Friday, June 30, 2017

Today's Intelligence Briefing for POTUS

POTUS Trump seems to be lacking some basic knowledge of the female anatomy. With several wives and daughters I don't know how he missed out when these topics were discussed. Even being surrounded in female loving and aliveness didn't seem to rub off on the guy.

Yes, there are females that possess great beauty, both natural and manufactured. Some female beauty has enabled the over-taking of countries and kingdoms for centuries. But then there is your regular female, the vast majority, that can be found in kitchens, boardrooms, office buildings, busses, classrooms, Congress and on the SCOTUS. The list is long in number.

On another day we can talk a little about the female brain and female heart, but for now let's just focus on the UTERUS. This seems to be one of the areas that gives POTUS cause to stumble.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

From the Kara Maria Ananda website:
It's important to raise awareness today about the power, purpose and potential of the amazing uterus, so we can focus more energy on the health, vitality and preservation of this amazing female organ. 
#1: The Uterus is Super Strong
The uterus is the strongest muscle in the body by weight. The uterus has multiple layers of muscle tissue that run in every direction, spiral together, and are ultra-strong. A laboring uterus exerts incredible pressure to push a baby out into the world, and is the strongest force exerted by any muscle in the body.
#2: The Uterus is Incredibly Flexible
During pregnancy a women's uterus goes from being the size of a pear and tucked behind the pubic bone, to being as large as a balloon and reaching all the way to the ribcage and stretching the abdomen outwards visibly. Then it shrinks back down after birth. That's totally amazing!
#3: The Uterus Heals
Menstrual blood is rich in stem cells which are found to be adaptive within the body to heal a wide variety of diseases. Each month during her fertile years, a woman's body creates a rich endometrial layer in preparation to grow and nourish a whole new human being. When a baby is not conceived the body releases this extremely valuable and nutritive substance during the menstrual cycle.
The abundance of stem cells in the menstrual blood are being researched to treat a wide variety of conditions from stroke, heart disease, Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's, diabetes, wounds, neurodegenerative diseases and more. Women create the most abundant free source of stem cells during monthly menstrual flows, which is much more ethical to harvest than from cord blood of newborns or from aborted embryos, yet it is slow to catch on because of cultural taboos still surrounding menstruation. 
#4: The Uterus is Orgasmic
When a women orgasms, she experiences not just pleasurable and euphoric sensations, but waves of contracting muscles throughout the uterus, as well as the vagina and pelvic floor. The whole uterus has waves of muscular contractions which helps to facilitate the movement of sperm from the vagina into the uterus.
#5: The Uterus is Connected to the Universe
A women's menstrual cycles and stages of life are intrinsically linked to the cycles of the Earth, Moon and Sun. The moon cycle is 29.5 days, and the average woman's menstrual cycle is 29.5 days. Women who's cycles are closest to the 29.5 day cycle have higher rates of fertility.
In addition, there are 13 moon cycles in a calendar year, and the average age of menarche (a girl's first menstruation) is age 13. The average age of menopause is 52, which is also the number of weeks in a year. There are an average of 4 weeks to a women's menstrual cycle and 4 seasons in a year.
Women's ancient menstrual calendars consisting of notches carved into bone or stone are said to be some of the earliest forms of calendars known. Women's wombs hold a powerful connection to the astronomical cycles of the Earth, Sun and Moon. 
#6: The Uterus Can Grow a Placenta
The uterus is the only organ that can grow a whole new organ within it. The placenta is absolutely amazing, and is an organ that is grown within the uterus when a woman is pregnant that nourishes and feeds the fetus with exactly what it needs every moment for the entire pregnancy. The placenta connects the mother and baby, through it's attachment to the uterine wall of the mother and to the baby through the umbilical cord. It's a physical manifestation of the nurturing of the mother for the child and is released after the birth of the child.
The placenta and umbilical cord have a pattern visible in the arteries that looks like the tree of life and is an ancient symbol of life and vitality. Placentas have been highly honored by cultures around the world since the beginning of humanity. The word "placenta" comes from Old English and actually means "a round flat cake", and the tradition of honoring our placenta continues today as we celebrate around a birthday cake each year on the anniversary of our birth. 
#7: The Uterus Can Grow a HUMAN!
It's totally mind-boggling but true. Within the womb of a woman it is possible to conceive and gestate a whole new human being! WOW! Every single one of us is here alive on the planet today because we we started life growing within the womb of our mother, and we come from a long-line of ancestors born from the wombs of their mothers

Continued information on Women’s Healing Arts can be found at:

Thursday, June 29, 2017

America's Energy Resources

The President gave a speech today at the Department of Energy in Washington D.C. This was a part of his celebration of America's energy industry. I have a slight problem when Trump speaks, he doesn't capture all of my attention. It might be his use of simple words and ideas. I find my mind wandering and entering doors that perhaps I would be better off leaving unopened.

