Lisa Murkowski

Republican Skeptics On Ryan Health Care Plan: John Kasich, Rand Paul, Tom Cotton, Darrell Issa, And Many Others

The Republican Party has an increasing number of skeptics about the Paul Ryan alternative bill to ObamaCare, which has now been scored on its effect on the budget by the Congressional Budget Office, and it is a total disaster.

All of the following are unhappy with the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, as it is, but warn against the House sponsored plan:

Governor John Kasich of Ohio
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas
Congressman Darrell Issa of California
Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio
Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado
Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
Senator Susan Collins of Maine
Senator Dean Heller

But also there are the right wing extremists, the Freedom Caucus House Republicans who oppose the Ryan bill, as do the following groups:

Freedom Works
Club For Growth
Heritage Action

And the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and the American Association Of Retired Persons, and many other groups are also totally against the legislation.

So in the midst of control of both Houses and the White House, the Republican Party is in a crisis as to how to appeal to their base, as they work to deny them health care–elderly, sick, disabled, and poor.

Most Crucial Trump Cabinet Member To Resist Is Jeff Sessions, Attorney General Nominee— A Danger To Civil Rights And Civil Liberties!

The Trump cabinet choices are overall horrific, but the most that might be expected is to stop maybe one or two of the nominees.

It is so hard to judge which are the worst of all of them, but clearly, after reflection, the record of Senator Jeff Sessions disqualifies him for the position of Attorney General.

This is a man who has displayed racism, misogyny, nativism, and homophobia, and was opposed to extension of the Voting Rights Act, and he was already rejected for a federal judgeship in 1986 by a Senate with a majority of his own Republican Party.

In an age when civil rights and civil liberties are in danger from Donald Trump and his mentality, to put Jeff Sessions into the Justice Department would set back the Bill of Rights tremendously, as Sessions is no different than if one were to select former Alabama Governor George Wallace, or former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, or former South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond to be Attorney General.

These were the worst of all Southern politicians who undermined civil rights, and there is no evidence that Jeff Sessions is any different in 2017.

All that is needed is for a few Republican Senators to show courage, and vote against their own colleague, replicating the Republican Senate of 1986, as then Arlen Specter and Charles Mathias blocked Sessions from a federal district court judgeship, a very rare occurrence.

Pressure must be brought on Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona to show the same kind of courage now, within the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Otherwise, it is essential that such Senators as Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lisa Murkowksi of Alaska, John McCain of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Dean Heller of Nevada be appealed to, to reject Sessions.

Republican “Firewall”, Added To Democratic Opposition In US Senate, Gives Some Hope To Control Trump Appointments And Initiatives

Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona
Cory Gardner of Colorado
Marco Rubio of Florida
Rand Paul of Kentucky
Susan Collins of Maine
Ben Sasse of Nebraska
Dean Heller of Nevada
Rob Portman of Ohio
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
Mike Lee of Utah
Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

We must realize that Donald Trump is not really a Republican or a conservative, and is impossible to figure out what his agenda is, so that means that there will be a “firewall” of Republicans in the US Senate, who at least in some cases, can be added to Democratic opposition in the Senate, and give some hope that there will be control over Trump appointments and initiatives over the next few years.

Not all of the above list will cooperate and collaborate together on all issues, but they all seem to be likely to fight Trump on some issues, and if three or four work together with a united Democratic Party in the Senate, Trump will be unable to accomplish all his goals, and he is likely to bitterly denounce these Republicans, and cause, by his language, more stalemate and gridlock, and prevent the most grievous nominees and parts of his agenda.

The most likely to oppose Trump are the following: Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, and Rob Portman in that order.

However, Ben Sasse and Mike Lee, as strong conservatives, are also likely to try to limit Trump Administration goals if they find them objectionable.

The others–Dan Sullivan, Cory Gardner, Dean Heller, Pat Toomey, Lamar Alexander, and Shelley Moore Capito–may, occasionally, join with the members of this group.

Remember that seven of this group—Murkowski, McCain, Rubio, Paul, Portman, Toomey, and Lee have a new six year term, so are not threatened by Trump as far as their Senate seat is concerned.

Only Flake and Heller face election contests in 2018, while the other seven –Sullivan, Gardner, Collins, Sasse, Graham, Alexander, and Capito face election in 2020.

