Friday, June 29, 2018

YUGE: Justice Anthony Kennedy to retire, opening Supreme Court seat for President Trump nomination

Reagan's greatest mistake erased at last

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday, handing President Trump and Senate Republicans an opportunity to create a solidly conservative court that could last for decades.

Kennedy first informed his colleagues on the court about his plans, then personally delivered a simple, two-paragraph letter to Trump addressed, "My dear Mr. President."

Within minutes, the president said he would move "immediately" to select someone from a list of 25 potential nominees assembled previously with the help of conservative interest groups.

"It will be somebody from that list," Trump said. "Hopefully, we will pick someone who is just as outstanding."

Kennedy's long-rumored decision to step down July 31 will touch off a titanic battle between conservatives and liberals in the nation's capital, on the airwaves and in states represented by senators whose votes will be needed to confirm his successor.

Within hours of Kennedy's announcement, the conservative Judicial Crisis Network said it would launch a seven-figure, cable TV and digital advertising campaign targeting vulnerable Senate Democrats. The ad, titled "Another Great Justice," praises Trump’s nomination last year of Justice Neil Gorsuch in anticipation of his next nominee.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who refused in 2016 to consider President Barack Obama's nomination of federal appeals court Judge Merrick Garland for a vacant seat, vowed to move ahead swiftly.

“The Senate stands ready to fulfill its constitutional role by offering advice and consent on President Trump’s nominee to fill this vacancy," McConnell said. "We will vote to confirm Justice Kennedy’s successor this fall."



Supreme Court deals major financial blow to nation's public employee unions

A deeply divided Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the nation's public employee unions Wednesday that likely will result in a loss of money, members and political muscle.

After three efforts in 2012, 2014 and 2016 fell short, the court's conservative majority ruled 5-4 that unions cannot collect fees from non-members to help defray the costs of collective bargaining. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the decision, with dissents from Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

About 5 million workers could be affected by the ruling — those who pay dues or "fair-share" fees to unions in 23 states where public employees can be forced to contribute. Workers in 27 states cannot be forced to join or pay unions.

Justice Neil Gorsuch cast the deciding vote against what conservative opponents have labeled a form of compelled speech. The money helps labor unions maintain political power in some of the nation's most populous states, including California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Gorsuch, who had remained silent during oral argument in February, was the key because the court had deadlocked in a similar case two years ago following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. The newest justice recently authored the court's 5-4 ruling that denied workers the right to join together in class action lawsuits rather than submit employer-sponsored arbitration.

The 2016 case challenged a powerful teachers union in California; the new one targeted state employees in Illinois. But the threatened impact was the same: elimination of fees paid by police, firefighters, teachers and other government workers who don't join the unions that represent them.

The landmark ruling overrules the court's own 41-year-old precedent, which said workers did not have to pay for unions' political activity but could be required to contribute to other costs of representation, such as wage and benefit negotiations and grievance procedures.

The court's decision frees those non-members from the fees, but unions also are braced to lose some dues-paying members who stand to save more under the new rule. That could force unions to raise dues on those who remain.

The case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, was backed by conservative groups that have tried for years to overturn the court's 1977 decision upholding the fees for collective bargaining but not for political action.

The court ruled 7-2, 5-4 and 4-4 on three similar cases in the past six years, eating away at the 1977 decision without overruling it entirely. In 2016, Scalia's death a month after oral arguments denied conservatives their fifth vote.

The decision comes at a time when 61% of Americans approve labor unions -- the highest rating in Gallup polls since 2003 -- and teachers' strikes have roiled states from West Virginia and Kentucky to Oklahoma, Colorado and Arizona.

"The fictional narrative of labor’s downfall is being upended by the reality working people are creating for ourselves," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said recently. "No matter the outcome of this case, millions of workers will continue to stand together to build a stronger, fairer America."

It remains unclear what impact the ruling will have on organized labor in general, which has suffered a 70-year decline in union membership. The nation's roughly 15 million union members make up less than 11% of the workforce, a drop from 35% during World War II. The decline is magnified in the private sector, where only 6.5% of workers remain unionized.

In the public sector, more than one in three workers belong to a union, a percentage that has held relatively steady for decades. AFSCME, the National Education Association, Service Employees International Union and American Federation of Teachers now face a likely loss of members.

