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#4161 Probabilistic

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 09:23 AM

Wow!

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A Conservative Judge Draws a Line in the Sand With the Trump Administration
Outraged the attorney general had ignored a court order, he authors a blistering opinion rebuking William Barr for overstepping his constitutional authority.

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In a jaw-dropping opinion issued by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on January 23, Judge Frank Easterbrook—a longtime speaker for the conservative Federalist Society and someone whom the late Justice Antonin Scalia favored to replace him on the U.S. Supreme Court—rebuked Attorney General William Barr for declaring in a letter that the court’s decision in an immigration case was “incorrect” and thus dispensable.

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“We have never before encountered defiance of a remand order, and we hope never to see it again,” Easterbrook wrote.

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In 1803, the U.S. Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison established the bedrock principle that federal judges review the constitutionality of actions by the other branches of government...

In defying the 7th Circuit, therefore, Attorney General Barr challenged the validity of Marbury v. Madison itself—and thus the federal judiciary’s authority to say what the law is and have it stick.


#4162 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 09:30 AM

And nobody who matters will care.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#4163 LFC

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 09:35 AM

View PostProbabilistic, on 13 February 2020 - 09:23 AM, said:

Wow!

Moscow Mitch has understood the need to install compliant complicit judges for years. I suspect the Federalist Society has been upping lowering their game.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#4164 Probabilistic

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 11:08 AM

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 13 February 2020 - 09:30 AM, said:

And nobody who matters will care.

View PostLFC, on 13 February 2020 - 09:35 AM, said:

Moscow Mitch has understood the need to install compliant complicit judges for years. I suspect the Federalist Society has been upping lowering their game.

The next domino in our democracy to fall would be Trump's outright defiance of a Supreme Court order. Republican Senators would express their understanding of Presidential frustrations. They would blame the Democrats for pushing Trump in to a corner. Susan Collins would express concern and then dutifully vote to support Mitch's plan.

#4165 golden_valley

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 02:43 PM

View PostProbabilistic, on 13 February 2020 - 11:08 AM, said:

The next domino in our democracy to fall would be Trump's outright defiance of a Supreme Court order. Republican Senators would express their understanding of Presidential frustrations. They would blame the Democrats for pushing Trump in to a corner. Susan Collins would express concern and then dutifully vote to support Mitch's plan.

I think the bet is that the Supreme Court won't order him to do anything that he doesn't want to do.

#4166 Probabilistic

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 03:14 PM

View Postgolden_valley, on 13 February 2020 - 02:43 PM, said:

I think the bet is that the Supreme Court won't order him to do anything that he doesn't want to do.

That is already happening today: commandeering appropriations for the wall, defying Congressional subpoenas, defying laws in cases Trump is directly involved etc. However, to establish complete supremacy there has to be an outward show of dominance too; remove any doubt about even the theoretical possibility.

#4167 golden_valley

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 06:30 PM

Barr went on ABC News and said

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“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr said in an interview with ABC News, adding that such statements “about the department, about people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending here, and about judges before whom we have cases, make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors and the department that we’re doing our work with integrity.”


#4168 JackD

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 09:20 PM

Barr is pathetic, although dangerous. Maybe there's a little hope in his concern for how his fellow professionals perceive him. Trump has exposed him as the Roy Cohn he is.

#4169 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 09:23 PM

The trouble with attaching yourself to a stupid master is that your master will insist on proving his mastery over you in public.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#4170 LFC

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Posted 19 February 2020 - 12:55 PM

View Postgolden_valley, on 13 February 2020 - 06:30 PM, said:


More whining from Barr because Trump's tweets make his crimes and corruption more public. He's more of the quiet, behind the scenes sycophant. It's just more theater reality TV.

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Three prominent news outlets reported this morning, citing unnamed administration officials, that the attorney general is mulling resigning over President Trump’s tweets about the Roger Stone case.

The Justice Department outright denied these claims, but it’s not the first time Barr has been publicly distanced from the President — whether by his own volition or not — since his department suddenly reversed its sentencing recommendation for Stone just hours after Trump tweeted criticism of the DOJ’s initial recommendation.

Last week, both Barr and Trump claimed that Barr was not directed to reverse course on the sentencing of Trump’s former associate, but Barr conceded to ABC News that Trump’s tweets about criminal cases make it “impossible” for him to do his job. As many-a-pundits have pointed out, that Barr admission was likely just an attempt to save face. Rather than admit that much of his time as head of the Justice Department has been devoted to digging into Trump’s political crusades, he suggested that Trump’s interference make it difficult for him to appear impartial.

And the latest reports about him mulling an exit smell eerily similar. He’s not bound to any decision because his department has combatted the reports on-the-record, but cable news will likely spend the day discussing whether the attorney general has had enough, in turn elevating the appearance of — or at least, the consideration of — impartiality.

