Sunday, December 4, 2016
Senate Democrats are as furious with President-elect Trump's Cabinet picks as they are powerless to stop them.
Thanks to a change to Senate rules that Democrats forced on Republicans in 2013, it only takes 51 votes to confirm a nominee, except for Supreme Court nominees, which will still require 60 votes. Republicans will have 51 or 52 seats in the Senate next year, which means the GOP can approve anyone they want to Trump's team as long as they all agree.
Without the rule change, Trump's team might very well be carefully weighing whether it can scrounge up the eight Senate Democrats needed to secure a confirmation. But the simple majority vote is significantly reducing the value of statements like the one Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., made this week about Trump's choice to have Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., lead the Department of Health and Human Services.
"Tom Price has led the charge to privatize Medicare, and for this reason, I cannot support his nomination," he said.
Thanks to the rule change, Donnelly's "no" vote on Price will hardly matter, something that other Democrats seemed to acknowledge this week.
Democrats like Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., oppose Price because of his opposition to Obamacare. But even she was left to admit that Democrats' only resort is to "fight back" by asking "tough questions in the committee."
Murray also said the Democrats may only be left with the option of trying to influence public opinion by making Trump's nominees look bad during their hearing. She talked about putting a "spotlight" on Price's plans.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., seemed to have the same idea. He said Price would "get a lot of very strong and very thorough questions," and said he hopes public pressure will give Democrats a "chance" to scuttle the nomination.
Trump's move to make Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., his attorney general is also drawing opposition from Democrats, who again are pushing for a drawn out confirmation hearing in order to make Sessions look as bad as they can.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., seemed to acknowledge that the only real weapon for Democrats is to try to make a good public case against Sessions, and hope the public starts calling for a new nominee.
"We'll be as persuasive as possible in what we say about it, hoping to reach and arouse as many people as possible," he told the Associated Press.
Democrats have also criticized Trump's decision to make Steven Mnuchin his treasury secretary, but in response, Democrats were again left with the option of asking him tough questions.
"I look forward to asking him how his Treasury Department would work for Americans who are still waiting for the economic recovery to show up in their communities," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
But it seems little more than a hope for Democrats, as Republicans are likely to quickly approve all of the nominees Trump has chosen so far.
And even the press at this point seems to be admitting that there's not much drama to a story about the Democratic minority trying to stop Trump's nominees.
"Dems to unload on Mnuchin," said a headline in Politico. The story said Democratic questions will "make for some uncomfortable hearings and negative headlines," but aside from that possible discomfort, the story said nothing about actually blocking the nominee.
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 12/04/2016 07:25:00 AM
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Published December 02, 2016
Will President Obama pardon Bowe Bergdahl?
If he served his country with honor and distinction I would hate to find out what qualifies as a traitor/deserter! BTW...it's been over two years and still no trial.
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl--held captive for five years after being captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan--has requested a pardon from President Obama, Fox News has learned from two senior US officials.
According to a well-placed source, Bergdahl thanked the president for rescuing him in May 2014 in a controversial exchange for five Taliban prisoners from Gitmo, in addition to asking for a pardon in the letter.
The Secretary of the Army was copied on the letter to the president, but the pardon was not formally requested through the military chain of command.
A Justice Department official confirms that it received a pardon petition from Bergdahl. Pentagon and White House officials would not immediately respond for comment.
Bergdahl’s pardon letter was sent to the president via the Department of Justice, officials said. There was no immediate comment from DOJ.
Reached by phone, Eugene R. Fidell, the attorney representing Sgt. Bergdahl, would not comment on the letter.
Last month, Sgt. Bergdahl’s court-martial trial was delayed for a second time and will now begin May 15 at Fort Bragg, NC.
Bergdahl faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy and could face up to life in prison.
President-elect Donald Trump called Bergdahl a “dirty, rotten traitor” early in his presidential campaign during a town hall in August 2015.
The Army general who investigated Bergdahl’s disappearance from a remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009 recommended that Bergdahl not receive jail time.
