Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Stati Uniti, Trump, Unione Europea

Germania. Gabriel. Non facciamoci più illusioni. Trump non ci ama.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-07-17.

HUNGARY-GERMANY-MERKEL-ORBAN
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (R) leave after a meeting in the parliament in Budapest on February 2, 2015 during Merkel’s first visit to Hungary in last five years. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK

Machiavelli soleva ripetere che è meglio non avere nemici mortali che amici fidati.

Ma chi mai lo è stato a sentire?

Queste sono le ultime parole pronunciate da Frau Merkel:

«I myself have also experienced a part of Germany being occupied by the Soviet Union …. I am very glad that we are united today in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and that we can therefore also make our own independent policies and make our own independent decisions.»

Orgoglio e superbia sono due gran brutte bestie: fanno esperire già sulla terra quello che sarà l’inferno futuro.

*

Per Treccani la superbia consiste in una considerazione talmente alta di sé stessi da giungere al punto di stimarsi come principio e fine del proprio essere. È sequenziale che la superbia sposi l’orgoglio, ossia la stima eccessiva di sé, l’esagerato sentimento della propria dignità, dei proprî meriti, della propria posizione o condizione sociale, per cui ci si considera superiori agli altri.

«we can therefore also make our own independent policies

and make our own independent decisions»

*

La Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel sembrerebbe essere uscita di senno: scollata dal mondo reale, che certo non le riserva delicatezze. Non si riesce a comprendere chi si crede di essere.

Sarebbe sufficiente pensare a come andarono il G20, poi il G7 ed infine l’ultimo Consiglio Europeo. Per non parlare delle elezioni del 24 settembre.

Le decisioni di Frau Merkel hanno solo fatto cadere la Germania in una crisi politica di entità tale da richiemare alla memoria i tempi di Weimar.

Se sicuramente Frau Merkel può continuare a dire ciò che le pare, altrettanto sicuramente tutti gli altri la bloccano nel tentativo di passare dalle parole all’azione. I suoi avversari la stanno soffriggendo a fuoco lento, lasciando che finisca di rovinarsi da sola.

Basti solo pensare come Herr Seehofer la stia prendendo a baccalà in faccia.

Mr Trump glielo ha detto in faccia senza perifrasi alcuna:

«a captive of Russia»

Frase lapidaria che segue quelle dell’Ambasciatore americano a Berlino, Mr Grenell:

«Donald Trump talks a lot about chain migration, and that is actually the issue here in Germany — it’s chain migration, …. many migrants have been allowed to come in, that was the policy of Chancellor Merkel, I think she has suffered politically by not having a plan that was implemented properly and you saw a lot of political concern in the campaign about chain migration …. We want to make sure we work with all of the different politicians here in Germany who are concerned about migration, the chain migration issue, working with the proper intelligence and law enforcement officials so we know exactly who is here under false pretences …. there are German politicians who are not always so supportive of German intelligence officials …. With family reunification, we import the Islamic family system, which leads to parallel societies and integration problems»

*

«The American ambassador in Germany has just implied that he would like to unseat the current German government»

Se è vero che formalmente l’Ambasciatore Grenell mai abbia detto la frase «regime change», obbligando l’Handelsblatt alla ritrattazione di quanto scritto, sarebbe altrettanto vero asserire che Mr Trumph come obiettivo la rimozione di Frau Merkel, ultimo significativo baluardo liberal in Europa.

* * * * * * *

«We must no longer have any illusions»

Al mondo nessuno ama Frau Merkel, e questa non ha più amico alcuno.

È solo questione di tempo: sarà sufficiente avere pazienza ed anche questa testa cadrà nella cesta.


The Local. 2018-07-13. Ex Foreign Minister warns Trump pushing for ‘regime change’ in Germany

Former German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has said Europe should stand up to Trump, warning that the US President is pushing for “regime change” in Germany.

“[Trump] gives guarantees to the North Korean dictator and at the same time wants regime change in Germany,” Gabriel told Spiegel Online on Friday. “That’s difficult for us to put up with.”

“We must no longer have any illusions,” added the Social Democrat (SPD) politician. “Donald Trump only understands strength. So we have to show him that we are strong. If he demands billions back from us for the USA’s military spending, then we should demand billions back from him for the refugees produced by failed US military interventions for example in Iraq.”

Gabriel’s words come at the end of a week in which Trump claimed Germany reliance on gas imports meant the country was “of a captive Russia”.

Trump made the explosive comment ahead of a fractious NATO meeting this week in Brussels. On Thursday, he threatened to withdraw the US from the military alliance if partners failed to meet 2 percent spending targets by 2019.

Trump is currently in the United Kingdom on a “working visit”, where he has also made controversial remarks undermining Prime Minister Teresa May’s recent proposals for a softer Brexit.

Gabriel, who left his post as Foreign Minister this March, has always been an outspoken critic of President Trump, sharply criticizing his “nationalistic tone” and warning that his actions have “weakened the West.”

Annunci
Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Stati Uniti, Trump

Trump. Kavanaugh. Il fronte dem inizia ad incrinarsi. Prime defezioni.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-07-16.

Tonnara 001

Avevamo già riportato il probblema:

Trump ha chiuso i democratici nella tonnara. – The New York Times.

I candidati al senato che si sono presentati in stati a forte maggioranza repubblicana hanno una grande paura a boicottare la nomina di Sua Giustizia Brett Kavanaugh alla Suprema Corte: temono il furore degli Elettori e di perdere ogni chance di successo o, quanto meno, di una perdita dignitosa. Di converso, se votassero per la nomina di Sua Giustizia Brett Kavanaugh alla Suprema Corte renderebbero quel fortilizio inespugnabile ai liberal per decenni.

*

Un funereo The New York Times commenta la notizia.

«Three of those Democrats — Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia — voted to confirm Neil M. Gorsuch, nominated by Mr. Trump last year. None gave any hint on Tuesday of how they would vote on Judge Kavanaugh, but all will undoubtedly face intense pressure at home. ….

Republicans are already delighting in watching Democrats like Mr. Manchin squirm.  ….

“You’ve got red-state Democrats who are up for re-election this year who are going to be faced with some pretty significant challenges with this vote,” said Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, the chairman of the committee charged with electing Republicans to the Senate. “I think it’s a hot potato.”

At a time when the United States is deeply polarized, with the ideological balance of the court at stake, Democrats and Republicans are keenly aware that Judge Kavanaugh, if confirmed, would push the court to the right, cementing its conservative majority and shaping American jurisprudence for decades to come.»

*

Ma cosa mai sarà accaduto?

Semplice. Più che il dolor poté il digiuno.

«Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III said Wednesday that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh “has all the right qualities” to serve on the high court.

Mr. Manchin didn’t say how he plans to vote on the nomination, in an interview with radio network West Virginia MetroNews ….

Mr. Manchin, who is up for reelection in a state carried by President Trump in 2016, is facing a pressure campaign from conservative groups to support Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. Liberal activists also are demanding that he and other Democratic senators block the nomination»

E ci sarebbero molti altri senatori democratici a pensarla come il senatore Joe Manchin III.

Il Presidente Trump li ha messi tutti nella tonnara.

Valutate bene il peso di queste parole:

«Judge Kavanaugh, if confirmed, would push the court to the right, cementing its conservative majority and shaping American jurisprudence for decades to come.»

La Suprema Corte avrà almeno trenta anni di tempo per demolire sistematicamente tutta la costruzione liberal.


The Washington Times. 2018-07-12. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says Brett Kavanaugh has ‘all the right qualities’ for Supreme Court

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III said Wednesday that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh “has all the right qualities” to serve on the high court.

Mr. Manchin didn’t say how he plans to vote on the nomination, in an interview with radio network West Virginia MetroNews.

“No, I don’t have a lean,” he told host Hoppy Kercheval. “I think he seems to be a very fine person of high moral standards, a family person who’s very involved in his community, has all the right qualities. He’s well-educated.”

The senator said “we have to just look at making sure that the rule of law and the Constitution is going to be followed, and that’s going to basically preempt anything else he does.”

Mr. Manchin, who is up for reelection in a state carried by President Trump in 2016, is facing a pressure campaign from conservative groups to support Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. Liberal activists also are demanding that he and other Democratic senators block the nomination.

The lawmaker said he intends to listen to his constituents.

“Most importantly.. I intend to hear from West Virginians,” he said. “That’s who I work for. They’re my boss. And we want to hear from them, too, during this process.”


The New York Times. 2018-07-12. Senate Democrats Come Out Swinging in Long-Shot Fight to Block Kavanaugh

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats, facing an uphill struggle to defeat the nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, opened a broad attack on Tuesday, painting him as an archconservative who would roll back abortion rights, undo health care protections, ease gun restrictions and protect President Trump against the threat of indictment.

But as Judge Kavanaugh arrived at the Capitol to begin making courtesy calls on the senators who will decide his fate, the White House expressed confidence in the man that Mr. Trump introduced to the country as “one of the finest and sharpest legal minds of our time.”

The White House is embarking on an intensive sales campaign that has already enlisted more than 1,000 interest groups, including farmers and religious organizations, to build support for Judge Kavanaugh. Administration officials are pushing for hearings and a confirmation vote by Oct. 1, in time for the court’s new term.

In a sign of how difficult the Democrats’ path will be, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a key swing vote, spoke favorably of Judge Kavanaugh on Tuesday, telling reporters, “When you look at the credentials that Judge Kavanaugh brings to the job, it’ll be very difficult for anyone to argue that he’s not qualified for the job.”

Washington is no stranger to bitter and divisive judicial confirmation fights, but the coming battle over Judge Kavanaugh is likely to be intense — and expensive. At a time when the United States is deeply polarized, with the ideological balance of the court at stake, Democrats and Republicans are keenly aware that Judge Kavanaugh, if confirmed, would push the court to the right, cementing its conservative majority and shaping American jurisprudence for decades to come.

That has galvanized liberal and conservative advocacy groups, who began mobilizing even before the nomination was announced and expect to spend tens of millions through the summer and into the fall.

Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative advocacy group, has already posted a website — ConfirmKavanaugh.com — and is airing television ads. Leading social conservative political groups are rallying the anti-abortion grass-roots to support his confirmation with ads, rallies and online campaigns. Demand Justice, a liberal group, is running advertisements in Maine, aimed at Ms. Collins, as well in Alaska, the home state of another swing-vote Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski.

But the positive comments from Ms. Collins — who voted in favor of Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, two of President Barack Obama’s nominees — may have already shifted the pressure from leery Republicans to skittish Democrats running for re-election in states won handily by Mr. Trump in 2016.

Three of those Democrats — Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia — voted to confirm Neil M. Gorsuch, nominated by Mr. Trump last year. None gave any hint on Tuesday of how they would vote on Judge Kavanaugh, but all will undoubtedly face intense pressure at home.

“I thought he came across as a good family person, good, decent human being,” Mr. Manchin said of his initial reaction to Judge Kavanaugh. But he said he would not be making a hasty decision about a Supreme Court appointment mere hours after the announcement, noting his concern about Judge Kavanaugh’s views of the Affordable Care Act given the “lives at stake” in West Virginia.

Republicans are already delighting in watching Democrats like Mr. Manchin squirm.

“You’ve got red-state Democrats who are up for re-election this year who are going to be faced with some pretty significant challenges with this vote,” said Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, the chairman of the committee charged with electing Republicans to the Senate. “I think it’s a hot potato.”

In picking Judge Kavanaugh to fill the seat vacated by the retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Mr. Trump has turned to an experienced jurist with an Ivy League pedigree (Yale undergraduate and Yale Law), a deep conservative bent and a past in politics. Judge Kavanaugh worked under Kenneth W. Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton; served in the administration of President George W. Bush; and joined the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2006.

Administration officials are betting that Judge Kavanaugh’s record of around 300 court decisions, combined with his ability to speak fluently on a range of complex issues, will make it impossible for Democrats to cast him as unqualified for Justice Kennedy’s seat. His effusive praise on Monday night of his mother and wife — and his coaching of his daughter’s basketball team — seemed aimed at defusing Democratic efforts to make him appear anti-woman.

“Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials and interprets the law as it was written and intended,” said Raj Shah, a White House spokesman. “His record sells itself.”

