FBI Forwaded Tip Line Complaints About Kavanaugh To White House Counsel Without Investigation

$upport via Cash App

FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared for a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on 08/04/22. One of the most interesting moments in the hearing, especially for Supreme Court enthusiasts like Yours Truly, came during the questioning by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse(D-RI). Senator Whitehouse’s questions focused on the supplemental background investigation (B.I.), the FBI conducted on then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a topic that has been the subject of much speculation on social media.

Senator Whitehouse has been in a battle with FBI Director Wray since 2019, trying to get to the bottom of whether the FBI thoroughly investigated the numerous tips it received from the public regarding then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

This intro by Senator Whitehouse is important for establishing the context for the ensuing questioning: “As you know, we are now entering the fourth year of a frustrating saga that began with an August 2019 letter from me and Senator Coons, regarding the Kavanaugh supplemental background investigation, and I’d like to try to get that matter wrapped up.”

Senator Whitehouse(video at 0:23): “First, is it true that after [Justice] Kavanaugh-related tips were separated from the regular tip line traffic, they were forwarded to White House counsel without investigation?”

Director Wray(0:47): “When it comes to the tip line, we wanted to make sure that the White House had all the information we have, so when the hundreds of calls started coming in, we gathered those up, reviewed them, and provided them to the White House.”

At that point Senator Whitehouse interjected, “Without investigation”, to which Director Wray responded, “We reviewed them and then provided them to the White House.”

Sen. Whitehouse:“You reviewed them for the purposes of separating them from the tip line traffic, but did not further investigate the ones that related to Kavanaugh, correct?”

Director Wray:“Correct.”

Senator Whitehouse: “Is it also true that in that supplemental B.I., the FBI took directions from the White House as to whom the FBI would question, and even what questions the FBI could ask?”

Director Wray:“It is true that consistent with the longstanding process that we have had going all the way back to at least the Bush administration, the Obama administration, the Trump administration, and continue to follow currently under the Biden administration, that in a limited supplemental B.I., we take direction from the requesting entity which in this case, was the White House, as to what follow up they want. That’s the direction we followed, that’s the direction we’ve consistently followed throughout the decades, frankly.”

Director Wray went on to add, “It is true as to the ‘who’, I’m not sure as I sit here, whether it’s also true as to the ‘what questions’, but it is true as to the ‘who’ we interviewed.” In other words Director Wray agreed that in a supplemental B.I., it is true that the White House tells the FBI who to question, he’s just not sure yet, whether the White House also tells the FBI what questions to ask the people they question.

Senator Whitehouse:“By the way, is it true that even today we have not been provided by the FBI, it’s written tip line procedures?”

Director Wray: “Senator, I know that we have provided a lot of information to the committee and to you. I would have to check on that specific item. I know there is some information that you have requested that is not our call to provide, that has to do with interaction, communication with the White House.”

There’s no other way to interpret Director Wray’s responses to Senator Whitehouse’s questions other than (I’ll be happy to stand corrected of course), during the highly contentious Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, the complaints the FBI received through its tip line regarding Kavanaugh, were not investigated by the FBI, but instead, forwarded to the White House Counsel. The White House Counsel then told the FBI who among the complainants, the FBI was to question, and possibly, even what questions to ask them.

Folks, no reasonable person presented with this information can ever conclude that the supplemental background investigation into Kavanaugh was “thorough”, as had been portrayed by Senate Republicans during his confirmation hearings. Director Wray argues that this is the same supplemental B.I. process the FBI has used for decades, but as we all know, none of Kavanaugh’s predecessors faced as many serious complaints about their character, requiring a thorough independent investigation. So, while Director Wray raises a valid point regarding consistent FBI practice, reasonable people will agree that Kavanaugh’s case was markedly different, and called for a thorough investigation by the FBI.

Bottom line folks, we’ll wait for Senator Whitehouse’s final report on this issue. As he indicated to Director Wray, he’ll give the FBI one more month to comply with his information requests, after which he will produce a final report on the Kavanaugh supplemental B.I. saga. One only hopes that if Senator Whitehouse’s investigation reveals that there were serious credible allegations against Kavanaugh that went uninvestigated, then an independent investigation will be launched into them immediately.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out. You may also Cash App

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

Senator Mitch McConnell Discusses Inflation Reduction Bill On Fox News’ Special Report Show

$upport via Cash App

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appeared on Fox News Special Report w/Bret Baier (08/03/22) to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act currently being negotiated in the U.S. Senate. Senator McConnell said he found the way Democrats characterized the bill “laughable”, because in his opinion, the bill actually increases inflation. Senate Democrats appear poised to approve the measure on a straight party vote.

