Archive for the ‘Mitch McConnell’ Category

Fred Barnes’ article highlights the GOP’s strategy for making the federal judiciary more conservative. According to Barnes’ article, “Eligible appeals court judges (appointees of Republican presidents, to be specific) are being asked to switch to senior status, a form of semi-retirement that allows them to continue hearing cases but opens their seat for a new nominee. This could create as many as 28 vacancies on the appeals courts.”

Utilizing this strategy is smart. There’s no sense in not exercising this option. That being said, the activists need to activate and grow Mitch McConnell’s majority and get President Trump re-elected so we can transform the federal bench. At some point, a Democrat will get elected president. Eventually, there will be a Democrat majority in the Senate. Pushing that date out further into the future means, potentially, another Supreme Court justice or 2 and 15+ conservative appellate court judges. Those are game-changers.

Democrats are frightened at the possibility of having their policy-making tool of preference, the courts, changed for a generation. Barnes notes that Democrats only have themselves to blame for this situation:

But Democrats have only their former Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, to blame. He abolished the filibuster for appeals court nominees in 2013. Even with a thin Republican majority, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has kept his caucus united in approving judges. Were the filibuster alive, conservatives would have to lie about their views to be confirmed.

Mitch McConnell deserves lots of credit for getting tons of judges confirmed but so does Harry Reid. At the time, most pundits thought that Reid wouldn’t be foolish enough to eliminate the judicial filibuster. They were wrong. Now, Democrats will pay the price for a generation. Most of the judges getting confirmed are in their 40s, with a small percentage being in their 50s.

McConnell has touted the confirmation of judges by saying that the Senate is in the personnel business. He’s right about that in that the Senate is where judges and cabinet secretaries get confirmed. He’s virtually guaranteed his re-election by confirming a record amount of judges.

Democrats have frequently shown that they aren’t negotiating in good faith over fixing the coronavirus pandemic. Thursday afternoon, Sen. Deb Fischer, (R-NE), and Sen. Kirsten Sinema, (D-AZ), introduced the “bipartisan PREP Act.” Prior to consideration of their bill, Sen. Fischer made a brief speech asking for unanimous consent to have the PREP Act debated. Here’s what happened:


Sen. McConnell must’ve known that Democrats planned on doing something nefarious when he said this:

At a minimum, I hope that Senate Democrats will not block potential requests from our colleagues today to pass smaller, noncontroversial pieces of legislation right away that would bolster particular aspects of the fight against coronavirus.

Let’s hope that Democrats put families ahead of special interests, equipping health care specialists ahead of listening to lobbyists and negotiating in good faith rather than the Democrats’ gamesmanship.

Democrats apparently aren’t interested in doing the right thing for American families. Democrats are more interested in pulling stunts than they’re interested in doing the right thing.

The negotiations between Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have been ongoing all day. Hopefully, Ms. Pelosi won’t attempt to pull the type of stunt she tried pulling with last night’s bill. Last night’s bill is best described as a special interest’s special that had little to do with preventing and mitigating the coronavirus.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy highlighted some of the Democrats’ bill’s shortfalls:

McCarthy said there’s two “major problems.” First, creating a paid sick leave program through the Social Security Administration that would take six months to set up and hamper the agency’s normal functioning of disbursing checks to senior citizens. The second is forcing permanent paid sick leave “for all businesses without exemptions and no sunsets,” McCarthy said.

There was also language in the bill that would’ve weakened the Hyde Amendment. Another provision in the Pelosi-Schumer-Democrat bill would’ve prohibited President Trump from issuing travel bans from other countries into the United States. That isn’t constitutional because the head of the Executive Branch has virtually total authority to restrict international travel into the US. The sole exception to that authority is if the president restricts travel for purely religious reasons.

After Senate Majority Leader McConnell told Ms. Pelosi that her special interest special isn’t going anywhere, Ms. Pelosi has spent the day negotiating with Steve Mnuchin, President Trump’s Treasury Secretary. After getting shot down by Mitch, there’s been a dramatic change in tone from Ms. Pelosi:

“Families have needs,” Pelosi said at a press conference Thursday. She said they’ve been working with Mnuchin on the bill in good faith and questioned whether congressional Republicans are now moving the goalposts.

