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On Amy Coney Barrett And Other Things

WARNING: THIS BLOG POST IS FULL OF OPINION

That’s kinda the whole purpose of the Greenbean blog.

These particular opinions are about the theatrical presentation going on in Washington D.C. regarding the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. So, settle in and enjoy these unvarnished opinions. I will enumerate them for you, because they are not necessarily connected.

  1. I think it is wrong the Senate is even hearing this right now. Now, having said that, I don’t think it is forever wrong. Here is what I mean. If this were eight years ago, or twelve years ago, I would be fine with the nomination and the hearings. But given what they did to Judge Merrick Garland four years ago, this is an outrage. It is the height of hypocrisy.
  2. However, she has been nominated and here we are. I think if I were a senator, I would vote against her purely for the reason of #1, but I’m not so sure because . . .
  3. I like conservative judges. If she is confirmed, it will not be bad. She seems like a good choice to me. I have often said the best set-up is a very conservative judiciary, a progressive legislature, and a practical deal-making executive. This would be the epitome of checks and balances.
  4. A lot of the conversation has been about Roe V. Wade. The hand-wringing about overturning it is interesting. Do liberals not recognize this is the way many conservatives felt about Obergefell V. Hodges? For what it is worth, I think Obergefell has a better chance of remaining in tact than Roe simply because you really can’t dissolve a marriage by fiat and maintain any legitimacy as a government. Once you give it, you can’t take it away. Roe, on the other hand, would not eliminate abortion in our country but would make it a states issue. I don’t think it is a bad thing to limit abortion to states preferences.
  5. But on the topic of abortion — hear me loud and clear on this — this is not ever going to be solved in the legal system. Conservatives have made a terrible mistake by putting their eggs in the basket of power. Four years ago Republicans had the White House, the Senate, The House, and a Narrow Margin on the Supreme Court. Did they pass abortion legislation or try to use the legislative process at all? No, they passed unsustainable tax cuts for corporations, that is what they did. They attacked the ACA, that is what they did. Republicans want the issue of abortion to remain. The last thing they want to do is make the issue go away by actually doing something.
  6. Abortion is a heart issue. If we want to save lives and protect the unborn, then we need to convince individuals of the truth of life. If we do this only by legal means, then rest assured abortions will continue; they will simply be illegal and dangerous. I am not in favor of abortion, but I want to win the battle in the heart and not the courtroom. Every time someone posts a video or photo of their sonogram from a pregnancy on Facebook, we are winning the battle. Every time we make the issue about courts and lawyers and statutes, we are losing the battle.
  7. But back to judges. I have not been able to watch much of the hearings because . . . I have an active and full life. But I’ve seen a snippet or two and heard some on the radio when driving. The tone is very respectful and much different than the Kavanaugh hearings. So, I’m wondering why wasn’t Barrett up instead of Kavanaugh. She seems like such a better prospect than his entitled beer guzzling whining demeanor. I also liked Gorsuch, but Kavanaugh, man. If we’d had a better President, he would have pulled the Kavanaugh nomination when the cloud of sexual assault overcame him and put forth Barrett then. Think of how much better that would have been for the country?
  8. I am completely against any plan to add additional justices to the Supreme Court. This is a ridiculous idea.
  9. Stop using ACB the same way RBG was used. It doesn’t work like that, and it cheapens Judge Barrett and dismisses Justice Ginsburg, and neither of those should occur. Ginsburg leaves an amazing legacy and Barrett has the hope for the future.
  10. So here we come to the last opinion I have. The Supreme Court is the highest in the land, and it should be filled with people who are the best of the best of the best. These confirmation hearings should be a little more rigorous than left and right trying to score political points. These hearings should be used to question the intellectual strength, moral fiber, and patriotism of the candidate. Don’t ask Barrett about the ACA or Roe V. Wade, ask about her views on what makes a great family and what the obligation of a society is to the most vulnerable. Question her about what personal core values are and how she understands the role of America. Put her feet to the fire about the meaning of life and liberty. We need to know her character. We can read her lawyer stuff and opinions, but what is in her heart and soul? We don’t need her credentials, we need her credibility as the best of the best of the best.