Senator McConnell said this about the Inflation Reduction Act (0:27): “First, I think all of us were somewhat shocked by Senator Manchin’s reversal of positions he’d taken as recently as last week, against raising taxes. This raises taxes, it increases the burden of taxation on lower income people significantly. Calling it inflation reduction bill is rather laughable. Independent analysis indicates it actually increases inflation in the next two years, and may have an impact over ten years, and their policies from last year have already produced 40-year high inflation, so it’s a terrible package. It appears as if they are all in line, but one, it will be up to Senator Sinema from Arizona, who’s quite independent, to determine what the final contours of the bill are.”

Asked about the charge by irate Republicans, that he was “played” by Democrats regarding the reconciliation bill, McConnell responded (1:28): “Reconciliation is something done by one party only. There’s nothing we could have done to prevent the Democrats from doing a bill that only they will vote for, so it’s not a question of being played here, what’s the story line here is that Senator Manchin had agreed to something that he had said publicly and privately over the last two weeks that he would never agree to. We’re not involved in the reconciliation bill. There won’t be a single Republican vote for it. There’s nothing we could do to deter it, other than to criticize it publicly, and that’s what we’re doing right here.”

Host Bret Baier then cornered Senator McConnell with a very interesting question as to why he has repeatedly cited renowned economists Larry Summers and Jason Furman on ways to tackle the current record inflation, yet now he refuses to follow their advice that the Inflation Reduction Act will help reduce inflation? Senator McConnell accused the economists of trying to appease President Biden. He specifically said (2:41):“The quotes they used me in, were Summers’ observations about what they [Biden Administration] did last year. Two trillion dollars they dumped on the economy, that both Furman and Summers predicted would produce rampant inflation, and it did. What they’ve done this year is kind of fall in line, and I assume they wanted to get back on the White House Christmas card list, but people who are not active Democrats, independent observers have said it has no impact on inflation, at all, over the long term, and actually increases it slightly in the short term. So Furman and Summers were certainly helpful as active Democrats in describing last year’s bill, but this year they’re sort of falling in line because I think they want to get back in the good grace of the White House.”

Asked about criticism from House Republicans, some of whom don’t want him as Senate Majority Leader any more, over what they perceive as him being “played” repeatedly by Democrats, and making President Biden look good, McConnell responded(3:55): “Well, I guess they’ve forgotten the Supreme Court that I’ve helped usher into–three new Supreme Court justices, the 2017 tax bill…I think just because you have closely divided government doesn’t mean you do nothing. The past two administrations tried to achieve bipartisan infrastructure, didn’t get it done, we needed to rescue the post office. Just because it’s a Democrat in the White House, I don’t think means Republicans should do nothing that’s good for the country. In the meantime, on the big issues, we are totally opposed to what this administration is trying to do, but on things like school safety, mental health, infrastructure, postal reform, why would we not want to make progress for the country no matter who’s in the White House?”

Asked about reservation by some Republicans, that expanding NATO to include Sweden and Finland, increases the likelihood of sending our troops into combat in Europe, Sen McConnell responded (5:08): “The NATO alliance is the most successful military alliance in world history. The way to prevent Americans from having to actively get involved in combat is to prevent it in the first place, and that’s what NATO is about. It won the cold war without firing a single shot. Putin has succeeded not only in actually expanding NATO and making it even more effective as a deterrent. Remember Reagan said peace through strength, and that’s what NATO is all about, and that’s why Finland and Sweden add a lot to NATO.”

Asked to pick between the Russia-Ukraine war, and the situation at our southern border, which one was a bigger national security threat to the United States, McConnell said both were threats that needed to be dealt with seriously–probably not the answer Fox News viewers obsessed with the southern border, wanted to hear.

Importantly, when asked about his earlier prediction that there would be a “red wave” in this year’s midterm elections, McConnell appears to have had a change of mind (probably due to Kansas), saying now that it will be a “very tight” election. McConnell specifically said (7:02): “I think it’s going to be very tight, we have a 50-50 Senate now, we have a 50-50 nation, and I think when the Senate race smoke clears, we are likely to have a very, very close Senate still, with either up slightly, or the Democrats up slightly”–a far cry from the “red wave” talk we heard earlier in the year from McConnell and his fellow Republicans.

