Better to fight for something than live for nothing. – George S. Patton
Welcome to the big show to end the week “Caught My Eye” (CME)!
If you are a first-time visitor, CME is posted right here every Friday morning. This is when I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.
Topics that I am providing commentary on today include 59 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles, the Nuclear Option, U.S. Senator John McCain, Announcing a Response, Governor Steve Bullock’s veto, and much more!
59 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles:
The New York Times reports that yesterday the United States carried out a missile strike in Syria in response to the Syrian government’s chemical weapons attack this week, which killed more than 80 civilians. The Pentagon announced that 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles had been fired at Al Shayrat airfield in Syria. The missiles were aimed at Syrian fighter jets, hardened aircraft shelters, radar equipment, ammunition bunkers, sites for storing fuel and air defense systems.
I think it was the right thing to do and the right amount of response. We can’t allow the use of chemical weapons, period.
President Trump issued a statement in which he said all the right things, but his delivery was terrible. He has a hard time with the teleprompter. The microphone seemed to be having problems, too. You can read his statement HERE.
Many folks are just happy the President did not use nukes.
Some people pointed out that if Trump cares so much about Syrians, he should allow their refugees to come to the United States. Those comments have merit.
A few members of Congress believe that Trump should have been given authorization from Congress before launching the missiles. That debate would have gone on forever. I do not think that it is necessary to obtain the authorization from Congress in this situation.
The Nuclear Option:
The U.S. Senate on Thursday held a series of votes and after the mushroom cloud subsided, the Republican majority changed the rules by using the nuclear option. Now Supreme Court justices can be confirmed by a simple majority. With that move, Supreme Court nominee Neal Gorsuch should be confirmed today (Friday) afternoon.
The Democrats cleared the way for lower court judges to be confirmed by a simple majority a few years ago.
I noticed that it was pretty quiet during the voting like senators were watching an old friend die. Maybe they were thinking they can never put the toothpaste back in the tube, now.
Republicans and Democrats are equally to blame for this mess. Republicans held back on hearings for President Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland, and Democrats believe they stole the seat and now they have Gorsuch. Republicans claimed the Democrats were obstructing the confirmation of Gorsuch.
The next vacancy on the Supreme Court will be interesting.
As for legislation, the Senate still has the 60 vote rule to end debate. I expect that will be flushed down the toilet in the future when some piece of important legislation is being considered. The senate was supposed to be the chamber that takes their time and debates. The senate is supposed to the deliberative body.
In the future, the U.S. Senate will be just like the U.S. House, except with fewer members.
McCain & the Nuclear Option:
The Daily Caller was one of many organizations that reported on U.S. Senator John McCain’s comments about changing the Senate rules to prevent a filibuster on a Supreme Court nominee (also called the “nuclear option.”). Here is the quote from McCain:
McCain dismissed the notion Tuesday that changing the Senate rules to prevent a filibuster on Supreme would put the chamber in a better position, saying anyone who thinks it would be beneficial is a “stupid idiot.”
“I would like to meet that idiot, I’d like to meet the numskull that would say that,” he told reporters. “That after 200 years, at least 100 years of this tradition, where the Senate has functioned pretty well, they think it would be a good idea to blow it up.”
The leaders in the senate (both Democrats and Republicans) have made a serious mistake changing these rules.
Sadly, McCain voted for the change. Cluck, cluck…
Announcing a Response:
As a former member of the military, it has always bothered me when politicians get in front of a camera and tell the world what the plans are for a military response. Often the politician does this to get a little publicity. What they could be doing is putting our military in harm’s way.
President Donald Trump knows very little about the military, but one thing he is doing right is not telling the press what his plans are in response to attacks or provocation from others. In a briefing this week when Syria was brought up, Trump had this to say:
Well, one of the things I think you’ve noticed about me is, militarily, I don’t like to say where I’m going and what I doing. And I watched past administrations say, we will attack at such and such a day at such and such an hour.
A little later, Trump stated, “I’m not saying I’m doing anything one way or the other, but I’m certainly not going to be telling you…”
Some in the press said he must not have a plan because he won’t disclose it. I did not believe that and I guess I was right because Trump did respond.
The Associated Press reported that Montana Governor Steve Bullock vetoed a bill that would have banned Shariah and other foreign laws from being used in Montana courts, saying Thursday that the measure would “upend our legal system and debase what we stand for as Montanans and Americans.”
Good for Bullock. Good for common sense.
One More Thing:
We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry. – E. B. White