Left Justified


Ohio Governor John Kasich Laments Kavanaugh Confirmation Process

October 10, 2018 by Gail Nussbaum in Politics

Photo courtesy
Michael Vadon

Former presidential candidate and governor of Ohio, John Kasich, is unhappy with both sides of the controversial and contentious hearings surrounding the confirmation of now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Speaking on CNN’s news program “State of the Union,” Kasich said Republicans may have won this battle, but only at the expense of the long-term health of crucial US institutions.

“The whole process — look, it’s both sides,” said Ohio’s outgoing Republican governor. “A pox on both houses for the way this was conducted. And people in the country are appalled. That’s because it’s like, I got to win, and you got to lose.”

“Sometimes, you can have a short-term win, and the long term, you have to wonder about the soul of our country,” he added.

Kasich suggested a better to confirm a candidate for the Supreme Court would be for the White House and Democrats to pick a conservative justice whose political leanings would be acceptable to both sides “so that we don’t go through this.”

“And I would hope that the court will not become ideological,” he explained to CNN host Dana Bash. “That would begin to erode confidence in the court. In fact, confidence in the court has already been eroded.”

The Senate confirmed Kavanaugh on Saturday by 50-48 after an at-times raucous, and heated process angering many in government and in the public in general.

Deadline Set for North Korean Denuclearization as 2021

September 25, 2018 by Gail Nussbaum in Politics

Portrait of Mike Pompeo.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced last week that he is ready to re-open talks with North Korea, setting a deadline for ending the process of denuclearization for the year 2021.

The announcement was made in the wake of a meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean head Kim Jong Un after which Kim promised to take apart some of his nuclear program if the United States makes certain concessions.

“On the basis of these important commitments, the United States is prepared to engage immediately in negotiations,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo’s announcement is a change in tone from the stand the US took in August when President Trump canceled a planned visit by Pompeo to the capital of North Korea, stating that the two sides were slow to progress.

Last Wednesday Pompeo invited North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho to meet him next week at the New York meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in order to re-start talks.

He also invited officials from North Korea to meet in Vienna with the State Department’s newly appointed North Korean envoy Steven Biegun “at the earliest opportunity.”

“This will mark the beginning of negotiations to transform U.S.-DPRK relations through the process of rapid denuclearization of North Korea, to be completed by January 2021, as committed by Chairman Kim, and to construct a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula,” Pompeo said, referring to North Korea as the DPRK, stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the name the North Koreans use for their country.

Top Republicans Divided on Russia Probe Docs

July 6, 2018 by Gail Nussbaum in Politics

U.S. Congressman Mark Meadows speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Republicans disagree about whether the Justice Department and the FBI are cooperating enough with their requests for sensitive documents that are relevant to the probe of Russian meddling with the 2016 US presidential elections.

Last week the FBI stated that it had sent letters to three key House Republican committee chairmen stating that it had given to Congress thousands of new documents. The documents were handed over in response to questioning about the investigation of contacts between associates of President Trump and people linked to Russia during the campaign.

The FBI’s revelation received a positive reaction from Speaker Paul Ryan. His office said that House committees were “finally getting access” to documents that have been demanded by the committees for quite a while. Though not all the requests have been forthcoming, a spokeswoman for Ryan said that the FBI is asking for more time, which is reasonable.

Other GOP representatives are also approving of the FBI’s move. Aides to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, and Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, from South Carolina, also expressed satisfaction, saying that they are in positive negotiations with DOJ to acquire documents, while also stating that they fully expect to get the rest of the documents that they have asked for.

Not all Republicans agree that the investigation is proceeding well. Trump and one of his key House allies, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) overturned the fragile peace. Meadows, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus posted on Twitter, complaining of the intransigence of the DOJ.

“New reports of DOJ/FBI compliance with document requests are NOT accurate,” he wrote. “While they have turned over additional documents, the new documents represent a small percentage of what they owe. The notion that DOJ/FBI have been forthcoming with Congress is false.”

President Trump used the conflict to complain about the DOJ and the FBI as part of his continuing campaign to delegitimize the investigation.

“I have tried to stay uninvolved with the Department of Justice and FBI (although I do not legally have to), because of the now totally discredited and very expensive Witch Hunt currently going on,” he tweeted. “But you do have to ask why the DOJ & FBI aren’t giving over requested documents?”