Democrats are already picking apart that record, citing rulings and dissenting opinions they find troubling.

Among them: a 2017 case, Garza v. Hargan, where Judge Kavanaugh delayed an abortion for a 17-year-old immigrant who was in the United States illegally; a 2015 case, Priests for Life v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where Judge Kavanaugh said the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for contraceptive coverage violated the religious freedom of religious nonprofits; and a 2011 dissent in Heller v. District of Columbia, where he argued the Second Amendment included the right to own a semiautomatic rifle.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, joined all of the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday to deliver a direct appeal to Americans to rise up in opposition to Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. One by one, they ticked off warnings.

“If you are a young woman in America or you care about a young woman in America, pay attention to this,” said Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California. “Because it will forever change your life.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, issued a specific plea to the survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.: “If you care about common-sense gun violence protection, Judge Kavanaugh is your worst nightmare.”

Republicans, in turn, excoriated Democrats for not giving Mr. Trump’s nominee a chance.

“We’re less than 24 hours into this, and folks are already declaring that if you can’t see that Brett Kavanaugh is a cross between Lex Luthor and Darth Vader, then you apparently aren’t paying enough attention,” said Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska. “The American people are smarter than that.”

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, complained that Democrats had declared their opposition to Judge Kavanaugh even before his nomination was announced.

“They wrote statements of opposition only to fill in the name later,” the ordinarily staid Mr. McConnell said, growing exercised as he delivered his customary morning remarks on the Senate floor. “Senate Democrats were on record opposing him before he’d even been named! Just fill in the name! Whoever it is, we’re against.”

But Democrats were quick to call Mr. McConnell hypocritical, noting that when Mr. Obama nominated Judge Merrick B. Garland — a colleague of Judge Kavanaugh’s on the federal appeals court in Washington — many Republicans refused even to meet with Judge Garland, and denied him the opportunity to have a hearing.

Before Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination on Monday night, Democrats had centered their strategy on abortion rights and health care, warning that anyone Mr. Trump picked would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision legalizing abortion, and would imperil protections for people with pre-existing conditions under the Affordable Care Act.

But Judge Kavanaugh has given them a new line of attack: his past writings on the powers of the presidency, which go to the heart of the special counsel’s investigation of Mr. Trump. In 1998, Judge Kavanaugh wrote a law review article that raised doubts about whether a sitting president could be indicted. In another article, he argued that a sitting president should not be distracted by civil suits or criminal proceedings.

Democrats said Tuesday that those views would be a central focus of questioning during Mr. Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings; already, some Democrats were calling for Judge Kavanaugh to pledge that he would recuse himself from any Supreme Court proceedings involving the president.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Geopolitica Militare, Geopolitica Mondiale, Stati Uniti

Cina – Sri Lanka. Belt and Road e basi navali. – NYT e China Org.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-07-15.

2018-07-06__Cina_Porti__001

Il The New York Times dedica un mastodontico articolo ai rapporti tra Cina a Sri Lanka: la sua lettura è parte integrante di questo articolo.

Questo articolo è stato espressamente citato da un editoriale di China Org, organo di stampa del Governo cinese.

«China will continue to work with Sri Lanka to actively implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and continuously promote the pragmatic cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiatives»

*

«A spokesperson in the Embassy said that China has always been pursuing a friendly policy toward Sri Lanka, firmly supporting the latter’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and opposing any country’s interference in the internal affairs of the island country»

*

«continuously promote the pragmatic cooperations under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiatives following the “golden rule” of “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits,”to better benefit the two countries and the two peoples,”»

*

«The spokesperson further said that the Embassy had noticed the recent New York Times’ article as well as the clarifications and responses by various parties from Sri Lanka, saying the article is full of political prejudice and completely inconsistent with the fact»

*

«The New York Times article published on June 25, accused China of acquiring a port in southern Sri Lanka to be used for military purposes. It however has drawn flak from Sri Lankan leaders, who have stated that the article fell under the “fake news” category»

* * * * * * *

La presa di posizione del Governo cinese riassume in poche righe i concetti base che ispirano la sua politica estera.

– “pragmatic cooperation“: nei rapporti internazionali bilaterali la Cina promuove una cooperazione sociale ed economica al di fuori di ogni possibile schema mentale ideologico o preconcetto. I partner si accettano senza tentativo alcuno di modificarne tradizioni e comportamenti. Cooperazione implica un reciproco guadagno da questo rapporto: “to better benefit the two countries and the two peoples …. shared benefits“.

– “firmly supporting the latter’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and opposing any country’s interference in the internal affairs of the island country“. Per meglio chiarire il concetto, Cina Org ricorda il rispetto della indipendenza, della sovranità, della integrità territoriale, ed infine la assoluta non interferenza degli affari interni dei paesi. In altri termini, l’esatto opposto del modo di pensare e comportarsi degli occidentali ed in particolar modo degli europei.

– “accused China of acquiring a port in southern Sri Lanka to be used for military purposes“. China Org riporta in modo molto diplomatico come questa notizia sia stata smentita dallo Sri Lankan. Non avendo detto nulla la China, si potrebbe dedurre che se le cose evolvessero, la essa non si opporrebbe.

* * * * * * *

Larga quota delle merci cinesi attraversano lo Stretto di Malacca  e si dirigono in gran parte sulla rotta per Suez. È semplicemente evidente come il controllo dello spazio marittimo del nord Oceano Indiano sia essenziale per i cinesi.

Una ultima precisazione a nostro parere importante.

L’articolo edito dal The New York Times è mastodontico, inusitatamente lungo e dettagliato: da al problema del dominio dell’Oceano Indiano la corretta importanza strategica. Dopo il Mare Cinese Meridionale gli Stati Uniti corrono il serio rischio di perdere anche il controlla navale dell’Oceano Indiano.

Tuttavia, a nostro sommesso parere, l’articolo del NYT non riporta quella che è l’attuale posizione politica e militare degli Stati Uniti, bensì cosa e come ne pensano i liberal democratici. Opinione che deve essere valutata con cura, ma che non è al momento al governo dell’America.


China Org. 2018-07-01. China to continue promoting pragmatic cooperation with Sri Lanka under Belt and Road: Chinese embassy

China will continue to work with Sri Lanka to actively implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and continuously promote the pragmatic cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiatives, the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka said in a statement Saturday.

A spokesperson in the Embassy said that China has always been pursuing a friendly policy toward Sri Lanka, firmly supporting the latter’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and opposing any country’s interference in the internal affairs of the island country.

“Despite any interference from a third party, China would like to work together with Sri Lanka to actively implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, and concentrate unwaveringly on our fixed goals, continuously promote the pragmatic cooperations under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiatives following the “golden rule” of “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits,” to better benefit the two countries and the two peoples,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson further said that the Embassy had noticed the recent New York Times’ article as well as the clarifications and responses by various parties from Sri Lanka, saying the article is full of political prejudice and completely inconsistent with the fact.

The New York Times article published on June 25, accused China of acquiring a port in southern Sri Lanka to be used for military purposes. It however has drawn flak from Sri Lankan leaders, who have stated that the article fell under the “fake news” category.


The New York Times. 2018-07-01. How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port

HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka — Every time Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, turned to his Chinese allies for loans and assistance with an ambitious port project, the answer was yes.

Yes, though feasibility studies said the port wouldn’t work. Yes, though other frequent lenders like India had refused. Yes, though Sri Lanka’s debt was ballooning rapidly under Mr. Rajapaksa.

Over years of construction and renegotiation with China Harbor Engineering Company, one of Beijing’s largest state-owned enterprises, the Hambantota Port Development Project distinguished itself mostly by failing, as predicted. With tens of thousands of ships passing by along one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, the port drew only 34 ships in 2012.

And then the port became China’s.

Mr. Rajapaksa was voted out of office in 2015, but Sri Lanka’s new government struggled to make payments on the debt he had taken on. Under heavy pressure and after months of negotiations with the Chinese, the government handed over the port and 15,000 acres of land around it for 99 years in December.

The transfer gave China control of territory just a few hundred miles off the shores of a rival, India, and a strategic foothold along a critical commercial and military waterway.

The case is one of the most vivid examples of China’s ambitious use of loans and aid to gain influence around the world — and of its willingness to play hardball to collect.

The debt deal also intensified some of the harshest accusations about President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative: that the global investment and lending program amounts to a debt trap for vulnerable countries around the world, fueling corruption and autocratic behavior in struggling democracies.

Months of interviews with Sri Lankan, Indian, Chinese and Western officials and analysis of documents and agreements stemming from the port project present a stark illustration of how China and the companies under its control ensured their interests in a small country hungry for financing.

  • During the 2015 Sri Lankan elections, large payments from the Chinese port construction fund flowed directly to campaign aides and activities for Mr. Rajapaksa, who had agreed to Chinese terms at every turn and was seen as an important ally in China’s efforts to tilt influence away from India in South Asia. The payments were confirmed by documents and cash checks detailed in a government investigation seen by The New York Times.

  • Though Chinese officials and analysts have insisted that China’s interest in the Hambantota port is purely commercial, Sri Lankan officials said that from the start, the intelligence and strategic possibilities of the port’s location were part of the negotiations.

  • Initially moderate terms for lending on the port project became more onerous as Sri Lankan officials asked to renegotiate the timeline and add more financing. And as Sri Lankan officials became desperate to get the debt off their books in recent years, the Chinese demands centered on handing over equity in the port rather than allowing any easing of terms.

  • Though the deal erased roughly $1 billion in debt for the port project, Sri Lanka is now in more debt to China than ever, as other loans have continued and rates remain much higher than from other international lenders.

Mr. Rajapaksa and his aides did not respond to multiple requests for comment, made over several months, for this article. Officials for China Harbor also would not comment.

Estimates by the Sri Lankan Finance Ministry paint a bleak picture: This year, the government is expected to generate $14.8 billion in revenue, but its scheduled debt repayments, to an array of lenders around the world, come to $12.3 billion.

“John Adams said infamously that a way to subjugate a country is through either the sword or debt. China has chosen the latter,” said Brahma Chellaney, an analyst who often advises the Indian government and is affiliated with the Center for Policy Research, a think tank in New Delhi.

Indian officials, in particular, fear that Sri Lanka is struggling so much that the Chinese government may be able to dangle debt relief in exchange for its military’s use of assets like the Hambantota port — though the final lease agreement forbids military activity there without Sri Lanka’s invitation.

“The only way to justify the investment in Hambantota is from a national security standpoint — that they will bring the People’s Liberation Army in,” said Shivshankar Menon, who served as India’s foreign secretary and then its national security adviser as the Hambantota port was being built.

An Engaged Ally

The relationship between China and Sri Lanka had long been amicable, with Sri Lanka an early recognizer of Mao’s Communist government after the Chinese Revolution. But it was during a more recent conflict — Sri Lanka’s brutal 26-year civil war with ethnic Tamil separatists — that China became indispensable.

Mr. Rajapaksa, who was elected in 2005, presided over the last years of the war, when Sri Lanka became increasingly isolated by accusations of human rights abuses. Under him, Sri Lanka relied heavily on China for economic support, military equipment and political cover at the United Nations to block potential sanctions.

The war ended in 2009, and as the country emerged from the chaos, Mr. Rajapaksa and his family consolidated their hold. At the height of Mr. Rajapaksa’s tenure, the president and his three brothers controlled many government ministries and around 80 percent of total government spending. Governments like China negotiated directly with them.

So when the president began calling for a vast new port development project at Hambantota, his sleepy home district, the few roadblocks in its way proved ineffective.

From the start, officials questioned the wisdom of a second major port, in a country a quarter the size of Britain and with a population of 22 million, when the main port in the capital was thriving and had room to expand. Feasibility studies commissioned by the government had starkly concluded that a port at Hambantota was not economically viable.

“They approached us for the port at the beginning, and Indian companies said no,” said Mr. Menon, the former Indian foreign secretary. “It was an economic dud then, and it’s an economic dud now.”

But Mr. Rajapaksa greenlighted the project, then boasted in a news release that he had defied all caution — and that China was on board.

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority began devising what officials believed was a careful, economically sound plan in 2007, according to an official involved in the project. It called for a limited opening for business in 2010, and for revenue to be coming in before any major expansion.

