Senate

Rand: ‘Nobody Would Have Survived’ Baseball Shooting Without Capitol Police, ‘It Would Have Been a Massacre Without Them’

On Wednesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “New Day,” Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) credited Capitol Police officers on the scene for preventing the shooting at a Congressional baseball practice from turning into a “massacre.” Rand said, “I can tell you, that I think with absolute certainty, nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill Police. They saved everybody’s life. Incredibly brave and deserve everyone’s praise, because, with this guy, who knows what his — how heavily armed he was, but nobody else had a weapon. So, he was just killing everyone — he would have. … They deserve our gratitude for saving — it would have been a massacre without them.”

Opinion/Analysis: Senate Must Shift Judicial Confirmations into High Gear

“The Senate needs to get to work,” says Federalist Society executive vice president Leonard Leo. He is visibly thrilled that the Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court — and rather swiftly. Alas, Leo warns, if the Senate’s pace of judicial confirmations remains glacial, it will threaten President Donald J. Trump’s other appointments to the bench. “The president has about 131 vacancies to fill, with that number increasing every several weeks,” Leo explained at a recent reception for the Goldwater Institute’s American Freedom Network, an initiative to recruit and deploy attorneys to work pro bono for pro-freedom causes. “The Senate Judiciary Committee won’t do more than one or two appellate-court confirmation hearings every couple of weeks. At that rate, these vacancies might not be filled until after Trump’s term has ended.” On Trump’s watch, a grand total of two judicial nominees have been confirmed, including Gorsuch. The other is Amul Roger Thapar of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. If the Senate moves nominees like tectonic plates, this could affect designees as yet unnamed. “President Trump can’t nominate people only to see them hanging in the air for eight or nine months,” Leo says. “You can’t do that to people.” These vacancies have triggered alarms. Ballotpedia’s Federal Vacancy Warning System reports that eight different district courts are at least 40 percent empty. Two of the District of Delaware’s four federal judgeships are unfilled. Two of the Middle District of Alabama’s three positions are uninhabited. Silent courtrooms record the unheard sounds of untried cases. The official federal Judicial Conference has declared what it calls “judicial emergencies” in 49 courts, where filings have piled to the rafters. In one Arizona federal trial court, cases average 1,177 per judge. A single U.S. court of appeals seat in Atlanta is sinking beneath 1,151 criminal and civil actions. “Whether it’s empty federal district courtrooms or unfilled federal appellate-court seats, the failure of the president to timely nominate or the Senate to timely consider and confirm qualified nominees for those positions means that justice is delayed and often denied,” says Cato Institute vice president for legal affairs Roger Pilon. “While Washington delays, nothing less than the rule of law is ultimately at stake.” Washington’s delays often involve senators who impose “blue slips” on judicial nominees. Like a referee’s whistle, a blue slip stops an appointee cold. A senator might file a blue slip if a judicial candidate is from his state and he has not been consulted or if he harbors serious ethical questions about a contender. Previous Judiciary Committee chairmen have weighed blue slips differently. Leo recalls that Senator Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) treated blue slips like red lights. Nominees were stuck until senators withdrew their blue slips. However, “blue slips are not holy writ as a historical matter,” Leo says. They normally have enjoyed some deference, but not solely because a senator merely opposes a nominee’s philosophy. Such matters should be examined in hearings, debated on the Senate floor, and considered before a senator votes yea or nay. A blue slip typically has not been an endless timeout, with one senator objecting while judicial seats grow cold. Leo also noted that Judiciary chairman Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) need not chair all of these confirmation hearings if the necessary tempo discomfits him. Other GOP panel members could do so, which could accelerate things. Grassley might prefer to chair hearings for more-controversial designees while such senators as Utah’s Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, and Texas’s John Cornyn and Ted Cruz all could preside over meetings that scrutinize nominees with broad support. These vacancies are a big-league opening for President Trump. “Not since President Bill Clinton has a president had the opportunity to fill so many vacancies in the federal courts at the start of his first term,” Ballotpedia observed. “Trump’s 108 inherited vacancies represent roughly one in every eight life-term judicial positions (12.41 percent).” All the more reason for the Republican Senate to grow a sense of urgency on this issue, and many others. “People don’t realize, this is a melting ice cube,” says Manhattan attorney Mark W. Smith, a leader in Gotham’s Federalist Society chapter. GOP control of Congress and the White House is not a given. It’s a finite resource subject to the scorching sands of time and the bleaching effects of rapidly evaporating political courage. “The Senate needs to stop sitting around and get moving.”

