Andrea Bottner: I still stand with Brett Kavanaugh — and here's how we can fight back against smears and lies   

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The battle over Kavanaugh was a warning of things to come.
          

New Books on the Biography Shelf   

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Democrats snoozed while Republicans took over the courts. It's time to fight back   

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Democrats snoozed while Republicans took over the courts. It's time to fight backThe Democratic base is tired of the party being passive about Republicans packing the judiciary. So what’s their game plan?‘Every major Democratic presidential contender must be able to answer tough questions about how they will reform the courts.’ Photograph: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty ImagesLast Sunday, a boisterous group of protesters, primarily women, marched through Washington, DC. They stopped in front of the Washington home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court. The protest, called “Reclaim the Court,” was led by civil rights groups like Planned Parenthood Action, the Center for Popular Democracy, and the Women’s March, and was meant to mark the first anniversary of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, and came on the heels of new reporting that lends corroboration to accusations of sexual assault by the Justice and provides greater evidence that he lied under oath at his confirmation hearings, charges which he has denied.Protestors carried signs that said “KAVA-NOPE” and “SUPREMELY CORRUPT.” A sister demonstration took place in Portland, Maine, where constituents expressed pointed displeasure at Senator Susan Collins, who voted to confirm Kavanaugh last year. At a podium on the Court steps in DC, protestors called on House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to initiate impeachment proceedings against Kavanaugh, as he previously promised to do if Democrats won the House in the 2018 midterms. There was palpable rage at the appointment of Kavanaugh, whose presence on the Court symbolized the persistence of two great threats to women’s full citizenship and bodily autonomy: sexual assault and the erosion of abortion and contraception rights. Chants rose up of “My body, my choice.” A sign raised towards the Court façade read, “BELIEVE SURVIVORS.” The demonstrators felt that the Court has the power to make life-altering decisions about the rights and freedoms of women, and that Kavanaugh’s presence there indicated that they would not choose well.But the protesters’ anger at the court went beyond Kavanaugh himself, and beyond, even, the insult to women’s dignity and threat to women’s rights that the man represents. Representative Ayanna Pressley, of Massachusettes, told the crowd, “Kavanaugh may have that seat (for now), but what we are fighting for is so much bigger than one insecure man blinded by his privilege.” The protesters see Kavanaugh as only the most egregious symptom of a court system that is gravely diseased. Their action speaks to a growing liberal agitation around the judiciary, led by feminists, that is poised to change the politics of the courts.Traditionally, it was only the right that cared about the judiciary. Republicans ran on promises to appoint judges that would uphold conservative social values, and oppose abortion and gay rights. Those judges in turn enshrined the legality of gerrymandering, curtailed voting rights, and opened the floodgates of unlimited corporate money in politics, interventions which have enabled the Republican party to maintain power even in districts where they have only a minority of popular support. The result became cyclical: Republicans won by promising to appoint conservative judges, and then those conservative judges issued decisions that helped more Republicans win.To the left, the judiciary had often been more of an afterthought. Conventional wisdom held that the judiciary could not be counted on as a motivating issue for Democrats the same way that it could for Republicans. But the Kavanaugh appointment brought a new sense of urgency to the matter; the Court’s new conservative majority, and the spectacle of the emotional Senate confirmation hearings through which Republicans secured this majority, galvanized the attention of a Democratic base that increasingly feels that its basic civil rights are imperiled under a federal judiciary packed with Trump appointees and a Supreme Court controlled by Trump allies.There is some evidence that this concern expands well beyond the activist left: in September, a poll conducted by the firm Perry Undem found that a full 60% of Americans thought it likely that Brett Kavanaugh committed perjury during his confirmation hearings, a figure that suggests that popular support for impeaching the Justice may be easy for Democrats to come by. Support for abortion rights is even higher, meaning that the Supreme Court, which is poised to issue the first assault on abortion of its new conservative majority just before the next presidential election, is not only comprised of justices that the people do not trust, but is also likely to hand down opinions that the people do not want.And this is the problem with the Supreme Court: it is a profoundly un-democratic institution, and has only been made more so by the right’s determination to politicize the court and to manipulate it into helping them secure a policy agenda that runs counter to popular will. The gross injustice of the Kavanaugh confirmation made Americans—and feminists in particular—more aware of the urgency of the problem, and less accepting of its inevitability. Now, every major Democratic presidential contender must be able to answer tough questions about how they will reform the courts; several, including California Senator Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, have joined the call for Kavanaugh’s impeachment. Some of the court reform proposals that have emerged from the Democratic field have been halting or insufficient, paying undue deference to a myth of an apolitical court. Others have been more aggressive, more willing to treat the Court as the political institution that Republicans have long treated it as. At any rate, the Democratic base wants answers: it is no longer acceptable for the party to be as passive and accepting of Republican aggression regarding the judiciary as its once was. In Portland, Maine, a small child carried a sign to the protest: “FAIR COURTS FOR MY FUTURE.” Beside him, an older woman was even more pointed: “CONSERVATIVE JUDGES ERODE FREEDOMS FOR ALL.” * Moira Donegan is a Guardian US columnist



          

   

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Hitler: Reply to an anonymous critic

It has become pretty well known now among conservative commentators that Hitler was a socialist. The old Soviet disinformation that Hitler was a Rightist is slowly losing its grip.  The plain fact is that the ideas Hitler is most famous for -- eugenics and antisemitism -- were mainstream Leftist ideas in the 1920s and 1930s.  Leftism is a many-headed beast so not all Leftists subscribed to such ideas but many did. August Bebel summarized it well when he said that antisemitism is der Sozialismus des bloeden Mannes.  Leftist intellectuals sometimes rejected it but it was popular among ordinary Leftists.  Antisemitism was even a common belief among the Russian Communists of Lenin's day.

I have set out the evidence for all that in my monograph on Hitler but others, such as Jonah Goldberg, have made the same point.  Even Louder with Crowder has had a swipe at it

And there is of course online now a large number of articles furiously denying that Hitler was a Leftist, none of which is of any scholarly worth that I can see.  A curious exception, however, is a temporary blog from 2011 which is genuinely well informed.  It is anonymous and almost entirely devoted to going through my article on Hitler and questioning it detail by detail.