After being captured by the Taliban a short time after he left his post, Bergdahl was transferred to the Haqqani network, which top officials say is the most dangerous militant group in the region.
Wait a minute. Captured by the Taliban? Didn't Josh Earnest tell us the Taliban was not a terrorist organization? They're just an "armed insurgency".
The State Department designated the Haqqani network, based in Pakistan, as a foreign terrorist organization in 2012.
The US officials have long accused Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, of supporting the Haqqani network made up of Taliban fighters in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
During the U.S. military’s intensive man-hunt for Bergdahl over a five-year period it was reported that up to six American soldiers died and others were wounded in the search, but these claims have been disputed.
Shortly after he was returned to US custody, President Obama’s national security advisor Susan Rice said Bergdahl served his country with “honor and distinction.”
Didn't you know? If you served with “honor and distinction” your reward is a court martial.
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 12/03/2016 02:49:00 PM
We got ourselves another Patton to lead the DOD.
(Don't say pearl handled pistols. He once said, "Hell only a pimp in a whore house would carry a pearl-handled pistol.")
A new sheriff is coming to town replacing the pussified current administration preference of forcing our military to struggle against Muslim terrorists with one hand tied behind their back.
That my friends will no longer be the case.
That my friends will no longer be the case.
MEMORABLE QUOTES FROM TRUMP'S SECRETARY OF DEFENSE JAMES 'MAD DOG' MATTIS
'The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some a**holes in the world that just need to be shot.'
'Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.'
'I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f***with me, I'll kill you all.'
'If in order to kill the enemy you have to kill an innocent, don't take the shot. Don't create more enemies than you take out by some immoral act.'
'Marines don't know how to spell the word defeat.'
'You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually it's quite fun to fight them, you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people.'
'The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.'
'Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.'
'Find the enemy that wants to end this experiment in American democracy and kill every one of them until they're so sick of the killing that they leave us and our freedoms intact.'
'There is nothing better than getting shot at and missed. It's really great.'
'There are some people who think you have to hate them in order to shoot them. I don't think you do. It's just business.'
'For the mission's sake, for our country's sake, and the sake of the men who carried the Division's colors in past battles - "who fought for life and never lost their nerve" - carry out your mission and keep your honor clean. Demonstrate to the world there is "No Better Friend - No Worse Enemy" than a US Marine.'
'Treachery has existed as long as there's been warfare, and there's always been a few people that you couldn't trust.'
'Fight with a happy heart.'
'I am going to beg with you for a minute. I'm going to plead with you, do not cross us. Because if you do, the survivors will write about what we do here for 10,000 years.'
'PowerPoint makes us stupid.'
'You cannot allow any of your people to avoid the brutal facts. If they start living in a dream world, it's going to be bad.'
An avid reader with more than 6,000 books in his personal library, war became not only his work but his passion, and is understood to be able to quote Ulysses S Grant, George Patton, Shakespeare and the Bible at the drop of a hat.
Here's a guy who really knew what he was talking about.
Here's a guy who really knew what he was talking about.
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 12/03/2016 08:58:00 AM
Friday, December 2, 2016
REASON FOR AN ELECTORAL COLLEGE
This is absolute and this is why there is an electoral college.
Without it only 5 major cities could be calling ALL the shots...
1. There are 3,141 counties in the United State
a. Trump won 3,084 of them... Clinton won 57.
2. There are 62 counties in New York State.
a. Trump won 46 of them... Clinton won 16.
3. Clinton won the popular vote by approx. 2.1 million votes.
New York City; Five counties encompass NYC, (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Richmond & Queens)
· Clinton received well over 2 million more votes than Trump.
· Clinton won 4 of these counties, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, & Queens
· Trump won only 1 county, Richmond.
Therefore these 5 counties alone, more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote of the entire country.
· These 5 counties comprise 319 square miles.
· The United States is comprised of 3, 797,000 square miles.
When you have a country that encompasses almost 4 million square miles of territory, it would be ludicrous to even suggest that the vote of those that encompass a mere 319 square miles should dictate the outcome of a national election.
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 12/02/2016 03:03:00 PM