Vice President Pence and Senator Harris — The One and Only VEEPBate

Thoughts on tonights VP debate, all of which came to me while on a bicycle ride this afternoon, so if they are jumbled you can blame the warm October weather.

1. With all the virus coming out of Washington, maybe I need a plexiglass screen between my television and me.


2. Vice President Pence is, by all accounts, a decent and nice man. I wonder if he will attempt the belligerent and bombastic strategy his boss used last week? If not (and I hope not), will he go the opposite direction and be syrupy sweet?


3. Okay, now here is the catch, if Vice President Pence goes syrupy sweet, it could look like he is patronizing Senator Harris and that will not be a good thing because the President is already hemorrhaging the female vote.


4. Will Senator Harris attack the Vice President on the coronavirus, since he is the head of the task force, or will she keep her target on the President? Smart money says go after POTUS, but the virus is such a soft target she may find it hard to resist. My feeling is she should stay away from it, because the disastrous political response to COVID-19 speaks for itself.


5. Senator Harris was not popular with the left-wing of the Democratic Party during the primaries because of her strong prosecutorial record. If the Vice President goes after that record, he may inadvertently give her more credibility with some Republican voters.


6. Two issues seem like wins for the President’s team. One, the ridiculous plan some Democrats have put forth to add extra Supreme Court Justices was not rejected last week by Vice President Biden. Vice President Pence should pin her down on that. Two, Senator Harris’ policies are further left than Vice President Biden’s. If Pence can get her into that kind of an exchange, it could provide lots of fodder for President Trump’s base.


7. Senator Harris is much better at this kind of a thing than the Vice President. She regularly eviscerates people in Senate hearings and her background in the courtroom makes her nimble on her feet. If she can leverage some of that Gen-X smart-mouth with just the right amount of her winning smile it could make her look very much like a fresh new vision for the future of our country.


8. Regardless, I expect this debate to be much more ‘normal’ and policy minded. This is what a good Veep debate can be. I remember when Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman debated around a table like gentlemen with Bernard Shaw guiding a polite conversation about policy and ideas. It could happen again. I’m rooting for you, Vice President Pence and Senator Harris. You can do this. Make us proud again.

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A Prayer For President Trump In His Sickness

Dear Lord, our leadership is in crisis. COVID-19 has shown no one is immune and that its reach is deep. I am heartbroken that our President and his wife have been diagnosed with C19. This poses a significant national security crisis as well as a threat to governmental continuity.

Please heal President Trump and Melania. Let their symptoms be mild and may their recovery be swift. May there be none of the long term health problems which many have suffered from. Protect Barron from infection and calm whatever worries or fears he may have regarding his parents.

Even as I make this prayer, I recognize there are White House personnel, staff, chefs, clerks and so many others who are at risk and do not receive the same quality of care or concern as significant personalities. I pray for them as well, that they would be secure and whole and free from the virus.

Give all off our leadership — elected, appointed, federal, and local — the wisdom to lead us through these days with caution and care. For reasons that are beyond me, it has been divisive. Heal our hearts as you heal our land, and let us see reason and grant us the courage to practice love toward one another. With your mighty hand, guide our scientists, doctors, and researchers in the development of effective vaccines as well as treatments. Protect all of our frontline workers such as ER nurses and doctors and many others who every day face the danger and crisis of C19. This disease afflicts the most vulnerable among us; please protect them and show us how to protect them.

In this prayer, I ask for healing. I also affirm, Lord, submission to your divine plan. Do with us that which brings you ultimate and most glory.

I ask these things in the power, authority, and name of Jesus Christ our Lord and King. Amen.

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The First Biden V. Trump Debate is Tonight , and I Have Questions

Tonight is the first of three debates scheduled between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. As is my custom, I like to comment on these issues.

As regular readers of my blog will note I have commented a lot less on politics of late. The reason is not that I don’t have thoughts or opinions, but rather it is about the culture. Our nation is so divided right now that I don’t think adding to the flame any more gasoline is helpful. Therefore, I have refrained.

