to say, as other Republicans totally ignored the rantings and ravings on Twitter by Trump this past weekend on Mueller, and fired former Deputy Head of the FBI Andrew McCabe, and former FBI head James Comey.

At the same time, former intelligence officials such as former CIA head John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former retired Four Star Army General Barry McCaffrey unleashed attacks on Trump as a danger to national security, with his continued unwillingness to criticize Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

There is no question we are in the midst of a massive constitutional crisis, far worse than Richard Nixon and Watergate 45 years ago!

American History Since The Civil War: President’s Party Loses 32 House Seats And 2 Senate Seats In First Midterm Election

American history tells us that the party of the President regularly loses seats in the first, and all but once in the second (when it occurs) Presidential term of office.

The one major exception was 1934, when in the midst of the Great Depression, and FDR’s New Deal programs, the Democratic party gained 9 seats in the Senate and 9 seats in the House of Representatives.

Also, in 2002, after September 11, George W. Bush and the Republican Party gained 2 seats in the Senate and 8 in the House of Representatives.

And Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party, in the second term midterm election in 1998, gained 5 House seats, with no change in the US Senate.

That is the total historical record since the Civil War, more than 150 years, so it is clear that the Democrats will gain seats in the midterm elections of 2018.

The average since the Civil War is 32 House seats and 2 Senate seats, and if that happens precisely, the Democrats will have gained the House, needing only 24 seats, and the average historically being 23 seats, when one includes both first and second term midterm elections of a President.

But also, if the Senate were to see just the 2 seat gain as the average, then the Democrats would have the majority with 51 seats, which can be brought about by gaining the contested seats of Arizona, where Jeff Flake is retiring, and Nevada, where Dean Heller is seen as the most endangered Republican in 2018.

But to accomplish that, the Democrats must produce, miraculously. the retention of Senate seats in 10 Trump states in 2016–Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana, Montana, West Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio, and also retain the Minnesota seat recently vacated by Al Franken, and the New Jersey Senate seat of Bob Menendez, who faces another criminal trial after a hung jury. That will be a tall order for sure!

Republican Senators Who Can Stop Tax Legislation, Which Is Fraudulent For The Middle Class Future In America

Once again, a few courageous and principled Republican Senators have an opportunity to stop fraudulent tax legislation, which will dramatically undermine the middle class, and only be a massive tax cut for millionaires and billionaires, including Donald Trump and his family, despite the crooked President’s denials.

A few Republican Senators stood in the way of destroying ObamaCare without any replacement, and this legislation on taxes also is another attempt to destroy ObamaCare without any alternative for millions of Americans.

So one can hope that Senator John McCain of Arizona, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska will stand strong.

But additionally, there is hope that Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, and Senator Dean Heller Of Nevada may also fight the legislation, with the first two not running for reelection in 2018, so free to be independent, and Heller, the most endangered Republican Senator running in 2018, under great pressure to oppose legislation that will harm most of his constituents.

Also, on different motivations, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin could vote against the legislation.

All that is needed is three Senators, and the tax plan fails, and IF Doug Jones wins the Alabama Senate seat on December 12, then only two Senators on the Republican side are needed to derail the legislation, and cause a massive defeat for Donald Trump, who will have accomplished nothing by legislation in Congress in his first year, making him a total failure in that regard.