The first major loan it took on the project came from the Chinese government’s Export-Import Bank, or Exim, for $307 million. But to obtain the loan, Sri Lanka was required to accept Beijing’s preferred company, China Harbor, as the port’s builder, according to a United States Embassy cable from the time, leaked to WikiLeaks.

That is a typical demand of China for its projects around the world, rather than allowing an open bidding process. Across the region, Beijing’s government is lending out billions of dollars, being repaid at a premium to hire Chinese companies and thousands of Chinese workers, according to officials across the region.

There were other strings attached to the loan, as well, in a sign that China saw strategic value in the Hambantota port from the beginning.

Nihal Rodrigo, a former Sri Lankan foreign secretary and ambassador to China, said that discussions with Chinese officials at the time made it clear that intelligence sharing was an integral, if not public, part of the deal. In an interview with The Times, Mr. Rodrigo characterized the Chinese line as, “We expect you to let us know who is coming and stopping here.”

In later years, Chinese officials and the China Harbor company went to great lengths to keep relations strong with Mr. Rajapaksa, who for years had faithfully acquiesced to such terms.

In the final months of Sri Lanka’s 2015 election, China’s ambassador broke with diplomatic norms and lobbied voters, even caddies at Colombo’s premier golf course, to support Mr. Rajapaksa over the opposition, which was threatening to tear up economic agreements with the Chinese government.

As the January election inched closer, large payments started to flow toward the president’s circle.

At least $7.6 million was dispensed from China Harbor’s account at Standard Chartered Bank to affiliates of Mr. Rajapaksa’s campaign, according to a document, seen by The Times, from an active internal government investigation. The document details China Harbor’s bank account number — ownership of which was verified — and intelligence gleaned from questioning of the people to whom the checks were made out.

With 10 days to go before polls opened, around $3.7 million was distributed in checks: $678,000 to print campaign T-shirts and other promotional material and $297,000 to buy supporters gifts, including women’s saris. Another $38,000 was paid to a popular Buddhist monk who was supporting Mr. Rajapaksa’s electoral bid, while two checks totaling $1.7 million were delivered by volunteers to Temple Trees, his official residence.

Most of the payments were from a subaccount controlled by China Harbor, named “HPDP Phase 2,” shorthand for Hambantota Port Development Project.

China’s Network

After nearly five years of helter-skelter expansion for China’s Belt and Road Initiative across the globe, Chinese officials are quietly trying to take stock of how many deals have been done and what the country’s financial exposure might be. There is no comprehensive picture of that yet, said one Chinese economic policymaker, who like many other officials would speak about Chinese policy only on the condition of anonymity.

Some Chinese officials have become concerned that the nearly institutional graft surrounding such projects represents a liability for China, and raises the bar needed for profitability. President Xi acknowledged the worry in a speech last year, saying, “We will also strengthen international cooperation on anticorruption in order to build the Belt and Road Initiative with integrity.”

In Bangladesh, for example, officials said in January that China Harbor would be banned from future contracts over accusations that the company attempted to bribe an official at the ministry of roads, stuffing $100,000 into a box of tea, government officials said in interviews. And China Harbor’s parent company, China Communications Construction Company, was banned for eight years in 2009 from bidding on World Bank projects because of corrupt practices in the Philippines.

Since the port seizure in Sri Lanka, Chinese officials have started suggesting that Belt and Road is not an open-ended government commitment to finance development across three continents.

“If we cannot manage the risk well, the Belt and Road projects cannot go far or well,” said Jin Qi, the chairwoman of the Silk Road Fund, a large state-owned investment fund, during the China Development Forum in late March.

In Sri Lanka’s case, port officials and Chinese analysts have also not given up the view that the Hambantota port could become profitable, or at least strengthen China’s trade capacity in the region.

Ray Ren, China Merchant Port’s representative in Sri Lanka and the head of the Hambantota port’s operations, insisted that “the location of Sri Lanka is ideal for international trade.” And he dismissed the negative feasibility studies, saying they were done many years ago when Hambantota was “a small fishing hamlet.”

Hu Shisheng, the director of South Asia studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said that China clearly recognized the strategic value of the Hambantota port. But he added: “Once China wants to exert its geostrategic value, the strategic value of the port will be gone. Big countries cannot fight in Sri Lanka — it would be wiped out.”

Although the Hambantota port first opened in a limited way in 2010, before the Belt and Road Initiative was announced, the Chinese government quickly folded the project into the global program.

Shortly after the handover ceremony in Hambantota, China’s state news agency released a boastful video on Twitter, proclaiming the deal “another milestone along the path of #BeltandRoad.”

A Port to Nowhere

The seaport is not the only grand project built with Chinese loans in Hambantota, a sparsely populated area on Sri Lanka’s southeastern coast that is still largely overrun by jungle.

A cricket stadium with more seats than the population of Hambantota’s district capital marks the skyline, as does a large international airport — which in June lost the only daily commercial flight it had left when FlyDubai airline ended the route. A highway that cuts through the district is traversed by elephants and used by farmers to rake out and dry the rice plucked fresh from their paddies.

Mr. Rajapaksa’s advisers had laid out a methodical approach to how the port might expand after opening, ensuring that some revenue would be coming in before taking on much more debt.

But in 2009, the president had grown impatient. His 65th birthday was approaching the following year, and to mark the occasion he wanted a grand opening at the Hambantota port — including the beginning of an ambitious expansion 10 years ahead of the Port Authority’s original timeline.

Chinese laborers began working day and night to get the port ready, officials said. But when workers dredged the land and then flooded it to create the basin of the port, they had not taken into account a large boulder that partly blocked the entrance, preventing the entry of large ships, like oil tankers, that the port’s business model relied on.

Ports Authority officials, unwilling to cross the president, quickly moved ahead anyway. The Hambantota port opened in an elaborate celebration on Nov. 18, 2010, Mr. Rajapaksa’s birthday. Then it sat waiting for business while the rock blocked it.

China Harbor blasted the boulder a year later, at a cost of $40 million, an exorbitant price that raised concerns among diplomats and government officials. Some openly speculated about whether the company was simply overcharging or the price tag included kickbacks to Mr. Rajapaksa.

By 2012, the port was struggling to attract ships — which preferred to berth nearby at the Colombo port — and construction costs were rising as the port began expanding ahead of schedule. The government decreed later that year that ships carrying car imports bound for Colombo port would instead offload their cargo at Hambantota to kick-start business there. Still, only 34 ships berthed at Hambantota in 2012, compared with 3,667 ships at the Colombo port, according to a Finance Ministry annual report.

“When I came to the government, I called the minister of national planning and asked for the justification of Hambantota Port,” Harsha de Silva, the state minister for national policies and economic affairs, said in an interview. “She said, ‘We were asked to do it, so we did it.’ ”

Determined to keep expanding the port, Mr. Rajapaksa went back to the Chinese government in 2012, asking for $757 million.

The Chinese agreed again. But this time, the terms were much steeper.

The first loan, at $307 million, had originally come at a variable rate that usually settled above 1 or 2 percent after the global financial crash in 2008. (For comparison, rates on similar Japanese loans for infrastructure projects run below half a percent.)

But to secure fresh funding, that initial loan was renegotiated to a much higher 6.3 percent fixed rate. Mr. Rajapaksa acquiesced.

The rising debt and project costs, even as the port was struggling, handed Sri Lanka’s political opposition a powerful issue, and it campaigned heavily on suspicions about China. Mr. Rajapaksa lost the election.

The incoming government, led by President Maithripala Sirisena, came to office with a mandate to scrutinize Sri Lanka’s financial deals. It also faced a daunting amount of debt: Under Mr. Rajapaksa, the country’s debt had increased threefold, to $44.8 billion when he left office. And for 2015 alone, a $4.68 billion payment was due at year’s end.

Signing It Away

The new government was eager to reorient Sri Lanka toward India, Japan and the West. But officials soon realized that no other country could fill the financial or economic space that China held in Sri Lanka.

“We inherited a purposefully run-down economy — the revenues were insufficient to pay the interest charges, let alone capital repayment,” said Ravi Karunanayake, who was finance minister during the new government’s first year in office.

“We did keep taking loans,” he added. “A new government can’t just stop loans. It’s a relay; you need to take them until economic discipline is introduced.”

The Central Bank estimated that Sri Lanka owed China about $3 billion last year. But Nishan de Mel, an economist at Verité Research, said some of the debts were off government books and instead registered as part of individual projects. He estimated that debt owed to China could be as much as $5 billion and was growing every year. In May, Sri Lanka took a new $1 billion loan from China Development Bank to help make its coming debt payment.

Government officials began meeting in 2016 with their Chinese counterparts to strike a deal, hoping to get the port off Sri Lanka’s balance sheet and avoid outright default. But the Chinese demanded that a Chinese company take a dominant equity share in the port in return, Sri Lankan officials say — writing down the debt was not an option China would accept.

When Sri Lanka was given a choice, it was over which state-owned company would take control: either China Harbor or China Merchants Port, according to the final agreement, a copy of which was obtained by The Times, although it was never released publicly in full.

China Merchants got the contract, and it immediately pressed for more: Company officials demanded 15,000 acres of land around the port to build an industrial zone, according to two officials with knowledge of the negotiations. The Chinese company argued that the port itself was not worth the $1.1 billion it would pay for its equity — money that would close out Sri Lanka’s debt on the port.

Some government officials bitterly opposed the terms, but there was no leeway, according to officials involved in the negotiations. The new agreement was signed in July 2017, and took effect in December.

The deal left some appearance of Sri Lankan ownership: Among other things, it created a joint company to manage the port’s operations and collect revenue, with 85 percent owned by China Merchants Port and the remaining 15 percent controlled by Sri Lanka’s government.

But lawyers specializing in port acquisitions said Sri Lanka’s small stake meant little, given the leverage that China Merchants Port retained over board personnel and operating decisions.

When the agreement was initially negotiated, it left open whether the port and surrounding land could be used by the Chinese military, which Indian officials asked the Sri Lankan government to explicitly forbid. The final agreement bars foreign countries from using the port for military purposes unless granted permission by the government in Colombo.

That clause is there because Chinese Navy submarines had already come calling to Sri Lanka.

Strategic Concerns

China had a stake in Sri Lanka’s main port as well: China Harbor was building a new terminal there, known at the time as Colombo Port City. Along with that deal came roughly 50 acres of land, solely held by the Chinese company, that Sri Lanka had no sovereignty on.

That was dramatically demonstrated toward the end of Mr. Rajapaksa’s term, in 2014. Chinese submarines docked at the harbor the same day that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan was visiting Colombo, in what was seen across the region as a menacing signal from Beijing.

When the new Sri Lankan government came to office, it sought assurances that the port would never again welcome Chinese submarines — of particular concern because they are difficult to detect and often used for intelligence gathering. But Sri Lankan officials had little real control.

Now, the handover of Hambantota to the Chinese has kept alive concerns about possible military use — particularly as China has continued to militarize island holdings around the South China Sea despite earlier pledges not to.

Sri Lankan officials are quick to point out that the agreement explicitly rules out China’s military use of the site. But others also note that Sri Lanka’s government, still heavily indebted to China, could be pressured to allow it.

And, as Mr. de Silva, the state minister for national policies and economic affairs, put it, “Governments can change.”

Now, he and others are watching carefully as Mr. Rajapaksa, China’s preferred partner in Sri Lanka, has been trying to stage a political comeback. The former president’s new opposition party swept municipal elections in February. Presidential elections are coming up next year, and general elections in 2020.

Although Mr. Rajapaksa is barred from running again because of term limits, his brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the former defense secretary, appears to be readying to take the mantle.

“It will be Mahinda Rajapaksa’s call. If he says it’s one of the brothers, that person will have a very strong claim,” said Ajith Nivard Cabraal, the central bank governor under Mr. Rajapaksa’s government, who still advises the family. “Even if he’s no longer the president, as the Constitution is structured, Mahinda will be the main power base.”

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Giustizia, Stati Uniti, Trump

Trump. Corte Suprema, aborto e controllo dell’Occidente.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-07-13.

