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Red State Democrats talk tough to Chuck Schumer over Brett Kavanaugh

July 15, 2018

  The full court press is on to stop Brett Kavanaugh from becoming a Supreme Court justice, so much so in fact that Rod Rosenstein is looking for nearly 100 Federal prosecutors to scour all the documents related to Donald Trump’s nominee.

  For his part, Chuck Schumer has vowed to oppose Brett Kavanaugh with every fiber of his being, calling on the Democrats to be united in opposition and hoping to sway a couple of Republicans over to his side.

  So far we have not heard a single Republican come out against Brett Kavanaugh–but that could change–however we are hearing from a few red-state Democrats that they are not going to let Chuck Schumer push them around. Here is more:

Manchin suggested to Politico that Schumer does not have any influence over whether or not he supports Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.

“I’ll be 71 years old in August, you’re going to whip me? Kiss my you know what,” Manchin told Politico, referring to whipping votes among the party caucus.

“My decision won’t have anything to do with Chuck Schumer,” Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) told Politico. Donnelly, in addition to Manchin and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) all voted in support of Neil Gorsuch.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) told Politico that Schumer “knows better” than to try to pressure her to vote a certain way.

“He doesn’t come to me and say: ‘You’ve got to vote with us on this.’ He knows I’ll tell him to take a flyin’ leap,” she said. “I’m going to do what I think is right. It has nothing to do with the party.”

  That is some pretty tough talk from Joe Manchin and Claire McCaskill, and they did vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch, but we will see what happens when the time comes. While they did vote for Neil Gorsuch the balance of the Supreme Court was not an issue whereas this time it could be. In light of this I would expect the Democratic leadership to fight even harder this time to keep its members in line and we will see if the crack.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

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Sunday, July 15th open thread: ‘Lips Like Sugar’

July 15, 2018

  open-threadHere is the open thread for Sunday, July 15th. Please feel free to post links to interesting articles and to discuss whatever issues arise during the course of the day. Nothing is off-topic here.

  Last week we discussed 7 stories, did you miss any of them? If so there is an easy way to make sure it does not happen again. You can subscribe to America’s Watchtower to receive email updates. You can also follow America’s Watchtower on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links on the right. The Twitter widget in the sidebar is fully interactive. This widget updates my tweets in real time and allows you to respond or retweet my tweets right from the blog. 

  Here is Echo and the Bunneymen performing “Lips Like Sugar” live, but I do not know the date.

frui diem

Democrats plan to vote against their own ‘abolish ICE’ legislation

July 14, 2018

  Last week I wrote a post about the Democrats preparing legislation which would abolish ICE and how I thought they were overplaying their hand by trying to placate the extreme left wing of the party while alienating the more moderate Democrats. Polls show that while people might be in favor of reforming the agency most are not willing to go so far as to support dismantling ICE.

  The Democrats were overreacting to a local election and now it turns out, according to this story, they are going to vote against the abolish ICE legislation they wrote when it comes up for a vote on the House floor. It turns out Republicans agreed to let a vote take place on this legislation and that caught the Democrats off-guard. Here is more:

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he will bring up a vote on Democrats’ newly released “Abolish ICE” bill, the Hill’s Juliegrace Brufke first reported. The bill, proposed by three House progressives in light of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy at the border, which separated more than 2,000 immigration children from their parents, would abolish ICE within a year.

“We know Speaker Ryan is not serious about passing our ‘Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act,’ so members of Congress, advocacy groups, and impacted communities will not engage in this political stunt,” the three said in a statement. “If Speaker Ryan puts our bill on the floor, we plan to vote no and will instead use the opportunity to force an urgently needed and long-overdue conversation on the House floor.”

  Kevin McCarthy called their bluff and they are not happy because they planned on using what they would term as “Republican obstructionism” on abolishing ICE as an election year issue to motive the extreme left; they only wrote the legislation because they thought it would never make it to a vote but now that the Democrats learned it would be voted on they have decided to put their mouths where their money was. They would rather talk about the problem.

  When push comes to shove the Democrats decided they would rather talk about Donald Trump’s immigration policy than to take action to do anything about it when they had the chance. The Democrats–much like the Republicans when it came to repealing Obamacare–have made the political determination that it is better for them electorally to keep this issue alive during the election rather than solve a problem they pretend to care so much about.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

House Republicans prepare to impeach Rod Rosenstein on Monday

July 13, 2018

  It is being reported here that House Republicans are preparing to impeach Rod Rosenstein and it could happen as early as Monday. Here is more:

House conservatives are preparing a new push to oust Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to three conservative Capitol Hill sources — putting the finishing touches on an impeachment filing even as Rosenstein announced the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for interfering in the 2016 election.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, in fact, had the impeachment document on the floor of the House at the very moment that Rosenstein spoke to reporters and TV cameras Friday.

Conservative GOP lawmakers have been plotting to remove Rosenstein for weeks, accusing him of slow-walking their probe of FBI agents they’ve accused of bias against President Donald Trump.

Conservative sources say they could file the impeachment document as soon as Monday, as Meadows and Freedom Caucus founder Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) look to build Republican support in the House. One source cautioned, however, that the timing was still fluid.

