Opinion: COVID Relief Fiasco Reveals McConnellism Rivals Trumpism In Disregard for Americans’ Welfare

Trump - McConnell

Americans have been living under a political system arguably best characterized as a tyranny of the minority for some time.  Certainly, for the past four years the nation has suffered the insidious rule of a president who lost the popular vote by 3 million tallies in the 2016 election, just as the nation was hornswoggled into a devastatingly costly war—in human, financial, and geopolitical terms—and financial disaster from 2000 to 2008 by the Bush-Cheney regime, which also sneaked into office having lost the popular vote.  And even when the majority vote was able to elect Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, it had to do so in the context of still-existent gerrymandered districting that meant in many cases, in down-ballot races, Republican candidates could win local elections in states that still featured an overwhelming Democratic electorate. read more

WATCH: Multiple GOP Senators Rip Trump’s Debate Performance

There are a number of Republican senators up for reelection in 2020. For some of them, sharing the ballot with Donald Trump could be helpful. For many more, it might be the end of their political career.

So when Donald Trump took the debate stage on Tuesday night, he was fighting for other Republicans on the ticket as well as for himself. And considering that the event was a total disaster for Trump, he didn’t do any of those incumbents any favors.

Republicans working in the senate were willing to rip Trump more than usual when discussing his debate performance today.

Unsurprisingly, Mitt Romney of Utah was willing to go farther than most. “I thought it was an embarrassment,” he told one reporter. In another interview, Romney said, “I can say I watched the debate last night. It was not a Lincoln Douglas debate, that’s for sure.”

"I think he should correct it, and if he doesn't correct it, I guess he didn't misspeak."

GOP Senators Mitt Romney and Tim Scott respond to Pres. Trump not denouncing white supremacist groups during the first presidential debate. https://t.co/w73ljMQOpK pic.twitter.com/5ClOqeh90Q read more

Ruth Bader-Ginsburg Dead at 87

Ruth Bader-Ginsburg has been a Supreme Court Justice for the last 27 years. She was initially placed on the bench by Bill Clinton in 1993.

This death will likely allow Donald Trump to place one more Conservative Justice on the Supreme Court. Just weeks ago, Trump created a list of people that he may nominate.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader has been chomping at the bit to place a new judge on the court. This is despite the fact that he failed to vote on Merrick Garland when the 2016 election was months away.

At least some Conservatives have argued that there should not be a justice voted on during an election year. This includes Alaskan senator Lisa Murkowski.

Bader-Ginsburg became a folk hero, popular amongst both Liberals and Conservatives.

Trump will likely immediately look to place a new justice on the bench. This is a still developing story with more to come soon.

Kavanaugh’s Fate Totally Depends on Collins and Murkowski

Just like with last year’s vote on Obamacare, Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation will all come down to Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. Two GOP senators must vote against Kavanaugh for his confirmation to fail, and these two women senators are the only ones in their party ever to vote against the wishes of Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump.

As we reported last night, several moderate Republicans remain undecided on Kavanaugh. But we can’t expect Jeff Flake to buck the party line, and Bob Corker has already announced he will vote yes on Kavanaugh.

Flake talks a good game but he has never had the political courage to back up his words with actions. Therefore if Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination is to be defeated it will have to be done by Collins and Murkowski.

Many people believe that so-called “red-state Democrats” are also undecided on Kavanaugh but that isn’t really true. They want to appear undecided so they can go back home and tell their constituents that they are bi-partisan and don’t always follow the Democratic party line.

However, they only vote against the Democratic party line when it is safe to do so.

A case in point is Joe Manchin of West Virginia. He votes with Democrats just 70% of the time. But never does he cast the DECIDING vote against Democrats.

In other words, he will vote with Republicans only if it is clear that a bill will pass anyway and his vote is essentially meaningless. And then he goes back to West Virginia and publicizes how he voted with the Republicans, increasing his popularity. This is why his Democratic Senate seat is safe this year in the state that voted for Donald Trump by a wider margin than any other state.

It was widely reported that Manchin huddled last night with Collins, Murkowski and Flake. This was good publicity for him in an election year. It made it seem like the four senators were all undecided, as if their votes on Kavanaugh could go either way.

The truth is that Manchin, like most other red-state Democrats (the exceptions being Claire McCaskill and Doug Jones), is waiting to see how Republicans vote before announcing where he stands on Kavanaugh.

This means he’s waiting to see what Collins and Murkowski do before saying which way he will vote.

What’s interesting is that Lisa Murkowski tends to look to Susan Collins for guidance in these situations. If Collins decides to go against Kavanaugh, it’s a good bet that Murkowski will also. (This is especially true since Murkowski is already getting a lot of pressure from Native Alaskans to vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation.)

What will Susan Collins do? read more

Murkowski Calls For FBI Investigation of Kavanaugh Claims

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has been undecided on the fate of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. On Tuesday she called for an FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. According to her, such an investigation would “clear up all the questions” surrounding Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

I just asked Sen. Lisa Murkowski, key GOP swing vote, if there should be a full FBI investigation into allegations from Kavanaugh’s past. “It would sure clear up all the questions, wouldn’t it?” she said”

I just asked Sen. Lisa Murkowski, key GOP swing vote, if there should be a full FBI investigation into allegations from Kavanaugh’s past. “It would sure clear up all the questions, wouldn’t it?” she said read more

GOP Senators Waiting For Collins To Decide on Kavanaugh

We’ve always known that GOP Senator Susan Collins of Maine would be important to Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. But we didn’t know exactly how important until yesterday.

According to The Hill, Collins is the one person who will make or break Kavanaugh’s opportunity to become a Supreme Court justice. It turns out that many senators of both parties are waiting to see what Collins decides to do on the Kavanaugh nomination before they announce their own decisions.

