Thorner & Ingold: Obama’s lame-duck land mines

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If true, giving anti-aircraft missiles to the Syrian rebels is an act of utter stupidity on the part of Obama. How long before these missiles find their way to ISIS, Al Qaeda, or any number of hostile groups to shoot down our planes and airliners? 

The fact is, there is no daylight between the “friendly” rebels in Syria and these other groups, merely geography and opportunity.

When the Russians moved into Aleppo, they discovered mass graves of people tortured and executed, in all likelihood by the rebels. The area in question was held by the rebels for several years, and denied to the Syrian government and the Russians. Assyrian Christians were able to celebrate Christmas for the first time in many years, claiming they were prevented as rebels became increasingly Islamist in their rule.

In all likelihood, Obama knows this but thinks the consequences will fall on the President-Elect. The best indication of this knowledge is his reluctance to come to the rebels’ aid after Assad crossed Obama’s “Red Line in the Sand.” There is not and never was a clear way to identify “friendly” rebels.

In his brief tenure, Jimmy Carter managed to alienate the Middle East by his interference in Iran. Obama has built on the Carter legacy in steroids. At least Carter had respect for Israel. Will American Jews see Obama’s conspiracy with the U.N. as their “Red Line in the Sand” now that Obama has enabled the UN Security Council to vote for a resolution which urges Israel to end settlement activities in occupied territory?  This resolution will be difficult for Trump to reverse, because UN Security resolutions are considered law in some parts of the world.

In respects to Russia, Obama has recently upset Russia when he signed the NDAA on Friday, December 23, 2016.  The bill was passed by veto-proof majorities in both the House and the Senate earlier this month.  As in other recent years, the bill prohibits military cooperation between the United States and Russia until Russia has “ceased its occupation of Ukrainian territory and its aggressive activities that threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.”  Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has concluded that the Authorization Act has been adopted by the outgoing Obama administration to create problems for the incoming Trump administration.  

Another johnny-come-lately policy on December 20, 2016, of Obama’s lame-duck presidency was to designate Atlantic and Arctic areas off-limits to offshore drilling

There must be an effort to stop this lame-duck president before he can lay any more landmines in our foreign and domestic policy. Let there be a lantern in the steeple of the North Church.

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AP_27009629625PRIMARY
By Nancy Thorner – 
A conference call held Friday morning, December 2nd to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy sounded an alarm that President-elect Donald Trump is being pressured from the media to nominate a person based more on gender than stand on the pro-life issue.
The call was led by the late Phyllis Schlafly’s son Andy Schlafly, who is President of the Legal Center for Defense of Life, Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund, and General Counsel, Association of American Physicians & Surgeons. Notable is that Andy Schlafly went to law school with President Barack Obama.
 
Although President-elect Trump pledged to pick a pro-life candidate to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, he didn’t promise to stick to the list of 21 names given him to consider. There will be pressure from the media to pick a woman from the list, because of media awareness that all four women on Trump’s candidate list lacks pro-life credentials and are, therefore, unacceptable candidates for the vast majority of those that supported Trump for president.
 
Every trick will be used by the other side to discredit Trump’s Supreme Court nominees, such as false news reports claiming that a principled pro-life candidate is unwilling to be named as a Supreme Court nominee or that the nominating battle is too daunting a process to go through. This is not true, as pro-life candidates are willing to go through a confirmation hearing even if as vicious as the one endured by Clarence Thomas.  It is a given that nothing garners greater resistance from the Left than attempts to overturn Roe through the nomination of a pro-life Supreme Court justice.
 
Donald Trump’s appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox cable show on Thursday, December 1, Trump told Hannity that he would pick a pro-life candidate to fill Antonin Scalia’s place on the Supreme Court, as Trump had first pledged to do during his final presidential debate with Hillary, and that his announcement would be made shortly.  Trump said he had three or four names in mind.  Unfortunately, Hannity didn’t ask Trump to follow through by naming names.  As such, can we really expect Fox News to help in getting the message to Trump about suitable Supreme Court nominees? 
 
Supreme Court appointments have far reaching consequences
 
Andy Schlafly considers the appointment of Supreme Court justices a very important issue.  Many elected or appointed officials only serve two year terms, but a Supreme Court Justice can remain in power for 30 years.  Presently the appointment of a Secretary of State is receiving extensive media coverage; however, the Secretary of State has no influence over pro-life issues.
 
Schlafly recalled the year 1981 when President Regan appointed Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.   Later on in his administration Regan appointed Justice David Souter.  As Schlafly warned:  “We cannot stand by and wait for it to happens again given Trump’s pledge to appoint pro-life justices.”  Yet some of Trump’s advisors and senators are pushing Trump to appoint names on the list that are not really pro-life.  Trump does rely on his advisors to give him candidates that are pro-life.  It is unconscionable that Trump has been falsely told that all twenty-one candidates on the list are pro-life, but they are not. 
 
Non-negotiable issues for Andy Schlafly:  1) Candidate must be pro-life and have a pro-life record.  2) Candidate must be able to stand up against the pro-abortion side and the media.  If not, that person is unacceptable as a Supreme Court justice.  How is it that so many of the twenty-one individuals on Trump’s list are not pro-life?  The Federalist Society supplied half the candidates on the list.  It’s not a pro-life organization!
 
