Susan Collins

Horrible Week For Donald Trump: Unanimous Demand To Release Mueller Report, And 12 GOP Senators Oppose Trump On Border Wall “National Emergency”

Donald Trump has just had one of the most miserable weeks any President has had.

There was a unanimous demand in the House of Representatives for the release of the Mueller report to the public, when it comes out.

Also, 12 Republican Senators joined all 47 Democrats to condemn the Border Wall “National Emergency” which Trump has perpetrated.

Unfortunately, Trump used his veto on the 59-41 repudiation, and only if 8 more Republicans join in an override vote, will Trump be stopped from his continuation of a “national emergency”, although court cases are in process and will delay, if not prevent the follow through on this unnecessary waste of money building a wall on the Southern border.

However, it was very disappointing that only one Republican Senator running for reelection, Susan Collins of Maine, voted against Trump, while such Senators as Thom Tillis of North Carolina (who had written a Washington Post Op Ed explaining why he would oppose Trump, but then flip flopped) and Ben Sasse of Nebraska (who had been critical of Trump, and was thought to be a bright young Senator in his 40s with some conviction and principle) showed no guts and are more concerned about their own reelection contests coming up in 2020.

Donald Trump Border Wall Oval Office Speech Accomplishes Nothing

Donald Trump is claiming a national emergency on the southern border with Mexico, even though there is no crisis of terrorists trying to cross the border, based on government statistics.

In fact, only SIX people were picked up at the border with Mexico in the first six months of 2018.

This “national emergency” is about Donald Trump wanting to please his 35 percent base of supporters on the building of a wall which is impractical, ineffective, and will cause a tremendous government expense in the tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer money, when Trump said Mexico would pay for the Wall.

Rightfully, Mexico has refused, so now Trump wants Americans to bear the burden of a wall, which in many areas, would not logistically be possible, in areas of desert, mountains, and waterways.

Rather, the answer is technology, drones, and more personnel on the boundary.

Meanwhile, government workers are being victimized by having no pay during the government shutdown, and many vendors at government sites are being put out of business, Meanwhile, native Americans and the poor are being denied food stamps and health care, and we will see a rise in deaths due to this government shutdown, soon to be the longest in American history, and totally unnecessary and outrageous.

It is time for the Republicans in the Senate to move to open up the government, as closing the government is a disaster that accomplishes nothing, and the only way the GOP has any chance to keep the Senate majority in 2020 is by demonstrating independence from the President, who likely will be gone before the year 2020 arrives.

Already, discontent with the stalemate has been voiced by Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Cory Gardner of Colorado, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.

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.

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 114th Supreme Court Justice In American History MUST Be Beyond Reproach, Since It Is A Lifetime Appointment, So NO To Kavanaugh!

The next Supreme Court Justice will be the 114th in American history.

Being on the Supreme Court is a special honor, and it is a lifetime position, since only one Justice, Samuel Chase in 1805, has ever been impeached by the House of Representatives, and Chase was found not guilty by the US Senate and stayed on the Court. He was appointed by George Washington in 1796, and served on the Court until his death in 1811.

So if a person is appointed and confirmed to be a Justice, he or she will remain a member of the Court until death or retirement.

It is one thing for an elected official to have moral or ethical shortcomings, with the voters able to use that information and hold that person to accountability in future elections, but a Supreme Court Justice must be beyond reproach since it is a lifetime appointment,

Evidence against Brett Kavanaugh will be examined this week when his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Certainly, Kavanaugh is entitled to a hearing and ability to defend himself, but if there is any doubt about his telling the truth, which is already questionable about other aspects of his career before becoming a Circuit Court judge, then he should be rejected for this lifetime appointment, while likely to keep his present Circuit Court position, unless it is felt that he should forfeit that high honor as well.

Hopefully, the two Republican women in the Senate, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, will have enough backbone to stop the nomination, which they can do, if every Democratic Senator refuses to back him.

The point is that no one is entitled to confirmation, and Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush had nominees rejected, so why not Donald Trump?

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.

It Is Time For Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, And Red State Democrats To Put Nation Ahead Of Their Own Senate Seats

It is perfectly understood that all people who work like to keep their jobs and earn their income.

But there is no member of the US Senate that is “desperate” and “needy” to keep their jobs.

What is needed now is, as John F. Kennedy wrote, “Profiles in Courage”.

Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, so called “moderate” Republicans, need to stand up and say, “NO WAY”, would they support Brett Kavanaugh to fill the available seat on the Supreme Court, since he clearly has a record of being anti abortion, and both women Senators claim they are pro choice, so they must refuse to support him.

