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100 Days of Trump: Prepare the Senatorial bomb shelter, fallout shower begins in three days

There wasn’t a whole lot of drama on Monday as the Senate Judiciary Committee met to give their up or down approval to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

All the Republicans voted for Gorsuch. All the Democrats voted against him. Ho hum.

Alexander Bolton of The Hill reports, “The Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday morning advanced the nuclear falloutnomination of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, setting up a bitter floor fight that will likely end with Republicans triggering the ‘nuclear option’ to change Senate rules.

“The committee voted along party lines, with all 11 Republicans voting for Gorsuch and all 9 Democrats voting against him.”

The committee’s party-line vote was expected. The Democrats’ pontificating speeches as to why they were voting against Gorsuch were about as predictable as the advancing and receding of the tides.

With the first procedural formality safely in the rearview mirror attention now turns to the real issue of the full Senate’s vote to confirm Gorsuch later this week and whether the infamous “nuclear option” will be used by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to squelch forever this ridiculous and time-consuming filibuster (for Supreme Court nominees) facade.

From preliminary counts, Democrats have gathered the necessary 41 votes to trigger a filibuster.

Seung Min Kim of Politico reports, “Senate Democrats on Monday secured the 41 votes needed to block the nomination of President Donald Trump’s first pick for the Supreme Court. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his GOP ranks have not backed down in the face of the filibuster threat, continuing to insist that Gorsuch will be installed as the next high court justice, whether Democrats like it or not.

“The competing postures mean the Senate is hurtling toward the use later this week of the so-called nuclear option — changing the chamber’s rules with a simple majority so that Supreme Court filibusters can be cut off with just 51 votes, rather than the long-required 60-vote threshold.”

Granted it’s Politico we’re talking about but Kim’s article made this extremely important matter sound more like a grade school playground squabble where the bigger boys say “I’m changing the rules and if you don’t like it, tough!,” while the undersized and weaker kids whine and complain about fairness and then run off to find the yard teacher to plead their case.

Yes, people, it really has become that stupid.

One of the most upsetting aspects in all of this is the country is forced to talk about the “nuclear option” for three more days. In essence America has been focusing on the judicial confirmation process since February 13 of last year when Justice Antonin Scalia passed away unexpectedly.

With lame duck Obama still in the White House and a safe Republican majority in the Senate, anxious observers didn’t wait until after Scalia’s burial to begin speculating on one, whether Obama would bother to appoint a successor (knowing he or she would have little chance of being confirmed) and two, if Obama did provide a name, whether Mitch McConnell would act on it.

The answer was yes and no. No drama there either.

The matter drew its fair share of attention during the primary and general election campaigns last year. It could easily be argued Trump won the presidency over the issue of Supreme Court appointments alone. All along there was debate over the Democrats and if they would accept a Trump-appointed nominee and if not, would Republicans go “nuclear?”

We’ve been talking about this issue for almost fourteen months now – and it’s not complicated like healthcare. We still have three days to go. Three. More. Days.

It’s basically just three more days for leftist groups to put on a furious public relations campaign to smear the name of a good man like Neil Gorsuch.

How many more times will Chuck Schumer seek out the nearest willing liberal reporter to again spout his talking points about Gorsuch not answering the Democrats’ questions or how the Republicans deserved the current stonewalling because they were a bunch of sour meanies for not giving Merrick Garland a chance to play after Obama nominated him?

Perhaps we should be glad there will be “nuclear fallout” by the end of the week. Gorsuch will finally be on the Court and Democrats will never be able to pull this kind of stunt again.

And best of all, we’ll get to stop talking about it.

Is Trump just telling people what they want to hear or actually mediating a dispute?

Last week I predicted President Donald Trump’s overt public criticism of conservatives in the Freedom Caucus would embolden not only his liberal Democrat enemies but also those in the supposedly conservative #NeverTrump platoon who have thus far remained mostly hidden while waiting for the perfect opportunity to reemerge and fire a volley at the new president.

Unfortunately it didn’t take long for my prophecy to come to fruition courtesy of one of Trump’s harshest past #NeverTrump critics, Steve Berman at The Resurgent.

