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   PoliticsA New Conservative Movement

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To: FUBHO who wrote (163)4/5/2019 7:21:20 AM
From: Brumar89
   of 172
Here's one - Richard Pinedo: helped Russian conspirators launder money, buy ads on Facebook and pay for supplies to hold rallies on divisive social issues.

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From: Brumar894/7/2019 2:18:38 PM
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Conservatives' takeover of Supreme Court stalled by John Roberts-Brett Kavanaugh bromance
Richard Wolf, USA TODAYPublished 6:00 a.m. ET April 7, 2019 | Updated 10:51 a.m. ET April 7, 2019

WASHINGTON – The conservative takeover of the Supreme Court that was anticipated following President Donald Trump's two selections has been stalled by a budding bromance between the senior and junior justices.

Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's newest member, Brett Kavanaugh, have voted in tandem on nearly every case that's come before them since Kavanaugh joined the court in October. They've been more likely to side with the court's liberal justices than its other conservatives.

The two justices, both alumni of the same District of Columbia-based federal appeals court, have split publicly only once in 25 official decisions. Their partnership has extended, though less reliably, to orders the court has issued on abortion funding, immigration and the death penalty in the six months since Kavanaugh's bitter Senate confirmation battle ended in a 50-48 vote.

Roberts and Kavanaugh have obvious reasons for their reluctance to join the court's three other conservatives in ideological harmony. The chief justice has voiced concern about the court being viewed as just another political branch of government. Kavanaugh, a former top White House official under President George W. Bush who was accused of a 1980s sexual assault during his confirmation, may just be laying low.

Chief Justice John Roberts administered the constitutional oath to Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the Justices' Conference Room of the Supreme Court in October, with Kavanaugh's wife and daughters looking on. (Photo: Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States)

"Justice Kavanaugh seems to share some of the chief justice’s institutional concerns, but I think he also cares about his own perception as an even-handed judge,” said Amir Ali, a civil rights lawyer who won a 6-3 decision in February when Roberts and Kavanaugh joined the four liberal justices to uphold a criminal defendant's appeal rights.

The chief's wingman Similarities between the two men are striking, despite their decade apart in age. Roberts, 64, is earnest and soft-spoken, but pointed in his questions to both sides during oral arguments. Kavanaugh, 54, is more demonstrative, but he tempers that with an inquisitive, open-minded manner.

Whatever their reasons, the chief justice and the newest justice together have provided ballast for a court in transition. Following Kavanaugh's replacement of retired Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, Roberts has become the court's swing vote, and Kavanaugh often appears to be his wingman.

Examples include the court's action last October giving those challenging a citizenship question in the 2020 census access to additional information about the plan; its refusal in December to consider Republican-led states' efforts to defund Planned Parenthood; and its ruling in February that Texas cannot execute a prisoner who claims to have an intellectual disability.

In all three of those actions, Associate Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch dissented; Associate Justice Samuel Alito made known his opposition in two of them. Roberts and Kavanaugh appear to have voted with the court's liberals, though the breakdown was not made public.

Their differences have been rare but noteworthy. In addition to one public vote in a criminal procedure case, Roberts sided with the liberals in temporarily blocking Louisiana abortion restrictions, while Kavanaugh would have let them go into effect.

And while they refused to hear a New Jersey county's effort to include churches in a historic preservation program and a Washington state high school coach's plea to conduct prayers on the football field, Kavanaugh warned of the need to protect religious liberty.

Kavanaugh v. Gorsuch
Supreme Court Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, here listening to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in February, have disagreed in a half dozen cases already this term. (Photo: MANDEL NGAN, AFP/Getty Images)

Kavanaugh, perhaps in seeking a low profile, has voted with the majority in almost every case so far. Unless he is the author, that usually means just signing on to the opinion. But he often writes separately to explain his vote – a habit he picked up at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

“Kavanaugh always had more of a moderate streak, even on the D.C. Circuit," said Josh Blackman, a South Texas College of Law associate professor who follows the Supreme Court closely. "He feels the need to explain himself, that he’s not that right-wing."

