Category Archives: RINO

Ohio considers approving “constitutional carry”

 

Ohio is set to become the 17th state to approve “constitutional carry,” a law that would allow all law-abiding Ohioans to carry a concealed weapon without obtaining a permit — a measure that Republican Gov. Mike DeWine supports. If approved, Ohio would become the 17th state to approve connotational carry.

On Tuesday, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed into law Senate Bill 150, making Kentucky the 16th state to allow “constitutional carry.” The Kentacky law states that “Persons age twenty-one (21) or older, and otherwise able to lawfully possess a firearm, may carry concealed firearms or other concealed deadly weapons without a license in the same locations as persons with valid licenses issued under KRS 237.110.”

Ohio House Bill 174 was introduced Wednesday by GOP Reps. Ron Hood of Ashville and Tom Brinkman of Cincinnati. The measure immediately attracted 27 co-sponsors from among the 61 majority House Republicans. Hood and Brinkman have introduced the same legislation for years without winning passage. Prospects for approval now, however, prospects for passage seem favorable. Almost half of Ohio House Republicans are pushing for passage of this bill.

Chris Dorr, director of Ohio Gun Owners, posted a YouTube video featuring comments from Hood and Brinkman after the bill was filed in the clerk’s office.

“Gun owners are law-abiding citizens who follow the rules, and we need to let them be able to protect themselves. That’s what this is all about,” Brinkman said, noting that sixteen states now permit the carrying of weapons without permits.

The proposed Ohio bill would permit anyone age 21 or over, who is not disqualified by federal law due to a felony conviction or other offense from obtaining a weapon, to carry a hidden gun — without obtaining a concealed-carry permit. The bill also would repeal a current requirement that concealed-carry owners notify police officers they are carrying a gun when stopped. It also would authorize the expungement of the misdemeanor offense of anyone previously convicted of failing to inform an officer that he or she had a gun.

Currently, Ohioans can only carry a concealed weapon after obtaining a $67 permit from a county sheriff upon passing a criminal background check and completing eight hours of training by a certified instructor, including two hours of range time and live-fire training.

DeWine press secretary Dan Tierney said of the bill: “Gov. DeWine supports protecting Ohioans’ Second Amendment rights. We are reviewing the recently introduced proposal and look forward to following its movement through the legislative process.”

The legislation would not be restricted to handguns — it also would allow Ohioans to conceal and carry long guns, such as rifles and shotguns. Ohioans already are allowed to openly carry firearms without a permit.

Democrats, predictably, are taking a stand against the measure. Rep. David Leland, D-Columbus, lamented what he portrayed as the Republicans’ obsession with guns when issues such as health care and education demand legislative attention.

“It’s going the exact opposite direction of what most people want,” he said of the bill. “If more guns make more people safer, we would be the safest country in the world. Yet, our gun violence exceeds most every other country on this planet.

Dorr, in an email to supports, countered Leland, saying, “We already know there will be efforts by anti-gun Democrats and Rino-Republicans to block, stop and KILL Constitutional Carry. And as we saw last General Assembly, there’s always a lily-white coward willing to cut a deal and water down these pro-gun bills.”

The Republican state representatives co-sponsoring the constitutional carry bill are Niraj Antani of Miamisburg; Brian Baldridge of Winchester; John Becker of Union Township in Clermont County; Louis Blessing III of Cincinnati; Speaker Pro Tem Jim Butler of Oakwood; Sara Carruthers of Hamilton; Jon Cross of Kenton; Bill Dean of Xenia; Kris Jordan of Delaware; Candice Keller of Middletown; Kyle Koehler of Springfield, and George Lang of West Chester.

Also, Scott Lipps of Franklin; Susan Manchester of Waynesfield; Don Manning of New Middletown; Riordan McClain of Upper Sandusky; Derek Merrin of Monclova Township in Lucas County; Jena Powell of Arcanum; Craig Riedel of Defiance; Mark Romanchuk of Ontario near Mansfield; Tim Schaffer of Lancaster; former Speaker Ryan Smith of Bidwell; Todd Smith of Farmersville; Nino Vitale of Urbana; Scott Wiggam of Wooster; Shane Wilkin of Hillsboro; and Paul Zeltwanger of Mason.