I must say that I am fascinated by by its anonymity.  And how come that it is in such an obscure source?  I was unaware of it and came across it only by chance a couple of days ago.  And if I was unaware of it for 8 years, who else would be aware of it?  The author has obviously put a lot of work into it.  It took him several months to put it all up. What is the point of that if nobody knows of it?  The fact that it is a blogspot blog means that Google knew of it but nobody else seems to.  Google owns Blogspot and all Blogspot posts appear to be held on Google's main servers.

From the level of detailed historical knowledge displayed, it seems very likely that the writer is a historian of some standing so the best I can make of it is that he is aware that his opus is little more than a series of quibbles but wants to record his quibbles without anybody being able to hold him responsible for them.  His modus operandi is to admit that I am right about something but then to expand the point so as to weaken it in his view.  I suppose his admissions that I am right in various ways might be another reason why he wants to remain anonymous

To reply to each and every one of his quibbles would be a book-length enterprise and I have neither the time nor the energy to do that.  At age 76 my energies are low so I have to reserve them for what I see as important things.  So I will go straight to what I see as his central objection to my thesis.  It is in his post of 5 June, 2011

I won't quote any of it as the link leads you straight to it but his objection is to the Nazis being called "brown Bolsheviks", an expression that was commonly applied to them in Germany in the pre-war era. I explained that expression by saying that "Marxism was class-based and Nazism was nationally based but otherwise they were very similar".  That is of course the headline point of my article on Hitler: That the Nazis were socialists, nearly as Leftist as the Communists

How well our erudite author gets around that is surely central to his whole argument that Hitler was not a Leftist so he needs a very strong comeback to keep his argument afloat.  His comeback is pathetic. He says that the Nazi party had "wings" and Hitler did not belong to the most extreme wing. 

So what?  All political parties have wings to my knowledge but they also have important things in common or they would not be one party.  And the policies they fought elections on in the 1930s were very reminiscent of the U.S. Democratic party in the Soviet era:  Slogans such as: "With Hitler against the armaments madness of the world" and "The Marshall and the corporal fight alongside us for peace and equal rights".  Regardless of what Hitler personally believed, he campaigned as a strong socialist. The Nazi party won power as a Leftist party.  It also had other appeals, such as its nationalism, but its Leftist identity was unmistakeable.  How is equality not a Leftist shibboleth?

I can't resist quoting something further from our opinionated author:

First, a quote from what I wrote:

In German, not only the word "Socialism" (Sozialismus) but also the word "Victory" (Sieg) begins with an "S". So he said that the two letters "S" in the hooked-cross (swastika) also stood for the victory of Aryan man and the victory of the idea that the "worker" was a creative force: Nationalism plus socialism again, in other words.

Our erudite author's comment on that:

No evidence for this at all, The only SS one can find stood for "Schutzstaffel", Not "Sieg Sozialismus" or whatever.

Now that's a real lulu.  I was quoting Hitler himself -- in Mein Kampf -- as to what the Swastika stood for and our author says: "no evidence for this at all."  So Hitler himself didn't know what the swastika stood for???

I don't think I need to go on. That's the most egregious example but his accuracy of statement is at many points very poor.

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Blumenthal's Bluster

A symphony of mindless hate
 
As the impeachment of President Trump begins, the battle lines are hardening. Sen. Lindsey Graham dismissed the allegations against the president as “a nothing burger.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal had a visceral reaction to Graham’s quip, saying:

Donald Trump is going to choke on this supposed nothing burger. He will go down with this supposed nothing burger in his throat because what it shows is repeated, concerted, premeditated criminal conduct.

I found Blumenthal’s statement very revealing. Like much of Hollywood’s “art” (here and here), it reveals the degree of hatred festering on the left toward Donald Trump.

My old friend Bill Bennett, commenting on this raw hatred, said it reminded him of the animosity Inspector Javert had for Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, which had tragic results.

Sadly, I suspect the left has given little thought as to how it might heal the wounds caused by impeachment or how it might begin to help reunite the country that has been so divided by its extreme policies and growing anti-Americanism.

But let me remind you, my friends, that the left’s hatred isn’t just about Donald Trump. It’s about you. It’s about me. It’s about all the 63 million “deplorable and irredeemable” people who voted for Donald Trump. They tell us that all the time.

The left’s rage didn’t begin with Donald Trump. It smeared Ronald Reagan, Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, George W. Bush, John McCain, and even Mitt Romney. The left viciously attacked Brett Kavanaugh and it is still attacking him.

Friday was the anniversary of Christine Blasey Ford’s Senate hearing. And Kamala Harris is still demanding Kavanaugh’s impeachment.

Where We Stand

It is hard for anyone to keep up with all the nuances of this dispute and the developments that have taken place at such a rapid pace. Of course, that’s the left’s goal — to confuse and demoralize conservatives. But let me just summarize where we are:

An anonymous CIA employee, with an identified anti-Trump bias, has filed a complaint about a presidential phone call to another head of state.

The employee was not on the call.

His identity, and those of anyone he worked with, is being hidden.

What he alleged has been shown from the transcript to be false, and there are numerous inconsistencies in the complaint.

On this basis, we’re being told by virtually every Democrat and reporter in America that the president must be removed from office.

That’s it.

SOURCE 

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With USMCA, Japan, Brazil and South Korea trade deals, President Trump is very bad at being an isolationist

President Donald Trump is very bad at being an isolationist, in fact, he is probably one of the worse isolationists in American history.

Think about it.  President Trump is pushing Congress to pass the USMCA, which tears up the 40 year old NAFTA agreement and replaces it with one which protects our national sovereignty while expanding trade between the three countries on a more favorable footing for U.S. workers.

President Trump has talked to India’s Prime Minister Modi about building a bi-lateral trade relationship between our two nations.  He is similarly working with the President of Brazil along the same lines.  He has already rewritten the South Korean trade deal to better accommodate U.S. interests, and has expanded trade relations with Japan creating a massive corn and technology purchase. He is also negotiating deals with the United Kingdom (post-Brexit), and the European Union.