Corte Suprema Americana

Questa estate si combatterà la battaglia decisiva per il controllo dell’Occidente nei decenni successivi. Non a caso il Corriere, come tutti peraltro, dice che “sono in gioco prospettive epocali“.

«Nello scontro che potrebbe durare fino all’autunno inoltrato sono in gioco prospettive epocali per il Paese, ma anche gli equilibri politici nel breve periodo»

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«A novembre ci sono le elezioni di mid-term: rinnovo completo della Camera dei rappresentanti e di un terzo del Senato»

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«E la conferma del nuovo giudice rappresenta un rischio da una parte e dell’altra. »

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«È uno dei passaggi più importanti per la politica e la società americana. L’alto collegio ha l’ultima parola su temi cruciali come l’aborto, l’ambiente, i diritti civili, le misure sull’immigrazione.»

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«Con le dimissioni di Kennedy, effettive dal prossimo 31 luglio, l’equilibrio interno torna in parità: quattro toghe nominate da presidenti democratici e quattro da repubblicani.»

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«Il nuovo arrivato, il nono, potrebbe risultare decisivo per forgiare la giurisprudenza negli anni a venire, capovolgendo, per esempio, la sentenza Roe contro Wade che, nel 1973, riconobbe alle donne il diritto di decidere liberamente l’interruzione della gravidanza.»

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«Sul versante democratico Heidi Heitkamp, del North Dakota, Joe Donnelly dell’Indiana e Joe Manchin della West Virginia vengono da Stati ora controllati dai trumpiani: temono di perdere il seggio a novembre se bloccheranno la nomina del presidente»

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Negli ultimi due secoli l’Occidente si è cullato su di una grandiosa ipocrisia: che l’ordine giudiziario possa essere una realtà staccata ed indipendente da quello politico. Alla fine si arriva ad una delle due possibilità: o il potere politico governa la magistratura, oppure essa governa la politica. Alterum non datur.

I liberal democratici hanno da sempre dato grande importanza al governo tramite la magistratura, inventandosi anche la teoria giuridica per la quale i giudici possono ‘interpretare‘ le leggi invece che applicarle: ne consegue che le relative sentenze siano soggettive invece che oggettive. In parole povere, con i liberal al governo il giudice fa ciò che più gli aggrada, ossequioso servo del partito.

Se nel 2016 fosse stata eletta Mrs Hillary Clinton, il mondo sarebbe stato liberal per i prossimi decenni: la storia ha disposto però in modo differente. Se si riuscisse a comprendere la crucialità dell’evento sarebbe immediatamente comprensibile la reazione scomposta dei liberal democratici alla sconfitta alle presidenziali.

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A rigor di logica, il problema dell’aborto pertiene l’etica e la morale e, di conseguenza, secondariamente la politica, ed etica e morale condannano la pratica abortiva come omicidio premeditato. Una cosa è la giustizia ed una completamente differente la legalità., come bene ha puntualizzato il Processo di Norimberga.

I liberal risolsero il problema sui generis: asserendo che non esiste l’etica, bensì esistono le etiche, ammettono cioè la liceità di differenti giudizi. Ma se tutti i giudizi siano equivalenti significa che alla fine prevale solo ed esclusivamente la visione di chi detiene il potere e può quindi imporsi.

I liberal democratici hanno fatto dell’aborto la loro bandiera portante, asserendo che tale pratica sarebbe stata un diritto fondamentale della femmina, la decisione della quale non necessitava neppure del parere del padre. Similmente, nel periodo in cui hanno avuto il controllo dell’apparato giudiziario, hanno patrocinato sentenze che elevavano al rango di diritti fondamentali situazioni altamente opinabili. Avevano il potere e lo hanno esercitato, imponendo de facto le proprie visioni. Il governo passava a funzionari statali, saltando i rappresentanti eletti.

Adesso i liberal mal sopportano che il vento sia cambiato.

Basta dare tempo al tempo, e tutto l’impianto giuridico faticosamente costruito dai liberal sentenza su sentenza sarà sistematicamente smantellato.

Aborto, ambiente, ‘diritti civili’, immigrazione, etc.: tutto dovrà essere riassettato sia per debito di giustizia sia per rovesciare i simboli liberal.


Corriere. 2018-07-09. Corte suprema, l’aborto sarà decisivo

Quattro candidati e ancora molti dubbi per Donald Trump. Il presidente svelerà stasera, in diretta televisiva alle 21 (le 3 di notte di martedì 10 in Italia), il nome del giudice scelto per sostituire Anthony Kennedy alla Corte Suprema. Fino a ieri la lista di Trump, ritiratosi a meditare nel campo di golf di Bedminster nel New Jersey, appariva fluida, senza un vero favorito. Le indiscrezioni dei giornali americani danno in buona posizione Thomas Hardiman, 53 anni, del Massachusetts, già in ballottaggio con Neil Gorsuch, poi preferito, nel gennaio del 2017 per prendere il posto di Antonin Scalia. Hardiman, tra l’altro, ha prestato servizio nel tribunale di Philadelphia con una sorella di «The Donald», la giudice Maryanne Trump Barry.

Leggermente più indietro Raymond Kethledge, 51 anni del New Jersey; Brett Kavanaugh, 53 anni di Washington e Amy Coney Barrett, 46 anni, della Louisiana. Sono tutti solidi conservatori. La più tetragona è Amy, cattolica militante, 7 figli, l’unica donna nella selezione finale che inizialmente prevedeva 25 magistrati.

L’indicazione di Trump dovrà poi essere ratificata dal Senato. Bastano 50 voti, la metà del totale: a quel punto il vice presidente Mike Pence può intervenire per dare la maggioranza ai repubblicani.

È uno dei passaggi più importanti per la politica e la società americana. L’alto collegio ha l’ultima parola su temi cruciali come l’aborto, l’ambiente, i diritti civili, le misure sull’immigrazione. Con le dimissioni di Kennedy, effettive dal prossimo 31 luglio, l’equilibrio interno torna in parità: quattro toghe nominate da presidenti democratici e quattro da repubblicani.

Il nuovo arrivato, il nono, potrebbe risultare decisivo per forgiare la giurisprudenza negli anni a venire, capovolgendo, per esempio, la sentenza Roe contro Wade che, nel 1973, riconobbe alle donne il diritto di decidere liberamente l’interruzione della gravidanza.

Nello scontro che potrebbe durare fino all’autunno inoltrato sono in gioco prospettive epocali per il Paese, ma anche gli equilibri politici nel breve periodo. A novembre ci sono le elezioni di mid-term: rinnovo completo della Camera dei rappresentanti e di un terzo del Senato. E la conferma del nuovo giudice rappresenta un rischio da una parte e dell’altra.

Ieri il senatore repubblicano Lindsay Graham, spesso critico con Trump, ha dichiarato che «nessuno dei quattro nomi avrebbe la possibilità di superare il vaglio parlamentare». Ecco una breve mappa del disagio tra i repubblicani: il senatore Rand Paul detesta l’epoca dei Bush e quindi boccerebbe Kavanaugh, che è stato tra l’altro consigliere di George W. Bush e assistente del super procuratore Kenneth Starr nell’inchiesta su Bill Clinton.

Le repubblicane moderate Lisa Murkowski e Susan Collins, invece, si opporrebbero alla designazione dell’anti-abortista Barrett e chiederebbero ampie garanzie agli altri pretendenti.

Sul versante democratico Heidi Heitkamp, del North Dakota, Joe Donnelly dell’Indiana e Joe Manchin della West Virginia vengono da Stati ora controllati dai trumpiani: temono di perdere il seggio a novembre se bloccheranno la nomina del presidente. E sono solo pochi esempi: è in arrivo un’altra stagione dall’esito imprevedibile.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Giustizia, Stati Uniti, Trump

Trump. Una sua accusatrice arrestata in flagranza di reato.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-07-12.

2018-07-12__Stormy_Daniels__001

Cerchiamo di esporre materia complessa con un certo quale ordine.

La lettura degli allegati è parte integrante di questo articolo.

Durante l’Amministrazione liberal democratica molti stati americani hanno recepito nel codice penale il sexual harassment, punendolo con pene detentive di lunga durata e refusioni al limite della solvibilità. Era, ed è, considerato allo stesso livello dello stupro con efferata violenza. Non solo. In molti stati tale reato non era soggetto a prescrizione, e la testimonianza della femmina era, ed è tuttora, ritenuta essere prova probante: documentazione e testimoni erano ritenuti essere roba da Ancien Régime.

Si scatenò una mattanza: oltre un terzo delle cause erano fatte da femmine che denunciavano aver subito tale oltraggio. Poi, come costumanza negli Stati Uniti, la maggior parte terminava con un accordo stragiudiziario.

Se era stato montato un business imponente, era anche stata messa a punto un’arma micidiale per eliminare gli avversari politici. Nell’Unione Sovietica la denuncia di socialdemocrazia, sotto il nazionalsocialismo di essere un ‘ebreo bianco’ era trattata come il sexual harassment negli Stati Uniti.

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Sexual harassment. L’ultima arma per neutralizzare i nemici.

Silicon Valley. La pronta risposta al sexual harassment.

Essere femmina garantisce immunità totale. Fintanto che durerà ….

Mafioso con 59 omicidi. Libero. Non erano sexual harassment.

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Ma come recita il proverbio, il diavolo fa le pentole e non i coperchi.

I liberal democratici avevano scavato una profonda buca ove seppellire i repubblicani e, nelle loro attese, anche Mr Trump, ma hanno incominciato a caderci loro stessi.

Nessuno si è chiesto il cui prodest dei sexual harassment.

Matt Lauer. Un altro liberal democratico licenziato in tronco.

Trump. Sen. Al Franken, democratico, accusato di sexual harassment.

Procuratore Generale NY, Schneiderman, dimissionario per abusi sessuali.

Justin Trudeau, premier canadese, si era palpeggiato Mrs. Rose Knight.

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L’obbiettivo finale di tutto questo polveroso marchingegno era uno dei tanti tentativi democratici di incastrare in una qualche maniera quel Mr Trump che li aveva asfaltati alle elezioni presidenziali.

Nugoli di femmine non più nel fior degli anni iniziò a denunciare di essere state oggetto di sexual harassment da parte del Presidente Trump.

Molto cautamente, però, queste denunzie erano fatte a mezzo stampa, ma, tranne una, nessuna era stata formalizzata in un atto legale esposto a polizia o magistratura. Senza elementi probanti in mano, sarebbe stato ben difficile aver un sia pur minimo appiglio.

Mrs Stephanie Clifford, nome d’arte Stormy Daniels, ha accusato il Presidente Trump

«Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who has made headlines for an alleged affair with Donald Trump»

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«Stephanie Clifford, claims she had sex with Trump in 2006»

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«Ms. Clifford, who performs under the name Stormy Daniels, had been scheduled to appear at Sirens Gentlemen’s Club in northeastern Columbus on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the club’s website»

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«She was arrested for allowing a customer to touch her “in a non sexual manner” while she was on stage, her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, wrote on Twitter. He wrote that she was expected to be charged with a misdemeanor “for allowing ‘touching.’”»

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Questo è l’annuncio twitter dato dall’avvocato Michael Avenatti:

«Just rcvd word that my client @StormyDaniels was arrested in Columbus Ohio whole performing the same act she has performed across the nation at nearly a hundred strip clubs. This was a setup & politically motivated. It reeks of desperation. We will fight all bogus charges. #Basta»

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Per cercare di capirci, fare l’attrice per “adult films” significa la piena, conscia e volontaria determinazione ad essere ripresa mentre maschi vigorosi la penetrano per ogni dove, mentre succhia voluttuosamente uno dei tanti membri maschili disponibili sul set, senza disdegnare l’uso di sexual toy, da quelli di uso domestico a quelli ad alta potenza. Come corollario, le pornostar danno al produttore ampio mandato a far circolare i relativi filmati ove compare il loro volto e la loro figura in tali condizioni. Si noti come  gli “adult films” spesso hanno contenuti aberranti per soddisfare ele esigenze particolari di molti clienti paganti: sono disponibile depravazioni di ogni tipo.

Diciamo che le femmine che fanno le pornostar non sono propriamente delle Suore Orsoline.

