Closing Thought–08Oct18

One more thought on the ugly process of judicial confirmation.

Yes, Irene we have a new judge for SCOTUS!

After the vote that confirmed that alleged drunkard to the highest court in the land and after the old men of the Senate took their mandatory hourly pee break the swearing in began…..

Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in Saturday night as the 114th justice of the US Supreme Court, after a wrenching debate over sexual misconduct and judicial temperament that shattered the Senate, captivated the nation, and ushered in an acrimonious new level of polarization—now encroaching on the court that the 53-year-old judge may well swing rightward for decades to come, the AP reports. The bitterly polarized US Senate narrowly confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to join the Supreme Court, delivering an election-season triumph to President Trump, per the AP. The near party-line vote was 50-48 capped a fight that seized the national conversation after claims emerged that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted women three decades ago—which he emphatically denied.

After all this drama and a presidential speech to his slobbering throngs….the head of the Senate Judicial Committee tells why of the vote went as it did….(would my female readers read this part closely)……

“It’s a lot of work—maybe they don’t want to do it.” So says Sen. Chuck Grassley on why the Senate Judiciary Committee that supported Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination had no female Republicans, per the Wall Street Journal. “My chief of staff of 33 years tells me we’ve tried to recruit women and we couldn’t get the job done,” adds Grassley, the committee’s chair. But the 85-year-old Republican later walked back his remarks, saying the committee’s workload made it less enticing to male and female senators alike: “We have a hard time getting men on the committee. It’s just a lot of work whether you’re a man or a woman, it doesn’t matter.”

What exactly makes it so hard to get senators on board? “Well, I love it. I’ve been on it 38 years,” the senator responded. “On average, any woman in the United States Senate, whether they’re on Judiciary or any other committee, probably works harder than the average man.” Continuing his apparent change of heart, Grassley said the Supreme Court should have more women: “Probably five would be about right.” All Republicans on the committee are male, while the Democrats have ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein and three other women, per the Huffington Post. In fact Republicans haven’t had a single female member since the committee was established in 1816, Vox notes.
There has NEVER been a female member….NEVER….and why is that?  Workload?  Bullshit!  Women are just as capable or more so than most of the old farts on that committee.
Ladies…..don’t get made….think vote and be heard….then think bench removal!
I promise to move on…that is until this tool makes his next screw up and I think he will do just that…
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We Have A New Judge

This post is for those intelligent beings that put this court thingy on hold so they could enjoy their weekend……On this day 08Oct18 we have a new star rising in the cesspool that we call the Supreme Court.

The vote is in and the Supreme Court has a new judge….a political, partisan, hard drinking perv is on the court for life…..a partisan d/bag will take his seat just in time for a ruling on a case that could involve the president….you will be watching…..

It all took place Friday and over the weekend…the confirmation that is……and if you found the whole process putrid but still would like to know what happened then tune in to IST…I can help with you education…..

The smart money now says Brett Kavanaugh will be the next Supreme Court justice. That became evident Friday afternoon when the Democrats’ last big hope, Republican Susan Collins, announced that she would vote yes on confirmation, reports the Washington Post. After her announcement, Democrat Joe Manchin, another swing vote, said he would do the same. The math now looks hopeless for Democrats ahead of Saturday’s expected vote, even with Republican Susan Collins voting against Kavanaugh. All this comes after Friday morning’s decision to end debate and move toward a final vote. Details and developments:

  • The math: Kavanaugh supporters won Friday’s procedural vote by a narrow 51-49 margin, and Democrats would need to flip two of those yes votes into no’s in order to stop the nomination. A tie wouldn’t cut it for Democrats because VP Mike Pence is the tie-breaker. That put the focus on the swing votes of Collins, Murkowski, and Jeff Flake, all Republicans, along with Democrat Manchin.
  • Flake: The Arizona Republican voted yes on Friday’s procedural matter, and he says he plans to vote in favor of Kavanaugh on Saturday “unless something big changed,” reports Politico. But, he added, “I don’t see what would.”

Collins: She gave a 45-minute speech from the Senate floor in which she talked about the Kavanaugh allegations and the confirmation process. “I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court,” Collins said, per Politico. “I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.”

