Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) is floating the idea of simultaneously confirming both Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee, and Merrick Garland, former President Obama’s nominee, to the Supreme Court.
The New Mexico Democrat told reporters Monday that he pitched moving the two judges during his meeting with Gorsuch, according to multiple reports.
“[Trump’s] got a book that’s widely acclaimed in terms of ‘The Art of the Deal.’ This is a deal that makes sense for the country,” Udall said, according to CNN. “It’s a deal that heals the real deep wounds we’ve had in this election.”
Under Udall’s pitch, Trump would meet with justices considering retiring.
If he promised to nominate Garland — whom Republicans refused to give a hearing or a vote — a justice would submit their letter of resignation. The Senate would move both Gorsuch and Garland’s nomination simultaneously.
What? Who would this resigning judge be? And how would Tom Udall or anyone else make this happen? But then, well, I should have known.
Udall’s proposal is similar to a 2004 episode of “The West Wing.”
In the TV show, the Democratic president needs to fill a Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of a GOP-appointed justice.
As part of a deal to preserve the balance of the court, the president and his staff convince the chief justice to retire and nominate a younger conservative judge to serve on the Supreme Court, as well as a judge considered too liberal to otherwise be confirmed, to be the chief justice.
But an aide for Udall told CNN that the Democratic senator’s plan isn’t ripped from the “West Wing” plot and that he’s only seen a few episodes of the TV show.
I might believe Udall on that last part, but clearly he has a staff member taking The West Wing seriously enough to put this idea in the senator’s ear.
The long-term impact of this show on the thinking of people who are legitimately not stupid and politically minded is way, way too strong.
President Donald Trump told a bipartisan group of governors at a White House reception Monday morning that GOP tax reform would have to wait for lawmakers to move on repealing Obamacare, cautioning that, “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”
“I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” Trump said.
“The President ordered a well-done steak. An aged New York strip. He ate it with catsup as he always does. The sides and appetizers on the table were shared. Three jumbo shrimp cocktails were delivered before the meal. At one point, the President looked at his watch and remarked ”They are filming ‘Saturday Night Live’ right now. Can’t wait to see what they are gonna do to me this week.“ It was hard to serve him because he is so funny and relaxed, it makes you laugh.”
In his radio appearance, Puzder was even more vehement in denouncing “the left” than he was in denouncing the media. He said the left launched an “enormous campaign to wear down my support.”
“The left is trying to sink as many of the president’s nominees as possible,” Puzder said. “So in that sense, it really wouldn’t have mattered what I believed or who I was or what the process was. They were going to campaign against me as a means of hurting the president.”
Once again, Puzder did not enumerate or respond to the objections raised by labor unions and other left-of-center groups about his nomination, nor did Hewitt bring them up. These concerned labor violations committed by franchisees of CKE Restaurants; sexually provocative ads Puzder approved and defended for Carl’s Jr.; and Puzder’s opposition to raising the minimum wage even to $10.10.
Let’s be clear. It’s not only the left that defeated Puzder. It’s the left plus his extreme positions plus his hiring an undocumented housekeeper plus his grotesquely sexist advertisements for his shitty burgers plus being a wife beater. But without the left opposition to him, he is our Secretary of Labor. Of course, for Puzder, it’s also the left that is destroying the nation, a nation where wifebeaters should be powerful government figures.
Puzder, whose confirmation hearings were repeatedly delayed due to complications in divesting himself of CKE assets, accused Democrats of going “full throttle” once they saw some Republicans wavering. He surmised that Democrats and unions opposed him because he was a successful businessman who could help President Donald Trump create jobs and economic growth.
“I don’t believe their concern was that I would be bad for workers. I think their concern was that I would pursue policies they opposed and that workers would benefit,” he suggested. “So the implications of that for the left would really have been devastating.”
More jobs and a growing economy, Puzder added, would force more competition among employers for workers, increasing wages and benefits. He argued, however, that unions and “big government progressives” didn’t want to see those benefits “because it would confirm that no matter what the mainstream media’s been telling working and middle-class Americans, pro-growth economic policies are, in fact, in their best interest, and big government’s not.”
Totally dude. That’s why the 1930s through the 1970s saw the greatest gains for working class people in this nation’s history and the repeal of those regulations and implementation of Republican class warfare has decimated working Americans.
It seems clear that Keith Ellison and Tom Perez made a deal in advance to immediately make the runner-up the #2 at the DNC. Given their ideological similarities and the fact they apparently work together well, this makes the gap between the actual stakes of the outcome of the DNC race and the apocalyptic morality play being written as an alternative set of facts about it even greater. But the fantasy universe in which Perez and Ellison represent massively different visions of the party they will somehow impose on it through some unspecified mechanism is going strong:
So it would be better, I think, if center-liberalism just confessed that they are not interested in class analysis at all.
In fairness, unlike some formulations, this seems to leave open the possibility that some liberals can also be on the left and favor policies that advance the interests of the working class. But even confined to mainstream liberals within the Democratic Party, this analysis is absolutely bonkers. Mainstream liberalism “does not include poor people of any kind” and their vehicle for purging any voices for the poor out of the party was..the most effective and left-wing Secretary of Labor since Frances Perkins? The most important legislative achievement of the last Democratic Congress and president was a massive expansion of the public health care program for the poor. Was the Medicaid expansion race-not-class because it wasn’t constructed to exclude many people of color, like the Real Working Class Liberalism of the New Deal? What was the objective of Medicaid expansion, if “center-liberalism” has abandoned the interests of the poor entirely?