When he spoke these words below, this was the image that came into my mind. I don't think that was the point he was trying to get across.

Excerpted remarks: 
"The golden era of America is now underway.  Believe me. 
And you're all going to be a part of it in creating this exciting new future.  We will bring new opportunity to the heartland, new prosperity to our inner cities, and new infrastructure all across our nation.  When it comes to the future of America’s energy needs, we will find it, we will dream it, and we will build it.
American energy will power our ships, our planes and our cities.  American hands will bend the steel and pour the concrete that brings this energy into our homes and that exports this incredible, newfound energy all around the world.  And American grit will ensure that what we dream, and what we build, will truly be second to none.  We will be number one again all the way.  We're going to make America great again."
To be fair here is the link to his full speech.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

King Donald - As America Abdicates Its Role As World Leader

Perhaps the solution to this Trump-Dilemma we seem to be in would be to make Donald king. I think the change would suit him better. This way Congress can get back to the work of nation leaving King Donald to scoot about in his golf cart and make proclamations that carry no weight whatsoever.

As each day passes other countries in this world grow weary but seem content to carry on without the leadership of the United States. I like that our history of leadership has not left them without a will of their own. As TR would have exclaimed, “BULLY!”.

When you give it some thought Donald carries himself with more of an air of a monarch. The casual swagger, that tilt of the head that allows a downward glance of his eyes when he looks your way. Oh, and the pout. So many monarchs seem to pout more than smile, and belly laughs certainly are out of the question.

So when we have King Donald seated comfortably upon his throne surveying all that is his, but not really his, we can shift our focus back to our leaders.

Yes, back to the work at hand. Let our Representatives and Senators work on real stuff like the budget and healthcare and infrastructure and climate change. The list goes on and on. And when they have come up with a workable and agreed upon plan they can march the paperwork, incased in an appropriate leather bound, gold lettered cover to King Donald for his signature and photo-op. 

With appropriate pomp and circumstance King Donald can award the bill-signing quill to the deserving member of parliament. And as the ink is drying King Donald can scoot off to a golf course of his choice to the eager sounds of the barking hounds.

“God save our gracious king! Long live our noble king! God save the King!”

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"Yawn, not another congressional hearing?"

I have consumed a lot of popcorn and soda pop watching Congressional hearings in my lifetime. My first ones were the House Un-American Committee hearings. Whoosh, those didn't turn out well. I would run home after school to watch these on our little black and white television. I guess the saving grace was this wasn't a time of 24-hour news cycles. But mind you, it was a big deal to see this all going on live on that little television screen of ours. I really had no idea or understood that impact of what was going on in those days.

Then the next biggie, and x-rated version of hearings, hit the small screen. It was the impeachment hearing of President Bill Clinton. Thank goodness I wasn't of an age where I was still running home from school to see this live performance. Now we had color televisions, just in time to get a really good look at that 'blue dress'. I'm not sure if I had still been a child my mother could have fully explained to me what this kerfuffle was all about.

And now as I prepare yet another bowl of popcorn and pull up a chair closer to my computer screen, where these days I stream my news from CNN, I will take it all in once again. I guess I really shouldn't be shocked at recent events, after all it would appear my entire life has been lived going from one televised congressional hearing to another.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

All That Twitters Is Not Gold

The man called Donald J. Trump, former leader of the free world, has been a very, very busy man of late. Often things he does on a daily basis goes unseen because of the cloud of Twitter dust that seems to fill the air surrounding him.

To get the full story you should read Under Trump, Worker Protections Are View With New Skepticism.  I believe Trump promised jobs but not necessarily safe and healthy jobs. It is a bit sad really, because in many cases it literally has taken decades to get some of the workplace safety measures in place.
"Nearly four decades in the making, a new rule under the Obama administration was set to lower workplace exposure to beryllium, an industrial mineral linked to a lung disease that is to estimated to kill 100 people annually. And the nation’s largest beryllium producer had agreed to back the new restrictions."
~ ~ ~ 
"OSHA has also put off enforcement of an Obama-era standard for another respiratory hazard — silica, a mineral linked to a disabling lung disease as well as cancer — and it has delayed action on a rule that would require employers to electronically report workplace injuries so that they can be posted for the public."
~ ~ ~ 
"During the early months of the Trump administration, a former lobbyist for an industry group that has opposed the beryllium, silica and record-keeping rules served on the transition team at the Department of Labor, which oversees OSHA. That official, Geoffrey Burr, who has since moved to the Department of Transportation as chief of staff, had been a lobbyist for the Associated Builders and Contractors, which represents nonunion construction companies." 

~ ~ ~
"Asked about the Trump administration’s approach to occupational safety, a spokesman for the White House said, “The President and his administration care very much about worker safety, but believe the Obama administration’s approach was counterproductive, and we think we can do better.” 