But that’s just a theory.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#4171 LFC

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 01:44 PM

With the ouster of Director of National Intelligence (because he had the nerve to deliver actual intelligence to Congress including [GASP!] Democrats) we have another "best person" being considered.

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President Trump’s decision to name Richard Grenell to lead the country’s intelligence community raises a staggering array of questions, ranging from the staunch Trump loyalist’s preparedness for the job to his oversight of whistleblowers past and future.

Grenell, a vocal Trump loyalist who is currently the ambassador to Germany, brings to the job of acting Director of National Intelligence years of experience aggravating the German government coupled with a background in strategic communications.

The political operative’s appointment has raised questions of his fitness for the job. As director of national intelligence, Grenell will oversee the 17 constituent agencies of the country’s intelligence community, managing the flow of information gathered by the country’s spies to President Trump.

“It’s difficult to contemplate managing 17 different organizations without having any experience with the intelligence process overall,” Jeffrey Edmonds, a former director for Russia on the National Security Council and a former CIA intelligence analyst, told TPM. “I just think it’s quite dangerous in the sense that the right information might not get to the right people.”

Since DNI Dan Coats stepped down from the position in August 2019, the government has lacked a Senate-confirmed official in the job.


Along with this "best person."

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Kash Patel, Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) former top aide, is reportedly serving as an aide to acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell.

Politico reported that Patel began his new role on Thursday. He previously worked for the White House’s National Security Council after he had left Nunes’ office.

As Nunes’ aide, Patel helped craft the infamous “Nunes memo” back when the California Republican was the chair of the House Intelligence Committee in early 2018.

The memo, which aimed to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation by “proving” anti-Trump bias in the intelligence community, was widely mocked upon the document’s release for its sloppy mischaracterizations and omissions of key facts in House Republicans’ accusations.

Additionally, key impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who served as the NSC’s Director for European Affairs before he was suddenly ousted by President Donald Trump, testified that Patel had misrepresented himself to Trump as an expert on Ukraine, despite the fact that he had no experience with the Eastern European country and that Vindman was the true expert on the matter.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#4172 pnwguy

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 04:58 PM

View PostLFC, on 21 February 2020 - 01:44 PM, said:

Additionally, key impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who served as the NSC’s Director for European Affairs before he was suddenly ousted by President Donald Trump, testified that Patel had misrepresented himself to Trump as an expert on Ukraine, despite the fact that he had no experience with the Eastern European country and that Vindman was the true expert on the matter.
If Dumpster says person X is an expert, you don't second guess Der Fuhrer. Or you are sent to the Russian Front. And there you will be forced to work on disinformation to steal the 2020 "election" for the Chosen One.
"All glory to the HypnoTrump, or else..."

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#4173 LFC

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 02:34 PM

Director of National Intelligence in the Trump administration is clearly not a particularly important position and requires no morality.
experience.

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Before acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell entered government, he had a different career path: spin doctor, hired by a range of foreign clients.

Grenell embarked in 2016 on a public relations campaign against a Moldovan prosecutor who was cooperating with an investigation of large-scale money laundering. Grenell was reportedly working on behalf of a Moldovan political party and its oligarch leader.

The former prosecutor — Mihail Gofman — spoke with TPM on Monday in an exclusive interview.

“He came out of nowhere,” Gofman told TPM, referring to Grenell. “He was clearly hired to smear me.”

Craig Engle, an attorney for Grenell, declined to comment. A DOJ spokeswoman told TPM that the Justice Department generally neither confirms nor denies “the existence of any ongoing investigation.”

Gofman’s story — and how he came to be targeted by Grenell — is something out of a spy novel, with the longtime prosecutor fleeing Moldova in a borrowed car to share details about the allegedly corrupt dealings by the leadership of his country with the FBI.

In 2014, Gofman was a deputy chief in the country’s Office of Prevention and Control of Money Laundering. His unit began to uncover details of a massive bank fraud and money laundering operation involving the country’s leadership, he told TPM.

Millions of dollars from Moldova’s central bank, Gofman said, was siphoned into the United States. After being pushed out of the unit in 2014, purportedly for investigating the allegations, Gofman said that he tried to gain the attention of European officials, but failed.

By July 2016, Moldovans like Gofman were growing increasingly alarmed at high-level visits from the target of the longtime former prosecutor’s allegations: an oligarch named Vlad Plahotniuc, who ran the political party that reportedly hired Grenell.


It also requires no experience.

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President Donald Trump is reportedly circling back to Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX), one of the President’s most outspoken supporters in Congress, as a possible candidate for the position of director of national intelligence. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Several unnamed sources told CNN on Tuesday that Trump has been discussing potential appointment with the Texas Republican recently.

