It appears Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed and the vote won’t indicate how close it was.
The Republicans need 50 votes to confirm Kavanaugh and it appears they may have 51, which is still pretty tight. But the final tally in the Senate will likely be 54 or 55 votes because Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will release a couple of senators from states that voted for Trump and allow them to vote for Kavanaugh. If the Republicans only had 49 votes, the vote would be postponed.
But with 50 there is no reason to force a Democratic senator from a Republican state to vote against Kavanaugh. Nothing is to be gained and a seat in November could be lost.
It’s the way the game is played but it is extremely deceptive. The Democrats have far better party discipline than the Republicans, and those Democratic senators from Republican states are allowed to only vote for Republican measures that are going to pass anyway. It makes it look like they have some independence from the Democratic Party, but they don’t. They vote the way the leadership tells them to vote.
If the Republicans had that kind of party discipline they could get a lot more done, but what Trump and the Republicans are doing with the judiciary may be enough.
With the confirmation of Kavanaugh, the Republicans will have a strong five-justice majority on the Supreme Court. With former Justice Anthony Kennedy they had a weak majority. Kennedy was just as likely to vote with the Democrats as the Republicans.
On the Supreme Court with Kavanaugh, it appears Chief Justice John Roberts will be the most liberal Republican, and he is far more conservative than Kennedy.
He did cast a bizarre vote to allow Obamacare, making what everyone said was a fine or penalty into a tax. It’s amazing what the Supreme Court can do. It’s like magic. It doesn’t matter if every veterinarian in the world says a creature is a dog, if the Supreme Court declares it a cat, then it is for all legal purposes a cat.
But shifting the Supreme Court to the right is a huge step in the right direction.
Plus Trump, with the assistance of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is appointing federal judges at an amazing clip.
Take a look at our federal court here in Greensboro – the Middle District of North Carolina. If Democrats challenge something they win. A few Trump appointed judges would make a huge difference.
The reason the Democrats are making so much noise about Kavanaugh – encouraging protestors and senators themselves disrupting the meeting – is because they know that they don’t have the votes to stop the appointment.
The Republicans have the votes on the committee and on the Senate floor to approve the Kavanaugh nomination. It’s only a matter of time. But for Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee this is their moment in the spotlight.
For those who are running for president in 2020, like Sen. Kamala Harris, it is an opportunity to get face time on network news. It actually has vey little to do with Kavanaugh. Anyone Trump appoints is going to face the same level of opposition from the Democrats.
Senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr has not been convicted of any crimes, but there is a lot of evidence that he committed a few, or maybe more than a few.
Here’s what the authorities should do: They should raid his house in the middle of the night with guns drawn. Take everything including his high school year books, then go his attorney’s office and take everything, since evidently the attorney client privilege law is not as strong as many people thought. Put Ohr and his wife, Nellie Ohr, in handcuffs after they are allowed to throw on some clothes during the early morning raid and make sure the media gets the word about the raid so that videos of them being trundled out of the house in handcuffs can be on all the news shows.
Then they need to start making up a bunch of charges against him including income tax fraud, financial improprieties, spying for the Russians, illegal electronic surveillance, unpaid federal parking tickets, overdue library books and other high crimes and misdemeanors. It would be nice if he were looking at somewhere in the range of 300 to 500 years.
They should also freeze all his bank accounts, which will make it tougher to hire a good lawyer, and then if he agrees to go state’s evidence they could reduce the charges to one for lying to the FBI and agree to no charges against his wife.
It’s what special prosecutor Robert Mueller has been doing and so far it’s worked pretty well for him. Of course, who would do it to Ohr? Certainly not the FBI, since, if he goes state’s evidence, a number of former and perhaps current FBI agents will be recognized.
Which brings up a big problem. Someone needs to be investigating the investigators. And who is going to do it? Who is going to prosecute the prosecutors like Ohr?
Here is absolute proof that the FBI has gotten too big for its britches: Every agent is a “special agent.”
They should have hired a consultant who understood language or logic or something. If every agent is a special agent then none of them are special agents. Special means, “better, greater or otherwise different from what is usual.”
According to the definition, all FBI agents can’t be special. But maybe they all went to those self-esteem building camps where everyone gets an award.
Ohr either proves that it is nearly impossible to get fired from a government job, or that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is unable to come out from hiding under his desk long enough to even make a show of doing his job.
The fact that Ohr is still working for the Justice Department, and we assume still being paid the same salary as he was when he was the number four man in the Justice Department, indicates how shocking it is that former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andy McCabe and former FBI agent Peter Strzok were all fired.
Here’s a statistic that should bother every taxpayer: 0.5 percent of federal workers are fired every year and it often takes between six months and a year to fire them.
It is inconceivable that 99.5 percent of federal workers are doing a good job. And, for that matter, if federal workers know that they will not be fired no matter how little work they do or how poorly they do it, what is the incentive to work hard and do a good job?
Some people innately want to do any job they are given as well as they can. But others don’t have that inner drive and do just enough to get by. Working for the federal government just enough to get by is virtually nothing.
Being politically correct is so difficult, it’s a wonder how people who worry about it can even communicate.
On NPR recently, I heard a report on rebuilding in Puerto Rico, where it was explained that because many houses were ‘informal” they were not eligible for FEMA funding.
The definition of informal is “marked by the absence of formality or ceremony.”
It made me wonder if my house were damaged if it would be eligible for FEMA funding because I’m an informal person and I don’t think anyone would call our house formal. This would indicate to me that to get FEMA funding someone has to live in a house that is formal.
Growing up I had a couple of aunts who had extremely formal houses, the kind where you perch on the edge of a chair because to actually sit down would be far too informal and no one was ever allowed to go in the living room. They didn’t have those red velvet ropes up because there was no need. One look if you got too near the doorway was enough to freeze you in place.
Of course, what the speaker meant was illegal, but that is such a harsh term, indicating that the owner did something wrong; and, of course, the owner may not have done anything wrong, but the person who built the house without the approval of the government did.
If all the so-called informal housing is to be replaced then a person squatting on someone else’s land who built a structure out of cardboard and flattened cans would be eligible to have their home rebuilt.
Since the government would be rebuilding the home, it would have to rebuilt in what NPR would call a formal manner – what most of us would say in a legal manner – complying with building codes and all relevant regulations, except the regulation that a person has to have a legal right to build where they are building would have to be ignored.
For a long time, I thought it would be a mistake for Trump to fire Sessions. It appeared that the political price was too high to pay once the special prosecutor was appointed. It seemed that the best course of action was to ride out the storm and put up with not having an attorney general for a few months.
But it’s been over a year and Sessions has proven to be much worse at his job than I imagined. I did think, and still think, that Trump should have gotten rid of Sessions the moment he recused himself. But you can’t go back and change the past.
Now I think Trump needs to offer Sessions the chance to resign to spend more time with his family, and if he doesn’t sign the letter of resignation, fire him.
Then Trump needs to bring in someone who will have no qualms about cleaning out the Justice Department. The top attorneys in the Justice Department don’t have to like Trump or support Trump, but they do have to support the president of the United States. If they can’t support and work for, not against, the president then they shouldn’t be working in his Justice Department, and it is Trump’s Justice Department.
Sessions must go because a house divided against itself cannot stand, and it is clear that Sessions is not working for or supporting the president. It is too bad that one of Trump’s most loyal supporters during his campaign didn’t work out in the job he was given for that support, but that’s politics.
A new attorney general would in all likelihood fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Ohr and other holdovers in the department who are still working for Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Trump should make certain that his new attorney general would immediately fill all the requests for documents from the congressional oversight committees.
One would hope that a new attorney general would also call FBI Director Chris Wray into his office and tell him that he needs to immediately supply to Congress all the documents they have requested, and clean house. If he isn’t willing to do those things, the new attorney general should make it clear that his recommendation to Trump will be that Wray be removed from office.
The Justice Department is immensely powerful. It has the power to arrest people and threaten them with so many charges that they will plead guilty to something. It’s what Mueller has done to everyone with the notable exception of Paul Manafort.
Mueller is running a rogue operation. The whole special prosecutor saga began with an illegal act by since fired FBI director James Comey and there is ample evidence that Rosenstein set that up from the beginning.
Rosenstein wrote the memo that resulted in the firing of Comey and then Rosenstein said that, because Comey had been fired, a special prosecutor had to be appointed. At that point his boss, Sessions, should have reeled him in. But Sessions didn’t; he hid behind the fact that he had recused himself. Evidently he recused himself from being attorney general.