Some groups that have fought to end compulsory fees argue that unions can stave off membership declines by better representing workers. They cite data from states such as Indiana and Michigan after the enactment of right-to-work laws.



Unhinged Democrat hate on show

The Republican National Committee released a brutal campaign ad on Tuesday exposing the violence the political Left, showing voters ahead of crucial midterm elections what the Democratic Party supports.

The video, which has gone viral across social media, shows numerous instances in which liberals have made chilling comments about inflicting violence on President Donald Trump and officials who work in his administration.

The ad features comedian Kathy Griffin posing for a photo with a bloody, decapitated head that looks like President Trump; singer Madonna saying she has thought about blowing up the White House; rapper Snoop Dogg shooting the president in his music video; HBO host Bill Maher saying he wants the economy to crash so it hurts Trump; Samantha Bee calling Ivanka Trump a “feckless c**t”; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi saying she doesn’t know why there aren’t uprisings “all over the country”; and Rep. Maxine Waters calling for violence, harassment, and uprisings against Trump officials.

The ad is so chilling to watch because it’s accurate. It went viral because this is what the Democratic Party has become in the era of Trump.

Rather than have healthy discussions on policy, the Left would rather stoke tensions and call for violence against the president, his supporters, and anyone who works in his administration.

The ad comes after several members of the Trump administration have already been targeted in recent days by liberal mobs after Waters urged people to confront them in public.

On Tuesday, a violent crowd showed up at the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, Transportation Department Secretary Elaine Chao. She was caught on camera standing up to the protestors and defending her husband.

Over the weekend, pro-Trump Florida Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi was spit on by liberals while being chased out of a movie theater over the weekend.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was forced to get her own personal security detail from the Secret Service after being refused service and harassed at a restaurant last Friday.

Prior to that, a mob of deranged liberals swarmed the home of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen, putting her family at risk of being attacked, harassed, and confronted.

This is what Waters wanted, and the RNC is showing Americans exactly what the Democratic Party stands for ahead of crucial midterm elections in November.



'Ridiculous’ government bureaucracy

US Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney gave an intricate and often eccentric explanation of redundancy and overlap in federal bureaucracy in a presentation that stunned the president and the press.

“I call this the ‘drain the swamp’ cabinet meeting,” Mr Mulvaney said, adding that it has been about 100 years since the federal government was reorganised at this scale.

He criticised the “Byzantine nature” by which the government regulates, creating headaches for business owners, employees and taxpayers.

“If you have a cheese pizza, it’s governed by the Food and Drug Administration. If you put a pepperoni on it, it’s governed by the [Department of Agriculture],” he said.

“If you have a [live] chicken, it’s governed by the USDA. If that chicken lays an egg, it’s governed by the FDA, but if you break the egg and make an omelet, that’s again governed by the USDA.”

He said that a hot dog is regulated simultaneously by two government agencies and said that one of the most intricate and “bizarre” cases of regulations involved saltwater fish.

Mr Mulvaney said that a salmon in the ocean is governed by the Department of Commerce, but that when the salmon is swimming upstream into freshwater where it breeds, it is governed by the Department of the Interior.

On its way to the breeding grounds, it encounters a fish ladder — a device used to help fish navigate waterfalls and other impediments — that is governed by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Mr Mulvaney said government regulations as they exist are often “stupid” or “make no sense”. President Donald Trump then interjected, “That was incredibly said. I think you should put that on television, not what I said [previously].”

Mr Mulvaney said the examples he gave were just a few of the impediments faced by small businesses trying to operate in compliance with the government.

He said that is part of the reason the Departments of Education and Labor should be merged. “They’re all doing the same thing,” he said, noting that both “try to get people ready for the workforce”.

He added that there are “horror stories” from the Army Corps of Engineers because of the overlaps they have with the Interior, Transportation and Defense Departments



Comparing the Border Situation to Nazi Germany? That’s a Form of Holocaust Denial

Dennis Prager

Last week, on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe,” MSNBC contributor Donny Deutsch said that every American who votes for President Donald Trump is a Nazi. His exact words: “If you vote for Trump, then you, the voter—you, not Donald Trump—are standing at the border like Nazis going, ‘You here. You here.'”

Now, as virtually every Jew of Deutsch’s generation knows, a Nazi saying, “You here. You here,” refers to guards at Nazi extermination camps sending Jews to gas chambers or to work the barracks.