And all the while, his trade team continues to hammer away at the China trade challenge.

Rather than being anti-trade, President Trump is probably the most trade focused U.S. leader in modern history.  But his goal is different than many in the past.

The current world trading system was based upon a need to win the Cold War with the Soviet Union by spreading capitalism across the globe.  At its core, it was a transfer of wealth from the United States to the rest of the world in the guise of allowing foreign products to be sold in the U.S. with relatively low tariffs, while leaving tariffs on U.S. exports to these developing countries high — the essence of non-reciprocity.  This had the effect of allowing those countries to not face U.S. competition in their markets so their domestic economies could thrive from the trade imbalance cash infusion that followed.

For America’s part, we received less expensive items in our stores as major parts of industries like our domestic electronics manufacturing got outsourced to Asia. When China entered the world market in a big way and was granted Permanent National Trade Relations status by the U.S. in 2000 and entered the World Trade Organization in 2001, the entire world shifted.

U.S. and other foreign multi-national businesses took the certainty that Chinese goods would have inexpensive access to the U.S. markets and invested heavily in the Chinese economy, building factories knowing that they would benefit from cheap Chinese labor while exporting the once U.S.-made toys and other goods to American consumers.

What was a giant sucking sound of U.S. jobs heading south to Mexico from the Bill Clinton negotiated North American Free Trade Agreement became a tsunami as manufacturers flocked to make products in China with the promise of not only having access to U.S. markets but also being able to sell to Chinese consumers.

With China targeting key industries like steel, aluminum, rare earth mining, electronics, autos and high tech chip manufacturing, more and more blue collar jobs were exported around the globe.

A system originally designed to help get the post-World War II world back on its feet was now sucking the life blood out of America, while still delivering low cost electronics for its trouble. The ugly truth is that, as a result, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product has not exceeded 4 percent since 2000, with what used to be the expected normal growth rate of 3 percent beyond reach since 2005.

This is why President Trump is realigning our trade relationships around the world.

By emphasizing intellectual property protections, the President is ensuring that America’s ingenuity and problem solving is not stolen by foreign countries like China and then sold back to U.S. consumers at ten cents on the dollar.

By emphasizing ending currency manipulation, the President is ensuring that deliberate, foreign government created inflationary tariffs are not imposed on U.S. products.  Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the trade war with China has NOT resulted in increased costs to U.S. consumers or producers, while generating more than $30 billion in new tax revenue from the Chinese.

How is this possible?  The Chinese have forced their wholesalers to eat some of the increased tariff costs while making the Yuan even less valuable than the dollar to keep the costs of Chinese products low.

But this only serves to emphasize the importance of the entirety of the Trump trade agenda.  Passing the USMCA, and continuing to create new agreements built upon the inviolability of intellectual property rights puts up an economic wall around China, either trapping them in their anti-property Marxist doctrine or forcing them to accept private property rights for their own economic survival.

The USMCA is the first shoe to drop in this paradigm shifting strategy, and it is why it needs to be voted through the House and Senate.  Yes, more, fantastic jobs are projected to be created in the United States, and quite frankly in Canada and Mexico as well. But the language of USMCA on private property and currency manipulation will serve as the models for the entirety of a series of bilateral trade deals.

Trade deals that will encompass the largest economies in the world, except China, and which will create a freedom economic noose around Beijing’s neck.

Isolationist?  No, President Trump is an American President looking out for American economic interests while putting together a new international trade regime to replace the broken one that was crippling our nation’s economic future.

SOURCE 

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IN BRIEF

WHISTLEBLOWER ARRANGEMENTS: "House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced Sunday that the whistleblower who filed a complaint regarding President Donald Trump's call with Ukraine's president has agreed to testify before the committee, adding that it will likely happen 'very soon,'" The Daily Caller reports. News of the arrangement came two days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was subpoenaed. Meanwhile, President Trump on Sunday fumed: "Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called 'Whistleblower,' represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way." In the same vein as fraud, The Federalist's Sean Davis reveals, "Federal records show that the intelligence community secretly revised the formal whistleblower complaint form in August 2019 to eliminate the requirement of direct, first-hand knowledge of wrongdoing." No wonder Joe Biden's campaign is trying to coerce the Leftmedia into silencing Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, which sounds suspiciously like ... collusion.

CLINTON PROBE: "The Trump administration is investigating the email records of dozens of current and former senior State Department officials who sent messages to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email. ... Those targeted were notified that emails they sent years ago have been retroactively classified and now constitute potential security violations, according to letters reviewed by The Washington Post. In virtually all of the cases, potentially sensitive information, now recategorized as 'classified,' was sent to Clinton's unsecure inbox." (The Washington Post)

JUDICIAL OBSTRUCTION & ACTIVISM: "A federal judge in California ruled Friday against the Trump administration's plan to detain illegal immigrant families longer than 20 days, undercutting the president's attempt to close the chief 'loophole' that caused this year's border surge. Judge Dolly M. Gee, an Obama appointee, has long been a stumbling block for Homeland Security and its immigration plans, and the ruling was expected. The administration is likely to quickly appeal." (The Washington Times)

A 'MEDICARE FOR ALL' HARBINGER: "Federal authorities on Friday charged more than 30 individuals in connection with an alleged Medicare-fraud scheme that took as much as $2 billion out of the pockets of taxpayers before it was detected. The scheme revolved around tricking seniors into getting their cheeks swabbed for unnecessary DNA tests that would supposedly tell them whether they were genetically predisposed to serious diseases, including cancer. The defendants would then charge Medicare for the swabs. In total, they are alleged to have collected $2 billion in reimbursements, with the typical bill running between $7,000 and $12,000." (National Review)

NORTH CAROLINA GERRYMANDERING: "Democrats are headed back to court to challenge the validity of North Carolina's 13 congressional districts, just weeks after the state's highest court ruled that the Republican-controlled legislature unconstitutionally gerrymandered state-level maps. A new lawsuit filed Friday on behalf of 14 North Carolina voters challenges Republican-drawn maps that first went into effect ahead of the 2016 elections, after a court threw out a previous set of maps that were drawn after the 2010 census." (The Hill)

A TALE OF TWO SEASONS "One week after summer's end, a 'winter' storm began blasting parts of the West with up to 3 feet of snow, smashing records with low temperatures, heavy snow, strong winds and blizzard conditions forecast into Monday," USA Today reports. On the other hand, "Temperatures will soar to 10 to 25 degrees above average through much of this week across the Deep South and into the Ohio Valley, mid-Atlantic and Northeast," according to The Weather Channel. For those wondering about the implications of global warming, keep in mind that extreme weather — both of the hot and cold variety — has been and always will be Mother Nature's way of finding equilibrium.

