Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) told reporters Friday that she agrees with fellow moderate Republican Sen. Jeff Flake (AZ) in his call for an FBI investigation that would delay the Senate floor vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for up to one week.”
This would be a mistake on the part of the GOP. The Republicans would benefit in no way from this. It would be a win for the Democrats. They will fill that extra time finding new women willing to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault and now with the federal investigation genie out of the bottle, they will demand FBI investigations for all of them. The Republicans would be hard-pressed to come up for a rationale for denying further investigation requests once having agreed to the first one. That “one week” will end up being two, three, or more. The Democrats are hoping to create a string of allegations and investigations that they can stretch out past the elections.
If this drags out past the November elections, and the Democrats win back the Senate, they will claim that there is no mandate from the people for a conservative justice and will demand his nomination be withdrawn. Even if they lose or they win and Kavanaugh is seated anyway, they will be able to point to an FBI investigation into Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assaults as a reason for his recusal in any matter concerning the rights of women, which of course would include any litigation that threatens to overturn Roe v. Wade.
If the object is to get Kavanaugh appointed to the Supreme Court, this will not change a single Democratic vote. It will allow them and their partners in the mainstream media to claim that “Kavanaugh is under FBI investigation for sexual assault allegations”. There is no upside for the Republicans in doing this. They think this will help them seem sympathetic to Dr. Ford and the other accusers, and that will help them in tight Senate races. It won’t, it will only make matters worse, not when every Democratic challenger would now be able to run campaign ads truthfully saying that their opponent is for a judge who is or was under federal investigation for criminal sex offenses.
Update: According to Fox News, following the Senate’s lead, President Trump has ordered the FBI to perform an investigation into the existing allegations of sexual abuse. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the nomination will be brought to the full Senate for a vote.
Thursday, I was a guest on Political Storm’s weekly Real Politics With Real People show. It was a great honor to be on the panel discussion hosted by Jon Saltzman. The show is a new weekly feature on PoliticalStorm.com created to, “Discuss one subject a week together by a panel of Political Storm Contributors with diverse political opinions.” This week’s topics were the midterm election and the Kavanagh confirmation hearings. It was an enjoyable discussion with some pretty knowledgeable fellow guests representing a good portion of the political spectrum. It’s really one of the few places on the internet where you’ll find civilized political debate, which of course why I recommend you plug into Political Storm to get a wide range of political discourse.
It was a raucous day Monday on Capitol Hill at the start of the Senate confirmation hearings to approve Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. Amidst outbursts from the gallery by anti-Kavanaugh protesters, Senate Democrats pulled out all the stops in an all-out effort to delay the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh, throwing one procedural hurdle after another in front of Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Most of the objections coming from the Democratic side centered around thousands of pages of documents requested by them that they had not received or had time to examine. Committee member Ted Cruz in his opening statement gave a dead-on assessment of why the Democrats are so against Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Here’s an outtake from Sen. Cruz’s remarks that sums up nicely what the true Democrat objection to Kavanaugh’s confirmation:
“We know that every Democratic member of this committee is going to vote no we don’t have to speculate. Every single one of them is publicly announced they’re voting no– doesn’t depend on what they read in documents, doesn’t depend on what judge Kavanaugh says at this hearing they’ve announced ahead of time they are voting no and most of the Democrats in the Senate have announced that in the full Senate but everyone should understand Judge Kavanaugh has handed over more documents than any nominee more than the last five combined, Republican and Democratic nominees. This is not about documents it’s not about qualification it’s not about record, what it is about Democratic senators trying to re-litigate the 2016 election and just as importantly working to begin litigating the 2020 presidential election but we had an opportunity for the American people to speak, they did. They voted in 2016 and they wanted judges and justices who will be faithful to the Constitution that’s why I’m confident at the end of what Shakespeare would describe as ‘a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing,’ I am confident that Judge Kavanaugh will become Justice Kavanaugh and will be confirmed in the United States Supreme Court. Thank you mister chairman.”