  • Murkowski: She was the only Republican to break ranks Friday and vote against moving Kavanaugh’s nomination forward. “I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a good man,” but perhaps “not the right man for the court at this time,” the Alaska Republican told reporters, per NBC News. The comments suggest Murkowski is a firm “no” on Saturday, though the New York Times reports that Republicans were pressuring her to change her mind. Now it likely won’t be necessary.
  • Manchin: He’s the only Democrat who voted yes on Kavanaugh Friday, and fellow Democrats hoped to change his mind on Saturday. But Manchin announced Friday afternoon that he would vote for the “qualified jurist,” reports the AP. Even if he flips and votes no, that would lead only to a 50-50 tie, which Pence would break in favor of Kavanaugh. As the Washington Post notes, Manchin serves red-state West Virginia, and he’s in a tough re-election race.
  • Palin to Murkowski: “Hey @LisaMurkowski — I can see 2022 from my house,” tweeted the former Alaska governor in regard to the Alaska senator’s “no” vote on Kavanaugh. Palin urged Alaskans to make Murkowski pay for the decision when she’s up for re-election.
  • Bad timing: GOP Sen. Steve Daines of Montana has a big conflict on Saturday: He has to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding in Montana. Republicans could hold the vote open for Daines if his vote is needed to push Kavanaugh over the top, but the senator tells the AP that he will fly back to DC by private jet if he’s needed. Daines says Montana congressman Greg Gianforte, a fellow Republican, has offered up his plane.
  • The tea leaves: “It’s theoretically possible that some combination of Collins, Flake, and Manchin could still change their mind between now and the final vote,” observes Josh Voorhees at Slate. But “the writing is on the wall.”
  • A suggestion: An op-ed in the Hill says the Kavanaugh drama illustrates one thing that should be evident to both parties: It’s time to amend the Constitution and institute term limits for Supreme Court justices, writes law professor Alan Morrison of George Washington University. He suggests 18-year terms.

Maybe the markets did not see his confirmation as a good thing….. U.S. stocks closed lower as a three-day surge in government bond yields has investors worrying about rising interest rates, the AP reports. The Labor Department said the economy continues to add jobs at a strong pace. Investors sold bonds, sending their prices lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.24%, its highest since mid-2011. The S&P 500 fell a further 16 points, or 0.6%, to 2,885. On Thursday it took its largest loss since June. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 180 points, or 0.7%, to 26,447. The Nasdaq composite fell 91 points, or 1.2%, to 7,788. The Nasdaq fell more than 3% this week, its worst in six months.

In case you are not sure about the judiciary let me help with that….

Personally I was NOT impressed by all the the theatrics around this appointment……Repubs being the butt boy of the president and disregarding the Constitution and the Dems for using this as try outs for the next presidential election.

The Founders would be ashamed of the dramatics around this important appointment.

Arm yourself with facts and you can never lose.

Did I help?

This last part is just FYI……

17 Years Of War

After 17 years of a long war is there any good fortune about this war of wars?  Every couple of months or so we get a report bout a news strategy for this war.  And every year it plugs along sucking taxpayer money as it goes and nothing changes.

And guess what?  We have a new strategy…..very well labelled….a new approach for Afghanistan…..

The stalemated conflict in Afghanistan is becoming a forever war because it is a “for profit’ enterprise for powerful interests on both Afghan sides of the war. Many senior leaders of the Afghan government, as well as the Taliban, are profiting daily from the conflict – why would they want to participate in a peace process that would kill their cash cow? This does not mean that the US government should withdraw from the war – which is as worth fighting today as it was in 2001. We cannot allow Afghanistan to again become a sanctuary for international jihadists. The Taliban is not an existential threat to America and the West, but groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS are. It is in America’s interest for both the Afghan government and the Taliban to resist international jihadist infiltration. That means that American economic strategy needs to be radically changed if we expect to get both sides to the peace table for serious negotiations.

To approach a solution, we must first understand the problem. Regarding the Afghan government, we need to realize that every dollar provided by the United States to pay Afghan government officials, soldiers, police, and subcontractors has a portion siphoned off at every level from the ministries in Kabul down to the battalion or district level. This type of corruption is ingrained in the cultures of the region, and no amount of lecturing on the part of American officials is going to eliminate the institutional tradition of backsheesh. Our unfiltered largesse is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/new-approach-afghanistan

Is there a reality of the war on the ground?

It is time to admit what is self-evident: the strategic foundation of NATO’s campaign in Afghanistan is so fundamentally flawed that it cannot be won. America’s longest war, which endures as a deeply troubled nation-building venture, continues to apply a fatally flawed theory of military victory to a maelstrom of Afghan political, social, and economic problems that Western intervention cannot solve. While war advocates speak of endless “fragile progress,” the truth is that the costly effort is not worth the thousands of lives lost or trillions of dollars spent in pursuit of a failed strategy.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/10/04/strategy_and_reality_in_afghanistan_113864.html

The reality of the thing is that after n17 years all this war has done is siphon off tax dollars for no return on investment.