Asked about the Kansas abortion vote heard around the world, McConnell responded (7:35): “I think what the Supreme Court has done is said people who are elected by the American people are going to deal with this highly sensitive issue, and it will be playing out all year, and I don’t think we really know until the end of the year, what kind of an impact putting this issue back into the hands of those of us who are elected, as opposed to nine unelected judges, will have on the country. We’re in the process of finding that out…It tells us that there are a lot of people interested in the issue in Kansas, there’s no question about that.”

Asked whether he would survive his leadership role if “Trumpified” candidates(J.D. Vance, Oz, Blake Masters, Ted Budd etc) win this November, Sen McConnell responded (8:37): “I’ve been elected eight times without opposition. I don’t own this job, and there’s always an election every two years for leader. If anybody wants to challenge me, have at it.” McConnell added that he will still hang on as Minority Leader if Republicans don’t take over the Senate this Fall.

Asked whether, given his lengthy career in the U.S. Senate, there is a single issue the modern Republican Party gets right, which the old Republican Party got wrong, McConnell was all over the place. He didn’t give an answer that specifically answered the question.

Bottom line folks, the key takeaway from Senator McConnell’s interview on Fox News is that the “red wave” fantasy is gone. Republicans now acknowledge that even with the challenging economic times, and President Biden’s low approval numbers, the 2022 midterm elections will be very competitive. Reasonable politicos will agree that given historical trends re midterms, the fact that Dems are even still in the ball game, tells you all you need to know about the state of affairs at Trump’s GOP. 

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out. You may also Cash App

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

Senator Lindsey Graham Labels Liberal SCOTUS Critics “Constitutional Anarchists”

$upport via Cash App

Senator Lindsey Graham(R-SC), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, appeared on Fox News Sunday(06/26/22) to discuss the bombshell Supreme Court decision striking down the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision which made abortion legal in the United States. Sen Graham lashed out at liberals angered by the high court’s decision, and using it as a basis to call for the high court’s reform/expansion, calling them “constitutional anarchists”.

He said the court’s decision in Roe was a result of 50 years of painstaking work at the ballot box by Republicans, urging Democrats to do the same if they want favorable outcomes from the high court–essentially admitting(whether he realized it, or not), that after 50 years, Republicans have successfully politicized the United States Supreme Court to their advantage.

Sen Graham said(video at 1:25):“This is a huge victory for the pro-life movement. President Trump deserves a lion share of credit here. He fought like a tiger to put three constitutional conservative judges on the court. He stood behind Kavanaugh, and all of us who’ve been working for the last 50 years to get this right, to have a constitutional reset, Friday was a glorious day…When Roe came down[1973], we didn’t burn down the Capitol as conservatives, we didn’t go to liberal justices’ homes and try to intimidate them. The radical left are constitutional anarchists. They are literally trying to change this country from top to bottom. They want to pack the court because they don’t like this decision. they want to abolish the electoral college so California and New York can pick the president in perpetuity…So these constitutional anarchists, here’s my advise to you. Quit trying to burn down America, and work like we did in the fields. Elect people who agree with you at the ballot box…This was worn through the ballot box by conservatives, and we’re not going to let liberals intimidate the rule of law system to take it away from us.”

Asked whether the Roe decision will become the biggest issue in this year’s midterms, Senator Graham disagreed, saying it will be inflation and high gas prices. He then quickly reverted to his constitutional anarchist theme saying(video at 4:42):“For all of you who’ve been working for 50 years to elect members of the House and the Senate and presidents that would put constitutional conservatives on the court, your day finally arrived. And to the left, the way you do this, is to do what we did. You take it to the ballot box, you don’t try to destroy America. These constitutional anarchists like AOC have to be dealt with, and there will be a backlash against this effort to intimidate our judges.”

It bears pointing out that Senator Graham has a history of, for lack of better words, freaking out, every time calls for court reform/expansion come up, so this should not surprise anybody. Evidently the global blowback following the Roe decision has renewed his fears, leading to his constitutional anarchist charge.