It is clear that Brett Kavanaugh has committed perjury a number of times in earlier hearings before the Senate while under oath, and he should not be promoted to the Supreme Court, with his record of pursuing Bill Clinton with Ken Starr 20 years ago; his advocacy of torture in the Iraq War; his promotion of an anti gay marriage amendment under George W. Bush; and his unwillingness to say he would recuse himself from any case involving Trump and the scandals that have erupted in the past two years.

But even if Collins and Murkowksi were to back off on Kavanaugh, the requirement also is for Red State Democrats, who are running for reelection, to vote against Kavanaugh in unison, even if it leads to their defeat, which seems unlikely in the present political climate.

So that means West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, Montana Senator Jon Tester, and Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill MUST save the nation from a Right Wing extremist Supreme Court, even if they lose their seats, putting the nation ahead of their own ambitions.

The Record And Views Of Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Could Determine Constitutional Law To 2050!

Tomorrow, the contentious hearings on the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will begin in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

These will be the most controversial set of hearings since 1987 and Robert Bork, and 1991, with Clarence Thomas.

On both of those occasions, the Democrats controlled the Senate, and Bork was rejected by a vote of 58-42, while Thomas was confirmed by a vote of 52-48.

The effect of Justice Clarence Thomas for the past 27 years has been profound, with many future potential Circuit Court or Supreme Court candidates having clerked for him.

Thomas has been trying to take us back to the Articles of Confederation in many ways, but also admiring Presidential power at the same time.

This is the danger of Brett Kavanaugh, that he would take America domestically back to the Gilded Age, wiping out the New Deal, Great Society, and everything Barack Obama changed.

He comes across on the surface as a pleasant, nice man, but it is all very misleading.

This is a man who worked for Ken Starr in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and now Kavanaugh has changed his view of Presidential power 180 degrees.

This is a man who worked in the White House for George W. Bush, and helped to plan the idea of an anti gay marriage amendment, that was part of the campaign of Bush in 2004. And now, Donald Trump has used executive privilege to prevent 100,000 documents from Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush White House from being made available, which is another controversy now created, as why should the Senate be unable to examine all pertinent material about a nominee?

This is a man who worked to deny September 11 victims the ability to sue for damages, limiting unsuccessfully that intent.

This is a man who in his Circuit Court decisions has come out against abortion rights, against ObamaCare, against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, against labor union rights, and willing to support limitations on voting rights.

This is a man who might be able to vote on whether Donald Trump can be indicted or prosecuted, and should recuse himself on any such matters as a conflict of interest, but likely will not do so. Justice William Rehnquist, when new on the Court as an Associate Justice, recused himself from the US Vs. Richard Nixon case in 1974 (after which Richard Nixon resigned), because Rehnquist had worked in the Justice Department under Nixon. So that famous and significant case was 8-0, not 9-0 or 8-1, and at the least, a Justice Kavanaugh should recuse himself from any case involving possible legal action against Donald Trump.

Kavanaugh could affect future decisions on campaign finance, climate change, election gerrymandering, and travel bans, and regulation of guns.

He would also create a right wing conservative Court, unlike any since 85 years ago.

And being only 53, he could be on the Supreme Court until 2050, when he would reach 85 years of age.

This would be the most long range effect of Donald Trump, no matter how much longer he remains in the Presidency, along with the 26 and more Circuit Court confirmations already accomplished by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

The Democrats’ only hope would be IF all 49 Democrats hold fast (highly unlikely); Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowksi (both pro choice on abortion) abandoning the party ties on this vote (highly unlikely); and the person who replaces John McCain in the Senate (maybe Cindy McCain) joining the two women Republican Senators in voting against Kavanaugh (highly unlikely).

Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh A Very Political Choice, Reminding Us Of Past Political Wars

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh comes across as a very nice man on the surface, with a nice family, and a long history and record as a Judge on the Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.

He is smart enough and well spoken enough, but that is not enough for the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh is a political “animal”, involved in the Ken Starr Impeachment investigation of Bill Clinton two decades ago, and also engaged in the fight to help George W. Bush stop the vote count in the state of Florida in the Presidential election of 2000.

He also has a clear record of opposition to abortion rights as a devout Catholic who wishes to impose his personal views on the nation, instead of promoting “Stare Decisis”.

He also has a record of opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

So both of these important issues are now in danger as a result of his nomination.

Kavanaugh also has stated that a President should not face indictment and prosecution in office, which makes him a likely ally of Donald Trump in any future possibility of pursuing the President for obstruction of justice, abuse of power, violation of the Emoluments clause, and Russian collusion.

It will be extremely difficult to stop Kavanaugh’s nomination, but the Democrats, if they stay united, and if Republicans Susan Collins and or Lisa Murkowski can be convinced to oppose, it can be stopped.

These are very difficult times for progressives, but it is not time to give up, not yet at least!

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!