Senate

Daniel Gade for the Senate

Featured image Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia will be seeking reelection next year. Many consider him a prohibitive favorite. However, Warner nearly lost in 2014, and might lose this time around if the GOP has a good year. But defeating Warner requires a strong Republican challenger. Until recently, such a challenger was lacking. Scott Taylor, a former congressman, who entered the race in July does not fit that description for the reasons »

McGrath vs. McConnell

Featured image The National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar leads with the ordeal of Kentucky Democratic senatorial candidate Amy McGrath in his National Journal story “It’s not easy being a red-state Democrat.” Politico Playbook gave this concise account of McGrath’s rocky rollout last week, offered here for your entertainment value (emphasis in original): WHAT TEAM MITCH AND THE NRSC ARE SALIVATING OVER — “McGrath flip-flops on whether she would have voted to put Kavanaugh »

Roy Moore will run for the Senate again

Featured image Roy Moore, who lost the Alabama Senate seat to Democrat Doug Jones last year, announced today that he will run again for that seat. Moore’s campaign was derailed by allegations that he dated teenage girls back in the 1970s and assaulted one of them. Moore’s entry will not make President Trump happy. A few weeks ago, Trump tweeted: Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the »

The Consistent Mitch McConnell

Featured image Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ignited a firestorm yesterday at an event in Paducah, Kentucky. McConnell responded to a question from the audience: “Should a Supreme Court justice die next year, what will your position be on filling that spot?” the attendee asked. After a pause, McConnell answered, “Oh, we’d fill it.” Democrats, harkening back to McConnell’s refusal to bring Merrick Garland’s nomination up for a vote during the last »

Trump Jr. agrees to testify

Featured image In this post, I discussed Donald Trump Jr.’s refusal to appear for second time before the Senate Intelligence Committee. I argued that he should testify. Now, following the issuance of a subpoena, Trump Jr. has agreed to testify. Under a deal reached with the Committee, he will testify for up to four hours and questions will be limited to six broad categories, not ten as the Committee contemplated. It’s a »

The Burr-Trump Jr. subpoena dispute

Featured image Many Trump supporters are incensed at Sen. Richard Burr for issuing a subpoena for Donald Trump Jr. to return and testify before the Senate Intelligence which Burr chairs. Here are the facts relating to the subpoena, as I understand them: The Senate Intelligence Committee is conducting an intelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. It is not conducting a criminal investigation, as Robert Mueller was. However, it is »

Estrada’s revenge

Featured image Largely as a result of unprecedented Democratic obstructionism in the United States Senate, President Trump has yet to staff many executive positions in his administration or fill many judicial vacancies. This afternoon comes word that the Republican majority has finally altered Senate rules to reduce debate time on most presidential nominees by reducing post-cloture debate. They have done so by exercising what the media refer to as the “nuclear option” »

Whitehouse’s blacklist

Featured image What is it with Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse? During the Kavanaugh confirmation spectacle, he showed himself to be a killer clown (if you can imagine a killer clown doing his thing with haughty grandiosity). Like the rest of his colleagues on the Democratic side of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the man operates without a conscience. I wrote about him several times in posts collected here. Whitehouse recently turned in »

Valerie Plame for Senate, anyone?

Featured image Isn’t it ironic that, at the same time Robert Mueller completed his investigation of the signature alleged scandal of the Trump presidency, Valerie Plame, the key figure in a Bush era alleged scandal that led to the appointment of a special counsel, is back in the news. Plame moved to New Mexico. Reportedly, she will offer its residents her services as a U.S. Senator. Plame told the Washington Examiner, without »

Washington Post overdoes the gloating

Featured image The Washington Post is pleased as punch that the Senate passed a resolution to overturn President Trump’s national emergency declaration. It gloats (via a headline in the paper edition) that, for Trump, “making it about himself didn’t click with GOP Senators.” According to the Post, Trump’s lobbying effort against the resolution treated the vote “almost exclusively in personal terms.” No surprise there. That’s how Trump treats most things. But the »

Senate rejects border emergency declaration, but not with veto-proof majority

Featured image A dozen Republicans joined Senate Democrats today to overturn President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southwestern border. The vote was 59-41. Trump promptly declared he would veto Congress’ action. With only 59 Senate votes against him, the veto will stick. The 12 Republicans who voted to overturn Trump’s declaration are: Mitt Romney Susan Collins Lamar Alexander Roy Blunt Mike Lee Jerry Moran Lisa Murkowski Rand Paul Rob »

McConnell ready to limit debate to counter Dem obstruction of nominees

Featured image For many months, we (along with many other conservatives) have been urging Senate Republicans to reduce the number of hours permitted to debate nominees. This step is necessary because Senate Democrats have used the 30 hours now permitted to stall nominees. The result is an unacceptable backlog of qualified, confirmable nominees. Consequently, judgeships and key administration jobs remain vacant. Now it finally looks like Majority McConnell will pull the trigger. »

The Klobuchar Kriterion

Featured image Senator Amy Klobuchar — Minnesota’s own presidential candidate — proudly joined all but three of the Senate’s other Democrats to vote yesterday against the confirmation of William Barr as Attorney General. Her tweet below provides the short form of her stated rationale. My statement on AG nominee William Barr: pic.twitter.com/ghbg67uWX8 — Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) February 14, 2019 Klobuchar gave a speech on the floor of the Senate in which she »

Senate confirms William Barr

Featured image The Senate today confirmed William Barr as Attorney General of the United States. Barr will be sworn in this afternoon. The swearing in may have occurred by the time this post goes up. The vote was 54-45. Three Democrats voted to confirm Barr. The three are Joe Manchin, Doug Jones, and Kyrsten Sinema. Rand Paul voted against confirming Barr. Barr served as Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush. Then, »

This just in: No collusion

Featured image Following Brit Hume on Twitter, I learned last week that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr had let on that the committee had found nothing to suggest collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign (tweet below, linking to this CBS News story). Now comes Ken Dilanian’s NBC News story “Senate has uncovered no direct evidence of conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia.” Dilanian labors mightily to keep hope (in “collusion”) »

William Barr, from unanimous Democratic support to none

Featured image Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of William Barr for Attorney General. His nomination now moves to the Senate floor where, in all likelihood, Barr will be confirmed very soon. The vote in the Judiciary Committee was 12-10. Every Democrat on the Committee voted against Barr. This is the same William Barr whom the Senate confirmed unanimously three times during the Reagan-Bush years. The last of these »

Booker’s row with Rao

Featured image I deduced the Booker Doctrine from Senator Cory Booker’s disgusting interrogation of D.C. Circuit nominee Neomi Rao on Tuesday in her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee (video below, transcript here). Under the Booker Doctrine, orthodox Christians and Jews are disqualified from public life because of their adherence to traditional views of sexual morality. If Booker were consistent, the Booker Doctrine doctrine would apply to Muslims as well as »