Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer Neil Gorsuch and other Supreme Court justices for blasting civil asset forfeiture in an Indiana case that may soon limit the government’s ability to seize property from suspected and convicted criminals. They also sigh as Jeff Flake forces the cancellation of committee votes on two dozen judicial nominees because he can’t get a floor vote on legislation to protect special counsel Bob Mueller. They also imagine the sanctimony primary between Flake and John Kasich as both seem interested in launching irrelevant 2020 presidential campaigns. And they react to Stormy Daniels revealing that attorney Michael Avenatti has filed suits and made statements in her name that she never approved and that Avenatti won’t tell her how he’s spending the money many people have donated to her legal cause.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America breathe a sigh of relief as the U.S. Senate narrowly advances the Kavanaugh nomination to a final vote. They also sigh as Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski changes her mind on Kavanaugh on the way to the vote and opposes the nomination. And they shake their heads as Sen. Ben Sasse blames both parties for the chaos surrounding this nomination. Also, don’t miss Jim’s solution for Montana Sen. Steve Daines, who wants to vote for Kavanaugh but also wants to walk his daughter down the aisle tomorrow.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley for not humoring scurrilous accusations against Brett Kavanaugh and for demanding Dr. Ford turn over the evidence she claims will back up her allegations. They also shake their heads as Sen. Jeff Flake suggests Kavanaugh’s demeanor towards committee Democrats is not something that belongs on the Supreme Court, making them wonder whether Republicans really have the votes for confirmation. And they throw up their hands at how both sides react to Ford’s former boyfriend stating under oath that she helped a friend prepare for a polygraph examination, which would contradict her sworn testimony. Some conservatives are treating the allegation as fact while liberals are suddenly horrified by the prospect of reporting uncorroborated accusations.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America shake their heads as ProPublica issues a massive correction to confirm that President Trump’s nominee to be CIA director didn’t oversee the waterboarding of terrorists after all and that the original reporting was based on assumptions. They also sound the alarm on all the supposedly moderate Democrats running away from Nancy Pelosi as they run for seats in competitive or right-leaning districts. News flash: If Democrats win the House, Pelosi will be speaker. And they roll their eyes as Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake says the refusal of Republicans to denounce Trump suggests maybe the GOP doesn’t deserve to lead.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer House and Senate passage of tax cuts and tax reform, noting the vast majority of Americans will see bigger paychecks while the Obamacare individual mandate gets repealed and energy exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is given the green light. They also recoil at reports that Senate Republican leaders may have agreed to Obamacare bailouts and taxpayer-funded abortions in exchange for Sen. Susan Collins voting for the tax bill. And they discuss Rosie O’Donnell offering two million dollars apiece for Collins and Sen. Jeff Flake to vote against the tax legislation.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy watching the Russians get barred from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics because of an ongoing doping scandal, and they also get a kick out of the International Olympic Committee suddenly caring about corruption. They also shake their heads as Steve Bannon tries to discredit Mitt Romney’s denunciation of Roy Moore by saying Moore served in Vietnam and Romney avoided it by “hiding behind his religion.” And they scold Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who not only condemns Roy Moore but is contributing to liberal Democrat Doug Jones.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America break down how the Democrats easily swept the statewide races in Virginia and even reversed a huge GOP majority in the state assembly. They also discuss easy wins by Democrats in New Jersey and New York City, where the Republicans hardly appear to be a factor anymore. And they roll their eyes as Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake proposes a law to ban gun sales to people convicted of domestic violence – because that exact law already exists.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss the Washington Post revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee provided some of the funding for the infamous and largely discredited Trump dossier that involved significant collaboration with officials in Russia, and they shake their heads as Democrats insist this was just simple opposition research. They’re also unmoved by Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake’s denunciation of President Trump or Flake’s decision to fight back by retiring from the Senate, when it’s obvious the real reason he ended his campaign was because he can’t win. And they get a kick out of the Washington Post fact checkers making a big deal out of determining that Virginia GOP gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie was wrong by claiming there were 2,000 MS-13 gang members living in one Virginia county when the best guess of law enforcement is there are just 1,400 violent criminals from that gang roaming area streets and neighborhoods.
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, is fully behind President Trump’s demand for full congressional funding for a border wall and both he and his constituents are exasperated with the state’s two Republican senators for offering no solutions of their to overhaul or repeal Obamacare.
Gosar is a member of the House Freedom Caucus who fended off a primary challenger backed by national party allies in 2016. He says the GOP Senate is a major disappointment, with the failure to address Obamacare as the prime example of its inability to get things done.
“What has the Senate done? They copped out on Obamacare. And to my senators (Republicans John McCain and Jeff Flake), if you didn’t like what the House put forward, where are your ideas?” said Gosar, a dentist who first ran for Congress as part of the tea party wave in 2010.
