Big govt, Courts, Politics

Kavanaugh Confirmation Sparks War Over Constitution

As we move closer to the GOP’s imposed deadline for the Senate confirmation vote on Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, the debate that continues to take center stage between Republicans and Democrats is the very essence of the Constitution. Kavanaugh’s conservative credentials since his appointment to the federal court by President George W. Bush reveal his opinion, like that of the conservatives on the Supreme Court, that the Constitution has an original intent imbued by the framers. This notion is anathema for Democrats who have argued since the beginning of the progressive era under President Wilson that the Constitution is a “living, breathing” document that must evolve over time to reflect changing social mores. It is that debate that could get heated as the Supreme Court threatens to become Trump’s.

Here’s more from The Daily Signal…

Legal experts say the fight for the original meaning of the Constitution will play a significant role in the confirmation process for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

“The fork in the road as it plays out in the Supreme Court is now going to be the centerpiece of these confirmation hearings,” said John Eastman, founding director at the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.

Eastman made his remarks at an event Wednesday at The Heritage Foundation about federal appeals court Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the high court.

“Are we going to have a Constitution that means what it says … that it’s the source of authority for judges to have judicial review in the first place,” Eastman said, “or are we going to have a ‘living’ Constitution, where the document itself can be molded and shaped to meet what the judges believe is kind of the modern exigencies of the day.”

Kavanaugh, 53, was nominated by Trump on July 9 to fill the seat of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced June 27 that he’s retiring.

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Politics

Facebook Shares Tank As Future Looks Bleak

President Trump has taken a very publicly skeptical view of social media in recent months, and his threats to pressure congressional regulations don’t sit well with Silicon Valley. That coupled with the data mining scandals over that timeframe has investors spooked, and Wall Street has responded with a bit of hedging. The results came to roost this week when Facebook’s share dropped by nearly a quarter on concern that the social media giant’s growth may be plateauing and that its best days are past. Zuckerberg blamed massive investments in security, but that’s a double-edged sword. What remains to be seen is whether the network that ushered in a new era of digital campaign strategy under Barack Obama may already be on the way out the door.

Here’s more from Breitbart…

San Francisco (AFP) – Facebook shares plunged as much as 22 percent Wednesday after the world’s biggest social network reported weaker-than-expected user growth, suggesting a series of scandals on data privacy may impact growth.

Shares tumbled in after-hours exchanges after the disappointing quarterly report brought an abrupt end to Facebook’s run to record highs.

The financial results were close to expectations, but a weak outlook appeared to spook the market. Profit was up 31 percent in the second quarter at $5.1 billion; revenues rose 42 percent to $13.2 billion, slightly below most forecasts.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the tech giant has been investing heavily in “safety, security and privacy” after being rocked by concerns of manipulation of the platform and the hijacking of user data.

“We’re investing so much in security that it will start to impact our profitability, we’re starting to see that this quarter,” Zuckerberg told a conference call on quarterly results.

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Big govt, Courts, Politics

Executive Power Becomes Issue in Kavanaugh Confirmation

As Senate Republicans continue to drill down on a final deadline for the confirmation vote on Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats have been working to coalesce on a single point of contention, and that point appears to be Kavanaugh’s perspective on executive power. During the Bush administration, Kavanaugh was associated with the Independent Counsel investigation of Ken Starr during the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton. That association has Democrats charging that Kavanaugh might decide in favor of the White House in instances where executive privilege is an issue. Democrats will likely argue that Kavanaugh would have defended Richard Nixon had the matter come to the Supreme Court.

Here’s more from Washington Examiner…

As Democratic senators continue to push for the release of more than a million pages related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the judge’s views on executive power have taken center stage in an already fiery confirmation battle.

Kavanaugh’s views on executive power have emerged as a flashpoint in the battle over his nomination, with Senate Democrats and the judge’s opponents questioning whether Kavanaugh would rule in cases before the Supreme Court in a manner that protects the president who appointed him to the bench.

The concerns over his views on executive power are amplified by the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, who for the past year has been examining Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether Trump obstructed justice.

“Question of the day: If Kavanaugh would have let Nixon off the hook, what is he willing to do for President Trump?” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., asked Monday.

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Big govt, Courts, Politics

Democrats Refuse to Meet with Kavanaugh

On the heels of President Trump’s landmark nomination of a second Supreme Court justice, Senate Republicans are pushing forward with a plan to confirm Brett Kavanaugh by October 1, but there’s a problem with that schedule because Senate Democrats, according to reports, are refusing to meet with Kavanaugh ahead of confirmation deliberations. That has Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threatening to drag the session out until election day if necessary. It’s a catch-22 for Democrats in that members running for reelection need to get back to their states to campaign, but stonewalling the confirmation of Kavanaugh may prevent that.