Bottom line folks, Sen Graham can cry all he wants about calls for Supreme Court reform by liberals. The fact of the matter is that public confidence in the Roberts Supreme Court is at an all-time low. That in itself, should be grounds for a serious debate into whether the high court is out of touch with the beliefs of a vast majority of Americans. Yours Truly also hopes that given what we witnessed on January 6th 2021, someone in the media, or TeamAOC, would ask Sen Graham exactly what he means when he says, “These constitutional anarchists like AOC have to be dealt with…”

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out. You may also Cash App

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

Senator Mike Lee Says He Reached Out To State Legislators Re 2020 Elections To Clarify Rumors, Not To Influence Them

$upport via Cash App

Senator Mike Lee(R-UT) appeared on Fox News Sunday(06/19/22) to discuss the floundering bipartisan gun control negotiations currently going on in the Senate in the wake of the horrific shooting at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 children and two of their teachers dead. The interview then turned to the January 6th investigation, and specifically, Senator Lee’s alleged involvement in efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. When host Shannon Bream asked Senator Lee about claims that he was involved in the scheme to create fake Trump electors in the states, Senator Lee gave a very interesting response. He said he reached out to legislators in various states only to clarify certain rumors about efforts to withdraw or reallocate electors, but denied ever trying to influence any of them to create fake electors for Trump.

The question now is whether the January 6th Committee will take Sen. Lee’s assertion as the truth, or dig deeper to find out whether he did indeed pressure state legislators on Trump’s behalf, conduct that constitutes a crime in most states.

Host Shannon Bream(video at 6:04):“Your own text messages have come up with respect to Mark Meadows. They’ve been highlighted. Here’s what the Salt Lake Tribune said about that…’New court filings raise questions about Sen. Mike Lee’s involvement in attempts to overturn the 2020 election.’ Your response?”

Senator Mike Lee:“Well, first of all,look, I knew how bad Joe Biden would be as President. I knew what a disaster he would be in the Oval Office, and there were some uncertainty in the wake of the election. As we approached the end of December, there were rumors that continued to circulate, suggesting that some states were going to be reallocating, withdrawing and reallocating their electoral votes. Because Congress has a role in that, and I as a Senator would be required to certify those, I wanted to find out. So I communicated with Mark Meadows to try to find out whether the rumors were true. I couldn’t get answers, so I reached out to state lawmakers in various states, not trying to influence anyone, simply trying to find out whether the rumors were true. The rumors weren’t true, no state had any intention of withdrawing it’s slate of electoral votes, that made it an easy decision on my part to vote to certify the results of the election.”

There’s no other way to interpret Senator Lee’s remarks on Fox News Sunday other than(I’ll be happy to stand corrected of course), he admits reaching out to state legislators in various states regarding electoral college votes, but that his outreach was only limited to his desire to clarify some rumors. He never influenced any of the state legislators to come up with a scheme to create fake electors for Trump.

Any reasonable person presented with Senator Lee’s explanation–that his outreach to state legislators was only limited to clarifying some electoral college rumors–will take issue with it, and at the very least, would be inclined to apply some “trust but verify” principle to it. Hopefully, this is exactly what the January 6th Committee will do with Senator Lee’s explanation.

Asked whether he would sit down and talk to the January 6th Committee if asked, Sen. Lee responded:“Oh sure…I’d always be willing to talk if they want to talk.”

Bottom line folks, efforts by Senator Mike Lee and his sidekick Senator Ted Cruz(R-TX) to overturn the 2020 election results, deserve further scrutiny by the mainstream media, now that the January 6th investigation is heating up. Hopefully the January 6th Committee will take Senator Lee up on his offer to sit down with them, because something tells me his explanation, that he reached out to legislators in various states only to clarify some rumors, will be debunked. The Committee should do the same for Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham(R-SC), who have similar charges leveled against them. Simply put, the public is hungry for suit-and-tie insurrectionists to also face the music for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out. You may also Cash App

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

Ingraham-Ted Cruz SCOTUS Ultimatum: Strike Down Roe v Wade Or Face Limited Jurisdiction

$upport via Cash App

Senator Ted Cruz(R-TX) appeared on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle show (12/1/21) to discuss the Mississippi abortion law currently playing out at the United States Supreme Court. Conservatives consider this Mississippi law their best shot at dealing a fatal blow to the 1973 Roe v Wade decision which legalized abortion, given the fact that they now enjoy a 6-3 advantage on the high court. What caught Yours Truly’s attention from the interview however, was the very direct way(not subtle any more) both Senator Cruz and host Laura Ingraham, a very influential Republican in her own right, expect, even demand that the conservative Supreme Court justices toe the conservative ideological line. As a matter of fact, Ingraham and Senator Cruz went as far as laying an ultimatum to the six conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court: Strike down Roe v Wade or suffer the consequences of a limited jurisdiction court.

During the interview, as Senator Cruz was going on and on about why he thought the conservative Supreme Court would uphold the Mississippi abortion law, host Laura Ingraham interjected: “Senator if we have six Republican appointees on this court, after all the money that’s been raised, the Federalist Society, all these big fat cat dinners, I’m sorry, I’m pissed about this. If this court, with six justices cannot do the right thing here, the constitutional thing, then I think it’s time to do what Robert Bork said we should do, which is to circumscribe the jurisdiction of this court, and they want to blow it up, then that’s the way to change things finally because this can’t stand. This is insane.”