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 

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A small but interesting slice of history

Impeachment has become very boring.  This may be less so



On September 22nd, 1735, Sir Robert Walpole, Britain's first Prime Minister (although the title was not used until much later), moved into Number Ten Downing Street (although it did not have that number then). Its famous door (through which it was not then entered) has become an iconic symbol of Britain's democratic government. That famous door was not added until 40 years later, and was made of oak until after the 1991 IRA mortar attack on the building, following which it was replaced by bomb-proof material. The black bricks that surround the door, separated from it by the cream-coloured casing, are in fact yellow underneath. They were turned black, as were nearly all London buildings, by the 19th and 20th Century smog of the coal fires that heated every home and the smoke from industrial chimneys. Since everyone was by then used to seeing them black, when they were cleaned in the 1960s they were painted black.

Walpole, with the support of two successive monarchs, became Britain's longest-serving Prime Minister, with a spell of more than 40 years. The kings valued his ability to deliver majorities in Parliament to have bills passed to become Acts of Parliament. George II was sufficiently grateful that when Downing Street reverted to the Crown, he offered it to Sir Robert. With admirable restraint, Sir Robert declined it as a personal gift, but suggested it be reserved for holders of the office of First Lord of the Treasury, then the Prime Minister's official title, and one today's Prime Ministers still hold. A brass plate beside the door of Number Ten testifies to this.

Walpole was a moderate. When Europe was at war, he preferred Britain to be out of it, and persuaded George II to stay out of the War of the Polish Succession. In 1733 he proclaimed, "There are 50,000 men slain in Europe this year, and not one Englishman." Without the costs of war, Walpole contrived to reduce taxes. The Land Tax went down from 4s in 1721, to 3s in 1728, 2s in 1731, and finally to 1s in 1732. He also established a Sinking Fund to reduce the National Debt.

He was trying gradually to shift the tax burden away from the gentry, who paid the land tax, and onto the merchants and their customers who paid customs and excise taxes. In modern terms he was trying very sensibly to shift the tax burden from stock to flow, but doing it gradually. He pointed out that gentry "squealed like hogs" at the tax burden, whereas merchants were more like sheep, giving up their wool peaceably.

He built up the Whig ascendency, but his low-key avoidance of controversy and his granting of more tolerance to religious dissenters won him support from moderates of both Whig and Tory groups. The historian H T Dickinson, one of my teachers, wrote, "Walpole was one of the greatest politicians in British history. He played a significant role in sustaining the Whig party, safeguarding the Hanoverian succession, and defending the principles of the Glorious Revolution." 

The residence at 10 Downing Street that he occupied is not what it seems. Walpole had the architect William Kent connect two houses, making the Downing Street front one effectively a passage through to the main building behind it. A corridor connects it to the Cabinet Office much further up Whitehall, and there is a tunnel under Whitehall that we're not supposed to know about that connects it to the Defence Ministry. What is now the Cabinet Room was used by Walpole as his study.

In many ways Ten Downing Street resembles the British constitution it safeguards. There is much more to it than the outward appearance might suggest, and it adapts and changes over time to meet the new challenges it is called upon to face. Yet it preserves the outward form, providing reassurance of continuity. It is modest, rather than grandiose, reminding us that the Prime Minister is a person like us, who lives in a house, as we do, rather than some god-like remote dignitary. Its understated presence reminds us, too, that government and Parliament in this country are here to serve the people, not the other way round.

When people move house, a removal van pulls up outside their house. That is, quite rightly, what happens in Ten Downing Street when we change governments.

SOURCE 

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Democrats' Excessiveness Will Backfire

How many times do Democrats get to cry wolf before a rational body politic tells them to go fly a kite? Instead of retreating with tails between their legs over their failed Russia hoax, they're already at it again.

Did any Democrats leading the false charge that President Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election ever apologize for putting the country through this nightmare? Did any of their media water carriers ever backpedal from their anti-Trump sensationalism?

Of course not, because in their minds Trump is so evil and his presidency so bad for the country that even ignoble efforts to remove him are morally warranted. What's wrong with deceit and abuse of process if it will rid the country of the orange scourge?

Alert people should now recognize that Democrats are still willing to go to almost any lengths to undo the 2016 election -- or preempt Trump's 2020 reelection. Their raw contempt for Trump and his supporters knows no bounds, and their just-launched "impeachment inquiry" is further evidence of it.

I note in my soon-to-be-released new book, "Guilty By Reason of Insanity: Why the Democrats Must Not Win," that there is no real fissure in the Democratic Party between the old guard and the young radicals, the latter of whom are led by the "Squad." Sure, there is sometimes spirited debate between the established powers and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's socialist quartet, but in the end, the entire party has embraced a thoroughly extremist leftist agenda.

Even if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would have us believe that she and her veteran Democratic colleagues are more measured, there is no doubt where her party is headed. Even if in her heart of hearts, she thinks the Young Turks are going too far too fast, which I strongly doubt, the Democratic Party base is not about to allow her to vacillate, much less to moderate.

So it is that Pelosi, despite having long resisted Rep. Jerry Nadler's and other Democratic congressional militants' efforts to initiate impeachment proceedings, has snapped to attention over these new hyped-up allegations concerning Ukraine and opened an impeachment inquiry herself.

