Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Cruising the Web

I certainly didn't support Trump in the campaign and, for the first time in my life, threw away my vote for the presidency. But his nomination of Judge Gorsuch last night fulfilled every hope that I had after the passing of Justice Scalia. At least from what we can tell now, he is everything I would have hoped for to replace Scalia.

Ramesh Ponnuru summarizes Judge Gorsuch's record and presents this excerpt from a tribute that Gorsuch gave after Scalia's passing that indicates that his judicial philosophy follows in the tradition of Justice Scalia.
Judges should instead strive (if humanly and so imperfectly) to apply the law as it is, focusing backward, not forward, and looking to text, structure, and history to decide what a reasonable reader at the time of the events in question would have understood the law to be — not to decide cases based on their own moral convictions or the policy consequences they believe might serve society best. As Justice Scalia put it, “if you’re going to be a good and faithful judge, you have to resign yourself to the fact that you’re not always going to like the conclusions you reach. If you like them all the time, you’re probably doing something wrong.”
Benny Johnson at the Independent Journal Review posts this picture of Gorsuch and Scalia together. It's a picture to make any conservative smile.

Of course, the Democrats are going to do everything they can to block his ascension to the Court. Who knows if they will launch a filibuster. I imagine that there will be such pressure from their base that they will feel compelled to, but there might be some Democrats from red states who will realize that launching a filibuster to prevent a vote for such an eminently qualified judge for whom they allowed to be confirmed by voice vote with no opposition when he was nominated in 2006 for the federal bench. Somehow they'll have to demonstrate that his rulings in the past decade are so abominable that they now justify a filibuster when they couldn't even raise their voices against him in 2006.

The Democrats are angry about how the Republicans blocked President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland. I get that. I would have also been angry if the situation had been reversed. But they will have to confront their own hypocrisy on the whole situation since back when they thought that Clinton would win and that they would regain control over the Senate, Harry Reid had snapped his fingers and said publicly that, if the Republicans filibustered a Clinton nomination, the Democrats would extend the nuclear option to the Supreme Court nominations. John McCormack reminds us of Schumer's silence when Reid made that threat. Does anyone think that, if the situation were reversed that they would have allowed a GOP filibuster of a Clinton nominee to the Court to stand without changing the rule? Of course not.

Both sides are hypocrites about all this. If it had been a Republican president making the nomination after Scalia's death, there is no way McConnell and the Republicans would have held off until after the election to confirm that nominee. And the Democrats would have been the ones screaming that we had to wait until after the election so that the people would get a say. So let's not pretend that either side is the one acting on principle. Let's just have the hearings on Judge Gorsuch and have a vote. And if the Democrats want to filibuster, the Republicans can then treat the Democrats to a taste of their own nuclear medicine.

The only thing from Judge Gorsuch's statement last night that I would have quarreled with was his statement that "the Senate is the greatest deliberative body."

Once Trump had made up his mind on Judge Gorsuch, it was smart to move the announcement up from the original day of Thursday. At least, this will change the conversation a bit from concentrating on the botched execution of his executive order.

If Democrats want to do more than oppose Gorsuch out of pique for the Republicans' blocking of Merrick Garland's nomination, they'll have to drum up reasons. Already, liberals are saying that they dislike Gorsuch's expressed skepticism of automatic judicial deference to administrative agencies' interpretations of ambiguous or vague laws.
Nan Aron, the president of the Alliance for Justice, a liberal group, said Judge Gorsuch’s stance on federal regulation was “extremely problematic” and “even more radical than Scalia.”

“Not requiring courts to defer to agency expertise when an act of Congress is ambiguous,” she said, “will make it much harder for federal agencies to effectively address a wide variety of critical matters, including labor rights, consumer and financial protections, and environmental law.”
Really? That's the best they've got - that courts should allow unelected bureaucrats to just make regulations up when they don't have the legislated authority to do so and not showing that sort of deference means that labor rights and the environment are not protected? This is how the WSJ explains Gorsuch's approach to what is called "Chevron deference."
Known as “ Chevron deference,” the doctrine stems from a 33-year-old Supreme Court ruling—Chevron U.S.A. vs. Natural Resources Defense Council—dealing with the Environmental Protection Agency’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act.

It instructs courts to defer to an executive agency’s interpretation of a congressional statute when there is doubt about what lawmakers meant to enact. If the legislative basis for a regulation is in doubt, but the rule seems reasonably constructed, judges are supposed to give agency regulators the benefit of the doubt.

Conservative legal thinkers, including Justice Scalia, embraced the doctrine at a time when President Reagan’s policy of deregulation was coming under judicial scrutiny. At the time, many conservatives felt that judges were improperly assuming the role of policy makers.

But during the Obama administration, many on the right came to see the doctrine and the wide latitude it grants agencies as a threat to separation of powers—and vesting too much authority in the executive branch.
Having just taught my students yesterday what the word "deference" means in discussing how the power of the bureaucracy has increased in preparation for their learning what administrative law is, I welcome public discussion of this principle. Somehow, I don't think that the public will be appalled at the idea that judges shouldn't automatically defer to bureaucrats.
Judge Gorsuch wrote a searing critique of the doctrine last August in a case concerning the U.S. Attorney General’s discretionary authority over an undocumented immigrant’s residency status.