Personal vouching of a Supreme Court candidate is suspect
 
Personal vouching for a Supreme Court nominee, even by another conservative, will not work.  It is folly to engage in such wishful thinking.  President George H. Bush was told that David Souter was pro-life, then Souter went to the other side under pressure from the pro-abortion side and the media when the media wrote negative stories about him. 
 
Trump relies on Reince Priebus, formerly Republican Party Chairman who has been appointed as Trump’s chief of staff, to give him good information.  We already know that Trump is pro-life and wants to fill the vacancy left by Scalia’s death with a candidate in the image of Scalia.  If Priebus recommends a candidate to Trump who isn’t pro-life, the nomination will have to be withdrawn, and Reince’s betrayal will be made known to Trump and to the public.  Such a falsehood by Priebus to the president he serves, and the embarrassment it would cause Trump, would demand that Priebus be the first to leave the Trump administration.  Priebus is well aware of Trump’s pledge to select a pro-life judge.  Twenty-two percent of voters did indicate that selecting a pro-life justice to replace Scalia was of great importance.
 
The U.S. Senate could likewise be party to a stunt to undermine Trump.  Sen. Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican Majority leader, doesn’t like to have pro-life votes and hesitates to bring them up.  Senator McConnell might indicate that a pro-life nominee could not be confirmed.  But this is not true.  According to Andy Schlafly, we have a pro-life Senate.   Fifty senators are pro-life, and Mike Pence would be the tie breaker.  If Senator McConnell should offer the excuse that a pro-life justice nominee would be impossible to confirm, it could then be asked, how did it happen that Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and John Roberts were all confirmed with a Senate less pro-life than today’s Senate makeup?  If McConnell should insist a pro-lifer can’t get through the Senate for confirmation, the remedy is to pick another pro-lifer, and still another one, and then continue appointing pro-lifers until one is confirmed.
 
Not to be dismissed is McConnell’s pipeline to Reince Priebus.  McConnell could vouch as acceptable a phony conservative pro-life candidate to Priebus who would, in turn, inform Trump that the suggested candidate was a sure bet to sail through a Senate confirmation.  It therefore counts for nothing should Priebus tell Trump that such and such candidate is pro-life, as   Souter and Kennedy were said to be pro-life when appointed by presidents George H. Bush and Ronald Reagan, respectively.
 
Eagle Forum’s “Coalition Letter SCOTUS”
 
A Coalition Letter is being readied to be sent to President-elect Donald Trump titled, Coalition Letter SCOTUS, which includes the latest signatories as of Sunday, December 4th.  Any pro-life groups who chooses to duck this all important issue is going to lose credibility. Go here to read Coalition Letter SCOTUS in its entirety
Below are some salient points from the Eagle Forum SCOTUS letter:
  •  As you stated during the campaign and in your ’60 Minutes’ interview after your election, you are pro-life and you pledged to nominate justices to the Supreme Court who are pro-life. 
  • Justice Scalia never ducked the abortion issue and always sided with the pro- position.   His replacement should be nothing less.
  • Attempts to nominate a “stealth” candidate lacking in a record on abortion was the failed approach of the past, and would be inconsistent with the transparency of your incoming Administration. 
  • Candidates who lack a pro-life record include, for example, Judges Diane Sykes, Steven Colloton, Raymond Kethledge, and Neil Gorsuch, and Justices Allison Eid and Joan Larsen.  As each of these judges has either ruled against the pro-life position or has otherwise shown an unwillingness to be publicly pro-life, they are disqualified from filling Justice Scalia’s seat, particularly in light of how better candidates are available to be nominated.  
Mr. Schlafly expressed concern that Trump’s Supreme Court pick could come down to Judge Diane Sykes, an unacceptable pro-choice woman, when pressure is applied on Trump to appoint a woman.  Judge Diane Sykes would be vigorously opposed by Eagle Forum, which would then create a huge embarrassment for Trump.  When withdrawing Sykes’ nomination, Trump would have every right to demand why he wasn’t better informed about Judge Diane Sykes before nominating her.  
 
Outstanding Candidates for Consideration: 
  • Judge Jennifer Elrod of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the fifth circuit has credentials equal to or better than those on the list.  She would be an outstanding nominee for Justice Scalia’s seat. 
  • Likewise Judge Edith Jones, Judge Jennifer Elrod’s elder colleague, who, although 67 could become a superb compromise pick of a woman in anticipation of how the media will push the gender issue and senators will pressure Trump to nominate a pro-choice woman from the list of 21, when there are none.   Neither Elrod nor Jones made the list given Trump, but they should be interviewed by Trump to silence the media pressure for a female nominee. 
  • Justice Charles Canady of the Florida Supreme Court is on the current list and would make a fabulous nominee. 
As Andy Schlafly remarked:  “There must be a public push back if Trump appoints a justice who is not pro-life, for there is so much at stake to do otherwise.  If we are not willing to fight for a pro-life candidate now to replace Scalia, it will never happen.”