After he was fired, Comey took documents that he stole from the FBI when he left office – some of which were classified – and leaked them to a friend who then leaked them to The New York Times.
Comey at the time no longer worked for the FBI and had no right to possess FBI documents. When you leave office you are only supposed to take your personal possessions with you. These were not Comey’s personal possessions but were government documents.
Has anyone even investigated this? Unlike what he said about Hillary Clinton, Comey as the FBI director knew it was illegal to take government property and he knew that it was illegal to leak classified documents.
It is ever so interesting that Comey didn’t leak the documents to The New York Times himself, but laundered the information by leaking it to a friend who then sent it to The New York Times . What was the purpose of the middleman if not to give Comey a level of deniability?
It’s like the Hillary Clinton campaign, which didn’t hire Christopher Steele directly, but hired a law firm that hired Fusion GPS that hired Steele who paid money to Russians for information to affect the outcome of the election. Is that not collusion with the Russians?
If Mueller is looking for Russian collusion, he need look no further than his best bud Comey, who then used the information that Steele had paid Russians to obtain to get Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants to spy on the Trump campaign. How is that by any stretch of the imagination a proper use of the authority granted to the FBI?
Why is Manafort being sent to prison by Mueller for financial dealings long before Trump was ever a candidate for anything, but Comey and his gang are getting off with just being fired and no criminal charges have been filed against him?
Mueller’s mission is supposed to be open ended. He can investigate any evidence of criminal activity he uncovers. Why is it that he is only investigating people involved in the Trump campaign? If he can investigate anything he uncovers, certainly the illegal activity by Comey and company would fall into that category.
Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani has said that if Ohr didn’t have a written waiver for his wife to work for the Hillary Clinton campaign, that it is a felony. Is Mueller not aware of this? Mueller’s investigation is based on the Steele dossier; shouldn’t he be investigating the illegal activity surrounding the compilation of that material and the illegal activities that followed?
How can a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate the president based on the illegal activities of a former FBI director? Perhaps this doesn’t rise to the level of the fruit from a poison tree, but it is awfully close.
At this point Mueller has had more than enough time to uncover any evidence of the Trump campaign colluding with the Russians. If he has such evidence he needs to present it. If he doesn’t then it is time for him to go home.
If the best Mueller can do is prosecute a former Trump campaign chair for actions he took while in private business long before he worked for the Trump campaign, then he hasn’t done much.
Trump has done much of what he promised to do when he announced he was running for president. He has brought back American jobs, he has spurred the economy and he has negotiated trade deals that are fair for the United States with Mexico and the European Union. China is still in the wings, but the American economy is booming and the Chinese economy is suffering from the tariffs. It appears to be only a matter of time.
Trump doesn’t get credit for it, but he has started building the wall. He needs more funding, and if his past actions are an indication of the future then he will get it.
He also defeated ISIS by taking the handcuffs off the military.
Harvard is being sued by Asian students who were not accepted when students with lower ratings were. Harvard is disputing the facts, which should not be in dispute. Harvard and other elite universities have an unwritten Asian quota. What it boils down to is that Asians compete with other Asians for the 20 percent of the student body they are allowed to make up.
White students compete with other white students and black students compete with black students.
It’s a system based on unwritten quotas and the big losers are Asian students, who have to score much higher than white or black students to be accepted.
Harvard should lose the lawsuit, but in the current legal climate who knows what will happen.
Living in the town I grew up in means I attend a lot of funerals. I’ve heard some family members say things that made me think, “I wouldn’t have said that.” But I’ve never been to a funeral where the eulogist took their opportunity at the microphone to blast the enemies of the deceased.
Maybe we’re more polite here in the South, but I think if I went to a funeral where the friends and family members who spoke took shots at the opponents of the deceased I would be offended.
Fortunately for me I wasn’t invited to the funeral of Sen. John McCain. And I admit I did not watch the entire seven hours of funerals on television and I don’t plan to. But from what I’ve read, there was more than a little Trump bashing going on. It’s too bad. The eulogies should have been about what a great man McCain was and his many accomplishments, not what a jerk Trump is.
Some people question why conservatives are still obsessed with Hillary Clinton. Here’s one reason. The US has always claimed to be a country of laws, which means everyone has to obey the same laws, and if you are found guilty of not obeying them you receive the same punishment.