A concurring Senator Cruz responded: “I would do that in a heartbeat. As you know, the constitution gives Congress the authority to restrict the jurisdiction of the court, I think we should do that…”

There’s no other way any reasonable person would interpret Senator Cruz’s interaction with Fox News host Laura Ingraham other than Republicans have for decades, organized and raised large sums of money through the Federalist Society and others, to put like-minded justices on the United States Supreme Court, for the express purpose of overturning Roe v Wade, and for the high court to generally act as a rubber stamp for other Republican Party/conservative ideals. What Senator Cruz and Ingraham are expressly conveying to the six conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court is pretty clear, and that is, they better toe the Republican Party line by striking down Roe v Wade, or else suffer the consequences of a limited jurisdiction Supreme Court–have their powers reduced.

This direct threat Senator Cruz and Ingraham leveled at the conservative justices of the U.S. Supreme Court confirms what liberals have argued all along, and that is, the U.S. Supreme Court as is currently constituted, six conservatives and three liberals, is for all intents and purposes, a political court. This is especially so when one considers the egregious conduct of then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY), who robbed President Obama of an opportunity to fill the late Justice Scalia’s seat using the bogus “election year” rationale. Sen McConnell then turned around and abandoned his “election year” rationale in late 2020, to rush through the confirmation of Trump’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ginsburg. Simply put, the conservative Roberts Supreme Court has become a political body, whether or not the justices want to acknowledge that fact.

Bottom line folks, this ultimatum by Senator Cruz and Ingraham should put to rest this myth that the 6-3 Roberts Supreme Court is some apolitical body, only interested in deciding cases on their legal merits. Republicans have fought for decades, and have succeeded in installing justices they are sure, will tow the GOP line. Now they expect/are demanding results, beginning with Roe v Wade. The only question remaining should be how we free the U.S. Supreme Court from it’s GOP captors, and revert it back to it’s proper realm, as the premier legal institution in America. One possible solution would be to expand the court.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out. You may also Cash App

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

Senator Kyrsten Sinema Addresses Criticism By Progressives Over BIF And Build Back Better

$upport via Cash App

Senator Kyrsten Sinema(D-AZ) in an interview with Arizona’s ABC 15(11/19/21)

***Updated 12/3/21 to include Sen Sinema’s interview with CNN’s Lauren Fox***

On the day the House passed the Build Back Better Act(Nov 19), Senator Kyrsten Sinema(D-AZ) sat down for an interview with Arizona’s ABC 15(KNXV), to discuss what lies ahead for the historic bill in the Senate. It is no secret that a lot of Democrats, especially Progressive Democrats, have been very upset with Senators Sinema and Joe Manchin(D-WV), over what they perceive as a coordinated effort by the two Senators to derail President Biden’s legislative agenda.

Asked by the ABC 15‘s host about the sharp, even personal criticism she regularly receives from Progressives regarding her perceived obstruction of the Build Back Better Act and other key Democratic legislative proposals(voting rights etc), Senator Sinema responded: “When I first was elected to head to Washington DC and represent Arizona about 9 years ago, I promised to be a work horse, not a show horse, and that’s exactly what I’ve done over these last 9 years. In the 3 years that I’ve served in the United States Senate, I’ve been known for just putting my head down and doing the work. And my experience is, if you want to negotiate and get to an agreement on difficult topics, the best way to do that is to build trust, and when you’re building trust with someone, you work one on one, you solve the problem, you stay focused, and you don’t get distracted by the noise outside. Now, I know that a lot of folks wanted to hear that noise outside, but they probably didn’t have the same goal as me, which is to negotiate and pass a historic infrastructure bill into law, and I guess I would just say the proof is in the pudding. Here we are today, the bill has become law, and we move on to the next topic, which is to implement it for the benefit of every day Arizonans. So while there are some who may not like this approach, it works, and I think it represents what Arizonans elected me to do, which is to put my head down, get the work done, and deliver results for every day families. “

There’s no other way to interpret Senator Sinema’s response, especially her work horse versus show horse analogy, other than she looks at her Progressive critics as a bunch of drama kings/queens who are either unwilling or unable to do the hard work of negotiating with the opposing party(Republicans)to advance legislation. Senator Sinema added that her approach, which involves quietly negotiating with Republicans produces results, as opposed to the unproductive “noise” which she attributed to Progressives.

