The Senate voted 51-to-49 this morning to begin 30 hours of debate on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.
Senators Collins (R-ME), Flake (R-AZ) and Manchin (D-WV) voted to move forward with the debate, while Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voted with Senate Democrats to filibuster Kavanaugh's nomination.
Just moments ago on the Senate floor, Sen. Collins blasted the confirmation process as a "caricature of a gutter-level political campaign." She called Julie Swetnick's accusations of gang rape "outlandish."
She pointed out one inconsistency after another in Dr. Ford's testimony, and declared that the Senate must not abandon the presumption of innocence. As a result, Sen. Collins announced that she would support Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.
If Collins is with us, then Kavanaugh's confirmation this weekend is likely assured, assuming we hold Jeff Flake and Joe Manchin.
Senator Manchin's public statements indicate that he wants to vote yes. So that gets us down to Senator Jeff Flake.
The last statement he made when he cut his deal with Senate Democrats last week was that Kavanaugh would have his vote as long as an additional FBI investigation found no corroborating evidence. And this afternoon Flake indicated that he planned to vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation, "unless something big changed."
One final thought. I understand why left-wing activists and politicians are doing what they are doing. But does Senator Murkowski really not understand that she is part of the left's scheme to destroy Judge Kavanaugh's life and ensure that the Supreme Court remains paralyzed until the next presidential election?
Something To Celebrate
The unemployment rate fell to 3.7% -- the lowest level in nearly 50 years -- as the economy added 134,000 new jobs last month. In addition, figures for August and July were revised upwards by an additional 87,000 jobs.
As promised, President Trump is putting Americans back to work again and the economy is roaring. That is something to celebrate.
Pence Takes On China
Vice President Mike Pence delivered a powerful speech yesterday making it clear that America, under Donald Trump and Mike Pence, is no longer ignoring communist China's intentions. China is determined to drive us out of the Pacific and subjugate our allies, including Japan and South Korea. This president and vice president are willing to confront Beijing's aggression.
Here are some excerpts of the vice president's remarks:
"Beijing is employing a whole-of-government approach, using political, economic, and military tools, as well as propaganda, to advance its influence and benefit its interests in the United States. . .
"And when it comes to religious freedom, a new wave of persecution is crashing down on Chinese Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims. Last month, Beijing shut down one of China's largest underground churches. . . For China's Christians, these are desperate times. . .
"China has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading into the 2020 presidential elections. To put it bluntly, President Trump's leadership is working; and China wants a different American president."
China is not a benign power. It has been hacking our government, industries and universities for years. I have long warned that trade with China would not change China. It would change us.
Sadly, too many of our elites in both parties were willing to turn a blind eye to the worst aspects of China's domestic and foreign policies, while corporate America became addicted to cheap Chinese labor.
Thankfully the Trump Administration is changing course when it comes to China. The Trump/Pence team is putting America's security first. It is putting America's workers first. It is putting America's values first.
Fighting For Faith
As Vice President Pence noted, religious persecution in China is getting worse, not better. As a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, it is something I am working hard to combat every day. Working with the other commissioners, we issued a statement today condemning China's abuse of religious liberty.
In addition, I am "adopting" Pastor Hu Shigen, who has already been sentenced to several prison terms for "subversion of government power" and has been tortured for his faith. The scope and scale of China's assault on religious freedom is staggering.
I also had the honor of addressing a conference this week on Coptic Solidarity, speaking out in defense of Christians in Egypt and throughout the Middle East who continue to experience tremendous religious persecution.
"We're Coming For You"
Yesterday was National Poetry Day, and Planned Parenthood celebrated by tweeting out the following gem: "Roses are red, violets are blue, senators vote NO on Kavanaugh or else we're coming for you."
Sadly, it seems that threat worked on Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
But clearly, Planned Parenthood is sure of its power and influence. They're arguably the most ruthless lobbying group on the left.
Planned Parenthood opposes Kavanaugh because he's a conservative who they fear would vote against abortion on demand.
But I have to acknowledge that Planned Parenthood seems to be making some progress. By attacking Kavanaugh and the senators who vote for him, at least they're picking on someone their own size.
They typically target unborn babies using a variety of brutal methods, including saline abortions, which burn the baby to death with a chemical solution, or dismemberment abortion, which is as gruesome as the name implies.
America is better than this. We were founded on the principle that every human being has dignity and rights granted by God, not government. As President Trump said this week, "Life is precious, and it is our moral duty to protect and defend it."
Please stand with me, my friends, as we fight to defend life!