Chevron deference, Judge Gorsuch wrote, “invests agencies with pretty unfettered power” and permits “executive bureaucracies to swallow huge amounts of core judicial and legislative power and concentrate federal power in a way that seems more than a little difficult to square with the Constitution of the framers’ design.”

He called Chevron deference a “judge-made doctrine for the abdication of the judicial duty.”

It is unclear whether Judge Gorsuch’s presence on the high court would tip the balance against the doctrine, and, theoretically, pull some authority away from the president who nominated him.

The eight justices themselves are divided on the issue, with Justice Thomas most aligned with Judge Gorsuch. At the time of his death, Justice Scalia had been drifting away from Chevron deference, but hadn’t entirely discarded it.

Jeffrey Pojanowski, an administrative law expert at Notre Dame Law School, said the doctrine is likely to survive in the short-term. The professor said Judge Gorsuch’s elevation to the high court could make justices more likely to give it a harder look. Of course, a lot will depend on how and what Mr. Trump decides to regulate.
Ooooh! How scary the country would be if bureaucrats had to pinpoint where in the law they got the authority to craft the regulations that they write. Obviously, that way lies Armageddon.

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Kevin Williamson points to the whole Kabuki theater aspect of judicial confirmation fights. When the opposition has printed signs ready within minutes of the nomination, should we really believe that they would have accepted any nominee or that their opposition is a true grass roots movement? But they have to try to convince us now that he is "extreme and dangerous."
But, “extreme”?

Gorsuch sits on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. He was confirmed to that post unanimously.

If he is an “extremist,” then Senate Democrats confirmed a right-wing extremist to one of the nation’s highest courts without a single vote against him. Why would they do that?

Why would Senator Obama have done that?

The word “extremist” of course no longer means anything. It is something like what George Orwell said of “fascism.”
It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley’s broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.
“Fascism,” he wrote, had come only to mean “something not desirable.”

I do sometimes wonder, sincerely, at what appears to me to be a genuine lack of self-respect on the Left. No one believes Chuck Schumer helped put a right-wing extremist on a federal court, and no one believes Gorsuch is an extremist. But the ritual incantation must be made, because that is what is demanded.

It gets very weird: Whatever else can be said of him, Donald Trump is more pro-gay than was Barack Obama when he was elected (Obama, remember, opposed gay marriage, based on, in his words, what “my faith tells me.”) But Democrat-affiliated gay groups denounce him as a monster even though he is closer to their position on gay-rights issues than any other man elected president has been. The streets are full of people protesting Trump’s attempt to restrict the travel of certain foreigners wishing to visit the United States — but these same people could not be moved when Barack Obama proposed stripping U.S. citizens of their constitutional rights with no trial, charge, or due process, and restricting their travel as part of a secret military-intelligence process. They cheered it, in fact, and said those who opposed this insane plan were soft on terrorism. President Obama went as far as ordering the assassination of U.S. citizens, and the Left became very angry with Chick-fil-A.

Perhaps our Democratic friends will pardon us if we do not take too seriously their insistence that Gorsuch is an “extremist.”

Perhaps they will pardon us if we do not take them too seriously about much of anything.

Tom Rogan point
s to the real problem with Trump's executive order on delaying visas - it doesn't address the problems we've faced with terrorists.
Trump’s travel ban is a counterterrorism Maginot Line: A fortress of arrogance that ultimately proves impotent.

Trump is preventing travel to the U.S. from seven terrorist-friendly nations. But just as the Maginot Line was circumvented by a Nazi blitzkrieg through Belgium, terrorists in the EU can circumvent Trump’s ban and attack America.

For an EU citizen who is not on a watch list, the visa-waiver program, which allows citizens of certain countries that have good relationships with the U.S. to enter without visas, makes traveling to America easy. ISIS is aware of this, and takes great effort to teach attackers it directs (the Paris plotters) and attackers it inspires (Omar Mateen) how to avoid detection when traveling between and within Western countries. As with 9/11, by the time an individual gets to the Customs line, it’s often too late. At that point, U.S. officials have few means of discovering whether a visitor is coming for vacation or to commit violence. ISIS and al-Qaeda not only understand this, they are existentially hateful towards America and are determined to attack us.

Don’t get me wrong. My argument is not that EU citizens should be included in Trump’s ban. My point is that the ban’s seven-nation-spray-from-the-hip approach is not a strategy.

And we should be under no illusions — Trump is spraying from the hip. While EU citizens holding dual citizenship from any of the seven listed nations are, apparently, banned from U.S. entry, dual citizens from countries not on the list are not. Notable absences include the former French colonies of Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco (which yield a disproportionate number of terror suspects among French dual citizens) and Pakistan (the key source of dual-citizen British terror suspects).
Rogan argues that we could face real problems if someone who is an EU citizen came to the US and committed a terrorist attack. What then would Trump do? Ban EU citizens from coming to the US? That would be a disaster.
Ultimately, President Trump is right to recognize that countering terrorism requires a bold strategy. But it also requires introspection and careful implementation. The Maginot Line failed because the French government chose populist grandstanding over clear thinking. Trump must not make the same mistake.

