Rob Portman

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!

The Loss Of Moderate Conservative Republican Principle: Ben Sasse, Rob Portman, James Lankford

Looking at the Republican members of the US Senate, trying to find those who “might” be considered “moderate” conservatives who have some ethics and principles, is a tormenting task.

Republican Senators, with the exception of Mitt Romney, have been unwilling to speak up against the transgressions of Donald Trump, remaining silent in the midst of so much lawlessness and evil.

So when one tries to make a list of possibly “retrievable” Republican Senators, other than Lisa Murkowski of Alaska at times, and even Susan Collins at fewer times, who makes the list?

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio

Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma

These three seem reasonable occasionally in statements and actions, but one cannot be very optimistic about them despite the occasional exceptions. The first two have been seen as potential future Republican Presidential contenders, while Lankford is young enough, and at times, rational enough, that he might also be added to a potential Presidential candidate list.

This is the sad state of the Republican Party in 2020, while in the past, there were always “reasonable” Republicans to work with “across the aisle” with Democrats.

Will Four Or More Republicans Call For Witnesses In Donald Trump Impeachment Trial?

With the Donald Trump Impeachment Trial to begin in earnest on Tuesday, January 21, the first full day of the last year of this Presidential term of office, the question arises whether at least four Republican Senators will buck their leader, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and call for witnesses to testify.

John Bolton, former National Security Adviser, is the key witness in mind, although there are others, including Mick Mulvaney (the Acting White House Chief of Staff), Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Vice President Mike Pence, as well as lesser figures.

If even John Bolton gets to testify, it will be a victory for Democrats, but the question is whether there are Republican Senators who want to know the truth, or are just interested in backing the President, no matter what abuses of power he has engaged in.

The best estimate is that we will find the following Senators supporting testimony:

Susan Collins of Maine

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Mitt Romney of Utah

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee

Rob Portman of Ohio

Cory Gardner of Colorado

If only three of the above support witnesses, it would be a 50-50 tie, and the belief is that Chief Justice John Roberts could rule in such a tie situation, and would support witnesses.

But this is such an unprecedented situation, so we are guessing at what will be the ultimate decision on this matter.

Major Republican Opposition To Trump On Abandonment Of Kurds To Turkish Dictatorship Desire To Exterminate Them

Donald Trump has opened up a major revolt in the Republican Party by his decision to abandon the Kurds, who helped defeat ISIS, and allowing the Turkish dictatorship to mount an assault, with the purpose of “ethnic cleansing” of a nationality, which has long wanted its own nationhood, but is considered by the Turks to be a terrorist group. However, thousands of Kurds died fighting ISIS alongside the international coalition led by the United States.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Lindsey Graham, House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ben Sasse, Senator Rob Portman, Senator Patrick Toomey, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Christian Broadcasting Network evangelical Pat Robertson, and innumerable others denounced Trump. They said he was undermining national security, and creating the likelihood of revived ISIS terrorism in the future.

Trump is proving how he has no concept of how to deal with foreign policy, and is most interested in pleasing dictators as with Turkey, a nation which should not be favored in assessments of the Middle East.

Whether this anger and growing split on the Kurds will cause any real opposition to Trump on other issues, and on the impending impeachment, seems highly unlikely, but Trump clearly is undermining Republican fear of antagonizing him.

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.

Donald Trump Alienating His Base Among Congressional Republicans, Threatening Longevity Of His Presidency!

Donald Trump is rapidly alienating his base among Congressional Republicans, threatening the longevity of his Presidency as a result.

Having fired Paul Ryan associates Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus is an unwise move, as is the constant criticism and harassment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which has many Southern and conservative Senators and Congressmen furious at Trump, for his lack of loyalty.

Many Senators are harshly critical of Trump, including John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse, Jeff Flake, Dean Heller, Marco Rubio, Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Shelley Moore Capito, Rob Portman, and others.

More House of Representatives members are also unhappy, led by the Republican Establishment wing of Paul Ryan, who is still having to deal with the right wing Freedom Caucus extremists.

Trump is rapidly “burning his bridges”, as he makes himself someone without strong party support.

The odds of eventual abandonment and impeachment are growing!

Republican Governors John Kasich, Brian Sandoval And Numerous Republican Senators Buck The Party Line On Medicaid, And Trump, Pence, And Republican Leadership Threaten Them!

Republican Party leadership, and President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are using heavy handed tactics to try to force recalcitrant Republicans in the US Senate to vote for a bill that undermines Medicaid dramatically, and ends ObamaCare, even without a replacement.

Up to 33 million people are being told that there is no concern as to what this would do to the health care system, not only to patients, but to hospitals and health professionals affected by these draconian cuts.

This is unconscionable, and will cause the Republicans to suffer at the polls in the midterm Congressional elections in 2018.

But Republican Governors John Kasich of Ohio and Brian Sandoval of Nevada are resisting this, as are Senators such as Rob Portman of Ohio, Dean Heller of Nevada, Susan Collins of Maine, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; Jeff Flake of Arizona and others.

Already, Trump is trying to encourage opponents in primaries against Senators Heller and Flake, the most endangered Republicans in Senate races in 2018.

Trump and Pence playing hardball will end up backfiring on the administration, as there is no morality or ethics in anyone backing the end of ObamaCare and gutting of Medicaid, and Americans are rising up in large number in opposition to this disgraceful action promoted by Trump, Pence, as well as Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and others who have no concern for the lives and health of millions of Americans!

Strong Likelihood That Three Republican Women Senators Will Block Repeal Of ObamaCare!

The Republican Party is fast learning of vast and vehement opposition by their constituents to the repeal of ObamaCare and the decimation of Hedicaid.