So 16 Senators out of 52 Republicans, fully one third, could stand in the way of Donald Trump, and if he went too far in abuse of his powers, could, potentially, join in a possible move to promote impeachment, although even if all 48 Democrats joined in, would still fall short of the 67 needed to convict and remove him by three votes.

Which Republican Senators Might Stop Republican Agenda On Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid And Other Issues In Domestic And Foreign Policy?

With the Republican Party in full control of both houses of Congress again, although with smaller margins, one wonders what Republican Senators might ignore party lines at times, and fight against Donald Trump on changes in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other issues, including nominations, and domestic and foreign policy actions that are feared by many people, including not only Democrats but moderate conservative Republicans and some conservative intellectuals.

All that would be needed to stop actions would be three Republican Senators, along with the 48 Democrats in the Senate, with the filibuster a weapon that could be used by Democrats under Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Which Republicans might be willing to buck the party and Donald Trump on specific issues?

At the top of the list would be Susan Collins of Maine, followed by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Others who might join these two women would be Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, Dean Heller of Nevada, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

The problem is that there is no certainty that any of these nine Senators will prove to be a “profile in courage”.

Foreign Policy Is Made By Presidents, NOT Senators! The Gall Of 47 Republican Senators To Interfere In Diplomacy With Iran, Encouraging War!

The insults to President Barack Obama continue to mount up, with the Republican Senate, at least 47 of the 54 sitting members, having the gall to interfere in diplomacy of the Obama Administration with Iran over its nuclear program and development.

Can one imagine a Democratic Senate interfering with Richard Nixon as he negotiated with the Soviet Union or China?

Can one imagine a Senate interfering with Jimmy Carter as he negotiated with Egypt and Israel in the late 1970s?

NEVER does a Senate have any right to give input to negotiations of our government with any other government in process, and to promote war with Iran, rather than try to prevent war, is a reprehensible act by these 47 Republican Senators!

Basically, these 47 Senators have interfered with and broken the Logan Act of 1798, updated in 1994, and should be condemned for illegal interference with the Executive Branch. They could be prosecuted for violating the Logan Act, and could be expelled from the US Senate!

If war was to break out, the Republican Senate would be held responsible for provoking it, and their sons and daughters should be first in line for military action that their own fathers and mothers have recklessly backed!

Kudos go to the following seven GOP Senators who did NOT sign the letter, and keep their dignity: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Bob Corker of Tennessee (chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee), Dan Coats of Indiana, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, and Jeff Flake of Arizona!

Republicans Declare War On National Parks: Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, And Others Turning Over In Their Graves!

It is hard to conceive, but the 2015 Republican Party has declared war on America’s national park system, wishing to allow uranium mining in the Grand Canyon, and other kinds of natural resource exploitation in our national treasure, our public lands!

A bill has been introduced to prevent any future President, along with President Barack Obama, to create any more national parks, a bill which will gain the Presidential veto if it were to pass both houses!

Fortunately, there would be no possibility of a two thirds override of the Presidential veto, as any such banning of additional national parks would be a war on the environment, and a sin against nature!

This attack on nature and conservation would cause the turning over in their graves of President Theodore Roosevelt, National Forestry Service head Gifford Pinchot (under the TR Presidency), as well as a multitude of Republicans similar to those two party members, as well as Democrats, and all decent, caring citizens. It would also cause dismay among Presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton, all who added greatly to our national parks.

Barack Obama is adding wide swaths of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to the national parks, even with opposition from Alaska politicians, including Senator Lisa Murkowksi, who is catering to the oil and gas interests over preserving the last great area of untouched nature.

This is yet another reason why no Republican can be allowed to be elected President, as with a Republican controlled Congress, we would be on the precipice of a disaster of massive proportions, and that cannot be allowed to occur!

The US Senate Becomes More Ideological Than Ever!

The US Senate used to be a legislative body with moderate and even liberal Republicans, and moderate and conservative Democrats, allowing for a “crossing of the aisle”, and the creation of coalitions of Republicans and Democrats to promote legislation.

The recent Senate elections further destroyed any such “crossing of the aisle”, and insured more deadlock and gridlock, as moderate Democrats were defeated, and the most moderate Republican Senate nominee was defeated.

I am referring to the defeat of Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and the pending likely defeat of Mark Begich of Alaska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, on the Democratic side, and the defeat of Scott Brown of New Hampshire, who was often called the most moderate Republican.

When one looks at the new 2015 Senate, who is really “Moderate”?