Rich Lowry notices that somehow, as we all knew it would, calling someone you disagree with un-American is now back in style.
Democrats, who have spent the past half-century since Joe McCarthy objecting to the suggestion that anyone in this country might not be patriotic, can barely mention President Donald Trump’s immigration order without calling it un-American. Judging by their performance over the past few days, if Democrats ever take back control of Congress, their first act will be to reinstitute the House Un-American Activities Committee to investigate proponents of reduced immigration and their associates. (“Are you now or have you ever been an immigration restrictionist?”)

Trump’s immigration order is vulnerable to any number of legitimate criticisms, on its merits and particularly on its shambolic rollout. But it is not true that a months-long pause in immigration from seven Muslim-majorities countries, some of which lack functioning governments, and all of which are either war-torn or hostile to the United States, is a violation of the nation’s creed.

Nowhere is it written that the United States can never tap the brakes on immigration. For much of the political class and for an inflamed Left, any new restriction is tantamount to melting down the Statue of Liberty, an ahistorical attitude that desperately needs a corrective. President Trump, in blunderbuss fashion, is setting out to provide one.

Everyone knows that we are a “nation of immigrants,” although immigration has been highly contested throughout our history. “America,” the late political scientist Samuel Huntington wrote, “has been a nation of restricted and interrupted immigration as much as it has been a nation of immigration.”

....there is a lot of room to reduce immigration without shutting our doors entirely. A cut in half in legal immigration to the levels of the early 1980s would still mean roughly 500,000 new immigrants a year, a high absolute number compared with almost every other country in the world. Of course, the Trump policy that has caused such a reaction is not close to change of this scale.

Trump also has temporarily suspended the U.S. refugee program and capped it at 50,000 refugees. This is in the same ballpark as the figure for admittances from the past five years or so, when the number of refugees was typically between 50,000 and 70,000 a year. If we are using an overall level of refugees to judge our American-ness, 1976, 1977, 1978, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007 must have been woefully un-American years, because the number of refugees was less than 50,000 in each of them.
As Yuval Levin writes that the uproar over Trump's executive order is leading supporters to jump in with almost Pavlovian responses to defend the substance of the order. Just because people have criticized the White House's performance with this order doesn't mean that supporters should start arguing that, of course critics are wrong and there was no problem.
Reactions to this weekend’s implementation of President Trump’s executive order regarding immigration have tended to confound the ends and the means of the order—the substantive policy goals and the process involved in developing the policy. Critics have tended to see the shambolic process of crafting and announcing the order as part and parcel of a disordered morality embodied by the policy it sets. Defenders have argued that bold ends call for brash means. Even Trump himself has suggested that the purpose of the policy required that it be a surprise—apparently even to the highest levels of his administration and to the people charged with carrying it out.

These elements have to be untangled. Whatever you think of what this order set out to do (and I think that, as it was formulated, it elevates dubious political symbolism over governing substance and seems likely to undermine the national interest), you have to acknowledge that the order was produced in a way that set up the new president for failure. This should be only more troubling if you are more friendly to the policy involved....

Other problems were in evidence too, and the administration needs to make sure that its defensiveness in the face of its critics does not blind it to its own shortcomings. It should also be sure it does not partake of the error some of those critics have made by confounding ends and means and so does not take attacks against the process that led to this presidential order as simply attacks against the substance of the order—to be dismissed as a matter of ideological disagreement.

It’s early. And this new president’s team consists of people who haven’t done this sort of thing before. None of us outside critics should imagine we would have done better. It’s always safe to assume a new administration will face a steep learning curve and isn’t ready on day one. But after this weekend, we don’t have to assume it. It’s clear, and we can only hope the new president and his team see it too. The stakes are awfully high.

Hmmmm. What did the Obama administration do to help religious minorities threatened with death? Well, if those threatened were Christians, the Obama White House didn't act to help them.
The Unites States State Department even under Obama found that Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or the surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Jesus. Yet what did Obama do about it? How many Democratic politicians and Hollywood actors and actresses complained about this?

An estimated 322 Christians are killed because of their faith each month. What is the estimate of Democratic politicians and Hollywood actors and actresses complaining about this?

A Pew Research Center Poll found that more than 75% of the world’s population centers are areas with severe religious restrictions, many of them Christian. What percentage of Democratic politicians and Hollywood actors and actresses are complaining about this?
Their silence is telling.

The WSJ points out that Barack Obama's legacy on refugees is not pure despite his insertion into the brouhaha over the executive order. His spokesman said that President Obama is against discriminating against people based on their faith or religion.
No one doubts that, but then Syrian refugees became a global crisis in large part because Mr. Obama did almost nothing for five years as President to stop the civil war, much less help refugees. Here are the number of Syrians his Administration admitted: fiscal year 2011, 29; 2012, 31; 2013: 36; 2014, 105; 2015, 1,682. Only in 2016 did he increase the target to 13,000, though actual admissions haven’t been disclosed. Mr. Obama also barely lifted a hand to help resettle translators who worked with GIs in Iraq or Afghanistan.

We oppose Mr. Trump’s refugee order, but it takes a special kind of gall for Mr. Obama and his advisers like Susan Rice to lecture anyone about “American values” and refugees from chaos in the Middle East.
The Obama administration admitted Syrian refugees from the refugee camps which automatically left out Syrian Christians because they were threatened with death if they stayed in those camps.

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Steven Hayward links to a Newsweek story about how a Russian shell company is funding environmental groups that are fighting against fracking.
Here in the United States, a Senate report found that the Sea Change Foundation funneled more than $43 million to environmental causes in 2011 -- padding the budgets of ardent anti-fracking organizations like the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The Foundation is heavily funded by a Bermuda-based shell corporation with direct ties to Putin and Russian oil interests. The shady firm is currently under indictment for offshore money laundering.

The influence of Russian propaganda and the influx of money funneled from the Kremlin to many of America's most extreme environmental outfits helps explain why anti-fracking attacks continue even though science has confirmed fracking poses no threat to public health.

A five-year study from the Environmental Protection Agency could "not find evidence that [fracking] led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States." Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson admitted there hasn't been a single "proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water."

The U.S. Geological Survey and the Groundwater Protection Council both found fracking caused no groundwater contamination. A recently concluded three-year study performed by geologists at the University of Cincinnati also found fracking had no impact on local water supplies.
Wow! How much publicity will this revelation get anytime fracking is in the news and we have a bunch of people come out to protest? Will reporters be asking these organizations about their support from Vladimir Putin? Isn't Putin interfering in our energy industry in order to prop up Russia's oil industry at least half as important as their involvement in leaking political communications from Democrats during the election? I think we all know the answer to all these questions.

Sarah Hunt at the American Legislative Exchange Council has put together a compendium of what Trump's nominees have said in their Senate hearings about climate change. As she points out, their answers "show a cabinet consensus on climate change that might surprise a person who does not read past headlines." What a shame for the environmentalists who are portraying these people as climate denialists. Trump might believe that climate change is a hoax, but his nominees don't. She concludes,
True, the nominees do not agree among themselves about what, if any, public policy responses are warranted to address climate change. And, true, for some of the nominees, even stating that climate change is “real” represents a new public position on climate. Their statements during their nomination hearings, however, are hardly the stuff of “denial.” Instead, the hearings show Republican administration officials who are open to a national discussion about climate change and the appropriate way to address the challenge.

All concerned about environmental stewardship and human health should welcome this open door to dialogue. “Climate denial” name-calling politicizes the issue and slams the door shut on what is an opening for bipartisan conversation about an important matter of public policy. The environmental Left must decide if they desire an open discussion about environmental protection or if they want to continue to deploy environmental concerns as a political wedge to advance a big government agenda. Casting the “denier” aspersion on a Republican leader is not justified because that person is reluctant to embrace climate policies inconsistent with their sincerely held limited government and free market values.
Jeffrey Carl adds his thoughts about how the left thinks that only their approaches to the environment are acceptable and all other positions are "denialist."
It’s not at all inconsistent to believe that climate change is an issue worth addressing but to think that the UN process is hopelessly corrupted, brings the wrong players into the room, and, through its elevation of moral preening and grandstanding in attacks on countries such as the U.S., does more to exacerbate the political problems on climate change than it does to solve them.

It’s not at all inconsistent to think climate change is an issue worth addressing and yet to want the government to avoid Solyndra-style taxpayer boondoggles.

It’s not inconsistent to think climate change is an issue worth addressing and yet wonder whether the almost $1 Trillion spent globally on clean energy investment globally over the last three years is being spent wisely.

It is not at all inconsistent to think that climate change is worth addressing and yet to think that most of the way the left deals with climate change has far more to do with virtue-signaling, Republican-bashing. and rank hypocrisy than it does with actually addressing the climate issue in a meaningful way.

This is wonderful. Go North Dakota!
After spending more than $22 million on the Dakota Access pipeline protest, North Dakota wants to make sure any paid activists remember to submit their state income taxes.

Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said his office is keeping an eye out for tax forms from environmental groups that may have hired protesters to agitate against the 1,172-mile, four-state pipeline project.

“It’s something we’re looking at. I can tell you I’ve had a number of conversations with legislators regarding this very issue,” said Mr. Rauschenberger. “[We’re] looking at the entities that have potential paid contractors here on their behalf doing work.”
It’s no secret that millions have been funneled into the six-month-old demonstration via crowdfunding websites, and that more than 30 environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, Indigenous Environmental Network, Food and Water Watch, and Greenpeace, have backed the protest.

If national environmental organizations are paying protest personnel, they’re not saying so publicly. Still, Mr. Rauschenberger said red flags will be raised if he doesn’t start seeing W2 or 1099 tax forms from those affiliated with the protest arriving at his office.
“It’s something we could possibly pursue if we don’t see 1099s coming in for the activity,” Mr. Rauschenberger said.

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How do we know
that Sally Yates was grandstanding rather than acting on true principles? She stayed on in the DOJ rather than resigning her job once she decided she couldn't support Trump's policies.
It’s wrong for such a person to deliberately put himself in a position where he either has to implement a policy to which he conscientiously objects, or resign and embarrass the new president. The obvious way to avoid that is simply to decline to stay on in the first place.

Anyone who has not been in a coma for the last 18 months had to know that one of the first things Donald Trump was likely to do as president was issue an executive order restricting immigration as part of a policy to protect the United States from terrorist attacks. Whatever flaws there may have been in the construction of the order, its scope was by no means more broad than could have been expected, given Mr. Trump’s quite clear position on the issue.

So the short of it is that, given the beliefs she has now expressed, Sally Yates should have left the Justice Department on the day Donald Trump took office. That she didn’t do so was either a mistake on her part, or as the editors of NR have suggested, a deliberate attempt to create visibility for herself as she went out the door. And it was risible for Yates to claim in her public statement that she could not conscientiously defend in court a legal position she thought unsound, given the Obama administration’s record of litigating a number of extreme legal positions that were likely to be, and were, repudiated by the courts.

