In 2018 during the contentious Senate confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh, a man credibly accused by several women of sexual assault or misconduct, U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) said he told the beer-aficionado and nominee to the nation’s highest court he had to meet just one condition to gain his support: “he smokes a pipe during his confirmation hearing like the late Justice Scalia.”
I also told Judge Kavanaugh I would support him on one condition: he smokes a pipe during his confirmation hearing like the late Justice Scalia. pic.twitter.com/6xCHaNlQOB
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) August 1, 2018
The following month Cotton issued a press release demanding Democrats “END THE CHARACTER ASSASSINATION” of Brett Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh did not smoke a pipe, although he did threaten Democrats. Cotton voted to confirm him anyway.
Fast forward to today.
Four years after his pipe-smoking demand Senator Cotton has expanded his list of conditions for supporting the nation’s first Black woman nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I want to be clear about what would convince me to support any Supreme Court nominee,” Cotton on Monday told Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, a judge more qualified than any of the current justices when they were nominated to the nation’s highest court. “I’m looking for a justice who will uphold the Constitution, not use it to invent so-called rights.”
“I’m looking for a justice who understands the Constitution means what it says, and does not mean what it doesn’t say. Someone who understands that is not up to nine unaccountable, unelected politicians black robes decides on some new meaning of the constitution based on public opinion polling, or views of the legal elite,” Cotton, a Harvard Law School grad announced.
“I’m looking for a justice who realizes that a so-called ‘living Constitution’ really means that the Constitution is dead. Instead, we should have an enduring Constitution, as Justice Scalia contended.”
Justice Scalia did not write the Constitution, and experts say the Constitution was written to be interpreted in the modern day, and originalism “doesn’t hold up to scrutiny,” is a “scam,” and even “Bullsh*t.”
The Constitution that Justice Scalia “intended” is not the Constitution the founders intended. The founders intended for the Constitution to be interpreted in current times. In fact, one researcher says basically the ink was barely dry on the Constitution when its meanings were immediately debated.
“I’m looking for a justice you understand there’s a process for updating the Constitution. And that process is by amending the Constitution. I will not support anyone who seeks to rewrite the Constitution from the bench rather than through our constitutional amendment process,” he added, apparently unaware that that is exactly what the conservative extremists are doing right now on issues like abortion and other civil rights.
“I also told Judge Kavanaugh I would support him on one condition: he smokes a pipe during his confirmation hearing like the late Justice Scalia.”
– Sen. Tom Cotton, August 1, 2018
Cotton sure has many more requirements for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.pic.twitter.com/mAjuBFGqkc
— David Badash (@davidbadash) March 21, 2022
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Second Most-Powerful Senate Republican Says Bill to Fight Domestic Terrorism After Buffalo Is Too ‘Partisan’ to Pass
Senate Republican Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota immediately poured cold water on a just-passed House bill to help fight rising domestic terrorism, in the wake of his past weekend’s massacre of ten Black people in Buffalo by a self-avowed white nationalist and antisemite and a California church shooting deemed a “politically motivated hate incident” by local law enforcement.
The House bill passed with all Democrats and just one Republican voting for it. 203 Republicans voted against the legislation that would establish new offices across three federal agencies to help identify and combat domestic terrorism. Three of the Republicans who voted against the legislation are original co-sponsors of the bill, and many who voted for a very similar bill two years ago voted against this bill Wednesday. The final tally was 222-203.
CNN’s Manu Raju reports Senator Thune, the second-most-powerful Senate Republican, is “skeptical the domestic terrorism bill that passed the House will get 10 GOP senators,” which it would need to pass, assuming all 50 Democrats vote for it.
“He noted that it was a ‘pretty party-line vote.’ Said he had not studied the details of the bill yet but noted the outcome in the House makes him think it is ‘largely a partisan bill.'”
Republicans have a long history of blocking any attempt to curtail or get out in front of preventing domestic terrorism, despite – or because of – the vast majority of extremist-related murders are committed by right-wing extremists.
