Why Not Run For The U.S. Senate In 2020?

With many Democrats gunning for the White House in 2020 (the current count at 20+), the question that is increasingly popping up among grassroots Democrats is why some of these excellent candidates are not running for the U.S. Senate instead?

Every week we get stories from the mainstream media about how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to bring bills passed by House Democrats to a vote in the U.S. Senate. One would think, given these dire circumstances that Democrats would focus heavily on recapturing the U.S. Senate in addition to the White House in 2020. Strangely however, all the talk is about who is running for President, even though as mean as this sounds, some of these potentially excellent Senate candidates have zero chance of securing the Dem presidential nomination.

Yours Truly recently raised this very point on Twitter and the reaction was almost unanimous that some of these Democrats currently gunning for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, should focus instead on taking over the U.S. Senate.

In a recent post, Yours Truly laid out the 22 GOP Senators up for reelection in 2020 and the fact that everything remaining constant, Dems will need to flip at least 3 seats to recapture the U.S. Senate. Senators Susan Collins (Maine), Cory Gardner (Colorado) and by some estimates John Cornyn (Texas) are GOP Senators most pundits think could lose to a Dem opponent in 2020. Why for example shouldn’t John Hickenlooper, who by all accounts is struggling in his presidential campaign, go after Cory Gardner’s Senate seat instead?

The same question applies to Texans Beto O’Rourke and Julian Castro re John Cornyn’s Senate seat, and Montana Governor Steve Bullock re Senator Steve Daines’ seat. Bottom line folks, as the Dem presidential contest chugs along, it would be helpful if the mainstream media, especially the cable TV punditry class starts asking some of the long shot candidates, why they should not be gunning for the U.S. Senate instead? Better yet, this would be an excellent question for the debate moderators at the next Dem debate in Detroit slated for the end of July

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Trump’s Financial Disclosures Are Meaningless

President Trump has repeatedly argued that there is no need for him to release his tax returns because his financial disclosures give us the same information we would obtain from his tax returns. Specifically, Trump argues through his financial disclosure forms that because he is no longer listed as the head of his numerous companies, he doesn’t have any conflict of interest. Well, now we find out courtesy of CNN’s OutFront with Erin Burnett that Trump’s financial disclosures are deceptive and thus meaningless.

Erin Burnett citing a consumer advocacy group Public Citizen said, “Public Citizen did some digging by looking into Trump’s federal financial disclosures and found that Trump did remove his name as the owner of more than 500 assets once he became President but [that is] on paper, not in reality. The Truth, Public Citizen found, the assets Trump transferred ownership to can be traced back to one person and that one person is President Trump…..Which means Trump still has a vested interest in making sure his businesses are doing well, businesses that receive money every single day from people trying to influence or carry favor from the President.”

Bottom line folks, we do not need Erin Burnett to prove to us that Trump is in serious and constant violation of the constitution’s emoluments clause. The clamor for his tax returns should be an issue of the utmost urgency and Congress must deal ruthlessly with corrupt public officials like Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who continue to abuse their positions to hide Trump’s tax returns. Time has come for Congress to exercise its rarely used powers and jail Steven Mnuchin for contempt of Congress!!

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Trump Says Ignoring Congressional Subpoenas Is Criminal

CNN’s OutFront with Erin Burnett yesterday aired a video clip of then presidential candidate Trump railing about the potential consequences of Hillary Clinton ignoring Congressional subpoenas. Trump is apparently on record saying, “You know when you delete something or when you don’t provide the documents requested after you get a subpoena from the United States Congress, that’s a criminal act.” This is shockingly the same conduct President Trump’s administration is currently engaged in, with seemingly not enough outrage from congressional Democrats and the mainstream media.

Bottom line House Democrats need to counter much harder Trump administration’s stone-walling or even outright rejection of congressional subpoenas and this eye-opening video from OutFront CNN showing Trump saying such conduct is criminal should feature prominently in the Dem counter message.

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Trump’s Tariffs Bankrupting Rural Farmers

Rural farmers who overwhelmingly voted for Trump in 2016 in large part due to his promise to “Make Farmers Great Again” are apparently getting crushed by his decision to impose tariffs on China, one of America’s biggest importers of farm produce. In a recent OutFront segment, host Erin Burnett said quoting a Wall Street Journal piece, “Farmer bankruptcy filings in major farm states are now at their highest level in at least a decade.”

When asked by Erin Burnett why Trump is subjecting rural farmers–his core base of supporters–to such economic misery via his tariffs, Kevin Hassett, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers at Trump’s White House responded by saying that even though the farmers are currently getting crushed by the tariffs, Trump is fighting for them and after the trade disputes are settled, the farmers will be better off. In essence, that farmers should hang in there because they will be better off in the long run.

Specifically, Chairman Hassett said, “Trade deals are moving forward, Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Mnuchin are still working on the deal with China, and we’ve got the USMCA deal that can pass and help farmers by opening up markets in Canada and so the President has been fighting for farmers and I think that as the trade deals are realized, we’re going to open up new markets to our farm products and we’ll see if those numbers[bankruptcies] reverse.”