The President had originally planned to tap Ratcliffe for the position in July 2019 after the Trump loyalist loudly attacked Special Counsel Robert Mueller during a hearing on Mueller’s Russia investigation.

However, news reports soon revealed that Ratcliffe had little experience or even interest in matters of intelligence, and Trump announced that Ratcliffe would not be nominated for the role after all.

At the time, Trump complained that “the LameStream Media” had covered Ratcliffe “very unfairly.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#4174 golden_valley

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 05:23 PM

I am continually astounded that no Republicans are standing up to Trump's continued placement of inexperienced but "loyal" to Trump people into professional and highly specialized positions. Is there no Republican Senator sitting on the Intelligence Committee that sees a problem with this? I'd ask about the House Intel Comm but we've already seen them in action.

#4175 LFC

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:41 PM

View Postgolden_valley, on 25 February 2020 - 05:23 PM, said:

I am continually astounded that no Republicans are standing up to Trump's continued placement of inexperienced but "loyal" to Trump people into professional and highly specialized positions. Is there no Republican Senator sitting on the Intelligence Committee that sees a problem with this? I'd ask about the House Intel Comm but we've already seen them in action.

This is interesting. Not that I expect it to have any impact on the current crop of cowering sycophants.

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Former U.S. senators are begging Republicans to do their jobs and uphold the Constitution and if doing so puts them in political danger, the former senators said they’ll do whatever it takes to save them.

In a letter from 70 former senators in the Washington Post, they accused the Senate of not fulfilling their duties. They explained that the framers of the Constitution crafted Article I to give legislative powers for a reason. Without use of those powers, lawmaking is handed to the less democratic judicial branch.

“We are writing to encourage the creation of a bipartisan caucus of incumbent senators who would be committed to making the Senate function as the Framers of the Constitution intended,” the letter began.

They specifically blasted officials for ceding power to the president as well, citing war powers and regulation of international trade.

“In addition, the partisan gridlock that is all too routine in recent decades has led the executive branch to effectively ‘legislate’ on its own terms through executive order and administrative regulation. The Senate’s abdication of its legislative and oversight responsibilities erodes the checks and balances of the separate powers that are designed to protect the liberties on which our democracy depends,” the letter continued.

Some of the senators confessed that their colleagues lamented the diminished power of the Senate made them wonder if there was any point to them even serving in office anymore.

“We do not want to give the impression that we served in some golden age when the Senate operated like clockwork and its members embraced one another as one big happy family,” the letter went on. “Of course, that was never the case. Senators have always advanced strongly held positions and have vigorously engaged in legislative combat.”

Their concern, the letter continued, is that the legislative process isn’t working anymore in the Senate. Some of it has to do with committees who no longer have a responsibility to write legislation, rules let debates go on, the filibuster has been abused, then completely eviscerated. It now takes 60 votes to pass anything.

“This is new and obstructionist; it takes 60 votes to invoke cloture in the once relatively exceptional event of a filibuster,” the senators said. “Filibusters are now threatened as a matter of course and are too readily acceded to. Neither in committee nor on the floor do rank-and-file members have reasonable opportunities to advance their positions by voting on legislation.”

They want bipartisanship, whether President Donald Trump does or not.

“This does not have to be viewed as a judgment on today’s Senate leadership; instead, it’s a bipartisan act of shared responsibility and accountability for how we arrived at this point,” the letter said.

Interestingly, however, these 70 senators never sent a letter like this when the U.S. Senate shutdown during President Barack Obama’s administration, refusing to pass laws, judges or even hold a hearing on a Supreme Court justice nominee they’d already overwhelmingly voted to support.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#4176 LFC

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 08:18 AM

Best people. Now college interns are getting top positions. I guess he's loyal and "malleable" so he's a perfect fit.

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A college senior is reportedly heading to the White House to be a top official in its Presidential Personnel Office.

Three administration officials confirmed James Bacon’s hiring to Politico Wednesday. The 23-year-old senior at George Washington University is set to act as a right-hand man to newly appointed PPO director John McEntee, the officials told Politico.

Bacon will reportedly take on the role of PPO’s director of operations who oversees paperwork and provides assistance on vetting. Politico noted that Katja Bullock, who served in the office during both Bush administrations and is in her late 70s, held the position.

An official told Politico that Bacon worked under McEntee — who was preceded by soon-to-be State Department official Sean Doocey — on the Trump campaign’s earliest days as well as its advance team. Bacon was also behind the operations on the Trump transition. The official added that Bacon would have graduated on time if he had not worked on Trump’s campaign.

