Tag Archives: Jeff Sessions

Yes, Sen. Cruz, but the Democrats have evolved

Oh, how I hate it when someone I detest is correct … even if he doesn’t tell the whole story.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas delivered a historical truth this week while talking to the Fox News Channel. The Republican said that the Democratic Party is the party of the Ku Klux Klan. He said Democrats — not Republicans — have a history of racism and scorn of minority Americans.

Sure, Ted. I get that. Southern Democrats resisted the enactment of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts of the 1960s; prior to that, some Democrats bolted their mainstream party to form something called the “Dixiecrat Party,” and then ran the late Sen. Strom Thurmond for president in 1948; Thurmond would later leave the Democratic Party to become a Republican. What’s more, Democratic history of racial intolerance goes many years before that.

Indeed, President Lyndon Johnson faced fierce opposition from within his Democratic Party to enact the civil rights legislation. He enlisted political help from his Senate Republican friends to push them through to his signature.

But times and policies can change. They did with the Democratic Party. Democrats “evolved” over time.

It’s one thing to talk about historical perspective. It’s quite another to relate politics and policy in real time.

Cruz’s comments came after Senate Republicans shut down a speech by Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who was reading a letter by the late Coretta Scott King; Warren used the letter to state her opposition to Jeff Sessions becoming the next U.S. attorney general.

Sen. Cruz spoke correctly about Democrats’ sordid history. It’s understandable, too, that he would ignore how the Democratic Party has evolved into a more inclusive organization.

It’s also understandable that he would ignore how his own Grand Old Party has become, well, a bit less inclusive.

I think it’s fair to wonder what President Abraham Lincoln would think today of the political party that carries his name.

Don’t delay confirmation hearings

Senate Democrats want to delay the confirmation hearings for several of Donald J. Trump’s Cabinet nominees.

Interesting, yes? Sure. Democrats say they need more time to “vet” the nominees, meaning they need more time to find dirt on them.

Do they need that time? I don’t think so.

Trump has had ample opportunity to vet these folks, to learn about possible conflicts of interests or to determine whether they are truly qualified to hold the positions he is seeking for them.

So, let the president-elect submit his nominees to the appropriate Senate committees for the roughing up they can expect to get, particularly from Senate Democrats who are pretty miffed that Trump got elected president over Hillary Rodham Clinton.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/ethics-official-warns-against-confirmations-before-reviews-are-complete/ar-BBy1eW9?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

Ethics officials are issuing warnings about proceeding without conducting thorough reviews of the nominees. Indeed, some of them are serious eyebrow-raisers.

Rex Tillerson at State is a friend of Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has been accused by the CIA and other intelligence agencies of trying to influence the U.S. presidential election.

Betsy DeVos is an ardent critic of public education, but she’s now being asked to serve as the secretary of (public) education.

Ben Carson once declared himself “not qualified” to run a federal agency, but Trump picked him as secretary of housing and urban development; go figure.

Rick “Oops” Perry, the former Texas governor, once declared his intention to get rid of the energy department. But wait! He’s been picked as the next energy secretary.

Jeff Sessions was rejected for a federal judgeship because of alleged racist remarks he made; he has been asked to become attorney general. Sheesh!

Hey, let’s proceed with these nomination hearings and see what happens next.

Note to AG pick: expect a rough ride before Senate inquisitors

Donald J. Trump perhaps selected Jeff Sessions to be the next U.S. attorney general expecting him to get a smooth ride through the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I believe he would be mistaken if that is the case.

Sessions has served in the Senate as a Republican from Alabama. However, he brings some heavy baggage along as he preps for what I think will be a rough confirmation hearing.

You see, he once was rebuffed by the Senate when President Reagan nominated him for a federal judgeship. Why? It seems the then-U.S. attorney had said some highly insensitive things about African-Americans — and about an infamous organization known to hate black people.

Sessions once said he believed the Ku Klux Klan was OK until he learned that one of its leaders “had smoked pot.” Sessions said he was joking. Damn, I haven’t stopped laughing at that one!

The Senate couldn’t abide by what Sessions said so it rejected his nomination to the federal bench.

