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Trump’s Supreme Court nominees lambasted him behind his back — and Kavanaugh thought he was ‘a buffoon’: report

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Although President Donald Trump isn’t known for reading any more than he absolutely has to, that doesn’t prevent him from railing against books he considers unfavorable to him — for example, Washington Post journalist Ruth Marcus’ newly released “Supreme Ambition: Brett Kavanaugh and the Conservative Takeover.” Trump, on Twitter, has described Marcus’ book as “fake news” and a “badly written and researched disaster.” And according to The Guardian’s Lloyd Green, Trump might grow to hate the book even more if he actually reads it and sees what the two U.S. Supreme Court justices he has nominated so far — Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 — had to say about him behind closed doors.

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Green, in a December 1 article for The Guardian, reports that according to Marcus, Kavanaugh — during the 2016 election — asserted that he “thought Trump was a buffoon.” And Gorsuch once told Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut that he found Trump’s comments about the U.S. judiciary to be “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”

But whatever Kavanaugh and Gorsuch might have had to say about Trump behind closed doors, one of the things evangelicals loves about the president is the fact that he has moved the U.S. Supreme Court to the right on social issues. Trump, with the help of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a GOP-controlled U.S. Senate, replaced the late Justice Antonin Scalia with Gorsuch — which wasn’t, in and of itself, a game changer. But the big change was replacing the retired Justice Anthony Kennedy with Kavanaugh: while Kennedy was a right-wing libertarian who often sided with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on social issues like gay rights, same-sex marriage and abortion, Kavanaugh is more of a social conservative in the Scalia/Justice Clarence Thomas vein.

Green says of Marcus’ book, “Marcus, a veteran Post reporter (and) now deputy editorial page editor, delivers a highly readable 496-page account of Kavanaugh’s nomination, the surrounding machinations within the White House and Congress, and the decades-long campaign waged by the right to wrest control of the judiciary. Although she is unsympathetic to the GOP’s endeavor, her book is amply sourced and footnoted. It is meticulous in detail and credible in content.”

If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade at some point — which is a strong possibility — and legal access to abortion is again determined on a state-by-state basis, it will be a huge victory for the Christian right and Trump’s white evangelical base. But Green notes that pushing the Supreme Court to the right has not only culture war implications, but also, economic implications: Republicans — Marcus demonstrates in her book — are hoping to eradicate what remains of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal.

“In other words,” Green writes, “fetuses weren’t the only reasons that large checks were being cut to the Federalist Society, or that constitutional originalism had become the civic religion of the right. FDR’s legacy had to be gutted. Social Security may no longer be so secure.”

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Even if Trump is voted out of office in 2020 and Democrats retake the Senate, liberals and progressives will still have a lot to complain about in the years to come thanks to Trump’s potentially long-lasting influence on the judiciary. Let’s say that 2020 is a best-case scenario that progressives would love: Sen. Bernie Sanders becomes president, Democrats retake the Senate and expand their House majority — even then, Trump’s effect on the judiciary could be felt for years to come.

“The appointments of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh were not isolated events,” Green explains. “Rather, they marked a culmination of a concerted effort by movement conservatives to remake the courts in their image. While abortion was very much part of their agenda, so was stymying the administrative state and rolling back the New Deal.”

 


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WATCH: Franklin Graham tells Jeanine Pirro coronavirus pandemic is because of people sinning

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Franklin Graham blamed sinners for the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic during a Saturday night appearance on Fox News.

Host Jeanine Pirro noted the growing death toll and wondered how God could let that happen.

"Well, I don't think it's God's plan for this to happen," Graham said.

"It's because of the sin that's in the world, judge," he argued.

"Man has turned his back on God, we have sinned against him, and we need to ask for God's forgiveness and that's what Easter's all about," he continued.

"This pandemic, this is the result of a fallen world that has turned its back on God," he added.

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Drought causing water shortage amid coronavirus crisis in Chile

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With historically low river flows and reservoirs running dry due to drought, people in central Chile have found themselves particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic.

Years of resource exploitation and lax legislation have allowed most reservoirs in that part of the country to run dry.

"There are now 400,000 families, nearly 1.5 million people approximately, whose supply of 50 liters of water a day depends on tankers," Rodrigo Mundaca, spokesman for the Movement for the Defense of Water, the Earth and the Protection of the Environment, told AFP.

One of the main pieces of advice to protect people against coronavirus is to wash your hands regularly.

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Trump warns of ‘tough week’ ahead — after the United States surpassed 300,000 coronavirus victims

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US President Donald Trump warned Americans on Saturday to brace for a "very horrendous" number of coronavirus deaths in the coming days as the total number of global fatalities from the pandemic soared past 60,000.

As confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States surpassed 300,000 with more than 8,300 deaths, there was some encouraging news in Italy and Spain.

Europe continues to bear the brunt of the epidemic, however, accounting for over 45,000 of the worldwide deaths, and Britain reported a new daily high in fatalities.

There are now more than 1.17 million confirmed coronavirus cases around the world and there have been 63,437 deaths since the virus emerged in China late last year.

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