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

Believe it or Not, Susan Collins is Concerned About Trump’s Refusal to Accept Election Results

A lot of Republicans are coming off a very rough week. To the surprise of many, however, Susan Collins is not one of them.

Despite being considered one of the most vulnerable incumbent senators, Collins handily won her race against Sara Gideon. And when the Maine senator was asked about her take on Donald Trump‘s refusal to accept election results, she shocked no one with her wishy-washy take.

Collins began by referring to Joe Biden as the apparent victor. She also said that Trump and his supporters, “have questions about the results in certain states.”

The Maine senator continued:

“There is a process in place to challenge those results and, consistent with that process, the President should be afforded the opportunity to do so. I know that many are eager to have certainty right now. While we have a clear direction, we should continue to respect that process. I urge people to be patient. The process has not failed our country in more than 200 years, and it is not going to fail our country this year.” read more

McConnell Says Control of Senate is 50/50, Polls Say Republican Odds Are Much Worse Than That

Mitch McConnell will hold Trump impeachment trial

In 2014, the Republican party took control of the senate. They have used that majority to wield incredible power over Democrats. The GOP led Senate was able to push through a massive tax break for the rich. They were also able to prevent Donald Trump from being impeached in early 2020.

But most importantly for the party, they’ve exerted massive influence over the Supreme Court. The Republicans successfully blocked the nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016. They’ve also placed three new justices, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

Democrats have long eyed 2020 to regain control. While Liberals enjoyed a wave election in 2018, they weren’t able to gain control of the senate. 2020 presents a much better map for them.

Mitch  McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, has presented control of the senate as being up for grabs. He said said a recent Kentucky campaign event, “It’s a 50-50 proposition. We have a lot of exposure. This is a huge Republican class. … There’s dogfights all over the country.”

The Kentucky senator continued,

“If you look at the Democratic Party today, you ought to be frightened. We’re fighting for our way of life.” read more

Ranked-Choice Voting Will Likely Decide Maine’s 2020 Senate Race

Ranked-choice voting will likely decide Maine’s 2020 Senate race between Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) and Senator Susan Collins (R), according to a new poll released today by Colby College that shows the two candidates “nearly in a dead heat.”

Gideon has a three-point lead, with 46.6 percent of the vote, according to the poll. Collins has 43.4 percent of the vote. The poll also found that Independent candidates Lisa Savage and Max Linn have received 4.7 percent and 1.7 percent of the vote respectively.

“After more than $160 million coming in from all corners of the country, massive media attention, and untold hours of hard work, the race will probably come down to an age-old truism,” said Dan Shea, Colby College Government Department chair and lead researcher on the poll. “It’s all about turnout.” read more

Trump Attacks Susan Collins for Not Supporting Amy Coney Barrett’s SCOTUS Nomination

Trump refuses to say why he blocked USPS from sending out masks

Earlier this morning, President Donald Trump wrote a tweet singling out Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), who faces a troubling path to reelection.

There is a nasty rumor out there that @SenatorCollins of Maine will not be supporting our great United States Supreme Court Nominee,” Trump wrote, referencing Amy Coney Barrett, who just wrapped four days of highly contentious hearings. “Well, she didn’t support Healthcare or my opening up 5000 square miles of Ocean to Maine, so why should this be any different. Not worth the work!”

There is a nasty rumor out there that @SenatorCollins of Maine will not be supporting our great United States Supreme Court Nominee. Well, she didn’t support Healthcare or my opening up 5000 square miles of Ocean to Maine, so why should this be any different. Not worth the work! read more

Susan Collins Whines That Her Opponent Sara Gideon Is Raising Too Much Money and Will Do Anything To Win

When Donald Trump was elected president, it was hoped that Maine senator Susan Collins would help keep him in line. But the moderate Republican has far too often given the president a  pass. Especially offensive when she refused to vote for impeachment saying that she was sure Trump had learned his lesson.

And thanks to her actions, Collins is now facing a very tough re-election bid against Democrat Sara Gideon. The troubled incumbent senator lashed out at her opponent during a recent interview with Politico.