Yet, we do have an election coming up, and I have questions for both candidates. Chris Wallace of Fox News is moderating tonight, and he did a fantastic job four years ago (read my review of that debate here and please notice how some things never change), nevertheless, I really would like to be the one asking the questions.

Yep — It Comes Down To Which Old White Guy You Want

So here we go — and we’ll start with the challenger.

Questions for Joe Biden

  1. Mr. Vice President, your record through the years on abortion has changed several times, most recently during the 2020 Democratic Primaries. How would you describe your position on abortion right now?
  2. Famously you had to withdraw from your Presidential Race in 1988 because it was discovered you plagiarized your speeches. What have you learned since then?
  3. You’ve made it clear you would raise taxes. Will these taxes be across the board, or will you exploit the current sentiment among Democratic voters of class envy? Will you seek to institute a wealth tax, and if so, for what income level?
  4. Your opponents label you as a socialist. How do you respond to them?
  5. You’ve criticized the President for nominating a conservative justice for the Supreme Court. Would you pledge right now to nominating a moderate rather than a liberal if you are given the opportunity?
  6. As a part of the Obama campaign, you mocked then candidate Mitt Romney for declaring Russia was the greatest threat to America. In the past four years, you along with other Democrats have suggested Russia is again a huge threat. When were you wrong — then against Romney or have you made too much of Russia now?
  7. Sir, it is one thing to appeal for racial reconciliation and pledge a just and fair administration, but what would you do? In other words, are you in favor of reparations for descendants of slavery in America?
  8. You were instrumental in pushing through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Many point out the weakness and deficiencies in the law. What, if anything, would you do to change or alter it? Are you in favor of a single-payer system?
  9. You have criticized some, or really all, of the President’s comments and statements about COVID-19, but what, substantially, would you have done policy wise that would be different from what the federal government has done? Please be specific.
  10. You and other Democratic candidates criticized President Trump for his immigration policies, particularly child-separation, during the primaries. What is your plan for immigration, and do you support amnesty for illegal aliens currently in the country, and if you could, detail how you explain the fairness of this to those who take the time and follow the law?
  11. Taking Barack Obama off the table, because you worked with him, who is your favorite President in American history and why?

Questions for President Donald J. Trump.

  1. Mr. President, everyone knows before you ran for President you were adamantly pro-abortion. What changed you mind to make you so pro-life, and, sir, have you ever paid for someone to have an abortion?
  2. In the late 1980s you were bankrupt and your business empire was collapsing. You recovered, and apparently turned things around. What did you learn about your failure then, and how might that help you in a second term?
  3. The first thing you did as President was push for a large tax cut which has led to large corporate profits but did not help the average American very much. Would you make any changes to your tax policy in a second term? How would you describe your overall tax policy?
  4. Your opponents label you as a fascist. How do you respond to them?
  5. Do you think it is hypocritical of Congressional Republicans to push through your recent Supreme Court nominee in light of what they did to Merrick Garland and then President Barack Obama? If the answer is no, how would you explain the fairness of this to someone?
  6. Why do you placate dictators and authoritarians so much, especially Vladimir Putin. More specifically, do you stand by your Helsinki press conference where you said you believed Putin over your own intelligence agencies?
  7. One of the perceptions of your administration is that you don’t care for “Blue States” and have even tried to punishment them for leaning Democratic. Is this how you really feel? In the same vain, how would you defend your policies toward Portland and Washington, D. C. where you seem to be instigating more violence and unrest than actually helping anything calm down?
  8. Why is your administration in court right now attempting to take away the pre-existing conditions requirement of the Affordable Care Act? Wouldn’t strengthening or tweaking the original bill be a better course of action, especially considering Republicans have yet, in the twelve years since the ACA was passed, put forth any alternative plan?
  9. What would you do differently if you were given a chance to redo the response your administration had to the COVID-19 pandemic? Do you regret any of the wild statements you’ve made?
  10. One of your signature issues in 2016 was immigration. Do you believe illegal immigration is still a problem? If so, what would you do differently with another four years to solve the problem?
  11. Taking yourself off the table, because of obvious reasons, who is your favorite President in American history and why?