Ordinary citizens are organizing in a manner that stands out as undermining any attempt of Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and other GOP leaders to destroy all of the good that has been done on health care under Barack Obama.

Americans, overwhelmingly, want Preexisting Conditions to remain being covered, and for no lifetime cap on benefits to be continued, as it benefits the millions of Americans who are disabled, elderly, sick, and poor.

There may have been doubt about ObamaCare due to racism, but now many of those who said they were opposed, have come to realize that the Affordable Care Act, the official name for ObamaCare, a term devised by obstructionist Republicans, actually has worked very well for 20-30 million Americans, including the expansion of Medicaid.

So it now seems that there is a strong likelihood that three Republican women Senator, none of whom face election to their seats until 2020, will save the day, and prevent repeal of ObamaCare.

These three women Senators are considered moderates, and represent poor states, which also have major Opioid addiction troubles, which would also be mostly thrown to the side by cuts in the health Care plan, as devised by the Republicans.

Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia are leagued in their recognition of the issues of how many of their constituents would be harmed if the repeal of ObamaCare goes through.

Expect all three to prevent action, and possibly some male Republican Senators too, including Rob Portman of Ohio, Dean Heller of Nevada, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Jeff Flake of Arizona and others, but the three women alone will be enough to derail the despicable legislation.

It would also be nice if the two other Republican women Senators—Joni Ernst of Iowa and Deb Fischer of Nebraska–two other poor states in the Great Plains-Midwest region, were to do the right thing, and if that happened, we would have all 21 women Senators, the 5 Republicans and 16 Democrats united together on a cause worth being unified around.

But that is unlikely to happen, but Collins, Murkowski, and Capito are likely to kill the bill without any help from any other Republican Senators, and if so, they will be applauded for their courage, ethics, and compassion for their constituents!

Senate Republican Health Care Bill Will NOT Reach 50 Votes, As Now Stands!

The newly veiled Senate Republican Health Care legislation, created behind closed doors in great secrecy, is finally unveiled, and it is a total disaster for the poor, disabled, and elderly, and promotes the end of Medicaid, which 20 percent of the nation relies on, including 60 percent in nursing homes, and the millions of disabled people.

It undermines health care for the opioid crisis raging across America, and anyone with pre-existing conditions will no longer be protected.

It is a certainty that tens of thousands of Americans are being given a death warrant by the Republican Party, and its hard hearted, nasty, mean spirited membership, which is more concerned about giving massive tax cuts to the top one percent who do not need it, and have not asked for it, but will, of course, accept what is offered, as after all, does one reject candy offered?

But it is also important to note that this legislation will fall, as there is no way imaginable that 50 Senators out of 52 will support it.

Dean Heller of Nevada is the most endangered Republican Senator in 2018, and has said he cannot support it, and Nevada is one of the states that has more on Medicaid than many other states.

Susan Collins of Maine is, arguably, the most moderate Republican, and has made clear she cannot vote for legislation that decimates Medicaid.

The same can be said for Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia, both states having loads of poor, struggling whites and others, who depend on Medicaid.

Both Collins and Murkowksi also defend Planned Parenthood, which is due to be cut from any government aid under the legislation.

Rob Portman of Ohio is also concerned about the opioid crisis hitting his state.

Jeff Flake of Arizona is the second most endangered Republican Senator coming up for re-election in 2018, so doubtful about his support for the legislation, as well.

Then, there are others who will not support the bill, as it is not harsh enough, imagine that–including Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

And one wonders whether John McCain of Arizona, who has long had a “moderate” image, can actually vote for this legislation.

Also, all major medical associations have condemned the legislation as unacceptable, having a disastrous effect on rural areas, and on the idea that health care should be available for all Americans.

So, as of now, it is highly unlikely that the Senate Health Care bill will reach 50 votes!

Eight Republican Senators Possible Votes Against House Passed “Health Care” Bill, So Highly Unlikely That “TrumpCare” Will Become Law!

Senator Susan Collins of Maine

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Senator Dean Heller of Nevada

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona

Senator John McCain of Arizona

Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio

These are the 8 Republican Senators who are seen as likely to vote against the House passed excuse for a “Health Care” bill, making it highly unlikely that “TrumpCare” will become law!

Collins and Murkowski do not want Planned Parenthood defunded, and want to protect Medicaid patients in their states, both states with many poor people.

Heller faces a very tough race for reelection in Nevada, as does Flake in Arizona, and both have a very large senior citizen constituency in their Western states.

McCain, despite his often inconsistent statements and actions, is basically a moderate, certainly as compared to the vast majority of Republicans in the Senate and in Congress.

Capito comes from one of the poorest states of all, West Virginia, and many poor, disabled (such as coal miners), and senior citizens would be harmed by the GOP passed House bill.

Corker is one of the more reasonable Republican Senators, and seems very cautious as to accepting such a radical bill as the House passed.

Portman also comes across as one of the more reasonable Republican Senators, and Ohio is the state of Governor John Kasich, who extended Medicaid, and it is hard to imagine that Portman would wish to harm his state’s disabled, senior citizens and poor, in a state which went for Trump, not realizing that the President would not give a damn about those on Medicaid, and those who were willing to support him with no good reason to do so, except being ignorant of reality about what right wing Republicans would do to destroy the good parts of ObamaCare.

It is hard to imagine that ANY Democratic Senator, not even Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, or Jon Tester of Montanan would support any major change in the Affordable Care Act!

So do NOT expect any kind of legislation anywhere near what the House Freedom Caucus, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, or Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price want, and expect that the American people will react in 2018 by a Democratic takeover of the House, including a move toward impeachment of the most despicable President in American history, bar none, Donald Trump!