Before the 19th century, there were no state laws regulating the carrying of firearms or other weapons by law-abiding residents. Then, states began to restrict the carrying of firearms and require a permit for those who wanted to exercise their right under the Second Amendment to “keep and bear arms,” ignoring the fact that that right “shall not be infringed.” By the 20th century, the only state that did not pass laws infringing the right to keep and bear arms was Vermont.

The constitutional-carry movement began to gain ground in 2003, when Governor Frank Murkowski of Alaska signed House Bill 102 into law. That law marked the first time a state rescinded its laws requiring a permit to carry a concealed weapon. No other state followed suit until 2010, when Arizona passed Senate Bill 1108.

The trend began to catch on, slowly at first, then picking up the pace more recently, with Wyoming (2011), Kansas (2015), Maine (2015), Mississippi (2016), Idaho (2016), Missouri (2016), West Virginia (2016), New Hampshire (2017), North Dakota (2017), Arkansas (2018), Oklahoma (2019), South Dakota (2019), and now Kentucky passing constitutional carry in one form or another.

Many of those states have kept concealed-carry permits on the menu to allow residents who wish to do so to take advantage of reciprocal agreements with other states, allowing them to carry concealed weapons when they travel to those states.

The path to constitutional carry has not been an easy journey in every case. For instance, in Mississippi, the implementation was incremental. The initial law passed in 2013 allowed for “a loaded or unloaded pistol or revolver carried in a purse, handbag, satchel, other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case.” That was expanded in 2016 to include holsters (whether worn on the belt or shoulder) and sheathes.

The passage of constitutional carry in Arkansas could best be described as evolutionary. In August 2013, Arkansas enacted Act 746, making two important changes to the existing law, which previously prohibited “carrying a weapon … with a purpose to employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person” and allowed an exception if the person carrying the weapon was “on a journey.”

Those changes were (1) the term “journey” — which had had previously not been defined — was at long last defined as “travel beyond the county in which a person lives” and (2) the addition of the phrase “attempt to unlawfully” to the existing statute, making it read that the law prohibited “carrying a weapon … with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.”

That seemed to make the law say that unless a person was carrying the weapon for the purpose of carrying out a crime, it was lawful to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. But, as the well-known saying goes, the law is an ass. In July of 2013, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued an opinion stating that Act 746 did not authorize open carry. To add to the confusion, current Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge disagreed. Rutledge issued a statement in August 2015 saying that it would be within the law to open carry a weapon under Act 746 as long as there is no intent to unlawfully use the weapon.

The issue was finally settled in an Arkansas Court of Appeals ruling in August 2018, when the court declared that carrying a concealed weapon is not — in and of itself — a crime. That court decision ended the debate, allowing Act 746 to mean that Arkansas allows for constitutional carry.

In 2013, Utah’s legislature passed constitutional carry, only to have it vetoed by Republican Governor Gary Herbert. Though the law had passed with a two-thirds majority in both houses, Herbert’s veto was not overturned, and residents of Utah are not afforded the “privilege” to exercise their right under the Second Amendment to “keep and bear arms” in a concealed manner without first asking the state’s permission.

One element that seems important in the growing trend toward constitutional carry is the landmark 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller Supreme Court case. Though the Heller ruling did leave open the idea that some controls over the right to keep and bear arms could be enacted by state and local governments, the court’s interpretation of the protections guaranteed by the Second Amendment were further explained in light of Heller in the 2010 Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. Chicago. The court ruled that the Second Amendment is “fully incorporated” and the “right to keep and bear arms” is not “watered down,” but “fully applicable.” The court went on to rule that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments from passing laws that restrict the “individual” and “fundamental” right to “keep and bear arms” in “self defense.”