On the Democratic side, we could say Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Bill Nelson of Florida, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Jon Tester of Montana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and the almost defeated Mark Warner of Virginia, who shocked everyone, including himself, by his almost loss to Ed Gillespie.

On the Republican side, the list of “Moderates” would include Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, John McCain of Arizona, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.

Some readers might be shocked to see McCain and Flake included on this list, but in comparison to the rest of the GOP, they are, often, somewhat moderate and reasonable, although not reliably so.

This is a sad state of affairs, and not likely to change anytime soon!

The Future Of The Republican Party: Rob Portman Vs. Mike Huckabee As A Symbol!

With Gay Marriage rapidly expanding, by refusal of the Supreme Court to stop it in eleven states, raising the total of states to 30 and counting, the Republican Party now faces its future!

With a majority of states and population now supporting or accepting gay marriage, and with a majority of people under 50, and even a majority of Catholics and even evangelical Christians in support, how long will the Republican Party hold out and be on the wrong side of history?

Do they wish to be recorded and remembered in the long run for their refusal to accept that marriage is NOT something to be voted on, to have a popular vote (which would not be lost in any case) on a basic human right, both in race in Loving V. Virginia and on sexual orientation now? Do they wish to be seen for what they are now, biased, prejudiced, hateful, narrow minded, and allowing religious beliefs of some people to dictate the lives of everyone else, when we have separation of church and state?

Conservatives were wrong on civil rights for African Americans, wrong on interracial marriage, wrong on women’s rights, wrong on immigration then and now, and wrong on gay rights and marriage, and for the Republicans to continue to follow their hateful, narrow minded views, will guarantee the demise of the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike!

The Republican Party has a choice! It is time for MORE Republican Senators, Congressmen, and Governors and other office holders to come out in support of gay marriage NOW! So far, only four sitting US Senators and a few members of the House of Representatives have had the courage to speak up. The Senators are Liza Murkowski of Alaska, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine, and Rob Portman of Ohio.

The GOP will have a massive problem being elected to the House and Senate majorities in 2016, as it is, and the suddenly emerging “dark horse” status of Rob Portman, the only one of the above four Senators, who MIGHT consider running for President, and have a shot at being the nominee, present the Republican Party with a choice!

Either demand that any GOP nominee accept the inevitable, OR nominate Senator Portman as the most legitimate candidate for 2016, bypassing all the other extremist, lunatic, whacky candidates in the field, picking a moderate mainstream conservative as the future of the party!

Republicans, reject Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, and anyone else who refuses to accept gay marriage, and ONLY support a person such as Rob Portman, who has accepted it, and is from a key swing state, Ohio, which every winning President has won except in 1960 in modern times!

It is true that Portman supported gay rights and gay marriage due to his son coming out as gay, but he could have done what many so called “religious” people do, and repudiated his son, a most despicable act for any so called “religious” person to do, a mockery of the idea of religiosity!

If the GOP decides to follow the route of the above candidates who have made it clear that they will not accept gay marriage, the ideal candidate for them would be former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a once seriously mainstream conservative candidate for President in 2008, who has gone off the deep end, become a lunatic, a bigoted man with crazy views, since he joined Fox News Channel, and now mirrors the lunatic right wing talk show hosts on radio, as well as Fox News Channel!

Huckabee has made clear that he will NOT accept what is happening on gay marriage, and if the GOP continues to give in to Supreme Court actions or lack of action on gay marriage, that he will leave the Republican Party!

The best thing the GOP could do is repudiate Huckabee, who has already destroyed his name in history, and have him leave the Republican Party, and let the swinging door hit him in his rear end, or in fact, kick him out the door, declaring to him and others like him, “good riddance!”

The best thing the GOP could do is nominate Rob Portman, or others who finally accept gay rights and gay marriage, and look to a future of NOT accepting prejudice, bias, and the power of the Religious Right, which should be escorted to the door, and told to go to Hell, where they belong!

A great ticket right now would be Portman of Ohio for President and Susan Collins of Maine for Vice President, and that would also overcome the misogyny of the Republican Party!

Any Chance Of A GOP Woman President Anytime Soon? NO!

The Republican Party is in deep trouble among women in America.

Sure, there are the religious women who are against abortion, and those women who have no problem with the male dominance and sexism of Republican office holders.

These numbers are probably about one third of the nation, and primarily in the South, Great Plains, and Rocky Mountain West, not areas generally of high population.

But in the Northeast and New England, the upper Midwest, and the Pacific Coast, women as a group are outraged at the male chauvinism and sexism of Republican office holders in Congress, and even in state legislatures.

Women in polls are overwhelmingly Democrats, not so much because the Democrats are without fault or shortcomings, but because they have demonstrated concern for women’s issues, such as health care, education, child care, raising of the minimum wage, single mothers, maternity leaves, campus rapes, and so many other issues that affect women, whether single or married, young or old, every day.

And Republican women officeholders offer no relief, as they back up the sexist, chauvinist men proudly!

Yes, there are four Republican women Governors, although Jan Brewer of Arizona is leaving, and no one would perceive her as caring about women’s issues, or really, anyone but herself and her own selfish interests. She has been a disgraceful, hard hearted Governor of Arizona.

What about Mary Fallin of Oklahoma? She allowed executions to go forth that are clearly promoting “cruel and unusual punishment”, and really torture. She is a disgrace to womanhood and her own reputation!

Then there is Nikki Haley, who would have ambitions, but her record as Governor, and her lack of compassion for poor women in her state, as well as poor people generally, disqualifies her on a national level.

And then, we have Susana Martinez, probably the least objectionable of the four GOP women Governors, but still, except for her Mexican American heritage, seen as a lightweight, and really, a President from New Mexico, who has not served in national government at all? Give us all a break!

So now to the US House of Representatives! Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is leaving government, thank goodness, and yet may face prosecution in scandals involving her Presidential campaign in 2012. Did she ever have anything constructive to say in her eight years in Congress? Of course not, instead coming across as totally looney and uncaring, and ready to issue idiotic, stupid and false statements in unison with equally lunatic male colleagues such as Steve King of Iowa and Louie Gohmert of Texas as only the most outrageous of many looney male Republican colleagues in the lower chamber.

Then we have Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who causes any sane person the desire to roll eyes constantly and shake heads, as to her outrageous statements, not quite as crazy as Bachmann, but still enough to make one wonder what planet she comes from!

Then, there is Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, the chair of the House Republican Conference, making her the highest ranking woman Republican ever in the House. She is a pleasant lady, but is not seen as Presidential material, and seems lacking in true understanding of many women’s issues.

The rest of the Republican women in the House are not worthy of consideration at all on a Presidential level, and there are only 19 women Republicans in the House anyway, compared to 63 for the Democrats.

So now to the US Senate, where there are only four Republican women. Susan Collins of Maine is the most distinguished, followed by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, but neither is seen as Presidential timber, and they come from states extremely small in population, if not land area.

Deb Fischer of Nebraska is a newcomer, not particularly distinguished, and not seen as Presidential level, and finally, we have Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who is often boomed as a possible future candidate, but realistically, no one should put betting money on her, although if any woman Republican presently in office were to announce for President, it would be her.

Face the facts, women Republicans are few and far between, and mostly poorly qualified, and if there is to be a woman President anytime soon, it will be a Democrat!

And those potential Presidents include Hillary Clinton, along with Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Republican Senators And The Minimum Wage Law

The Republican Party has effectively written off those workers who are paid the minimum wage, not caring about how they are to survive in an economy with the situation stacked against them.

It has been nearly a decade since the minimum wage was raised, and people forget that the minimum wage was never raised during the 1980’s, and so the cost of living is way beyond what the minimum wage should be.

Originally established at 25 cents an hour in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. the minimum wage should now be about $15 an hour based on inflation, but instead is, nationally at $7.25 an hour for nearly a decade, although some states have raised the limit.

The bill that failed to get to a vote in the Senate, due to the filibuster tactic, would have raised the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in stages until 2016, but NOT one GOP Senator, not even Senator Susan Collins of Maine, or Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, or a few others thought to have some “moderate” tendencies, voted for the rise in the minimum wage.

Many of the minimum wage workers are breadwinners for their families, and the stress of having too little income also affects their physical and mental health, but obviously Republicans and conservatives do not give a damn about those realities!

Today’s minimum wage is 25 percent below what it was in 1968, an absolute atrocity! Putting extra money in the hands of the working poor would make life easier, add to business profits, and would certainly all be put back into the economy, but the Republicans are determined to punish the poor for being poor, and in so doing, harm children and women, even more than men.

If this is not the new “Gilded Age”, what is it, not only for the poor, but for the dwindling middle class?

This is Scrooge at its best!