Yours Truly is not an Economics expert and therefore will not weigh the merits and demerits of economist Kevin Hassett’s arguments as to whether rural farmers will be well off in the long run after Trump prevails in his “fight” for them. Reasonable people however will agree that if Trump’s tariffs are indeed forcing rural farmers into bankruptcy at an alarming rate as it is being reported, the bankrupt farmers will not reap any benefits from Trump “winning” any of his trade “fights” with foreign importers. For all we know, the farmers may have to sell their farms to settle their debts.

Bottom line Trump’s tariffs have produced a lot of very angry farmers in America’s heartland. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, just look at the picture below.

As we approach the 2020 elections, Democrats must really work hard to earn the votes of these disgruntled farmers. Maybe, just maybe, these angry farmers are the key to Democrats capturing the House, Senate and the White House in 2020 and beyond. Someone at DNC should be working overtime on a sweet deal for these crushed farmers cheated by Trump and his GOP

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Individuals Shouldering 50% Of Tax Burden, Corporations Only 6%

CNN’s OutFront with Erin Burnett shared some stunning statistics yesterday showing that thanks to Trump’s/GOP’s tax cuts, individuals are now shouldering a staggering 50% of the tax burden as compared to corporations’ only 6%–a totally revolting, even immoral statistic

Erin Burnett posed the question to Kevin Hassett, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers at Trump’s White House, “Individuals are paying all the taxes to subsidize the corporate tax cuts?”

Kevin Hassett’s explanation was that as a result of Trump/GOP tax cuts, there has been a capital spending boom which has resulted in higher wages and therefore higher individual tax contributions. Specifically Hassett said in response to Erin Burnett’s question, “If there’s a big surge in wages, people pay tax on those wages and therefore the share of personal income goes up. So if you have a wage boom then you’re also going to have higher taxes on the personal income side and it’s not like a shocking terrible thing like you[Erin] portray it.”

Yours Truly is not an expert economist and will not play one today by analyzing the merits and demerits of Kevin Hassett’s explanation. Reasonable people will agree however that there’s something inherently wrong when individuals in a country that’s home to some of the world’s richest corporations shoulder 50% of the tax burden while the rich corporations shoulder only 6%.

Bottom line it is the height of inequity, even immorality for individuals in the world’s leading economy to shoulder 50% of the tax burden while corporations–some of the richest in the world–only carry 6%. This speaks of a growing trend among modern Republicans where corporate interests are placed ahead of the people’s welfare. Democrats must highlight this sickening GOP trend as we head towards the 2020 elections and upon winning, work towards a more moral/equitable economy that looks out for working Americans instead of exploiting them as Trump’s economy apparently is.

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Did Russia Funnel Money To TeamTrump Through The NRA?

One of the biggest obstacles for Democrats, especially in the battle for control of State Legislatures has been the powerful gun lobby group National Rifle Association(NRA). Unlike other powerful lobby groups that influence both the Republican and the Democratic Party, the NRA literally has a stranglehold on the Republican party. NRA’s stranglehold on the GOP is so bad, even President Trump recently had to ask GOP Members of Congress not to be “afraid of” the gun lobby group when discussing sensible gun control proposals. Marion Hammer, a powerful NRA lobbyist in Florida for example is so feared by Florida State GOPers, that she’s dubbed “The Real Gov of Florida.” Such is the power the NRA wields over the GOP

https://youtu.be/L6I0zp-lAeo

The troubling news therefore that the FBI is investigating the NRA as a possible vehicle for funnelling Russian money to help Trump in the 2016 elections should be of great concern to Democrats. New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni said on CNN’s Outfront with Erin Burnett that the NRA spent a whopping $30M to help Trump get elected, which is more than they spent the last two Presidential cycles combined. A Russian banker Alexander Torshin who has ties to Putin is an NRA life member and the key suspect in the alleged funnelling scheme. Torshin apparently wanted to create a “back channel” between the Trump Campaign and Russia and one of his associates reportedly told a Trump campaign staffer that “Putin is deadly serious about building a good relationship with Mr. Trump.”(see YouTube video from 14:00 onwards)

Under normal circumstances this would be just another questionable daliance between a powerful U.S. gun lobby group and a foreign financier. However against the backdrop of an ongoing Special Counsel investigation into U.S. election meddling by the Russians, this strange relationship between the NRA and the Putin-allied Russian financier has become a much more serious issue, one that Americans trust Mueller and Co. will get to the bottom of.


It also bears pointing out, as New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni did that Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr, is a major NRA supporter and activist. Trump Jr you’ll remember is already in the middle of a very questionable meeting with Russian lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower. Veselnitskaya has since confessed that she’s an informant for Putin’s Kremlin

Simply put, the NRA-Russia story is a major story that could affect the Dem political fortunes from here on out. According to CNN Political Correspondent Sara Murray, the NRA is privately, very concerned about the FBI’s investigation into its ties to the Russian Banker(vid at 14:00). Obviously we Dems have to be patient and allow the feds to conduct their investigation into the NRA but just like Trump used the ongoing Clinton email probe to hamstring her 2016 campaign, there is no reason why the DNC should not pummel NRA-allied GOP candidates over Russian money as we head to Midterms 2018, the perfect target being Sen Ted Cruz

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You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com