Tag: senate

It always feels good to make it to Friday, but this week it’s especially welcome. Join Jim and Greg as they discuss reports that we may be days away from a national lockdown that closes airlines, the markets, and forbids millions from commuting to work. They also groan as a number of U.S. senators face lots of questions after selling off stocks before the market plummeted over coronavirus fears. And as three New Hampshire residents sue Gov. Chris Sununu over his allegedly unconstitutional order banning gatherings of more than 50 people,they discuss the tensions between freedom and safety.

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Big votes are coming soon on impeachment and in Iowa. Join Jim and Greg as they dive into reports suggesting three Senate Democrats are torn between convicting and acquitting President Trump. But will any of them actually buck their party? They also shudder at reports that the head of the Harvard chemistry department took taxpayer-funded research grants, only to pass his discoveries along to the Chinese for a very handsome sum of money – and he’s not alone. And while Jim generally gives high marks to Florida Sen. Rick Scott, he is exasperated to see Scott launching ads in Iowa which most analysts see as a thinly veiled preview of a 2024 White House bid.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Adam Schiff and Missing Mental States

 

I am still confused by Rep. Schiff’s repeated claim that Trump must be impeached for attempting to interfere in the 2020 election. I know that Jen Rubin, Bill Kristol, and the wider NeverTrump universe are in near-orgasmic agreement with whatever Schiff says in his anointed role as Trump-Slayer-in-Chief (a title formerly held by Robert Mueller) but I find the logic of this particular charge convoluted. I don’t get it.

Let’s assume that the leadership of Ukraine capitulated to the pressure they did not know was being applied and began the investigations that Trump had requested (which have not yet begun and for which inaction there was never a consequence as would be expected in a quid pro quo— but never mind that now). [Note: See Comment #4 from @kozak below Turns out they were already investigating prior to the Trump request.]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What to Expect During the Senate Impeachment Trial

 

It begins, the first Senate trial of an impeached President in 21 years, and only the third in our nation’s history.

As a former Secretary of the Senate – the Senate’s chief legislative, financial, and administrative officer – it’s painful to hear pundits and so-called legal experts misinform people. Much of the disinformation and errors seem to be coming from CNN (surprise!) and, of course, the Twitterati. I’m happy to help set the record straight.

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No good martinis but plenty to talk about today! Join Jim and Greg as they dissect Republican fears that the open U.S. Senate seat in Kansas could be at risk this year if primary voters nominated Kris Kobach, who lost the 2018 governor’s race there. They serve up a double-barreled crazy martini as Utah Sen. Mike Lee fumes that Wednesday’s Iran briefing offered few specifics and that national security officials told lawmakers not to debate the issue in public. But they’re also surprised to see Lee planning to channel that frustration into support for the War Powers Act revisions restricting the ability of a president to order time-sensitive military action. And they have a lot of fun as House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith tells CNN that its time for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to deliver the articles of impeachment to the Senate only to go on Twitter a short time later to say he “misspoke” and whatever Pelosi wants to do is fine with him.

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Kevin McLaughlin and Matt Whitlock of the NRSC sit down with Senator John Cornyn to talk about Buddy the Cat, Indian food, Texas sports, 40 years of marriage, and more!

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It’s finally Friday of a very busy week! Jim and Greg have plenty to say about a member of the House Democratic leadership admitting to CNN that the Democrats may never send the articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate unless Mitch McConnell agrees to the demands of Democrats for how the trial of President Trump ought to be structured. They also hammer Joe Biden, who admitted that he’s willing to kill thousands – possibly hundreds of thousands of jobs in the energy sector – because he’s supremely confident the green economy will offer just as many opportunities for great jobs. And they are the glad the holidays are right around the corner as Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate descends into discussions of wine caves and selfies.

Starting Monday, Jim and Greg will begin their six-episode Three Martini Lunch Awards for 2019. They each hand out 18 awards in categories ranging from overrated and underrated political figures to rising and fading political figures to the best and worst political ideas of the year, eventually working up to their choices for person of the year. Enjoy these special episodes and let us know what you think of our choices and share who you would choose!

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Impeachment as Congressional Contempt of the Constitution

 

The Framers did not intend the impeachment power to give Congress supremacy, in the form of being able to harass and paralyze the Courts or the president over policy differences, let alone raw political will. Nevertheless, Congress has acted, almost from the beginning, with selective contempt for the Constitution, both legislatively and in its employment of the impeachment power. There is really nothing new under the sun, including what the current majority party in the House of Representatives is doing…and it is still contemptuous of the Constitution.

Take a step back from the current tempest in the Congressional teapot and consider the facts laid out in 1992 by Chief Justice William Rehnquist in Grand Inquests: the Historic Impeachments of Justice Samuel Chase and President Andrew Johnson. The Chief Justice published this very approachable book the year that William Jefferson Clinton beat President Bush the First. Taking his book as a guide to the subject and the actors, some focused searching on the internet yields plenty of historical data and documents. Consider just the first major impeachment, along with a prelude, at the dawn of the 19th Century.

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Join Jim and Greg as they comment on the moments from Wednesday’s impeachment votes that stand out to them, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi having to enforce her no gloating policy. Then they dive into three crazy martinis, starting with Pelosi saying she won’t pass the impeachment articles along to the Senate unless she’s convinced it will be a fair process. They scratch their heads as Tulsi Gabbard votes present on both articles of impeachment and wonder what her political future holds. And they dissect the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals declaring the individual mandate unconstitutional and Jim wonders whether Republicans would have any legislation ready to go if the Supreme Court were to strike down all of Obamacare.