Voters back home, though, apparently didn’t hold that rejection against Sessions when they elected him to the same Senate that had turned him away from his cherished judgeship.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump%e2%80%99s-pick-for-attorney-general-is-shadowed-by-race-and-history/ar-BBxxdpm?li=BBnb7Kz

As the Washington Post has reported, Sessions’s views are at odds with a lot of mainstream political thought across the nation. For example, according to the Post: “At a 2006 congressional hearing, Sessions said that an entire group of people wouldn’t thrive in America. ‘Fundamentally, almost no one coming from the Dominican Republic to the United States is coming because they have a skill that would benefit us and would indicate their likely success in our society,’ he said.

“In 2009, he voted against a hate crimes bill named after Matthew Shepard, the gay Wyoming student murdered in 1998, that extended federal hate crime protections to people victimized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“As state attorney general in 1995, he argued against a decision by the Alabama Circuit Court to order the state to remedy funding inequities between the poorest school districts, which were heavily black, and their wealthiest, which were predominantly white. He did so on the grounds that taxing and spending power lay with the legislature, not the courts.”

The president-elect could do a lot better than Jeff Sessions in seeking an attorney general. I don’t expect the Senate to reject Sessions.

I do, though, expect senators to demand that the AG-designate answer some direct and probing questions about his views relating to equal treatment for all Americans.

Sessions pick for AG is the most galling of all

sessions-trump

Jeff Sessions is likely to be confirmed as the nation’s next attorney general.

It’s been said that “to the victors go the spoils.” In Sessions’ case, the victor happens to be a U.S. senator who was among Donald J. Trump’s earliest and most vocal supporters in his winning bid for the presidency.

Trump has rewarded the Alabama Republican with a nomination to become the nation’s top lawyer, its top law enforcement officer, its primary legal eagle.

The irony — not to mention the potential consequence — of this appointment is too rich to overlook.

Sessions has served in the Senate since 1997. For nearly a decade he’s been a member of the very “club” that once rejected an earlier nomination for Sessions to become a federal judge.

President Reagan nominated Sessions to the federal bench in 1986. Sessions, though, seemed to have this thing about African-Americans. He allegedly made some racist comments while serving as a federal prosecutor. He once said something akin to endorsing the Ku Klux Klan until he learned that some KKKers “smoked pot.” Sessions declared that to be a “joke,” that he was just kiddin’ around.

Well, the Senate rejected his judicial nomination. Sessions, though, decided to join the club. He was elected in 1996 and since then has been passing judgment on other judicial nominees who’ve come before the Judiciary Committee, where he serves.

Thus, the irony.

Sessions will be confirmed eventually, but only because senators are deeply resistant to rejecting one of their own, no matter how repulsive he may be.

The Justice Department has made great strides in recent years — under Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch — in ensuring equal protection under the law for all Americans. Does one really expect an Attorney General Jeff Sessions to continue that trend?

I fear that the attorney general’s office is going to take a decidedly less-aggressive posture in enforcing civil rights violations when they occur. I also am wary of anything Jeff Sessions says about his commitment to ensuring equal justice for all Americans.

His buddies in the Senate will confirm this nomination. I am hoping, though, for a thorough going-over regarding his record as a prosecutor and that silly rejection to the federal judgeship over things he said about many of our fellow citizens.

Perhaps one of his inquisitors will ask: “Sen. Sessions, if the Senate deemed you unfit to be a federal judge, why should it confirm you now as attorney general?”

Trump picks demonstrate anti-unity theme

sessions

Donald Trump has vowed to “unify” the nation after a bitter campaign that elected him the next president of the United States.

Who, then, does he pick for his national security team?

Let’s see: retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who will lead the National Security Agency, says that fear of Muslims is “rational”; Kansas U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, who will lead the CIA, believes Muslims contribute to the terror threat by refusing to repudiate terrorism; U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, whom Trump has nominated to be attorney general, was denied a federal judgeship in the 1980s because of allegedly racist comments he made as a U.S. attorney in Alabama.

Trump is making no apologies for targeting people of certain faiths and he is making no amends toward the African-American community by nominating someone with, um, a checkered civil-rights past to lead the Justice Department.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump%e2%80%99s-national-security-choices-reinforce-his-unapologetic-views-on-terrorism/ar-AAktCJm?li=BBnb7Kz

None of this should surprise anyone, I suppose. The president-elect is precisely who he says he is: a tough guy who vows to roll back many of the policies of the administration he will succeed.

According to the New York Times: “The reaction from Democrats was immediate and angry. ‘The president-elect has created a White House leadership that embodies the most divisive rhetoric of his campaign,’ Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon said on Friday. ‘To the extent that these become policies or legislative proposals, I commit to stopping them.’”