Pelosi should’ve reminder herself of that when putting this special interest bill together. The Democrats’ bill was known as a Christmas tree bill, meaning that it had all kinds of special interest ‘Christmas ornaments’ stuffed into it. If Democrats were interested in negotiating in good faith from the start, Democrats shouldn’t have started with their original bill. Instead, Democrats should’ve put together a good faith bill right from the start.

Now that Republicans put their foot down, Ms. Pelosi is negotiating in good faith. Next, Republicans should fundraise off Ms. Pelosi’s bad faith negotiations bill. They might as well since the DSCC already sent out a coronavirus fundraising appeal tonight. Democrats must be paid to pay a price for their partisanship.

Mollie Hemingway’s article highlights the threat posed by Chuck Schumer’s statement poses to the justices. First, it’s worth noting something that former US Attorney Guy Lewis told Harris Faulkner shortly after Schumer’s threats. Lewis said that US marshals were likely called into action minutes after Schumer’s threats. When Ms. Faulkner asked if this was speculation or whether it was fact, Lewis replied that that’s the procedure that’s been used in the past. He said that a dozen US marshals would be detailed to the justices, their wives and their kids for the next 6 months to protect them from violence.

Sol Wisenberg, a former assistant independent counsel on the Whitewater investigation, insists that Schumer’s statements are protected by the First Amendment. I disagree. What Schumer did was the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater. This is what Schumer said, along with a discussion on Schumer’s threat:

With the things that Antifa and other thugs have done, with the exhortations made by Maxine Waters, with the Bernie Bro who shot Steve Scalise, why wouldn’t Sen. Schumer’s statement be treated as a threat?

These statements can’t be taken as idle chatter. That might’ve been fine 20 years ago but that isn’t the world we’re living in today. Sen. Schumer’s statement was a threat and he knows it. Since Ted Kennedy’s hate-filled diatribe against Judge Robert Bork, Democrats have thoroughly politicized the judicial confirmation process.

The justices that were nominated by Republican presidents got confirmed since then but they’ve been scrutinized unlike any justices in history. Democrats have made these confirmation hearings like Armageddon. Democrats understand that their ideas aren’t popular enough to win passage through the legislative process. That’s why they need an outcomes-based judiciary to implement their social agenda.

Justices that interpret laws through a constitutional lens won’t give Democrats the legislative victories that they’re looking for. More than any other reason, that’s why Sen. Schumer got the activists riled up with his threats.

Based on Mitch McConnell’s speech on the Senate floor today, progress appears to be getting made on the supplemental spending bill:

The Senate’s immediate role is clear: We need to support the federal, state, and local public health officials and healthcare professionals who are working overtime to blunt, delay, and mitigate the spread of the virus. So I am grateful that our colleagues Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Leahy, along with their Appropriations counterparts in the House, worked through the weekend on a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to provide supplemental appropriations for the coordinated response.

It goes without saying that a challenge like this leaves no time for moving goalposts or performative outrage. The American people deserve for their Congress to meet this subject head-on with a bipartisan and collaborative approach. I’m confident that is exactly what can and will happen.

Here’s the video of that speech:

There’s still plenty of things to worry about with regards to this virus. The things that the President is responsible for are getting done in a timely, proficient fashion. The medical professionals are, as near as I can tell, working together. The markets, which aren’t always driven by logic, had a massive sell-off last week which was attributed to the virus. Late Friday afternoon, with less than an hour left in the trading day, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that people were going back to work in China.

From the time of that announcement to the end of trading that day, the DJIA rallied from being down 912 points to finishing down 357 points. That’s why I wasn’t totally surprised that the Dow finished up today. I must admit, though, that I was startled that it finished ahead by 1294 points today. The Dow Futures are ahead by 150 points already.

Democrats are trying to play political games with the Coronavirus supplemental appropriations bill. Chuck Schumer has moved the goalposts a couple of times. Nancy Pelosi has been in front of the reporters virtually hourly complaining about President Trump not doing enough and not doing things fast enough.

This morning, as he frequently does, Senate Majority Leader McConnell spoke on the Senate floor on the topic of the Coronavirus supplemental appropriation bill. In his speech, Sen. McConnell called out the Democrats, especially Sen. Schumer. In his speech, Sen. McConnell said “Just days ago, the Democratic Leader signed a letter, quote, ‘strongly urging’ this kind of funding request. But almost the instant it arrived, he began blasting it as, quote, ‘too little too late.’ And our colleague continued to move the goalposts.”