Just like the Russia hoax, this one already involves more damning evidence against Democrats than Trump. Democrats, in a monumental act of projection, tried for three years to interfere with an election by falsely claiming Trump interfered with that same election. Now they're alleging that Trump abused his presidential power with Ukraine by trying to expose Joe Biden's possible abuse of power with Ukraine. In addition to Biden's alleged misconduct, three Democratic senators wrote a letter to Ukraine's prosecutor general in May 2018 urging him to cooperate with the Mueller investigation. This is plot thickening on steroids.

Pelosi acted precipitously, before Trump released notes from his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and before release of the whistleblower complaint against Trump, both of which are turning out to be nothing -- veggie burgers with no fries. Then again, with the liberal media in their pocket (or vice versa), Democrats have little to fear from performing such stunts.

Some commentators argue that though Democrats know they don't have the votes to convict Trump in the Senate, they are pursuing this "inquiry" because their agenda isn't resonating with the people. Corruption charges will distract from their policy bankruptcy and might cripple Trump enough to defeat him in 2020. Others say their angle is more subtle -- to snooker Trump and his officials into committing a process crime by defying court orders to produce documents, or perhaps lying to Congress or the FBI.

Of course, liberal commentators dispute that Democrats are trying to distract from their preposterous agenda, because in their view, the Democrats' insane environmental and fiscal proposals and their ruthless obsession over identity politics are winning ideas. Thus, they don't need to fabricate phony corruption charges. These allegations are legitimate. Though there was manifestly no quid pro quo in Trump's comments to Zelensky, the Trump haters divine evil intent and malice aforethought with every Trump stream-of-consciousness utterance.

That they were all embarrassingly wrong for three years over Russiagate gives them no pause. They are incorrigible and shameless.

Some Trump supporters are concerned about this, fearing that Democratic relentlessness will finally bear fruit. I honestly don't think so. Once again, the Trump haters, so consumed with venom that they've lost objectivity, have overplayed their hands. This impeachment fantasy is going nowhere. Democratic excessiveness is part of what led to Trump's rise in the first place, and there's good reason to believe it will aid in his reelection. People have had enough of this insanity. By becoming more extreme and unreasonable, the left is only solidifying and amplifying Trump support. So bring it on.

SOURCE 

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The Death of American Citizenship

The American founders institutionalized the best of a long Western tradition of representative government with the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. These contracts outlined the rare privileges and responsibilities of new American citizens.

Yet the concept of citizenship is being assaulted on the premodern side by the legal blending of mere residency with citizenship.

Estimates of the number of undocumented American residents range from 11 million to more than 20 million. The undocumented are becoming legally indistinguishable from citizens and enjoy exemption from federal immigration law in some 500 sanctuary jurisdictions. An illegal resident of California will pay substantially less tuition at a California public university than a U.S. citizen of another state.

Multiculturalism has reduced the idea of e pluribus unum to a regressive tribalism. Americans often seem to owe their first allegiance to those who look like they do. Citizens cannot even agree over once-hallowed and shared national holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July.

It is eerie how such current American retribalization resembles the collapse of Rome, as Goths, Huns and Vandals all squabbled among one another for what was left of 1,200 years of Roman citizenship -- eager to destroy what they could neither create nor emulate.

Citizenship has always been protected by the middle classes -- on the idea that they are more independent and self-reliant than the poor, but can stand up to the influence and power of the elite.

Biden: Undocumented Children 'Become Americans Before a Lot of Americans Become Americans'
Yet until recently, we had seen a decade of stagnant wages and entire regions ossified by outsourcing, offshoring and unfair global trade. Historically, with the demise of the middle class so follows the end of constitutional government.

But citizenship also faces a quite different and even greater postmodern threat.

Many of our coastal elites see nothing much exceptional in America, past and present. They prefer the culture and values of the European Union without worrying that the EU's progressive utopian promises have been wrecked by open borders, economically stultifying regulations, and unapologetic and anti-democratic efforts to curb free expression and local autonomy.

Often, such "citizen of the world" mentalities fuel shame over the origins and traditions of America. Transnational organizations and accords on climate, criminal justice and human rights are seen as superior to their American counterparts.

A new progressive iconoclasm seeks to destroy statues, rename streets and buildings, and wipe away art that does not reflect more global values.

Does voting -- the bedrock right of the democratic citizen -- matter that much anymore? In California, tens of thousands of votes were "harvested" by paid campaign operatives. There was also abuse in state agencies in sending out voter registration forms to those who were not legally entitled to vote.

Lone activist federal judges frequently overturn legislation and referenda they find contrary to their own political take on legal theory -- without worry that the votes of millions are canceled in a nanosecond.

Meanwhile, the proverbial "swamp" of the bureaucratic, administrative and regulatory state is so vast and unaccountable that a few clerks can harass entrepreneurs, issue edicts with the force of legislation that ruins lives, or indict, regulate or audit a targeted individual into legal bankruptcy.

In recent years, we have seen a cake maker, a video maker, and a national security adviser so hounded by federal bureaucrats that they either were nearly bankrupted, ended up in jail or were reduced to penury through legal costs.

We still have a Bill of Rights, but many of our constitutional protections are being rendered impotent. If a rural family cannot find ammunition at the local Walmart or gun store due to organized boycotts and threats to such establishments, then the constitutional right to bear arms is not always exercisable in a practical sense.

Brett Kavanaugh was nominated, audited and confirmed by the Senate as a Supreme Court justice. But if the New York Times and cable news can relentlessly charge without proof that nearly 40 years ago he was a teenage sexual pervert, then a distinguished judge can be rendered impotent without legal impeachment.

If a student cannot safely express opposition to abortion on demand, question the global warming narrative, or object to safe spaces, trigger warnings and race-based theme houses on campuses, does it matter that there is in theory still a First Amendment?

We are unwinding at both ends. Tribalism, the erosion of the middle class and de facto open borders are turning Americans into mere residents of a particular North American region between Mexico and Canada.

Yet even more dangerously, thanks to the fiats of unelected bureaucrats and officials, along with the social media lynch mobs who boycott, harass and shame us, our constitutional rights are now increasingly optional. They mostly hinge on whether we are judged worthy by an unelected, politically correct and morally righteous elite.

In theory, American citizenship remains the same; in reality, it is disappearing fast.

SOURCE 

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IN BRIEF

ANOTHER ASYLUM DEAL: "The Trump administration signed an asylum agreement with the Honduran government Wednesday, marking the latest in a string of asylum deals with Latin American countries aimed at controlling the immigration crisis. The Department of Homeland Security announced it reached a deal with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, allowing the U.S. to send some asylum seekers from 'third' countries back to his country."

BORDER OBSTRUCTION: "The Senate again voted on Wednesday to end President Trump's emergency declaration on the U.S.-Mexico border wall, paving the way for a veto showdown with the White House," The Hill reports. "Senators voted 54-41 on a resolution to end the declaration, which Trump used to shift billions of dollars from the military toward wall construction." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer claimed: "The vote [yesterday] is the surest and likely the only way to restore funding the president has stolen from our troops and military projects across the country." He didn't care to mention the jobs, money, and even lives that have been stolen from the American people as a direct result of illegal immigration.

A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN: "A new national survey shows Elizabeth Warren now sitting atop the 2020 Democratic field, further cementing her ascendancy in the party's presidential primary after a pair of polls reported her leading in the first two primary states," according to Politico. "Twenty-seven percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents polled by Quinnipiac University said they favor Warren, according to a survey released Wednesday morning. Twenty-five percent said they prefer former Vice President Joe Biden." Rep. Dan Crenshaw speculates: "This impeachment inquiry seems worse for Biden than it is for Trump. Now the Hunter Biden-Ukraine issue is on everyone's radar AND we know that Democrats overstepped with their 'quid pro quo' accusation. Have to wonder whether they did this to help Warren/Sanders."

CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR: "The marriage vow that usually involves a variation of 'for richer or poorer' may no longer apply. Women may now want to add 'as long as you make as much money as me.' It seems many men aren't getting up to the income level that women prefer in a potential marriage partner, according to the New York Post. That has left successful ladies single and disgruntled, according to a Cornell University study." (Fox Business)

SPENDING BILL PASSES: "The Senate on Thursday cleared a spending bill that will fund the government through Nov. 21, giving lawmakers and the White House more time to reach agreement on the annual appropriations process. The vote was 82-15, with all of the 'no' votes coming from Republicans. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the continuing resolution, holding off another partial government shutdown for at least 51 more days. But this could be the first of several stopgap bills amid tense debates about abortion policy and the border wall." (Roll Call)

REFUGEE ADMISSIONS LOWERED: "The Trump administration is proposing to resettle 18,000 refugees in the United States in the new fiscal year, reducing last year's record-low refugee admission ceiling by a further 40 percent. ... The final ceiling will be decided after consultation with Congress — as required by the Immigration and Nationality Act — but the Departments of State, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, in a report on Congress, are proposing an 18,000 limit. That's by far the lowest since the modern U.S. refugee resettlement program began in 1980, when the Refugee Act was enacted." (CNSNews.com)

RECORD FOREIGN-BORN RESIDENTS: "The percentage of foreign-born U.S. residents has reached its highest level in more than a century, according to estimates from the 2018 American Community Survey released [yesterday]. A record 44.7 million people are foreign-born, or about 13.7% of the U.S. population. That's the highest rate since 1910 and comes amid a highly-charged political debate over whether the decennial Census survey should include a citizenship question. A subset of the foreign-born figure — the number of people in the U.S. but 'not a U.S. citizen' held at around 22 million in 2018." (Bloomberg)

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 

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Why the Democrats Have Gone Insane

Impeach! Impeach, they say! If only he were Buckingham, they would take off his head as well. Trump has become the Democrats' version of Richard III, if he wasn't already. (Okay, he was.)

They even moved to open an impeachment "inquiry" (whatever that means -- a little bit chicken, if you ask me -- they've been doing it for the last three years anyway) after Trump announced he was making his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky public Wednesday in unredacted form. And now he's announcing the whistleblower's complaint, whatever hand it is -- second, third, who knows? -- will be released later in the week. Talk about a reckless jumping of the gun on the Democrats' parts. This reeks of outright panic.

So what's really going on here? Why have the Democrats, to put it bluntly, gone berserk? Why are they risking a backlash of cosmic proportions (other than appeasing their psychotically-inflamed base, of course)?

One, distraction. They live in absolute fear of the coming revelations about the Russia probe, from Inspector General Horowitz but even more from the DOJ's John Durham, who can actually put people in jail. The Dems know -- if they have a brain (and a few do) -- these revelations are likely to point up the line at the leaders of the Democratic Party all the way to President Obama. They were all involved to one degree or another with illegally spying on or undermining Trump and his administration and supporters before and after the election. The extent of this we are only beginning to understand.

Pelosi Makes It Official: Democrats Are Impeaching Trump

To put it mildly, not good. Whether you call this treason is up to you, but you can be sure Middle America (i.e. those elusive independent voters) will not appreciate it.

But there's something worse -- and Pelosi's knows it. The only hope for Democrats to defeat Trump is, remote and quixotic as it may be, impeachment. In the midst of the current brouhaha, Joe Biden -- their great (alas white male) hope -- is being exposed as not just a senile plagiarist, but a senile, corrupt plagiarist with a freaky family out of a Southern gothic novel with tentacles reaching into China and Ukraine. Again, not good.

Unfortunately, the rest of the Dems have tacked so far to the left that they wouldn't be able to win an election in Shenyang. Sanders, speaking of senility, is almost risible. He wants to restrict population for reasons of "climate change" when every one of the myriad social programs he so vehemently urges depends on strong continued population growth for economic survival, irrespective of taxes. (Is he that stupid? I don't think so. He's just a liar.)

As for his somewhat subtle clone, Ms. Warren, her proposals are if anything more extreme because she fails to acknowledge (though Colbert did his best to encourage her) that they are going to cost a ton of taxpayer money that approaches national bankruptcy. Even taxing the rich at one hundred percent won't come near supporting her ideas. Wait until Trump gets ahold of that.