According to two officials who spoke with Politico, Bacon most recently worked at the Department of Transportation’s policy shop briefly. While simultaneously taking classes for his bachelor’s degree, Bacon also served as a White House liaison at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Two other officials said that Bacon was known at HUD as Sec. Ben Carson’s confidential assistant, according to Politico.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#4177 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 08:52 AM

View Postgolden_valley, on 25 February 2020 - 05:23 PM, said:

I am continually astounded that no Republicans are standing up to Trump's continued placement of inexperienced but "loyal" to Trump people into professional and highly specialized positions. Is there no Republican Senator sitting on the Intelligence Committee that sees a problem with this? I'd ask about the House Intel Comm but we've already seen them in action.

Government can't do anything right, and Republicans will prove it to you.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#4178 LFC

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 04:24 PM

Ken Cuccinelli is screeching about a judge calling out his unlawful appointment to the Trump administration. Republicans continue to hate America. Faux News of course has forgotten the record setting number of obstructions Obama faced at the hands of Senate Republicans.

Quote

Acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli maintained that there’s no issue with his position at the agency during an interview on “Fox and Friends” Monday morning.

On Sunday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. ruled that Cuccinelli was unlawfully appointed as the acting director of USCIS last year. Citing the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, Judge Randolph Moss wrote in the ruling that Cuccinelli’s newly created title by the Trump administration failed to satisfy the necessary legal standard and lacked “any substance.”

After telling “Fox and Friends” hosts that the ruling is an “outlier,” Cuccinelli was asked by co-host Ainsley Earhardt about whether the method has been used by Republicans and Democrats for years. Earhardt also pointed out that Moss was appointed by former President Barack Obama.

Cuccinelli responded that “various aspects of appointment have been used” before going on a tangent about how the Trump administration is frustrated with Democrats blocking Senate confirmations.

“The Trump administration has been somewhat frustrated with how long it takes to get people through the Senate,” Cuccinelli said, referring to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act cited within Moss’ decision. “That Democrats in the Senate have imposed a record number of blocks on those nominees.”

Cuccinelli added that Democrats have “really tied the hands of the administration,” causing the Trump administration to “use things like the Vacancies Act and these alternatives that are legal.”

“They’re just less preferential to getting a full Senate appointment,” Cuccinelli said. “But that’s the way the President has been forced to play the game.”

Co-host Brian Kilmeade chimed in, saying that “we’ve got to fix that” and regardless of who the next President is, “this is a joke.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#4179 golden_valley

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 08:04 PM

View PostLFC, on 02 March 2020 - 04:24 PM, said:

Ken Cuccinelli is screeching about a judge calling out his unlawful appointment to the Trump administration. Republicans continue to hate America. Faux News of course has forgotten the record setting number of obstructions Obama faced at the hands of Senate Republicans.

I know facts don't matter, but Cuccinelli didn't have to undergo Senate confirmation and even if he did, the Senate would confirm him in a heartbeat because there aren't enough Democrats in it to "block" him.

#4180 LFC

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Posted 09 March 2020 - 04:38 PM

Mulvaney is out but a Freedumb Caucus leader looks like he's in.

Quote

“Mark Meadows understands the president as well as anyone,” Congressman Matt Gaetz told me Friday night. “He is a brilliant strategist and will ensure success.”

The sentiment is classic Gaetz, redolent of other statements from perhaps the president’s fiercest defender on Capitol Hill. Before Friday, that mantle may have been the province of Mark Meadows, the ex-House Freedom Caucus chair. In a spring shakeup, Meadows was elevated to the White House Friday night as President Donald J. Trump’s fourth chief of staff.

Trump’s swapped South Carolina for North Carolina. Meadows’ ascension means the end for Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s “acting” chief of staff for over a year. Mulvaney, in his role, was a friend of foreign policy restraint, but recent, tone-deaf comments on immigration were likely the coup de grace in a relationship that was effective but not affectionate.

In the Trump White House, if the relationship breaks down, judgement night can never bend.

For Trump, chief of staff, like national security advisor, has been a role of considerable upheaval. In Meadows, the president has gone with a loyalist. Ironic for a Republican politician who slashed at market orthodoxy on the Right, Trump has always gotten on with the libertarian House Freedom Caucus like a house on fire.

Members of this Hill group represent blood-red Republican districts in rural and exurban America, so determining if the relationship with the president is authentically amorous or sinisterly self-interested is interesting, but ultimately inconsequential. The relationship with the White House was there from the beginning. Caucus leadership was on the speedial of then-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, and the contingent served as a foil to frenemy House Speaker Paul Ryan. Figures friendly to its membership, such as Don McGahn, the White House counsel, dotted the ranks of the admin.

By tapping Meadows, Trump and the Freedom Caucus are further twinned. Early policy picadillos — the Caucus was coy in its support of the administration’s eventually-doomed healthcare reform efforts — are ancient history. Apostates, like outgoing Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, have been cut from the body. It’s slash and burn politics at its finest. And in Meadows, the Caucus sends Trump a favorite son.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





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