Here’s more from Washington Examiner…

Many Senate Democrats have refused to hold the traditional meet and greet events with Supreme Court nominee Judge Kavanaugh, arguing they have not received all of the millions of pages of documentation related to Kavanaugh’s time working in the Bush White House.

Their shut out could ultimately delay the confirmation process and has prompted a threat from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to keep the Senate in session until Election Day if that time is needed to confirm Kavanaugh.

Republicans want to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1, which is the start of the next Supreme Court term. To show they mean business, Republican leaders have said they won’t adjourn for all-important campaigning this fall if Kavanaugh isn’t on track to making that deadline.

“We will stay here until the bitter end, up to the elections on Nov. 6,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Monday. “That would be the consequence of dragging this out for no good reason. But we will vote on his nomination before the midterm election.”

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Big govt, Politics

Dem Gov. Cuomo Pardons Seven Criminal Aliens

ABC news reported yesterday that Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo had pardoned seven illegal immigrants just ahead of processing for deportation. During his announcement, Cuomo blasted the Trump administration for an “agenda of hate and division”. But what wasn’t discussed in Cuomo’s announcement was the fact that those pardoned had previously been convicted of possession and/or intent to sell drugs (one of whom was also run up on a DWI). As we move headlong toward the November elections, the contrast between Democrat and Republican policies on immigration are working against the Democrats. And it’s a reality that appears yet to occur to them despite opinion polls overwhelmingly in favor of tough enforcement.

Here’s more from The Daily Caller…

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pardoned seven illegal immigrants that are facing deportation on Monday morning.

“At a time when President Trump and the federal government are waging a war on our immigrant communities, New York stands firm in our belief that our diversity is our greatest strength. While President Trump engages in politics that rip children out of the arms of their mothers and tries to ramp up the deportation of New Yorkers to advance his political agenda of hate and division, we will protect our immigrant communities,” Cuomo said, according to ABC News.

Said ex-criminals have allegedly led crime-free lives over the last seven years, at minimum, which was the base requirement of Cuomo’s decision to pardon these seven individuals and excuse their old crimes.

Five of the seven recipients were arrested for either possession of or intent to sell a controlled substance, one of whom was convicted for possession and charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The other two faced petty larceny charges.

This is the third time Cuomo has pardoned a group of criminals that were potentially getting deported.

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Big govt, Politics

Trump’s Putin Summit Already Yielding Fruit

The mainstream media have been quick to criticize President Trump for what they argue was a failed summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Some have even begun to call for impeachment. But less than 72 hours have passed and gains are already being realized. On the heels of the meeting, Russia has agreed to an accord with the Trump administration to put a leash on Iran and work together to decrease the violence in Syria. After negotiating a treaty with North Korea and now reducing tensions in the Middle East, the media are hard-pressed to continue the criticism.

Here’s more from Breitbart…

President Donald Trump has been criticized by the media and by Beltway politicians of both parties for his meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday. But the summit has already produced a very significant win: namely, agreement to avoid a war in the Middle East by restraining Iran in Syria.

As Breitbart News columnist Caroline Glick noted last month, it was crucial that Trump confront Putin over Syria, because Russia  was about to allow Iranian and Hezbollah soldiers, dressed in Syrian uniforms, to move into southwestern Syria along the border with Israel and Jordan.

That was not a situation that the U.S. or Israel could accept.

As Glick explained:

The U.S. has a major interest as well in preventing Iran’s Hezbollah forces from deploying in Syria and in Yemen. The U.S. has an interest in preventing Russia from taking over Syria. … [T]he physical deployment of Iranian-controlled forces along the Syrian-Israeli border and the Syrian-Jordanian border all but ensures a major war between Israel and these forces — including Syrian military forces, which are also controlled by Iran. It raises the likelihood of a Jordanian war with these same forces to an unprecedented level.

The Iranian-Israeli war will spread to Lebanon, which is controlled by Iran through Hezbollah. It can easily spread to Gaza as well, given Iran’s sponsorship of the Hamas terror regime that rules the area.

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Big govt, Politics

John Brennan Hints At Trump Impeachment

Former CIA Director John Brennan blasted President Trump this week immediately following the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In his caustic remarks he argued Trump’s actions have crossed the threshold of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ which historically have triggered impeachment proceedings. But defenders are beginning to point out that Trump’s actions might have been a stroke of genius. Had he appeared at the summit with the intent of publicly or privately castigating Putin for what we know took place during the election shenanigans, there would have been no benefit to American interests. But, defenders argue, Trump might have been making a grand calculation that in appearing to defend Putin, he is actually drawing him closer in order to better protect American interests.

Here’s more from Breitbart…

Former CIA Director John Brennan reacted to President Donald Trump’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin by calling on Republican lawmakers to support impeaching the president.

“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors,’ Brennan wrote, hinting at impeachment proceedings.

Brennan is a frequent Trump critic and a contributor for NBC/MSNBC.

“It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin,” he continued. “Republican Patriots: Where are you???”

