John McCain

Utah Senator Mike Lee Seems To Have An Edge For Supreme Court Nomination

On June 28, this blogger suggested that Utah Senator Mike Lee was a likely potential possibility for the Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.

He would be a rarity, a sitting United States Senator, chosen for the Supreme Court.

There is no requirement that a sitting Federal Court judge must be chosen, although that has become the tradition since Governor Earl Warren of California was chosen to be Chief Justice by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, with only Sandra Day O’Connor, who served in the Arizona State Senate, and chosen by Ronald Reagan in 1981, having any elective experience since then.

As stated on June 28, we had Senators earlier, including most impressively, Hugo Black, who had done good deeds on the Supreme Court.

So the belief that Mike Lee has the advantage comes to the forefront again. It was announced that Lee had been interviewed for the position, so he is on the short list.

Lee is 47, which from the viewpoint of Donald Trump and conservatives, is ideal, meaning a 35 year term on the Supreme Court under normal circumstances.

Lee is a sometimes critic of Trump, who did not back him, which makes him seem independent of any influence by Trump if Lee was on the Court.

Lee is pro life, which would make it hard for Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski to support him, but neither is needed as long as some Red State Democrats—Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp—all who voted for Neil Gorsuch last year—support him. And both Collins and Murkowski ended up voting for Gorsuch, so their protestations seem weak.

It would be difficult for either Collins or Murkowski to vote against their own party and Senate colleague in the end, as after all, both voted for Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, and Collins even gave a strong endorsement presentation before the Senate Judiciary Committee for his nomination to the Justice Department, despite his outrageous racism.

So I suggest that Lee might be the choice of Trump, and more likely to sail through confirmation, and with a likely 53-46 vote (without John McCain voting), and possibly more Red State Democrats justifying the vote for their “Senate colleague”!

Party loyalty and Senatorial “courtesy” give Mike Lee the advantage, at least in theory, but we shall see!

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!

What If Utah Senator Mike Lee Is Nominated For Supreme Court?

Early speculation on who Donald Trump might select to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court centers on Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee, an original Tea Party member, having served in the Senate, and promoting libertarian ideas since 2011.

Not always a supporter of Trump, and not backing him in 2016 due to the Access Hollywood tape, Lee would still be a prime choice for Trump.

Lee is only 47 and could be expected to serve on the Court until 2050 and beyond.

He is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has to consider the Supreme Court nomination, and there are 11 Republicans to 10 Democrats on that committee.

To believe that any of his GOP colleagues on the committee, or even in the Senate, would vote against their party member, is hard to conceive.

And if all 50 Republicans stay united (minus John McCain, who is not likely to return to Washington DC anytime soon), at the worst, Vice President Mike Pence can vote if need be, but a 50-49 vote is a majority, and likely, a few Democrats, in red states facing election, would cross the aisle and vote for Lee, as they did for Neil Gorsuch a year ago.

Having a Senator on the Supreme Court is not unheard of, as it has happened 15 times in American history.

Most famously, there was Alabama Democratic Senator Hugo Black, who served on the Court for 34 years from 1937 to 1971, appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt. And President Harry Truman appointed two Senators—Sherman Minton of Indiana, who served from 1949-1956; and Harold Burton of Ohio who served from 1945-1958.

Also, there have been 17 Congressmen who served on the Supreme Court, including Warren G. Harding appointee George Sutherland of Utah who served from 1922-1938; and Chief Justice Fred Vinson of Kentucky, who served from 1946-1953, appointed by President Truman.

Finally, 6 Governors have been appointed to the Supreme Court, the last and most famous being California Governor Earl Warren, appointed Chief Justice by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 and serving to 1969; along with significant appointments by President Abraham Lincoln of Ohio Governor Salmon P Chase to be Chief Justice, serving from 1864-1873; former New York Governor Charles Evans Hughes, first appointed to the Court by William Howard Taft from 1910 to 1916, and then returning to the Court as Chief Justice by appointment of President Herbert Hoover from 1930-1941; and Michigan Governor Frank Murphy, appointed by FDR and serving from 1940-1949.

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!

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.

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!

CPAC Rejects Outspoken Conservative Woman Critic (Mona Charen) And Former Black Republican National Chairman (Michael Steele), And Senator John McCain

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is an extreme right wing organization, and becoming more so every year.

Although they call themselves conservative, many respectable and legitimate conservatives have stopped going to the annual meetings, and have denounced their stands on issues, as well as their rhetoric.

And now, CPAC has made clear that it is racist, misogynistic, nativist , homophobic, and has elements of antisemitism in its membership, and who they support and applaud.

To see outspoken conservative journalist Mona Charen booed, when she condemned the behavior of Donald Trump toward women, and his support of Roy Moore for the Alabama Senate seat back in December, shows just how misogynist the organization has become, and their full support of Donald Trump is shocking and disturbing.

To see former Republican National Chairman Michael Steele (who is African American) termed a token, who should not have been the RNC head in 2009-2010, is insulting and shows the racism of the group.

To see Arizona Senator John McCain booed, when he is a national hero for his involvement in the Vietnam War, and spent years in prison and faced torture, while Donald Trump evaded the draft, is totally reprehensible.

Known antisemites and homophobes have also been embraced by many participants in this organization, a disgraceful situation.

What kind of people participate in CPAC meetings? Clearly the lowlifes of society, who are mentally ill in many cases, including their full endorsement of the National Rifle Association and its refusal to accept any gun limits even after the Parkland Florida Massacre of ten days earlier than the conference.

It is clear that CPAC has become much like a modern example of the Nazi Party, and Donald Trump as their “Fuhrer”, something that must be resisted, as that is the destruction of America!

The Battle To Succeed Rex Tillerson As Secretary Of State: Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley, Bob Corker, Lindsey Graham

It is clear that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will not survive beyond the first month or two of 2018.

Tillerson has been the absolute worst Secretary of State in modern times, and maybe all time, totally unqualified, totally inexperienced, totally incompetent in defending the State Department and its diplomatic corps against attempts of Donald Trump to destroy our foreign policy, in the name of supporting Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

The fact that Tillerson was the head of Exxon, and received an award from Putin in 2015, does not help promote confidence in his leadership.

But at the same time, Tillerson has clearly opposed Trump on many issues, and even said he was a “F—– Moron”, although refusing to give credibility to that press report.

Tillerson has tried, in his own inefficient manner, to stop the destructive tendencies and rhetoric of his boss, often contradicting Trump, and working to prevent conflict and turmoil as much as he can, including promoting diplomacy with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

The question is who should replace him, and right now, it seems as if CIA head Mike Pompeo, previously a Republican Congressman from Kansas, is the front runner, but Pompeo has a very hard line view on many issues, which makes him far from desirable.

Also, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley may have a chance to get the job, but she has just lost credibility by her threats to UN members over their vote against US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. However, by showing loyalty to Donald Trump, she may have advanced her case to become the top diplomat, and one can hope that her action at the UN was more political than anything else, and that she would provide a comparatively more stable course in American diplomacy, and that Donald Trump might listen to her more than he does to Rex Tillerson.

Then, there are the wild cards of Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who has recently been highly critical of Trump, and who Trump has regularly denounced; and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a good friend of Arizona Senator John McCain, who has played golf a lot with Trump lately, and has curbed his criticism of Trump dramatically, as has Bob Corker, who has been backtracking in an amazing reversal this past few days.

Both Corker and Graham now seem totally unprincipled, but it could be a tactic to try and change Donald Trump’s view of the world, much like it might be the strategy of Nikki Haley.

In the new month or two, we shall see what transpires, and as always, coverage of Donald Trump is never boring!

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.