In other words, if Yates has a problem defending executive actions that, in the words of her statement, she is not “convinced” are lawful, her scrupulousness on the subject is of very recent origin.
Even if she had decided to stay but then felt she couldn't defend the order, she should have honorably resigned at that point instead of her futile act of saying she wouldn't defend it in court when she knew that would lead to her firing. That is just moral preening to play to the liberal base and give them another talking point against Trump.

And this is why we need bureaucrats - to protect the narrow interests of one state.
Democratic Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin is asking President Donald Trump to help dairy farmers by enforcing the definition of milk to only mean what comes out of a cow or goat.

Allowing businesses to sell plant-based drinks as milk “is unfair to dairy farmers” who sell real milk, Baldwin argues in a letter to the president sent Tuesday.

“Products made from nuts, seeds, plants and algae do not provide the same nutritional profile as the dairy products they imitate, and they should not be able to use dairy’s good name for their own profit,” Baldwin says in the letter.

“I would encourage your administration to enforce laws on the book that allow the FDA to crack down on the mislabeling of non-dairy products with dairy terms including ‘milk,’ ‘ yogurt,’ and ‘cheese,’ Baldwin said.

Here's an example
of Judge Gorsuch's use of humor as he dissented from a ruling in favor of a police officer who arrested and sent a 13-year old student to juvenile detention for excessive burping in gym class.
If a seventh grader starts trading fake burps for laughs in gym class, what's a teacher to do? Order extra laps? Detention? A trip to the principal's office? Maybe. But then again, maybe that's too old school. Maybe today you call a police officer. And maybe today the officer decides that, instead of just escorting the now compliant thirteen year old to the principal's office, an arrest would be a better idea. So out come the handcuffs and off goes the child to juvenile detention. My colleagues suggest the law permits exactly this option and they offer ninety-four pages explaining why they think that's so. Respectfully, I remain unpersuaded.


tfhr said...

"...for the first time in my life, [I] threw away my vote for the presidency." ~ Betsy

Welcome to the People's Republic of Maryland - your official, blue Mao jacket will be delivered to your door by one of our businesses or wealthy citizens as they flee south from our state.

On a much happier note: Long Live Justice Gorsuch!!!!! (May he not be another John Roberts)

george boggs said...

In an effort to assuage and comfort the "conservative" hand-wingers and process-niks who caterwaul about how Kelly was sidelined,

"Kelly's visit with lawmakers came hours after he held a press conference and defended Trump's executive order as 'long overdue'."
--- Politico 1/31

Geez. But whaddaboud da neoconarrative, huh? Whaddaboud dat??? Aint nobody listenin' to us??!!!

george boggs said...

I meant to type "hand-wringers", but I actually like "hand-wingers" better. It fits. :-)

mardony said...

The shame and hypocrisy of situational ethics.

"One of my proudest moments was when I told Obama, 'You will not fill this Supreme Court vacancy.'"
-- Sen. Mitch McConnell, 2016

"Apparently there's a new standard now, which is to not confirm a Supreme Court nominee at all. I think that's something the American people simply will not tolerate."
-- McConnell, 2017

george boggs said...

Shame!! Shame!! I'm rending my garments! The shame!!! :-D

tfhr said...


"Elections have consequences."

~ B. Obama, as he provides the future caption for much petard hoisting of the shredded Dem Party flag.

Shall we harken back to the Dems doing exactly the same thing with Republican court nominations?

Your puffery is as predictable as it is hollow but if it allows you to grieve for the loss of an awful candidate that should never have been on her party's ticket for anything, then cry your eyes out!

Long live Justice Gorsuch!!!

Ron K said...

what grounds do the Democrats have to be mad at the Republicans outright rejection of Garland? Some cliche for you that seem appropriate, "you reap what you sow", "turnabout is fair play", and "do unto others as they have done unto you". think about how they apply to the Supreme Court nominee. I'm sure you can find where the Democrats should not be surprise at the outcome of Garland.

Ron K said...

as for wasting my vote, I originally was going to vote off on this election, really couldn't find a reason to vote for Trump, I cannot stand him, I will never ever ever vote for a Democrat no matter who they nominate. things changed when the Khan's stood up in front of the Democratic Convention imploring Trump to read the Constitution, they had the bloody nerve to do that in front of the party that is doing it's damnedest to destroy that document and the contry. That is when my vote chanted.

mardony said...

Trump "betrayed"? Does Trump believe there are any limits to his authority? Do you hear marching boots in the streets? Does this Leninist white house believe in an independent judiciary? Oh wait, it's just reciprocity for Obama's executive orders, right? Welcome to the world of FauxTUS.

The White House Statement on the firing of Sally Yates:

“The acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States. This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.

Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration."

tfhr said...

Ron K,

I always thought the Garland nomination was the bait in a bait and switch move that was never advanced far enough to play out. Everyone knew that the Republican majority could keep Obama from having another Supreme Court justice installed on the bench - if Republican leadership could find some backbone, never something one can assume.