PHILADELPHIA– On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence made a stop to speak at an event sponsored by America First Policies, a non-profit organization to promote President Trump’s agenda. The main topic was the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and its positive effects on the economy, but it was also an opportunity for the Vice President to stump for Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate, Congressman Lou Barletta of PA.
The event began with a panel discussion on taxes which featured several political and business leaders from the greater Philadelphia area, to include Representatives Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), and Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) At several points during the discussion, the figure of 1.9% GDP growth during the Obama presidency was contrasted with the current GDP under Trump of 2.9%. Though there was no question and answer segment, an audience member nonetheless shouted out a question about how the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) predicted a revenue shortfall and increase of our national debt under the tax cut plan. Though the moderator attempted to move on, the panel did address the question. It was noted that the current GDP growth was outperforming the CBO estimates, and that sustained economic growth, according to Congressman MacArthur, was “our best shot” at reducing the debt. The panel also noted the many pay increases, bonuses, and expansion of benefits enjoyed by many working Americans due to the tax cuts, Vice President Pence would later provide examples of this in his own speech.
After a discussion panel on the positive effects of the tax cuts on local business and workers, and a speech from Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs, Karen Dunn Kelly, the Vice President was introduced by Congressman Lou Barletta, whom Pence was in town to campaign and raise money for in an effort to unseat Democrat incumbent, Bob Casey from his position in the U.S Senate. Though Casey was advertised as a “moderate Democrat” Pence maintained that on the issues of Obamacare, taxes, and abortion, the Senator voted more like socialist Democrat Bernie Sanders. The Vice President spoke highly of Barletta, noting how he built a small line painting business in Hazleton, PA into the sixth largest of its kind in the country. Pence also mentioned how President Trump also strongly endorsed his candidacy saying, “The President and I love you,” referring to Barletta, later saying about him, “I am gratified for his service in the past, and the president, and the future.”
After thanking Rep. Barletta for a warm introduction and acknowledging his accomplishments, the Vice President started the main body of his speech by asking all of the veterans in the room to stand up and be recognized, the audience applauded and cheered as the men and women stood. He then extended is thanks to all who put on the uniform to serve their fellow citizens, especially those in law enforcement. He used that to segue into the topic of border enforcement. One of the big applause lines of the speech came when he reaffirmed his and the President’s unwavering commitment to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency better known as ICE, stating emphatically, “ We will never abolish ICE we will stand by them and give them the support they deserve.” This was in response to what he characterized as “irresponsible rhetoric by many of leading liberal Democrats,” calling for the abolition of ICE. He went on to tout several of the agency’s accomplishments, including 127,000 criminal illegal aliens arrested in the last year, nearly five thousand gang members off the streets, and one thousand children saved from child exploitation and human traffickers. He also mentioned that the administration had secured greater funding for border security to include funding for “the wall”.
The recent retirement announcement by Justice Anthony Kennedy gave Pence a reason to talk about the Trump Administration’s accomplishments getting federal court vacancies filled. He cited a record number of appointments by a presidential administration in their first year as a major achievement for Trump. When he mentioned his boss’ appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the mostly partisan room erupted into applause, applause that continued when he mentioned the name of Brett Kavanaugh, the judge President Trump recently nominated to fill the upcoming vacancy by Justice Kennedy. The Vice President reiterated the President’s wish to appoint strict constitutionalist judges to the Supreme Court, a stance strongly opposed by liberal Democrats who prefer SCOTUS justices with a more flexible view of the Constitution. He suggested that if Senator Bob Casey would not support the appointment of Kavanaugh, the people of Pennsylvania should replace him in November with someone who would.
