Susan Collins

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!

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!

The Crucial Role Of Two Republican Pro Choice Women Senators: Susan Collins And Lisa Murkowski

It is going to be a major pressure point brought against two women Republican Senators—Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—that will likely decide if Donald Trump gains the confirmation of his Supreme Court nominee before the midterm elections.

Both women are pro choice, and wanted to keep ObamaCare, and are considered moderates of the Republican brand.

Both come from small populated states, mainly rural and poor, and needing ObamaCare, with no alternative offered by the Republican majority in Congress or Donald Trump.

Both have, however often voted with their party under pressure, even on support of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court last year.

Both have often disappointed observers who wanted to believe they had courage and guts.

Both are broad based social moderates, but they have been unwilling to defy party leadership, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

So the odds that they will do the right thing is a long shot.

Particularly in the case of Susan Collins, who disappointed many when she testified in favor of the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, because they were Senate colleagues, and “friends”, as if that is justification for supporting the most bigoted, racist Attorney General in American history!

Supreme Court Battle Most Contentious Since Robert Bork And Clarence Thomas Nominations In 1987 and 1991

It is already clear, just two days after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, that the battle to confirm a replacement will be the most contentious since Robert Bork was nominated by Ronald Reagan in 1987, and Clarence Thomas was nominated by George H. W. Bush in 1991.

Both times, the Democrats, however, controlled the Senate, and this time, they do not, which is a massive difference.

Bork was defeated in a roll call vote of 58-42, while Thomas was confirmed by a vote of 52-48.

The Democrats have limited ways to stop the confirmation of a replacement for Anthony Kennedy, as no longer can the filibuster tactic be used, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unwilling to give an inch to the Democrats.

The only hope for the Democrats is to convince Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine to back up their strong support of abortion rights, but both voted for Neil Gorsuch last year, as the first Supreme Court choice of Donald Trump.

But it is certain that the fireworks over this nomination, whoever it might be, will make the 2018 midterm elections even more a reason for all Americans to pay attention and to vote, as clearly, voting can change the course of history, and non voting has consequences!

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.

John McCain, Bob Corker, Jeff Flake: Senate Republican Majority Starts To Unravel

The Senate Republican majority needed to accomplish Republican Party goals is rapidly deteriorating.

In the past month, Senator John McCain of Arizona first, and then Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee made clear their differences with Donald Trump.

Now, Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona has joined them with a passionate speech on the floor of the Senate.

Additionally, Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, Senator Lisa Murkowksi of Alaska, and Senator Dean Heller of Nevada are clearly unhappy with the bullying and recklessness of Donald Trump.

The likelihood of being able to accomplish anything that the Republican Party wants is rapidly disappearing.

With only 52 Senators, the GOP cannot afford to lose more than two, if Vice President Mike Pence were to cast a tie breaking vote on any legislation.

And it is known that there are some Republican Congressmen who also have great unease with the Trump Presidency, as Trump is clearly outside of the norm of appropriate behavior and action in office.

Trump does not have the competence, decency, and knowledge to be President, and he is a destructive force who could destroy the reputation of the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike and Reagan if he is not removed from office as a danger to the nation and the world.

It is time for the Republicans to put the nation ahead of their own selfish, personal interests, and do what is right for the nation, to remove a dangerous man with access to nuclear codes, and the terrifying thought that he would utilize nuclear weapons.

Senator Bob Corker’s Warning About Donald Trump And World War III

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has decided not to seek reelection in 2018, and that allows him to be more open on his views about Donald Trump, than he might have been if he had to deal with a reelection campaign.

But he is still Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and can block any nominee for Secretary of State, if Trump fires Rex Tillerson for his calling Trump a “F****** Moron”, and for disagreeing with Trump on North Korea, Iran, and many other issues.

Corker has earlier expressed his concerns about the unstable and immature behavior of the President, and now, after being attacked by Trump on Twitter, he has made clear his concern that Trump could start World War III, a thought that many other intelligent people have had ever since Trump was declared the winner of the Presidential election of 2016 exactly eleven months ago today.

Corker is a measured individual, a conservative but not extreme right wing, and he would have faced an Alt Right attack led by Stephen Bannon, if he had sought reelection.

Now Corker can work with other discontented Republicans, including John McCain, Jeff Flake, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse and others, in moving toward possible action against a very dangerous man, who seems unconcerned about the disarray and chaos he has created, both in domestic and foreign policy.

Donald Trump is a loose cannon, who needs to be removed from office pronto, as he is much more dangerous than Richard Nixon ever was, and is totally ignorant of facts and details on every subject imaginable.

As Corker said recently, it is the military people around Trump–John Kelly. James Mattis, H. R. McMaster–who are essential to keep a measure of control and influence over Trump, and hopefully, they will convince Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch, of the dire need to invoke Amendment 25 Section 4, and take the Presidency and the nuclear codes out of the hands of the maniac who endangers all of us!

The Graham-Cassidy Last Ditch Attempt To Destroy ObamaCare: Proof That Republicans Do Not Care About Americans Having Health Care!

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana are trying to ram through a last ditch attempt at destroying ObamaCare, and putting up to 32 million people off of affordable health care.

This proves that Republicans do not care about Americans having health care, and yet they are supposedly Pro-Life, but only until a fetus is born, and after that, if you are poor, tough on you!

Graham is outrageous enough to say that ObamaCare is “Socialism”, which most certainly is NOT so!

It is very similar to RomneyCare in Massachusetts and to the American Enterprise Institute–Bob Dole–Newt Gingrich plan of 1993-94 in opposition to HillaryCare, promoted by First Lady Hillary Clinton.

It keeps the health care system under private insurance companies, so how is it “Socialism”?

But Graham must think that Social Security and Medicare are “Socialism”, but vast majorities of the American people like both programs, but of course, the Republicans would love to destroy both, even though the middle class and the poor benefit from them.

The battle must be continued to keep ObamaCare, but work to IMPROVE it, as all government programs can certainly be improved over time.

It now seems that Senator John McCain of Arizona has come to the rescue once again, as he stated today that he could not, in good conscience, support the bill, even though it is sponsored by his closest friend in the Senate, Lindsey Graham. Now that is principle, a rare virtue in the Senate in recent years.

It is also believed that two women, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who joined with McCain a month ago on the earlier rejection of a similar bill, will do so again, and Rand Paul of Kentucky is a definite NO vote this time, but because he feels the bill keeps remnants of ObamaCare, which he wishes to reject completely. So he is NOT a hero, but then he and his dad, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul are both libertarian whackos!

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!