As the trend hopefully continues to grow and more and more states remove the shackles that have bound the hands of the law-abiding, America may see a return to the time before the passage of restrictive anti-gun laws of the 19th and 20th centuries. Perhaps, in our lifetimes, we will see the right to keep and bear arms no longer infringed.

~ Grif

 

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Whoopi Goldberg defends Creepy Joe Biden (of course); doesn’t want him to change his ways

From Yahoo (via HuffPo): Whoopi Goldberg defended former Vice President Joe Biden following an allegation that he inappropriately touched and kissed a former Nevada assemblywoman, saying she doesn’t want the likely 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to change his behavior.

Goldberg, a co-host on ‘The View,’ was irked when colleague Sunny Hostin predicted during Monday’s program that Biden would curb his tactile tendencies with women after Lucy Flores said she felt uncomfortable when Biden placed his hands on her shoulders, smelled her hair and kissing the back of her head at a 2014 campaign event. Flores was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in Nevada and Biden was appearing on her behalf.

“I don’t know that we will see any more smelling of hair and kisses on the forehead,” Hostin said of the controversy, eliciting a strong rebuke from Goldberg.

“That pisses me off,” she said. “I don’t want Joe to stop doing that.”

Meghan McCain, another “View” co-host and daughter of the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), agreed, suggesting Biden’s behavior was simply part of his brand.

“There’s a certain type of retail politician that loves people,” she said. “I would put Bill Clinton in that category, I would put my father in that category, I would certainly put Joe Biden in that category. When he came on this show, he was the only politician other than my father to go into the crowd and shake everyone’s hand.”

Bill Clinton…a “hands on kind of guy”

Goldberg also noted that Biden is known to be “a hands-on kind of guy,” which is evident from photos of his interpersonal interactions spanning years, some of which show him touching shoulders and at least one in which he is pictured holding a reporter’s waist.

“In the old days, we would call Joe ― some folks of a certain age would say he’s a little overly familiar,” Goldberg said.

Goldberg said that she took Flores’ account seriously. But she also argued that Flores, who lost the lieutenant governor’s race, should have directly told Biden to stop.

“My point is, I want women to get to the place where they can say, ‘Hey, you just made me uncomfortable.’ This idea that you have to tippy-toe away from this or you have to carry [it] ― you do not have to carry it. If someone makes you uncomfortable, tell them.

On Sunday, moments before Flores appeared on CNN to discuss the allegation that she first detailed in a New York magazine article published Friday, Biden released a statement saying he would “listen respectfully” to women alleging he had displayed inappropriate affection toward them but that it had never been his intention to do so.

He also said that “not once ― never ― did I believe I acted inappropriately.

During her CNN interview, Flores suggested that Biden’s comments indicate he lacks awareness of how women ought to be treated. She also said that her experience wasn’t the first time he crossed boundaries.

Biden’s defense of himself was bolstered on Sunday by Stephanie Carter, whose husband served as defense secretary during President Barack Obama’s second term in office. Biden, as vice president, attended the swearing-in ceremony for Ash Carter, and a widely circulated photo showed him resting his hands on her shoulders from behind and whispering into her ear.

Questions were raised at the time about Biden’s action. But in an essay in Medium, Stephanie Carter disputed that Biden had acted inappropriately. “The Joe Biden in my picture is a close friend helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful,” she wrote.

DCG

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Barbara Bush blamed Donald Trump for her ‘heart attack’

America’s Ruling Class at the George W. Bush Presidential Library dedication, Dallas, Texas, April 25, 2013.

Add Barbara Bush (BB) to our long, long list of Demonrat crazies.

The New York Post reports, March 27, 2019, that in a book by USA Today’s Washington bureau chief Susan Page, The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty, which is based on interviews in the last 6 months of her life, BB blamed Donald Trump for her “heart attack” after he “relentlessly” ridiculed her son Jeb during the 2016 Republican primaries with the nickname “Low Energy Jeb”.