We expect 17-year-olds to have learned a great deal starting from infancy, and yet full-grown adults have proven incapable of knowing anything about Afghanistan during the course of 17 years of U.S.-NATO war. Despite war famously being the means of Americans learning geography, few can even identify Afghanistan on a map. What else have we failed to learn?

https://original.antiwar.com/David_Swanson/2018/10/02/17-years-of-getting-afghanistan-completely-wrong/

Seriously…..time to declare the war a success and bring the troops home for a much deserved rest.

If you would like to see the DoD propaganda machine at work then read this op-ed……

“Why are we here?” is a basic question that coalition troops in Afghanistan have to answer.

The simple question evinces a lot of different answers, said Army Gen. Austin S. Miller, the new commander of NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.

https://dod.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1649125/commander-wants-coalition-forces-in-afghanistan-to-know-why-they-fight/

A masterful piece of bovine fecal matter (bullshit to the less sophisticated)……

17 years of utter futility…..time to come home……

Seventeen years after the start of the war in Afghanistan, it is well past time to re-evaluate our strategic and military interests in the region. The evidence that our war in Afghanistan is failing and cannot be won is dramatic and overwhelming.  After serving two tours in Afghanistan, I can confidently state that on this, the 17th anniversary, it is time terminate the war on the best terms available. Anything less will deepen our loss and further weaken our national security.

https://townhall.com/columnists/danielldavis/2018/10/06/after-17-years-of-futility-in-afghanistan-its-time-to-end-the-war-n2525157

But what does America think of this war?

https://www.tolonews.com/afghanistan/study-finds-americans-feel%C2%A0us%E2%80%99s-involvement-has-%E2%80%98failed%E2%80%99

Saudi Arabia Into The Future

I have written many times about my disapproval of the Saudi way of doing things….from beheadings to air assault on civilians……but I had read where the new Monarch in waiting MbS is going to make the kingdom move into the 21st century as a goodwill player….to that I say…Bollocks!

Then recently with all the promise to the future a story has come out that Saudi Arabia is the least stable it has been in years…..

The stability of Saudi Arabia is becoming more fragile as the young crown prince’s judgment and competence are increasingly in doubt. Mohammed bin Salman has a track record of impulsive and reckless decisions at home and abroad that calls into question the kingdom’s future.

For the last half century the stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has never been seriously in doubt. After King Faisal removed his incompetent and corrupt brother Saud from the throne in 1964, the line of succession has been clear and uncontested. Under Faisal’s rule the economy grew, especially when his 1973 oil embargo jacked prices up significantly. His assassination did not disrupt the stability nor did the 1979 takeover of the great mosque in Mecca by a handful of fanatics. Early in this century the kingdom faced a determined assault by Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda but the efficient security services, led by Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, turned back the threat.

Even the Arab Spring had little tangible impact on the kingdom’s stability. King Abdullah spent over $130 billion in salary increases and other benefits to buy off any dissent. Trouble was possible but the royal family was united behind Abdullah. The Saudis intervened in Bahrain to ensure the Gulf states were quiet; the kingdom’s troops are still on the island.

The Middle East has always been a hotbed of failed states….is it possible that Saudi Arabia could be the next one?

Reports are growing that Muhammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s hyperactive crown prince, is losing his grip. His economic reform program has stalled since his father, King Salman, nixed plans to privatize 5 percent of Saudi Aramco. The Saudi war in Yemen, which the prince launched in March 2015, is more of a quagmire than ever while the kingdom’s sword rattling with Iran is making the region increasingly jumpy.

Heavy gunfire in Riyadh last April sparked rumors that MBS, as he’s known, had been killed in a palace coup. In May, an exiled Saudi prince urged top members of the royal family to oust him and put an end to his “irrational, erratic, and stupid” rule. Recently, Bruce Riedel, an ex-CIA analyst who heads up the Brookings Institution’s Intelligence Project, reported that the prince is so afraid for his life that he’s taken to spending nights on his yacht in the Red Sea port of Jeddah.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/10/04/is-saudi-arabia-the-middle-easts-next-failed-state/

Even Our Dear Leader sees the writing on the world stage…..

At a rally in Mississippi earlier this week, President Trump bragged about putting his foot down with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and demanding more military spending, following accusations that he and other OPEC nations are “ripping off the rest of the world.”

Trump told the rally “I love the king, King Salman. But I said King – we’re protecting you – you might not be there for two weeks without us – you have to pay for your military.” Trump did not indicate when you said this.

(antiwar.com)

Most scandals surrounding Saudi military spending are not that they’re spending too little, but that they’re buying so much deadly armament and killing so many civilians in neighboring Yemen. This has put US arms sales to the Saudis under growing scrutiny.

I think that the kingdom would be better off if a true democracy movement were to take root….but that will be difficult for the kingdom is under a totalitarian thumb.