Thursday, July 27, 2017

Trump Is Making No Friends On Capitol Hill-- And That Could Hurt In An Impeachment Trial


It's widely acknowledged that McConnell and the Trump Regime bribed Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to change her vote on the motion to proceed with TrumpCare, after all her self-congratulatory comments to West Virginia voters about how she would protect them-- even if she had to be the deciding vote to thwart the plan to kick tens of millions of Americans off healthcare. Instead she was the deciding vote in the opposite direction. Somehow, though, the same tactics didn't work on Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. She stuck to her guns. And now Trump is in full attack mode against her-- and Alaska!

Keep in mind, Murkowski isn't up for reelection until 2022, when Trump is likely to be out of office, possibly in prison, certainly in disgrace. He can't threaten her electorally the way he's been able to threatening three GOP cowards, Dean Heller (R-NV), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Jeff Flake (R-NV) each of whom is up for reelection in 2018... and vulnerable. Erica Martinson's story today for Alaska Dispatch News, Trump administration threatens retribution against Alaska over Murkowski health votes, set the tone for national coverage. Trump is booking for revenge and he "isn't going to just let go of Sen. Lisa Murkowski's no vote on Tuesday's health care. Early Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to express displeasure with Murkowski's vote. By that afternoon, each of Alaska's two Republican senators had received a phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting them know the vote had put Alaska's future with the administration in jeopardy. The response follows Trump's no-holds-barred style of governing, even when it comes to his own party. It is his first strike of retaliation against Murkowski, however, despite her tendency to stray from the party line and the president's priorities."

That's typical of the mobster mentality that governs the thuggish, anti-democratic Trumpanzee Regime that Zinke chose to be part of and ruin his own reputation. Alaska's other senator, Dan Sullivan "said the call from Zinke heralded a 'troubling message. I'm not going to go into the details, but I fear that the strong economic growth, pro-energy, pro-mining, pro-jobs and personnel from Alaska who are part of those policies are going to stop,' Sullivan said. I tried to push back on behalf of all Alaskans… We're facing some difficult times and there's a lot of enthusiasm for the policies that Secretary Zinke and the president have been talking about with regard to our economy. But the message was pretty clear,' Sullivan said. The Interior secretary also contacted Murkowski, he said."
Sullivan said the Interior secretary was clear that his message was in response to the no vote Murkowski cast Tuesday on the motion to proceed with debate on the House-passed health care legislation.

Efforts and issues on the line include nominations of Alaskans to Interior posts, an effort to build a road out of King Cove through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, and future opportunities to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and expand drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, among other regulatory issues that are a priority for Murkowski and Sullivan.

Sullivan said he had discussed the calls with Murkowski, and his concerns remain.

...Much remains unknown-- how far the White House will go to punish or pressure Murkowski, what exactly the impact will be for Alaska, and just how it will play out.

Murkowski chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and has used the position to drive home Alaska priorities, particularly with Interior nominees. She oversees the confirmation process for the Interior Department.

On Wednesday, a committee hearing on nominations to the Interior and Energy departments was postponed indefinitely. A reason was not posted.

For her part, Murkowski said Tuesday that she was not deeply concerned about pushback from Alaska Republicans about her vote.

"I base my votes on what I believe is in Alaska's best interest," she said. "So I know that there are those who wish that I would be more in line with following the party platform, but I don't think it should come as any surprise that there have been occasions that I have not followed the lead of the party."

Trump has shown a willingness to go after members of his own party when they go against his preferred agenda-- an unusual presidential tactic.

...Murkowski told an MSNBC reporter that future elections did not weigh into her decision on health care.

"We're here to govern. We're here to legislate. We're here to represent the people who sent us here. And so every day shouldn't be about campaigning. Every day shouldn't be about winning elections. How about just doing a little bit of governing around here? That's what I'm here for," she said.

Murkowski has been at odds with Trump at times-- occasionally refuting his more controversial statements. She took a stronger approach toward the end of the presidential campaign, saying she could not support his candidacy and would write in a vote for someone else.

But Trump hasn't struck back at Murkowski in the past. She has been invited to the White House numerous times, and as a potential "swing vote" has repeatedly been seated next to or near the president during negotiations and meetings.