Collins first complained that her opponent was running a dirty campaign. She told Politico, “She will say or do anything to try to win. This race is built on a foundation of falsehoods — and trying to convince the people of Maine that somehow, I am no longer the same person.”

The long-serving Maine senator is also angry that Gideon, who was born in Rhode Island, is trying to take her spot. Collins continued, “

I grew up in Caribou, I’ve lived in Bangor for 26 years. My family’s been in Maine for generations. She’s been in Maine for about 15 years and lives in Freeport. That’s a big difference in our knowledge of the state.” read more

Susan Collins: Donald Trump’s Stimulus Decision is a “Huge Mistake”

Earlier today, it was revealed that Donald Trump wanted to wait on passing a coronavirus relief bill until after the election occurs. The president would like to concentrate on his Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for right now.

The decision will likely seriously imperil Trump’s re-election bid. But he’s not in it alone. The stimulus punt is also likely to hurt a number of Republican congresspeople and senators who share the ballot with him.

Susan Collins may be the most affected of all the incumbent lawmakers. She is one of two GOP senators who have said that she won’t vote to confirm Coney Barrett in an election year.

The long-serving senator said in a statment, “

Waiting until after the election to reach an agreement on the next Covid-19 relief package is a huge mistake.  I have already been in touch with the Secretary of the Treasury, one of the chief negotiators, and with several of my Senate colleagues.” read more

Collins Behind by Four Points in Maine Senate Race

Senator Susan Collins (R) is behind by four points in the Maine Senate race against her rival, Democratic Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon.

According to a new poll released by Colby College, Gideon leads with 45 percent compared to Collins’s 41 percent. Six percent of voters remain undecided.

A New York Times/Siena College poll released last week showed Collins was five points behind, with Gideon leading Collins 49 percent to 44 percent. 45 percent of voters say they view Giden favorably compared to 40 percent who say they view her unfavorably. 50 percent of voters say they have a favorable view of Collins; 47 percent say otherwise.

Collins has faced considerable opposition since 2018, when she voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite widely publicized hearings in relation to allegations that he sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a former classmate. Her popularity took a further hit after she voted to acquit President Donald Trump following a heated impeachment process.

“I believe that the President has learned from this case. The President has been impeached. That’s a pretty big lesson. I believe that he will be much more cautious in the future,” she said at the time.

Later, Collins said she believes a better word would have been “hopes.”

Susan Collins Facing Uphill Climb to Reelection in Maine

Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) is facing an uphill climb to reelection in her state, according to the latest New York Times/Siena College poll. The poll shows she is five points behind Sara Gideon, her Democratic opponent.

Gideon, the Democratic Speaker in Maine’s House of Representatives, leads Collins 49 percent to 44 percent. 45 percent of voters say they view Giden favorably compared to 40 percent who say they view her unfavorably.

50 percent of voters say they have a favorable view of Collins; 47 percent say otherwise.

Collins’s strongest voting bloc is comprised of voters between the ages of 45 and 65. She leads Gideon by four points here: 49 percent to 45 percent. Gideon has more support among voters between the ages of 18 and 44 and has a 19-point lead: 56 percent to 37 percent.

Collins has faced considerable opposition since 2018, when she voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite widely publicized hearings in relation to allegations that he sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a former classmate. Her popularity took a further hit after she voted to acquit President Donald Trump following a heated impeachment process.

“I believe that the President has learned from this case. The President has been impeached. That’s a pretty big lesson. I believe that he will be much more cautious in the future,” she said at the time.

Later, Collins said she believes a better word would have been “hopes.”

Vulnerable Republican Senator Susan Collins Refuses to Endorse Donald Trump

Susan Collins has refused to formally endorse Donald Trump for president in 2020. She’s withheld her endorsement citing her own difficult reelection bid this November.

The Republican senator for Maine is seen as vulnerable this cycle and her association with the President has hurt her. However, refusing to endorse Trump is a big move.

Collins endorsed Trump in 2016 but now says she’s focused on her own election.

“I was not up for reelection,” Collins said of 2016.

“I didn’t have my own race to worry about at that point.”

However, Collins did endorse the late Senator John McCain in 2008 when she was up for reelection. Her explanation for this discrepancy is unlikely to please the President.