  I have to say this is an exercise in futility: even if the House does vote to impeach Rod Rosenstein there is no way the Senate is going to convict him and remove him from the Mueller investigation.

  This is no different than when they held Eric Holder in contempt of the Congress or when they repealed Obamacare 1,000 or so times while they knew it would not be repealed in the Senate, this is nothing but for show.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Democrats prepare legislation to abolish ICE

July 13, 2018

  Ever since the self-avowed Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won an unlikely primary bid in New York, partly on a platform of abolishing ICE, we have seen more and more Democrats in Washington move to the extreme left and they have come out calling for the dismantling of ICE.

  Now, according to this story, the Democrats are in the final stages of introducing legislation which will do just that. Here is more:

A Democratic proposal to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement would shutter the agency, probe whether its agents had flouted international law, and create a special commission to rethink how the federal government handles asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants.

The text of Rep. Mark Pocan’s “Abolish ICE” bill, obtained Tuesday by The Washington Post, was sent to House Democrats as they returned from the Fourth of July recess. The legislation, still being tweaked before release, is co-sponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), both of whom are immigrants.

  I have to give the Democrats credit because they have finally found a government agency they would like to do away with. Seriously though, I think the Democrats are overplaying their hand based on a local election in liberal New York by trying to apply the feelings of the Empire State Democratic primary voters to the voters nationally and I think this is going to backfire.

  To be fair, the legislation does not change any immigration laws and it allows for a committee to create a replacement for ICE but I think we know where this committee will end up once ICE is abolished and as for changing the immigration laws well, that is next.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Rod Rosenstein asks federal prosecutors to help review Brett Kavanaugh documents

July 12, 2018

  Now that Brett Kavanaugh has been nominated by Donald Trump to the Supreme Court to replace Anthony Kennedy the vetting process has begun and there are many documents which will be poured through in the coming weeks.

  It is being reported here, in what even The New York Times calls an unusual request,  that Rod Rosenstein has sent an email to all 93 US Attorneys asking for help in reviewing the Brett Kavanaugh documents. Here is more:

Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, has asked federal prosecutors to help review the government documents of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, according to a letter obtained by The New York Times on Wednesday.

Mr. Rosenstein’s request was an unusual insertion of politics into federal law enforcement. While the Justice Department has helped work on previous Supreme Court nominations, department lawyers in Washington typically carry out that task, not prosecutors who pursue criminal investigations nationwide.

But in an email sent this week to the nation’s 93 United States attorneys, Mr. Rosenstein asked each office to provide up to three federal prosecutors “who can make this important project a priority for the next several weeks.” Names were to be submitted to Mr. Rosenstein’s office by the end of Wednesday.

  As The New York Times article points out, it is not unusual for the Justice Department to help review documents related to a Supreme Court nominee but it is highly unusual for the request to be sent out to prosecutors. Here is more:

Former law enforcement officials described Mr. Rosenstein’s directive as a troubling precedent.

“It’s flat-out wrong to have career federal prosecutors engaged in a political process like the vetting of a Supreme Court nominee,” said Christopher Hunter, a former F.B.I. agent and federal prosecutor who is running for Congress. “It takes them away from the mission they’re supposed to be fulfilling, which is effective criminal justice enforcement.”

  It looks like Rod Rosenstein has a little payback in mind for Donald Trump after the President accused the FBI of becoming too politicized and ironically, if this is the case, this just proves Donald Trump’s point. 

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Lisa Page refuses to appear before the Congress despite subpoena

July 11, 2018

  Lisa Page was scheduled to testify in front of both the House Judiciary and Government Reform Committees today but yesterday her attorney informed the Congress she would not be appearing even though she has been subpoenaed, claiming she did not have enough time to prepare. Here is more: 

Former FBI attorney Lisa Page will not appear for a private interview with two House committees despite being subpoenaed, her attorney told Fox News Tuesday.

In a statement, Amy Jeffress said her client did not have enough time to prepare and had asked the the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees to schedule another date.

“The Committees have not honored this request,” Jeffress said. “As a result, Lisa is not going to appear for an interview at this time.”

Here is some of the reaction:

In a statement, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said: “It appears that Lisa Page has something to hide … She has known for months that the House Judiciary Committee has sought her testimony as part of our joint investigation with the Oversight Committee into decisions made by the Justice Department in 2016, and she has no excuse for her failure to appear.

“Lisa Page is a key witness, and it is critical that she come before our committees to answer questions as part of our investigation,” Goodlatte added.

Other GOP members of the Judiciary Committee slammed Page’s refusal to appear, with Ron DeSantis of Florida calling it “pathetic” and Jim Jordan of Ohio said she was “once again showing the double standard.”

  Her attorney is arguing that Lisa Page did not have access to some material to prepare for the interview but that has been disputed by Mark Meadows:

  It certainly looks as if Lisa Page is hiding something and it is time for the Congress to grow a set and take this to the next level, the Congress must compel her to appear of face incarceration. The last I knew a subpoena was not voluntary…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium