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    Dick Durbin Tag

    Dick Durbin's claim that Donald Trump referred to "s***hole" non-white countries during a closed door DACA negotiation has lit a fire. It appears to be part of a strategy from Durbin and Democrats to walk away from a DACA deal unless they get what they want (primarily amnesty without any changes in immigration practices or border enforcement), preferring to make this a racial issue. I covered this in my post, Dick Durbin blew up DACA, deliberately:

    Democrats and the media think they have the golden bullet to take down Trump, in the form of the "s--thole" comment during DACA negotiations behind closed doors. There are conflicting claims and reports as to whether the term was used, and to whom he was referring if it were used. Original reports said it was mentioned in relation to Haiti, but that has been walked back. Whether you agree with the comment or not, assuming it were used, it hardly merits the current obsession, with no sign of letting up. It's 24/7. Many Republicans are asking only "how high" they have to jump in condemning Trump.

    After clearly stating that as president he had no power to change immigration law, then-president Obama went ahead in 2012 with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  Obama himself referred to DACA as his "action to change the law," a power vested in the legislature, not the executive. In 2010, Obama told an audience of amnesty proponents that he's "not king" and "can't do these things just by myself."  In 2011, he explained further, "that he couldn't "just bypass Congress and change the (immigration) law myself. ... That's not how a democracy works."  And in 2012, he did it anyway. Then-presidential candidate Trump campaigned on ending DACA, and in September, he announced his decision to end DACA after giving Congress six months to pass it into law.  Passing DACA or some equivalent into law is perfectly within the purview of Congress.

    Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will face the Senate Judiciary Committee for the third day starting at 9:30 AM EDT. Today should be the last day of Gorsuch's testimony. Hearings will continue after today but will feature witnesses both in favor and opposed to Gorsuch's nomination. Yesterday, Senate Democrats attempted to nail Gorsuch on political issues unsuccessfully.

    Neil Gorsuch's confirmation hearing today was blah, blah, (try to stay awake), (don't let anyone know you're snoozing), (Dem Senators made to look foolish), (trite platitudes repeated endlessly on media). You still with me. Sure, there were some real moments, but they were entirely focused on Democrat Senators who were made to look like fools.

    Today was Day Two in confirmation hearings for Trump Supreme Court Justice nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch. Senators on the Judiciary Committee took turns spending thirty minutes grilling Gorsuch. When it was Sen. Durbin's (D-IL) turn to bat, he flamed out. Gloriously. "Do you believe that there are ever situations where the cost of maternity leave to an employer can justify an employer asking only female applicants and not male applicants about family plans?" Sen. Durbin asked. To which Gorsuch sternly replied, "those are not my words and I would never had said them."

    Yesterday, we heard opening statements from the Senate Judiciary Committee and Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Today, Gorsuch will face questions from the senators in 30-minute intervals. The hearing should last 12 hours. Will Democrats soften their stance on Gorsuch? As CBS pointed out, the Democrats "stressed that Gorsuch has impeccable credentials" and everything needed to serve on the Supreme Court. They want to make sure he "will maintain his independence" when situations "are particularly divisive." The Democrats also brought a few cases Monday that they will probably address today, including the infamous Hobby Lobby case by the U.S. Court of Appeals of the 10th Circuit. Gorsuch ruled with the majority that allowed the Green family, owners of the popular craft shop, to object "covering birth control for their employees."

    Senate Republicans found a way to end the Democrat boycott of approval votes for President Donald Trump's Cabinet. The Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee changed the rule stating at least one member from each party must attend a meeting for the committee to do its work. The Democrats boycotted the hearing yesterday to approve Human and Health Services Secretary nominee Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) and Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin. They boycotted Wednesday's meeting, which forced Republicans to take action:
    “It’s just another way of roughing up the president’s nominees,” said committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). “They have been treated fairly. We have not been treated fairly.”

    Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has begun his confirmation hearing for attorney general. We have a live stream in this post. This is expected to be one of the most tense confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet. The Democrats will ask Sessions about his record on civil rights and female rights. However, the GOP holds the majority in the Senate so more than likely he will receive confirmation.
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