Obama would have rather installed a far more radical candidate but if he had pushed such a nominee, it would have helped the Republicans unite and actually show some resolve from the outset. Instead, Obama shrewdly put forth Garland in the hopes that enough milk toasts would grant consideration and even a chance at a confirmation hearing and vote. As soon as the Republicans had taken the bait, Obama would have pulled Garland and switched to a more radical candidate.

The Republicans did the right thing and Scalia's seat on the bench motivated millions of Americans to vote against Hillary at the same time so many on the left, especially the legions of useful idiots that are informed by "news" from the Daily Show and the like, thought the election was in the bag and did not turn out as expected.

Thanks Hillary! Thanks left wing media! And thanks to President Trump for getting this right - right from the start.

Long live Justice Gorsuch!!!

tfhr said...


It's only 10:12 and you already need to start breathing into your paper bag. It's going to be a long day, little buddy!

george boggs said...

Mundaney: "Do you hear marching boots in the streets?"

Yes, yes, mundaney, I HEAR THEM!!! They are right outside my door!!! Hobnailed Jackbootz o' Oppression!!!

By the way, mundaney. I must admit I'm flattered by your flailing attempt at Internet stalking. It's sweet, in a perverted Basement Boy way. Hint: you might have more luck stalking children's birthday parties at a pizza parlor in DC. You're really not my type. Give ol' community college George a call, though. You won't be the first troll to make that mistake. I was a troll taunter long before Al Gore invented the Internet. It's my hobby, remember?

mardony said...

tfhr germil ~
They're waiting for you at your methadone maintenance clinic. Do you need directions? Won't TRICARE pay?

tfhr said...


I heard that stomping / dragging sound too but I thought it was the last of the beat down tattered stragglers from the Queen's Own Synchronized Papier Mache Genitalia Marching Team.

Who's community college George?

mardony said...

tfhr germil ~
If TRICARE won't pay for your methadone, maybe Obamacare, the VA, long-term disability, workmen's comp or whatever else you sponge regularly from the government will pay for your needle. But, hurry.

george boggs said...

tfhr: Community college George is the poor guy, George Boggs PhD, who has an internet presence readily available to Google "Cut 'n Paste Intellectuals" when they attempt to stalk me. Proglodyte stalkers do this to threaten point-and-shriek employer campaigns (we know where you work!) to intimidate employed people who disagree with, laugh at, and ridicule their eminently ridiculous childish antics.

george boggs said...

Monloony: spoken like a true Vietnam veteran. Your self-appointed creds are so... convincing!

tfhr said...


Your regard for disabled veterans is evident. Also for people suffering through the treatment of life threatening illnesses.

I'm so glad I can choose where I get my healthcare. I feel bad for people that have been victimized by ObamaCare. Being able to choose was instrumental in saving my life as it allowed me to select the best course of treatment from the best of the best available to conduct it.

For your information TRICARE will provide methadone - I know because when I was being treated for cancer, it was one of the drugs on the list of many that were made available to me though I opted to use other pain killers when I had to but it was there if I needed it. To be honest, the idea of methadone scared me. It was bad enough dealing with the other drugs – from the antiemetics to things needed to counter the effects of lesser opioids.

TRICARE also covered 45 days of consecutive radiation treatments and three rounds of chemo. Protip: ( I know you like these Protip things) When you hear the name Cisplatin, it's not just another drug and it isn't the best way to lose 50 lbs either but it and the catheter they surgically implanted in my chest made it possible for the radiation to be effective enough to treat a squamous cell carcinoma.

After that and some surgery to remove two lymph nodes and some sizeable margins around them, I’m cancer free. Funny you should bring up methadone today because as of my appointment yesterday with my oncologist, I’m now told that I will no longer need a an annual PET scan. I remember just six years ago when I had three of those scans in less than six months. Then it was once every six months, then once each year, and now it seems I’m done. It’s just the side effects of the Cisplatin, the radiation, and the stiffness of the scaring that remain. I’m vigilant and I do everything I can to make myself as low risk as possible for osteoradionecrosis.

So your concern for my health is duly noted and but not without first tipping my hat to you and all the assbags out there like you that see healthcare as an instrument with which to control politics – not to help their fellow human beings. Fortunately for me, the cancer I had was treatable because I caught it early. What you’ve got rotting in your soul is beyond medical science.

tfhr said...



Is Mardony conducting a cyber-stalking campaign?

george boggs said...

tfhr: Apparently, yes he is stalking me. Otherwise, how would he identify the institution employing a man with the same first and last name (who's a vet himself, working to help former military folks get more education in the practical and technical arts) is on the faculty of a particular and not well-known community college? And it's not the first time the poor guy has been mistakenly identified in comment threads by vicious little Progs.

BTW, my best bud, a 'Nam vet (USMC) and historian, died of bone cancer last year. Fortunately, the local VA treated him reasonably well. And yes, and thank God, they helped him get relief from soul-crushing pain. It's outrageous and despicable, but all too typical of the breed, that that the disgusting little fraud would stoop to sidewalk-licking slander aimed at disabled vets.

tfhr said...


Anything to silence dissent - it's the coin of the realm for those that would lose the debate in the face of facts that don't fit their narrative, as facts tend to do.

Sorry about your friend but if the VA did right by him, I'm glad to hear that much. There are some good people at the VA. I think I even met one once but most of the facilities are poorly staffed, not well maintained and overwhelmed by the demand. I still take everything I can to TRICARE even though I'm eligible to take it all to the VA.