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Come riporta il suo avvocato, Mr Michael Avenatti, Mrs Stephanie Clifford, alias Stormy Daniels, aveva lavorato in oltre un centinaio di club come spogliarellista e, nello stile di quei locali, caldeggiava che i clienti la palpeggiassero per ogni dove, specie nei punti ove la femminilità è meglio rappresentata, dietro modico compenso. Ma il numero annienta, e Mrs Clifford ci si faceva la giornata. Più la palpeggiavano, più guadagnava.

Ma è caduta male, molto male.

Infatti, una legge dell’Ohio vieta a chiunque non sia un membro di famiglia di toccare una ballerina nuda o seminuda, e così Mrs Stephanie Clifford é stata arrestata per avere permesso ed incoraggiato i clienti a toccarla, in violazione delle leggi statali.

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Da detenuta, e con un simile encomiabile curriculum, Mrs Stephanie Clifford avrà adesso molte difficoltà a continuare a sostenere le proprie accuse a Mr. Trump.

Ed intanto le elezioni di midterm si stanno avvicinando.


Cnbc. 2018-07-12. Stormy Daniels arrested in Ohio while performing, her attorney says

Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who has made headlines for an alleged affair with Donald Trump, was arrested in Columbus, Ohio, according to her attorney.

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Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who has made headlines for an alleged affair with Donald Trump, was arrested in Columbus, Ohio, according to her attorney.

Michael Avenatti, who has represented Daniels, delivered the message in a Twitter post in the earlier hours of Thursday ET. In that tweet, the attorney claimed the arrest was politically motivated, and said “it reeks of desperation.”

CNBC has not independently confirmed the arrest.

In a subsequent Twitter post, Aventatti said Daniels had been arrested for “allegedly allowing a customer to touch her while on stage in a non sexual manner.”

The attorney added in a follow-up post that he expected the adult film actress to be released on bail “shortly” and that she would be charged “with a misdemeanor for allowing ‘touching.'”

“We will vehemently contest all charges,” Avenatti said.

Avenatti told NBC News that he was of the understanding that there were multiple undercover vice officers in the club during Daniels’ show. After the customer touched her, according to the attorney, those officers got up and arrested the performer on the spot.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had sex with Trump in 2006, while he was married to Melania Trump.

In October 2016, on the eve of the presidential election, Michael Cohen, then Donald Trump’s personal attorney, used a shell company he had set up to pay Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her signing a nondisclosure agreement.

Daniels has said the agreement barred her from speaking publicly about her tryst with Trump.


The New York Times. 2018-07-12. Stormy Daniels Arrested at Strip Club in Columbus, Her Lawyer Says.

Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic film actress who said she had an affair with Donald J. Trump before he became president, was arrested at a strip club in Columbus, Ohio, her lawyer said early Thursday.

Ms. Clifford, who performs under the name Stormy Daniels, had been scheduled to appear at Sirens Gentlemen’s Club in northeastern Columbus on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the club’s website.

She was arrested for allowing a customer to touch her “in a non sexual manner” while she was on stage, her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, wrote on Twitter. He wrote that she was expected to be charged with a misdemeanor “for allowing ‘touching.’”

A man who answered the phone at Sirens early Thursday morning said, “We have no comment on that.” He declined to provide his name. The Columbus Police Department did not immediately return a phone call.

Since gaining nationwide prominence for her accusation against President Trump — and the $130,000 payment she received to originally keep quiet — Ms. Clifford has drawn crowds at strip clubs across the country, including in Greenville, S.C., Salem, Ore., and Des Moines, Iowa. They were mostly curiosities until her trip to Columbus.

Mr. Avenatti, an outspoken lawyer who has become a sharp critic of Mr. Trump, saw political machinations behind the arrest.

“This was a setup & politically motivated,” Mr. Avenatti wrote. “It reeks of desperation. We will fight all bogus charges.”

She was arrested for allegedly allowing a customer to touch her while on stage in a non sexual manner! Are you kidding me? They are devoting law enforcement resources to sting operations for this? There has to be higher priorities!!! #SetUp #Basta

— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) July 12, 2018

In Ohio, it is illegal for an employee who is “nude or seminude” at a sexually oriented business to be touched by a patron or to touch a patron, with the exception of an immediate family member. Depending on what body part is touched, the charge can be a first- or fourth-degree misdemeanor.


Bbc. 2018-07-12. Stormy Daniels arrested in Ohio – lawyer

US porn star Stormy Daniels has been arrested in a strip club in Columbus, Ohio, according to her lawyer.

Ms Daniels was arrested for allegedly letting a customer touch her on stage “in a non sexual manner”, lawyer Michael Avenatti tweeted.

Ms Daniels became embroiled in a row with President Donald Trump after saying she slept with him in 2006, an allegation which he denies.

Her lawyer called the arrest “a setup” and “politically motivated”.

The president and the porn star: Why this matters

The conflicting statements in the Stormy Daniels saga

A Columbus police spokesperson has yet to respond to requests for confirmation about the arrest at the Sirens club in the north of the city.

Mr Avenatti tweeted that Ms Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, had been performing “the same act she has performed across the nation at nearly a hundred strip clubs”.

He said he expected her to be released on bail shortly and charged with a misdemeanour and vowed to “vehemently contest all charges”.

An Ohio law known as the Community Defense Act proscribes anyone touching a nude or semi-nude dancer, unless they are related.

Sirens tweeted last month to say Ms Daniels would make two “exclusive appearances” at the venue on the nights of 11 and 12 July.

A person who answered the phone at Sirens declined to comment.

Ms Daniels says she was paid $130,000 (£98,000) shortly before the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet about her alleged sexual encounter with Mr Trump.

She is trying to free herself from a non-disclosure agreement signed before the election, and suing over a “defamatory” tweet by the US president earlier this year. Mr Trump denies all allegations.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Stati Uniti, Trump

Trump ha chiuso i democratici nella tonnara. – The New York Times.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-07-10.

Tonnara 001

Siamo debitori ad Aulo Irzio, compilatore delle ultime parti dell’ottavo libro del De Bello Gallico, di una scultorea sentenza sulla vittoria ottenuta in Gallia da Giulio Cesare.

“Come ha fatto Giulio Cesare con sessantamila soldati romani a vincere in modo definitivo un popolo di quasi venti milioni di persone? Sicuramente i romani erano un esercito disciplinato e ben addestrato, altrettanto sicuramente erano meglio armati ed esperti sia nell’arte degli assedi sia in quella dei combattimenti campali. Sicuramente avevano una possente volontà di vincere ed altrettanto sicuramente erano guidati da un generale di rara intelligenza. Ma questo non basta a dare una spiegazione logica.

Fatto è che Cesare vedeva e percepiva la realtà per quello che era, mentre i galli amavano credere fosse vero ciò che a loro avrebbe fatto piace che lo fosse.”

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Questa ultima considerazione eleva Giulio Cesare nel ristretto novero dei grandi generali e statisti.

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Da due anni a questa parte i liberal democratici hanno riversato su Mr Trump ogni sorta di nequizia, omettendo forse l’aggiotaggio ed il pascolo abusivo. È stata la più grandiosa campagna denigratoria mai vista nella storia umana.

Nessuno si sogna di trarne un giudizio morale, che non compete al cronista, ma salta agli occhi che i liberal democratici americani ed i loro sodali sparsi per il mondo alla fine si sono illusi a credere che ciò che dicevano fosse vero.

Dapprima illusione certa, ma spesso pura e semplice allucinazione.

Il Presidente Trump è un essere razionale ed anche molto scaltro, molto più astuto di quanto i liberal vogliano ammettere.

Ha capito più che bene come i liberal socialisti fossero entrati in fase devolutiva perché non erano più in grado di ascoltare con cura ciò che il popolo cercava loro di dire. Ma non votano solo le élite auto referenziali: votano tutti gli Elettori, anche la povera gente.

Sua Giustizia Antony Kennedy si ritira. Altra vittoria di Trump.

Trump. La Suprema Corte libera i lavoratori dalla malversazione dei sindacati.

Trump. La Suprema Corte gli rende giustizia sulla immigrazione.

Trump. Disoccupazione al 3.8%. Anche negri e latino-americani votano.

Trump. Median Household Income e risultati elettorali.

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Questo è l’incipit di un articolo di un noto giornale liberal.

«US President Donald Trump on Monday nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, setting the stage for a tumultuous confirmation battle over the future direction of the nation’s highest court.»

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«”Throughout legal circles he’s considered a judge’s judge, a true thought leader among his peers,” Trump said at the White House. “He’s a brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style, universally regarded as one of the finest and sharpest legal minds of our time.”»

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«The confirmation of Trump’s pick would move the Supreme Court to the right for decades. A heated confirmation is set to dominate politics ahead of November’s mid-term elections.»

«for decades»: l’illusione liberal è morta, uccisa proprio dal marchingegno che aveva congeniato.

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Midterm. Repubblicani apparentemente in testa.- New York Times.

Nessuno fa il negromante, per cui nessuno può dare sicure previsioni su come andranno le elezioni di midterm.

Sappiamo solo che in questa tornata elettorale da duecentotrenta anni solo tre volte gli Elettori non hanno eletto un senato ed una camera del partito avverso a quello del presidente in carica. Bilanciano i poteri, obbligano agli accordi.

Per il presidente Trump sarebbe già un grande successo se riuscisse a mantenere la maggioranza in senato, fatto che gli consentirebbe di terminare le nomine dei giudici federali ancora pendenti.

Le corti federali hanno infatti il potere di interferire con le decisioni politiche del presidente, ed i liberal democratici le hanno colonizzate con loro strenui sostenitori. Ingordigia e presunzione hanno fato loro fallire il controllo della Suprema Corte, inappellabile, ed adesso le dimissioni di Sua Giustizia Kennedy rendono obbligatoria la votazione in senato per convalidare la nomina che il presidente Trump si appresta a fare: sarà una personalità repubblicana, religiosa, che applicherà le leggi testualmente e non inventandosele di sana pianta, e sarà anche molto giovane.

Con la Corte Suprema a maggioranza repubblicana i liberal democratici saranno ingabbiati per decenni: saranno trattati per come hanno trattato.

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I democratici dovranno in breve fare una scelta, quanto mai dolorosa.

O appoggiano il nome stabilito da Mr Trump e consegnano ai repubblicani la Corte Suprema per almeno quaranta anni, oppure fanno ostruzionismo, come lo fecero avverso Sua Giustizia Gorsuch, tagliando così le gambe ai democratici che si presentano a midterm negli stati a forte percentuale repubblicana. L’ostruzionismo è sempre stato penalizzante se fatto a ridosso delle elezioni americane: “It could not come at a worse time”.

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«Democratic senators running for re-election in Trump Country face an agonizing choice over President Trump’s coming Supreme Court nominee: Vote to confirm the pick and risk demoralizing Democratic voters ahead of the midterm elections, or stick with the party and possibly sacrifice their own seats — and any chance at a Democratic majority in 2019.»

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«The actions of a handful of Senate Democrats struggling to hold their seats in red states where Mr. Trump remains popular — notably Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia — will have broad implications for the party at a critical political juncture.»

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«A decision by one or all of them to try to bolster their standing with Republican-leaning voters in their states by backing the president’s nominee would undermine Democratic leaders as they try to sustain party unity»

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«And if their votes put the president’s choice on the court, it could hasten the move to the left by the party’s aggressive activist core, while intensifying the clamor for new, more confrontational leadership.»

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«But if they hold together on a “no” vote, those senators could not only surrender their own seats, but by expanding the Republican majority, they could also narrow the path of Democrats to a Senate majority for years to come by ceding those states to Republicans»

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Bene.

Per due anni i liberal democratici si sono sbizzarriti nell’arte della calunnia e dell’insulto, senza ottenere alcunché.

Con il loro comportamento grottesco hanno sottominato il prestigio mondiale del Presidente degli Stati Uniti.

Ma adesso siamo arrivati al momento del redde rationem.

Con le nomine alla Corte Suprema Mr Trump ha ottenuto una vittoria strabiliante: se anche adesso lo assassinassero, la Suprema Corte resterebbe repubblicana per altri lunghi decenni.