“As I said, I have a difficult race,” she said. “And I am concentrating my efforts on that race.”

“In addition, I have known John McCain since the 1970s, when I worked for [former senator] Bill Cohen,” Collins said.

“We were very close friends,” she said of McCain.

Follow Darragh Roche on Twitter

 

Susan Collins’s Democratic Challenger Outraises Her in Maine Senate Race

Maine Democrat Sara Gideon (D), the state’s House Speaker, has outraised incumbent Senator Susan Collins (R) in Maine’s Senate race in the first quarter of 2020 while relying predominantly on small donors.

According to new filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Giden raised about $7.1 million in the first quarter of 2020. Collins, by contrast, raised $2.4 million. Gideon finishes March with $4.6 million cash on hand. Collins has $1 million, with $5.6 million cash on hand.

Maine’s Senate Race is one of the state’s most hotly contested, and polls indicate Gideon and Collins are neck and neck. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report, an election forecaster, rates the race as a “toss-up.”

Collins’s Senate seat became vulnerable following liberal opposition to her support for the Trump administration, including her vote to confirm Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh despite the allegations of sexual assault against him. She also received heated criticism for her vote not to impeach President Donald Trump on charges that he abused power and obstructed Congress.

Although Gideon still has to win a primary race against two other Democrats to secure the party’s nomination, she has managed to outraise her intraparty opponents. She also has the endorsement of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The news comes just as FEC filings showed that Jamie Harrison, a South Carolina Democrat who is challenging incumbent Republican Senator Lindsey Graham for his Senate seat, outraised him during the first quarter of 2020.

A 2009 Vote Against Pandemic Funding Comes Back to Haunt Senator Susan Collins

In 2009, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) voted against the Obama administration’s attempt to include funding for pandemic flu preparations in its economic stimulus plan. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed the lives of at least 155 Americans nationwide, that vote has come back to haunt her.

“It is the regular appropriations process that is the appropriate vehicle for considering funding for many of these programs that, while worthwhile, do not boost our economy,” Collins said on the Senate floor in April 2009, citing her reasons for demanding the cuts.

The move was at the time criticized by an unidentified Democratic aide interviewed by Roll Call who said, “The fact is we had $870 million in the stimulus conference report for things like antiviral drugs, but it was dropped at the behest of people like Sen. Collins who said it was not stimulus. “[Health and Human Services] HHS does appear to be well-supplied, but the fact is this was a missed opportunity to be prepared for a crisis like this.”

Collins later put out a statement saying she agreed with pandemic flu funding despite striking it from the stimulus plan, even as a pandemic of H1N1 influenza, otherwise known as swine flu, claimed more than 100 deaths nationwide.

And now that the coronavirus has taken the United States by storm, members of the public, news reporters, and even Betsy Sweet, who is challenging Collins for her Senate seat, are reminding Collins of her prior vote all while she updates her constituents over the last week about her efforts to keep the people of Maine “as safe and as healthy as possible.”

I had forgotten my own reporting that @SenatorCollins stripped $870M for pandemic preparations out of the 2009 stimulus. pic.twitter.com/VTriR6ZsCS read more

Opinion: Trump Attacks Own Base by Slashing Funding to Rural School Districts

We hear these days about the importance of the African American vote within the Democratic base, and rightly so. This base has played a key role in the Democratic primaries and, according to all indications, will play a key role in determining the Democratic presidential candidate.

Democratic candidates would also be wise as well as both humane and politically responsible, though, to pay attention to another population that, while historically endorsing Trump, has been nonetheless largely ignored by Trump, and is in dire need of attention and support. With some much needed attention from Democratic candidates, these voters could certainly make the difference necessary to defeat Trump in key states like Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

And it is also a vital matter of standing up for the equal rights of all and serving all constituencies, making particular efforts to serve the least visible among us in cultivating a democratic society and economy.

I’m talking about rural America, which isn’t, of course, exclusively white but which is nonetheless a white majority–and unquestionably, and more to the point, a forgotten one.

What is one of the latest key developments in terms of Trump turning his back on rural–and, really, working-class–America?