He says while politicians are posturing, people in his state are suffering from Obamacare.
“We’re catastrophically moving down this pathway where we’re seeing Americans getting a 40-90 percent increase in their premiums coming up. Obamacare is failing. There’s not enough money to fix it. We’re seeing Medicare being implemented in all the group plans, so it behooves us to be big boys and girls and have that conversation,” said Gosar.
Gosar says the anger of Arizonans towards McCain and Flake is palpable everywhere he goes.
“They’re furious at our senators. There isn’t one meeting I don’t have where people are going off on our two senators. Leadership comes at a price and that means you have to put solutions on te table. That means that ‘No’ can;t be your answer, it’s going to be what it takes to be ‘Yes,'” said Gosar.
In addition to hearing his constituents vent about their senators, he’s also hearing about their hardships created by our current health care system.
“I have represented most of the rural parts of Arizona. They’ve got a piece of paper that says they have health insurance but they can’t afford to pay the co-pays and deductibles. It’s a travesty. They see no job growth out here. They don’t see opportunity. Those were all the things they were promised,” said Gosar.
Gosar says Trump has done what we can to improve conditions but Congress needs to do the heavy lifting.
“Whether it be tax breaks, tax cuts, getting government out of the way, this president has done his fair share with the Congressional Review Act and with executive orders to streamline the regulatory process. Now Congress has got to respond. It can’t continue working in a broken, dysfunctional fashion,” said Gosar.
Dr. Kelli Ward, a former Arizona state senator, is already running against Flake in next year’s GOP primary. Ward challenged McCain last year and lost badly in the primary, leaving some conservatives to push for Gosar and other conservatives to enter the fray.
Gosar says he’s thought about but is not close to any decision.
“We’ll see. That’s as good as we can say at this point in time,” said Gosar. “We want to make sure that we’re doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason. I don’t need another title, I’ve got four titles above congressman: that’s a husband, a father, a citizen, and a doctor,” said Gosar.
Just a few days ago, President Trump held a campaign rally in Phoenix. In addition to sparring with the media and defending his response to the chaos in Charlottesville, Trump demanded Congress fund his central campaign promise of a wall along the southern border, even vowing to shut down the government to make it happen.
Gosar says no one should be surprised by Trump’s blunt tactics.
“This gentleman is not built as a politician and that’s why America voted him in. He’s a disrupter. The business as usual has got to stop. We’re $20 trillion in debt,” said Gosar.
He also says not approving the money would be a huge mistake.
“I don’t think I would cross the president and I don’t think I would cross the American people. This is something the American people want. So far the Senate has let them down in regards to promises they made on Obamacare and so I think they’re getting restless. They don’t see solutions but they see a man that’s struggling to make sure that he honors the promises that he made to those people,” said Gosar.
Gosar also asserts that the controversy over the wall is only a creation of the past decade.
“The wall was authorized over a decade ago and it was a bipartisan effort. A sovereign country has a right to defend and dictate it’s borders,” said Gosar.
So how did this become such a political lightning rod?
“It’s because the political correctness in the media has gotten into people,” he said.
Another hot-button issue is the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. He says all contracts ought to be renegotiated every few years and NAFTA has been on the books for more than two decades. He says the issues of border security and trade are very closely linked.
“I think these are all interwoven and I think the president has a good thought process about how to drag all these together to get what he believes the American people want because they voted for him. He made no qualms about border security and building the wall,” said Gosar.
Gosar also applauds Trump sending more border patrol agents and immigration judges to stem the tide of illegal entries and to adjudicate cases much more quickly. He does, however, urge the president to make more personnel nominations in the Justice Department and elsewhere to improve the effort even more.
But with Trump in a very public battle with members of his own party about blame over Obamacare and other issues, will any big ticket items on the GOP agenda actually get done when Congress returns next month?
Gosar says they have no choice.
“Winston Churchill made the famous analogy saying, ‘You can always count on Americans to do the right thing when they’ve exhausted everything else. Well, here’s our sign looking at Congress.. We’ve exhausted everything else, at least from the House. We’ve got over 200 bills over there waiting on the Senate to take a look at,” said Gosar.
While he can’t say for sure what will get done, Gosar says if one big thing can get to Trump’s desk, other major priorities will fall like dominoes.
“The atmosphere is going to be very confrontational. It’s going to be very high stakes. But once that first brick falls, a lot of this stuff is going to fall right in line,” said Gosar, who personally hopes Obamacare repeal is the first brick to fall.
“I would hope that it’s health care, because I think that sets the stage for tax breaks [and] the budget and that looks at a positive influence for the American people to move forward,” said Gosar.