Arizona Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema Could Be First Bi U.S. Senator

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona

 Last night in Arizona’s primary election for the upcoming fall mid-terms, Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.

First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012, Kyrsten Sinema is the first openly bisexual member of the House.

She is the first openly bisexual candidate to run for the Senate from Arizona, and should she win in November, would be Arizona’s first female Senator.

But another woman stands in her way.

Rep. Martha McSally clinched the Republican nod in the race for GOP Sen.Jeff Flake’s seat, who announced early that he would not be running for re-election.

McSally was forced to tact far to the right to defeat her primary opponents, former state Sen. Kelli Ward and virulently anti-immigration former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who appeared to split the more extreme fringes of the GOP.

McSally was the first woman to pilot a fighter jet.

HRC released the following statement on Sinema’s victory in the Arizona primary:

“HRC proudly supports pro-equality champion Rep. Kyrsten Sinema — a strong, effective leader who puts solutions first and fights to ensure every Arizonan has a shot at the American Dream,” said HRC Arizona State Director Justin Unga. “The stakes in November could not be clearer. In the coming weeks, HRC will continue mobilizing more than 800,000 Equality Voters and tens of thousands of members and supporters in the state to turn out for Sinema.”

The Republicans currently have a slim one vote edge in the Senate. They can only afford to lose one seat in the Senate without losing control of the chamber.

As I’ve written before, this year marks a big uptick in the number of LGBTQ people running for public office at various federal, state and local levels.

Alabama’s Largest Newspaper: Reject Roy Moore, Vote For Doug Jones

Alabama’s largest newspaper endorses Democrat Doug Jones over embattled Roy Moore.

An excerpt from the editorial board at AL.com:

How can we look our neighbors, our parishioners, our colleagues, our partners, or our children in the eyes and tell them they are worth less than ensuring one political party keeps a Senate seat? How can we expect young Alabamians to have faith in their government or their church, when its leaders equivocate on matters as clear cut as sexual abuse?

A vote for Roy Moore sends the worst kind of message to Alabamians struggling with abuse: “if you ever do tell your story, Alabama won’t believe you.”

Or, worse, we’ll believe you but we just won’t care.

To be clear: it’s not only his record on women and children that disqualifies Moore. If we vote for Roy Moore, Alabama will also show that we don’t care about you if you’re gay or Muslim or Catholic. If you’re an atheist or an immigrant. We’ll show each other that we only care about Roy Moore’s definition of Alabama. And that there’s not room for the rest of us.

[snip]

What is disqualifying is the conduct of Roy Moore against women and children. It was disqualifying for his party leaders. It was disqualifying for Alabama’s senior senator. And it should be disqualifying for his state party.

By the various misdeeds, miscalculations and mistakes of its voters and leaders, Alabama has left itself with few options. Alabamians must show themselves to be people of principle, reject Roy Moore and all that he stands for.

There is only one candidate left in this race who has proven worthy of the task of representing Alabama. He is Doug Jones.

For a deep red state like Alabama, this is pretty stunning stuff. I highly recommend you read the entire editorial.

Senate Poised To Vote On Obamacare Repeal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

As the U.S. Senate votes to proceed to some kind of movement regarding health care reform, it looks like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan is to get past the motion to proceed, then offer up the “repeal and replace” bill known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

No one really expects that to pass.

From reading sources I follow online, McConnell would then look to put together a handful of amendments that would repeal just certain parts of the Affordable Care Act, something being referred to as a “skinny repeal.”

Not a huge bill, but something that can perhaps pass in the Senate which would then head over to the House for a compromise bill.

If House and Senate Republicans can come to an agreement, it could be at least something Trump and Republicans could call a win.

I don’t think Trump cares what the eventual legislation looks like. He just wants a victory lap of any sort.

Stay tuned.

Poll: Mitch McConnell Least Popular U.S. Senator, Bernie Sanders Ranks Most Popular With Constituents

Morning Consult surveyed over 85,000 registered voters to evaluate the job performance of their senators.

Bernie Sanders keeps the title as the most popular senator in America. But it’s not all good news: Since our last rankings (just before the election), Sanders approval has dropped 12 points and his disapproval has increased by 9 points.

Mitch McConnell is still the most unpopular senator in America, and the only senator to have an approval rating that is underwater (44% approve, 47% disapprove).

More at the link.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Goes “Nuclear” On Judge Gorsuch Vote

Sen. Mitch McConnell

From Huffington Post:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his fellow Republicans pulled the nuclear rules trigger Thursday, ending filibusters for Supreme Court nominees after Democrats blocked President Donald Trump’s conservative pick, Neil Gorsuch.

Democrats had argued that Gorsuch, a Colorado federal appeals judge, was simply too conservative, and were nearly united in opposing a cloture vote to end debate on the nominee. Opposing cloture amounts to a formal filibuster, which takes 60 votes to break. With just a few Democrats joining the chamber’s 52 Republicans, McConnell’s only way to confirm Gorsuch was to change the rules.

He began by launching a string of procedural moves to allow a Senate majority to change longstanding rules with a simple majority, or 51 votes.

What this means is, now and moving forward, all Supreme Court nominees will only need 51 votes to be confirmed.

While this serves the Republicans now, at some point in the future the Dems will have the majority. And the shoe will be on the other foot.

New York Daily News Dubs Senate “Slaughter House” After Failure To Pass Any gun Reform

From the NY Daily News:

The GOP-controlled Senate failed to pass legislation aimed at keeping suspected terrorists from buying guns and tightening background checks Monday, shrugging off the worst mass shooting in U.S. history with more inaction.

Barely a week after the Orlando nightclub massacre that killed 49 people and just days after a 15-hour filibuster from Democrats, it felt like “Groundhog Day” on Capitol Hill, with votes falling mostly along party lines to defeat four gun control measures.

“What am I going to tell 49 grieving families? What am I going to tell those who are still in the hospital fighting for their lives?” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). “Sadly, what I’m going to have to tell them is the NRA won again.”

Marco Rubio Gets Applause For Returning To His Job

After ending his presidential campaign Tuesday night, Sen. Marco Rubio returned to the U.S. Senate today.

His staff greeted him with applause as he made his way to his office.

Having missed 34 of 37 roll call votes in the Senate this year, you have to wonder if he remembered how to find his own office.