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Democrats and Senate fail with Supreme court nomination

Discussion about Kavvanaugh and other topics about the  Supremes, and democrats seem to have missed the point.

Had the senate not changed the rules on a whim where a simple majority was able to appoint a supreme court justice  then the president would have appointed a supreme court justice that would be more appropriate  ,or moderate country..

Kavanaugh is obviously a right wing. 

A Judge should be neutral.

Good investigative reporters don't vote, because it will influence their opinions.

A supreme court judge shouldn't represent as a conservative, or liberal.  

For me  It seems that Kavanaush failed the test of neutrality - for that reason he shouldn't approved.

I'm not reading this in news papers, but that to me seems to  the a crux of the problem


For your viewing pleasure.

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The Intercept is likely one of the best independent journalistic news sources available today.


The Real News Network covered the above article.

How Obama Paved the Way for the Kavanaugh Appointment  

This is a news video. I don't know how to imbed  the video this to the post. The link has a video interview with the journalist Eoin Higgins. It includes a written transcript which is below.

I think Obama didn't want to prosecute the illegalities of the GWB administration because he knew he would be performing the same illegalities. 

"GREG WILPERT: It’s The Real News Network, and I’m Greg Wilpert coming to you from Baltimore.

Could the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court have been prevented? Many progressives are now asking what could have been done differently, and even whether Kavanaugh could be impeached on charges of perjury, should Democrats win control over Congress in the upcoming midterm elections. One writer, though, argues that looking back at the Senate confirmation hearings is not good enough. Instead we need to look at how President Obama actually paved the road that led to Kavanaugh’s appointment. More specifically, Obama’s unwillingness to investigate and prosecute Bush administration officials for the torture and warrantless surveillance that took place under President Bush made it more likely that someone like Kavanaugh would eventually become confirmed to the Supreme Court. Here’s what Obama said back in January 2009, shortly before he was inaugurated, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Will you appoint a special prosecutor, ideally Patrick Fitzgerald, to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?

BARACK OBAMA: We’re still evaluating how we’re going to approach the whole issue of interrogations, detentions, and so forth. And obviously we’re going to be looking at past practices. And I don’t believe that anybody is above the law. On the other hand, I also have a belief that we need to look forward, as opposed to looking backwards.

GREG WILPERT: Joining me now is Eoin Higgins, the author of the article “Obama’s Resistance to Investigating the Bush Administration Allowed Brett Kavanaugh to Skate Onto the Supreme Court,” which was published by the Intercept earlier this week. Owen is a historian whose work regularly appears in the Intercept. Thanks for joining us, Eoin.

EOIN HIGGINS: Thanks for having me.

GREG WILPERT: So exactly how did the fact that no real investigation and no prosecution whatsoever took place under Obama for the torture and surveillance practices that were widespread under Bush? How did that make Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court possible?

EOIN HIGGINS: Well, I think you have to look at Kavanaugh’s confirmation as part of this long story of the Bush administration, how they’ve been treated in the last decade. And as you mentioned, Obama refused to prosecute or go after the members of the Bush administration for their crimes having to do with torture, detainee policies, warrantless wiretapping. And because he refused to do that, because his administration refused to do that, it allowed these members of the administration, the Bush administration to kind of slowly reintegrate themselves back into society, and the government, and the- I guess you kind of call it the discourse.

Kavanaugh, who was already a judge, who had become a judge in 2006 in the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, while he was with the Bush administration as associate counsel and later as staff secretary, was- at least there’s a lot, there are a lot of indications that he was involved with the detainee policies, the torture policies, and warrantless wiretapping, as evidenced by some email titles that have been released by the National Archives. The full emails and all the documents will be released at the end of October. But the names of some of these emails indicate that Kavanaugh was involved with creating these policies that were in direct violation of both international and U.S. law. And if if the Bush administration and members of the Bush administration had been prosecuted by Obama and his administration, I think we would have seen a situation where someone like Kavanaugh, who again was involved with all of these policies, would have been considered maybe politically too toxic to appoint to the Supreme Court. And this is, of course, setting aside everything else about him that that raises questions, including his drinking and his allegations of sexual assault.

GREG WILPERT: All right. Now, during the Kavanaugh hearings, Kavanaugh denied any responsibility for the torture program. We have a short clip here for this.

BRETT KAVANAUGH: I was not involved. I was not read into that program. Not involved in crafting that program, nor crafting the legal justifications for that program. In addition to Senator Feinstein’s report, the Justice Department did a lengthy Office of Professional Responsibility report about the legal memos that have been involved to justify some of those programs. My name is not in that report, Senator, because I was not read into that program and not involved.

GREG WILPERT: So, clearly Kavanaugh is denying any kind of responsibility or involvement in at least the torture program. But he reacted similarly with regard to the surveillance. But what do we know? I mean, you’ve mentioned that many documents haven’t been released yet that are aren’t going to come out until later. But I what can we say that we do know, and to what extent might he have been lying here?

EOIN HIGGINS: Well, you know, I think what we can say that we do know is that as a member of the Bush administration, as an associate counsel under Alberto Gonzales in the early years the Bush administration, as they were developing these torture and detainee policies and surveillance policies, the suggestion that Kavanaugh was not involved with developing these policies, it just doesn’t, it doesn’t really pass the smell test. I mean, even if, even if he wasn’t, say, directly involved in writing the policy itself, he was definitely read into this stuff. You know, again, these email titles that we have from the National Archives show this.

But the thing is, and I think that this is very important, is that it would be very easy for us to have all these answers if there had been any kind of investigation, any kind of prosecution from the Obama administration. However, there was not. And the reason that it would have been easy is because those documents would have been released in discovery. They would have been allowed to be released from Freedom of Information Act. However, because there was no investigation, that’s allowed I think it’s around 400,000 documents to be withheld, for two reasons. Now, 100,000 of them are being withheld by the Trump administration. They’re citing executive privilege. And then 300,000 of them are being, as I referred to before, looked through by the National Archives in advance of their release at the end of this month.

Now of course, that’s too late. He’s already been confirmed. But the point is that had Obama looked into this stuff, had the Democratic majority both in Congress and in the executive branch looked into this, you know, this stuff would have been clear already. And the fact that we still don’t know, you know, almost 20 years on how these policies were developed, what went into them, and even in some cases what these policies were and are, I think really speaks to a disappointing failure or lost opportunity on the part of the Obama administration to actually hold the Bush administration accountable. And you know, in many ways, as I say in the piece, I would really argue that that may end up to be one of the more, one of the defining moments of the 21st century.

GREG WILPERT: I’m wondering, though, to what extent this is really perhaps just a failure of somehow a, you know, something that they missed to do, for some reason. What might be behind that? That is, to what extent could it be that the Obama administration might be thinking ahead, actually, in the sense of that, well, if we leave office, what if our successor tries to get us on with something? And therefore I better not go after our predecessors, because we’re just going to set a precedent for, for the next president. So in other words, this unaccountability and impunity is self-perpetuating to some extent. And the more they can engage in misdeeds, are the more likely they will be also to actually forgive their predecessors. What do you think about that?

EOIN HIGGINS: I mean, I think that that is probably at least part of it. It really kind of begs the question of whether or not this is, you know, this behavior by Obama and his administration- which is definitely not unique to them at all. I mean, I would hate to give the impression that, you know, before this there was any kind of accountability from administration to administration. There hasn’t been. It makes you wonder how much of this stuff is just baked into the American system, baked into the presidency, that when you come into office, or even before you do that, you know, as that clip shows- that was before Obama had been sworn in- that you just kind of, you know, let this stuff kind of go.

You know, we can even look at this with Trump, who is now the president, and promised on multiple occasions on the campaign trail that his administration would look into the Obama years and look into Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state to do some kind of, in this case, undefined investigation. And I think that we can all say that that Trump himself personally would probably love nothing more than to do that. But he hasn’t.

And I don’t think we can honestly say that there’s maybe, like, a throughline from A to B, between any kind of thought, whether or not it’s Trump, or Obama, or Bush, or whoever, where they actually really think this kind of stuff through, and in a way that refers to their own successor and their own place in not getting in trouble. I think that it’s more this is just the way that things are done. Political power in the U.S. is just not accountable, and that’s just the way it is.

Yeah. That actually brings me to my next point, because before the- after the 2009 Stephanopoulos interview, Obama also expressed the desire not to look back but to look forward during the 2009 Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago. That is, President Obama was forced to listen to a whole slew of left-of-center presidents who recited the history of U.S. imperial ambitions towards Latin America and interventions. And Obama’s speech to those speeches from the presidents was, quote: I didn’t come here to debate the past. I came here to deal with the future. As a historia, what role do you see this type of approach, of ignoring history and of not taking responsibility for past actions, what role do you see it playing in the way the U.S. governs?

EOIN HIGGINS: Well, I think it’s very American to do that. You know, the U.S. has always approached the rest of the world and treated the rest of the world as if actual material reality and past actions were completely irrelevant to the vision of the world that the U.S. wanted to encounter. You know, you can see this through Obama’s time in office in the interventions in the Middle East, the drone wars, the continuation of warrantless wiretapping, even in the face of denying that that was happening.

There’s an interesting part- I think every country has its own propaganda, its ideology. And every country approaches the rest of the world and their past in a way that they would like to to have it be, rather than the way that it actually is. The difference with the U.S. is that we are the most powerful country in the world and so the way that we approach the rest of the world and the way that we encounter them has a real effect on how the rest of the world operates. And if the U.S. is always thinking that, you know, we’re going to look ahead, not backward, we’re not going to learn from our past, we’re not going to really consider history when we when we deal with the rest of the world.

