Jeff Flake

2019 Will Be The Most Significant Year Since 1968, Tumultuous And Transformative

The year 2019 will assuredly be the most tumultuous and transformative year since 1968.

The Democrats taking over the House of Representatives means full investigation of the Presidency of Donald Trump, and the likelihood of the impeachment of Donald Trump.

It might seem that Trump will survive in office, but this blogger believes he will be forced out by resignation, and a deal whereby his children and son in law will avoid prosecution, if Donald Trump agrees to resign.

The pressure on Trump will grow, and his health will likely get worse, and while it might seem that he will not give in and resign, the same thought 45 years ago about Richard Nixon, this blogger’s belief that he will leave office by mid year is strongly held.

If he leaves office no later than June 20, 2019, then Trump will have served exactly 29 months, matching the exact term of President Warren G. Harding from 1921-1923, which is the 4th shortest term of any President in American history.

The likelihood of a President Mike Pence is strong, but he would face party opposition from a number of Republican potential challengers, including John Kasich, Jeff Flake, or Bob Corker, all of whom will not be in public office in 2019.

Also, the likelihood of growing conflict between Chief Justice John Roberts and President Trump will become part of the story of the end of the Trump Presidency.

And Nancy Pelosi, the best Speaker of the House since Thomas “Tip” O’Neill (1977-1987), will play a major role in the events transpiring next year.

And also expect a major battle between the “old timers” (Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders), as well as between them and a new generation of leadership much more diverse, for the Presidential Election Of 2020, including Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Eric Garcetti, and Chris Murphy, among other Democratic contenders.

Donald Trump Has Gone Bonkers By His Action To Withdraw US Forces Fighting ISIS In Syria

The absolutely worst moments of Donald Trump’s Presidency are upon us.

Trump, totally ignorant and clueless on American foreign policy, has ordered the complete, rapid withdrawal of all US forces from Syria, at a time when ISIS is still a threat, and many enemies gain by our withdrawal.

Russia, Iran, Turkey, the murderous regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and the terrorist group Hezbollah all gain.

The NATO allies–Great Britain, France, Germany, Canada and the rest–, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Kurdish allies who are anti Turkish and anti Assad, all are major losers.

Total disarray and gains for authoritarian governments is the result, and we will rue the day that we decided to leave the fight against ISIS, which is not yet totally defeated.

This is all part of a clear plan by Trump to help his friend Vladimir Putin, and Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and ironically, the major enemy of Israel and Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Our President is clearly a menace, and many Republicans, including Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Jeff Flake of Nebraska, are coming out of the woodwork to express their disgust and disdain of what the President is doing.

This is the time for James Mattis, Secretary of Defense; Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State; and John Bolton, National Security Adviser, all of whom were strong supporters of remaining in Syria, to announce their mass resignation, and call for Donald Trump to resign.

As I finish this essay, Mattis has announced his resignation, making ever more dangerous the reality that there are no real “adults'” advising Trump on military policy.

Meanwhile, the stock market has been in free fall, and it looks as if the government will be shut down over Christmas, due to the insistence of Donald Trump that there be a 2,000 mile built across our boundary with Mexico, an insane and wasteful idea that will not guarantee security.

It is time for Vice President Mike Pence to speak out against the President, and show some guts and courage to speak his mind.

All Time High Number Of Women US Senators In 116th Congress: 25

In the 116th Congress of 2019-2020, there will be an all time high of 25 women Senators, including four new members of the upper chamber.

17 of them will be Democrats, while 8 will be Republicans.

Six states will have both their Senators being women, including

California—Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris

Washington—Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell

New Hampshire—Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan

Minnesota—Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith

Arizona—Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally

Nevada—Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen

All of these duos are Democrats, except for Martha McSally, just appointed to fill John McCain’s seat to 2020, after losing the chance to win the seat of retiring Senator Jeff Flake to Kyrsten Sinema.

The longest serving woman Senator is Dianne Feinstein of California, who has been in the Senate since November 1992, and is the oldest member of the US Senate, and if she survives in office to the end of her term in 2024, she would be 91, only the 4th Senator to reach the age of 90 in office, and also would be the woman with more years of service than any other woman Senator.

Patty Murray of Washington has only two months fewer service than Feinstein, so also would have served longer than any other woman Senator.

Senator Susan Collins of Maine started serving in 1997, the longest serving Republican woman Senator.

32 states have had women Senators by 2019, and 21 states so represented in the 116th Congress.

A total of 56 women Senators will have served by 2019, with 36 being Democrats and 20 being Republicans.

And finally, it is likely that four Democratic women Senators will be running for President in 2020—Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Kamala Harris.

Growing Likelihood Of Challengers To Donald Trump For GOP Presidential Nomination In 2020

With Donald Trump being “individual No. 1”, clearly the center of probes by Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel, and also by the Southern District of New York, the likelihood grows of Republicans, who have just come off a 40 seat loss in the House and control of the lower chamber, being alarmed enough that serious challengers to Donald Trump’s nomination for a second term seem likely.

One can expect the following Republicans to consider challenges to Trump.

Outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse.

Utah Senator Mitt Romney, the 2012 Presidential nominee.

Outgoing Arizona Senator Jeff Flake.

Former South Carolina Governor and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

There could be others as well, but this list seems quite realistic, although the more that challenge Trump, the less likely there would be success.

It would be much easier if only one challenger took the bait, and went after Trump.

One can think back to 1979-1980, when President Jimmy Carter was challenged by both Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and California Governor Jerry Brown.  