If you ever go to the VA hospital in DC - I'll pray for you and I'm not even a religious person - you'll be horrified at how that place works. It looks to be in pretty decent shape and it is bustling, if nothing else, but what a mess! There are a lot of really desperate looking vets in that place and my heart goes out to them for what they've gone through and what awaits them but it would be so much better for all concerned if they did not have to come there for healthcare. Can anybody tell me why it makes sense to drag some old vet off of his farm in southern Maryland all the way into DC when he has to drive - or be driven - past countless doctors offices, clinics and hospitals along the way to DC? (And if his experience resembles many of mine, he'll get to the VA hospital to find out the clinic he thought he had an appointment at will not be seeing him that day)

Here is the answer: Make the VA work like TRICARE with regard to referrals and payment. TRICARE cannot even hope to keep up with the demands placed on it by active duty, dependents and retirees, so military treatment facilties - at least in the DC area - have become a conduit for TRICARE referrals. There are more MTFs in the DC area than anywhere I've ever been, bar none. That said, most lack many essential services or are overwhelmed. The civilian sector readily picks up the slack and TRICARE picks up the tab as your rightful benefit, as promised.

It's for that reason alone that I was able to have my cancer treated at Georgetown. I have military friends who have children with severe medical conditions that take them to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Our MTFs - even Walter Reed / Bethesda - cannot hope to provide that kind of care. Our veterans deserve nothing less.

Maintaining huge and often embarrassingly antiquated facilities is a waste of money. The VA should focus on providing vets with treatment close to home - you shouldn't have to drive 50 miles to see your doctor. Why not go to the same GP that has treated you since you were a kid? Why not go to the hospital your family goes to in your own town or county? The VA should employ bureaucrats that can cut tape for vets not create it but if they want to hire doctors and medical personnel to treat VA patients, then limit it to unique specialties that really apply to wounded veterans - burns, TBI, amputees, PTSD, and specialties that address female veterans' service related needs. They only need to provide services that the local civilian market cannot. This is only a difficult problem - beyond scale - because there are too many entrenched bureaucrats protecting their jobs and too many politicians that view the VA as an instrument to be used during the campaign season.

And if you disagree with me you're a racist.

tfhr said...


Tom Rogan reveals a fundamental flaw in the perception of the threat posed to the West by Jihad, but it was not intentional.

Rogan’s words:

Trump’s travel ban is a counterterrorism Maginot Line: A fortress of arrogance that ultimately proves impotent.
Trump is preventing travel to the U.S. from seven terrorist-friendly nations. But just as the Maginot Line was circumvented by a Nazi blitzkrieg through Belgium, terrorists in the EU can circumvent Trump’s ban and attack America.

First of all, France had a larger army, air force and navy than Germany in 1940. If only they could have mustered the will to use it or had they managed to craft less cowardly diplomacy in the years while Hitler signaled his intentions, we wouldn’t be using the “Maginot Line Defense” throw-away analogy here. While it might have been a surprise to some back in 1940 that sitting pat on defense would not work against an intelligent and adaptive enemy, today we should all understand that when you’ve waited to the point that your opponent can choose the time and place to attack, you are at a severe disadvantage. That enemy will pick the tactic that serves him best and will use it to maintain the initiative at little cost to himself but great expense to you.

Terrorism is a tactic used by Jihadists, among others - not a philosophy - just as the National Socialist Workers Party’s implementation of the Blitzkrieg was a tactic that synchronized mechanized ground and air forces on the battlefield to advance the cause of National Socialism. These same battlefield tactics were employed by the Allied to defeat the Axis around the globe and while I’m not at all advocating the adoption of the tactics used by Jihadists, I’m fairly certain that Roosevelt, Churchill, and yes, Stalin, did not wring their hands about the motivation behind the use of the Blitzkrieg. I’m pretty sure they were resolute in their assessment that the Nazi party efforts to achieve its objectives would not be stopped until the National Socialist Workers Party was destroyed and with it, it’s beliefs.

tfhr said...

Thus far in this war that will determine whether or not Western cultures, religions, laws, and institutions will survive, our leaders and pundits largely fail to see the conflict for what it is, cannot recognize the “-ism” that threatens us, or even recognize the battlefield, but instead obsess about whether there is a perfect solution that can be crafted and implemented while we die a slow death of a thousand cuts. There are still far too many in this country that view the problem as a law enforcement issue which is like suggesting the Japanese Navy should have been given a ticket for flying their torpedo bombers too low over Pearl Harbor. There is a point to be made here about Roosevelt’s internment of Americans having no comparison to the inconvenience of foreign nationals wishing to travel to the United States, but I’ll save that for later.

Worse than failing to recognize that the Jihad against the West is truly a war, there are many that think it comes as part of the cost of doing business in far flung parts of the modern world where modernity is cursed as a matter of faith. While we cannot stop everyone that is a threat to the United States or its interests – certainly not by waiting around for the next gap in a defensive only strategy to be located and exploited - the answer is to make life “inconvenient” and if necessary impossible for people in the broader Islamic world until they are forced to put an end to the murderous radicals in their midst. They don’t have to stop being Muslims but they do have to stop Muslims from being Jihadists set on destroying the West. They can start that by staying at home.