The Vice President went on to speak of several other hot political topics that the President has addressed during his first year and a half in office, including the imminent destruction of ISIS, the dismantling of the regulatory state, and our allies’ greater monetary commitment to NATO. Pence also mentioned other promises Trump has kept such as pulling out of the Paris Climate agreement and his efforts to renegotiate international trade deals that he feels are not in the country’s best interest. He also responded to Iran’s recent saber-rattling saying, “We will not tolerate threats against the United States of America.”
The main focus of the afternoon’s event was to talk about the benefits of the recent tax cuts that went into effect on January 1st. Pence went over the highlights of the tax plan, stating that the average working family in Philadelphia will save around $2500/year in taxes under the new plan. He mentioned how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated a major component of the Affordable Care Act. “We cut out the core of Obamacare, the individual mandate is gone,” Pence said, his statement garnering approving applause. He noted that within a few weeks after the bill’s passage, companies began to offer their employees thousand dollar bonuses and that in his own family when his kids were little, there was a word for such a year-end windfall, “Christmas”. He was quick to point out that former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA) infamously suggested the bonuses were mere “crumbs”, left over by greedy corporations. The mere mention of her name brought boos from many in the audience. About Pelosi’s remark, he said: “Any leader who says that a $1000 in the pockets of working Americans is nothing but ‘crumbs’ is out of touch with the American People and should never lead the American Congress again.”
Keeping on taxes, and the broader issue of the economy, Pence also listed some of the benefits he attributed to the tax cuts, the promise of better trade deals and the lessening of the regulatory burden on companies. Some of the things he gave Trump credit for were: 3.7 million new jobs since the election, including 340,000 in the manufacturing sector, record low unemployment rates among American blacks and Hispanics, and he also stated that, “more than six million people have received pay raises, bonuses, or bigger benefits,” since the signing of the tax cut bill. Another benefit he mentioned was how local corporations such as Comcast and Alamo gave $1000 bonuses and promised to upgrade their facilities. Pennsylvania based Peco Energy passed much of its tax saving onto its customers.
Vice President Pence closed his remarks with a few requests for the like-minded people in the audience. He asked that they share what they have heard there with their friends and neighbors. He suggested they tell them, “…that under President Donald Trump, the forgotten men and women are forgotten no more.” Pence also reflected upon the currently divided nature of our country and asked that they pray for America, not for an agenda or a campaign, but for all of America. “Pray for all the American people, because prayer matters,” he asked the crowd. Finally, he ended with the familiar refrain of the President, “We will make America safe again, we will make American prosperous again, and to borrow a phrase, we will make America great again.”
Everyone likes to make New Year’s predictions. Just to be a little different, here is a list of things that are exceedingly unlikely to happen in 2018. Although there are scores of pundits, celebrities and other talking heads who will try and convince you otherwise, here are seven things that logic and clear thinking suggest won’t occur in calendar year 2018…
Global Warming. Have you been outside lately? The polar bears will be quite safe in 2018.
Nuclear War. No, WWIII won’t start over a tweet, despite what the pundits from MSNBC and CNN want you to believe. (Gotta hedge a little because we’re talking about Kim Jong Un here after all. ) If it does happen it will be because N. Korea does something tragically stupid, and God-forbid maybe even gets in a single blow before they cease to exist. It won’t happen however, because President Trump calls Kim Jong Un fat or “Rocket Man”.
The Taxpocolypse. Lower Taxes won’t destroy the country. On the contrary, expect more economic growth. The promise of lower taxes has already helped the economy and should continue to do so in FY18.
Immigration Stormtroopers. Democrat scare tactics are just that, scare tactics. There will be no squadrons of ICE rounding up foreigners and people of color for mass deportation. There will be no liquidation of East L.A., or South central Chicago. Yes, plenty of illegal immigrants will be deported, after due process and according to existing law, but if you seriously believe they’re coming for you, and you’re a legal alien- well, you’re a just a little bit gullible.
