Happy 2017 everyone ???❄☃??????????? https://t.co/14nHzlmHZz
— Jena C. (@JenaC2) December 30, 2016
Hat Tip: Senior Chief Nance’s twitter feed.
With just 1,373 days until Americans vote in the 2020 election, responsible thing to do is wait until then to consider any #SCOTUS nominee.
— Jason Kander (@JasonKander) January 30, 2017
Don’t care how good he looks as a potential reality-teevee character, let the Repubs defend their Talibangelical sock-puppet… at length.
The Democrats should treat Trump's SCOTUS pick with the exact same courtesy the GOP showed Merrick Garland. Don't flinch, don't back down
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) February 1, 2017
Every Democratic senator should just pin this photo to their lapel for the next few days of GOP whining. pic.twitter.com/6MayoFT8W5
— Schooley (@Rschooley) January 31, 2017
— Jaime Fuller (@j_fuller) February 1, 2017
Plain-spoken @BenSasse: "Senator Schumer is about to tell Americans Judge Gorsuch kicks puppies, heckles piano recitals. That's Hogwash."
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) February 1, 2017
tbh he'll probably focus on Roe, Chevron, death penalty, etc https://t.co/DtGLBljouJ
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) February 1, 2017
btw of course Dems should filibuster any SCOTUS pick after that travesty with Merrick Garland. Taking high road /= unilateral disarmament.
— Rogue Rogue One Acct (@ZeddRebel) January 31, 2017
Longer we stand up, more time there will be for the inevitable skeletons to tumble out of Gorsuch’s legal closet…
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) February 1, 2017
God, he clerked for Sentelle, too? Conservative legal terrarium is productive.
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) February 1, 2017
— Julianne Cuba (@Julcuba) January 31, 2017
The President has just nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy that the GOP majority in the US Senate held open for almost a year after the death of Associate Justice Scalia.
From Mother Jones:
Many court watchers, noting Trump’s “central casting” approach to staffing, consider the 10th Circuit judge the favorite for the high court seat, if for no other reason than “he looks the part,” as Empirical SCOTUS blogger Adam Feldman put it. David Lat, founder of legal affairs blog Above the Law, tweeted recently that Gorsuch seems like the obvious choice for Trump because “we all know Trump cares about looks, & Neil ‘Silver Fox’ Gorsuch is taller & handsomer than (the already good-looking) Bill Pryor.” Lat also noted, “Judge Gorsuch is a ‘winner’—brilliant, pedigreed, tall, handsome—and Trump likes winners.” Unlike Pryor and Hardiman, Gorsuch is also an Ivy Leaguer.
An Oxford and Harvard grad, Gorsuch, 49, is also one of the youngest sitting federal judges on Trump’s list—a selling point for a president looking to leave a lasting legacy on the court. He is a conservative in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia and is considered an “originalist” who tries to interpret the law as the Founders would have. Also in his column: As one of the 10th Circuit judges who ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby against the Obama administration—exempting the company from federal requirements to provide employees with insurance plans that included free contraceptive coverage—his religious-right bona fides are solid.
But hard-core anti-abortion activists have been lobbying against Gorsuch and recently asked Trump to consider judges with a more proven record of anti-abortion advocacy from the bench. Andrew Schlafly, son of the late conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly, recently sent out an alert to supporters arguing that Gorsuch is “NOT pro-life” because he wrote an opinion noting his obligation to follow court precedent. Schlafly sees adherence to precedent as a deal-breaker and a sign that a judge won’t overturn Roe.
Pryor, Hardiman, and Gorsuch are the leading candidates for the Supreme Court job, but Trump is unpredictable. So maybe he’ll go with bomb-thrower Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, who calls himself Texas’ most conservative justice. Willett sees very little role for the government in regulating health and safety issues. He once joined with the state court to strike down as unconstitutional training requirements for people who perform eyebrow threading, a hair removal procedure that can spread various diseases, including ringworm and pink eye.
A Reason columnist declared Willett’s concurrence in the case “easily one of the most libertarian legal decisions I’ve ever read.” Willett wrote with outrage about the greater threat to liberty of regulating eyebrow plucking:
This case raises constitutional eyebrows because it asks building-block questions about constitutional architecture—about how we as Texans govern ourselves and about the relationship of the citizen to the State. This case concerns far more than whether Ashish Patel can pluck unwanted hair with a strand of thread. This case is fundamentally about the American Dream and the unalienable human right to pursue happiness without curtsying to government on bended knee.
As far as appearances go, Willett doesn’t necessarily have the central-casting looks that seem so important to Trump. But he does have one quality Trump clearly appreciates: With more than 75,000 followers, Willett is really good on Twitter.
 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.781 Once the Lord was staying among the Magadhans at Mātulā. Then he said: ‘Monks!’ ‘Lord’, they replied, and the Lord said:‘Monks, be islands unto yourselves, be a refuge unto yourselves with no other refuge. Let the Dhamma be your island, let the Dhamma be your refuge, with no other refuge.782 And how does a monk dwell as an island unto himself, as a refuge unto himself with no other refuge, with the Dhamma as his island, with the Dhamma as his refuge, with no other refuge? Here, a monk abides contemplating body as body,783 ardent, clearly aware and mindful, having put aside hankering and fretting for the world, he abides contemplating feelings as feelings, … he abides contemplating mind as mind, … he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects, ardent, clearly aware and mindful, having put aside hankering and fretting for the world.‘Keep to your own preserves,784 monks, to your ancestral haunts.785 If you do so, then Mara will find no lodgement, no foothold. It is just by the building-up of wholesome states that this merit increases. 2. ‘Once, monks, there was a wheel-turning monarch named Daḷhanemi, a righteous monarch of the law, conqueror of the four quarters, who had established the security of his realm and was possessed of the seven treasures. These are: the Wheel Treasure, the Elephant Treasure, the Horse Treasure, the Jewel Treasure, the Woman Treasure, the Householder Treasurer, and, as seventh, the Counsellor Treasure. He has more than a thousand sons who are heroes, of heroic stature, conquerors of the hostile army. He dwells having conquered this sea-girt land without stick or sword, by the law (as Sutta 3, verse 1.5).3. ‘And, after many hundreds and thousands of years, King Daḷhanemi said to a certain man: “My good man, whenever you see that the sacred Wheel-Treasure has slipped from its position, report it to me.” “Yes, sire”, the man replied. And after many hundreds and thousands of years the man saw that the sacred Wheel-Treasure had slipped from its position. Seeing this, he reported the fact to the King. Then King Daḷhanemi sent for his eldest son, the crown prince, and said: “My son, the sacred Wheel-Treasure has slipped from its position. And I have heard say that when this happens to a wheel-turning monarch, he has not much longer to live. I have had my fill  of human pleasures, now is the time to seek heavenly pleasures. You, my son, take over control of this ocean-bounded land. I will shave off my hair and beard, don yellow robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness.” And, having installed his eldest son in due form as king, King Daḷhanemi shaved off his hair and beard, donned yellow robes, and went forth from the household life into homelessness. And, seven days after the royal sage had gone forth, the sacred Wheel-Treasure vanished.4. ‘Then a certain man came to the anointed Khattiya King and said: “Sire, you should know that the sacred Wheel-Treasure has disappeared.” At this the King was grieved and felt sad. He went to the royal sage and told him the news. And the royal sage said to him: “My son, you should not grieve or feel sad at the disappearance of the Wheel-Treasure. The Wheel-Treasure is not an heirloom from your fathers. But now, my son, you must turn yourself into an Ariyan wheel-turner. 786 And then it may come about that, if you perform the duties of an Ariyan wheel-turning monarch, on the fast-day of the fifteenth,787 when you have washed your head and gone up to the verandah on top of your palace for the fast-day, the sacred Wheel-Treasure will appear to you, thousand-spoked, complete with felloe, hub and all appurtenances.” 5. ‘“But what, sire, is the duty of an Ariyan wheel-turning monarch?” “It is this, my son: Yourself depending on the Dhamma, honouring it, revering it, cherishing it, doing homage to it and venerating it, having the Dhamma as your badge and banner, acknowledging the Dhamma as your master, you should establish guard, ward and protection according to Dhamma for your own household, your troops, your nobles and vassals, for Brahmins and householders, town and country folk, ascetics and Brahmins, for beasts and birds.788 Let no crime789 prevail in your kingdom, and to those who are in need, give property. And whatever ascetics and Brahmins in your kingdom have renounced the life of sensual infatuation and are devoted to forbearance and gentleness, each one taming himself, each one calming himself and each one striving for the end of craving, from time to time you should go to them and consult them as to what is wholesome and what is unwholesome, that is blameworthy and what is blameless, what is to be followed and what is not to be followed, and what action will in the long run lead to harm and sorrow, and what to welfare and happiness. Having listened to them, you should avoid evil and do what is good.790 That, my son, is the duty of an Ariyan wheel-turning monarch.’
The White House did not comment on the meeting, but Mr. Spicer affirmed in his press briefing that infrastructure remains a high priority
Mr. McGarvey and Terry O’Sullivan, the general president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, stressed to reporters their satisfaction at meeting with the president so soon after the inauguration. They said they went the entire Obama administration without being invited to a similar meeting.
(Some building trades leaders attended meetings with a broader cross section of unions at the Obama White House.)
Both groups endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in 2015, but their presidents were effusive in praising Mr. Trump’s knowledge of the building and construction industry.
“We have a common bond with the president,” Mr. McGarvey said. “We come from the same industry. He understands the value of driving development, moving people to the middle class.”
