Monday, July 9, 2018

Last Call For Meet The New White Guy...

President Trump selected Brett Michael Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge in Washington with powerful conservative credentials, on Monday to succeed Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on the Supreme Court.

Judge Kavanaugh was just 38 when he was first nominated to a federal appeals court in Washington. But he had already participated in an extraordinary number of political controversies, attracting powerful patrons and critics along the way.

He served under Kenneth W. Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton, examining the suicide of Vincent W. Foster Jr., the deputy White House counsel, and drafting parts of the report that led to Mr. Clinton’s impeachment. He worked on the 2000 Florida recount litigations that ended in a Supreme Court decision handing the presidency to George W. Bush. And he served as a White House lawyer and staff secretary to Mr. Bush, working on the selection of federal judges and legal issues arising from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

He was “the Zelig of young Republican lawyers,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, said at Judge Kavanaugh’s first confirmation hearing, in 2004. “If there has been a partisan political fight that needed a good lawyer in the last decade, Brett Kavanaugh was probably there.”

But Judge Kavanaugh, 53, has also formed lifelong friendships with liberals, many of whom praise his intellect and civility. In his professional life, before he became a judge, he was often a moderating force.

Working for Mr. Starr, Judge Kavanaugh concluded that Mr. Foster had in fact killed himself. He opposed the public release of the narrative portions of Mr. Starr’s report detailing Mr. Clinton’s encounters with a White House intern. As staff secretary to Mr. Bush, he said in 2006, he strived to be “an honest broker for the president.” 
As a judge, though, he has been a conservative powerhouse, issuing around 300 opinions. His dissents have often led to Supreme Court appeals, and the justices have repeatedly embraced the positions set out in Judge Kavanaugh’s opinions.

He has written countless decisions applauded by conservatives on topics including the Second Amendment, religious freedom, the environment and campaign finance. But they have particularly welcomed his vigorous opinions hostile to administrative agencies, a central concern of the modern conservative legal movement.

So yeah.  This guy may be even to the right of Gorsuch.

Again, allowing Trump to pick a justice while under investigation, when the same justice will be the deciding vote on the inevitable Constitutional questions regarding that investigation, is ludicrous.  The Dems can choose to make this as excruciating as possible to boot.

They won't, I fully expect Kavanaugh to be confirmed by Labor Day recess with at minimum 54 votes, if not as many as 57. And while it's imaginable that Kavanaugh's first order of business will be to wreck any hope of affirmative action, voting rights, and/or abortion as health care, I honestly think he'll get to weigh in on Trump and the legality of his inevitable attempt to fire Robert Mueller.

We'll see what happens, but this is the part where the massive damage to the classic liberalism of the last 80 years starts in earnest.

The Be-Return Of the Beshear

As widely expected after his 2016 election as KY Attorney General, Democrat Andy Beshear is throwing his hat in the ring for his dad's old job against KY GOP Gov. Matt Bevin next year.

Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Monday he is running for Kentucky governor with educator Jacqueline Coleman as his running mate.

Beshear, a Democrat, is the first candidate of either party to announce a candidacy for governor in 2019. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has not yet said whether he will seek re-election. 
“As governor, I will work every day to bring Kentuckians together to tackle our most pressing problems,” Beshear said at a press conference Monday morning at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in Louisville.

Beshear, 40, became the state's 50th Attorney General in 2016, where he defeated Republican candidate Whitney Westerfield by a margin of less than 1 percent. His father, Steve Beshear, was governor of Kentucky from 2007 to 2015.

As tensions between teachers and Kentucky lawmakers grow after a tumultuous year filled with protests over pension reform legislation, Beshear's pick of Coleman for running mate sends a message.

"We will make public education a priority," he said Monday. "We will work to fund every single public school and every single public university to give opportunity to every child," he said. 
"... I will continue to fight for our teachers. They will be respected, our state will keep our state promises to them, and they will have a seat at the table. ... Their voice is a critical voice."

Coleman, of Harrodsburg, is an assistant principal at Nelson County High School. In 2014, Coleman ran unsuccessfully to represent Kentucky's 55th House District. Her father, Jack Coleman, was a state representative in that same district — Mercer, Washington and parts of Jessamine County — from 1991 to 2004.

Since nearly the beginning of his term as attorney general, Beshear has repeatedly filed lawsuits challenging the legality of actions of Bevin, his father's successor as governor.
In 2016, Beshear won a lawsuit against Bevin over funding cuts to state universities. The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that the governor violated his executive power by cutting universities' budgets after funding had already been appropriated by the General Assembly.

Bevin's popularity is tanking pretty hard, and he's basically already pissed off everyone he'd need to have in his corner to get re-elected, so believe it or not I think Beshear can win.   The last two years have been Beshear fighting Bevin anyway, so everyone's already used to it around here.

Whether or not people will actually show up in KY's infamous off-year gubernatorial election in 2019 is another thing, but I'm betting Beshear will do a better job of it than Jack Conway did.

Bevin may not run for a second term.  Who the GOP does put up in his place in that situation could make things pretty interesting.

Keep an eye on this race.

Grifting Is Mother's Milk To Trump

America under the Trump regime is such an obvious corporate autocracy that the US went officially on record against breastfeeding because it hurts the bottom line of baby formula makers.

A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly.

Based on decades of research, the resolution says that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes.

Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations.

American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding” and another passage that called on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children.

When that failed, they turned to threats, according to diplomats and government officials who took part in the discussions. Ecuador, which had planned to introduce the measure, was the first to find itself in the cross hairs.

The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.

Oh, but it gets worse.

The showdown over the issue was recounted by more than a dozen participants from several countries, many of whom requested anonymity because they feared retaliation from the United States.

Health advocates scrambled to find another sponsor for the resolution, but at least a dozen countries, most of them poor nations in Africa and Latin America, backed off, citing fears of retaliation, according to officials from Uruguay, Mexico and the United States.

“We were astonished, appalled and also saddened,” said Patti Rundall, the policy director of the British advocacy group Baby Milk Action, who has attended meetings of the assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, since the late 1980s.

“What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the U.S. holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on the best way to protect infant and young child health,” she said.

In the end, the Americans’ efforts were mostly unsuccessful. It was the Russians who ultimately stepped in to introduce the measure — and the Americans did not threaten them.

Corrupt, profit-driven greed is what the Trump regime does best...unless our real masters at the Kremlin say otherwise.

Then our government obeys without question.


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