It is not clear whether the president offered Murkowski any deal on health care-- or any threats prior to her vote.
This morning Carl Hulse, writing for the NY Times, noted that Trump's been unable to bully Murkowski the way he has Senate weaklings like Heller, Cruz and Flake. When he pushed her in person "to fall in line behind a repeal of the Affordable Care Act in the interest of party loyalty and protecting the Republican brand, she felt compelled to speak up. 'With all due respect, Mr. President,' she said, according to some of the people at the private White House lunch, 'I didn’t come here to represent the Republican Party. I am representing my constituents and the state of Alaska.' [The moronic and repulsive orangutan Puton installed in the White House] did not appreciate the pushback. Ms. Murkowski was one of just two members of her party to vote against a critical procedural step on Tuesday. Afterward, Mr. Trump voiced his displeasure on Twitter: 'Senator @lisamurkowski of the Great State of Alaska really let the Republicans, and our country, down yesterday,' he wrote Wednesday morning. 'Too bad!'"
But it may be that it’s too bad for Mr. Trump, because he picked on someone unlikely to be rattled by his attack or by accusations that she deserted her fellow Republicans. Ms. Murkowski already survived a political near-death experience in 2010 when she lost a primary race to a Tea Party challenger and was essentially abandoned by the Republican Party.

She won a stunning victory in a rare write-in campaign-- and “Murkowski” is not all that easy to write in-- returning to Washington still a Republican, but one with a well-defined independent streak and a reputation of fierce advocacy for her remote and sometimes overlooked state.

“She is unshakable when it comes to her constituents,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, the other Republican who opposed Tuesday’s procedural vote. “She has a spine of steel.”

Given the narrow 52-48 party divide in the Senate and the shrinking ranks of more moderate congressional Republicans, Ms. Murkowski has emerged as a key swing vote, giving her new influence. Nowhere has that been on display as much as in the health care fight.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and majority leader, shaped his health care proposal with an eye toward Alaska, adding billions of dollars to help hold down insurance premium costs in a state where health care choices are very limited, as well as extra money for the care of native populations. Those provisions were added not only to woo Ms. Murkowski, but also to secure the vote of Dan Sullivan, the other senator from Alaska and a fellow Republican.

Ms. Murkowski remained leery of the health care proposal, expressing concern about its potential effects on the many Alaskans who rely on Medicaid, as well as the partisan manner in which it was being assembled behind closed doors by Republican leaders. Before the vote on Tuesday, she informed her colleagues she would break ranks.

“I’m very comfortable with the decision I made yesterday in working to advance Alaska’s interests,” Ms. Murkowski told reporters on Wednesday, adding that she doesn’t “really follow Twitter.”

Mr. Trump wasn’t the only irritated Republican. Representative Blake Farenthold, Republican of Texas, suggested that he might challenge the Senate Republican women opposing repeal to a duel, and a second House Republican, Representative Earl L. Carter of Georgia, on Wednesday issued a vulgar but incomprehensible insult.

Ms. Murkowski has already challenged Mr. Trump this year. She and Ms. Collins were the only two Republicans to oppose Betsy DeVos, Mr. Trump’s choice for education secretary, with Ms. Murkowski citing the nominee’s lack of experience in public education.

Ms. Collins said that as she and Ms. Murkowski, whose Senate desks are adjoining, prepared to turn their thumbs down on Tuesday, they discussed the possibility that the leadership might want to change their seating arrangement to keep them from being bad influences on each other.

Despite her position on the health care bill and her support for abortion rights, Ms. Murkowski remains a reliably Republican vote on most issues. An avid outdoorswoman, she draws regular criticism from Democrats and environmental activists for her support of the oil and gas industry-- mainstays in her state-- and the conservative stance she takes on other issues involving public lands and wildlife.

But in this case, Democrats credit her for a position they acknowledge must be difficult to maintain.

So this just part of why The Hill's Alexander Bolton wrote today that Trump's management style isn’t making him many friends in Congress. The way he bullies his allies isn't going over well with Republicans and he's "sown seeds of doubt about whether any political sacrifice by a GOP lawmaker will be rewarded-- or even remembered-- by the president." They really have turned against him more because of how he's been treating the detestable Jeff Sessions than for any of his other crap. Lindsey Graham had a hissy fit, whimpering to the media that "Trump 'belittling and humiliating the attorney general' was 'unseemly' and 'inappropriate.'" As opposed to anything else-- anything at all-- that Trump has done since Putin got him his new job? The public shots are 'a sign of great weakness on the part of President Trump,' hissed Graham and "what bothers lawmakers the most," asserts Bolton, "is that Trump seems to want to embarrass his targets." God forbid!
Graham was one of several GOP lawmakers who voiced concern over Trump’s attacks on fellow Republicans. Others, however, asked for anonymity to avoid becoming Trump’s next target.