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It’s impeachment day and Jim and Greg aren’t exactly riveted to the debate when the outcome was predetermined long ago. But join them as they take aim at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi telling House Democrats not to gloat once the final impeachment votes are taken. They also get a good laugh at Democrats suggesting the House not send impeachment articles to the Senate until Republicans agree to their demands for witnesses, wondering where the downside could possibly be for Republicans in this strategy. And they have some choice thoughts as Barack Obama openly wishes that women could lead everywhere in the world for two years because everything would supposedly be better.

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Recording of Tuesday’s Three Martini Lunch concluded before the news of Kamala Harris abandoning her presidential campaign. Rest assured we will have plenty to say about that on Wednesday. In the meantime, grab a stool and join Jim and Greg as serve up Tuesday’s martinis. First, they’re grateful to see President Trump siding with the Iranian protesters despite earlier indications to the contrary. They also facepalm as Trump allies attack Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for not following Trump’s advice on a U.S. Senate appointment and Kemp proceeds to pick someone who makes the pro-life community very nervous. And they notice that Michael Bloomberg’s spending barrage already has him in fifth place among voters in the first four primary and caucus states.

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Back to our usual format with three big stories today! Jim and Greg applaud the Senate for passing legislation designed to sanction anyone found targeting the human rights of people in Hong Kong, but they still wish the demonstrators could get some public support from President Trump. They also react to U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland contending that the Trump administration did demand Ukraine open an investigation into Burisma and the 2016 elections in exchange for President Zelensky to receive an invitation to the White House, and that he believes the suspension of military aid was linked to those demands as well. And they marvel at the media deleting a story about the numbers of migrant children in U.S. detention when they learn the figure is actually from the Obama years.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Framers’ Impeachment Fears Fulfilled, with a Twist

 

The current attempted coup by the unelected Deep State, now proudly proclaimed by the New York Times and leftist media people, was not anticipated by the framers of the Constitution of the United States.

The behavior now on display in Congress, on the other hand was anticipated and ultimately written off as a necessary risk that could be corrected in short order by the voters either affirming or punishing the legislators. We have this, rather than a parliamentary no-confidence vote because of the eventual balance struck, dividing power across three branches of government and within the legislature between two chambers.

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Rob Long takes over Jim’s stool for the day to discuss a big day in political announcements. First, they size of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions running for his old U.S. Senate seat and starting his campaign by praising the president who fired him, a move Rob describes as brilliant. They also watch Virginia Democrats talking about gun confiscation and Bernie Sanders proposing the end of illegal immigrant deportations and the abolition of agencies like ICE and Customs and Border Protection, and marvel at how the left just can’t help embracing extreme positions when it seems to have some momentum. And they dissect former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to begin filing paperwork to seek the Democratic nomination in 2020, with Rob wondering how Bloomberg thought his record in the Big Apple could be attractive to rank and file Democrats.

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It’s all good martinis today! Join Jim and Greg as they stunningly applaud former President Obama for telling liberals that just blasting people for not being sufficiently woke actually accomplishes nothing. They’re also glad to see the House of Representatives vote overwhelmingly to blame Turkey for the Armenian genocide committed over a century ago and discuss why that matters now. And they discuss the financial and ethical headaches facing the likely Democratic challenger to Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins.

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Another day with two good martinis! Join Jim and Greg as they celebrate U.S. forces killing another top ISIS official who may have been the successor to al-Baghdadi. They’re also pleasantly surprised to see Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema frustrating party leaders for taking a moderate approach on several issues and opposing an end to the legislative filibuster no matter which party is in control. And while Jeff Sessions was a solid senator, they’re not too excited to hear Sessions is seriously considering joining a crowded field to win the seat again.

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Good polls, confusing polls and politicizing math are the focus of our martinis on Wednesday. Jim and Greg are glad to see Republican U.S. Senate challenger John James already in a virtual dead heat with Democratic Sen. Gary Peters in Michigan. They also shake their heads as a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey shows a majority of Americans support Medicare for All but oppose it by large margins when they actually understand it means the end of private insurance. And they throw up their hands as school officials in Seattle consider adding an emphasis on ethnic studies into all subjects, including taking time in math class to explain how math is oppressive to people of color and is used to exploit natural resources.

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It’s a festive Friday as Jim is back to finish out the week. He and Greg wonder just how far Hillary Clinton is removed from reality as she claims voter suppression cost her key states in 2016 and that Russia will run Tulsi Gabbard as a third party candidate this year to help President Trump get re-elected. They also cringe as new polling shows incumbent Colorado GOP Sen. Cory Gardner with just 42 percent and losing to Democrat John Hickenlooper by double digits. And they close the week out by celebrating nine fun years of the Three Martini Lunch and looking forward to many more!

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Breaking news makes this a four martini lunch! Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America start by noting the Democrats have lost every bit of the approval advantage they enjoyed over the GOP a year ago and Jim offers an analysis that both parties would be wise to heed but never will. They also slam Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for reportedly threatening to fire high-ranking officials at NOAA if there was not a statement released defending President Trump’s outdated forecast for Hurricane Dorian. Jim says if the reports are true, Ross should lose his job. They brace them themselves for the media to fall in love with Democrat Jon Ossoff all over again as the special election golden boy from 2017 (who lost) is now running for U.S. Senate in Georgia. And they react to the breaking news that John Bolton is out as National Security Adviser in the Trump administration.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America have mixed reactions to the news that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is not going to run for governor of his state in 2020 and will remain in the Senate until 2024. They also shudder at the obvious warning signs surrounding the latest mass shooter in Texas and wonder why so few people did anything about them. And they roll their eyes as Beto O’Rourke insists he would ban AR-15’s and similar weapons and force gun owners to sell them to the government.

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