McConnell continued with this:

His strong views on the necessary amount of funds varied daily. It has been a strange and clumsy effort to override normal, bipartisan appropriations talks before they even happen and replace them with top-down partisan posturing. Everyone from his fellow Democrats to President Trump have seemed perplexed by the Democratic Leader’s political game-playing. It’s not clear to anyone why he’s prioritized fighting with the White House over simply letting the appropriators do their work.

I feel confident that the coronavirus does not care about partisan bickering or political news cycles. This new disease is not going to press “pause” so that members can engage in performative outrage that gets us farther from results, rather than closer.

It’s time for Sen. Schumer to stop playing political games with this sensitive situation. I just spoke with a chemist who said that this isn’t a crisis in the United States. This chemist said that China’s response was too slow, which means that China is experiencing a crisis. What I was told by this chemist is that there are things that are happening that are alarming but still controllable. I was also told that the CDC has done a good job thus far, which is important according to this chemist.

We had a conversation about the importance of maintaining the United States’ medical infrastructure. Thus far, I was told, the infrastructure was still in good shape. Personally, I’m most worried about the political infrastructure. I’m most worried about Schumer’s and Pelosi’s hyperpartisanship. They need to put this nation first instead of trying to gain political advantage. This is a time for statesmanship, not partisanship.

The SC Times editorial board apparently didn’t learn from President Trump’s impeachment. At least, that’s the impression I got from this Our View Editorial. The editorial starts by lecturing its readership, saying “The scariest aspect of the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump is how both sides of the aisle dramatically weakened the tools the Founding Fathers provided to allow the three branches of government to hold each other accountable.”

This isn’t that complicated. Jonathan Turley, a far wiser man than anyone sitting on the Editorial Board, made an important point when he made an emphatic point when he said this:

I can’t emphasize this enough and I’ll say it just one more time: If you impeach a president, if you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts; it is an abuse of power. It’s your abuse of power.

It isn’t surprising that the Editorial Board didn’t notice their intellectual stupidity was showing.

This is how the Editorial Board expressed their foolishness:

Had that been the case, the Democrat-led House impeachment team would have used the full force of the courts to enforce subpoenas issued to key witnesses, hear their testimony and gain access to key documents the Trump White House refused to release. Instead, with eyes clearly focused on the next election, they rushed through their process, apparently hoping the Senate trial would do that hard work for them. Or perhaps they realized their case was not going to rise to the justifiably high standards for removal from office set by the founders.

The Republican-led Senate proved even more pathetic. When confronted with overwhelming proof that the House did not provide all the evidence, a majority of senators chose blind allegiance to party and voted in favor of the president instead of pursuit of the truth. Among the tools at their disposal, but not used, are hearing witness testimony and cross-examining those witnesses.

I’d love hearing the Times’ explanation for them saying that House Democrats probably “realized their case wasn’t going to rise to the justifiably high standards for removal from office set by the founders”, then have them say that Republicans, “when confronted with overwhelming proof that the House didn’t provide all the evidence” … “chose blind allegiance to party” rather than pursuing the truth. The case can’t have overwhelming proof and not rise to the justifiably high standards for removal from office.”

The Constitution gives the House “sole authority for impeachment.” That means the House receives the report from the special counsel or their own investigation, then the House Judiciary Committee writes up the articles of impeachment. This isn’t a joint responsibility shared between the House and Senate. That’s because the Constitution gives the Senate “sole authority” to try impeachments. They aren’t investigators. They are, literally, both judges and jury. The Senate determines what comes in as evidence. The Senate can overrule the Chief Justice of the United States. They are also the jury.

The Senate sent the message that they wouldn’t accept House Democrats’ shoddy investigation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called these articles of impeachment “a half-baked censure resolution.” That’s being charitable. They also sent the message that they wouldn’t accept a flimsy case because articles of impeachment are considered a privileged resolution. That means, literally, that everything stops in the Senate until the verdict is reached.

Finally, this paragraph is downright stupid:

Rather read this for what it is: a commentary about elected officials from both parties who put their partisan allegiances above the constitutional oaths they took after you elected them.