Indeed..  The Senate needs to kick these confirmations of Trump’s nominees into high gear while they still have a slim majority; a majority they could lose in less than two years.  Then, Trump’s nominees would come to a grinding halt.  This excellent, eye-opening, analysis was written by Deroy Murdock.     🙂

Senate confirms Supreme Court pick Gorsuch

The Senate confirmed Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court Friday morning, thrilling conservatives and angering liberals who expect him to be in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, whose seat he will take. The 54-45 vote was also a victory for President Trump, who last year had campaigned on his ability to pick good justices conservatives could rally behind. “This brilliant, honest, humble man is a judge’s judge and we will make a superb justice,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley said. Only three Democrats backed the judge, as did all 51 Republicans who were in the chamber voting. Sen. Johnny Isakson, Georgia Republican, who is recovering from surgery, missed the vote. Friday’s vote came a day after Democrats staged a filibuster to block the judge, offering a long — and occasionally conflicting — litany of complaints. After the filibuster Republicans used the “nuclear option” to alter the interpretation of Senate rules, lowering the level of votes needed to end a filibuster of high court nominees. The new change brings Supreme Court nominees in line with all other nominees, after Democrats used the nuclear option in 2013 to change the rules for those other picks. Mr. Grassley told reporters he thinks the next Supreme Court confirmation will be just as partisan if another seat were to open up during Mr. Trump’s presidency. Scalia’s seat has sat empty for more than a year, and became a major issue in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Indeed..   Such great news on this Friday!!  Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation is a HUGE victory for gun rights, and the rights of those of faith.  Judge Gorsuch will be sworn in Monday morning.  To read the rest of this story, click on the text above.   🙂

Sen. Tim Scott: Liberal Left Activists ‘Do not Want To Be Tolerant’

Liberal left activists are tolerant only of people who agree with them, Sen. Tim Scott said in a Senate speech as he recounted some of the hate mail he received while helping to elevate Sen. Jeff Sessions up to the new job of U.S. Attorney General. “The liberal left that speaks and desires for all of us to be tolerant, do not want to be tolerant of anyone that disagrees with where they are coming from,” Scott said Feb. 8 in a speech from the Senate floor. “So the definition of tolerance is not that all Americans experience a high level of tolerance, it is that all Americans who agree with [the left] experiences this so-called tolerance.” In his speech, Scott recounted some of the insults he’s been offered via Twitter as he spoke up in favor of Sessions, who was sworn into his new job on Feb. 9. “‘House negro’ … ‘a complete horror’ … ‘You are a disgrace to your race,’” he recounted, adding “I left out all the ones that use the n-word.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) is a black, Republican, U.S. Senator from the great state of South Carolina.  If you’ve not seen the video of this speech on Senate floor, click on the text above and watch it.  Just fathom if this was a black DEMOCRAT U.S. Senator, or Congressman that received this kind of hate mail..  It’d be ALL over the news and we’d be hearing about it for months…and we ALL know it.  But, because Sen. Scott is a black REPUBLICAN, it’s ok for these self-righteous, liberals to call him all sorts of things, and use racist profanity….and for the dominantly liberal mainstream media to look the other way.  What a bunch of nauseating hypocrites!  Typical..

Former Montana Sen. Conrad Burns dead at 81

Former Montana Sen. Conrad Burns, a former cattle auctioneer whose folksy demeanor and political acumen earned him three terms and the bitter disdain of his opponents, died Thursday. He was 81. Burns died of natural causes at his home in Billings, Montana Republican Party Executive Director Jeff Essmann said. “He was a colorful figure who loved people, politics and to serve,” Essmann said. “He brought a common-man, common-sense approach to his work in the Senate and returned to his home in Billings when his work was done.” As a Republican senator, Burns used his influence on the powerful Appropriations committee to set the course on energy development and public lands management across the rural West. But he was ousted from office in 2006 under the specter of scandal after developing close ties to “super-lobbyist” Jack Abramoff, who was later jailed for conspiracy and fraud. No charges were ever filed against Burns, who dismissed criticism over the affairs as “old political hooey.” After working as a livestock auctioneer, Burns in 1975 moved into broadcast radio, founding four stations known as the Northern Ag Network. The network eventually grew to serve 31 radio and TV stations across Montana and Wyoming, offering agricultural news to rural areas. He sold the network in 1985 and — capitalizing on his name recognition — made his first foray into politics a year later, when he was elected commissioner for Yellowstone County in south-central Montana. Before his first term was completed, Burns took on incumbent U.S. Sen. John Melcher, a two-term Democrat described by Burns opponent as “a liberal who is soft on drugs, soft on defense and very high on social programs.” At the age of 53, he won election to the Senate by a 3-percentage-point margin. He rose to be one of the most influential positions in Washington with his seat on the Appropriations committee, serving as chairman of the Interior subcommittee. Burns became a strong advocate for increased domestic energy production and expanded development of natural resources.