One Republican senator said Trump should have raised his concerns with Sessions and Murkowski in private, instead of pillorying them in front of the entire world.

“He should have handled it one-on-one, and he shouldn’t have done it publicly,” said the lawmaker.

Another senator said Republicans on Capitol Hill know there’s no guarantee that taking a political risk to do the president a favor will be remembered or rewarded in the future.

“That’s self-evident,” said the lawmaker.

That fear makes it less likely that Republicans will be willing to risk their political futures to pass healthcare reform, one of Trump’s major priorities.

“What happens when someone punches you in the nose?” asked a third Republican lawmaker in response to Trump’s attacks on current and former GOP colleagues.

The senator said he would never get away with some of the audacious moves the president has made.

“I couldn’t get away with that. People who do those things aren’t usually successful, but he’s been very successful,” the lawmaker added.

GOP lawmakers, by and large, try to ignore Trump’s barbs but admit sometimes they can’t help talk about the latest uproar he’s causing on Twitter or cable television.

Trump complained about Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who was not present, at a private dinner with a handful of Republican senators at the White House last week.

Paul found out about it soon after when the New York Times reported on the intimate dinner. The story revealed that Trump was annoyed with the Kentucky senator for going on television to complain about the GOP plan, which he viewed as sabotaging the legislative effort.

Paul brushed off Trump’s jab when asked about it Wednesday.

“In my case, it was mostly in good nature,” he said.

But Trump’s habit of popping off on fellow Republicans makes them uneasy when he jokes about their political futures.

During a meeting at the White House, Trump sat next to Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), who was a holdout on the pending healthcare bill, and joked, “He wants to remain a senator, doesn’t he?”

Heller laughed, but Trump’s track record of attacking allies who diverge from him left other senators wondering if it was entirely a joke.

A fourth GOP senator compared Trump to George Steinbrenner, the late owner of the New York Yankees, who had famously contentious relationships with his team’s managers and stars.

But he said that doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t an effective management style.

“It’s like George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin, they won a few World Series together,” the lawmaker said, referring to the former Yankees manager whom Steinbrenner fired multiple times before rehiring him.

Even Paul, who has butted heads with Trump, admitted that his style has helped shape the healthcare debate.
If the Democrats take back the House, dump Pelosi and impeach Trump, he's going to need every Republican senator to keep him from being convicted. How do you think that's working out for him so far?

Painter Nancy Ohanian seems to have low expectations for Señor Trumpanzee

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At 4:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is too much faith that the Republicans will decide at some point to do the right thing. That isn't going to happen. While Grassy Knoll photos may still work on some, newer shots of Seth Rich would certainly do the job. The corporatist deep state isn't affiliated with either party. It RUNS them. Trump is their puppet, and they will defend him.

At 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It turns out that their "skinny repeal", which would have torpedoed health CARE out from under 32 million, was torpedoed by McCain. It wasn't Murkowski nor Collins, who actually voted to repeal.

Perhaps McCain took the bullet so the ladies would not have to. Perhaps he voted to send the bill to debate just so he could give mcturtle and the orange-utang a big bird. Who the fuck knows. Just don't look for more maverickiness from McCain. He's matched his quota for the year and may not last another.

At 6:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction. Murkowski and Collins both voted no with McCain. Good for them.

At 6:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To add to the subject, it is becoming obvious that the mooch is no less a paranoid delusional messianic than his boss is.

With the retard and this douchebucket tag-teaming their own, maybe impeachment will not be that far off.

Of course, then we'll have to endure jesus h. pence. And ryan would be one step closer to HIS destiny.

At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of the 49 yeas were cowardice enabled by knowing that these 3 were going to be nays... otherwise the 49 need to be presumed to be cloned Eichmanns and should be treated accordingly after the revolution.

If the revolution ever comes, I will definitely look for those 49 heads on pikes somewhere along the Potomac some day.


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