But Page points out: “It wasn’t technically a heart attack, though she called it that. It was a crisis in her long battle with congestive heart failure and chronic pulmonary disease that hit her like a sledgehammer one day in June 2016,” when Trump had secured the GOP nomination.

An excerpt from Page’s book:

Afterward, Jeb, whose presidential campaign was already history, urged her [BB] to let it go, to focus on herself and have faith in the country.

“Jeb said, ‘Mom, don’t worry about things you can’t do anything about,’” [Barbara] Bush recalled. “He’s right. Just do good, make life better for someone else.”

Page says that BB’s “negative opinion of Trump” actually “dated back decades”:

  • In 1988, Trump volunteered to be George H.W. Bush’s running mate, which, according to BB, George dismissed as “strange and unbelievable.
  • In 1990, BB wrote in her diary that Trump is “the real symbol of greed in the ’80s.”
  • BB told Page she was incredulous that Trump won the presidency: “I woke up and discovered, to my horror, that Trump had won. I don’t understand why people are for him.”
  •  After Trump was elected, a friend gave BB a red, white and blue digital “Trump countdown clock” that displayed how many days, hours, minutes and seconds remained in his term. BB placed it on a table at her bedside, where she could see it every day to the day she died.
  • When asked how she thought things were going during the Trump presidency as his first anniversary in office approached, BB said: “I’m trying not to think about it. We’re a strong country, and I think it will all work out.”

BB’s Trump Derangement Syndrome actually led her to leave the Republican Party. Although in October 2017, BB told Page she considered herself a Republican, four months later (and two months before she died), BB said: “I’d probably say no today.”

Net rumor is that satanist Aleister Crowley was Barbara Bush’s biological father

See also:

~Eowyn

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12 Republican senators voted against Trump’s national emergency to build border wall

Bridget Bowman reports for Roll Call that yesterday, 12 Republican senators joined every Demonrat senator in voting for a resolution to block President Trump invoking a national emergency at the southern border so as to build the wall with defense funds. Trump had declared a national emergency last month after the Democrat-dominant House refused to appropriate his requested $5+ billion funds for a border wall.

See “The Trump Show” on Trump’s declaration of national emergency to build border wall, and “Ann Coulter: By signing the budget deal, Trump signs away his right as CIC to build the wall“.

The resolution passed the Senate, 59-41, after passing the House late last month.

The Gang of 12 Republicans includes so-called “moderate” senators — one of whom is up for re-election in 2020 — and so-called “conservatives”. 6 of the 12 serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Here are the 12 Republican senators who voted to thwart President Trump’s national emergency declaration:

(1) Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee: A 3-term senator and member of the Appropriations Committee said in a statement yesterday ahead of the vote that although he supports the president on border security, the emergency declaration sets a dangerous precedent: “His declaration to take an additional $3.6 billion that Congress has appropriated for military hospitals, barracks and schools is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution that I swore an oath to support and defend.” Alexander announced last December that he would not run for re-election in 2020.

(2) Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri: A senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Blunt is concerned about the precedent Trump’s declaration of emergency would set. Blunt was re-elected to a second Senate term in 2016. (He served several terms in the House before running for Senate in 2010.)

(3) Sen. Susan Collins of Maine: Not only is this POS pro-late term abortions, Collins actually co-sponsored the resolution ostensiblyout of concern for the precedent an emergency declaration would set for the powers of the executive branch. The four-term senator is likely to face her toughest re-election next year, with Democrats raising millions of dollars for a yet-to-be-determined challenger after she voted for Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

(4) Sen. Mike Lee of Utah: First elected in 2010, Lee announced his support for the resolution Wednesday after Trump rejected Lee’s offer of a compromise to curtail future national emergency declarations through an amendment of the National Emergencies Act to include the automatic termination of future emergencies after 30 days unless Congress authorizes the emergency to continue. Lee said in a statement announcing his decision that “For decades, Congress has been giving far too much legislative power to the executive branch.”  One of the most conservative senators, Lee is up for re-election in 2022.