The Founding Fathers were reluctant to put impeachment into the Constitution. When they finally agreed that such a provision was required, they established 2 important requirements. They required a) a two-thirds majority to convict and remove and b) that people could only be impeached for “Treason, Bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

They wanted to guarantee that impeachment was only used as a tool of last resort. That didn’t happen here. The Founding Fathers wanted impeachment used only when it was clear that something so egregious had happened that a bipartisan majority agreed that such a high crime had been committed. House Democrats impeached knowing that there wasn’t a chance of conviction and removal.

The simple fact is this: House Democrats screwed things up badly. Senate Republicans rendered the only just verdict allowed by the Constitution.

This week’s events have produced a multitude of winners and some distinct losers. Let’s start with the losers.

Mitt Romney- Mitt Romney sided with Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi when he voted to convict President Trump on Impeachment Article 1. Mitt’s constituents in Utah want him censured.
Nancy Pelosi- In a planned attack, Pelosi ripped up her personal copy of President Trump’s SOTU Address. In ripping up her copy, Pelosi played into President Trump’s hand by looking like a petulant school child. Here’s the scene:

Iowa Democratic Party- We’re almost a week removed from the Iowa Caucuses and we still don’t know who won the Caucuses. The chairman of the party apologized on Tuesday. The chairman of the DNC called for a recanvas of the results. That’s the personification of humiliation.
Biden, Klobuchar and Warren- This trio is essentially a trio of zombie candidates. Biden isn’t attracting any positive attention. What he’s missing in positive attention, he’s making up for in negative attention. According to her allies, Klobuchar keeps gaining ground on the leaders. Unfortunately, she finished in 5th place in Iowa and looks likely to repeat that performance in New Hampshire. Back-to-back 5th place finishes will seal Sen. Klobuchar’s fate. Warren finished third in Iowa, which is decent enough but she’s got race relations problems. Stick a fork in her. She’s finished.

Winners
Mitch McConnell- Despite what CNN, MSDNC and the Washington Post say, he’s the true DC master tactician. Pelosi isn’t the master tactician.
Devin Nunes- The Democrats’ impeachment trial showed that Devin Nunes got virtually everything right on the FBI scandal and with FISA abuse. Everything he got right, Schiff got wrong. Literally.
Iain Lanphier and Charles McGee- Iain was mentioned in President Trump’s State of the Union Address this way:

Iain has always dreamed of going to space. He was the first in his class and among the youngest at an aviation academy. He aspires to go to the Air Force Academy and then he has his eye on the Space Force. As Iain says, “Most people look up at space. I want to look down on the world.”

President Trump then told the rest of the story:

But sitting behind Iain tonight is his greatest hero of them all, Charles McGee, who was born in Cleveland Ohio, one century ago. Charles is one of the last surviving Tuskegee airman, the first black fighter pilots and he also happens to be Ian’s great grandfather. On December 7th Charles celebrated his 100th birthday. A few weeks ago, I signed a bill promoting Charles McGee to Brigadier General. And earlier today I pinned the stars on his shoulders in the Oval Office. General McGee, our nation salutes you. Thank you sir.

That’s what I call a history lesson!
Jenaya Davis- “The next step forward and building an inclusive society is making sure that every young American gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve the American dream. Yet, for too long, countless American children have been trapped in failing government schools. To rescue these students 18 States have created school choice in the form of opportunity scholarships. The programs are so popular that tens of thousands of students remain on a waiting list. One of those students is Jenaya Davis, a fourth grader from Philadelphia, Jenaya. Jenaya’s mom Stephanie is a single parent. She would do anything to give her daughter a better future, but last year that future was put further out of reach when Pennsylvania’s governor vetoed legislation to expand school choice to 50,000 children. Jenaya and Stephanie are in the gallery. Stephanie, thank you so much for being here with your beautiful daughter. Thank you very much. But Jenaya I have some good news for you because I am pleased to inform you that your long wait is over. I can proudly announced tonight that an opportunity scholarship has become available. It’s going to you and you will soon be heading to the school of your choice. Now I call on Congress to give one million American children the same opportunity, Jenaya has just received. Pass the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act because no parents should be forced to send their child to a failing government school.”

President Trump reminded the politicians in the House chamber what it’s all about when he said “Members of Congress we must never forget that the only victories that matter in Washington are victories that deliver for the American people.”

Delivering for the American people has become President Trump’s legacy. That’s what makes him this week’s biggest winner. Despite all of the unrighteous fights he’s had to fight, despite all of the criticism he’s taken, despite the lies that’ve gotten told about him (Think Adam Schiff’s parody), President Trump kept his eyes on what’s important. He’s rebuilt the military. He’s killed the nastiest of terrorists. He’s built the strongest economy. He’s put young people like Iain and Jenaya first.

