Sunday, July 15, 2018

KAVANAGH IS BORK REDUX - by John P. Flannery

DEMOCRATIC SENATORS MUST MEET THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO SCRUTINIZE AND OPPOSE JUDGE BRETT KAVANAGH - there is a veritable forest of complex legal principles established in a long chain of insight and error going back before this nation ever existed that spell out our individual rights and liberties and the necessary restraints on a government that even contemplates imperial exertions.

Some ask how may we fairly consider the kind of judge Judge Kavanagh would be. We must require a careful examination of his many dissents, some of which appear calculated to win him a spot on the Federalists' short list to become an Associate Justice.

We know that Judge Kavanagh has a relaxed view of fundamental fairness, what we call due process, similarly of his view of equality before the law, and restraints on the power of the Executive.

It is ironic that the Justice Kavanagh clerked for was Anthony Kennedy and that he is considered a fair successor. Not so.

It is ironic because Justice Kennedy was confirmed to the Court after Judge Bork was soundly rejected for his conduct on the court and in public life.

It is ironic because the errors of Judge Kavanagh were underscored in the opposition to Judge Bork.

I make no secret of my belief that Senator Ted Kennedy, in his service on the floor of the Senate, may have accomplished more than many Senators through the history of this young Republic, and that accolade includes both of his brothers, President Jack Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. But it's true.

It was Senator Kennedy who gave an analysis of Judge Bork that needs to be the kind of analysis of Judge Kavanagh, as to the decisions Bork made and his role in the Watergate scandal.

We can't elevate a questionable judge to the Supreme Court because of his activity in the community where he lives.

We must study the work Judge Kavanagh has done to consider the result we can expect should we make the mistake of confirming him.

We can't elevate a political operative who was fine with spending four years to "get" Clinton, but has expressed the view since that Presidents are above the law, a magnetic attraction to our flawed Chief Executive, Mr. Trump.

Our Senators and elected officials have shown them to be a shadow of the courage necessary in these dangerous times.

So I offer the address that Senator Kennedy gave in opposition to Judge Bork, and invite those who still have the embers of idealism that likely brought them to public service to study this speech, and to present their views in this manner, to effect, reasoned, robust, but fair and accurate.

If this is done, then this flawed candidate will be defeated, or we shall so inform the public to rid the hallowed law of the people's house of those unworthy of the legacy of Kennedy for their failure to fight and resist Judge Kavanagh who deserves to be left where he is - and save the Supreme Court from his tortured and wrong readings of the law that makes our courts a beacon of consider judgment among the people of this nation.

[FAUX] Excerpt of Putin-Trump meeting in Finland - by John P. Flannery

DON:              English, Vlad. 
VLAD:            Hello, welcome.
DON:              Are you taping this?
VLAD             Mr. President, how could you think such a thing?
DON:              Isn’t that how we got started?
VLAD:            Well yes, in part, but comrade, we are far past that now.  We are brothers, like siblings, you might say, and, hah, like you said a few days ago, “competitors.” 
DON:              The world wants me to ask you, “Did you interfere in our American elections?”
VLAD:            Are we role-playing here?  You know very well what happened.  No one can hear what we’re saying.  It’s just us here. 
DON:              What should I say?
VLAD:            Tell them the truth.  Like you have.
DON:              Are you kidding, Vlad.
VLAD:            Of course I am kidding, where would telling the truth ever get us.  Tell them what you’ve been saying, I insist we did not interfere.  Tell them I believe it.
DON:              We have to do better.  I look weak.
VLAD:            Tell them you believe me.  Stay on course.
DON:              Can you give us any of your soldiers who did this?
VLAD:            Alive?  [Laughs]   No, of course not.  You tell them, I know these soldiers and they would never do such a thing.
DON:              Really?  I’ve already said I wouldn’t ask.
VLAD:            Good.  That’s the best.  Same old.  I’ve been doing this for a lifetime.  It’s worked for me.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  Say what you’ve been saying, say this is an elaborate lie by your Special Counsel, and you say I, your friend and competitor Vlad, believe that, that it’s a lie told by an ambitious prosecutor.
DON:              Witch Hunt.
VLAD:            Precisely.  You’ve also got to do something about your friend, Rudy.
DON:              What do you mean?
VLAD:            He said your Special Counsel got the Russians, nailed them, and you weren’t involved.  He concedes my forces did what they did.  What’s wrong with him?  That’s not a good strategy.  We’re in this together.
DON:              He’s a little eager sometimes.
VLAD:            You have to control him better.  What did you promise him if he makes this go away?
DON:              Well…..
VLAD:            You didn’t.
DON:              I said if he got me out of this…
VLAD:            He wanted State …that would be a big mistake.                  
DON:              Let’s move on.  We’re making progress in NATO and across the world.  We’re closer to where we’d hoped to be much earlier.  When I told Kisylak in the Oval Office that we were free and clear, right after I fired Comey, we laughed over it, and I was sure we were in the clear.  I didn’t expect this.  Didn’t expect this delay.
VLAD:            I told you not to fire him.  There are other ways.
DON:              Tea perhaps? 
VLAD:            [Laughs.]  Hah, fake news. 
DON:              Well, I fired him, thought that was the end of it, and this f - - - er junk yard dog Rod, now that’s apt, rod, goes and puts this Boy Scout Mueller after me. 
VLAD:            I would have fired him.  Flynn didn’t tape you, did he?
DON:              We spent a lot of time together.
VLAD:            Do you have a recording device in the oval office like Nixon had?
DON:              [Ignores question.]  So how we gonna handle this?
VLAD:            I have a few things we can say we discussed …
DON:              So do I…