(5) Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas: A member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Moran tweeted that “I share President Trump’s goal of securing our borders, but expanding the powers of the presidency beyond its constitutional limits is something I cannot support.” Moran is up for a third term in 2022.

(6) Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska: Another pro-abort POS, Murkowski said in a floor speech earlier this month: “Congress is a co-equal branch of government and as such Congress should stand up for itself.” She is not up for re-election until 2022.

(7) Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky: Earlier this month, Paul announced at a GOP Lincoln Day dinner that he would support the resolution because Congress did not appropriate the funds Trump was looking to use for the border wall, and “If we take away those checks and balances, it’s a dangerous thing.” A self-described libertarian, Paul was re-elected to the Senate in 2016 after a failed White House bid, and he will not face voters again until 2022.

(8) Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio: Portman had worked with Mike Lee on the compromise resolution. The two-term senator said that while he supported Trump’s request for border wall funding, an emergency declaration is not necessary to secure those funds, and that the declaration would set a “dangerous precedent” by opening “the door for future presidents to implement just about any policy they want.” Portman won re-election by more than 20 points in 2016 and won’t face voters again until 2022.

(9) Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah: Although Romney is a freshman senator, he entered the Senate with a high profile as his party’s 2012 presidential nominee and the former governor of Massachusetts. Critical of Trump in the past, even before Trump officially declared a national emergency, Romney said he “would also expect the president stay within statutory and constitutional limits.” Romney won the open Utah Senate race in 2018 by 32 points, and he is not up for re-election again until 2024.

(10) Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida: Like the others, Rubio too warned of the precedent set by Trump’s national emergency. A member of Senate Appropriations, he said in February that while he agrees there is a crisis at the southern border, “a future president may use this exact same tactic to impose the Green New Deal.” Rubio won re-election by 8 points in 2016 after an unsuccessful run for the GOP nomination for president. Trump carried Florida by just 1 point in 2016.

(11) Sen. Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania: A “conservative” Republican, Toomey had occasionally broken with President Trump in the past, particularly on Trump’s use of tariffs. Toomey told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he supports Trump’s effort to build a border wall, but the declaration of a national emergency was “a very important separation of powers issue.” Toomey narrowly won re-election in 2016 when Trump won Pennsylvania by less than a point.

(12) Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi: The two-term senator, who’s the chairman of the Commerce Committee and the second-highest-ranked Republican on the Armed Services Committee, also had “serious reservations” about what an emergency declaration would do to the separation of powers. Wicker said in a statement earlier this week: “The precedent we set this year might empower a future liberal President to declare emergencies to enact gun control or to address ‘climate emergencies,’ or even to tear down the wall we are building today.” Wicker, an Air Force veteran, won re-election comfortably last fall in a state Trump carried by nearly 20 points in 2016.

Today, President Trump used his veto powers for the first time to overturn the Congressional resolution, calling it “reckless”. He said: “Today I am vetoing this resolution. Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it.” To override his veto would require two-thirds of the vote in both the House and the Senate, and the Senate doesn’t have the 67 votes needed for an override. (New York Post).

For all the Gang of 12’s concerns about the separation of powers and Trump setting a “dangerous precedent” by declaring a state of national emergency, one would think such declarations are rarely invoked.

Not so.

The fact of the matter is there have been 58 national emergencies declared by presidents since 1979 under the National Emergencies Act of 1975, 31 of which are still active national emergencies. Below are the number of national emergencies declared by President Carter and after:

  • Jimmy Carter: 2 — one of which is still active.
  • Ronald Reagan: 6 — none of which is active.
  • George H.W. Bush: 5 — none of which is active.
  • Bill Clinton: 17 — 6 of which are still in effect.
  • Barack Obama: 13 — 11 of which are still active.
  • Donald Trump: 3. (Source: CBS News, citing the Brennan Center)

H/t Kelleigh

~Eowyn

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Pelosi’s daughter on her mom: “She’ll cut your head off and you won’t even know you’re bleeding”

Scroll ahead to 6:57 mark.