That’s the definition of a winner. He isn’t perfect but his priorities are fantastic.

Based on Fox’s reporting and this article, the Senate trial of President Trump’s impeachment is almost over. Wednesday’s questions opened with a question from Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney to President Trump’s legal team.

Before that, though, Mitch McConnell met with Sen. Murkowski “for about 20 to 30 minutes. That was seen as a sign by several senators that Democrats will fail to convince four Republicans to join them in calling for witnesses. Without a vote to hear from witnesses, the trial could end as soon as Friday.”

After their meeting, the mood in the GOP Conference was improved:

“We’re going to get it done by Friday, hopefully,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said following the meeting. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), emerging from the lunch, said, “I think I can say the mood is good.” Braun expressed confidence that McConnell will be able to keep his conference unified enough to defeat a motion to consider subpoenas for additional witnesses and documents.

Sean Hannity isn’t a great interviewer but he’s been right about the various Trump administration investigations. I take him seriously when he says that the trial is almost over, which he did in his opening monologue Wednesday night:

If Sen. Romney votes to convict President Trump, he’ll instantly become a pariah in Utah. It’s almost guaranteed that he’d get primaried, too. After seeing Matt Towery’s poll results, Mitt would be wise to think twice about rejecting President Trump.

Towery asked 400 registered voters in Utah these questions:

  1. How would you like your 2 senators to vote in the trial? Vote to acquit President Trump: 68%
  2. Do you support or oppose calling additional witnesses? Oppose 64%
  3. More or less likely to support Romney re-election if he votes for witnesses? Less likely 60%

At this point, I can’t picture an outcome were more than 49 senators vote for additional witnesses. If the vote comes out 51-49 in President Trump’s favor, this will become a non-factor in the 2020 senatorial elections. Impeachment just isn’t that important to the people.

It’s purely speculation on my part but I’m betting that Sen. Mitch McConnell will win the debate over whether the Senate will call additional witnesses to the impeachment trial. With senators like Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul threatening to call a bunch of witnesses if Democrats insist on calling John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney, Sen. McConnell is sitting in the power seat.

Further, Pat Toomey and Mitt Romney are talking about working out a swap with Chuck Schumer. Cruz, Graham and Paul want the trial to end quickly. That doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to play hardball with witnesses. If the Senate votes to call witnesses, expect Cruz, Graham and Paul to insist on calling Schiff, Chalupa, the Bidens and the whistleblower.

What Lindsey Graham is saying is that Democrats call witnesses at their own peril. This won’t be a John McCain-style deal where Republicans get screwed and McCain gets to act like a dealmaker. That ain’t happening this time. Check this out:

What I would say is that there is not a scintilla of evidence that the Biden’s connection to the Ukraine is inappropriate. There is a tsunami of evidence. So the House managers told the Senate that this is ‘baseless’ that it’s been ‘debunked,’ and I think the defense team, yesterday, made a damning indictment of what Hunter and Joe Biden allowed to happen and it’s not in America’s interest to see this happen again in the Ukraine where Hunter Biden turned it basically into an ATM machine. We’re going to go to that, and there’s media reports, people in your business, that suggested a DNC staffer [Alexandra Chalupa] met with Ukrainian officials about the 2016 election. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but if we’re going to open this up to additional inquiry, we’re going to go down the road of whether it was legitimate for the President to believe there was corruption and conflicts of interest on the Biden’s part in the Ukraine. We’ll explore that, and whether or not there is any credibility to the idea that the DNC may have been working with the Ukraine.

Lindsey has figured out how to negotiate. The McCain-style negotiation is mostly groveling. The Trump-style negotiating means negotiating with a gun to the other guy’s head.. Make the other guy sweat. Make Democrats worry about whether it’s worth it.

Democrats are already worrying about voting:

Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Doug Jones of Alabama are all undecided on whether to vote to remove the president from office and agonizing over where to land.

If I had to bet, I wouldn’t bet against Sen. McConnell. He’s buried tons of people. Why would I think this time will be different? A month ago, he buried Nancy. Last week, he defeated Chuck Schumer 12 straight times.

Finally, I don’t think Mitch is tired of winning. Call your senator. Tell them to vote against witnesses.