Republicans’ opposition to addressing right-wing extremism and domestic terrorism goes back at least as far as 2009, when, as Wired reported, “an analyst at the Department of Homeland Security focusing on far-right extremist groups” published this report about the danger of right-wing extremism. Outrage was so dramatic DHS was forced to retract it.
In 2016 Politico reported Congressional Republicans also in 2009 “succeeded in pushing to shut” down a DHS program, an intelligence unit “called the Extremism and Radicalization Branch.” Its mission? “Studying and monitoring sub-sections of the population for potential signs of ideological and political radicalization.”
Buffalo Killer’s Worldview Has Become ‘Increasingly Central to the Identity of the Republican Party’: NYT Editorial
The twisted view of the world that spurred the 18-year-old gunman to seek out and murder Black people in a Buffalo supermarket increasingly is at the core of the Republican party’s identity, argued a scathing New York Times editorial on Tuesday.
The New York Times editorial board is calling out GOP politicians, especially those in leadership positions, for amplifying the false white supremacist conspiracy theory that there is an orchestrated effort is underway to displace white Americans.
The newspaper points out that a recently published poll revealed that almost half of all Republicans believe there is a concerted effort by a group of powerful people in this country who are trying to permanently alter the culture and voting strength of native-born Americans by bringing in large groups of immigrants.
Just like Payton Gendron, those who committed mass killings in recent years in El Paso, TX, Charleston, SC, Pittsburgh and elsewhere all shared the same racist worldview, the newspaper notes.
“American life is punctuated by mass shootings that are routinely described as idiosyncratic,” the editors write. “But these attacks are not random acts; they are part of the long American history of political violence perpetrated by white supremacists against Black people and other minority groups. Politicians who have employed some of the vocabulary of replacement theory generally do not make explicit calls for violence. The office of one of those politicians, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, said in a statement that the Buffalo attack was an ‘act of evil’ and that she ‘has never advocated for any racist position.'”
But as the Times points out, in September, Stefanik’s re-election campaign “paid for a Facebook ad that combined imagery of immigrants with the accusation that ‘Radical Democrats are planning their most aggressive move yet: a PERMANENT ELECTION INSURRECTION.’ Ms. Stefanik’s ad continued, ‘Their plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.’”
The Times editorial underscores what Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who was kicked out of a GOP leadership role after denouncing former President Donald Trump and the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection, tweeted on Monday: “The House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism. History has taught us that what begins with words ends in far worse. @GOP leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them.”
‘Feel of Disgraced General Going on the Attack’: Former Prosecutor on Mike Flynn’s Alleged $50 Million Claim Against DOJ
Disgraced Trump National Security Advisor turned QAnon promoter Mike Flynn has allegedly filed a $50 million claim against the U.S. Dept. of Justice, alleging “malicious prosecution” and “emotional distress” despite having repeatedly confessed, including in court before a federal judge.
Glenn Kirschner, a former United States Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) prosecutor and federal prosecutor is weighing in on the news.
Flynn is a retired United States Army lieutenant general who grew close to Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign while being paid to lobby for the benefit of the government of Turkey. He served in the Trump administration for just 22 days.
He was forced into retirement in 2014 while serving in the Obama administration, and outgoing President Barack Obama reportedly cautioned Trump against allowing him to serve in the White House, a suggestion Trump ignored.
Flynn resigned after allegedly lying about conversations he had with the Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. Flynn agreed to a plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to plead guilty to “willfully and knowingly” making false statements to the FBI. He was never sentenced and President Trump pardoned him before leaving office.
Now Flynn is a QAnon conspiracy theorist and Big Lie promoter who as recently as last week claimed “Donald Trump is still the president.”
He has filed a complaint against the government of the United States for $50 million, according to attorney Ron Filipkowski:
Michael Flynn has filed a $50 million claim against DOJ for malicious prosecution. pic.twitter.com/ONqHdS3Mdp
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) May 16, 2022
“Boy does this have the feel of the disgraced general going on the attack because he fears or senses or has been told he’s going to be either indicted in federal court or returned to active duty to be court-martialed,” tweeted Kirschner, who after leaving the Army JAG Corps became an Assistant U.S. Attorney and served under Robert Mueller.
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