Alexandra Pelosi said this after first starting out her segment by saying that in DC “you need to make friends.”

File this away for the next time the Left complains about “violent rhetoric.”

DCG

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What did Laura show Jeb at Pres. George H.W. Bush’s funeral?

Yesterday, at former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral, former First Lady Laura Bush showed Jeb Bush a piece of paper (the funeral program?).

In a split second, Jeb’s demeanor drastically changed — from smiling, with his right hand over his heart, to looking shocked and very distraught.

Here’s the video segment:

Whatever that was on the piece of paper was something so obvious and quickly conveyed that all it took was a quick glimpse for Jeb to realize the import.

What was it?

~Eowyn

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We have a winner!

. . . for FOTM’s 186th Caption Contest!

This was a great contest with many truly clever captions. Alas, the writers of FOTM are obliged to vote for what each considers to be the best (#1) and second-best (#2) captions. Each #1 vote is worth 4 points; a #2 vote is worth 2 points.

And the winner of the 186th FOTM Caption Contest, with two #1 votes and one #2 vote, totaling 10 points, is . . .

Kevin J Lankford!

Here’s the winning caption:

“Oh! By the way Lisa, I need a new chauffeur. You don’t happen to have any Chinese connections, do you?”

In second place are dkolb 2010‘s two captions, LibSick, pigpen51, Richie and Tim Shey, each with 4 points. Pigpen51 received two #2 votes; the others each received one #1 vote. Here are their respective captions:

dkolb 2010: “Dianne, what would you charge to haunt a house?”

dkolb 2010: “Sen. Dianne Feinstein badgering Sen. Lisa Murkowski: ‘I told you Lisa that my reserved parking space is clearly marked; Witch Parking Only All Others Toad.'”

LibSick: “OK, I’ll vote against Kavanaugh, but you had better keep your part of the bargain to send busses of illegals to Alaska to vote for me!”

pigpen51: “You promise me, Dianne, if I vote no, you will get my name off the Clinton’s hit list?”

Richie: “Where’s my lunch money, b*tch?”

Tim Shey: “Come you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here; and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty!” (from Shakespeare’s MACBETH Act I, Scene V)

Andy, Jerry C, Joseph BC69, and Mad Celt are in 3rd place, each with one #2 vote and 2 points. Here are their respective captions:

Andy: “No Diane, I’m staying in the closet!”

Jerry C.: “But Dianne I really do need my knee caps.”

Joseph BC69: “When next do we two meet again, by heath and moor,/or behind the Senate’s door?”

Mad Celt: “Diane: Let’s tell everyone Kavanaugh felt you up at the senior prom.
Lisa: But it wasn’t Kavanaugh! It was Ulysses S. Grant!”

WELL DONE, EVERYONE!

Congratulations, Kevin J Lankford!

Here’s your super-duper Award of Excellence, all ready for framing!

For all the other caption submission, go here.

Be here tomorrow for our next, very exciting Caption Contest!

~Eowyn

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The Two Witches Caption Contest

This is the 186th world-famous FOTM Caption Contest!

Here’s the pic (h/t DCG):

About the pic: The pic of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), 85, apparently badgering Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), 61, was taken around the time of the Kavanaugh hearings. Murkowski was the only Republican senator who voted against Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

You know the drill:

  • Enter the contest by submitting your caption as a comment on this thread (scroll down until you see the “LEAVE A REPLY” box), not via email or on Facebook.
  • The winner of the Caption Contest will get a gorgeous Award Certificate of Excellence and a year’s free subscription to FOTM:D
  • FOTM writers will vote for the winner.
  • Any captions proffered by FOTM writers, no matter how brilliant (ha ha), will not be considered. :(

This contest will be closed in a week, at the end of next Tuesday, October 30, 2018.

To get the contest going, here’s my caption:

Feinstein: “Remember the dead horse’s head scene from The Godfather?”

