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News junkies like me and other bloggers remember how fired up the Democrats were the night President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Special interest organizations put together official statements that looked like this:

Democrats didn’t even bother to find out who President Trump had nominated. Now, they’re making things worse. According to this ABC News article, Democrats are now willing to meet with Judge Kavanaugh to “personally lobby him to hand over his entire record.” I’d tell the Democrats to take a hike. The vast majority of them have already announced that they’re voting to not confirm Judge Kavanaugh. Why do these Democrats need to examine documents that don’t have anything to do with Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy if they’ve already decided they’re voting against him?

Judge Kavanaugh has written 300+ opinions, the most of any recent SCOTUS nominee. If they can’t figure out Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy after reading Judge Kavanaugh’s opinions, then they’re hopeless. This is an obvious stalling tactic. It should be stopped before the first interview is held.

This is wishful thinking:

Meanwhile, a potential roadblock awaits Kavanaugh’s confirmation process after the National Archives indicated Thursday that it needs until the end of October to produce nearly 1 million documents requested by Senate Republicans. The records delay could mean a vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court might not come as quickly as Republicans hoped – they wanted Kavanaugh confirmed in early October before the court’s fall term is set to begin.

That won’t slow anything down. Republicans aren’t paying attention to this tactic:

Despite the setback, Senate Republicans, led by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, appear unfazed and plan to forge ahead with a mid-September confirmation hearing for the 53-year old appellate judge.

Republicans should make the argument that Judge Kavanaugh’s rulings, plus his documents from when he worked for Ken Starr, plus the information that they’ll get from the confirmation hearings itself, are enough to make a well-informed decision. If Sen. Schumer whines that it isn’t enough, I’d throw it back in their face that the vast majority of Democrats have either officially announced that they’re voting against confirming Judge Kavanaugh or they’ve appeared at anti-Kavanaugh rallies where they’re expected to be no votes.

This HuffPost article provides more proof that the nutty left hasn’t stopped getting nuttier. The article is titled “Trump Is Giving Democrats Everything They Need For The Midterms”. It starts by saying that “the one silver lining” from the confirmation battle over soon-to-be-Justice Kavanaugh “is that the confirmation of yet another hard-right justice, coming just weeks before the November midterm elections, will spike Democratic turnout.”

What this idiot doesn’t mention is that the Democrats’ attempts to stall the confirmation won’t play well. “Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa has the discretion to schedule a series of hearings on Trump’s nominee. Democrats can press Grassley to delay hearings so members of the panel can review all documents related to the confirmation. One quirk of the Senate’s rules that might come into play is that it requires permission of all senators in order for committees to meet for longer than two hours after the Senate convenes. Hearings for Supreme Court nominees run much longer than that, so any one Democrat could object for committees to meet beyond the customary two-hour start. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky would then need to start manipulating the chamber schedule to accommodate the long hearings.”

Democrats have already used delaying tactics in the Senate. They’re already on pace to lose a bunch of seats in the Senate. They can’t afford alienating more red state voters over a fight they can’t win. If Democrats think that they’re going to prevent Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation, they’re kidding themselves:

What’s interesting is the outright lies Mr. Kuttner tells in his article. Check this out:

Trump’s policy of separating young children from their parents and creating concentration camps for toddlers was grotesque. His government still has no coherent plan for reuniting children with their families. His claim that he fixed a bad policy that he blames on Democrats is fooling nobody outside of his hardcore base. In swing suburban districts, this is an issue that should damage incumbent Republicans and help Democrats.

Concentration camps for toddlers? Seriously? It isn’t surprising that large swaths of people don’t even consider voting for Democrats. Get anywhere in blue collar country, whether in Pennsylvania, Ohio or Minnesota and Democrats are viewed pretty much like aliens from a different solar system.

It isn’t surprising to find out that Democrats think like this. After all, they think that the #WalkAway movement is a Republican propaganda ploy run by Russian bots. Nutty Democrats wouldn’t recognize a genuine grassroots movement if it bit them in the backside.

Earlier this week, I criticized Democrat strategists for not being too bright. As if to provide proof that I was right, Paul ‘The Forehead’ Begala wrote this op-ed to prove my point. His point is that vulnerable red state Democrats can vote against confirming Brett Kavanaugh and not get punished for that vote.

The first point Begala makes is that “Kavanaugh is a total swamp creature.” Coming from a Democrat, that’s rich. Coming from a 25-year occupant of the Swamp, that’s even richer. Then Begala followed by saying “Rather than choosing a judge from Indiana or Pennsylvania or other heartland states, President Trump went with a Beltway Boy, born and bred. Kavanaugh got to where he is the Washington way: by loyally serving powerful figures in the party — first special prosecutor Ken Starr in his pursuit of Bill Clinton, then as a legal hit man in the Constitutional drive-by shooting of Bush v. Gore. And then, finally, as an aide to Pres. George W. Bush in the White House. Bush rewarded Kavanaugh’s service by placing him on the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where he has consistently backed presidential power against the little guy or gal. Kavanaugh is the kind of guy who sucks up and spits down — the epitome of a Beltway swamp creature. Nobody who rides a John Deere tractor all day will be able to relate to Beltway Brett.”

Notice that Begala never once said that Kavanaugh was a bad judge. The only reference to jurisprudence he made was to “the Constitutional drive-by shooting of Bush v. Gore.” I know Democrats hate that ruling but that case was decided correctly. The Florida Supreme Court didn’t follow the law. The Bush team took the case to the US Supreme Court. SCOTUS instructed the Florida Supreme Court to follow the law as written. When the Florida Supreme Court ignored SCOTUS’ instructions, SCOTUS ended the recount. At that point, Bush was ahead. There was no other outcome warranted.

That being said, I hope these red state Democrats listen to Begala. I hope that they ignore their constituents. I hope that they play into the hands of Republicans. They won’t stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation but they’ll give voters another reason to fire them. Let’s remember that 7 of the 10 Democrats voted against confirming Justice Gorsuch and that all of them voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. That isn’t a re-election resume. That’s a defeat resume.

Then Begala wrote this:

Finally, Begala wrote this:

If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. If President Trump is able to replace Justice Kennedy with a Trumpian Republican, women’s rights, gay rights, voting rights, the right to use contraceptives, so much of modern life, could be upended. Standing for principle, not caving to a bully, earns the respect of voters. Far better to be what Mark Shields calls “a conviction politician” rather than just another Washington windsock.

What a blowhard. Saying that confirming Kavanaugh will lead to making contraceptives illegal is the height of dishonesty. There’s no chance that will happen. This is the Democrats’ fearmongering playbook. It doesn’t have anything to do with reality. Nothing.

Still, I hope these red state Democrats obey Begala and Dick Durbin:

Suffice it to say that strategists like Begala are strategists that Republicans should promote. LOL

Tonight, President Trump will announce who he’s nominating to replace Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on the Supreme Court. The list of 25 judges represents the best of the best of conservative jurisprudence. It’s important to note that that isn’t the same as conservative political thinking. The two things are quite different.

Conservative political thinking is rooted in the philosophy of limited government being the best form of governing and that the government closest to the people is the best form of governance. These play out in the form of reform-minded policies. Conservative jurisprudential thinking is rooted in the notion that the text points the direction to the ruling.

The judiciary’s ruling undoubtedly has a political impact because their rulings are on political documents, aka legislation/statutes. That isn’t the same as judicial activism. For instance, when the Supreme Court ruled on Janus v. AFSCME, they ruled on whether public employee unions violated the employees’ First Amendment rights. The majority didn’t address the policy issue of whether they thought unions were a good or bad thing.

That’s a policy matter, which is left to the political branches, aka the executive and legislative branches.

The 4 judges that are thought to be the finalists, Amy Coney-Barrett, Brett Cavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge and Thomas Hardiman, aren’t automatically political conservatives. Each fits the mold of being a judicial conservative, though. The question for President Trump is whether he wants to pick a legal All Star or whether he wants to pick a likely legal Hall of Famer.

Cavanaugh’s reputation is that of a man whose opinions are occasionally conciliatory but always filled with conservative logic. He has 12 years of opinions so his track record is fairly lengthy. Amy Coney-Barrett has the reputation of having a conservative judicial mindset but she’s only been on the bench for a year. President Trump might think that he doesn’t want to take a chance on her until she has a more substantive bunch of opinions. She might be an all star. She might be a Hall of Famer. There’s no sense in taking chances at this point.

Hardiman and Kethledge both have extensive records in terms of opinions. Earlier today on Fox, Andy McCarthy said that Kethledge’s opinions were like a punch in the nose, meaning that they’re well-reasoned and hard-hitting. That’s the type that’s most likely to turn into a Hall of Famer. I haven’t heard much about Hardiman’s writings except to say that they’re extensive and well-written. Hardiman was supposedly the runner-up to Gorsuch last time so that might give him an edge with President Trump.

Whoever President Trump picks, we’ll get a judge who won’t insert his/her policy preferences over the preference of the Legislative and Executive branches. The only question left is whether we get a Hall of Famer or an All Star.

Bret Stephens’ misguided thinking is on full display in this column. The fatal flaw in his thinking comes when he said “This is the fatal mistake of conservatives who’ve decided the best way to deal with Trump’s personality — the lying, narcissism, bullying, bigotry, crassness, name calling, ignorance, paranoia, incompetence and pettiness, is to pretend it doesn’t matter. “Character Doesn’t Count” has become a de facto G.O.P. motto. ‘Virtue Doesn’t Matter’ might be another.”

That’s badly misreading tons of Republicans’ thinking. The 2016 election was, in terms of integrity, a choice between the lesser of 2 evils. It isn’t that we didn’t recognize Donald Trump’s character flaws. It’s that we noticed that Hillary Clinton’s character imperfections were pretty disgusting, too.

To Mr. Stephens: when I’m left with a choice between a man with character flaws who appoints conservative judges, cuts taxes and regulations and stands up to the DC Swamp, vs. the woman who personifies the DC Swamp and the failed status quo, I’ll vote for the flawed man who appoints conservative judges every time because 7 years from now, we can hopefully elect a man or woman of integrity but we can’t get back those judicial appointments. When I think of Neil Gorsuch, I smile:

This shows why I don’t agree with Mr. Stephens:

Trump is normalizing all this; he is, to borrow another Moynihan phrase, “defining deviancy down.” A president who supposedly wants to put a wall between the U.S. and Latin America has imported a style of politics reminiscent of the cults of Juan Perón and Hugo Chávez.

Seriously? Stephens thinks that President Trump is the same as Hugo Chávez? That’s frightening.

I’ve agreed with a number of President Trump’s policies without hesitation. I won’t say that I’ve always appreciated the things he’s tweeted. Unlike Mr. Stephens, I’m perfectly capable of differentiating between policy and behavior.

It’s pretty apparent that David Frum’s TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) symptoms are showing. His article, titled “Conservatism Can’t Survive Donald Trump Intact,” is mostly a defense of Jennifer Rubin’s intellectually dishonest criticisms of Republicans. Still, with a title like that, it’s important to demolish the premise that Donald Trump is leaving the GOP in tatters.

It’s important to rattle through the lengthy list of positive accomplishments that President Trump, with the help of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, has helped turn into a reality. Prior to passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, getting Neil Gorsuch confirmed was the signature accomplishment. Having him sit on the Supreme Court for the next 25 years is a major accomplishment by itself. One of the things that hasn’t gotten much attention but that’s playing a major part in the Trump Boom is eliminating tons of counterproductive regulations by using the Congressional Review Act. On a slightly different front, President Trump has reigned in presidential abuse of the Antiquities Act by shrinking a bunch of national monuments, thereby returning tons of acreage to local control.

Passing tax cuts and getting Neil Gorsuch confirmed would be a pretty nice year if he got nothing else accomplished. The good news is that President Trump has gotten lots of other important things accomplished. Again, thanks to Mitch McConnell’s and Chuck Grassley’s efforts, 12 “fully qualified” conservative appellate court judges got confirmed in President Trump’s first year.

The Wall Street Journal gets it right in this article:

President Donald Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress, who opened their first year in full control of Washington on rocky terms, are closing it with a flush of late legislative achievements: a sweeping tax overhaul, a long-sought repeal of a pillar of the Affordable Care Act and a surprise deal to open up Arctic drilling.

I’ve repeatedly said that the economy is finally growing at a robust pace. Consumer confidence is soaring. Unemployment is at a 17-year low and it’s about to get lower. GDP is expected to grow at 4% or higher during Q4 of 2017.

For years, the goal was for the United States to become energy independent. Thanks to rolling back a ton of Obama-era environmental regulations through the Congressional Review Act, the U.S. isn’t just energy independent. We’re on the verge of becoming energy dominant.

For years, Republicans have talked about energy independence, cutting taxes, confirming the next generation of conservative judges and getting the economy hitting on all cylinders. President Trump and Sen. McConnell worked together to get the judges approved. Then Sen. McConnell and Speaker Ryan worked with President Trump to cut taxes, get the economy humming and delivering on energy dominance.

To this conservative, I’m better than ok with that checklist of accomplishments. The start was bumpy but the finish of President Trump’s first year is pretty smooth.

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s literary defense of Al Franken is flimsy, using platitudes instead of logic. For instance, Sen. Feinstein wrote “Senate Republicans have done a head-spinning 180 on the value of the ‘blue slip,’ a 100-year-old tool that gives home state senators the ability to sign off on judicial nominees in their states. This practice ensures that the White House consults senators on lifetime appointments and that nominees are mainstream and well-suited to serve in their states.”

Theoretically, that last statement is true. The details matter, though. Al Franken abused the system by saying that Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras was too conservative even though Alan Page, a retired liberal Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, spoke glowingly of Justice Stras’s temperament and intellectual integrity.

Minnesotans who’ve paid attention to this situation know that Sen. Franken was using the blue slip to slow down confirmation of Justice Stras. This wasn’t about making sure President Trump’s nominees were sufficiently mainstream. We knew Justice Stras was because of his ABA rating and because of who endorsed him.

Here’s what Sen. Feinstein is really worried about:

This move would give President Trump free rein to pick whomever he wants and stack our federal courts with young, ideological judges preferred by Washington-based right-wing groups like the Federalist Society and Judicial Crisis Network.

Sen. Feinstein didn’t utter a peep when President Obama worked with Sen. Reid to pack the DC Circuit Court of Appeals with young left-wing ideologues. Now that it’s the Democrats that aren’t getting their way, Democrats are whining. I’ll tell Sen. Feinstein what President Obama told Eric Cantor, which is “Elections have consequences. We won.”

The second false claim is that the blue slip is being abused because senators have never before used it to ensure the White House consults them on judicial nominees.

Sen. Feinstein isn’t telling the whole truth on this. Sen. Franken isn’t using the blue slip to ensure that the Trump administration consults with senators. Sen. Franken is using the blue slip as a one-man veto of conservative judicial nominees. It’s that simple.

It isn’t a secret that Sen. Franken is part of the Resistance Movement. Also, it isn’t a secret that he’s one of the most partisan hacks imaginable.

I can’t say that I’m surprised to hear that Sen. Franken is upset that Judiciary blue slips are soon disappearing. I said in this post that Sen. Franken had spent lots of political capital fighting against Justice Stras’s confirmation to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

After Sen. McConnell announced that blue slips wouldn’t be used as a one-man veto, Sen. Franken announced that he hasn’t given up the fight.

In a statement, Franken said “‘[I]n an attempt to stack the courts with right-wing judges, powerful special interests and conservative groups are pressuring Senate Republicans to kill off the blue slip’. ‘In the face of this pressure, I urge Chairman Grassley to demonstrate the same integrity that [past Democratic chairman] Senator [Patrick] Leahy demonstrated and to protect the prerogatives of all senators — Republican and Democratic alike.'”

What a whiner. I didn’t hear Franken tell President Obama or Sen. Reid that the judges that they stacked the DC Circuit Court of Appeal with were too progressive. Sen. Franken is the ‘senator with a glass jaw.’ Further, it’s a bit much to hear Sen. Franken say that Justice Stras is too conservative when retired Justice Alan Page said “We write to urge that the Senate Judiciary Committee and the U.S. Senate act expeditiously to confirm the nomination of Minnesota Associate Supreme Court Justice David R. Stras to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Justice Stras has all the attributes and qualifications necessary to make an excellent circuit court judge.”

I suspect that Sen. Franken is the extremist, not Justice Stras:

Franken has said he finds Stras too conservative to support. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals already has a number of conservative judges, he argued.

So what? As the last president said in the early days of his administration, “I won.” If Sen. Franken doesn’t like the judges that President Trump nominated, he should try running for president and winning the election. Apparently, Sen. Franken doesn’t like the part about elections having consequences except when Democrats win.

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Al Franken tried playing hardball with President Trump’s judicial nominations. This morning, he found out what it’s like to be part of the minority party. That’s because Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, said that “Republicans will scrap the chamber’s ‘blue slip’ tradition, eliminating a tool of the minority to block the executive’s judicial nominees.”

Fred Barnes’ article highlights the steps that Sen. McConnell will implement to get President Trump’s judicial nominees confirmed. They include confirming “judicial nominees has been elevated to a top priority in the Senate. ‘I decide the priority,’ McConnell said in an interview.” Further, Sen. McConnell said that “Republicans will treat a blue slip ‘as simply notification of how you’re going to vote, not as an opportunity to blackball.'”

This won’t sit well with Democrats. It’s likely that Sen. Franken will be particularly upset because he spent lots of political capital fighting “David Stras’ nomination to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals last month.” Now all he’s got to show for his efforts is a reputation as a partisan hack and a bruised ego.

