What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 11, 2018

My NINTIETH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

This week the Department of Justice has implicated Donald J Trump in a felony. Namely that he directed his personal lawyer Michael Cohen to pay off two women - each of whom claims to have had an affair with man who has since become the leader of your political party.

You said recently that you oppose Trump "when he's doing something wrong."

Well, how about now? Committing a felony is wrong, isn't it? When can we expect you to denounce Donald Trump? Or should we infer from your silence that you're OK with it?

Thank you and I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.

Follow-up:

December 8, 2018

And (OLD) Response From Senator Toomey

I've been out of the habit of checking my "spam" folder for Toomey response letters (the gmail gods have repeatedly consigned his responses there despite my frequent corrections - oh well).

Recently I discovered a reply from Toomey's office dated October 23. My apologies for getting to this so late.

He begins thusly:
Thank you for contacting me about the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. I appreciate hearing from you.
Ah - this should be good.  As the letter is dated the 23rd, we can ignore any of my letters written after that date. As such there is a Kavanaugh letter written before: this one, dated October 9.

In that letter, I avoided discussion of the sexual harassment and instead asked about something else:
In voting for Kavanaugh, can the voters of Pennsylvania assume you're completely OK perjury if it fits the GOP agenda - specifically, with the fact that Kavanaugh lied to Congress regarding the memos Manny Miranda stole from some Democratic Senators back in 2003?
And here is how Senator Toomey responded:
On July 9, 2018, President Trump nominated then-D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. On September 6, 2018 I joined a bipartisan majority of my colleagues to confirm Justice Kavanaugh. His sterling academic credentials and outstanding legal record, which includes twelve years of exemplary service as a judge on the second highest court in the nation, make him exceptionally well qualified to serve as the Supreme Court's newest Associate Justice.

Justice Kavanaugh's long career of public service displays a remarkable fidelity to the Constitution and understanding of the proper role of a judge. He is an impartial jurist who treats everyone fairly and decides cases neutrally on the basis of the law and not a preferred policy or outcome. Further, Justice Kavanaugh understands that changes to the law must be made by the American people, acting through the democratic process, and not by unelected judges. His record gives me great confidence that he will discharge his duties on the Supreme Court intelligently and faithfully.
I'm not sure Senator Toomey understands what the Supreme Court does. He wrote "changes to the law must be made by the American people, acting through the democratic process, and not by unelected judges." I don't think that the Supreme Court changes any laws - it decides whether a law is constitutional. But let's move on. Toomey pats himself on the back with his next paragraph:
I have long held that when considering judicial nominees, objective qualifications are more important than partisan politics, and senators should work across the aisle to fill the federal bench with highly qualified jurists. I worked on a bipartisan basis with Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and the Obama White House to fill 16 vacancies on the federal bench in Pennsylvania. And, although I knew I would disagree with many of her decisions, I supported President Obama's nomination of then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court because she clearly had the character, intellect, and experience to merit confirmation.
That's nice. Still nothing about my question.

Then he gets to what I expressly didn't ask him about:
Unfortunately, during Judge Kavanaugh's nomination process, some abandoned this sensible standard. Today, the worst possible claims about a nominee are considered disqualifying by some, despite the absence of any corroborating evidence, because they disagree with the nominee's judicial philosophy. Sexual assault is undoubtedly a terrible crime that is sadly far too prevalent in our society. We need to take seriously allegations of sexual assault, while at the same time providing due process to those who are accused of misconduct.
So Pat Toomey doesn't believe Professor Ford (he mentioned "the absence of any corroborating evidence"). Something for all of us to remember. Forever.

He does end with this:
As this confirmation process concludes, my sincere hope is that all of my colleagues will seek to do the important work of restoring trust and civility in politics. The advice and consent role of the Senate for nominees would be a good place to start.
I have two words for Pat Toomey here: "Merrick Garland." Opps, let me correct that to five words: "Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland."

Then, on civility, I have a few more for Pat Toomey to ponder when thinking about the head of his own political party: we can go with "grab them by the pussy" or perhaps "shithole countries" or perhaps this tweet from only two days ago:
And still nothing about Brett Kavanaugh's perjury - another failed response from Senator Pat Toomey.

But there's another angle to this story. Back on August 18, Toomey responded (rather quickly, I might add) to a letter I had written earlier that month, on August 2. This paragraph is from this letter of October 23:
I have long held that when considering judicial nominees, objective qualifications are more important than partisan politics, and senators should work across the aisle to fill the federal bench with highly qualified jurists. I worked on a bipartisan basis with Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and the Obama White House to fill 16 vacancies on the federal bench in Pennsylvania. And, although I knew I would disagree with many of her decisions, I supported President Obama's nomination of then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court because she clearly had the character, intellect, and experience to merit confirmation.
And this paragraph is from his letter of August 18:
I have long held that when considering judicial nominees, objective qualifications are more important than partisan politics, and senators should work across the aisle to fill the federal bench with highly qualified jurists. I worked on a bipartisan basis with Senator Bob Casey and the Obama White House to fill 16 vacancies on the federal bench in Pennsylvania. And, although I knew I would disagree with many of her decisions, I supported President Obama's nomination of then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. The test is not whether we agree with every decision a judicial nominee has rendered, but whether that nominee understands the proper role of a judge and has the character, intellect, and experience to merit confirmation.
Notice anything?

Not only did Pat Toomey neglect to answer the question I asked (the perjury) but he reused a paragraph from another letter.

His constituents deserve better, doncha think?

December 7, 2018

A Tale Of Two Tweets

First there was this:
Then about forty-five minutes later, this:
I'll let you decide for yourselves whether the two are connected.

December 5, 2018

My Eighty-ninth Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

This past week at the G20 Summit, Donald Trump refused to sign a joint agreement supporting the Paris Climate Accords despite the fact that his own administration (involving 13 federal agencies and more than 300 leading climate scientists) recently released (albeit rather quietly) the Fourth National Climate Assessment - a report outlining ways in which climate change will bring about more extreme weather conditions, damage infrastructure and so on.

I am sure you know his response - he simply said, "I don't believe it."

Given the importance of this issue, when can we expect to hear you speaking out against the danger of letting such scientific ignorance steer public policy? Or do you agree with Trump on the matter?

Thank you and I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.

Follow-up:

November 27, 2018

My Eighty-eighth Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

In the past week border agents with the United States Customs and Border Protection agency fired tear gas into Mexico in order to push a group of migrants (a group which included women and children) back from the US Border. Donald Trump said it was a "very minor form of tear gas" and that it was "very safe."

Two questions this week: What are your feelings on the US Government tear gassing women and children? And given all of Trump's lies and misstatements can we actually believe him when he says that it's safe for children?

If you disagree with the policy of tear gassing women and children at the border, when will you be speaking up against it?

Thank you and I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.

Follow-up: