The Case for Confirming Kavanaugh
“President Trump believes, as I do, that judges must ensure our government does not take actions that violate individual constitutional rights,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge writes in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “I have no doubt that if confirmed to serve on the Supreme Court, Judge Kavanaugh will continue to use his extensive legal education and experience to protect the Constitution And President Trump has fulfilled that promise.”
Since he took office, President Trump has nominated outstanding individuals to the courts at every level and at a record pace. President Trump is doing his part to ensure our judiciary is filled with judges who will interpret the law, not invent it.
The president has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. I have no doubt that if confirmed to serve on the Supreme Court, Judge Kavanaugh will continue to use his extensive legal education and experience to protect the Constitution.
Judge Kavanaugh has a proven re-cord from his days on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the country’s most influential federal court of appeals. One example of his commitment to the rule of law is his dissent in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, where he argued that shielding PCAOB board members from political accountability violated the president’s Article II powers, and the Supreme Court ultimately adopted Judge Kavanaugh’s approach.
Happy in Their Work
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board writes that “blue-collar workers may be the most optimistic folks in America. Eighty-five percent say they see their lives heading in the right direction,” according to a new Harris Poll.
“Seventy percent agree ‘the American Dream is alive for people like me,’ and among those who are parents 88% agree with the statement that ‘my children will have a better future than I will.’”
“They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion” is how Barack Obama put it, and some on the right share the condescension. Columnist Ralph Peters once wrote that “the laid off blue-collar worker in America and the Taliban militiaman in Afghanistan are brothers in suffering,” while others want to consign them to the soft shackles of the blue-collar worker.
President Donald J. Trump Wants This to be a New Year of Shalom, Salaam, Peace
In the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt writes that peace for the Middle East is within grasp thanks to President Trump.
In Judaism, the word peace is found in the common greeting Shalom Aleichem. In the Muslim world, As-Salaam-Alaikum, or “peace be with you,” is similarly used. The Jewish High Holy Days are upon us and in the machzor (the prayer book for the High Holy Days), the word “Shalom” appears throughout the liturgy, which emphasizes the importance of peace.
As the Jewish community prepares to celebrate the holidays of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), the Muslim community just completed its holiday of Eid al-Adha (the Festival of the Sacrifice), one of the holiest holidays on the Muslim calendar.
These holidays, and the common greetings of well wishes shared throughout the world each day, inspire us to keep striving to improve each other’s lives and to never yield in our hope for a time of peace.
Over the past 19 months, in pursuit of seemingly distant and elusive peace between Israelis and Palestinians, I have been fortunate to have had many powerful experiences with people in the region. Israelis and Palestinians, young and old, secular and religious, Muslim, Christian and Jewish, are uncertain about the prospects for peace, and their skepticism is certainly warranted. Despite well-known challenges, the people of the region and their dedication to the pursuit of peace have inspired me. People frequently approach to ask me to thank President Donald J. Trump for returning the hope of peace to the region and for bringing its pursuit back into everyday conversation. The people understand that this is an extraordinary challenge, full of evolving complexities, but they support this noble goal.
In my meetings with leaders in the region, they too point to a potential path for peace. The Middle East has changed dramatically since this conflict began decades ago. What seemed impossible only a few years ago is possible now. Tomorrow even more is possible.
But Greenblatt adds that Palestinian leadership has refused to engage in peace talks since “President Trump made his bold, courageous and historic decision to recognize the reality that Jerusalem has been and will remain the capital of Israel. The leadership’s unwillingness to engage is disappointing and only hurts the Palestinian people that they claim to serve.”It is unfortunate that the Palestinian leadership condemns a peace plan they have never seen, and refuses to engage on a possible path forward for all Palestinians. This approach will only cause the Palestinian people to fall further and further behind their neighbors.
Despite these challenges, my experiences over the past 19 months illustrate that among ordinary people and many regional leaders, the desire for peace is real and powerful. We owe it to Israelis and Palestinians to continue our efforts in the pursuit of peace. They deserve better than what they have now.
This Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I will pray for an enduring solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I will pray for calm and tranquility for those in the region of Gaza – both Israelis and Palestinians who suffer from Hamas’ malign activities. I will pray for the Goldin and Shaul families, that Hamas will return Hadar and Oron to them. I will pray for the Mengistu and al Sayed families, that Hamas will return Avera and Hisham to them. I hope you will join me in these prayers.