This isn’t just about losing this fight. It’s about the fact that retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page joined with other justices in writing this glowing op-ed. It opens by saying this:

To U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken, Chuck Grassley, Dianne Feinstein, Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer:

We write to urge that the Senate Judiciary Committee and the U.S. Senate act expeditiously to confirm the nomination of Minnesota Associate Supreme Court Justice David R. Stras to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Justice Stras has all the attributes and qualifications necessary to make an excellent circuit court judge. We have firsthand knowledge that this is true given that we served with him as justices on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Stras’ résumé sets out the most obvious of his outstanding qualifications that led to his nomination for a seat on the circuit court. He has an excellent academic record, both as a student and professor; experience as a judicial law clerk at the highest levels; experience with a firm engaged in the private practice of law, and excellent research and writing skills as demonstrated by his frequent lectures, scholarly articles and judicial opinions.

Alan Page isn’t just a retired justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. He’s easily the most liberal justice on the bench in the last 25+ years. When Franken is up for re-election in 2020, I’d recommend that the GOP candidate use this episode to illustrate just how hyperpartisan Sen. Franken is. Thanks to Sen. Franken’s intransigence, the Senate had to change their methods to get this qualified justice confirmed to the federal bench:

When I wrote this post, I hadn’t heard of Hannah Scherlacher. When I finish writing this post, Sen. Franken will wish he’d never heard of Hannah. In my post, I wrote about Sen. Franken’s reliance on ratings from the Southern Poverty Law Center, aka the SPLC, during Amy Coney-Barrett’s confirmation hearing. To hear Sen. Franken tell it, SPLC is a neutral arbiter of who is qualified to be a federal judge. The truth is that SPLC is a bunch of bottom-feeding low-lifes who have stockpiled tons of cash in accounts in the Caribbean.

Sen. Franken, what part of that sounds legitimate? But I digress.

Hannah’s op-ed questions SPLC’s integrity from a personal standpoint. In her op-ed, Hannah wrote “It’s an understatement to say that I was dumbfounded as to how I ended up on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) LGBTQ hate-list — I have never said or done anything to indicate hate for the LGBTQ community. When I called to inquire, SPLC informed me that I am guilty because I did a radio interview with Family Research Council Radio (FRC). I am a program coordinator for The Leadership Institute’s Campus Reform. org. The segment was about socialism, but because FRC holds traditional family values, I was labeled an LGBT-hater just for being a guest on the show. No LGBT topics even came-up.”

Sen. Franken, have you no shame?

What US senator would rely on sloppily-gathered information from a bunch of bottom-feeders like the SPLC? Ms. Scherlacher’s sin was to do an interview with the Family Research Council, an organization whose mission statement states that their “mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a Christian worldview” and whose vision “is a culture in which all human life is valued, families flourish, and religious liberty thrives.”

The FRC’s vision and mission earned it a spot on SPLC’s hate map. That’s significant because that map has helped cause physical pain:

Reckless and irresponsible hate-labeling not only stifles free speech and expression, it empowers and emboldens vicious groups and individuals to violently attack people. Consider the 2012 Family Research Council shooting, when a man walked into the organization’s office in Washington, D.C., with 100 rounds of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches. He planned to kill as many staff members as possible and smear the sandwiches in their faces. He said he chose his target based on SPLC’s Hate Map.

This is more than ironic:

Nowhere is the danger more real than on our college campuses where Antifa, By Any Means Necessary, and other domestic terror groups (which are not found on any SPLC hate list) now feel emboldened to attack conservative students and shut down events under the guise of, ironically, fighting fascism, hate and white supremacism.

Some of the organizations found on the SPLC’s Hate Map are legitimate hate groups. It’s indisputable that the KKK, Holocaust deniers and the Skinheads deserve to be on that map. Being a traditional values Christian shouldn’t land a person on SPLC’s hate map, though.

I’ll close this post with Hannah’s closing argument:

Groups like the SPLC threaten our constitutional rights and the very fabric that makes this nation great. We need to start pushing back. If this trend of bullying and ostracizing anyone with a different opinion continues, we can only expect a chilling, mob-rule effect and the suppression of speech and ideas in this country.

I am calling on SPLC to remove me from this list and stop engaging in the game of identity fear politics. I urge all Americans who have been bullied, silenced, and pushed into a corner by radical groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center to push back too.

Amen, Hannah.

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