The anti-Trump “resistance”

Members_of_the_Maquis_in_La_Tresorerie

French Resistance fighters, 1944

Democrats have gone into full resistance mode, with Democratic Senators boycotting confirmation hearings to prevent a vote on President Trump’s candidates.  (Republicans suspended the rules and approved Treasury Secretary candidate Steven Mnuchin and HHS Secretary candidate Tom Price anyway.  See this.)

Meanwhile, a self-described “alternative left” has emerged that is pressuring Democratic elected officials not to co-operate with the Republicans.  Notice how the use of the term “the resistance” is taken from what the underground movements that opposed Hitler was called.  See a manifesto after the jump. [Read more…]

Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

Neil_Gorsuch_10th_CircuitPresident Donald Trump has nominated Colorado appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the late Antonin Scalia.  Reportedly, Judge Gorsuch is from that same mold:  eloquent, learned, articulate, and an “originalist” when it comes to interpreting the Constitution.

He is the author of a book against euthanasia and supported Hobby Lobby in its suit against the Obamacare birth control mandate.  An Anglican, he would be the only Protestant on the bench, joining the 5 Catholics and 3 Jews currently serving.  He is only 49, which means he would be on the court for a good long time.

Democrats began planning their opposition tactics before they even knew who was the nominee.  Some are urging that that Senate Democrats filibuster the nomination.  Republicans are saying that if that happens, they would take the “nuclear option” of voting to change the rules to limit filibusters, changing the Senate’s time-honored tradition of unlimited debate. [Read more…]

Obama wins with Iran deal

Senate Democrats rallied behind President Obama’s plan to lift sanctions on Iran in return for its promises to slow down its nuclear program.  Enough senators supported the agreement to sustain a presidential veto against Congressional attempts to stop it.

UPDATE:  You have got to read Charles Krauthammer’s account of what just happened.  President Obama packaged the deal so that it isn’t considered a treaty (even though it is one), which would require a two-thirds vote of the Senate.  “To get around the Constitution, Obama negotiated a swindle that requires him to garner a mere one-third of one house of Congress.” And, as if that wasn’t enough, he got the deal approved by the UN, making it international law, even before Congress approved it!

Now Iran will immediately get $100 billion from their blocked accounts and full access to the oil market and foreign investment.  Since their nuclear program is legally branded as “peaceful,” the West, according to the terms of the agreement, must give Iran aid in developing it and must defend it against cyberattacks from Israel, which the leadership of Iran is bragging won’t be around in 25 years!

[Read more…]

Rand Paul’s filibuster

Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul has been staging an old-fashioned filibuster, staging a marathon speech and holding the Senate floor in opposition to the renewal of the Patriot Act, which authorizes certain government surveillance of citizens.

The Senate has pretty much replaced the old “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” actual  filibuster with the mere threat of a filibuster, so that bills typically require a 60 vote super-majority that would be enough to shut off debate should a filibuster actually occur.  Sen. Paul, though, has too few allies on this subject, so he is going the “Mr. Smith” route.  He has only a few allies helping him hold the floor, and there is enough support for the Patriot Act to shut off debate, which will probably happen at 1:00 p.m. today.

So do you “stand with Rand”? [Read more…]

Senate thwarts both left & right to fund government

The Senate passed the $1.1 trillion spending bill, ensuring that the government will not shut down.  Both tea party conservatives AND populist liberals led by Elizabeth Warren opposed the measure.  So did every potential presidential candidate in the Senate of both parties .

(Question:  The Republicans have the tea party, who attack the GOP establishment for its lack of orthodoxy and ties to crony capitalism, to the point of being willing to shut down the government.  What do we call the equivalent on the left, who attack the Democratic establishment and are willing to shut down the government?  The chai party?  Propose something, and maybe it will catch on. [Read more…]

Republicans gain another senator

Incumbent Senate Democrat Mary Landrieu lost her run-off election in Louisiana to Republican Bill Cassidy.  Part of the reason is that she was abandoned by  fellow Democrats, who are now doing to their party what the tea party has done to Republicans, refusing to support the ideologically impure.  Now Republicans will have a majority of 4. [Read more…]