By Joshua Frank
“I’m open to voting yes. I’m open to voting no.”
– Sen. Doug Jones (Democrat, Alabama)
It’s as if a horror film is playing right before our very eyes, except this time there are no redeeming characters swooping in to save us. We face a constitutional Armageddon and the do-nothing Democrats are just as much to blame as the Republicans.
During the confirmation of Trump’s last Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, three Senate Democrats voted in favor; Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. All three of these rightwing Democrats are facing tough reelection campaigns in their respective pro-Trump states. We all know what hangs in the balance with Trump’s latest Supreme Court pick of Brett Kavanaugh, yet the Democratic leadership is going to have a tough time reining in their own.
True, it’s not as if Trump needs their votes. Even if all three Democrats oppose Kavanaugh for the bench, he’d likely still slide right through the nomination process. What’s the Democrat’s grand strategy to stop him? To court Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, both of whom are in favor of protecting women’s reproductive health. Or so they say. For Kavanaugh’s nomination to fail, all Democrats would have to oppose him and one Republican would have to defect as well. It’s a strategy that is bound to fail.
Remember, this is the same party that demonized Bernie Sanders’ supporters and believed the movement he sparked and the issues he raised were unworthy of recognition.
If the Democrats cannot cobble together a solidified opposition to Trump’s most egregious policies, why would the Kavanaugh nomination be any different? Instead of drawing up a visionary blueprint that aims to excite a true grassroots movement against the corporate establishment, they continue to shiver in the face of internal upheaval as they have with the recent victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York.
Why dems don’t control the senate
The Democrats don’t control the Senate for a reason. They have not galvanized the majority of Americans who oppose the Wall Street takeover of our government and the perpetual wars that prop it up. Why? Because the Democrats don’t actually oppose either. They aren’t inept, Democrats are simply professional defenders of the status-quo.
Sure, they will quickly blame Republicans for what’s about to unfold in the months and years ahead as the Supreme Court guts Roe v Wade, our meager environmental protections and any semblance of corporate accountability that remains. In fact, you can count on the Democrats to exploit the Kavanaugh nomination as a reason to vote for their lesser-of-two-evil candidates in future elections. No doubt, many will again fall victim to their cries for help.
Even so, we are in our current predicament, not solely because of Trump and the Republicans, but in large part, because so many continue to put their faith in the Democrats. …
- Trump Supreme Court Pick Brett Kavanaugh In 1998: Presidents Must Obey Subpoenas — If confirmed, and the president finds himself at the Supreme Court, he could be in for an ugly surprise. … Read the Rest
Black Agenda Report: Obama & Democrats Share Blame For Trump’s Supreme Court
By Bruce A. Dixon
Black Agenda report (7/11/18)
We can’t blame Trump and the Republicans alone for the Supreme Court. Democrats had a big hand in it too.
The Supreme Court has been around as long as the Constitution itself, more than two centuries now. Since the Warren court of the 1950s, Republicans have been open about their intention to pack it with judges who will repeal birth control, civil rights, labor rights, minimum wages, environmental regulation and most of the 20th century. Democrats, if they were ever a party of the people, as opposed to another party of the elite, have had sixty-some years to craft their own strategy to thwart Republicans. Democratic elected officials have never done this because of course they have more in common with their elite Republican counterparts than they do with the unwashed masses who vote Democratic, and who can always be rallied with the cynical cry that only Democrats can save them from an evil Republican Supreme Court.
From the nation’s beginning, its courts have always been an elite institution, staffed by and answerable to elites, not to the people. And the US elite is thoroughly bipartisan.
Back in 2005 the second President Bush nominated John Roberts as chief justice. The ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee was the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. The most celebrated, widely quoted, and closely watched Democrat on the judiciary committee was the acclaimed constitutional scholar and freshman from Illinois, Barack Obama. These were the guys on point for Democrats that season.