So for the Democrats, trouble ahead, trouble behind. Ergo, impeachment.

Of course it will never happen. (Pelosi knows that too. That's why she never held a congressional vote on this "inquiry.") And indeed the whole spectacle might be amusing in a macabre sort of way if there weren't important things going on in the world. The president is engaged in negotiations of tremendous significance with the Chinese and trying to neuter as much as possible the violent mullahs of Iran, but the Democrats don't care. In fact, they would prefer he fail, and seem to be doing everything in their power to make it so. To call that un-American is an understatement. Actually, it's despicable and deeply immoral, not just for the citizens of this country, but for the world. What children!

SOURCE 

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Kamala Harris, Dianne Feinstein Fight to Keep Gay Trump Nominee Off 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

Homophobic!

The Washington Blade, an LGBT news outlet, reports that Donald Trump has tried two times "to confirm a gay U.S. prosecutor to a federal appeals court despite objections from Sen. Kamala Harris over his qualifications for a lifetime judicial appointment."

Patrick Bumatay is a gay Filipino serving as a U.S. attorney in Southern California. He was put on a list of six individuals intended for nominations to the federal bench by the Trump administration.

Bumatay has been nominated to serve on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. If confirmed, he would become the highest-ranking gay judge serving a lifetime appointment on the federal bench.

Bumatay's nomination has been stymied by objections from both Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). This disagreement led to the president removing Bumatay's nomination for the Ninth Circuit and nominating him for a seat on the U.S. District Court in Southern California instead. However, when U.S. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski left the Ninth Circuit Court because of sexual misconduct allegations that included showing pornography to employees in his chambers, the president nominated Bumatay again.

Washington Blade reports that Harris has decided, once again, to fight Bumatays nomination saying,

"Once again, the president has put forth a highly flawed nominee to the Ninth Circuit, without the support of California’s senators. I first objected to Mr. Bumatay after his initial nomination to the Ninth Circuit a year ago and again raised concerns about his qualifications and fitness when he was nominated for the district court...A nominee for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench must demonstrate exceptional skill, professionalism and respect for the principle of equal justice under law. Mr. Bumatay does not meet this standard. Mr. Bumatay has a troubling prosecutorial record, lacks the requisite experience, and has drawn criticism from members of California’s legal community, across party lines. It is clear that he lacks the judgment and qualifications to serve on the Ninth Circuit."

The Washington Blade requested specific examples of Bumatay's unfitness for the job from Harris's office. No word on when or if Harris will respond.

SOURCE 

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“Left Wing Obsession” Leads New York Times To Libel Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh With Fake News Headline

In a brazen smear, the once respected paper has published another rape accusation without interviewing the accuser – who now denies the accusation

At least one New York Time reporter says “Every Single Person We Spoke to Said Kavanaugh Has Been a Great Person and an Exemplary Judge,” even as a key witness in Christine Blasey Fords’ congressional testimony says “I was told behind the scenes that certain things could be spread about me if I didn’t comply”

Leland Keyser, who Christine Blasey Ford said was a witness to when Brett Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted her in the 1980s, now doubts that it ever happened. Meanwhile, The New York Times reporters who've written a new book about the Kavanaugh confirmation have blamed their editors for omitting a crucial fact (that the supposed female victim from the "new" accusation does not recall the alleged incident ever happening).

These events, and more, are unfolding as the US Congress is attempting to impeach Judge Kavanaugh and President Donald Trump. The entire Kavanaugh episode illustrates just how low the liberal political wing in America is willing to sink

SOURCE 

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Out-of-touch Democrats push destructive forced unionization bill

Since gaining control of the U.S. House, Democrats have clearly demonstrated that they are not fit to govern. While one might have assumed that gaining a bit of power would have caused them to behave more responsibly, that has not been the case at all. When Congressional Democrats are not busy ignoring the nation’s problems or scheming to overturn the result of the 2016 presidential election, they are pushing radical legislation that shows how just out-of-touch they are. Case in point, Democrats are supporting the Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019 forced unionization bill or PRO Act, which would empower and enrich union bosses while disempowering workers and killing jobs.

Here are a few of the PRO Act’s destructive provisions:

The legislation would essentially overturn Right to Work laws in more than two dozen states and force private sector workers to pay fees to a union – even if they adamantly oppose the union – just to keep their jobs.

It would force employers to hand over workers’ contact information, including home addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Workers would have no choice in the matter, and union organizers could use this information to harass workers until they agreed to sign a union card.

It would expand the definition of employee to include more independent contractors thereby disrupting the gig economy and endangering jobs.

It would make national franchising companies, such as McDonald’s or Holiday Inn, responsible for the actions of employees of individual franchisees. This would disrupt the franchise industry and endanger more jobs as franchising companies sought to minimize their potential liability.

It would require that unionization elections occur quickly. By minimizing the amount of time that employers have to make their case against unionization – and the amount of time that undecided workers would have to make up their minds – unions gain an unfair advantage.

It would also impose harsher penalties on employers who violate the National Labor Relations Act while leaving the current penalties in place for unions who violate the same law.

Democrat support for the PRO Act is overwhelming. There are now 208 Democrat cosponsors of the House version of the bill, H.R. 2474. What that means is that over 87 percent of the House Democrat caucus supports the PRO Act. House cosponsors include House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, current presidential candidates Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), former presidential candidates Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Seth Moulton (D-MA), and over half of the supposedly centrist Blue Dog Caucus.

There are now 40 liberal Senate cosponsors: 39 Democrat and one Independent. In other words, over 87 percent of the liberal Senate caucus (which includes two Independents) supports this bill. Senate cosponsors include Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), current presidential candidates Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and former presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

The good news is that not one single Republican supports the disastrous PRO Act and that it will not be enacted this year or next; the bad news is that it could pass as soon as 2021, if the elections go poorly next year. Regardless of whether the legislation ever passes, the PRO Act shows that the Democrat Party has grown radical, and voters and donors need to accept this fact. In particular, investors and businesspeople need to recognize that these policies are bad for the economy. So even if they are liberal socially, they are voting or donating against their own interests when they choose to support them.