Trump’s ban should be expanded and extended to cover Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Tunisia and many more breeding grounds for Jihad. The terms should be flexible enough to be adaptive to a dynamic enemy and expanded as needed to push the “moderates” to take action where Islamists and Jihadists rest, train, and raise funds. Want to come here for business or school? Guess what? There is going to be a delay….

Trump’s ban is a small step in the right direction but it will take much more but it starts with showing enough will to make the other guys stand in long lines in their own countries – not us having to provide entertainment for poorly trained TSA hirelings.

Tom Rogan sees the Maginot Line but he apparently cannot see the Ardennes for the trees or much of anything beyond that.

mardony said...

swampy booger & ithr germil dahlings ~

You protesteth too much. Many of us have health problems, many more severe than y'all, but not everyone hides behind the flag insisting we're owed care. So get your man Price in so he can slash Medicare, Ryan so he can blockgrant Medicaid and the numbnutz repukes who will whack ACA. And your tin god FauxTUS will rubber-stamp whatever, screwing the fools who voted him in.

But so long as you get your promised tax-paid TRICARE and other vet health bennies, to hell with those non-vets below the poverty line who need health care. To hell with women who worry about their health risks and cancer prevention. To hell with kids getting CHIP; to hell with pregnant women on WIC. To hell with all other needy folks, including every minority your twisted neurons can invoke, and whom you routinely slime on this blog (outdoing each other and always oh so clever cute).

But you got yours (I'm glad), you're fortunate, and they're not. My tax dollars went to TRICARE and the VA so you can now waste your lives with your sick "hobby" of hateful internet trolling (that you're so proud of). It's your way of being grateful. I'm one progressive Viet vet who's happy to have paid the taxes for you, regardless. Try to get well again.

george boggs said...

Monloony: "owed care"

If I'm "insisting that" find it somewhere in anything I've written and point it out, you cheap, lying troll. As Wolfgang Pauli (Pauli Principle) is alleged to have said after reading the scrawlings of an idiot, "That's not even wrong."

Nobody is "owed" anything, anytime, unless there is a contractual agreement that something is to be paid. Like student loans. Then, something is owed. So if TRICARE and VA benefits are part of the deal, then it is "owed", ignoramus.

So complain to the screeching racists demanding "reparations", not me.

That's my $0.02, to be deposited in my Individual Reparations Account. :-D

tfhr said...

Bitter, bitter Mardony,

So you're claiming you're a Vietnam vet or a Vietnam era vet...which is it? Either is fine with me as you have no idea what will become of the commitment you made to your country when you signed on the dotted line and took the oath. If you have any service related disabilities then you're certainly due the care you were promised. And I mean promised, not necessarily what the VA may deliver.

My father has a 100% service linked disability related to his time spent at Tan Son Nhut in 1968 - 1969. He's also a tax payer and so am I. Are you under the impression that members of the Armed Forces don't pay taxes? Your rant suggests that you believe veterans have not earned their due nor contribute financially to the VA. Why would you think that?

I'm happy to pay taxes that go to fulfill obligations made to service members. That the people on the short end of the stick when it comes to the VA are service members, usually not as fortunate as I am, makes me especially angry when they are not treated well and quickly. That my tax dollars are wasted on useless and harmful VA bureaucracy disgusts me.

For someone who went to Harvard you seem awfully slow to pick up on a theme here when I'm talking about the VA. The government care is often substandard, frequently delayed, and very short on options. Did I forget needlessly mired in bureaucratic waste? The point, if you still haven't grasped it, is that the free market could be providing needed services for more people than the current government failure that went into effect with Obamacare. Throwing millions more people into government care will help how when the government cannot manage the VA?

But let's face it - Obamacare by it's very name is about assigning political "credit" for a promise it could never deliver: "affordable" health "care". That promise is as much a lie as the whole "keep your doctor" whopper which can't even measure up to the central purpose of Gruber's scheme: Break private insurance and roll the wreckage into a single payer system like the ones that fail all around the world.

As a human being I'd think you would want better care than this current mess delivers. As a veteran, I'd think you would know better than to say some of things you've said here about VA "health bennies", as you call them. That last post of your calls even more things into question about you.

mardony said...

Swampy and Germil ~
"Report: FBI Finds White Supremacists Infiltrated Law Enforcement Agencies" (AP 2/1/2017)
The good news is some of your buds found work, and won't be drawing unemployment.

tfhr said...


Grasping at straws? Your concern for veterans and health care has passed and it looks like you've found a new tangent to rave about. Maybe you should check under your bed for "White Supremacists" or Russians or something.

Now if there is any truth to the report you've cited (but not linked), why would you bring that up here? Are you bragging?

If I remember correctly, the fabled White Supremacist hates Jews and Israel. You don't think Israel should exist. Does that make you a "White Supremacist"? It's a fair question Mardony. The Nazis were socialists and you're a socialist. The Klan was a creation of the Democrats and you're a big fan of Democrats, if not an outright registered example of a jackass.

tfhr said...


Forgot to add that I can't help but congratulate you on your new found trust of the FBI after the whole Director Comey thing. Way to bounce back like a rubber ball!

mardony said...

ithr germil ~
You've barfed up in your nose again. Hose yourself down and get your needle. You're trembling and shaking.

tfhr said...

Would you like to try your luck at debating a substantive topic? You're not doing too well here with this insult trading schtick.