As Fox News reported yesterday, eight GOP senators have not announced where they stand on Kavanaugh, and four of them are definitely undecided: Collins, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee.

All Republican senators will be forced to make their decisions known if Mitch McConnell holds a floor vote on Kavanaugh.

And according to The Hill, “Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) has asked centrist members of his caucus to keep their powder dry on Kavanaugh until they know where all Republicans stand.”

Kavanaugh will have no chance to be confirmed if Collins says she believes Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that he sexually assaulted her at a high school party in 1982. However, if Collins rejects Ford’s accusations and announces support for Kavanaugh, Democrats will have no chance to stop the nomination.

Yesterday Collins added a new wrinkle to this week’s drama when she said that she wanted the second Kavanaugh accuser

to also testify before the Judiciary Committee. read more

Collins and Murkowski Are In Deep Trouble If They Vote For Kavanaugh

Based on results from national polls published over the past few days, Brett Kavanuagh is drowning. Never before has a Supreme Court nominee been this far underwater. Every poll has shown that he is the most unpopular nominee in history.

And even though he’s really unpopular throughout the entire country, he’s even more unpopular in Maine and Alaska. These are the two states, of course, that are represented in the U.S. Senate by Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.

Both of these women senators have indicated they are pro-choice and do not want the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade overturned. However, neither has come out to say they will vote against Kavanaugh’s nomination, even though he is decidedly NOT pro-choice, and may in fact vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. This is true even though polls have shown that two-thirds of Americans don’t want it overturned.

And based on indications of the thinking of their constituents, if Collins and Murkowski vote in favor of Trump’s right-wing nominee, they may have to re-think their plans about winning re-election. In short, Kavanaugh is not popular in either Maine or Alaska.

A recent poll in Maine found that 56 percent of registered voters opposed Kavanaugh‘s confirmation, including 57 percent of Independents. Collins’s base of support, women voters, oppose Trump’s nominee by a 39 point margin, 67 percent oppose to 28 percent support.

This shows that if Collins votes to confirm Kavanaugh it won’t be because of her representing people from Maine. It will be because she is voting for the interests of the right-wing billionaires who fund the Republican Party.

Over half of the poll respondents — 54% — said they will be less likely to vote for Collins in the future if she votes to confirm Kavanaugh.

When asked to choose what was more important—stopping Kavanaugh or re-electing Susan Collins—stopping Kavanaugh beat keeping Collins more than a 2-1 margin, 52 percent to 25 percent.

Collins is no longer viewed as an independent voice for Maine, according to this poll. Nearly half (48 percent) of Maine voters now “believe that Senator Susan Collins answers more to Republican leaders like Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, than she does to Maine voters.”

Not even one-third of voters — just 32 percent — now say she’s on the side of Maine. 57 percent of Mainers also believe Kavanaugh will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if given the chance.

With respect to Alaska,

a PPP poll read more

GOP in Turmoil as Murkowski and Collins Speak Up About Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination was plunged into chaos after a woman accusing him of sexual assault spoke publicly for the first time about the allegation on Sunday, in an interview with the Washington Post.

The fallout from the decades-old allegation is putting pressure on Senate Republicans, who must decide if they want to rush forward with the nomination despite the assault charges.

GOP Senators Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) are two potential swing votes and they have yet to say how they will vote or if they want to delay the vote in the wake of the allegations.

The two senators, who are now under great pressure to oppose Kavanaugh, spoke up on Sunday night with their thoughts about Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Murkowski said the Judiciary Committee “might” need to consider delaying a vote on Kavanaugh. As a moderate Republican she is a potential “no” vote.

“Well, I think that might be something they might have to consider, at least having that discussion,” Murkowski told CNN late Sunday night asked if the Judiciary Committee should delay a vote.

“This is not something that came up during the hearings. The hearings are now over, and if there is real substance to this, it demands a response. That may be something the committee needs to look into,” Murkowski said.

Collins criticized Senate Democrats for how they handled the sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh. She questioned why Democrats had waited for weeks to come forward with the allegation, arguing it wasn’t “fair” to either Kavanaugh or his accuser, professor Christine Blasey Ford.

“What is puzzling to me is the Democrats, by not bringing this out earlier, after having had this information for more than six weeks, have managed to cast a cloud of doubt on both the professor and the judge,” Collins

told The New York Times read more

Native Alaskans May Kill Kavanaugh’s Confirmation to the Court

According to a new article in the Huffington Post Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska may be forced to vote against Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. But the reason for this is not that Murkowski is pro-choice while Kavanaugh is anti-abortion.

The reason is that Murkowski’s seat in the Senate was dependent on votes of Native Alaskans, and they are fiercely opposed to Kavanaugh’s nomination. It was because of tribal communities that she won re-election in 2010, so if she harms them it could threaten her future.

In 2010 Murkowski lost the GOP primary to a tea party challenger. She then ran as an independent, and started a write-in campaign, and to everyone’s surprise, actually won the election. She won because of the support of Alaska Natives, not because of the support of the Republican Party, and she hasn’t forgotten that.

According to a person close to the senator:

“If the Alaska Native community raises its decibel level on matters from subsistence to civil rights, that would register with Sen. Murkowski.”

Local Alaska tribes and constituents have a lot of influence in shaping Murkowski’s decisions, and she has been hearing from them.

Four Alaska tribal councils have contacted Murkowski, asking her to oppose Kavanaugh. Letters were sent to her from the heads of the Hughes Tribal Council, the Ruby Tribal Council, the Tanana Tribal Council and the Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government.

On top of that, on Friday, the leader of the Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska, with more than 30,000 voters,

posted a letter on Facebook read more