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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.

Ed Morrissey highlights “precisely the kind of conversation Republicans want Democrats to have in the run-up to Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Please, please, please, please let this be the topic of conversation. Ed mentioned a forum that Keith Ellison put together in the Twin Cities. In the video, a constituent is heard saying “Assuming the Democrats take the House and Senate in November … is there any possibility that the legislative branch will remove a Supreme Court Justice?”

As lunatic as that sounds, that’s modest-sounding compared to what Gov. Cuomo said. Gov. Cuomo said “We now need to codify Roe v. Wade, which will actually increase the protections in New York. God forbid they do what they intend to do. I want to get it done before the Supreme Court does that because I don’t want any gaps in a woman’s right to protection.” He continues by saying, “we have a better legal case when the Supreme Court acts because I will sue when the Supreme Court acts and I want the New York State law in place.”

For all the bluster happening, the simple truth is that Judge Kavanaugh will get confirmed and he’ll likely get modest Democrat support:

“I think that we can’t count on any Democrats until we get the 50 votes we need, and then we’ll get five or six of them,” Grassley said on Fox News. “Otherwise, I don’t think we can count on them.”

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.

In the past, politicians, mostly senators, have warned President Trump not to fire Robert Mueller. This morning, a legal heavyweight wrote this op-ed offering a different opinion. Michael Mukasey’s opinion isn’t coming from a politically-motivated standpoint. It’s coming from a legal standpoint.

He wrote “Recall that the investigation was begun to learn whether the Trump campaign had gotten help unlawfully from Russia. Justice Department regulations permit appointment of a special counsel only if (i) there is reason to think that a federal crime has been committed, and (ii) investigating it would present a conflict of interest for the Justice Department or there is another overriding public reason to take the investigation outside DOJ.” In other words, based on DOJ guidelines, there wasn’t a legitimate basis for launching this investigation.

Judge Mukasey continued, saying “Although Rosenstein apparently tried to correct his mistake in a new appointment memo, he has thus far refused to disclose, even to a federal judge, a complete copy of it. In other investigations supposedly implicating a president, Watergate and Whitewater come to mind, we were told what the crime was and what facts justified the investigation. Not here. Nor have any of the charges filed in the Mueller investigation disclosed the Trump campaign’s criminal acceptance or solicitation of help from the Russians. The one indictment that relates to Russian criminality charges that the Russians hacked Democratic Party computers and committed other social media abuse, but says specifically that if the Trump campaign got the benefit of it, that was ‘unwitting’ — i.e., without criminal intent.”

The harm this fishing expedition is doing is to the Intelligence Community’s reputation. The Deep Staters have tarnished the FBI’s and the DOJ’s reputations. Who knows how long it will take to repair that damage? The political heat is increasing on Mueller to wrap things up. First, it was Judge T.S. Ellis III who questioned the Mueller investigation’s scope. Now, it’s former Attorney General Michael Mukasey questioning Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of a special council.

Sprinkle in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s letter demanding production of Rosenstein’s scope memo. Combine these things and you have pressure building from people who aren’t seen as overtly partisan. That, more than anything, will hurt Mueller’s credibility.

For weeks, Rod Rosenstein has refused to turn over a document now known as the ‘Scope Memo’ to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. The explanation has been that the DOJ thought that turning it over to Nunes would be the same as turning it over to the White House.

That fight is behind the DOJ and Rosenstein. Technically, they won. They won’t have to turn it over to Chairman Nunes. Officially, Rosenstein and the DOJ lost because Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley has demanded to see the memo. In his letter, Chairman Grassley wrote “This Committee likewise should be permitted to review the true nature and scope of the special counsel’s investigation. Like the Judiciary, Congress is a separate branch of government with its own constitutional duties that often require access to Executive Branch information. In this case, the interests relate to both legislative and oversight responsibilities.”

There’s no denying the memo from Grassley from a political standpoint. Rosenstein could win a fight with Chairman Nunes because the media had unjustifiably criticized him. That option doesn’t exist with Chairman Grassley because he’s one of the most decent, well-respected men in DC.

Grassley also appears interested in the timing of the Rosenstein memo. “The August Memorandum states that it addresses the special counsel’s authorization as of the date he was appointed. Why was this memorandum not drafted until August 2017?” Grassley asked.

Grassley has been a supporter of the Mueller investigation, the committee chairman noted. He has publicly warned President Trump against taking steps to shut down the investigation or fire Mueller. “As I have said numerous times, that investigation should be free to follow the facts wherever they lead without any improper outside interference. However, that does not mean that it is immune from oversight or that information about the scope of its authority under existing Department regulations should be withheld from Congress,” Grassley said.

Mueller would face a difficult fight vs. Sen. Grassley if Sen. Grassley pushed him on exceeding his authority. While some want to think this is a law enforcement matter, it’s a political battle, too. In a fight against Sen. Grassley, Rosenstein will lose if it comes to that.

The Common Sense Coalition’s amendment is pretty much a bait-and-switch con job piece of legislation. For starters, amnesty for DACA recipients is immediate. That isn’t surprising. Next, building President Trump’s wall isn’t a priority. On Pg. 51 of the amendment, we learn that $1,571,000,000,000 is appropriated to build President Trump’s wall in 2018. Further, $2,500,000,000,000 is available to be appropriated in each year starting in 2019 and going through 2027. Further, the legislative language states that “the amount specified in subsection (d) for each of fiscal years 2019-2027 shall not be available for such fiscal year unless (A) the Secretary submits to Congress, not later than 60 days before the start of such fiscal year a report setting forth a description of every planned expenditure…, (B) a description of the total number of miles of security fencing… etc.

In other words, they’re limiting the speed with which the wall can be built. Further. they’re making it possible for future Democratic administrations to kill the building of the wall.

Simply put, this bill has no chance of getting 6o votes. It doesn’t stand a chance of getting signed into law, either. Here’s a picture of most of the members of the Common Sense Coalition:

It’s worth noting that a significant percentage of these senators are either retiring or will be defeated this fall. Sen. Donnelly fits that description. Jeff Flake definitely fits that description. Joe Manchin is inching closer to fitting that description. Heidi Heitkamp definitely fits that description. Claire McCaskill and Bill Nelson fit that description. The senators from New Hampshire don’t exactly fit the description but they’re getting there. Bob Corker fits that description.

Simply put, most of the senators in the Common Sense Coalition won’t be in the Senate a year from now. That doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to vote. That’s their right until their replacement is sworn in, either after their retirement or their defeat. What it means, though, is that members of the Coalition don’t care about national security. They certainly aren’t interested in listening to the people. Thus far, they haven’t listened to the people.

This coalition isn’t made up of principled politicians. It’s made up of elitists who aren’t interested in listening to the people. Chuck Grassley is the senior senator from Iowa. He isn’t part of that Coalition. He’s just a politician who’s interested in doing the right thing, both for DACA recipients and for national security. He’s the chief author of a bill that’s been endorsed by President Trump. It’s the only bill that the Senate will debate that President Trump will sign or should sign. Listen to Sen. Grassley’s speech explaining why senators should vote for his legislation:

The text of Sen. Grassley’s bill, known as the Secure and Succeed Act, is significantly different than the CSC’s legislation. The biggest difference between the 2 bills is that the Grassley bill appropriates the money for the wall right away. In the section titled “Subtitle C—Border Security Enforcement Fund” the following appropriations are made:

The Secretary shall transfer, 8 from the Fund to the “U.S. Customs and Border 9 Protection—Procurement, Construction and Improvements” account, for the purpose described in 11 subsection (a)(1), $18,000,000,000, of which— 12 (A) $1,571,000,000 shall be transferred in 13 fiscal year 2018; 14 (B) $1,600,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2019; 16 (C) $1,842,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2020; (D) $2,019,000,000 shall be transferred in 19 fiscal year 2021; (E) $2,237,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2022; (F) $1,745,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2023; 177 (G) $1,746,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2024; (H) $1,776,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2025; (I) $1,746,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2026; and (J) $1,718,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2027.

Barring an act of Congress, the money for President Trump’s wall will be appropriated this year.

The Common Sense Coalition’s bill appropriates approximately $1,700,000,000,000 this year, then requires separate appropriations in the years following to build the wall. The Grassley bill appropriates the money immediately.