Also last week, Gen. Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA (a fact that, among other things, gives credence to the increasingly widespread realization that our intelligence elites have been morally and intellectually compromised) tweeted a photo of the tracks leading into Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most infamous Nazi extermination and concentration camps, with the caption: “Other governments have separated mothers and children.”

Deutsch, Hayden, and the myriad other fools who compare Trump to Hitler and the Nazis have utterly trivialized the Holocaust. As everyone who isn’t on the left knows, there is nothing morally analogous between the way the last three presidential administrations dealt with some children of immigrants who are in the country illegally and what the Nazis did to Jewish children.

American children are routinely separated from their parent when that parent is arrested, and if the arrestee is a single parent, the child is taken into government custody until other arrangements can be made. With regard to immigrants who are in the country illegally, the only way to avoid separation is to place the children in detention along with their arrested parent(s).

But this was expressly forbidden by the most left-wing court in America—the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals—if detention lasts longer than 20 days, as it nearly always does when either a not-guilty plea or an asylum claim is made.

Moreover, as awful as separation from a parent is, these children were not treated like animals in cages but transferred to the care of relatives or foster homes, or housed with other detained children where they were provided with room, board, education, sports facilities, etc.

By contrast, Jewish children separated from their parents by Nazi guards were sent to gas chambers to die a gruesome, painful death by their lungs being filled with poisonous gas. And their parents almost always eventually suffered the same fate unless they were worked, starved, or tortured to death.

Comparing the two is not only a trivialization of the Holocaust; it is actually a form of Holocaust denial.

If Jewish children were treated by the Nazis the same way Central American children have been by America, then everything we know about the Holocaust is false.

Jewish children weren’t subjected to torturous medical experimentation, and they weren’t gassed and cremated. They were simply separated from their Jewish parents for a finite period of time, sent to stay with Jewish relatives or provided for by foster families while their parents were detained pending due-process legal proceedings.

According to Deutsch, Hayden, and all the leftists comparing America and Trump to the Nazis, Jewish children weren’t gassed; they played soccer while waiting to be reunited with their parents.

What is even more depressing than Deutsch and Hayden is the reaction—or silence—of most American Jewish organizations.

The Anti-Defamation League, which once defended Jewish interests, is becoming just another leftist interest group. I looked for some condemnation of Deutsch or Hayden and found none. Instead, in the words of the left-wing Israeli  newspaper Haaretz, the Anti-Defamation League “made a direct comparison to the Holocaust.”

It tweeted: “Children separated from their parents during the Holocaust speak out about the trauma it has caused. How can anyone defend such inhumane policies?”

The only criticism the Anti-Defamation League could muster was this: “People need to be extremely careful in drawing comparisons to the Holocaust and the Nazi regime in whatever context it is used.” But it offered no condemnation of those who actually made this odious comparison.

Leftism has poisoned much of American Jewish life. That is the primary reason, as reported in the just released American Jewish Committee poll, American and Israeli Jews are so divided on so many issues.

There were rabbis who announced they fasted when Trump was elected. Non-Orthodox synagogues around America sat shiva (the religious mourning period for a deceased immediate family member) when Trump won. And the Hebrew Union College, the Reform Jewish movement’s rabbinical seminary, had an Israel-hating writer as this year’s graduation speaker.

If you support Trump or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or hold almost any traditional Jewish worldview—like God creating the human being as male and female—you must either hide your opinion or risk being ostracized at almost any non-Orthodox synagogue.

To their credit, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Zionist Organization of America, and a few other organizations did condemn those who equate America under Trump with Nazi Germany. But most Jewish organizations kept quiet, offered tepid caution, or actually echoed the sentiment.

In other words, at this time, many American Jewish organizations are bad for the Jews, bad for Judaism, and trivialize the Holocaust in order to score political points.

If it’s any comfort (and it isn’t), things are no better in mainstream Protestantism or at the Vatican.

But here is real comfort: If the left keeps on smearing nearly half its fellow Americans as Nazis, it will assure more Republican victories this coming November.



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1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

The thing about comparing Trump (and before him, Bush) to the despicable Austrian is that it calls into question your mental stability. The Left could do far more damage to Trump if they compared him to, say, Tom Pendergast, because while it's a stretch there are similarities.

Of course the problem with bringing up Machine Politicians is twofold for the Left; Most of them were Democrats, and Hillary strongly resembles Boss Tweed.