While we make this claim we know that it isn’t true. The wealthy and powerful can hire the best attorneys and tie matters up in court forever. The government attorneys know this and instead of going that route they make deals. They also make deals with poor people when the prosecution doesn’t have a good case or wants information.
But overall if you are found committing a crime, there is a price to pay. An example would be Gen. David Petraeus. He was the commanding general in Iraq and in Afghanistan and head of the CIA. He was found to have shared top-secret information with his lover and was convicted of mishandling classified information.
Then you have Hillary Clinton, who admitted to sending and receiving hundreds of classified documents on her homebrew email server, which violated numerous laws. She also ordered some of those emails destroyed, which violated several more. But she is Hillary Clinton and was the Democratic nominee for president, so she skated away without a single charge.
When the FBI discovered what was likely all of her emails, including the ones that she destroyed, the FBI didn’t even look at the vast majority of them and started writing the announcement absolving her of all wrongdoing before looking at any of the recently found emails.
It’s par for the course that the far left magazine The Atlantic would give NBC’s Chuck Todd space to bash his competitor Fox News. Fox News has left his own network’s cable channel, MSNBC, so far behind they hardly even compete.
So it is reasonable for Todd to be jealous. He also seems to blame Fox for the attacks by Trump on the mainstream media. He seems to be trying to say that it is acceptable for liberals who run the other networks to allow their biases to color the news, but it is wrong for Fox to do the same thing.
It’s the mainstream media’s mantra: To promote liberals is right, to promote conservatives is wrong.
Todd must not be very deep thinker because from any rational point of view the opposite is true. If the liberal biases of the mainstream media are acceptable and understandable because we are all human, then it is also acceptable and understandable for conservatives to report from their particular bias.
Todd, like everyone in television news, has more than his share of ego. If he decides to report a political event one way, then that is the right way to report it and anyone who reports it differently is wrong.
Todd and the mainstream media make fun of the idea, but there are alternative facts. Two people can read the same government report and walk away with completely different ideas about what it means and they can both be right. There are so many economic numbers out there to pick and choose from that you can find the information to prove almost anything you want.
Trump attacks the news media because the news media constantly attacks him. The reporting on Trump by the mainstream media is completely different from the reporting on former President Barack Obama. When Obama had private talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin that was a good thing, when Trump does the same thing it is terrible.
Todd says that he reports on Trump and not on Hillary Clinton because Trump is president and Hillary Clinton is not, but that wasn’t true in 2016 when Todd and his network completely missed the biggest story of the year because of their own liberal biases. Todd and his colleagues couldn’t imagine that Americans would elect Trump president.
If he was actually such a good reporter, he would have put his liberal bias aside and looked at the facts. The fact is that Trump was winning in states that Todd and his brethren said that he couldn’t possibly win.
Todd and the mainstream media reported that North Carolina was in play. If Todd had been looking at the facts instead of his own heart he would have known that North Carolina was not in play and there was no chance that Hillary Clinton was going to win it. All he had to do was look at the history of presidential voting patterns in North Carolina. But Todd probably didn’t know anybody who was voting for Trump, so he assumed that nobody was.
It’s kind of funny that the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee were complaining bitterly about not having enough time to review the 42,000 pages of documents released to the committee on Supreme Court nominee Judge Kavanaugh on Monday before the opening of the hearing on his nomination on Tuesday.
The Democrats said that they didn’t have time to review the documents. Perhaps they should have worked during the night.
But the Democrats never questioned the ability of the FBI to review in one night the 694,000 emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop; to be fair only about 300,000 involved Hillary Clinton.
If the FBI can examine 300,000 emails in one night then certainly the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee can review 42,000 pages in one night.
These hearings are all for show. Everyone knows that the vote will be straight party line, and since the Republicans have a majority, he will be recommended to the full Senate where it appears his appointment will be confirmed with a couple of votes from Democratic senators in states that voted heavily for Trump.
So according to The New York Times, it was OK for Ohr, a senior Justice Department attorney, to meet with Christopher Steele, who was working for the Hillary Clinton campaign, because they were meeting about more than just the Steele dossier that bashes Trump with all kinds of unsubstantiated and unverifiable rumors about Trump.