Fred Henneke, Attorney & Counselor-At-Law

ELECTION CONCLUSIONS: 11/08/2018

Some conclusions I draw from the election results:

  1. House of Representatives. The last tally I heard had the Democrats flipping 34 seats with a handful too close to call. That gives them the majority in the House and allows them to organize, control the committees and set the agenda. Not exactly a ‘blue wave” but slightly more than the historic loss by the party holding the White House during a mid-term election.
  2. United States Senate. Again, the last tally I heard was a net gain of 2 years for the Republicans with 2 contests (Arizona and Florida)  too close to call, possibly facing run-offs. Pretty much as expected. Interestingly enough, all of the Democrat incumbents from states carried by President Trump in the 2016 election that voted against Kavanaugh lost while the only comparably situated Senator that voted for Kavanaugh won. This higher margin strengthens the Republicans ability to thwart any meaningful legislation passed by the House should they choose to do so.
  3. Governors. Seven states that started the day with Republican governors will have Democrat governors next year with one (Georgia) still undetermined. This still leaves the Republicans with a majority of the governors; however, it puts the Democrats in those states that flipped in a much stronger position when it comes to redistricting after he 2020 census.
  4. Referendum. President Trump is crowing about the gains in the Senate, which obviously were attributable only to him. He has much less to say about the House. Some candidates for either branch were clearly aided by the President’s rallies; others were not. A mixed bag, at best.
  5. Blue Wave. What happened to the “blue wave” that seemed so possible in August? In a word, Kavanaugh. The ugliness of the confirmation hearings shattered the Democrats’ momentum and served to energize the Republican base more that the Democrat base.
  6. Prediction. Continued gridlock, just as been the norm for the last 10 years. The Democratic House will pass bills furthering their agenda and the Republican Senate will ignore them. The President, as did President Obama, will turn more and more to executive orders and action to push his agenda. Only the “must have” bills (except for those naming buildings) will make their way through Congress and the White House. And the Senate will continue as a confirmation machine for conservative Federal judges at all levels.
  7. Caveat.  President Clinton enjoyed his greatest legislative successes when the Republicans controlled the House and the Democrats the Senate. President Trump titled his book “The Art of the Deal”. Could lightening strike twice? Unlikely but, who knows. It is his ego and legacy on the line.
  8. Conclusion. The proof is in the pudding. We the people have gathered the ingredients; are we going to insist upon a beneficial result? Now is the time to ENGAGE with whomever serves your area. Politely but firmly, remind them that they work for us and we DEMAND positive results, not excuses. It can be a new day.
  9. STAY TUNED

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MUSINGS ON ELECTION EVE; 11/05/2018

As we await the election results, here are some pertinent thoughts:  Everyone, including the President, appears to agree that the election tomorrow is nothing less than a referendum on President Trump at the mid-point of his Administration. Indeed, the President is actively encouraging people to see the election as a referendum on his performance. After… Continue Reading

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MIDTERMS; 10/22/2018

Early voting started today here in Texas and will continue through November 2. WiIl YOU be a gladiator or just a spectator? Can you spare an hour of your time to be a CITIZEN? Do you care about the future of our Nation, your children, your grandchilldren and, just as important, YOURSELF? Elections have consequences… Continue Reading

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“WHAT DO WE DO NOW”*; 10’12’2018

Deep breath. Deep breath. After being glued to our seats for the Kavanaugh hearings (political theater at its worst), we .now turn our undivided attention to the mid-term election ending on November 6. In some states they are already voting; here in Texas, early voting begins Monday, October 22nd. What’s at stake – just control… Continue Reading

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JUST THE WORST OF TIMES; 10/08/2018

Ugly. Mean-spirited. Demeaning. Destructive. Shocking. All these adjectives, and more, have been used to describe the end of the hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court. Given the hyper-partisan make-up of the Senate, the outcome was essentially pre-ordained. How they got to that conclusion was not. Here are the winners… Continue Reading

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THE HEARING; 09/27/2018

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Charles Dickens It was the best of times in that our constitutional process of selecting persons to fill the highest court in the land was on display, exactly as written in the Constitution. It was the worst of times in the way it… Continue Reading

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FEAR; 09/21/2018

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”. Franklin D. Roosevelt “Real power is – I don’t even want to use the word – fear”. Donald Trump I just finished reading Bob Woodward’s new book, FEAR.  As we know, Bob Woodward is a well-respected chronicler of inside politics, focusing on the White House,… Continue Reading

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KAVANAUGH UP-DATE: 09/19/2018

It now appears that Dr. Ford has withdrawn her previous agreement to testify publicly and under oath on Monday. From the news reports, Dr. Ford is now insisting on an FBI investigation before she will testify. I sincerely regret her change of heart Backgound: Dr. Ford apparently sent an anonymous letter in June to her… Continue Reading

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KA[vanaugh]-BOOM; 09/17/2018

WOW!. Deja vu all over again (with thanks to Yogi Berra). Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill redux. For those who don’t follow news and politics like we junkies do, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was well on his way to be confirmed to the United States Supreme Court when an anonymous letter alleging that Mr. Kavanaugh and… Continue Reading

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ANONYMITY; 09/07/2018

This past week the New York Times published an anonymous Op-Ed  apparently written by a senior official in the Trump White House or administration. The members of the NYT Op-Ed Board knew the identity of the author and decided that his, or her, position validated the message of the piece and that the message was significant… Continue Reading

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