Influence of rabidly right Federalist Society
John Roberts had a long history of hostility to birth control, to voting rights, to organized labor, black and brown people, anti-discrimination laws and to anything else which might mitigate or restrain the rule of the rich in even the smallest degree. As a DC circuit court judge he “legalized” after the fact Bush’s illegitimate detention and torture at offshore black sites. As a private attorney he represented mining companies defending the horrifically destructive practice of mountaintop removal, and he was part of the Bush V. Gore legal team which succeeded in letting the Supreme Court overrule the ongoing tally of votes in Florida and declare Bush the winner. Roberts was also a board member of the rabidly right wing Federalist Society, which seeks to overturn virtually all civil rights and environmental law, and all regulation of so-called “free markets” whatsoever.
Republican leaning corporate media rejoiced, saying they were finally gonna get what they wanted. Environmental, voting rights and civil rights organizations sounded the alarm, but to little avail. Elected Democrats, their supposed champions, along with Democrat-leaning corporate media whined that there was insufficient evidence of Roberts’ rightward leanings to invest much effort in stopping his ascent to the court. …
Former Obama Officials Cash In On Corrupt Corporate System
By Zach Carter & Paul Blumenthal
The HuffPost (7/11/18)
The last 18 months have been difficult for former members of the Obama administration. They’ve been replaced by a regime, which, in the words of former Domestic Policy Council director Melody Barnes, “shows virtually no respect for constitutional principles, or often, basic human decency.” And now they can do little more than complain about their successors’ parade of outrages.
“Our democracy is under attack,” warned former Attorney General Eric Holder. Former Assistant AG Lanny Breuer called the Trump administration’s immigration agenda, “contrary to the core values of this nation.” Conscientious public servants “cannot stay silent,” wrote former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who also said President Donald Trump’s separation of migrant children from their asylum-seeking parents is “immoral and un-American.” Former White House spokesman Jay Carney worried about “the country’s credibility” under Trump. “Donald Trump is sort of to politics what Bernie Madoff was to investment,” according to ex-Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. His birth control policy, said Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, is “unconscionable.”
If the Trump administration weren’t bumbling between different crimes against humanity, it’s hard to imagine anyone getting nostalgic for the era when these folks ran the free world.
And yet for all the damage the Trump administration is doing to American democracy, several prominent Obama alums seem to have quietly made their peace with a subtler attack on the legitimacy of U.S. institutions. Today, many are lending the prestige of their White House resumes to scandal-fraught organizations in return for large sums of money. Some are even doing business with the Trump administration.
Plenty of former Obama officials are leading scholarly lives as academics, working with nonprofits or in sectors of the corporate world far from the purview of their previous duties in Washington. Obama spokesperson Eric Schultz told HuffPost that Obama “implemented unprecedented ethics rules, including cracking down on the revolving door by prohibiting former lobbyists from working on issues on which they lobbied, and by preventing appointees from lobbying the White House after working there.”
Schultz added that “President Obama’s White House was the first in modern history to not have a major scandal.”
None of the officials named in this article would comment on the record.
Bombs & Money
These days, Johnson receives $290,000 a year to serve on the board of directors at Lockheed Martin, the largest American defense contractor and the world’s biggest weapons manufacturer. It has been fined over $767 million for various forms of misconduct since forming in 1995, according to the Project on Government Oversight.
Directors of large corporations are nominally responsible for pretty important stuff: setting executive compensation, managing risk and generally ensuring that a company’s management acts in the best interest of its shareholders. But American corporate governance has been weak for decades. In practice, serving on a board means attending a few meetings a year and collecting paychecks. The Lockheed Martin board met nine times last year.
Lockheed Martin sells rockets, missiles, bombs, “guided projectiles,” “laser weapon systems,” “integrated surface warfare,” fighter jets, attack helicopters and drones, along with tech support, systems operation and various training programs. All told, the company does $35 billion a year in business with the federal government, much of it contracted with the very department Johnson recently headed. …