It’s worth noting that Democrats have the proverbial gun pointed at their heads. If Democrats don’t agree to President Trump’s conditions, DACA collapses and the recipients hold Democrats responsible. Remember this?

The chances for a repeat of that scene is high if Democrats don’t deliver.

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When it comes to political wisdom, Lindsey Graham isn’t too bright. The NYTimes is quoting Sen. Graham as saying that “The president’s going to have a vote on his concept. I don’t think it will get 60 votes. The bottom line then is: What do you do next? You can do what we’ve done for the last 35 years — blame each other. Or you can actually start fixing the broken immigration system. If you came out of this with strong border security — the president getting his wall and the Dream Act population being taken care of, most Americans would applaud.”

Sen. Graham isn’t too bright if he thinks he’s on the winning side in this fight. Americans want a DACA fix as long as it comes with the wall and an end to chain migration. Each of those issues have approval ratings of 70%. If Sen. Graham thinks that President Trump is on the losing end of that fight, he isn’t too bright.

The American people understand that bad bipartisan deals are really just bad deals. They’ve seen DC pass bipartisan deals for years while things got worse. They’re upset with elitists in both parties. They’re demanding that these elitists do something different this time. It’s a revolutionary concept but it’s worked in the past. It’s called listening to the people. Don’t tell us that the things that the American people want done in their name is complicated.

It’s only complicated trying to explain why politicians ignored the will of the people. Then it gets real complicated — for the politician. That’s their problem.

Meanwhile, politicians in the “Common Sense Coalition” who are up for election this year better prepare to get their comeuppance in November. Watch Sen. Schumer’s speech, then ask yourself whether he’s bothered to listen to the American people:

After watching that speech, I’m left wondering whether Sen. Schumer thinks the American people are simply an inconvenient afterthought. Lost in his political spin is whether the bill the Common Sense Coalition is putting together is something that the American people would reject. Also lost in Sen. Schumer’s spin is whether the Common Sense Coalition’s bill would fix anything or whether it would just be another bipartisan bill that doesn’t do what the American people expect it to do.

Thanks to President Trump’s populism and his commitment to the American people, Democrats and wayward Republicans are finding out that resisting the American people isn’t a great way to earn a living in politics. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s speech summed things up perfectly:

My Democratic colleagues have spent months demanding the Senate take up this issue. They even shut down the government, unnecessarily, I might add, in order to secure this very week of debate. But now that the time has come to make law instead of just making points, they’re stalling.

Why? Why, after months and months spent demanding that the Senate take up this issue, do they now object to even starting the debate? Because they know, no matter how long they spend in closed-door negotiations, they can’t change the fact that the president has spelled out a fair and generous framework that will be necessary to earn his signature. They cannot take ‘yes’ for an answer. So, instead of moving to fulfill their promises and address the DACA issue, they haven’t even allowed the debate to begin.

It’s clear that Sen. McConnell listened to the people. He’s kept his promise. When he kept that promise, Democrats shut down debate. That’s the indisputable fact.

If Democrats want to face the American people after shutting down the government so they could debate immigration policies, then shut down debate when Sen. McConnell scheduled a week of debate on immigration/DACA, that’s their option. They shouldn’t be surprised if the people, including DACA activists, take brickbats after them when Democrats campaign on immigration/DACA.

Finally, I’d put together ads for each of the members of the Common Sense Coalition that starts with Republicans wanting to fix DACA and border security, then transitions into a frame where the narrator asks these immigration liberals which side of their mouth they want to talk out of.

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Sen. Schumer’s second shutdown is puzzling at best. Debate was supposed to start Tuesday on immigration reform. Sen. McConnell promised unlimited debate on the topic. Before the debate began, though, Sen. Schumer used the unanimous consent rule to prevent the debate from starting. Sen. Schumer, the senator that shut down the government to force a debate on DACA 2 weeks ago, has now shut down debate on DACA.

Sen. Schumer got his nose out of joint when Sen. Pat Toomey, (R-PA), introduced an amendment “that would withhold funding from so-called sanctuary cities that shield undocumented immigrants from federal law enforcement.” Sen. Schumer complained, saying the amendment “does absolutely nothing to address DACA, does absolutely nothing to address border security.”

