Thursday, September 6, 2018

Last Call For Supreme Misgivings, Con't

Republicans have been doing everything possible to hide the judicial record of Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, from scrutiny.  They've sat on literally one million such documents, and only released about 45,000 of them the night before the Senate Judiciary hearings got underway on Tuesday.  

When Democrats objected to such nonsense, chair Sen. Chuck Grassley assured the Democrats that his office had reviewed every document, and that it was Democrats who were not doing due diligence.

Cory Booker then went off, daring Grassley to cesure him by releasing these documents himself.

Still, that meant hundreds of thousands of documents were being blocked under executive privilege from Kavanaugh's time working as White House counsel for George W. Bush. and it was only a matter of time before the nastier documents on Kavanaugh's judicial views leaked to the press.

As a White House lawyer in the Bush administration, Judge Brett Kavanaugh challenged the accuracy of deeming the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision to be “settled law of the land,” according to a secret email obtained by The New York Times.

The email, written in March 2003, is one of thousands of documents that a lawyer for President George W. Bush turned over to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Supreme Court nominee but deemed “committee confidential,” meaning it could not be made public or discussed by Democrats in questioning him in hearings this week. It was among several an unknown person provided to The New York Times late Wednesday.

Judge Kavanaugh was considering a draft opinion piece that supporters of one of Mr. Bush’s conservative appeals court nominees hoped they could persuade anti-abortion women to submit under their names. It stated that “it is widely accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land.”

Judge Kavanaugh proposed deleting that line, writing: “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so

[Read the e-mail.]

He was presumably referring to then-Justices William Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia, along with Justice Clarence Thomas, conservatives who had dissented in a 1992 case that reaffirmed Roe, Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The court now has four conservative justices who may be willing to overturn Roe — Justices Thomas and John C. Roberts Jr., Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch — and if he is confirmed, Judge Kavanaugh could provide the decisive fifth vote.

Still, his email stops short of saying whether he personally believed that the abortion rights precedent should be considered a settled legal issue.

This alone should have disqualified Kavanaugh, clearly he's going to overturn Roe and allow states to decide whether or not abortion is legal.

What Democrats are going to do to stop him, I don't know, but the charade is clearly over.

Another Day In Gunmerica, Just A Few Miles Away

America's mass shooting epidemic came to Cincinnati this morning, with four people killed, including the gunman, when a man opened fire in the lobby of the Fifth Third Center building downtown on Fountain Square.

Gunshots and chaos erupted in the heart of Cincinnati's downtown Thursday morning when a man opened fire in the lobby of Fifth Third Center, killing three people and wounding two others.

Dozens of police officers rushed to the scene and exchanged gunfire with the suspect as a crowd of people who had been on their way to work scattered across Fountain Square to safety.

Police said the gunman, who has not been identified, is dead.

The four fatalities, including the gunman, make this one of the deadliest mass shootings in Greater Cincinnati in years.

"There was definitely a lot of blood," said Zach Fritzhand, who saw police taking victims out of the building.

When the shots first rang out at 9:10 a.m., people ran or took over where they stood. Many were getting their morning coffee or a donut before work when they heard gunshots and screams.

Michael Richardson was smoking in front of the building when he saw a man open fire in the lobby.

"A bunch of cops were coming in with guns," he said. "I saw a lady down. A Cincinnati police officer dragged her out of the bank. She was talking. She was bleeding. Her shirt was red."

Leonard Cain said he saw a woman wearing headphones get shot as she entered the building. He said she dropped to the ground, and everyone else started running.

City Councilman Wendell Young said during Thursday's City Council session he was told the shooter had more than 500 rounds of ammunition.

If that's true, Young said, the body count would have been much higher “if not for the brave intervention of our first responders.”

Mayor John Cranley also praised the quick response from police and said he regretted Cincinnati had joined the growing list of American cities that have experienced mass shootings in the past year.

"There's something deeply sick at work here and we as a country need to work on it," Cranley said.

So now the area where I live now has to deal with America's most deadly disease, questions will be asked, and maybe Mayor Cranley and the City Council will try to take action, but Ohio statehouse Republicans have made it clear that home rule gun safety measures will not be tolerated.  A federal judge blocked the city's bump stock ban six weeks ago after a similar ban in Columbus was struck down, and Cincinnati was sued.

Can't wait until metal detectors start appearing in all downtown buildings and City Hall, because that's coming before the end of the year, but it won't help.


The Greatest Coward In Modern Political History

The self-serving "anonymous" Trump regime official who penned this NY Times op-ed trying to be the hero and keep enabling Trump to do what Republicans want is my definition of the very problem in modern American politics today.

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.

It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I would know. I am one of them.

To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.

But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.

That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.

The Times is tight-lipped about the true identity of the author, but the smart money is on Vice Dictator Mike Pence (who would have the most to gain from the existence of such a piece under both Occam's Razor and cui bono plus the clout to get the NYT to agree to run it), Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats (who is smart enough to make the piece sound like Pence wrote it but is a total desk weenie coward with Senate connections and is from Indiana, close enough to Pence to serve as his proxy), or Attorney General Jeff Sessions (who has the least to lose by writing such a piece as he's on his way out, and is crafty enough to crib Pence's speech notes, and who also has Senate connections).

Long shot: Jim Mattis, who is also on the way out.

Whoever the author is, they're a complete and utter coward, however. LA Times columnist Jessica Roy sums it up very well.

The truth is, Republicans don't want Trump out of office. They're clearly pleased with this “two-track” arrangement. They're advancing the right-wing economic agenda that President Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz would have been championing while preserving their popularity with Trump's base.

If you're reading this, senior White House official, know this: You are not resisting Donald Trump. You are enabling him for your own benefit. That doesn't make you an unsung hero. It makes you a coward.

It's this that makes me believe it's one of these three people.  Trump had an afternoon-long Twitter screaming fit, demanding the NY Times reveal the author's identity for "national security" but I'm willing to bet I'm right on this.

Still, Trump has his "fake news witch hunt conspiracy" to rally the base, and the author can come forward when the time is right to be the hero and claim Trump's head (which is why I think it's Pence, if I had to hang my hat on one of the three).  If they play it right, they have a lot to gain, but remember, whoever they are, they're a manipulative coward. Adam Serwer in the Atlantic this morning:

The biggest open secret in Washington is that Donald Trump is unfit to be president. His staff knows it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell knows it. House Speaker Paul Ryan knows it. Everyone who works for the president, including his attorneys, knows it. But they all want something, whether it’s upper-income tax cuts, starving the social safety net, or solidifying a right-wing federal judiciary. The Constitution provides for the removal of a president who is dangerously unfit, but those who have the power to remove him will not do so not out of respect for democracy, but because Trump is a means to get what they want. The officials who enable the Trump administration to maintain some veneer of normalcy, rather than resigning and loudly proclaiming that the president is unfit, are not “resisters.” They are enablers.

The anonymous Times op-ed writer is no different. While claiming that they and other officials are “thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses,” the op-ed provides few examples of this, and the author must know that the mere existence of their piece will only inflame those impulses. Already Trump has declared that “the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!” If the president ever decides to issue unconstitutional orders to the Justice Department or the Pentagon, he and his supporters will point to this op-ed and claim that drastic action was necessary to “protect democracy.”

As I have said time and time again, Trump is the symptom, the real problem has been the "gutless" Republican cowards enabling him, and whoever wrote that NYT op-ed is my Exhibits A through ZZ supporting that theory.

Bottom line:

This is one of Trump's chief enablers covering the ass of the Republican party.  It's part of a larger plan going forward.  Part of that plan is for the writer to reveal themselves, and very soon. Count on that.

But for right now, they're buying time so that Brett Kavanaugh can be confirmed to the Supreme Court at record speed.  Once that's done, all bets are off.


Related Posts with Thumbnails