Senate

Democrats vote to shut government down

Featured image Tonight, the Senate failed to approve a funding bill that would have kept the government fully open and operating for the time being. Nearly every Republican Senator voted for the bill. The only exceptions were two pro-amnesty Senators — Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake — and two anti-spending hardliners — Rand Paul and Mike Lee. Nearly every Democratic Senator voted against the bill. The only exceptions were five Red State »

Reading Glenn Simpson

Featured image It was only last week that Senator Feinstein released the transcript of Glenn Simpson’s interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee staff. There is so much we don’t yet know about the Trump/Russia collusion illusion, this was a notable moment. John took a timeout to read the transcript and post his notes on it here. I also took a timeout with the transcript and posted my notes on it here and »

Notes on the Simpson transcript, cont’d

Featured image Yesterday I posted 15 notes plus an afterthought on the transcript of the Senate Judiciary Committee staff interview of Fusion GPS principal Glenn Simpson. I want briefly to round up my number of notes to 20. 16. The express terms under which Simpson testified do not appear in the transcript. One must infer them from the comments interjected by Simpson’s lawyer at the interview. Certain subjects were off limits. One »

Feinstein posts Simpson transcript

Featured image Senate Judiciary Committee member Dianne Feinstein has released the transcript of Fusion GPS principal Glenn Simpson’s interview this past August 17 and posted it online here. Feinstein released the transcript with the support of committee Democrats acting unilaterally. In doing so, Feinstein and her Democratic colleagues are acting at Simpson’s behest. In his recent New York Times op-ed column (written with his colleague Peter Fritsch), Simpson complained about Republicans’ leak »

Schumer succeeds in obstructing key DOJ nominees

Featured image The Washington Post reports that “nearly a year into President Trump’s administration, the Justice Department lacks Senate-confirmed appointees in leadership posts running the national security, criminal, civil rights and other key divisions.” “The problem shows no sign of abating anytime soon,” the Post adds. The Post is correct. Not only are key leadership posts vacant, but it now appears they will remain vacant until at least the Spring. Moreover, this »

Senator Mitt Romney?

Featured image Sen. Orrin Hatch’s retirement has created a clear and possibly smooth path to the Senate for Mitt Romney. What kind of a Senator would Romney be? I think he would have been a fine president. Constrained by the GOP’s conservative base, Romney likely would have been a solidly conservative president. His mastery of detail and his administrative ability likely would have made him a successful conservative president. Administrative ability counts »

Who will stop the Chai Feldblum express? [UPDATED]

Featured image As we reported last week, President Trump has renominated Chai Feldblum for a third term as EEOC commissioner. Feldblum is a leading gay rights activist and an architect of President Obama’s LGBT agenda, including the notion that denying certain men (biologically speaking) access to women’s restroom facilities is unlawful discrimination. She says that when religious liberty clashes with sexual liberty, religious liberty should almost always lose. The Trump administration wants »

GOP Senators unanimous in support for tax bill

Featured image So reports Jibran Khan at NRO’s Corner. Senators Rubio and Scott have fallen into line, having secured an increase in the child tax credit refund. No surprise there. But here’s a surprise, at least to me. Senator Corker says he will vote for the bill, notwithstanding his concern that it will increase the deficit. He opposed the version initially passed by the Senate due to that concern. Corker called the »

GOP reaches compromise on tax bill; vote expected soon

Featured image Party leaders in the House and Senate agreed in principle to tax reform legislation that bridges the gaps between their competing versions. The leaders of the tax-writing committees in the House and the Senate — Rep. Kevin Brady and Sen. Orrin Hatch — say the final bill is “close” to completion. The Senate seems to have made out better than the House. The New York Times reports that “more of »

Alabama Senate race is even, but may be tilting against Moore [UPDATE: Jones Wins]

Featured image About 85 percent of the vote has been counted in the Alabama Senate race and only a few thousand votes separate the candidates. As I write this, Roy Moore is up by around 5,000 votes. The counties that will deliver most of the as yet uncounted vote are said to be good ones for Doug Jones. That doesn’t mean the precincts in question are pro-Jones, but the smart money seems »

Grasz set to be confirmed [UPDATED]

Featured image Steve Grasz is President Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He’s well qualified for that position, having served for more than a decade as Chief Deputy Attorney General in the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office and having worked for the past 15 years as a litigator with a top Omaha law firm. I discussed his credentials as an appellate and Supreme Court advocate here. However, »

What about Bob?

Featured image A friend writes to raise a question about one of the anomalies in the current sexual misconduct/sexual harassment panic. He observes that in all the discussion of Senator Franken and related issues, it is curious that none of the Democratic senators — not Senator Gillibrand, not Senator Harris, not Senator Klobuchar, not any of the rest — has suggested that Senator Menendez take early retirement. The bribery charges against Senator »

If Roy Moore wins. . .

Featured image Senate Republicans will have decisions to make. First, they must decide what to say. Members who believe the most serious allegations against Moore and don’t think the passage of nearly 40 years matters should feel free to say Moore is unfit for the Senate and thus should resign. Once they say so, they will have done as much as Democrats did to John Conyers and Al Franken. And much more »

“The Democratic Party Is Trash”

Featured image If you thought the Alabama special Senate election couldn’t get any stranger, you were wrong. The race has been upended by a remarkably boneheaded move on the part of Democrat Doug Jones’s campaign. The Jones campaign is being accused of racism: [Jones is] now embroiled an upsetting controversy of his own: Black voters across Alabama are calling out a campaign flyer with extremely racist underpinnings. The Doug Jones for Senate »

The expendable Mr. Franken

Featured image Democratic support for the tenure of Minnesota Senator Al Franken in office died on the vine today. First Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stepped forward to call for Franken’s resignation. Her call was followed by other Democratic women senators with the exception of his colleague Amy Klobuchar, whose help was unnecessary to the task at hand. However, she had been among the first Senators to call for Franken’s case to be remitted »

Senate tax bill has votes to pass

Featured image Senate Republicans have locked down the votes they need to pass their tax bill. The necessary votes were secured when Sens. Jeff Flake, Ron Johnson, and Susan Collins announced their support. Reportedly, only Sen. Bob Corker is a “no.” This means there are 51 votes for the measure. Mike Pence won’t have to break a tie. It’s important to remember that this tax bill is tax reform, not a tax »

The new Al Franken, Part Three

Featured image Paul gave a good account (here and here) of the November 29 Senate Judiciary Committee on the nominations of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit and Kyle Duncan to the Fifth Circuit. I want only to add a few personal notes along with the video of the hearing below. I am a fan and admirer of Justice Stras. He will make a great contribution to the »