By the way, according to an Italian government report, the country’s mayors and local administrators received 212 threats from organized crime in 2010, especially in Italy’s underdeveloped south. The most common ways to threaten administrators who refuse to collude with the Mafia are to burn their cars, mail them envelopes containing bullets, or send boxes with severed animal heads, an act reminiscent of a memorable scene involving the head of a racehorse in “The Godfather.” (Reuters)

For the winner of our last Caption Contest, go here.

~Eowyn

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Boom! FBI has completed investigating Kavanaugh!

This afternoon, two senior Senate sources told Fox News the FBI has completed its investigation on sexual allegations against Supreme Court nominee U.S. District Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The FBI’s supplemental background report on Kavanaugh concluded, “There is no corroboration for the allegations made by Dr. Ford or Ms. Ramirez”. The report will be sent to the White House before it goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The report will be secured in a Capitol Hill basement room for all 100 senators and 9 staffers to come and read.

It is not clear whether any part of the FBI report will be made public, but Thune acknowledged “some of it will probably make its way out into the public and into the mainstream. But most importantly, at least right now, is that all senators who are going to have the responsibility to vote on this nomination have an opportunity to review it, assess it and come to their own conclusions about what’s in there.”

In a letter today to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Kavanaugh’s accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s legal team said she has not yet heard from the FBI about scheduling an interview with her.

The FBI has not interviewed either Kavanaugh or Ford. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said there is no need to interview either Kavanaugh or Ford, who have each given one media interview and faced questions from the Judiciary Committee, because the FBI “pretty well know what both of them are going to say.”

Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the third-ranking Republican in the Senate, told Fox News’ “The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino” that “obviously,” the FBI report “will enable the process to move forward and we hope that we’re going to have the votes to get [Kavanaugh] confirmed when it’s all said and done.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) set up a procedural vote for as early as Friday on the Kavanaugh nomination. McConnell has filed a petition for a  cloture vote, which if successful would limit debate on the nomination and start the clock ticking on a final 30-hour waiting period before the Senate votes to confirm the nominee. McConnell said, “It’s time to put this sickening display behind us. The Senate will vote on this nomination this week.

Assuming at least 50 senators agree to end debate, Kavanaugh’s final confirmation vote will come Saturday.

Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 advantage in the Senate and can only afford to lose one vote before Kavanaugh’s nomination would be scuppered. Vice President Mike Pence can cast a tiebreaking vote. Thune said, “It’s an audience of three that we have to win over, at least at the moment,” referring to the three RINO senators Jeff Flake (Arizona), Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). No Republicans, however, have said they will vote against Kavanaugh.

Sources: Fox News; Washington Examiner; Reuters

Dianne Feinstein badgering Lisa Murkowski

~Eowyn

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Why Trump won’t fire Rod Rosenstein

Rod Rosenstein, 53, a Republican, is the rat-face whom President Trump, on February 1, 2017, nominated to be the Justice Department’s Deputy Attorney General, and whom the Senate quickly confirmed on April 25, 2017.

The next month, in May 2017, Rosenstein authored a memo which President Trump said was the basis of his decision to dismiss FBI Director James Comey. Rosenstein then appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election and related matters. Rosenstein also approved the raids on the home, office and hotel room of Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

The Deputy Attorney General is a political appointee of the President of the United States and takes office after confirmation by the Senate. According to the DOJ website:

The Deputy Attorney General advises and assists the Attorney General in formulating and implementing Departmental policies and programs and in providing overall supervision and direction to all organizational units of the Department. The Deputy Attorney General is authorized to exercise all the power and authority of the Attorney General, except where such power or authority is prohibited by law from delegation or has been delegated to another official. In the absence of the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General acts as the Attorney General.

Five days ago on Sept. 21, The New York Times reported that shortly after the dismissal of Comey, Rosenstein grew concerned about Trump’s fitness for office. Rosenstein suggested he could wear a wire to secretly tape conversations between himself and Trump, then use those recordings against the President by  invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. The 25th Amendment provides for the removal of a sitting president if he or she is judged unfit to carry out the duties of the office.