Even though most unions endorsed Hillary, union support for Hillary declined:
Trump’s depiction of who those voters were centered on two broad archetypes: Veterans and displaced factory workers. There isn’t good polling on the former, but it overlaps with the white, non-college-educated men who made up a significant part of Trump’s base. In one formulation of the latter, union members, we have data from exit polling. In union households (that is, households in which someone was a union member), Trump trailed Hillary Clinton by only 8 points, a substantial improvement from how Mitt Romney did in 2012.
In fact, it was the best margin for a Republican since … 1984, the election that gave Reagan his second term.
Via Deadspin, here’s your reward, blue collar whites:
The Washington Examiner reports that tomorrow, Republican Congressmen Steve King and Joe Wilson will introduce national “right to work” legislation. A quick primer: “Right to work” laws (or “free rider” laws, as unions see them) allow workers in unionized workplaces to get the benefits of a union contract without having to pay union dues. Currently, just over half of the states in the country—including the entire South—have statewide “right to work” laws, and union membership tends to be much lower in those states, because the ability of people to opt out of paying union dues just because they don’t feel like it makes it harder to maintain strong unions, and can be financially crippling. (A union might, for example, negotiate a contract covering 500 workers, only to see half of them take the benefits of the contract and then not pay anything to the union. It’s a tough way to survive.) Is it still possible to have unions in “right to work” stat? Yes.
A national “right to work” law would be the Holy Grail of right wing anti-labor forces who have despised unions for decades. There is no law that would be more detrimental to union membership. You need only look at the state-by-state union membership numbers to see how bad it could get. It’s not going overboard to imagine national union numbers could fall by half in short order. Unions would still exist, but they would have to work immeasurably harder to maintain their financial stability and relationships with members. All legally enshrined stability would be gone. Such a law would make every workplace in America an uphill battle for organized labor. And since unionization is one of the only things that average workers today can do to improve their economic position, this would undoubtedly exacerbate economic inequality, increase the power of corporations over their employees, and make it harder for Americans to have any hope of a middle class lifestyle. So it will naturally be endorsed by Donald Trump, our “blue collar billionaire” prez who loves the common man!
The only upside I can think of this is that fewer of these jackasses will be able to afford their giant vehicle penis pick-em-up trucks tailgating me with their lights in my mirror. If you own a pick-up truck and it doesn’t have farm use on it or a shitload of dents or something hitched to it, you’re just an asshole. There’s a lot of assholes out there. Soon to be driving Kia’s.
ACLU: Dems should block vote on Sessions until "Muslim ban" is gone. https://t.co/GuRBYW6QK7
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) January 30, 2017
Good for them. From the Washington Post:
Senate Judiciary Committee members on Tuesday sparred over whether Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) can operate independently of the president if confirmed as attorney general — a debate that took on new importance after President Trump’s late-night firing of acting attorney general Sally Yates for refusing to defend his immigration order.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the committee’s chairman, said that Sessions will “follow the law, regardless of whether he would have supported it as a matter of policy as a senator.” He said Sessions offered no help in drafting Trump’s order, although it is “not clear to me why it would be a problem even if he had been involved.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the panel, attacked Trump’s order and noted that Sessions’s ideals seem to have at least shaped it. She read aloud from Yates’s memo declaring that she did not find Trump’s immigration order lawful, then referenced the “Saturday Night Massacre,” when two top Justice Department officials resigned over an order from President Richard Nixon…
The committee scheduled a vote on Sessions’s nomination for Wednesday morning. A vote by the full Senate is expected later in the week….
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said he will vote against the nominee because of concerns about Sessions’s civil rights record, his failure to address Russia’s interference in the November presidential election and ethical conflicts in the Trump administration, among other issues. He took aim Tuesday at Trump’s firing of Yates, saying the president had “placed the independence of the Justice Department at stake.”…
…[N]o Democrat on the committee has declared an intention to vote for Sessions, and Democrats are increasing efforts to delay the confirmation of several of Trump’s Cabinet nominees.
Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is every terrible political idea of the last hundred-plus years wrapped in the skin of a depraved leprechaun, and he no more deserves to be in a position of power than… Donald Trump.
— NAACP (@NAACP) January 30, 2017
call the number and put in your zip code and it connects the call to your senator. couldn't be easier. https://t.co/J6E4gWyF8a
— Churlish (@Cryptoterra) January 31, 2017
President Donald Trump will not head to Milwaukee for a previously scheduled visit of a Harley-Davidson factory after the company decided it wasn’t comfortable hosting him amid planned protests, an administration official said Tuesday.
Trump had been scheduled to tour the factory Thursday where he also planned to sign executive orders related to American manufacturing.
I’d buy myself a hog right now…if I wasn’t such a Camry-driving weenie.