The Roberts-Kavanaugh bromance stands in stark contrast to the differences evident to date between Trump's two nominees. While Kavanaugh seems eager to be a team player – he touted the court's "team of nine" during his confirmation hearing – Gorsuch dissents often.

The two newest and youngest justices served together as Supreme Court law clerks a quarter century ago, but they have been on opposite sides six times already this term in cases dealing with workers' rights, consumers' rights, American Indian rights and more.

Their differences were on display last month, when Kavanaugh wrote the court's 6-3 ruling that said Navy contractors must warn about asbestos exposure even if they didn't add the asbestos to their products. Gorsuch penned a pointed dissent.

"Maritime law has always recognized a special solicitude for the welfare of those sailors who undertake to venture upon hazardous and unpredictable sea voyages," Kavanaugh said in summarizing his opinion from the bench.

Gorsuch's dissent reasoned that "a home chef who buys a butcher’s knife may expect to read warnings about the dangers of knives but not about the dangers of undercooked meat."

The two were on opposite sides again when Kavanaugh and Roberts agreed with the court's liberals that a criminal defendant was mistreated when his lawyer failed to appeal a conviction, even though the defendant had waived his right to appeal. Gorsuch signed on to Thomas's dissent, which went so far as to question whether the Constitution requires taxpayer-funded lawyers for those who cannot afford one.

"You couldn’t imagine a bigger shakeup for the criminal justice system," said Ali, whose client won the case.

“Justice Kavanaugh has not taken the bench aiming to rewrite every area of law," Ali said. "Justice Gorsuch’s philosophy, however, has led him to advocate some momentous change.”

Left-right splits the exception

It's still relatively early in the court's term, with more than half the cases to be decided, so trend lines among the justices may not hold through June.

The biggest cases – on the census citizenship question, partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts, the constitutionality of a mammoth Latin cross honoring deceased veterans, and others – likely will tell more about the Roberts-Kavanaugh alliance and the Gorsuch-Kavanaugh division.

Next term, beginning in October, might include major cases on abortion and immigration, gay rights and gun control, and the court's third debate over Obamacare. And for justices in their 50s and 60s with lifetime appointments, there will be many years or even decades in which to evolve or stand firm.

What's clear after Kavanaugh's first six months is that traditional left-right splits are more the exception than the rule.

The court has divided 5-4 along ideological lines just twice in merits cases, on detaining noncitizens with criminal records and executing prisoners with rare medical conditions. The same lineup also allowed the administration's partial ban on transgender troops to take effect while challenges continue and denied a Muslim prisoner's request to have his imam in the execution chamber.

For now, Kavanaugh and Roberts "are just treading carefully," said Lisa Blatt, who has argued more cases before the Supreme Court than any other woman and was a character witness for Kavanaugh during the confirmation process.

When the subject turns to abortion, guns, race or religion, Blatt said: "Then call me back up. That’s where they throw down a marker."

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From: Brumar895/22/2019 9:17:10 AM
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Reaction to Justin Amash reminds us why we need a new party
by David Leach • May 22, 2019

I know this may come as a shock to regular readers and listeners of the Strident Conservative, but yesterday’s article defending Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) against the onslaught of attacks from Trump and a swarm of his sycophants didn’t go over too well with worshippers of God’s chosen man in the White House.

In the Age of Trump, if you’re someone who has the unmitigated gall to refuse bowing at the altar of Trump and you dare to point out that he really isn’t the deity he and his cult believes him to be, you can count on hearing about it. And if you’re a Republican in Congress refusing to bow, then Katy bar the door because the “T” in Trump stands for trouble … and it’s a-comin’.