È facile pagare otto dollari l’ora quattro ragazzotti che andassero a dimostrare con i cartelli “not my president”.

Ma convincere gli Elettori è ben altra cosa.

Ci si ricordi bene: la società civile non sono le ngo, bensì il Corpo Elettorale. La politica la si fa in Congresso ed al Senato, non sulle piazze.


The New York Times. 2018-07-07. ‘It’s a Terrible Vote’: Red-State Democrats Face an Agonizing Supreme Court Choice.

WASHINGTON — Democratic senators running for re-election in Trump Country face an agonizing choice over President Trump’s coming Supreme Court nominee: Vote to confirm the pick and risk demoralizing Democratic voters ahead of the midterm elections, or stick with the party and possibly sacrifice their own seats — and any chance at a Democratic majority in 2019.

The actions of a handful of Senate Democrats struggling to hold their seats in red states where Mr. Trump remains popular — notably Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia — will have broad implications for the party at a critical political juncture.

A decision by one or all of them to try to bolster their standing with Republican-leaning voters in their states by backing the president’s nominee would undermine Democratic leaders as they try to sustain party unity. And if their votes put the president’s choice on the court, it could hasten the move to the left by the party’s aggressive activist core, while intensifying the clamor for new, more confrontational leadership.

But if they hold together on a “no” vote, those senators could not only surrender their own seats, but by expanding the Republican majority, they could also narrow the path of Democrats to a Senate majority for years to come by ceding those states to Republicans.

“It is a terrible vote,” Jennifer Duffy, a longtime nonpartisan analyst of Senate races for the Cook Political Report, said about the showdown, which will escalate on Monday with the scheduled official announcement of the nominee.

It could not come at a worse time. A final confirmation vote will probably be called just weeks before an election in which Democrats are defending a sprawling battleground, including 10 states carried by Mr. Trump, with Democratic pickup opportunities in only a handful of states. A failure to hang on to nearly all of the 10 would make a Senate takeover very difficult.

The situation is complicated by the fact that Republicans last year denied Democrats the ability to filibuster a Supreme Court candidate, a tool that would have previously enabled the most vulnerable Democrats to side with the president even as the rest of the party held the line against the nominee and satisfied anxious liberal voters.

In the run-up to his announcement, Mr. Trump has sought to intensify the pressure on Democrats who are on the ballot in Republican-leaning states.

“You deserve a senator who doesn’t just talk like he’s from Montana,” Mr. Trump said Thursday night during a combative stop in Great Falls, Mont., as he assailed Jon Tester, the conservative state’s two-term Democrat. “You deserve a senator who actually votes like he’s from Montana.”

The president delivered a nearly identical attack on Ms. Heitkamp a week earlier in Fargo, N.D., in what appears destined to become a stock line as Mr. Trump visits Senate battlegrounds.

Much of the attention has been focused on Ms. Heitkamp, Mr. Manchin and Mr. Donnelly because they broke with their party last year and backed Neil M. Gorsuch, Mr. Trump’s first nominee to the court, showing their willingness to get behind the president’s choices. Mr. Trump racked up huge margins in their states and still draws enthusiastic crowds.

But other Democratic incumbents need to be wary as well, including Senator Bill Nelson, the Florida Democrat who is in a difficult re-election fight with Rick Scott, the Republican governor. Mr. Nelson will need the support of Republican and independent voters to prevail, but also that of Democratic voters in Florida’s urban centers.

Another endangered Democratic incumbent, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, is viewed as highly unlikely to back any Trump nominee despite the political risk. And if Mr. Trump selects Judge Raymond M. Kethledge of Michigan, it could present difficulties for Senator Debbie Stabenow, who is seeking her fourth term in a state carried narrowly by Mr. Trump two years ago though she has so far escaped formidable competition.

As they plot strategy for the coming weeks, top Democrats and their allies are focused initially on holding Senate Democrats together to put most of the court pressure on two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who are centrist abortion-rights advocates. Democrats believe that quick signs of any defections in their party could relieve that pressure on the two Republicans while simultaneously frustrating Democratic voters.

“It is very important that we send a signal out of the gate that this is a winnable fight,” said Brian Fallon, the head of a new Democratic judicial advocacy group called Demand Justice. “By throwing in the towel before there was an opportunity to really pressure the pro-choice Republicans, you would have a sense of deflation among progressives that is the last thing you should want going into the midterms.”

The Democratic leader, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, is facing calls from activist groups to keep his party in line, and he and his team are intent on doing so. But that does not mean he will want embattled incumbents to yield their seats if the nominee is ultimately going to be confirmed with Republican votes.

At the same time, Republican and conservative groups have initiated campaigns in select states trying to establish the president’s coming choice as unobjectionable, while urging supportive calls to Senate offices. They will also try to make any resistance seem the work of far-left activists.

“Radical Left Takes the Reins,” shouted a headline over a release from the office of Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and majority leader. “Radical Groups Demand Absolute Resistance Against Yet-to-Be-Named SCOTUS Nominee, Senate Democrats Comply With ‘Unwavering Opposition.’”

The Democrats under scrutiny have had little to say so far about their intentions as they await the identity of the nominee.

“Like my colleagues, I’ll wait to see who he nominates for the position — and then get to work exhaustively reviewing and vetting the nominee and their record to meet my constitutional duty as a U.S. senator to provide advice and consent for filling this vacancy,” Ms. Heitkamp said after a White House meeting with the president the day after he had attacked her back home in Fargo.

Mr. Tester chose to ignore the president’s assault and instead emphasized his bipartisan credentials.

“Jon’s record is clear — if it’s good for Montana, Jon works with anyone from either party to get things done,” his campaign said in a statement following the Trump rally.

That approach reflects what Democrats believe is a potential backstop for the embattled red-state Democrats. Politicians like Ms. Heitkamp, Mr. Manchin and Mr. Tester have well-established identities in their home states and remain popular with voters of both parties. They hope that relationship, built over years of campaigns, could sustain them should they break with the president.

Other issues are also at work. The new trade war could have negative consequences for agriculture in a farm state like North Dakota, driving down allegiance to Mr. Trump. It was no coincidence that Ms. Heitkamp in the past week held multiple meetings across her state on trade and a new farm bill — two issues with direct impact on voters.

In addition, Democrats proved they could remain united against the president on the tax bill and on repealing the Affordable Care Act, two past instances that were also seen as carrying big political risks. Party strategists say that if they can make health care a cornerstone of the Supreme Court fight, it could embolden the red-state Democrats to push back against the White House.

But Republicans have a history of elevating the Supreme Court above all else, given its influence on major social policy such as abortion, immigration, education, voting rights and the environment.

“For Republicans, the Supreme Court is their biggest voting issue,” said Ms. Duffy, the Senate elections analyst. “What this does is it wakes up the base.”

For Democrats, the test will be whether they can mount a strong challenge to the nominee that satisfies their voters without exacting too high a cost from their most endangered lawmakers.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Stati Uniti, Trump

La fine dei liberal socialisti. Sono battuti strategicamente.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-07-09.

Supreme Court

Tra il quattro ed il sei giugno millenovecentoquarantadue si combatté la battaglia di Midway, un isolotto sperduto nel bel mezzo dell’Oceano Pacifico. Gli americani affondarono quattro grandi portaerei di squadra nemiche e segnarono in tal modo un punto di svolta nella guerra del Pacifico con l’arresto dell’avanzata nipponica. Con le portaerei di assalto il Giappone perse 248 aeroplani della marina e relativi piloti. Da quel momento l’iniziativa strategica passò agli americani: ci vollero altri tre anni di guerra e milioni di morti, ma era evidente che a Midway il Giappone aveva perso non una battaglia bensì la guerra.

Nulla da stupirsi se all’epoca solo l’ammiraglio Nimitz ed il generale MacArthur avessero capito la portata storica di quell’evento.

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Il sette novembre 2016 l’elezione di Mr Trump alla Presidenza degli Stati Uniti ha segnato non solo la sconfitta dei liberal democratici americani in una usuale tornata elettorale: ne ha segnato la sconfitta strategica che alla fine porterà al loro annientamento totale. Come dopo Midway, serviranno molti anni, ma il destino dei liberal democratici è stato determinato in modo irreversibile.

Ma con la fine di questa componente di pensiero e politica viene a crollare tutta quella che era stata la sinistra europea.

Il fenomeno era nell’aria da tempo, preannunciato con n secolo di anticipo da Spengler ne Il Tramonto dell’Occidente.

Tramonto non dell’Occidente ma della dottrina illuminista.

Unione Europea si disgrega per devoluzione dell’ideologia liberal. – Spiegel.

Devoluzione del socialismo ideologico. – Eu Observer.

Devoluzione dell’idealismo liberal e socialista. Cahiers de doléances.

Unione Europea. Non stiamo arrivando. Siamo arrivati.

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Ma per comprendere appieno la portata di quanto stia accadendo, sarebbe necessario valutare un altro elemento, caratteristico degli Stati Uniti, ma di portata mondiale.

Trump. Supreme Court. Il chiodo nella carne dei democratici.

Trump ed il nodo della Supreme Court.

Trump. Neil Gorsuch nominato alla Suprema Corte. Sviluppi futuri.

Sua Giustizia Antony Kennedy si ritira. Altra vittoria di Trump.

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La Suprema Corte degli Stati Uniti funge, come in molti altri stati occidentali, da supremo ed inappellabile censore sulla costituzionalità delle leggi e dei provvedimenti emanati dal Governo Federale.

I problemi hanno iniziato ad emergere da qualche decina di anni, da quando i liberal democratici sono riusciti a far nominare Giudici persone loro fedeli. La Suprema Corte era transitata da organo giuridico ad organo politico non elettivo, fedele esecutore degli ordini di partito.

Per poter conseguire i loro risultati politici, le loro Giustizie Federali avevano anche congegnato una sottile teorica in accordo alla quale le leggi non si applicano, bensì si interpretano: se ogni interpretazione è soggettiva, quella delle Corte Suprema diventa ipso facto sentenza non appellabile, e quindi ineludibile.

Operando in tal fatta, la Suprema Corte per molto tempo ha operato come vero e proprio sommo centro decisionale politico, indipendentemente da maggioranze parlamentari e dal Presidente degli Stati Uniti, instaurando de facto una vera e propria tirannide. Adesso essa sta passando di mano, dai liberal ai repubblicani, sta ritornando alla normalità legale.

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Non a caso Sua Giustizia Kennedy era designato essere

“most powerful man in America”

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Bene. Con la nomina del successore di Sua Giustizia Kennedy Mr Trump piazzerà un repubblicano cattolico di solide convinzioni alla Corte Suprema e, se le previsioni di confermassero, sceglierà per questa carica a vita un uomo quarantenne. Come risultato finale la Suprema Corte resterà saldamente in mano repubblicana per molte decine di anni.

«Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced on Wednesday that he would retire, setting the stage for a furious fight over the future direction of the Supreme Court»

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«Justice Kennedy, 81, has long been the decisive vote in many closely divided cases. His retirement gives President Trump the opportunity to fundamentally change the course of the Supreme Court»

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«A Trump appointee would very likely create a solid five-member conservative majority that could imperil abortion rights and expand gun rights»

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«He [Kennedy] also voted with the court’s conservatives in cases on the Second Amendment and voting rights.»

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«The replacement of Justice Kennedy with a reliable conservative would be far more consequential and would move the court markedly to the right »

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«The “most powerful man in America” has announced his retirement at the age of 81. Kennedy is considered the “swing vote” among the justices and his depature will allow Trump to nominate a more conservative judge»

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«Kennedy has long been considered the swing vote on the court between the liberal and conservative justices»

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«His retirement will allow President Donald Trump to make a second nomination to the bench, likely giving the court a conservative bent for years to come»

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«He often sided with the liberal justices on social issues, such as the legalization of gay marriage in 2017 and a decision in 1992 that reaffirmed Roe v. Wade.»