SOURCE 

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Overdue Tax Bill For Ocasio-Cortez’s Failed Business Remains Unpaid

Prominent Leftists don't have to obey the same rules as everyone elsde

A tax warrant against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s failed business venture remains open over six months after her office said the unpaid state taxes would be promptly paid back.

The state of New York issued a tax warrant in July 2017 against Brook Avenue Press, a Bronx-based children’s books publisher Ocasio-Cortez founded in 2012, for $1,618.36 in unpaid corporate taxes.

New York issues tax warrants against businesses if they “fail to timely resolve” their tax debt and don’t respond to notices of their debt, according to the New York Department of Taxation and Finance.

The New York Post first spotted the New York Democrat’s unpaid tax bill in early March. An Ocasio-Cortez spokesman told The Post at the time that it was the first they had heard of her business’s unpaid taxes and that the balance would be paid right away.

Former Ocasio-Cortez spokesman Corbin Trent told The Post her lawyers were looking into the matter in a March 23 story noting that the back taxes remained unpaid

Brook Avenue Press’s back taxes remain unpaid six months later.

The Bronx County Clerk confirmed in a phone call with the Daily Caller News Foundation Monday that the Brook Avenue Press tax warrant remains open and that a satisfaction of judgement has yet to be filed in the matter.

Ocasio-Cortez presumably has the means to pay off her business’s unpaid taxes with a congressional salary of $174,000.

Ocasio-Cortez’s office did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

New York state dissolved Ocasio-Cortez’s company in 2016 using a procedure reserved for corporations that fail to pay taxes for at least two years or fail to file tax returns.

Ocasio-Cortez reported she was the founder of Brook Avenue Press in her financial disclosure report filed with the House of Representatives in May.

As a member of Congress, Ocasio-Cortez has called for tax rates up to 70% on income earners at the “tippy tops” to fund her signature policy proposal, the Green New Deal, which would fully decarbonize the U.S. by 2030.

Ocasio-Cortez sang a different tune on taxes as a small business owner in 2012 when she came out in support of a bill that would provide tax deductions for business start-up costs.

“You don’t really make a profit in your first year,” Ocasio-Cortez told the now-defunct DNAinfo when she was trying to get Brook Avenue Press off the ground. “To get taxed on top of that is a real whammy.”

SOURCE 

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IN BRIEF

"BILLIONAIRES SHOULDN'T EXIST": "Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders on Tuesday rolled out his plan to levy an 'extreme wealth tax' on millionaires and billionaires, which he plans to enforce through the creation of a 'national wealth registry,'" National Review reports, which adds, "Sanders' annual tax on the top 0.1 percent would apply to Americans with a net worth of over $32 million, or about 180,000 households, and would raise approximately $4.35 trillion over the next decade, the Sanders campaign estimates. ... Under the plan, the IRS will be required to audit 30 percent of the top one percent's wealth tax returns and 100 percent for billionaires." The senator further groused on Twitter, "Billionaires should not exist." And socialism should?

THANKS, OBAMA: "Iran has spent more than $16 billion during the past several years to fund militant terrorists across the Middle East, cash that was repatriated to the Islamic Republic under the terms of the landmark nuclear deal, according to new disclosures from the Trump administration. As Iran's economy teeters on the brink of collapse under the tough sanctions regime imposed by the Trump administration, the Islamic Republic's authoritarian leadership has spent its limited cash reserves to bolster terror groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as militant terrorists in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen." (The Washington Free Beacon)

FENTANYL SURGE: "The flow of the deadly narcotic fentanyl from China to the U.S. has surged despite President Trump's trade war with the communist county and President Xi Jinping's promise to crack down on the illicit trade. Customs and Border Protection agents have seized nearly 2,400 pounds of fentanyl this year through Aug. 31, enough to kill roughly 475 million people. That represents a nearly 32% increase from the same period last year. CBP's numbers represent a sliver of fentanyl flowing into the U.S. because U.S. authorities missed so much of it. China, the world's largest producer of fentanyl, accounts for 68% of the synthetic opioid's movement." (The Washington Times)

TURKEY'S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS: "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hinted at an interest in acquiring nuclear weapons, telling the United Nations that it is unjust for the weapons to be possessed only by major powers. 'It bothers us like anyone else that the weapons of mass destruction are used as leverage in every crisis instead of their total elimination,' Erdoğan said Tuesday during the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. 'The position of nuclear power should either be forbidden for all or permissible for everyone.'" (Washington Examiner)

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 

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"We Have to Mass Mobilize": Laverne Cox & Chase Strangio Sound the Alarm on Major LGBTQ SCOTUS Cases   

Cache   
At the start of its new term, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday in three cases to determine whether LGBTQ people can be fired from their jobs due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of sex, as well as race, color, national origin and religion, but the Trump administration claims the law does not cover discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The cases mark the first time the Supreme Court will rule on LGBTQ rights since conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh replaced Anthony Kennedy, who wrote many of the court's major LGBTQ rights rulings. We speak with Laverne Cox, a longtime trans rights activist and award-winning transgender actress best known for her role on the show "Orange Is the New Black," and Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice with the ACLU's LGBT & HIV Project. His work includes impact litigation, as well as legislative and administrative advocacy, on behalf of LGBTQ people and people living with HIV across the United States.
          

Brett Kavanaugh Is About to Get His Hands on His First Abortion Case   

Cache   

Elie Mystal

We knew this day would come. Susan Collins should have known, too.

The post Brett Kavanaugh Is About to Get His Hands on His First Abortion Case appeared first on The Nation.


          

'You're trying to change the meaning of sex': supreme court hears LGBTQ cases   

Cache   

A seemingly divided supreme court struggled on Tuesday over whether a landmark civil rights law protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment.

Related: Brett Kavanaugh and the supreme court: here comes trouble

WATCH: Protesters chant and sing outside of the Supreme Court Tuesday, as the nation's highest court begins to hear arguments in two landmark cases on LGBTQ rights https://t.co/rgw1leY1z3 pic.twitter.com/kHpzWrCF91

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