According to Trumpservatives and their buddies in the faux-conservative media, Amash was wrong to conclude Trump engaged in impeachable activities. And while that’s open to debate, the accusations leveled against a man who carries a 90% Liberty Score® (A)at Conservative Review ranged from pathetic (He’s a RINO with interests in China) to flat-out hateful (He’s a closet Muslim who hates Israel).

This has become standard operating procedure in the Age of Trump where fealty to Trump and the GOP has replaced facts, but it serves as another reminder of how decrepit the Democrat/Republican duopoly has become and how desperately we need to build a new party to take down the establishment.

Despite the odds being overwhelmingly against us, conditions could be ripe for a serious third-party challenger to make some noise in 2020.

According to a recent POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, exactly half of all registered voters not only support the idea of a third party, they say one “is needed,” including 45 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of Democrats, and 63 percent of Independents. Additionally, 35 percent of the 1993 registered voters participating in the poll said they would likely vote for someone other than the Democrat or Republican in 2020.

One interesting demographic in the survey showed 26 percent of voters who APPROVE of Trump’s job performance were somewhat or very likely to consider a third-party candidate over Trump and his yet-to-be-determined Democrat opponent.

The lie of the Democrat/Republican duopoly is that voting for a third-party candidate is a wasted vote. In reality, when we surrender our liberty by voting for someone in violation of our conscience, we are guilty of rejecting our God-given right of self-determination and freedom.

I’ve shared this in the past, but it bears repeating considering Amash’s possible 2020 run. Noah Webster once said:

“If the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made; not for the public good so much for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded.”

Placing unprincipled men in office? THAT would be a wasted vote!

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From: FUBHO5/29/2019 10:42:46 AM
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From: Brumar896/25/2019 9:26:07 PM
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Mona Charen: Elizabeth Warren's terrible plans
By Mona Charen

SEN. ELIZABETH Warren is being lauded as the serious candidate in the race. Her motto, “I have a plan for that,” is accepted as proof that she is thoughtful and conscientious. That’s too generous.

One should expect a grown-up to evaluate costs and benefits, to understand tradeoffs, and to pay for what they propose. By that standard, Warren’s big plans fail spectacularly. What Warren has done is engage in magic-wand politics. Wouldn’t it be great if college were free and everyone got subsidized child care? (No.) Wouldn’t life be grand if everyone’s rent were reduced by 10%? If wishes were horses...

Others have noted that her assumptions about how much revenue can be raised through a wealth tax are wildly optimistic. Ten European countries experimented with wealth taxes. Seven abandoned them after discovering that they don’t work. And there are constitutional impediments in the U.S. Further, as my friend Josh Taifer, a California physician and day trader, points out, the level of government intrusion necessary to police a wealth tax would be unlike anything we’ve seen. Our incomes and dividends are reported to the IRS. But a yearly 2% wealth tax would be a levy on everything. It would encourage the rich to put their assets into less traceable forms like gold, jewels, and art. Would IRS agents be rapping at their doors, demanding to see the contents of the home safe or, on a tip from a neighbor, hire a backhoe to dig up gold bars buried in the backyard? And what about fluctuations in value? How much is that Andy Warhol painting worth? Can we really know until we go to sell it? There’s no Kelley Blue Book for paintings.

Warren breezes past these and other objections with indignant slogans about billionaire “freeloaders.” That’s an odd term. In 2016, the top 1% of earners took home 19.7% of national income. They also paid 37.3% of all taxes, which was more than the bottom 90% combined. If you want to raise (income) taxes on the rich, go ahead, but you will never extract enough to fund the spending Warren fondly imagines. The only way to achieve a Scandinavian-style welfare state is to do what the Scandinavians do — tax the heck out of the middle class.

Elizabeth Warren’s approach is 1960s Great Society stuff. She would build public housing, throw money at the opioid epidemic, break up big tech companies, break up agribusiness firms, introduce a new corporate profits tax, and on and on. Implicit in every plan is the notion that the government is competent to spend money and run things for everyone’s benefit. That worked so well the last time. As another friend, Sarah Longwell, observed recently, “Confidence in government is at its lowest ebb in years and yet so many Democrats and Republicans want to give it more responsibility.”

One of Warren’s proposals concerns maternal mortality and specifically the higher rates of death in childbirth among African Americans. Warren is sure she knows exactly why. “It comes down to one thing — prejudice.” She says doctors and nurses don’t listen to black women the way they do to white women.

I’m skeptical. In the first place, even if doctors are more dismissive of black women than others (and that is never acceptable), rarely will it be a matter of life and death. Second, obstetricians/gynecologists are about 62% female nationwide and more likely to be African American in major cities than elsewhere.

When Warren learned that black women are more than three times more likely to die in childbirth than white women — Hispanics have the lowest rate — she went straight to racism. But here are some other possibilities: Whereas infection was once the leading cause of death in childbirth, it is now more often underlying health issues like hypertension and diabetes that lead to heart problems. Black women are less likely than whites to have prenatal care. They are also more likely to be obese (82% versus 63.5%). Obesity puts pregnant women at higher risk of a range of bad outcomes including heart attacks and strokes. According to the Office of Minority Health at HHS, African Americans are 20% less likely to engage in physical activity than whites. We know that being unmarried contributes to higher infant mortality. Could it also play a role in maternal mortality?

Warren proposes to fine hospitals if they don’t bring down the number of maternal deaths among black women. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, the hospitals may have no control over the things that are causing the disparity. Yet hospitals that serve large numbers of black women will lose funding — and who suffers then?

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From: Brumar897/30/2019 2:13:50 PM
   of 172
Reflections on walking the lonely conservative road in the Age of Trump
by David Leach • July 30, 2019

One year ago tomorrow, I wrote an article entitled Walking the Lonely Conservative Road in the Age of Trump. In it, I shared how my mission to be a leading voice in the call for a return to conservative values has faced overwhelming opposition from not only the Far-Left, but also from Republicans and so-called conservatives.

Recently, I had reason to reflect on that article, and I was amazed at how little things have changed in the past year; in fact, in many ways, things are worse.

Republicans are still cowards and liars willing to sell their political souls to Democrats and Donald Trump — but I repeat myself — for political gain. This is one of the contributing factorsbehind the Blue Tsunami that occurred in last year’s mid-terms.

Not all that surprising when you think about it. After all, the fecklessness of the Republican Party has been a well-established fact under the Gutless On Principlesleadership of Mitch McConnell and many like him for some time now.

As sad as that is, it’s not the worst part.

In the Age of Trump, the conservative movement that gave rise to groups dedicated to fighting big-government tyranny and oppression has been consumed by Trumpservatism. One-by-one, groups like the House Freedom Caucus, the Senate Conservatives Fund, and the Convention of States Project have sacrificed their conservative principles on the altar of Trump.

This past year has also witnessed a complete capitulation to Trumpism by the faux conservative media, such as when former conservatives Mark Levin and Glenn Beck joined forces to create the pro-Trump echo chamber and home of faux conservativesnow known as BlazeTV.

And, of course, what would the explosion of Trumpism and the death of conservatism be without the eternal worship and adoration being heaped on “ God’s Man” by the Fellowship if the Pharisees?

The latest incarnation of the death of conservatism over the past year was recently revealed as Nationalist Conservativism. This big-government, pro-socialist, anti-liberty ideology is being touted as a patriotic America First alternative to the Far-Left, but there’s nothing patriotic or conservative about it.

In the Age of Trump, the death of true conservatism and the rise of Nationalism is no longer in doubt. The only question remaining is how will we respond?

One year ago, I promised to remain on the path of my principals, and I’m just as committed to doing so today. It’s still a lonely journey, but I would still rather walk the right road alone than walk the wrong road with the crowd.

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