Sen. McConnell agreed to a debate on immigration reform. He didn’t limit the debate to DACA. If Sen. Schumer doesn’t like that, tough. It’s time for Sen. Schumer to pull his big boy britches up. Acting like a whiny wimp because he didn’t get his way is what wimps do. If that’s the first reaction of a US senator, then it’s time to stop referring to Senate Democrats as being part of the world’s greatest deliberative body. It’s time to start thinking of them as crybabies.

Chuck Grassley’s speech puts things into proper perspective:

Why wouldn’t Sen. Schumer not welcome this debate? If he thinks that stripping funding from sanctuary cities is that unpopular, he should welcome that debate. Instead, Sen. Schumer apparently prefers protecting his vulnerable members from debating an issue that the overwhelming majority of Americans agree with.

Yet if the debate’s slow start is dispiriting for the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives could depend on its outcome, it’s not particularly surprising. “If you didn’t go into this debate realizing something like this was going to happen, you weren’t paying attention,” said Jim Manley, a veteran Senate aide who worked for Edward Kennedy and then for Harry Reid when the latter man served as majority leader. “I defy you to find worse debates in recent history than those over immigration. They are ugly, bloody debates chock-full of highly partisan social issues that seek only to divide and don’t bring anyone together.”

This isn’t about DACA recipients. It’s about Democrats playing political games. They don’t like it that President Trump and Sen. McConnell have called their bluff. Thanks to changing the dynamics of the debate, Republicans have put the Democrats in a difficult position to defend.

By opening up debate on all immigration-related matters, Sen. McConnell has put the Democrats into a position where they’ll have to debate all immigration-related issues. That’s the last thing that Sen. Schumer wants. Frankly, this should frighten vulnerable Democrats from red states.

Sen. McConnell couldn’t put Democrats in this pickle, though, without President Trump’s steadfast support:

But if the Democrats want to make a deal, it’s really up to them, because we want really tremendous border security, but we have to have Democrat support for DACA, and they are starting that process today. We didn’t want to have it in the big budget, because if we have it in the big budget, it’s going to get mixed up with all of the other things.

So now we have our military taken care of, and now we start very serious DACA talks today. And we are — I can tell you, speaking for the Republican Party, we would love to do DACA. We would love to get it done. We want border security and the other elements that you know about. Chain migration, you know about. The visa lottery, you know about. But we think there’s a good chance of getting DACA done if the Democrats are serious and they actually want to do it.

But they didn’t want tax cuts. They fought — we didn’t get one vote for massive tax cuts that have turned out to be unbelievably popular. And what came up — which was even a surprise to us — were, the big companies stepped up, and millions and millions of people have gotten tremendous bonuses. Nobody knew that was going to happen. That was a — that was just the beginning point.

The Democrats say that they want a DACA fix. If that’s true, it’s time they stepped up and provided votes to fix the problem permanently. If Democrats hide behind Sen. Schumer’s skirt, that’s their problem.

Democrats will be known for participating in Sen. Schumer’s second shutdown.

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Listening to Democrats, you’d think that Devin Nunes was the devil himself. House Democrats insist that the Nunes Memo is a political document, not an intelligence document. Rep. Schiff will have difficulty selling that story in light of the criminal referral by Sen. Grassley and Sen. Graham.

Their referral “[appears] to back up [Chairman Nunes] claims, though, in a criminal referral sent in early January to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The surveillance applications, they said, ‘relied heavily on Mr. Steele’s dossier claims.'” Sen. Grassley’s and Sen. Graham’s referral states that the application also didn’t admit that “the identities of Mr. Simpson’s ultimate clients were the Clinton campaign and the DNC.”

Mr. Schiff has spent his time telling everyone that Devin Nunes is a hyper-conservative. He’s been somewhat effective in making that stick. Convincing people that Sen. Grassley is a bitterly partisan person will be quite a bit more difficult to prove. Check out this timeline:

Now that additional credible people have stepped forward as being on the case, Counsel Mueller has to know that his work will be scrutinized. I like the thought of investigating the investigators. Nobody is beyond scrutiny.

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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