Saturday, July 15, 2017

Trump has chance to even the Scales of Justice

One of the big modern day advantages of controlling the Senate is that thanks to Harry Reid and gang, you pretty much own full control of judicial nominees. When you are in power and the President is of the same power, you can confirm Justices by a simple majority vote. When you are in power and the President is of the opposite Party,  you can stall votes and hold vacancies till you decide to fill them. When you are not in power, you simply sit around and complain.

As you can see by the graphic from Bloomberg, there are currently 128 vacancies for Donald Trump to fill. As we know, he has already filled the USSC vacancy and a couple of high level Appeals Court vacancies. Some simple math tells us that if these vacancies are filled by Trump, that the number of Judges confirmed by Republican Presidents will be nearly equal to the amount of Judges confirmed by Democratic Presidents. Given the reasonable certainty of other retirements and resignations, it's very likely that Trump will leave office with the overall number favoring Republican appointees.

Interestingly, Trump inherited approximately double the amount of vacancies that were waiting for Obama when he took office. Make no mistake, this was a calculated move by McConnell, who had nothing to lose by holding these vacancies over to the next election. It is also quite obvious that whoever Trump nominates will get a hearing and vote, and that these vacancies will ultimately get filled as quickly as they can be.  

Bottom line: With the likely chance to fill at least one more Supreme Court vacancies, along with the ability to fill over 15% of Federal Judgeships off the bat, Trump is in a unique position to put his long term mark on the nation. Now imagine how the courts would look if Hillary Clinton had won the Presidency and if Democrats has won back the Senate like most of your pundits assumed. 

No matter what else happens (or doesn't happen) - these vacancies being filled will be a huge legacy... especially given the escalating importance of Federal Court cases. 


opie said...

Great Job Donny!!!!

U.S. deficits to jump $248 billion over next two years due to tax shortfall
Reuters 17 hours ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The budget deficit for President Donald Trump's first two years in office will be nearly $250 billion higher than initially estimated due to a shortfall in tax collections and a mistake in projecting military healthcare costs, budget chief Mick Mulvaney reported on Friday. In a mid-year update to Congress, Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, revised the estimates supplied in late May when the Trump administration submitted its first spending plan. Since then, Mulvaney said, the deficit projected for the current fiscal year has increased by $99 billion, or 16.4 percent, to $702 billion. For 2018, the deficit will be $149 billion more than first expected, ...

opie said...

As an aside, just a note to our esteemed host who predicted 3% growth was a piece of cake....seems many economists are expressing major doubts....LOLOLOL

The figures come as the administration is facing widespread doubts among economists and analysts that it can erase government deficits largely by boosting economic growth and changing laws like the Affordable Care Act. ACA reform is facing a difficult path in Congress, and the Congressional Budget Office on Thursday said the administration's growth and deficit reduction plans were optimistic.

Roger Amick said...

Our host deleted my posts

Roger Amick said...

The Russia scandal has entered a new phase, and there’s no going back.

For six months, the White House claimed that this scandal was nothing more than innuendo about Trump campaign collusion with Russia in meddling in the 2016 election. Innuendo for which no concrete evidence had been produced.

Yes, there were several meetings with Russian officials, some only belatedly disclosed. But that is circumstantial evidence at best. Meetings tell you nothing unless you know what happened in them. We didn’t. Some of these were casual encounters in large groups, like the famous July 2016 Kislyak-Sessions exchange of pleasantries at the Republican National Convention. Big deal.

I was puzzled. Lots of coverup, but where was the crime? Not even a third-rate burglary. For six months, smoke without fire. Yes, President Trump himself was acting defensively, as if he were hiding something. But no one ever produced the something.

My view was: Collusion? I just don’t see it. But I’m open to empirical evidence. Show me.

The evidence is now shown. This is not hearsay, not fake news, not unsourced leaks. This is an email chain released by Donald Trump Jr. himself. A British go-between writes that there’s a Russian government effort to help Trump Sr. win the election, and as part of that effort he proposes a meeting with a “Russian government attorney” possessing damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Moreover, the Kremlin is willing to share troves of incriminating documents from the Crown Prosecutor. (Error: Britain has a Crown Prosecutor. Russia has a Prosecutor General.)

Donald Jr. emails back. “I love it.” Fatal words.

Once you’ve said “I’m in,” it makes no difference that the meeting was a bust, that the intermediary brought no such goods. What matters is what Donald Jr. thought going into the meeting, as well as Jared Kushner and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, who were forwarded the correspondence, invited to the meeting, and attended.

“It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame,” Donald Jr. told Sean Hannity. A shame? On the contrary, a stroke of luck. Had the lawyer real stuff to deliver, Donald Jr. and the others would be in far deeper legal trouble. It turned out to be incompetent collusion, amateur collusion, comically failed collusion. That does not erase the fact that three top Trump campaign officials were ready to play.

It may turn out that they did later collaborate more fruitfully. We don’t know. But even if nothing else is found, the evidence is damning.

Roger Amick said...

It’s rather pathetic to hear Trump apologists protesting that it’s no big deal because we Americans are always intervening in other people’s elections, and they in ours. You don’t have to go back to the ’40s and ’50s when the CIA intervened in France and Italy to keep the communists from coming to power. What about the Obama administration’s blatant interference to try to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu in the latest Israeli election? One might even add the work of groups supported by the U.S. during Russian parliamentary elections — the very origin of Vladimir Putin’s deep animus toward Clinton, then secretary of state, whom he accuses of having orchestrated the opposition.

This defense is pathetic for two reasons. First, have the Trumpites not been telling us for six months that no collusion ever happened? And now they say: Sure it happened. So what? Everyone does it.

What’s left of your credibility when you make such a casual about-face?

Second, no, not everyone does it. It’s one thing to be open to opposition research dug up in Indiana. But not dirt from Russia, a hostile foreign power that has repeatedly invaded its neighbors (Georgia, Crimea, eastern Ukraine), that buzzes our planes and ships in international waters, that opposes our every move and objective around the globe. Just last week the Kremlin killed additional U.N. sanctions we were looking to impose on North Korea for its ICBM test.

There is no statute against helping a foreign hostile power meddle in an American election. What Donald Jr. — and Kushner and Manafort — did may not be criminal. But it is not merely stupid. It is also deeply wrong, a fundamental violation of any code of civic honor.

I leave it to the lawyers to adjudicate the legalities of unconsummated collusion. But you don’t need a lawyer to see that the Trump defense — collusion as a desperate Democratic fiction designed to explain away a lost election — is now officially dead.