In what could turn out to be a problem for the Build Back Better Act in the Senate, Senator Sinema later in the interview, raised concerns about the bill worsening the already alarming inflation problem. It’s highly likely that Senator Manchin will also raise similar inflation concerns, which may lead to the gutting of some popular Progressive items like paid family leave from the Build Back Better Act. A gutted Build Back Better Act may prove non-palatable to House Progressives thereby killing the bill, or extending it’s passage well into 2022, a tough election year for Democrats.

Bottom line folks, it was good to see Senator Sinema, often shrouded in secrecy, talking extensively to the media about her stance on the Build Back Better Act and other issues important to her constituents. Hopefully this is the beginning of a more “public” Senator Sinema.

Senator Sinema has since sat down with CNN’s Lauren Fox(12/2/21) where she expressed similar reservations about the House-passed Build Back Better Act

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

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

Extreme Gerrymandering In Ohio Called Out

$upport via Cash App

CNN’s Reality Check w/John Avlon did a segment(11/19/21) featuring an extreme gerrymandering case currently playing out in Ohio. Back in 2018, Ohio voters overwhelmingly backed(75%) an amendment to the state’s constitution that would ensure redistricting was carried out in a bipartisan fashion. Ohio’s congressional district maps were to be drawn by a bipartisan 7-member redistricting commission. The idea behind a bipartisan redistricting commission was quite simple–to create competitive district maps which would in turn reduce political polarization. Basically, politicians will shy away from radical ideas/conduct if they know they can be easily beaten at the polls.

Well, it turns out Ohio Republicans have since reneged on their support for a bipartisan redistricting commission, and are now using the Republican-led state legislature to come up with an extremely gerrymandered map, one that will give them a 13-2 advantage in congressional seats(86%R-14%D), even though Trump’s 2020 win in Ohio was only 53%-45%. No reasonable person would ever conclude that Ohio is an 86R-14D state, yet this is exactly what the new congressional map being pushed by state Republicans attempts to achieve–a total fraud and willful disenfranchisement of Democratic-leaning voters.

Even more repugnant is the way the Republican-led Ohio state legislature ended up being responsible for drawing the congressional maps. According to John Avlon, Republican members of the bipartisan redistricting commission simply refused to show up for duty, thereby crippling the commission because it was unable to convene meetings. With the bipartisan commission deliberately crippled, the redistricting job fell back to the partisan Ohio legislature, which drew the extremely gerrymandered map–a sad state of affairs indeed.

John Avlon said: “Ohio Republicans just decided to disregard the state constitution and the will of the voters. A seven-member redistricting commission had a month to work on a fair map, but Republican members refused to participate, and so the commission couldn’t convene. The power to draw the lines fell back to the Republican-controlled state assembly, who proceeded to do exactly what the constitutional amendment forbade. They cracked and packed minority communities, dividing counties and cities for their own partisan advantage. For example, Hamilton County, home to Cincinnati, which voted for[President] Biden by a 16-point margin, will be divided into 3 congressional districts, with Black voters offset by White Republicans.”

This is just the latest example of how state Republicans are actively disenfranchising Democratic-leaning/minority voters while Democrats in Washington are still dithering over abolishing the filibuster, and coming up with a federal voting rights law. A federal voting rights law is the only solution to the rampant GOP gerrymandering.

Bottom line folks, time is of the essence. Democrats need to abolish the filibuster immediately and pass a federal voting rights law. The two Senate holdouts, Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, must be confronted with this troubling Ohio gerrymandering case, and be forced to explain why a filibuster carve out for a federal voting legislation is not the appropriate way to go, given the dire circumstances.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

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

Damning Senate Report Provides Sufficient Grounds For Trump’s Criminal Prosecution In Georgia

A newly released, and damning report by the Senate Judiciary Committee, shows the extent to which former U.S. Attorney General William Barr and other top officials at the Department of Justice(DOJ), abused their positions to further former President Trump’s false claims that the 2020 elections were rigged against him. Crucially, the Senate report shows that Trump and his DOJ allies focused heavily on the state of Georgia. You’ll remember that in early 2021, Fulton County DA Fani Willis launched an investigation into whether Trump’s phone calls to Georgia election officials pressuring them to overturn the Georgia election results, violated Georgia law.