Was sorry to hear this..  Former Sen. Burns (R-MT) was always a riot to listen to when interviewed.  He was a good ol’ boy, who was down to earth.  Yeah, his mouth got him into trouble from time to time.  But, his constituents in Montana loved him.  And, that’s really the bottom line.  He was for more domestic energy production…something we are strong advocates for here at The Daily Buzz..  Thanks for your service, Senator.  R.I.P.

Opinion: Republican Senators Should Hold the Line on Obama’s Nominee

Let’s understand something about the fight to fill the Supreme Court seat of Antonin (“Nino”) Scalia. This is about nothing but raw power. Any appeal you hear to high principle is phony — brazenly, embarrassingly so. In Year Seven of the George W. Bush administration, Senator Chuck Schumer publicly opposed filling any Supreme Court vacancy until Bush left office. (“Except in extraordinary circumstances.” None such arose. Surprise!) Today he piously denounces Republicans for doing exactly the same for a vacancy created in Year Eight of Barack Obama. Republicans, say the Democrats, owe the president deference. Elections have consequences, and Obama won reelection in 2012. Yes. And the Republicans won the Senate in 2014 — if anything, a more proximal assertion of popular will. And both have equal standing in appointing a Supreme Court justice. It’s hard to swallow demands for deference from a party that for seven years has cheered Obama’s serial constitutional depredations: his rewriting the immigration laws by executive order (stayed by the courts); his reordering the energy economy by regulation (stayed by the courts); his enacting the nuclear deal with Iran, the most important treaty of this generation, without the required two-thirds of the Senate (by declaring it an executive agreement). Minority Leader Harry Reid complains about the Senate violating precedent if it refuses a lame-duck nominee. This is rich. It is Reid who just two years ago overthrew all precedent by abolishing the filibuster for most judicial and high executive appointments. In the name of what grand constitutional principle did Reid resort to a parliamentary maneuver so precedent-shattering that it was called “the nuclear option”? None. He did it in order to pack the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia with liberals who would reliably deflect challenges to Obamacare. On Tuesday, Obama loftily called upon Congress to rise above ideology and partisanship in approving his nominee. When asked how he could square that with his 2006 support of a filibuster to stop the appointment of Samuel Alito, Obama replied with a four-minute word-salad signifying nothing. There is no answer. It was situational constitutional principle, i.e., transparent hypocrisy. As I said, this is all about raw power. When the Democrats had it, they used it. The Republicans are today wholly justified in saying they will not allow this outgoing president to overturn the balance of the Supreme Court. The matter should be decided by the coming election. Does anyone doubt that Democrats would be saying exactly that if the circumstances were reversed? Which makes this Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s moment. He and his cohorts have taken a lot of abuse from “anti-establishment” candidates and media for not using their congressional majorities to repeal Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood, block executive orders, etc. What was the 2014 election about, they say? We won and got nothing. We were lied to and betrayed by a corrupt leadership beholden to the “Washington cartel.” As it happens, under our Madisonian Constitution, the opposition party cannot govern without the acquiescence of the president, which it will not get, or a two-thirds majority of the Congress, which it does not have. But no matter. Things are different now. Appointing a Supreme Court justice is a two-key operation. The president proposes, the Senate disposes. There is no reason McConnell cannot hold the line. And he must. The stakes here — a radical generation-long reversal of direction of the Supreme Court — are the highest this Senate will ever face. If McConnell succeeds, he will have resoundingly answered the “what did we get for 2014?” question. Imagine if the Senate were now in Democratic hands. What we got in 2014 was the power to hold on to Scalia’s seat and to the Court’s conservative majority. But only for now. Blocking an Obama nominee buys just a year. The final outcome depends on November 2016. If the GOP nominates an unelectable or unconservative candidate, a McConnell victory will be nothing more than a stay of execution. In 2012, Scalia averred that he would not retire until there was a more ideologically congenial president in the White House. “I would not like to be replaced,” he explained, “by someone who immediately sets about undoing everything that I’ve tried to do for 25 years.” Scalia never got to choose the timing of his leaving office. Those who value the legacy of those now-30 years will determine whether his last wish will be vindicated. Let McConnell do his thing. Then in November it’s for us to win one for Nino.Let’s understand something about the fight to fill the Supreme Court seat of Antonin (“Nino”) Scalia. This is about nothing but raw power. Any appeal you hear to high principle is phony — brazenly, embarrassingly so. In Year Seven of the George W. Bush administration, Senator Chuck Schumer publicly opposed filling any Supreme Court vacancy