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«Almost immediately after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement on Wednesday, Senate Democrats argued that his replacement should not be confirmed until after the midterm elections»

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«This is surely a valid argument, not least because Mr. McConnell’s blatantly anti-democratic ploy stole a judicial appointment from a popularly elected president and gave it to one who lost the popular vote by millions»

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«People under the cloud of investigation do not get to pick the judges who may preside over their cases. By this logic, President Trump should not be permitted to appoint a new Supreme Court justice until after the special counsel investigation is over»

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«True, that point is unlikely to stop Mr. McConnell or his colleagues»

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«But not enough attention has been placed on the crucial question of whether the Supreme Court in the Trump era will provide an effective bulwark against autocratic lawless rule»

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«Can the president be compelled to testify before a grand jury? Can a sitting president be criminally indicted?»

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«It is no exaggeration to say that never before has the selection of a Supreme Court nominee been so thoroughly compromised by the president’s profound personal interest in appointing a judge he can count on to protect him.»

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«Mr. Trump’s possible crimes are inextricable from his desire for unilateral control of the federal government»

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«Otherwise, there will be a stain on the legitimacy of this nomination, on the performance of whomever is confirmed and, even, on the Supreme Court itself»

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La reazione dei liberal democratica è scomposta come quella dei cinghiali feriti.

Tutto il ragionamento, si fa per dire, è basato su di un assunto che l’articolista del NYT riporta alquanto ingenuamente.

«Mr. Trump’s possible crimes».

Per i democratici Mr Trump avrebbe perpetrato dei crimini. Nulla da eccepire: ogni cittadini può, e spesso dovrebbe anche, sporgere delle denuncie. Ma nei paesi civili i fatti denunciati sono considerati essere ‘crimini’ solo dopo che un Tribunale legalmente costituito emette sentenza, dopo l’usuale dibattito giudiziale. Non solo, come per la costituzione italiana, anche quella americana prevede che un cittadino incriminato sia da ritenersi essere innocente fino a sentenza cassata.

Notiamo come dopo oltre due anni e mezzo di assordanti tentativi, Mr Trump non abbia nemmeno una notifica giudiziaria. Ma se i liberal democratici non lo denunciano alla magistratura sarà invero molto difficile che Mr Trump sia condannato.

Le denuncie si fanno alla magistratura competente, non dalle testate dei giornali: queste ultime sono solo calunnie.

Nota.

Nessuno sa o può predire il futuro. Ma se Mr Trump riuscisse a sostituire Sua Giustizia Kennedy con un Giudice cattolico e repubblicano per quaranta anni la Suprema Corte sarebbe preclusa alle istanze dei liberal democratici. Se così fosse, i repubblicani dovrebbero fare un monumento a cavallo a Mrs Hillary Clinton, la candidata presidenziale più arrogante e sprovvida della storia.


The New York Times. 2018-06-30. A Better Reason to Delay Kennedy’s Replacement

Almost immediately after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement on Wednesday, Senate Democrats argued that his replacement should not be confirmed until after the midterm elections this fall — a version of the same argument that Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, used to stymie President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016.

This is surely a valid argument, not least because Mr. McConnell’s blatantly anti-democratic ploy stole a judicial appointment from a popularly elected president and gave it to one who lost the popular vote by millions.

But there is another reason to withhold confirmation that both Republicans and Democrats should be able to agree on: People under the cloud of investigation do not get to pick the judges who may preside over their cases. By this logic, President Trump should not be permitted to appoint a new Supreme Court justice until after the special counsel investigation is over, and we know for sure whether there is evidence of wrongdoing.

True, that point is unlikely to stop Mr. McConnell or his colleagues. But it highlights the real risk involved in letting a deeply compromised president shape a court that may one day stand between him and impeachment.

Much of the conversation since Justice Kennedy announced his retirement has been focused on whether a more conservative replacement might lead to the overthrow of landmark decisions on abortion rights, gay marriage and other issues. These are undoubtedly important concerns. But not enough attention has been placed on the crucial question of whether the Supreme Court in the Trump era will provide an effective bulwark against autocratic lawless rule.

Indeed, legal experts are already debating several knotty constitutional questions that involve the president and may one day soon have to be decided by the court. Can the president pardon himself or others specifically to extricate himself from criminal investigation? Can the president be compelled to testify before a grand jury? Can a sitting president be criminally indicted?

Did the appointment of the special counsel somehow violate the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, as some conservatives implausibly insist? Can a president ever obstruct justice? What is the proper legal remedy for Mr. Trump’s repeated violations of the Emoluments Clause? It is no exaggeration to say that never before has the selection of a Supreme Court nominee been so thoroughly compromised by the president’s profound personal interest in appointing a judge he can count on to protect him.

While we cannot know how Justice Kennedy would have ruled on these questions, we do know that at least at times he was willing to stand up to assertions of power by the executive branch, most notably in Boumediene v. Bush, when he wrote a 5-4 decision defying the president and extending the constitutional right of habeas corpus to wartime detainees at Guantánamo Bay.

Mr. Trump’s possible crimes are inextricable from his desire for unilateral control of the federal government. It is no secret that the power of the executive branch has grown over the past several decades, under both Republican and Democratic presidents. Our executive now has surveillance capacities never before seen, vast power to conduct drone strikes and conduct lethal military operations abroad, broad authority to set immigration and law enforcement priorities and the ability to regulate enormous areas of economic and personal life.

Add to this sweeping institutional power a president who refuses to acknowledge any checks on his power as legitimate, whether those checks come from the courts, the legislature, the media, the government bureaucracy or his political opponents. This is the perfect recipe for autocracy. In such a world, the importance of checks and balances has never been greater.

This would be dangerous regardless of Mr. Trump’s legal shortcomings. But this president has, by his own admission, already taken steps to thwart an investigation into his own potential criminality. Both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate should therefore resist calls for a quick confirmation process.

Otherwise, there will be a stain on the legitimacy of this nomination, on the performance of whomever is confirmed and, even, on the Supreme Court itself. The fact that the president has every motive to ensure that happens — to promote his political agenda and to protect him personally — makes the present moment all the more frightening.


Deutsche Welle. 2018-06-27. US Supreme Court Justice Kennedy retiring, giving Trump a second pick

The “most powerful man in America” has announced his retirement at the age of 81. Kennedy is considered the “swing vote” among the justices and his depature will allow Trump to nominate a more conservative judge.

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US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced he is retiring at the age of 81. Although not the oldest, he is the most senior member of the court, having been nominated by former President Ronald Reagan.

“It has been the greatest honor and privilege to serve our nation in the federal judiciary for 43 years, 30 of those years on the Supreme Court,” Kennedy said in a statement. He added that his decision was motivated by the desire to spend more time with his family.

‘The most powerful man in America’

Kennedy has long been considered the swing vote on the court between the liberal and conservative justices. His retirement will allow President Donald Trump to make a second nomination to the bench, likely giving the court a conservative bent for years to come. Conservative activists have already announced their intention to use a more conservative court to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

In response to the news, the president praised Justice Kennedy’s vision and heart.

Speaking in the Oval Office during a meeting with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Trump said that when considering the next nomination he would draw from a list of 25 candidates that his campaign collected during his presidential run.

Kennedy’s career on the Supreme Court earned him the nickname “the most powerful man in America,” because he was often the deciding vote between the conservative and liberal wings of the nine-member court. He often sided with the liberal justices on social issues, such as the legalization of gay marriage in 2017 and a decision in 1992 that reaffirmed Roe v. Wade.


The New York Times. 2018-06-27. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to Retire

WASHINGTON — Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced on Wednesday that he would retire, setting the stage for a furious fight over the future direction of the Supreme Court.

Justice Kennedy, 81, has long been the decisive vote in many closely divided cases. His retirement gives President Trump the opportunity to fundamentally change the course of the Supreme Court.

A Trump appointee would very likely create a solid five-member conservative majority that could imperil abortion rights and expand gun rights.

Justice Kennedy’s voting record was moderately conservative. He wrote the majority opinion in Citizens United, which allowed unlimited campaign spending by corporations and unions, and he joined the majority in Bush v. Gore, which handed the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush. He also voted with the court’s conservatives in cases on the Second Amendment and voting rights.

But Justice Kennedy was the court’s leading champion of gay rights, and he joined the court’s liberals in cases on abortion, affirmative action and the death penalty.

In April 2017, Mr. Trump formally appointed Justice Neil M. Gorsuch to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016, replacing one conservative justice with another and maintaining the basic balance of power on the court.

The replacement of Justice Kennedy with a reliable conservative would be far more consequential and would move the court markedly to the right.

The bitter 14-month battle over Justice Scalia’s seat, during which Republican senators refused to consider President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland, will most likely pale in comparison to the coming fight over Justice Kennedy’s seat.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Stati Uniti, Trump

Trump. I fatti sono l’unica vera propaganda elettorale. – White House.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-07-05.

2018-07-02__White_House__001

Il 29 giugno il Presidente Trump, la White House, ha rilasciato il seguente Fact Sheets:

Six Months Later: Tax Reform Delivers An Economic Resurgence.

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Mr Trump riassume in poche sintetiche righe i risultati pratici ottenuti a sei mesi dal taglio delle tasse.

«More than 6 million American workers have received a bonus as a result of the tax cuts»

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«In the first 3 months of 2018, nominal hourly compensation for workers grew at its fastest rate in at least a decade»

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«The unemployment rate has fallen to 3.8 percent, matching the lowest level in nearly 50 years»

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«Job openings reached a record high of 6.7 million in April 2018, topping the number of job seekers for the first time on record»

*

«In the first quarter of 2018, more than $300 billion was repatriated back to the United States, setting a new record high»

* * * * * * *

Mr Trump si toglie anche qualche sassolino dalle scarpe.

«House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) referred to the bill to “Armageddon.”»

*

«Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) claimed, “what has been sold as a job creator and wage booster will, of course, do little of either»

*

«The day after President Trump’s election, the liberal columnist and economist Paul Krugman said, “we are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight.”»

* * * * * * *

La sconcertante impreparazione economica di Mrs Nancy Pelosi e di Mr Chuck Schumer è proverbiale. Ma tanto sono gente che ha occhi ma non vede, ha orecchi ma non sente. L’ideologia liberal ha ingabbiato le loro menti in un’ideazione coatta subalterna ed ossequiente le teorie che professano. Ricordano da vicino la dirigenza dell’Unione Sovietica nei tempi di Leonìd Il’ìč Brèžnev.

Diverso è il discorso sul prof. Krugman.

Fino a tanto che fece il ricercatore in campo economico scrisse articoli acuti e penetranti, dalla lettura dei quali vi è molto da imparare.

Poi fu assunto come portavoce economico dei liberal democratici, dodici milioni l’anno, è mutò radicalmente.

Il suo compito era di tirar fuori un qualche ragionamento che avvallasse le decisioni prese dai liberal.

Nulla quindi da stupirsi se le sue previsioni non si avverino con una sconcertante regolarità.

«we are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight»

In fondo, un’utilità ce la ha anche il prof. Krugman. Lo si legge e quindi si fa l’opposto di ciò che dice, sicuri di essere nel giusto.


White House. 2018-06-29. Six Months Later: Tax Reform Delivers An Economic Resurgence

There’s never been a better time to hire in America, to invest in America, and to start living the American Dream.

President Donald J. Trump

A BOOMING ECONOMY: Just 6 months after President Donald J. Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, the American economy is booming and confidence is soaring.

– President Trump’s tax cuts have revitalized the American economy, with 54 percent of Americans now rating the economy as good or excellent, the highest ever recorded by CNBC.

– Businesses are bringing money held overseas back to the United States.

– – In the first quarter of 2018, more than $300 billion was repatriated back to the United States, setting a new record high, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

– Optimism among employers has reached historic highs in the 6 months since the tax cuts.

– – Manufacturer optimism has reached its highest level in the 20-year history of the National Association of Manufacturers survey.

– – Small business optimism stands at its second-highest level on record since the National Federation of Independent Business began its survey 45 years ago.

– -The economy looks poised to continue its winning streak, with many economists expecting second quarter GDP growth to exceed 4 percent.

A WIN FOR AMERICAN WORKERS AND FAMILIES: American workers and families have seen some of the biggest benefits from President Trump’s tax cuts.

– Americans are seeing more money in their paychecks following President Trump’s cuts.

– – More than 6 million American workers have received a bonus as a result of the tax cuts.

– – In the first 3 months of 2018, nominal hourly compensation for workers grew at its fastest rate in at least a decade.

– Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe now is a good time to find a quality job, according to Gallup.

– The unemployment rate has fallen to 3.8 percent, matching the lowest level in nearly 50 years.

– Job openings reached a record high of 6.7 million in April 2018, topping the number of job seekers for the first time on record.

– Families are benefiting from lower utility bills, as 30 million Americans in at least 30 states have had their utility bills cut as a result of the tax cuts.

– American workers can expect to see even more gains moving forward, as employers plan to hire more workers and boost compensation according to recent surveys.

CRITICS’ PREDICTIONS FALL FLAT: The positive results of President Trump’s tax cuts are proving the alarmist opponents flat-out wrong.

– The dire predictions by critics of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act simply do not match up with the incredible results seen over the last 6 months.

– House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) referred to the bill to “Armageddon.”

– Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) claimed, “what has been sold as a job creator and wage booster will, of course, do little of either.”

– The day after President Trump’s election, the liberal columnist and economist Paul Krugman said, “we are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight.”

Pubblicato in: Finanza e Sistema Bancario, Stati Uniti

Deutsche Bank US non supera gli stress test della Fed.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-06-30.

A statue is pictured next to the logo of Germany's Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt

Deutsche Bank è da tempo agli onori della cronica, ma ne avrebbe fatto volentieri a meno.

In parole povere, sta andando di male in peggio.

Deutsche Bank. Asset azionario e terrorismo. I proprietari.

Deutsche Bank. Il Qatar mira al 25%. HBJ

Deutsche Bank. Mai mettere i tedeschi spalle al muro.

Guerra civile americana. Liberals democratici e Deutsche Bank.

Deutsche Bank tumbles down private bank rankings after tough 2016

Deutsche Bank fined by regulators over money laundering claims

Germania. Deutsche Bank esclusa dal novero delle banche mondiali.

Deutsche Bank AG. Un nuovo buco da 2.2 mld. -6.29%.

Deutsche Bank. Le cattive notizie diventano pessime. Quei 35 mld Usd ….

* * * * * * *

«Deutsche Bank’s US division has failed the second round of the Federal Reserve’s annual two-stage stress tests, designed to assess how well the sector could withstand another financial crisis»

*

«The German lender suffered from “widespread and critical deficiencies” in parts of its business, the Fed said»

*

Nessuno intende fare allarmismi, sia ben chiaro. D’altra parte, Deutsche Bank sarebbe in compagnia di Goldman Sachs e Morgan Stanley, ma il fatto che i lebbrosi siano tre invece che uno non è certo motivo di particolare gioia.

«The Fed measures whether banks are holding sufficient capital to cope with a recession and in the second part of the process it focuses on banks’ “capital plans” such as how much cash they intend to return to shareholders»

*

Treccani definisce in questi termini il vocabolo ‘prudenza‘.

«L’atteggiamento cauto ed equilibrato di chi, intuendo la presenza di un pericolo o prevedendo le conseguenze dei suoi atti, si comporta in modo da non correre inutili rischi e da evitare a sé e ad altri qualsiasi possibile danno»

Di prudenza non è mai morto nessuno.


Bbc. 2018-06-29. Deutsche Bank’s US unit fails Fed’s stress test

Deutsche Bank’s US division has failed the second round of the Federal Reserve’s annual two-stage stress tests, designed to assess how well the sector could withstand another financial crisis.

The German lender suffered from “widespread and critical deficiencies” in parts of its business, the Fed said.

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were only granted “conditional” passes.

But 31 of the 35 banks tested were given the all-clear.

Stress tests were introduced in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and every year America’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, puts the country’s banks, including foreign subsidiaries operating in the country, through their paces.

The Fed measures whether banks are holding sufficient capital to cope with a recession and in the second part of the process it focuses on banks’ “capital plans” such as how much cash they intend to return to shareholders. However this is the first year that the results of the US units of foreign banks have been publicly released.

All of the 35 largest banks subject to the tests passed the first part of the tests last week.

But the Fed found Deutsche Bank’s US arm had “material weaknesses in the firm’s data capabilities and controls supporting its capital planning process, as well as weaknesses in its approaches and assumptions used to forecast revenues and losses under stress”.

The verdict is another blow for the troubled German lender whose financial health has been under the spotlight recently. And it will require the bank to make changes to the way it operates in the US.

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were given passes, but will not be permitted to increase the amount they return to shareholders beyond levels inline with the last couple of years, in order to bolster their capital cushions.

The Fed said it was also granting a conditional pass to Boston-based State Street, which will be required to take additional steps to manage and analyse its exposure to losses.

Last year was the first time all banks passed the second round of the tests.

The second part of the tests is closely watched because it determines how much firms can return to shareholders in the form of items like share buybacks and dividends.

‘One-off event’

The Fed said it had granted the conditional pass to Goldman and Morgan Stanley because the companies’ results had been skewed by tax changes passed last year.

The tax overhaul lowered the corporate rate from 35% to 21%, but led to larger-than-usual one-off tax bills for many banks, as a result of other changes to how losses and overseas profits are taxed.

“This one-time reduction does not reflect a firm’s performance under stress and firms can expect higher post-tax earnings going forward,” the Fed said.

Despite the restrictions, Goldman will still be permitted to spend up to $6.3bn on share buybacks and dividends this year.

Morgan Stanley said it planned to return $6.8bn to shareholders.

Making progress

The decision is the latest blow for troubled Deutsche Bank. Last month the firm announced more than 7,000 job cuts and its credit rating was cut by Standard & Poor’s. The bank reported an annual loss of €500m (£438m) at the end of February.

Deutsche said its US division had “made significant investments to improve its capital planning capabilities as well as controls and infrastructure.”

“Deutsche Bank USA continues to make progress across a range of programmes and will continue to build on these efforts and to engage constructively with regulators to meet both internal and regulatory expectations,” the bank said.

The bank will be required to improve its operations, risk management and governance as a result of the test-failure. It will not be able to make distributions to its German parent firm without the Fed’s approval.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Giustizia, Stati Uniti, Trump

Sua Giustizia Antony Kennedy si ritira. Altra vittoria di Trump.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-06-28.

Supreme Court

La Suprema Corte degli Stati Uniti funge, come in molti altri stati occidentali, da supremo ed inappellabile censore sulla costituzionalità delle leggi e dei provvedimenti emanati dal Governo Federale.

Fin qui nulla da eccepire.

I problemi hanno iniziato ad emergere da qualche decina di anni, da quando i liberal democratici sono riusciti a far nominare Giudici persone loro fedeli. La Suprema Corte era transitata da organo giuridico ad organo politico non elettivo, fedele esecutore degli ordini di partito.

Per poter conseguire i loro risultati politici, le loro Giustizie Federali avevano anche congegnato una sottile teorica in accordo alla quale le leggi non si applicano, bensì si interpretano: se ogni interpretazione è soggettiva, quella delle Corte Suprema diventa ipso facto sentenza non appellabile, e quindi ineludibile.

Operando in tal fatta, la Suprema Corte per molto tempo ha operato come vero e proprio sommo centro decisionale politico, indipendentemente da maggioranze parlamentari e dal Presidente degli Stati Uniti, instaurando de facto una vera e propria tirannide.

Ai primi del 2017, essendo stato eletto Presidente Mr Trump, si provvide a nominare Sua Giustizia Mr Neil M. Gorsuch al posto di Sua Giustizia Antonin Scalia. Fu nomina travagliata da un ostruzionismo senza precedenti dei senatori democratici, ben consci della posta in gioco.

La nomina di Neil M. Gorsuch riportava dopo anni a 5 : 4 il numero di giudici che avevano la concezione che la legge avesse dovuto essere applicata, non inventata ad libitum.

Gli effetti si videro in breve tempo.

Nella sola ultima settimana la Suprema Corte ha clamorosamente bocciato tre iniziative politiche democratiche, portate avanti dagli immaginifici giudici federali del Nono e del Settimo distretto, tutti liberal democratici di chiara osservanza. Tre sentenze che pongono la parola fine a degli iter giuridici “orripilanti“.

Janus v. State, County, and Municipal Employees (16-1466)

«The State of Illinois’ extraction of agency fees from nonconsenting public-sector employees violates the First Amendment; Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed., 431 U. S. 209, which concluded otherwise, is overruled.»

National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra

Trump v. Hawaii

* * * * * * *

Di questi giorni la notizia.

«US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced he is retiring at the age of 81»

Sua Giustizia Kennedy è il decano della Suprema Corte, formalmente repubblicano ma nella pratica di ideologia liberal democratica. Molto bizzoso ed imprevedibile nelle sentenze.

Non a caso Sua Giustizia Kennedy era, ed è fino a quando resterà ancora in carica, il

“most powerful man in America”.

Era nei fatti colui che alla fine decideva quale linea politica avesse dovuto essere adottata dagli Stati Uniti di America.

*

«His retirement will allow President Donald Trump to make a second nomination to the bench, likely giving the court a conservative bent for years to come»

*

I liberal democratici sono precipitati nel panico prima, nel terrore dopo.

Una Suprema Corte formata da una maggioranza di giudici onesti sarà per i liberal un ostacolo che bloccherà in modo definitivo le loro mire di potere.

«He often sided with the liberal justices on social issues, such as the legalization of gay marriage in 2017 and a decision in 1992 that reaffirmed Roe v. Wade.»

*

«Conservative activists have already announced their intention to use a more conservative court to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion»

*

Già. La sentenza Roe v. Wade aveva stabilito che i feti semplicemente non sono esseri umani.


Deutsche Welle. 2018-06-27. US Supreme Court Justice Kennedy retiring, giving Trump a second pick

The “most powerful man in America” has announced his retirement at the age of 81. Kennedy is considered the “swing vote” among the justices and his depature will allow Trump to nominate a more conservative judge.

*

US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced he is retiring at the age of 81. Although not the oldest, he is the most senior member of the court, having been nominated by former President Ronald Reagan.

“It has been the greatest honor and privilege to serve our nation in the federal judiciary for 43 years, 30 of those years on the Supreme Court,” Kennedy said in a statement. He added that his decision was motivated by the desire to spend more time with his family.

‘The most powerful man in America’

Kennedy has long been considered the swing vote on the court between the liberal and conservative justices. His retirement will allow President Donald Trump to make a second nomination to the bench, likely giving the court a conservative bent for years to come. Conservative activists have already announced their intention to use a more conservative court to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

In response to the news, the president praised Justice Kennedy’s vision and heart.

Speaking in the Oval Office during a meeting with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Trump said that when considering the next nomination he would draw from a list of 25 candidates that his campaign collected during his presidential run.

Kennedy’s career on the Supreme Court earned him the nickname “the most powerful man in America,” because he was often the deciding vote between the conservative and liberal wings of the nine-member court. He often sided with the liberal justices on social issues, such as the legalization of gay marriage in 2017 and a decision in 1992 that reaffirmed Roe v. Wade.


The New York Times. 2018-06-27. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to Retire

WASHINGTON — Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced on Wednesday that he would retire, setting the stage for a furious fight over the future direction of the Supreme Court.

Justice Kennedy, 81, has long been the decisive vote in many closely divided cases. His retirement gives President Trump the opportunity to fundamentally change the course of the Supreme Court.

A Trump appointee would very likely create a solid five-member conservative majority that could imperil abortion rights and expand gun rights.

Justice Kennedy’s voting record was moderately conservative. He wrote the majority opinion in Citizens United, which allowed unlimited campaign spending by corporations and unions, and he joined the majority in Bush v. Gore, which handed the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush. He also voted with the court’s conservatives in cases on the Second Amendment and voting rights.

But Justice Kennedy was the court’s leading champion of gay rights, and he joined the court’s liberals in cases on abortion, affirmative action and the death penalty.

In April 2017, Mr. Trump formally appointed Justice Neil M. Gorsuch to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016, replacing one conservative justice with another and maintaining the basic balance of power on the court.

The replacement of Justice Kennedy with a reliable conservative would be far more consequential and would move the court markedly to the right.

The bitter 14-month battle over Justice Scalia’s seat, during which Republican senators refused to consider President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland, will most likely pale in comparison to the coming fight over Justice Kennedy’s seat.