Shortly after the Fulton County DA bombshell, there were media reports that a senior DOJ official, one Jeffrey Clark, went as far as drafting a letter that was supposed to be sent out to the Georgia legislature saying that the election results were under investigation, a move that would have given pro-Trump Georgia legislators an excuse not to certify the state’s election results. Even though Clark’s letter never went out, it’s mere presence raised a lot of questions as to whether DOJ resources were being abused to further Trump’s lies about election fraud.

Reasonable people will agree that this newly released, damning Senate Judiciary Committee report, bolsters the case for Trump’s criminal prosecution by the Fulton County DA’s office. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, listen to what the esteemed Senator from Rhode Island said on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show.

Sen Whitehouse told Maddow: “I think there are three really key takeaways from this[Senate report]. First, is a very simple, one and that is how deeply, personally involved President Trump was in all of this–meetings, and phone calls, and contacts, Oval Office –he was neck deep in this personally. So that would be point one. Point two would be how much of the scheme focused on Georgia. The letter was about Georgia, the schemes to maneuver U.S. Attorney [B.J.]Pak out of Georgia were up his sleeve about Georgia, and it supplements whatever investigative materials the Fulton County DA, DA Willis, is pulling together to look at Trump’s effort to subvert the election in Georgia. So it ties together into what could be a very interesting case in the Fulton County DA’s office…”

There’s no other way any reasonable person could interpret Senator Whitehouse’s statements on The Rachel Maddow Show other than, the combination of Trump’s phone calls to Georgia election officials, plus the damning Senate Judiciary Committee report showing Trump’s effort to use the DOJ to overturn the state’s election results, provide enough legal justification for a criminal prosecution by the Fulton County DA’s office. The only reason Sen Whitehouse stopped short of saying so explicitly on Maddow’s show, is because there are constraints as to what he can discuss publicly about this issue, given his role as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Bottom line folks, Trump’s harassing phone calls to Georgia election officials, plus his efforts to use the DOJ to overturn Georgia’s election results, provide more than enough legal justification for his criminal prosecution by the Fulton County DA’s office. The only question left is whether DA Fani Willis will for the first time, make Trump face consequences for his misdeeds.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

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

Handy List Of The 20 GOP Senators Up For Reelection In 2022

$upport via Cash App

The 2022 midterm elections are fast approaching and Democrats cannot afford to lose both the House and the Senate to the GOP. Midterm elections traditionally favor the party out of power, so it’s reasonable to assume that Republicans have a good shot of recapturing both the House and the Senate in 2022. Recapturing the House especially favors Republicans given the fact that Republican-controlled states currently have an advantage when in comes to redistricting–they can add/redraw more congressional districts than Democrats.

Democrats however, cannot afford to lose the Senate, which is not affected by the redistricting process. If Democrats lose both the House and Senate in 2022, the Biden presidency will for all intents and purposes be over–at least until the 2024 general elections. Republicans are already abusing the filibuster to stifle President Biden’s legislative agenda, even without control of either chamber (House or Senate), so one can just imagine how reckless they will be, if they take over both the House and the Senate in 2022. Simply put, they will block all of President Biden’s legislative proposals and judicial nominations until the 2024 elections. The upcoming 2022 elections are therefore crucially important for the Biden-Harris agenda.

34 U.S. Senate seats are up in 2022. Out of these 34, 20 are currently held by Republicans, and 14 by Democrats. The map below gives a breakdown of the states where the 34 Senate elections will be held in 2022.

Republican Senators whose seats are up in 2022 include Richard Shelby(AL), Roy Blunt(MO), Rob Portman(OH), Pat Toomey(PA), Richard Burr(NC)–all of whom are retiring(open seats)–plus Lisa Murkowski(AL), Marco Rubio(FL), John Boozman(AR), Mike Crapo(ID), Todd Young(IN), Chuck Grassley(IA), Jerry Moran(KS), Rand Paul(KY), John Neely Kennedy(LA), John Hoeven(ND), James Lankford(OK), Tim Scott(SC), John Thune(SD), and Mike Lee(UT), Ron Johnson(WI)

Democrats are Mark Kelly(AZ), Alex Padilla(CA), **KDH SEAT, Michael Bennet(CO), Richard Blumenthal(CT), Raphael Warnock(GA), Brian Schatz(HI), Tammy Duckworth(IL), Chris Van Hollen(MD), Catherine Cortez Masto(NV), Maggie Hassan(NH), Charles Schumer(NY), Ron Wyden(OR), Patrick Leahy(VT) and Patty Murray(WA).