The one thing about even one challenger to a sitting President is that the result has been that while the President won the nomination, he ended up losing the election, with three of the four times losing massively.

William Howard Taft won only 23 percent in 1912 after being challenged by former President Theodore Roosevelt, and having to deal with TR as the Progressive Party nominee, as well as Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson.

Jimmy Carter won only 41 percent in 1980 after being challenged by Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown, and having to deal with an independent nominee, John Anderson, as well as Republican nominee Ronald Reagan.

George H. W.  Bush won only 37 percent in 1992 after being challenged by Pat Buchanan, and having to deal with independent nominee Ross Perot and Democratic nominee Bill Clinton.

At this point, before we begin the new year, it would seem as if John Kasich would have the upper hand on a challenge over others, and that Ben Sasse, representing a new generation of conservative leadership, would be an additional major challenge to Trump, were Sasse willing to mount a campaign.

Of course, any challenge to Trump would also be indirectly a challenge to Vice President Mike Pence as the “heir apparent”.

It Is Now Clear Donald Trump Will Face Fierce Opposition From Conservatives And Critical Republicans For 2020 Presidential Nomination

It is now clear that Donald Trump will not have a waltz to the 2020 Republican Presidential nomination.

The long term future of the Republican Party is at stake, after the disaster of the Midterm Elections of 2018.

Mike Pence can claim the Republicans are in good shape, but he is delusional, and we are on the way to a repudiation of not just Donald Trump, but his Vice President, even if by some chance, he becomes President before the Presidential Election of 2020.

It is assured that a President Pence would not be able to keep the office, and would be easily defeated in 2020, as is the case with Donald Trump.

So the question is where the Republican Party turns in planning its future.

The number of potential candidates is growing.

It includes those few who have had the smarts to speak out against Donald Trump, as anyone else is a public relations disaster.

So forget such Senators as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, or Lindsey Graham, all of whom have lost all credibility.

The list, therefore, only includes newly minted Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, and outgoing Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee, and outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich.

It could also include two Republican Governors in “blue” states that easily were elected in 2014 and reelected in 2018—Larry Hogan of Maryland and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts–although neither Hogan, who has term limits in Maryland, and Baker, who has no term limits in Massachusetts–has publicly expressed interest in running for the White House.

But if the Republican Party wishes to survive long term, none of these, except possibly John Kasich, are seen as likely to have much effect in stopping Trump.

The one and only reasonable choice other than Kasich is a principled conservative of a younger generation who might inspire young people and educated people to return to the Republican Party.

That candidate is Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, who would be 48, but nearing 49, by the time of the inauguration in January 2021.

If he were to run in 2020, with Nikki Haley as his Vice Presidential running mate, both only a month apart in age, it could be a winning team.

Christine Blasey Ford Spoke For All Women, And Men, Who Have Been Sexually Abused, And Brett Kavanaugh Proved He Is Unfit For Supreme Court

The testimony of Christine Blasey Ford was gripping and convincing, and she proved to be so genuine that even Republicans avoided attacking her, and Donald Trump stated words of praise for her performance.

At the same time, Republicans and Donald Trump called for moving forward on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, until two courageous women confronted Arizona Senator Jeff Flake in a Capitol Hill elevator, and convinced him to call for time out, and an FBI investigation to be conducted, which now is moving forward.

Christine Blasey Ford was articulate, and her education and career as a college professor of psychology gave her the ability to overcome her nervousness at speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She knows how to speak, how to deliver ideas and points, but even this professor, the author and blogger, as much as he can speak before hundreds of people, wonders if he could do as fine a performance if he had to face a Senate committee.

Imagine if Christine Blasey Ford was NOT a professor, but rather one of millions of ordinary women, not educated, not professional, not having the kind of family and moral support that she had.

Imagine if it had been a poor, minority woman, someone not good at expressing herself, or had been a man of similar lack of education and speaking ability and economic station, who had been abused as boys and men also are, and terrified to speak out, even including those who are gay or lesbian, and suffer sexual abuse every day, and yet remain silent.

Those people, men and women, who dispute CHristine Blasey Ford for waiting so many years, look at the case of Bill Cosby, or look at the cases of the men abused by the Catholic Church over decades, or look at the women abused by their mother’s boyfriends or their stepfathers, which happens so often after failed marriages.

Those men and women who have no heart, no concern, and always back white male privilege, and powerful male privilege, reveal themselves for what they are: despicable, disgraceful human beings who have no compassion, no empathy, no concern for anyone unless they are wealthy, white males, and whose wives who go along with them, reveal they have no minds of their own, and are “Stepford Wives”, who do not realize they are being manipulated by their dominant husbands who most likely are cheating on them. There is so much domestic abuse that never is reported, or is overlooked historically by legal authorities, when it is reported by courageous victims.

Brett Kavanaugh proved in his tirade against Democrats and Senators on the Judiciary Committee, that he is unfit for a lifetime position on the Supreme Court, and that he is too partisan and too supportive of Donald Trump, to be an objective, open minded member of the high Court, His drinking problem is a severe one, and he is too cocky, and self serving, much like Donald Trump, to have so much power and authority over Constitutional law for the next thirty to forty years. His performance was a disgrace, that should open the eyes of the eight members of the Court for lack of dignity and decency, and the American Bar Association and other groups which had endorsed him, have withdrawn their support.

It is time for decent Republicans, including Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Bob Corker, and Ben Sasse to show they have guts and principle, and reject this nomination!

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!