Trump’s Department of Education, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is up to its old tricks of cutting funding for public education and doing its best to make public education less rather than more accessible to Americans and making the nation’s public education system increasingly unequal.

And these cuts are targeted to hit rural America, a typical stronghold of Trump support, the hardest.

This time, through what Andrew Naughtie, reporting for The Independent, calls “an under-the-radar bookkeeping change at the Department of Education,” DeVos’s squad is setting up over 800 public schools across the nation’s primarily rural school districts to lose thousands of dollars per school in key funding. These cuts will cost these schools everything from reading specialists, to computers, to counselors, to language lessons for non-English speakers and more.  Really, we are talking about the basics.

How can these under-resourced schools offer an education equal to what students receive elsewhere in America and prepare their students to compete in our economy and make their most meaningful contributions to American society?

And what’s more, as Erica L. Green reports in The New York Times, rural schools are already, according to advocates, “the most underfunded and ignored” in the country, even though they serve nearly one in seven public school students.  These students, according to a report from the Rural School and Community Trust, “are largely invisible to state policymakers because they live in states where education policy is dominated by highly visible urban problems.”

What has happened exactly?

Well, public schools have previously been able to demonstrate they qualify for the Rural and Low-Income School Program by counting the number of students who qualify for federally subsidized free and reduced-price meals in order to determine poverty rates in the schools. The Department of Education, however, recently determined many of these schools that had been receiving funding had qualified erroneously, according to the Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates. To qualify for funds, schools must demonstrate 20% of their area’s students live in poverty. Using this census data is less accurate than actually using the data of who actually is attending a school.

The push-back against this policy move has been decidedly and firmly bi-partisan.  Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine indicated that this change would mean 100 of the 149 schools in Maine previously receiving funding from this program would no longer qualify, costing its schools $1.2 million in funding.  Democratic Senator Jon Tester of Montana underscored that 220 of its most remote schools would lose some $400,000 in funding.

The Trump administration is not making life better for our rural populations, despite the hopes of advocates that it would, given these regions’ electoral support for Trump.

Alan Richard, for example, a board member of the Rural School and Community Trust, a non-profit advocacy group, told The New York Times, “Rural education advocates definitely hoped that a president elected, in part, because of rural and small-town voters would pay more attention to rural children. Even after the last election, with all the attention to rural America, little has been done to correct the inequity so many rural students face.”

Trump can be called out for his broken campaign promises, his outright lies, and his complete lack of concern for people in need.

The real question is whether or not Democrats will listen to, pay attention to, and take up the concerns and cause of our rural populations.

Senator Amy Klobuchar spoke to and about rural America. At times, Senator Kamala Harris did as well. Both, of course, are no longer in the running to be the Democratic presidential candidate.

Other than that, we don’t hear too much from Democratic candidates regarding rural America.

And it also needs to be said that there is a tendency in Democratic politics to demonize and dismiss poor white and white working-class people in America as racist and backward, as not on board with the progressive politics of change.

Maybe listening, paying attention to, and creating actual policy to address the needs of these Americans—as opposed to dismissing them—would go a long way towards courting these voters.

It would certainly go a long way toward addressing the severe class stratifications in our society and working-class issues overall.

Will Democrats take advantage of this opportunity to serve the needs of those Trump has abandoned, address them, and cultivate their support? Is the Democratic tent big enough? Can Democrats be big enough?

 

 

 

 

Could The Senate Go Blue This Year? Poll Shows 4 GOP Lawmakers Are Underwater Versus Dem Rivals

Even if Democrats win the presidency this year, it would be hard for any Democratic president to get a lot done with policy, given the current make-up within Congress.

While Democrats control the House of Representatives, currently Republicans have a majority in the Senate, with 53 senators in the “upper house” part of the GOP caucus.

But a new poll from a left-leaning organization demonstrates some hope for Democrats to take control of the Senate this year, too.

Our new polls in Maine and Arizona find Sara Gideon leading Susan Collins 47-43 and Mark Kelly leading Martha McSally 47-42.

That now means our most recent polls in 4 GOP held Senate seats have found at least a 4 point Democratic lead:https://t.co/6eLUqIjVNO read more