Rosenstein strongly denied it, saying he was just being sarcastic in his reference to taping Trump. In response, Trump said he wasn’t sure what the deputy AG’s fate would be.

Two days ago, conservatives got all elated by talk of Rosenstein having resigned or being fired:

  • Citing sources, Axios reported that Rosenstein had anticipated being fired by President Trump, so he told White House chief of staff John Kelly he was resigning.
  • Bloomberg said Rosenstein actually had resigned and that his resignation had been accepted.
  • Pete Williams of NBC News, however, said Rosenstein was not going to resign but was on his way to the White House for a showdown to force Team Trump to fire him.

But the chatter all came to nothing. We are told that Rosenstein had not resigned and that he will meet with President Trump tomorrow.

That Rosenstein still has a job despite his plotting against Trump adds to conservatives’ frustration. Many of us repeatedly have asked why Trump hasn’t  and seemingly won’t fire swamp creatures like Rosenstein.

Bob Fredericks of the New York Post briefly explained why:

Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, Trump has the power to appoint an acting AG if it’s a resignation. If he is fired, the process is murkier and governed by federal employment laws.

So I looked into this. Here is what I found.

To begin, firing federal workers is very difficult.

In an article for Politifact, Angie Drobnic Holan describes the process for firing or even disciplining federal government workers as “cumbersome” and “difficult”.

Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University, said that out of a federal workforce of 1.86 million, “Very few federal employees — in the hundreds, not the thousands — are ever fired on the basis of poor performance. If you want to fire an employee, you’re taking on a task that is very intense and difficult, and biased in favor of protecting employees, and it can take a year or more to complete.

Don Kettl, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, agreed that it’s too hard to fire poor performers and that few experts who study the issue would disagree: “The federal civil service is hamstrung by antiquated rules. We need to make it easier to fire poor performers.”

John Palguta of the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit that advocates for an improved federal workforce, said that when an employee is fired, there are a number of appeals processes available to fight a termination. Some of those processes probably could be streamlined, while keeping in place rules designed to protect employees from partisan politics because “It’s not supposed to be easy to fire federal workers for the wrong reasons.”

In 1999, when the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) undertook a study of poor-performing federal employees, the researchers had a difficult time even finding a statistically-significant sample of supervisors who had attempted to take action against a poor performer. The 42 supervisors whom the researchers found said it was hard to fire workers because of a lack of support from upper management, varying quality in technical guidance for completing the process, and reluctance to devote the time and energy needed to complete the cumbersome process. Many bosses got discouraged and gave up. The OPM report said:

Interviewees found the investment of time and energy required over an extremely long period to be daunting. This was compounded by the stress resulting from the employee’s counter-charges, grievances, accusations, appeals, general hostility and attempts to subvert the supervisor. One described the documentation required as ‘horrendous.’

In contrast, if a federal employee who is a presidential appointee resigns or quits, the President immediately can appoint a person to the vacated office “in an acting capacity” until a replacement candidate is nominated and confirmed.

According to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, if an officer of an executive government agency that requires presidential appointment with Senate confirmation (such as deputy attorney general of the Justice Department) dies, resigns, or is otherwise unable to perform office functions, the President is authorized to appoint a person temporarily to serve in the vacated office in an acting capacity for a period of 150 days, during which time the President is expected to nominate a replacement, with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The Federal Vacancies Reform Act makes no mention of what happens when an officer of an executive government agency that requires presidential appointment with Senate confirmation is fired. But common sense says that the very fact that Congress enacted this Act, to address cases when the federal appointee resigns, presumes that the procedure would be different if the appointee is fired.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Trump had to be warned by aides back in April not to fire Rosenstein. Others, such as Sean Hannity, also advised Trump against firing Rosenstein, claiming that such a move would open Trump to being impeached. Whatever the reason, despite, as NewsMax puts it, Rosenstein being “a frequent target of the president’s wrath,” the Federal Vacancies Reform Act makes clear why Rosenstein’s resignation would be preferable to him being fired.

~Eowyn

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