Venezuela: “A socialist success story”. There’s an outside chance of them becoming a capitalist success story some time in the future, but will take some doing and would probably take years. On a related note, the Che Guevara-T-shirt wearing-die-hard-leftists in this country (still) won’t acknowledge that socialism destroyed that country.
A “wave election” for the Democrats. Conventional wisdom says the party that holds the White House loses Congress during the mid-terms. The Democrats have little to offer except anti-Trump sentiment. If the stock market continues to go up, and GDP growth stays where it is or increases, the public won’t have much incentive to change course. Only if the economy goes south or a major crisis arises and is bungled by the White House will the Democrats have any chance of retaking either branch of Congress. That having been said, Capitol Hill is the Republicans’ to lose.
Impeachment proceedings. Since the Republicans hold Congress and probably will after 2018, Trump would have to have committed an actual high-crime or misdemeanor, not an imagined one to get himself impeached. Sorry left-leaning news media– not gonna happen, not in 2018 and probably not ever.
Those who witnessed it live or on TV will never forget that day. It’s one of those events of such magnitude you remember where you were, who you were with, and what you were doing at the time. Some memories fade over time, this is one we should hope won’t, lest we forget what it is we never want to go through again.
On Wednesday occurred a tragic shooting of Steve Scalise (R) LA, and three others by progressive activist and Bernie Sanders supporter, James T. Hodgkinson, who opened fire on a group of Republican lawmakers practicing for a baseball game to be played today. It was yet another violent incident perpetrated by a member of the far-left.
In the name of their cause, which has apparently degenerated into blind hatred of President Trump and by extension all Republicans, they have committed many acts of violence from hitting a Trump supporter on the head with a bike lock, to politically motivated riots on college campuses intended to shut down the free speech of conservatives, most notably an incident at UC Berkeley that prevented outspoken Milo Yiannopoulos from a scheduled speech at that campus.
Trump was not particularly beloved at first even among Republicans, who fought bitter primary campaigns against him during last year’s presidential election season. Conservatives for their part have long since made peace with the fact that he is our President and have showed support where they agree, but have also pointed out where they disagree on many occasions. For the most part, they are prepared to coexist with Trump nation.
This hasn’t been the case of the anti-Trump legions on the left. Far from coexisting with him and his fellow Republicans, they have deemed themselves a sort of resistance, fighting, all to often violently, against anything Trump has attempted. They have called for his opposition, his impeachment, his imprisonment, and his death and the death of other Republicans, both implicitly and at times explicitly. The anti-Trump movement on the left has a particularly vicious streak. So called “comedian” Kathy Griffin recently released a photo of her holding up a bloody, fake severed head of the President. Even William Shakespeare has been co opted by the the malevolent Left, with a recent live performance casting a Trump doppelganger in the role of a modern-day Julius Caesar, who at the climax of the play is brutally murdered by former supporters to the cheers of the NYC crowd. If you’re at all in touch with conservative politics, you know the list goes on and on. That’s just the problem.
While yes, there have been isolated incidents of violence committed by those on the right, but those sorry displays of misguided fervor pale in comparison both in scope and intensity to those committed by the alt-left. While those acts of violence are both uncommon and roundly condemned by vast majority of conservatives, violent rhetoric and actions have the tacit and not so tacit support of progressives. Malice towards Republicans, especially Trump, is widely and actively expressed by the left, among them was James T. Hodgkinson, who attempted the mass assassination of Republican lawmakers. It was the evil act of an evil man who pursued to the end an evil, malevolent path of hate. It’s a path shared by all too many progressives. While they might not travel it to the farthest destination that Hodgkinson did, they are firmly on it. If they have a shred of decency and civility, they should abandon that path. They can still protest, advocate, speak all they want against Trump or any politician, but if they want to call themselves civilized human beings they will let go of their hate. In short, they need to decide what kind of movement they want progressivism to become; one of malevolence, intolerance and hatred, or one of peace, real progress, and coexistence with those who might disagree with them politically.