Tuesday, July 3, 2018


The Fourth of July is a pageant celebrating our independence from an Imperial nation that denied us self-rule, dignity and freedom.

It’s a time of marching bands, waving flags, capped with cloud-brushing, soaring multicolored flashes of fireworks, lighting the night sky, to the sound of oohs and aahs from crowds across the nation.

It evokes the language of the declaration hammered out in a hot Philadelphia Hall, striking and revising the words of Thomas Jefferson, setting forth who we believed we were as a nation aborning.

We must reflect upon the sentiments of that grand occasion, and how we may fulfill those worthy sentiments today when our independence is at risk from within and from without, by a foreign nation state, Russia, that usurped this nation’s independence when it interfered in our elections to install the current Chief Executive.

When we declared our independence, we said we believed that we are all “created equal.” We have struggled since to perfect that sentiment, but of late, persons of color, muslims and women are hardly treated as “equal.”

We should respect the notion that “prudence” does dictate that “governments long established,” as ours, “should not be changed for light and transient causes,” but we watch critical functions in the Executive Department compromised or destroyed by this Chief Executive with the support of the Republican Congress.

We are on notice that our nation has a cancer eating away at our historic legacy, at our freedoms, and our culture, by a self-serving chief executive and a congress dominated by his partisan acolytes, serving themselves while disregarding the will of the people.

Our declaration of independence declared, “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

The government policy favoring the separation of migrant parents from their children defies the objection of the governed.

Our Chief Executive and Senate and House Republican leader are taking their time, as I write this, to pass legislation that is stalled because our Chief Executive wants a wall across our border, costing billions, that our Chief Executive said Mexico would fund. 

Our Declaration of Independence was an indictment of oppressive rule.

Our nation is oppressed by a Chief Executive who conducts himself as a thug.

The Declaration sanctioned Great Britain when the King had “refused his assent to laws…”

We have a Chief Executive who would be King who refuses to respect and enforce our laws especially those involving favors and emoluments from foreign nation states.

Like King George, we also have a Chief Executive who has forbidden “to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance.”  Among them are laws and regulations to sustain the health care of millions of Americans, the protections necessary for our air and water, to safeguard our public lands, to respect migrants seeking asylum, and to provide for the “general welfare.”

Like King George, we have a Chief Executive who “has obstructed the Administration of Justice …”  In regal fashion, claiming unprecedented power to do as he wishes, our Chief Executive fires those who dare to investigate or question his conduct.  Republican leaders won’t pass a bill to block any corrupt influence by our Chief Executive to fire the Special Counsel charged with investigating him.

This nation has always been concerned about civilian control of the military.  We have a Commander in Chief who abdicates this role.  Like King George, our Commander in Chief “has render[ed] the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.”

Our Chief Executive indulges in the kingly ambition our First President resisted.

What are we to do when the man who occupies the West Wing acts as a “Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant ..”

Is that person not, as we found King George, “unfit to be the Ruler of a free people?”

In our declaration of Independence, it was well said that “[A]ll experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

We must resist this Administration’s objective that appears calculated to destroy all that was good about this nation.

Our Declaration of Independence plainly stated that “whenever any form of Government becomes obstructive …it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it … to affect their safety and happiness.”
The Declaration further said “[W]hen a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing the same object, evinces a design to reduce [the governed] under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government.”

In this young Administration, we are far past that threshold.  Whether by indictment, resignation or impeachment, it must be done.

Our character as a nation, our cultural DNA, is of rugged independence, as lovers of freedom, with a can-do spirit, and an extended hand to help others on a journey, still underway, to secure for every person the rights that we declared paramount, the rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

# # #