In a post titled, “The Clueless Yes Man,” Berman snidely wrote yesterday, “The Venn diagram of health care options acceptable to both Sen. Paul and Democrats in Congress yields what they call in mathematics a null set. But that’s how the dealmaker works. You want to make a billion dollars on real estate (or vitamins, or vodka)? ‘Yes!’ Always say ‘yes!’ if it helps people feel good about a deal...

“Trump is clueless on health care. He is not a detail man, but he knows how to make others believe he’s listening, and they walk away believing they have a ‘yes’ from the president.”

In the first paragraph Berman was referring to Senator Rand Paul’s golf round with Trump and budget director Mick Mulvaney over the weekend where healthcare apparently came up. Paul said afterwards he was more optimistic that something could be worked out on repealing Obamacare.

Spending several hours on the links chasing around a little white ball has a way of making one more optimistic that anything is possible. But that’s a story for another time.

By calling Trump a “yes man” Berman insinuates Trump only told Paul precisely what the Kentucky senator wanted to hear while also claiming at other times (to the press) that he’s going to work with the establishment and even Democrats to get to “yes” on a healthcare agreement.

Berman’s is a valid criticism but I don’t believe it is a correct one. First of all, Trump isn’t clueless on healthcare and after spending a month on this subject there’s no way he’s just shoveling legislative candy in his opponents’ faces to get them to bend.

Do you think Trump’s telling the Freedom Caucus what they want to hear behind closed doors and then tweeting out that he’s going to “fight” them hours later? The president’s instincts tell him conservatives are right on the issue (because it’s closer to what he truly believes), he’s just not sure all the mushy moderates are going to cooperate.

While it’s true “yes man” Trump is supremely confident he can broker a deal on just about any subject, the healthcare issue has a lot more players than most negotiating matches and they all have to be brought in to give their assent before anything is inked. That’s certainly a lesson he learned from the failure of Ryancare 1.0 a couple weeks ago.

But in Trump’s mind I doubt anything is ever truly over until there is a “deal.” He may move on to other subjects but for something as big and complicated as healthcare there isn’t any expiration date in talking about ways to fix it. There are just days, weeks and events.

He’s like a mediator. If Trump seems like he’s “listening” to all sides it isn’t because he’s planning on telling everyone they’re right. He’s merely trying to get the parties to the point where they’re not so angry that they refuse to talk to each other.

Berman and the #NeverTrumpers could care less about the actual substance of the meetings, reasoning the fact Trump is out playing golf with senators and doing a little chatting while sizing up putts is just another attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the American public.

Such criticisms will only get more vocal, especially if Trump ignores the concerns of his base and sides with the establishment – or Democrats – to push something through.

And healthcare is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Wait until Republicans start talking about spending – then there’s going to be hundreds of different opinions and special concerns.

W. James Antle III and Joseph Lawler of the Washington Examiner wrote, “With control of both elected branches of the federal government, Republicans have an opportunity to show whether they can get the nation's finances in order after complaining about Obama-era spending and borrowing for eight years. On the heels of an unsuccessful bid to repeal and replace Obamacare, whether they can agree sufficiently to avoid a government shutdown will say a lot about their ability to govern…

“Avoiding a shutdown is a high priority for Republican leaders. Shutdowns have worked against the GOP politically when they have controlled Congress while a Democrat is in the White House. If the government is partially shut down while Republicans run both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, it will suggest political dysfunction.”

It’s actually never been proven shutdowns hurt the GOP politically. But then again, whenever they’ve happened, there was a Democrat in the White House. This time it’s different.

It’s always humorous to see the way the media tosses out budget figures as though we’re dealing with monopoly money. With the federal government spending several trillion dollars every year and individual departments each competing for their slice of the steadily shrinking “discretionary” pie, the entire concept of budgeting needs to be re-examined.

Add in self-interested politicians from both parties who swear every federal dollar is absolutely vital and cannot be eliminated or else the poor will suffer, the military will collapse, retirees will be eating out of dog food cans and the environment will devolve into a giant cesspool of toxic ooze.