Perhaps the most amazing view from this national security team came from Gen. Flynn, who supports a national registry of Muslims and compares such registration to the internment of Japanese-Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. President Roosevelt overreacted grossly to a perceived threat from loyal Americans as the nation entered World War II and that overreaction has been universally condemned in the years since as a tragic mistake.

Oh yes. A new day is about to dawn in Washington, D.C. Let’s all get ready for some storm clouds that are beginning to boil up on the political horizon.

Sessions invokes Reagan … while crowing about Trump

doanld

Jeff Sessions is arguably Donald J. Trump’s best friend in the U.S. Senate.

The Alabama Republican was on board early in Trump’s campaign for the presidency. Now he is upset that members of a big-time GOP family have turned their backs on Trump, the party’s presidential nominee.

Here’s the best part, though, of Sessions’ rant against former Presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

He said, according to columnist Byron York: ” … millions of Americans, including this one, worked their hearts out for the Bushes in 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2004. And it wasn’t Bill Clinton that helped the Bushes get elected. It was the same voters, in large part, that elected Ronald Reagan and stand to elect Donald Trump.”

I am amused that Sessions would invoke Reagan’s name, suggesting that today’s Trumpkins mirror those who backed the Gipper all those years ago.

There’s another part of that calculation that needs a bit of scrutiny.

I cannot prove this, but my strong belief is that President Reagan would be aghast at Donald Trump’s ascent to the pinnacle of GOP power.

If only the president were alive today to weigh in.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/byron-york-sessions-on-bushes-trump-snub-theyve-forgotten-who-elected-them/article/2602526

The former presidents Bush and Jeb Bush haven’t forgotten a thing. They are dedicated Republicans who have seen their party hijacked by a con man/entertainer/hustler/narcissist.

They, too, were loyal Reaganites. Indeed, George H.W. Bush was so loyal to the president that he tossed aside his long-standing pro-choice view on abortion to become a pro-life vice president during the Reagan administration.

Is Trump the true-blue conservative who would have earned the Gipper’s endorsement? Hardly.

He is an ignorant imposter seeking high public office for reasons that remain a mystery. He wants to “make America great again”? He has insulted the very people who continue to maintain America’s greatness in the world.

I refer, of course, to the men and women in uniform who fight every day to protect us.

Ronald Reagan would have nothing to do with this charlatan.

Thanks, Sen. Sessions, for taking impeachment away

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., says the Senate won’t impeach President Obama over his use of executive authority.

That’s awfully big of the senator.

Except for one thing: Impeachment doesn’t originate in the Senate.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/gop-senator-doesnt-plan-to-impeach-obama/ar-BBf7jQk

Impeachment begins in the House of Representatives. If the loons in the House have their way, the Senate gets to put the president on trial for whatever charges the House decides to bring against the president.

The Huffington Post reported Sessions’s remarks this way: “No, we’re not going to impeach President Obama. Or have a move to impeach,’ Sessions said at a Heritage Foundation event and then added, ‘The president has certain powers and we truly believe — and I think it’s accurate to say that he abused those powers.'”

Clear as mud, yes?

Actually, the president didn’t “abuse” his power as chief executive of the federal government. He acted within his constitutional authority. He merely riled his Republican “friends” to the point of apoplexy — which isn’t all that surprising, given the political climate that hovers over the nation’s capital.

I hope the idiotic fringe element of the House of Reps — along with their allies in the conservative mainstream media — takes Sessions’s declaration seriously and ends this nonsensical talk about impeachment. The new majority in both houses of Congress needs to demonstrate an ability to govern.

Remember?

 

Sessions ‘not being partisan’?

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., is using an interesting tactic in criticizing President Obama’s handling of the Syria crisis.

He said that President George W. Bush would have frightened Syrian dictator Bashar as-Assad enough to prevent the Syrians from using chemical weapons on innocent civilians.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/09/06/sen_sessions_if_bush_threatened_assad_he_wouldnt_have_used_chemical_weapons.html

Sessions assured a town hall audience, mind you, that he isn’t being partisan. “We have only one president at a time,” he said. But by golly, if the 43rd president had said the same thing the 44th president said in warning Assad, the dictator would be scared.

I think the senator, who’s as partisan as they come in his view of policy and politics, has thrown out the Mother of All Hypotheticals.