I think that that has two effects. One, it has the effect of basically what we’ve seen in the years since the Cold War, with the U.S. just kind of treating the rest of the world as if, like that Fukuyama quote, where he says, you know, that that’s the end of history. I’m kind of mangling the quote a little bit, but that’s the general gist of it. And that the history is over, and we’re just kind of recreating the world as we like to see it. And then the other one is that that we just kind of disregard alliances and disregard promises, and treat the rest of the world in a way that is very unilateral. And I think that our refusal to consider our history has a lot to do with that.

GREG WILPERT: OK. Well, we’re going to leave it there. I was speaking to and Eoin Higgins, writer and historian for the Intercept. Thanks again for having joined us today.

EOIN HIGGINS: Thank you so much.

GREG WILPERT: And thank you for joining The Real News Network."

If you don't link into the Intercept link.



Heres the first couple of paragraphs in the article.

ONE OF BARACK Obama’s first decisions after being elected president continued to haunt the country over the weekend, as Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as the fifth hard-line conservative on the Supreme Court.

In January 2009, George W. Bush left office with an abysmal 22 percent approval rating, the lowest ever recorded. Almost everyone with anything to do with his administration was considered politically toxic.

With full Democratic control of the federal government, calls came for an investigation into the scandals of the Bush administration, including torture, mass surveillance, and war profiteering. While some called for criminal prosecutions, others wanted hearings or an independent investigation that would — at minimum — put into the public record the details of who did what and when. At the least, the argument went, Democrats could ensure that the GOP had to wear the Bush administration for years; that the officials involved in wrongdoing would be written out of polite society; and that future administrations would not revert to those practices.

Obama refused. “We need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,” he said famously on January 11, 2009, days before he took office.

Had he looked forward far enough, he would have seen one of the chief boosters of the torture program elevated to CIA director, and a Bush administration attorney with complicity in a wide array of its most controversial programs lifted up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh’s rise to the Supreme Court is the result of elite institutional failure. The judge was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday evening, even as demonstrators banged on the doors of the court. “The road that led us here has been bitter, angry, and partisan,” said Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer on the Senate floor after the vote, “steeped in hypocrisy and hyperbole and resentment and outrage.”

Three allegations of sexual assault — the first was broken by The Intercept — and and FBI investigation weren’t enough to sink Kavanaugh. Nor were indications of perjurious testimony — in part because a trove of documents relating to Kavanaugh’s time with the Bush administration that is currently being analyzed by the National Archives, including emails and memos about surveillance, torture, and Kavanaugh’s involvement with a hacking scandal, won’t be released until the end of October.

At least 100,000 documents relating to Kavanaugh’s involvement in developing policy during his time as associate counsel to the president from 2001 to 2003, and his time as staff secretary from 2003 to 2006, have been withheld by the Trump administration, citing executive privilege. But the National Archives revealed, in response to a lawsuit from the Electronic Privacy Information Center, that there are hundreds of emails in the separate, 300,000 document cache that the agency is reviewing for publication. “The communication to EPIC revealed that Kavanaugh sent 11 e-mails to John Yoo, the architect of warrantless wiretapping; 227 e-mails about ‘surveillance’ programs and the ‘Patriot Act;’ and 119 e-mails concerning ‘CAPPS II’ (passenger profiling), ‘Fusion Centers’ (government surveillance centers), and the Privacy Act,” EPIC said in a statement announcing the revelation.

With proper public understanding of Kavanaugh’s role in the unpopular policies of of the Bush White House, that role may have been disqualifying by itself.

Bush first proposed Kavanaugh for a seat on the D.C. Circuit in 2003. His nomination was part of the same game being played today, and that has been played for decades: The right wing in America has steadily eroded any liberal power on the bench since Ronald Reagan, and the Democrats have been powerless to do much about it. After a lengthy three-year process, punctuated by a number of harsh statements on the nomination from Democratic senators, Kavanaugh was confirmed to the bench. Sen. Patrick Leahy referred to the right-wing history of court-packing a month later, while discussing the nominations of four other judges, including Neil Gorsuch. “In the important D.C. Circuit,” Leahy said on the Senate floor, “the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh was the culmination the Republicans’ decade-long attempt to pack the D.C. Circuit that began with the stalling of Merrick Garland’s nomination in 1996.”

Both Kavanaugh’s time with the Bush administration and his involvement with the administration’s controversial policies have been a constant undercurrent to the Senate hearings on his nomination, but he largely escaped serious scrutiny on that record — even though Kavanaugh continued to advocate for the worst of the security state from the bench. Senate Democrats expressed their skepticism over Kavanaugh’s dissembling about the policies; Kavanaugh told members of the Judiciary Committee in September that he was “not read into that program, not involved in crafting that program nor crafting the legal justifications for that program.” In a written response to a question posed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein on his involvement in the program, Kavanaugh dispensed with the vague answers and made his position clear. “I became aware of the program and the memos when they were publicly disclosed in news reports in 2004,” wrote Kavanaugh..."

I probably can't post more that that or I'll reach the 4000 character limit.  In any event if interested I recommend reading the entire article.


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