The U.S. Senate is currently tied at 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans so neither party can afford to lose a seat in 2022. Democrats have a good shot at picking up the open Pennsylvania seat, where incumbent Republican Pat Toomey is retiring. President Biden won Pennsylvania in 2020. Based on a recent Iowa poll showing unfavorable numbers for incumbent Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Senate seat may also be a potential pickup for Democrats. These two pickups for Democrats, would make up for the two Senate seats where they have the biggest vulnerability–Warnock’s Georgia seat, and Mark Kelly’s Arizona seat. While President Biden won both Georgia and Arizona in 2020, these two states have traditionally voted Republican in statewide elections.

Bottom line folks, even though the game plan for Democrats heading into the 2022 elections should be to retain both the House and Senate, special emphasis must be placed on retaining the Senate. Simply put, if the Biden-Harris administration is to survive beyond 2022, Dems must retain the Senate.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out. You may also Cash App

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

A Handy List Of 43 GOP Senators Who Voted To Acquit Trump Of Inciting DC Insurrection

The U.S. Senate voted Saturday February 13th, to acquit former President Donald J. Trump of inciting the January 6th 2021 insurrection in Washington DC, which led to five deaths, including two Capitol police officers, and an interruption of a live joint session of Congress. The incident, which mostly played out on live TV, will forever remain one of the lowest points of American democracy because it shattered one of the globally revered cornerstones of American democracy–that regardless of who wins the election, one could always bet on a peaceful transfer of power.

While generally acknowledging that former President Trump did indeed incite the violent mob that descended upon the Capitol building as alleged in his House impeachment, 43 Republican Senators still voted to acquit him, hiding behind the jurisdictional argument that because Trump was no longer in office, the U.S. Senate had no jurisdiction over his trial. In other words, they acquitted Trump because they argued that because he had already left office, his entire Senate trial was unconstitutional–a very shaky legal argument.

It bears pointing out that Trump’s impeachment by the House for inciting DC insurrection happened on January 13 2021, while he was still in office. The House sent the impeachment papers a few days later to the U.S. Senate, then under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. There was enough time for the Senate, then under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to commence a Senate trial while Trump was still in office. Instead, McConnell made sure there would be no Senate trial until after Trump’s term expired on Jan 20, 2021. So it’s quite disingenuous and insulting for Senator McConnell and his fellow Republicans who voted to acquit Trump, to now turn around and hide behind a jurisdictional loophole that they manufactured. The fact of the matter remains that Senate Republicans knew full well that Trump’s incitement of the DC riots was an impeachable offense, so they created the jurisdictional loophole they could hide behind, as they carried out their goal from the beginning–acquit Trump at all costs.

After the Senate vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement which correctly summed up the decision by Republican Senators to acquit Trump:“Today an overwhelming bipartisan vote to convict Donald Trump speaks to the courage of the United States Senate.  I salute the Republican Senators who voted their conscience and for our Country.  Other Senate Republicans’ refusal to hold Trump accountable for igniting a violent insurrection to cling to power will go down as one of the darkest days and most dishonorable acts in our nation’s history.”

Because we totally agree with Speaker Pelosi that the decision by these 43 GOP Senators to acquit Trump of inciting DC insurrection “will go down as one of the darkest days and most dishonorable acts in our nation’s history“, we have to do our traditional name and shame for the sake of future generations. When our children and grandchildren read in History textbooks, that a group of U.S. Senators decided to acquit a U.S. President, even after he incited an insurrection which led to a mob storming the U.S. Capitol, leaving five people dead, it is only fair that they also see the names and faces of the shameful U.S. Senators behind such a horrendous decision. Here’s a handy list of the 43 shameful GOP Senators.

Bottom line folks, as horrible as Trump’s acquittal verdict was to people who love democracy worldwide, there may be a silver lining where Democrats are concerned. Yours Truly has repeatedly stated that the increasing radicalization of the Republican party could provide an opening for Democrats to go after corporations that traditionally sponsor the GOP. A healthy two-party system is good for American democracy, but given everything we’ve witnessed so far with the GOP under Trump, it is debatable whether the GOP is even a political party anymore. This was true even before DC insurrection, but now it is totally impossible to ignore the issue. The radicalization within the GOP under Trump has gotten so bad, that some establishment Republicans are already mulling branching away to form a reasonable “center-right” party. As we approach the 2022 elections, Democrats should seriously pressure corporations that traditionally donate to Republicans, by asking them to justify their continued funding of a party that has basically devolved into a Trump cult. Maybe, just maybe, guilt tripping major corporations into starving Trump’s GOP of major $$$, especially after DC insurrection, is the best way of slapping the Party of Lincoln back to normalcy.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

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