Endless This Authorization
– Something unexpected happened and . . . it was good! Seriously, there was a surprise this week and for once it wasn’t the equivalent of getting Gwyneth Paltrow’s head delivered in a box. In 2001, Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) cast the only vote against the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). AUMF cleared the way for the war in Afghanistan and ongoing Presidential authority to use force without Congressional approval. Since 2001, Lee has pushed to repeal the authorization every Congressional session. She has been defeated every session. Nevertheless, she persisted. This week, the GOP-led House Appropriations Committee approved Lee’s amendment to repeal the AUMF. Her amendment will now be debated on the House floor. Trump is finally bringing the country together, because everyone is frightened of what he might do with our armed services.
As The Tяump Turns – This week on As The Tяump Turns, it’s beginning to look a bit like collusion every where we go. The Wall Street Journal reported that shortly after Trump gave his infamous, “Russia, if you’re listening”, press conference in July, 2016, a GOP insider, Peter W. Smith, tried to track down the allegedly missing 33,000 emails from Hillary Clinton’s server. Smith sought out hacker groups to get these emails, including ones with Russian connections. He also insinuated he was doing this in concert with Trump campaign advisor and soon to be former National Security Advisor, Mike Flynn. For a real behind the music experience, read the article by the source of The Wall Street Journal article, “The Time I Got Recruited to Collude with the Russians”. Oh, but if you’re looking to hear Smith’s side of it, you can’t. He died 10 days after talking to The Wall Street Journal.
All We Are Saying Is Give War a Chance – UN Ambassador and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was angling for the only sane person in the asylum role, but she just flew over the cuckoo’s nest this week, celebrating cutting the UN budget for peacekeeping. “Just 5 months into our time here, we’ve cut over half a billion $$$ from the UN peacekeeping budget & we’re only getting started.”
Time Lies and Trump Is There – The Washington Post reported that in at least five of Trump’s golf resorts, there is a framed Time Magazine on the wall with Trump on the cover. Why that is newsworthy is the magazines in question are literally fake news. They are completely bogus magazines. Basically, Trump went down to Six Flags and made a fake Time Magazine cover. He probably had to wait behind some 13-year-old putting himself on the cover of Muscle & Fitness to show off at his Bar Mitzvah. This reminder of how insecure Trump is did have a silver lining for me personally. It made me remember how great Time Magazine commercials used to be: “subscribe today and you can get an alarm clock with a push button phone!”
SCOTUS Decision I: Gorsuch Not Gay (About Pro-LGBT Decision) – The Supreme Court overturned a state court ruling which had allowed Arkansas to refuse to list same-sex spouses on a birth certificate. I’m not a legal scholar, but I think the opinion more or less said, “Seriously, guys? We’re still talking about this. How many times do we have to tell you?” While the 6-3 decision was expected, it did provide insight into our newest justice, he of the stolen seat, Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch dissented, coming out strongly against the LGBT rights that stem from the Obergefell decision (confirming the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples). Even if Trump is impeached tomorrow, his legacy may live on for the next 30 years in Gorsuch, who according to Slate is “everything liberals feared – and more.”
SCOTUS Decision II: A Bona Fide Muslim Ban – In another 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court lifted the stay on Trump’s travel ban for some of the people coming from Trump’s targeted Muslim-majority countries (Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen). The travel ban is now in effect for everyone from those countries for the next 90 days, except those with a bona fide relationship in the U.S. This means those who are students in U.S. schools,. have a job here, or have certain relatives in the U.S. (grandparents don’t count according to the Trump administration), are still eligible for a visa. The three dissenting justices (Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch) would have allowed Trump’s complete ban to take effect and not require him to allow those with a bona fide relationship to enter the country. The Take Care blog has a good analysis of the Court’s action. The Court will hear the case this fall.
You’d Think the U.S. Government Could at Least Follow the First Law of Robotics – Sleep well everyone, the United States rejected the visa request from the all-girl robotics team in Afghanistan. They wanted to come to the U.S., i.e., the country that has been bombing their home since before they were born, for one week to compete in an international contest. To apply for the visa, the teenagers had to travel over 500 miles to Kabul. Twice. I will give my life savings to any member of Trump’s cabinet who could complete that trip even once.
The Right to Strike Fear in the Armed – A recent NRA ad has gained attention because it’s less subtle than something put out by High Chancellor Sutler. Seriously, take a minute and watch this. The divisions in this country will not be healed for a long time.