May God bless us with a year of contentment, good health, sustenance, happiness and tranquility. May God spread the tabernacle of shalom, salaam, peace over the United States of America, its allies and friends.
More Washington Figures Write Letters Supporting Brett Kavanaugh
“More prominent figures in the DC area have thrown their weight behind President Trump’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh,” Brittany Shepherd reports in the Washingtonian. “Senior representatives from Washington Jesuit Academy and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which is based in Alexandria, wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee voicing their support of the judge before his highly anticipated confirmation hearings,” scheduled to begin today.
In letters exclusively obtained by Washingtonian to chairman Senator Chuck Grassley and ranking member Senator Dianne Feinstein, Washington Jesuit Academy’s founding president, William B. Whitaker, and IACP president Louis M. Dekmar praised Kavanaugh’s moral character in a manner similar to a letter in early August from District parents whose children Kavanaugh coached in youth basketball.
Dekmar lauds Kavanaugh’s “firm understanding of, and a deep appreciation for, the challenges and complexities confronting our nation’s law enforcement officers” during the judge’s 12-year tenure on US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. He urges Grassley and Feinstein push Kavanaugh’s nomination through to the Senate for a vote.
Whitaker’s plea to the committee is much more personal. Kavanaugh has for the last two years been a volunteer tutor at the Jesuit school, which serves low-income boys. Whitaker says this act of service is emblematic of Kavanaugh’s character. His letter reads, in part:
“I am not writing about politics, religion, or one’s jurisprudence. I am writing to provide personal insight on Brett Kavanaugh’s moral character, based simply on what I have observed while he served as a volunteer tutor at WJA and more recently as a member of our Board of Directors. And while most know him as Judge Kavanaugh, I’ve only ever known him as Brett Kavanaugh.”
According to Whitaker, Kavanaugh’s ability to motivate young boys to finish their homework and perform academically made him a mentor and a role-model. “Often if Brett’s study group finished their homework early, conversations about simple life lessons would evolve,” he adds. He ends by noting Kavanaugh helped these students “Without fanfare, without attention, without anyone watching.”
If confirmed, Kavanaugh would be the second Washington native on the bench, joining high-school classmate Neil Gorsuch.
Something to celebrate this Labor Day: The state of American jobs and workers
In The Hill, Armstrong Williams writes that this Labor Day, the American worker had something to celebrate. “The U.S. unemployment rate as of July was 4.7 percent, the lowest it has been in over thirty years. There are more Americans working today than at any other time in the history of our country, with over 130 million employed.”In fact, there is an argument among many economists that the economy has already surpassed full employment, a condition that many say could lead to inflation. Too much of a good thing does not automatically mean a bad thing is on the horizon.
For one thing, labor force participation rates, which had reached historical lows over the past three decades, have started to improve. That is to say, people who have sat out the labor market and not been included in the labor force are now coming into the job market — although more slowly than the top line numbers would tend to indicate. In a low unemployment environment, some employers are willing to train even unexperienced and under-experienced candidates due to shortages of available workers. This is happening most notably in the transportation and logistics sectors, where an ever-increasing shortage warehouse workers and truck drivers has been somewhat of a drag on overall economic growth. The residential construction sector, on the other hand, is seeing some signs of slowing after a blistering pace of growth over the past decade. The cheap financing that drives investments in housing construction is coming to an end, with the Fed signaling continued interest rate hikes in its attempt to stave off creeping inflation.
Trump is Strengthening U.S. Retirement Security
“President Trump has issued an executive order to strengthen retirement security in America. The order benefits small-business employees seeking easier ways to achieve greater retirement savings,” Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta writes in The News & Observer.
These plans could offer an efficient way to reduce paperwork and administration costs for small businesses. This means small-business owners could focus on running their businesses rather than running retirement plans — while still creating opportunity for their employees to prepare for a financially secure retirement.
In short, we must work to level the playing field for small businesses by breaking down the barriers that they face when sponsoring workplace retirement plans. Removing these constraints on small businesses is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, AARP, the financial-services industry, and members of both political parties.
“At a time when President Trump’s tax cuts are returning more money to paychecks, small-business employees need simple and convenient access to workplace plans to save for retirement and to protect their financial health.”401(k) plans are a straightforward, proven vehicle used by millions of Americans working for large employers. If it works for them, it should work for the employees of small businesses, too. We must close the retirement gap today, so that small-business employees can retire in financial health tomorrow.
WEST WING MHI