During the press conference with Putin, Trump questioned the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and their failure to seize the DNC’s server that they claimed was hacked by Russians.

Later in the day, Brennan appeared on MSNBC to call for Trump officials to resign.

“I cannot understand how the national security team can continue to abide by this and how Pompeo and Bolton and Kelly can continue in their jobs,” he said. “This, I think, rises to the point of good American patriots resigning in objection to that performance by Donald Trump.”

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Big govt, Issues, Politics

Governor Vetoes Budget to Block Planned Parenthood Funds

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has become the champion of pro-life conservatives this month after vowing to block the state’s budget until the legislature sends him a plan that does not include funds for Planned Parenthood. Promising to ‘keep on vetoing it’ regardless how many times legislators send him a new budget, McMaster also slammed Congress for not giving states the right to remove Planned Parenthood from their recipient rolls. He’s among the growing chorus of state leaders, particularly in the South, calling for defunding of the organization both at the state and federal level for using tax dollars to promote abortion.

Here’s more from PJ Media…

No matter how many times South Carolina lawmakers try to restore the $16 million Gov. Henry McMaster chopped from the state’s healthcare budget, the Republican governor vowed to just “keep on vetoing it.”

McMaster said he cut the money from the legislature-approved budget in July to make sure not a dime of South Carolina taxpayer money paid for Planned Parenthood abortions.

“This is the center, this is the core of it and that’s why I vetoed it. And I’ll keep on vetoing it,” McMaster said. “The veto is the most direct way to get the money going to them for family planning services, which in Planned Parenthood land means abortions.”

McMaster also promised to continue stopping state money from flowing into Planned Parenthood until the federal government permitted South Carolina to exempt the organization from the state’s Medicaid provider network.

The South Carolina Legislature reconvenes in September. Restoring the money vetoed by McMaster will be at the top of Democratic lawmakers’ agendas in advance of the November election.

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Big govt, Politics, States

States Stuck in ObamaCare Medicaid Limbo

States are struggling with ObamaCare red tape and the American people needing health care are paying the price. Even state legislation to allow more coverage as part of Medicaid are subject to federal regulations, but Congress has yet to jump in the fray and do the job it was elected to do in November 2016. One of the major problems facing states is that to help low-income people get care under the current Affordable Care Act system means diving head first into a Medicaid one-size-fits-all expansion complete with burdensome federal rules and requirements. The bottom line is that Obamacare, which was narrowly passed under the auspices of getting health coverage for more people, continues to be the reason people are opting out of health coverage altogether.

Here’s more from The Daily Signal…

Recent attention to a court decision against a waiver granted to Kentucky to make work requirements part of its Medicaid program should spur congressional action on Obamacare to give states greater flexibility to help those in need.

Under the current Obamacare structure, states that want to help low-income people get care and coverage are pushed into a Medicaid expansion and hamstrung by its federal rules and requirements. This proposition is a bad deal for the states and vulnerable Americans who need access to care.

Obamacare has wreaked havoc on the individual and small group insurance markets by replacing state oversight of insurance markets with federal regulatory overreach. This has meant fewer people purchasing coverage in these markets, higher premiums for those who do, and fewer choices across the board.

But the individual market is only half the problem. The Obamacare Medicaid expansion remains a challenge for the states. Rather than offering states meaningful solutions and reforms to the Medicaid program, Obamacare simply asked states to do more, enticing them with more money. Some states accepted the proposition, but others have rejected it.

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Big govt, International, Politics

Trump Declares Victory With NATO Commitment to Pay More

President Trump refused to do business as usual at the NATO summit in Brussels last Thursday forcing an ’emergency session’. Reports revealed Trump insisted on keeping defense funding front and center until it was addressed. Following the meeting, President Trump declared: “We’ve accomplished a lot with respect to NATO…everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment, they are going to up it to levels they never thought of before.” This is a major concession for NATO allies who have benefitted for decades from American defense spending for the protection of the entire Western hemisphere.

Here’s more from Breitbart…

President Donald J. Trump appeared to have met his key objectives for the Brussels NATO summit Thursday, revealing that alliance members would “substantially” increase their commitments, and much faster than previously planned.

The comments came at a surprise press conference called after an emergency session of NATO ally leaders Thursday morning. The meeting had begun as a planned multilateral discussion between NATO, Georgia, and Ukraine, but Trump’s insistence on discussing the poor state of defense funding among the majority of members led to alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg declaring the meeting an “emergency session”.

Foreign leaders including those of Ukraine, Georgia, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had to leave the room, which was then restricted to the most senior leaders of NATO member nations.

Speaking after the conclusion of the meeting, President Trump said that while he had expressed to his fellow world leaders that he was “extremely unhappy”, he hailed them for having agreed to “substantially up their commitment”.

The President said: “We’ve accomplished a lot with respect to NATO… everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment, they are going to up it to levels they never thought of before.”

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