Thursday, September 14, 2017

Last Call For Meanwhile In Bevinstan

It's important to remember that under the Trump regime, America is edging ever closer to an authoritarian government on a daily basis, but that goes for states as well.  Kentucky GOP Gov. Matt Bevin is no different, all but calling for the resignation of his toughest critic, Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, and suggesting that the office become another appointment by an all-powerful chief executive rather than being an elected position.

Gov. Matt Bevin said Thursday he is open to changing the Kentucky Constitution so that the state’s attorney general and judges are appointed by the governor rather than being elected. 
The Republican governor, who has had several legal run-ins with Attorney General Andy Beshear, called his Democratic nemesis “highly incompetent.” He also voice support for putting term limits on legislators. 
Bevin’s wide-ranging comments came in response to questions from attendees at a conference of The Federalist Society’s chapters in Kentucky. Bevin spoke to the group in the Capitol’s House chamber before taking questions. 
When asked whether he would support seeking the public’s approval for a constitutional amendment to appoint the attorney general, Bevin first said with a smile, “Oh, yeah.” 
He then asked “How about our judges in general? Seriously.”

He added: “We have a remarkable number of people who have no business being judges. I mean none. They don’t have the competence even to be a private practice attorney who can bill at a rate that people would not pay. I’m not kidding.” 
Bevin said potential judges first should pass “some kind of competency test.”

Of course if you've been keeping score, AG Beshear's biggest beef with Bevin is that he believes Bevin is abusing the power of his office to make wholesale changes to state boards without consulting the Kentucky General Assembly.

Bevin's solution to this is to change the state constitution to give him the power to appoint the Attorney General and state judges.  And right now, if Republicans in the state legislature want to do that, they'd probably have the votes.

Matt Bevin's quickly growing used to power, isn't he?  So much so that of course he wants more of it.

Especially if it means ridding the state of his critics.

Shutdown Workaround

Looks like now that President Obama isn't in office any more, suddenly Republicans are a whole lot more open to passing clean continuing budget resolutions these days.

The House on Thursday completed its work on the annual appropriations bills for 2018, ahead of expected negotiations at the end of this year to keep the government funded.

By a vote of 211-198, the House passed a $1.2 trillion package of spending bills to fund wide swaths of the federal government, ranging from the Department of Homeland Security to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“This is a big day,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said, touting the House's use of regular order to pass the 12 bills.

This is the first time the House has done that since 2009,” he said.

The package included eight new bills, plus four previously passed appropriations bills that advanced through the House in July. Regular order for appropriations typically involved passing each of the bills individually, not in groups of 4 or 8. 
Congress sent a three-month government funding extension to President Trump’s desk last week to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1. That means Congress will have to finalize government spending for 2018 in December. 
“This is the next step in the process, but it is not the end. Funding these important federal responsibilities and keeping the government open is our constitutional duty to the people we serve, and I look forward to the final completion of all these critical bills,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.). 
The passage of all 12 of the annual appropriations bills before the end of the fiscal year is a first for Republicans who have not been able to move them all in the same time frame in recent years.

Of course, getting the House bills through the Senate won't happen, but hey, at least Paul Ryan finally figured out how legislation works, right?

A DACA Deal Done?

News of a Trump deal with Dems to restore DACA has Trump's base furious.

Democratic leaders announced late Wednesday that they agreed with President Trump to pursue a legislative deal that would protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation and enact border security measures that don’t include building a physical wall. 
The president discussed options during a dinner at the White House with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that also included talks on tax reform, infrastructure and trade. Trump has showed signs of shifting strategy to cross the aisle and work with Democrats in the wake of the high-profile failures by Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 
We’re working on a plan for DACA,” Trump said as he left the White House on Thursday for a trip to survey hurricane damage in Florida. 
Trump said that he and Congress are “fairly close” to a deal and that Republican leaders Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.) are “very much on board” with a deal that would address DACA. The agreement must include “massive border security,” Trump said in response to shouted questions about whether he had reached a deal on the terms Schumer and Pelosi had described. 
“The wall will come later” he said, apparently confirming a central element of the Democrats’ account. 
Earlier Thursday, amid backlash from conservative supporters, Trump had sought Thursday to reach out to his GOP base with messages claiming his agenda would remain intact on signature issues such as the border wall.

In a series of tweets, Trump wrote that “no deal” was made on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an Obama-era program that has allowed 690,000 dreamers to work and go to school without fear of deportation. He further wrote that agreements on “massive border security” would have to accompany any new DACA provisions, and insisted that “the WALL will continue to be built.”

Needless to say, the MAGA types are ready to do to Trump what they did to Dubya's immigration deal ten years ago.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter reacted to President Donald Trump's recent stance on immigration policy Thursday by suggesting she wanted Congress to impeach him:

Coulter was responding to one of Trump's tweets in which he defended immigrants who came to the United States as undocumented children. 
Among Coulter's many bestselling books, “In Trump We Trust” was a full-throated endorsement of Trump for president, a position she thought he would use to tamp down on illegal immigration and build a border wall. 
Without the wall, Coulter said she preferred Vice President Mike Pence take over the Oval Office: 

There is one hard and fast rule of the "unpredictable" Donald Trump: Eventually Trump screws over everyone.



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