To borrow a Trump-ian phrase, budgeting is a huge mess.

To reach consensus it will require a master negotiator who can make “great deals” to come up with something. The alternative is to do what Congress has already been doing for years – passing continuing resolutions without wholesale changes or improvements to anything. It’s the swamp perpetuated. Sad.

No wonder nearly all Americans think the system is broken.

Maybe the solution lies with Trump taking a few more Republicans out to play some golf. Maybe he could hold one giant congressional golf tournament at Trump National DC (about a half hour outside of Washington). Then something finally might get done.

Democrats and the media can’t stop dreaming about impeaching Trump

When the media isn’t busy talking about Republicans going nuclear on Senate Democrats or Trump’s golf game schmoozing sessions on healthcare, they’re at work restating poll numbers suggesting President Trump is unpopular and keeping rumors alive that his presidency is in trouble.

In the process the “i” word is cropping up again.

Juan Williams wrote at The Hill, “Liberal Democrats could yet see their dreams come true...

“It has been said that predictions make fools of us all. The campaign and the election that brought Trump to power certainly proved that, since the majority of the media — myself included — predicted he would not win.

“But it is no liberal fantasy to say the odds of a Trump resignation or impeachment before 2020 are looking better by the day.”

In his piece Williams repeats all the standard Democrat arguments for hating Trump – you know, the Russians did it, Republicans are starting to bail on him, Chuck Schumer is filibustering Gorsuch, Ryancare went down in flames…basically a reiteration of the front page of the Washington Post for the past 74 days.

I guess you can’t fault him; he gets paid for being liberal and outlandish.

In all of this you can’t help but feel a little sorry for Juan Williams. He seems like a decent guy, the type of person you can still have a civil discussion with about politics in a public place.

Many conservatives have come to respect Williams (at least a little) since he was unceremoniously fired from NPR (in October of 2010) for truthfully stating that he sizes up Muslims whenever he flies, fearing another 9/11-like plane hijacking that ends up using the aircraft and its passengers as a suicidal torpedo.

The politically correct police couldn’t stand for one of their own saying out loud such insensitive but heartfelt and truthful things. I’m guessing during regular office “water cooler” banter it’s okay for liberals to talk about what they really think but when the cameras go live, you’d better put your politically correct face on – or else.

When Juan got the boot a lot of conservatives rallied to his side, helping him secure a full-time gig on Fox News where to this day he continues offering his misguided liberal perspective to increasingly annoyed conservative and Republican audiences.

People I know have often objected to the presence of Williams on the network. I usually defend him, suggesting it’s a good thing to have someone spouting such nonsense lest we forget how wrong he and the liberals truly are.

But when it comes to impeachment, Williams has gone off the reservation. In essence, Juan has merely joined with Maxine Waters and the rest of the nutcase fringe left that stumbles around shouting slogans, protesting in front of Ivanka Trump’s house and going on TV dribbling a bunch of guano about Trump’s supposed high crimes and misdemeanors against the country.

We know Williams is generally a good guy, but why would he go there?

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Hold Yer Roll

The DNCommunist are bout to commit another grave error and compound the enormous number of moral, legal and social violations they have amassed in the last 8 years...Allowing the R's to use the nuclear option for Gorsuch, is a tactical error in times when they need to be reinforcing their walls of obstruction to keep the truth from soiling their plans of malicious intent and saving the resistance they have for the foiling of the SCOTUS seat after justice Kennedy retires, it will take every bad bone in their thieving bodies to stop another conservative from taking the seat....This is the party who ruined the shaky credibility of the IRS police force, caught red handed, stonewalled and lied outright to save their crooked backsides and having their police force dismantled..the loss of the progressive income tax would end the money supply and the influence of the DNCommunist, the only thing they would have left illegal special interest, that being the gov unions under the auspices of the racketeers SEIU....I think the means of a smaller, manageable, representative government are now a reality...no one has stated that repair and maintenance of the Representative Republic and this US Constitution was going to be a cake walk, freedom is always at risk....