Needless to say, the Medicaid expansion is not the whole story of the Obama administration, and there are many ways in which its economic policies were inadequate. The most recent Democratic platform was the most attuned to class interests of any in decades, but there remains plenty of room for critique. This, however, isn’t Rensin’s argument. His argument is that the interests of the poor have been entirely abandoned by the Democratic Party, and his central evidence for this theory is the selection of one left-liberal with a strong record on class issues over another for a position that does little-to-nothing to set the ideological direction of the party. OK.
And the analysis becomes even more incoherent when you consider that Ellison had plenty of support from “center-liberalism.” The Manichean alternative history of the DNC race not only ludicrously casts Tom Perez as a Thatcherite, it also apparently casts Chuck Schumer as a left-not-liberal class warrior. It’s incomprehensible on any level.
People for whom it’s never not 1996 notwithstanding, the Democratic Party is clearly moving to the left, as it should be. What the priorities of this coalition should be when it gets the chance to govern and how to get it in a position to govern remain pressing questions with plenty of room for disputation. But the DNC race will barely merit a footnote when this history is written, and distorting the players to try to transform it into a desperate Last Battle for the Very Soul of the Democratic Party is deeply strange.
Spicer called staff into his office last week to reiterate his frustration with the leaks, sources with knowledge of the matter said. He informed them that the use of encrypted texting apps, like Signal and Confide, was a violation of the Federal Records Act.
Suddenly he cares about laws?
Then, with White House counsel Don McGahn standing by, Spicer asked his staff to provide him with their cell phones so he could
ensure they were not using those apps or corresponding privately with reporters.
A cunning plan. No one would ever think to delete incriminating info or communicate with reporters in some way that wouldn’t be on their phones at all.
And now, the punchline.
Spicer asked to review both his staff’s government-issued and personal cell phones, the sources said. He also specifically asked his staff not to leak information about the meeting or his efforts to crack down on leaks to the media, one source said.
I hope that one day in the near future these unsung heroes get the thanks they’re due.
Update – Perhaps Spicer should shut up and let the leakers handle everything.
Bill Paxton has died, after complications from surgery.
Paxton seemed to have been in a thousand movies and TV shows, making him a sort of second-string Kevin Bacon, who appeared with him in Apollo 13, and probably a bunch of other things as well.
I remember him best as Hudson, the cowardly Marine who is given the best lines in James Cameron’s Aliens, and as the earnest husband juggling several wives in HBO’s Big Love, a cheesy but strangely compelling series about polygamy among suburban heterodox Mormons in Salt Lake City. He was also in Titanic, although I can’t remember who he played. I do have a painful memory of him in Twister, one of the worst big budget movies ever. An actor who everybody knows but somehow never quite becomes a real movie star, and who then dies on the day the Academy Awards take place, is something out of Woody Allen movie, or maybe a Raymond Carver story.
“If the world knows nothing else, the world will know this: America stands with Israel,” Vice President Mike Pence told the Republican Jewish Coalition on Friday night. Meanwhile, Pence’s Twitter account was sending an entirely different message: America stands with Nicaragua.
The person managing Pence’s Twitter account mistakenly tweeted that “the world will know America stands with Israel 🇳🇮 ” and “Under @POTUS Trump, we will stand with Israel 🇳🇮 ” except, there’s one problem: that’s not Israel’s flag. The person tweeting used the Nicaraguan flag in both tweets, which vaguely resembles the Israeli flag if you squint and are completely ignorant of world politics.
If there’s one thing you can say about this administration, it’s that it’s bigly competent.
Born in 1779 in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Story graduated from Harvard in 1798 and was admitted to the bar in Salem in 1801. In 1805, he was elected to the Massachusetts legislature as a Jeffersonian, a difficult victory in this Federalist stronghold. He very briefly served in Congress, from December 1808 to March 1809, and then returned to the Massachusetts legislature, where he was elected Speaker in 1811. In November 1811, James Madison selected him to serve on the Supreme Court. He was only 32 years old. He would remain there until his death. He is still the youngest person ever selected to the Court.
As a justice, Story would develop into a conservative defender of property rights during an age of industrialization. He became closely aligned with John Marshall, even though he had been a Jeffersonian before this. He fought hard for the supremacy of the Supreme Court over the state courts, not an established fact at this time. It was the Virginia courts that rejected Story’s rulings, again an irony given his background. Overall, his view was one of expansive federal powers, particularly in Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee. And in later cases such as Charles River Bridge, when Roger Taney and the Democrats had taken over the court, Story became the chief dissenter, supporting the rights of nascent corporations consistently. Today, he is most famous for ruling for the self-emancipated slaves in the Amistad case. In 1829, he also took a job teaching at Harvard. There, he wrote Commentaries on the Constitution, one of the most important early books on interpreting the Constitution. He died in 1845, the last old-school Early Republic figure in government.
Although you don’t get a lot of obscure Supreme Court justices appearing in film, retried Supreme Court justice Harry Blackmun played Story in Amistad.
Joseph Story is buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he spoke at the dedication cemetery in 1831.