until Bush left office. (“Except in extraordinary circumstances.” None such arose. Surprise!) Today he piously denounces Republicans for doing exactly the same for a vacancy created in Year Eight of Barack Obama. Republicans, say the Democrats, owe the president deference. Elections have consequences, and Obama won reelection in 2012. Yes. And the Republicans won the Senate in 2014 — if anything, a more proximal assertion of popular will. And both have equal standing in appointing a Supreme Court justice. It’s hard to swallow demands for deference from a party that for seven years has cheered Obama’s serial constitutional depredations: his rewriting the immigration laws by executive order (stayed by the courts); his reordering the energy economy by regulation (stayed by the courts); his enacting the nuclear deal with Iran, the most important treaty of this generation, without the required two-thirds of the Senate (by declaring it an executive agreement). Minority Leader Harry Reid complains about the Senate violating precedent if it refuses a lame-duck nominee. This is rich. It is Reid who just two years ago overthrew all precedent by abolishing the filibuster for most judicial and high executive appointments. In the name of what grand constitutional principle did Reid resort to a parliamentary maneuver so precedent-shattering that it was called “the nuclear option”? None. He did it in order to pack the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia with liberals who would reliably deflect challenges to Obamacare. On Tuesday, Obama loftily called upon Congress to rise above ideology and partisanship in approving his nominee. When asked how he could square that with his 2006 support of a filibuster to stop the appointment of Samuel Alito, Obama replied with a four-minute word-salad signifying nothing. There is no answer. It was situational constitutional principle, i.e., transparent hypocrisy. As I said, this is all about raw power. When the Democrats had it, they used it. The Republicans are today wholly justified in saying they will not allow this outgoing president to overturn the balance of the Supreme Court. The matter should be decided by the coming election. Does anyone doubt that Democrats would be saying exactly that if the circumstances were reversed? Which makes this Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s moment. He and his cohorts have taken a lot of abuse from “anti-establishment” candidates and media for not using their congressional majorities to repeal Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood, block executive orders, etc. What was the 2014 election about, they say? We won and got nothing. We were lied to and betrayed by a corrupt leadership beholden to the “Washington cartel.” As it happens, under our Madisonian Constitution, the opposition party cannot govern without the acquiescence of the president, which it will not get, or a two-thirds majority of the Congress, which it does not have. But no matter. Things are different now. Appointing a Supreme Court justice is a two-key operation. The president proposes, the Senate disposes. There is no reason McConnell cannot hold the line. And he must. The stakes here — a radical generation-long reversal of direction of the Supreme Court — are the highest this Senate will ever face. If McConnell succeeds, he will have resoundingly answered the “what did we get for 2014?” question. Imagine if the Senate were now in Democratic hands. What we got in 2014 was the power to hold on to Scalia’s seat and to the Court’s conservative majority. But only for now. Blocking an Obama nominee buys just a year. The final outcome depends on November 2016. If the GOP nominates an unelectable or unconservative candidate, a McConnell victory will be nothing more than a stay of execution. In 2012, Scalia averred that he would not retire until there was a more ideologically congenial president in the White House. “I would not like to be replaced,” he explained, “by someone who immediately sets about undoing everything that I’ve tried to do for 25 years.” Scalia never got to choose the timing of his leaving office. Those who value the legacy of those now-30 years will determine whether his last wish will be vindicated. Let McConnell do his thing. Then in November it’s for us to win one for Nino.

Well said, Charles.  Veteran columnist Charles Krauthammer is the author of that excellent op/ed.  He is exactly right..  The Senate GOP needs to make it’s stand against the breathtakingly hypocritical Senate Dems and Obama with respect to the sudden vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.  The next President should be the one to fill Scalia’s seat.

Sen. Jeff Sessions Leaves EPA Chief Unable to Justify Money Grab

At a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, Senator Jeff Sessions grilled EPA chief Gina McCarthy and left her unable to justify her money grab, showing that she could not explain whether climate change models were correct or not.

You need to watch this video!!  Sen. Jeff Session (R-AL) absolutely destroys EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy; Obama’s EPA/environmental Nazi.  He exposes her for the inept, liberal, agenda-driven, bureaucrat that she is.  She’s there before this Senate committee asking for billions and billions more of OUR hard-earned tax dollars for her EPA budget, from which to impose more federal regulation fascism back on you and me…and Sen. Sessions isn’t buying her bs.  Excellent!!!    🙂