Well we certainly wouldn't want to ties the hands of big corporation when it comes to enforcing workplace and worker's safety. Oh and when it come to health related diseases from the workplace environment, I guess we better read the small print in the new Trump-care bill that will be forthcoming. I kind of get the feeling that there might be an exemption for the likes of beryllium and silica.

I will just end with a couple of tips. Be careful what you ask for AND always keep a close eye on the clown with the fast little hands who is doing the switching of the cups and the balls, while the calliope music pays in the background.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

“Vive la France”

Putting one's best foot forward.

Franco - American is not only canned spaghetti. America’s relationship with France goes back to the beginning of time. Our Founding Fathers literally found themselves entangle in affaires de cœur and they seemed to return to American shores the better for it.

The relationship between our two countries was many times exactly like a big loving family, fighting and bickering at times and prepared to lay down ones life for the other when a third party was poised to interfere or bully.

The first overture to the United States by president-elect Emmanuel Macron after his own election, was to welcome climate change scientists to his country. He extended a hand in friendship for all of “us guys” - the researchers, scientists, innovators to come to France and work with them. He went as far as to say “France is your country”.

So the love affair continues and that thought gives me the warm fuzzies.

I like the French stand on Global Warming and I even will go as far as to blame them for some of this heating up. I mean really, have you read the love-bird story of Brigitte and Emmanuel .  Hot, hot, hot.

Sigh, what older woman doesn’t derive at least some small pleasure of this little love story.

"L’amour est l’emblème de l’éternité, il confond toute la notion de temps, efface toute la mémoire d’un commencement, toute la crainte d’une extrémité."
~Madame de Staël

Sunday, May 7, 2017

501(c)(3) Tax Code or You Can't Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

When an organization sets itself up as a 501(c)(3) it is accepting some constraints as a tax exempt organization. 

The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.  Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. 
Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances.  For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.
On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.

Trump apparently didn't like that this restriction to endorse a candidate prevented some churches to endorse his presidential bid. So he wants to amend this restriction.
I don't think this is a good move. An organization can give up it tax-exempt status if it would prefer to use its time and effort supporting political candidates.  This law isn't forbidding free speech, it merely is saying that if you want to organize as a tax-exempt institution there are rules that must be followed.

Be careful, changing this rule just because Trump didn't like that churches couldn't endorse him, should not be the basis for change. If the church felt endorsements were more important they could give up their tax-exempt status.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

This Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale

I hope everyone is watching this new series on Hulu. I have already watched the initially released three episodes two times each. There just is so much to digest and think about. I guess I should caution that it is not for the faint of heart nor for those that like the status quo.

I don't want to give anything away, but I think I can safely tell a true tale from the early '70's. For today's younger generation you probably couldn't imagine being a young, married, working woman and not being able to have a credit card in your own name. Yep, 'tis true. Any credit card I carried was in my husband's name and noted as Mrs.

"Forty years ago, any woman applying for a credit card could be asked a barrage of questions: Was she married? Did she plan to have children? Many banks required single, divorced or widowed women to bring a man along with them to cosign for a credit card, and some discounted the wages of women by as much as 50 percent when calculating their credit card limits." ~ From 
Read more:

In 1974 the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed - "which made it  illegal to discriminate against someone based on their gender, race, religion and national origin."

I can still remember how excited I was to apply for my first credit card and opening up the mail that day and seeing my name embossed on the front of the card.

But The Handmaid's Tale is not just about credit cards, but about the plight of women and the plight of our planet, that is all too real in this tenuous world we live in today.

Arm yourself with a little bit of history about the book that the series is based upon before watching, it will make it much more interesting and poignant viewing.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Fantasy or Reality - It's a Blur

For months now I have had this reoccurring dream. I am walking around war ravaged streets gathering up young children and babies. I carry and drag as many as I can as we work our way through underground tunnels. I assume we reach safety but I never know for sure. I wake up when I am tired and can't go on any longer.

Another night, another dream. It is always the same scene, as if it were being played on a loop reel.

Last night I had a different dream. I was in the Oval Office with Ivanka and Jared Kushner. Trump was there but slumped back in a Lazy-Boy, asleep, but with a TV news channel playing to the dark.

Ivanka was working on the details to execute a Russian style death on her sleeping father. Jared was busy talking on the phone and cautioning his wife to wait until everything was in order.

Apparently timing was of upmost importance, as the plans were being put into place to make Jared the 'designated survivor'.

No one in the room spoke to me, they knew I was there but I was just ignored. I knelt next to the Lazy-Boy and would check for a pulse periodically.

The room suddenly was filled with a thick foggy darkness and I woke up, again without any resolution.

I guess the Dream Master only allocates a Season One to my dreams. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Nuclear Waste Back in the Game?

Energy Chief Perry wants to play ball.

In a short-notice visit to Nevada's Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility, Energy Chief Perry seems to be sending some signals. And just two weeks ago President Trump proposed $120 million to restart the licensing process.

I think what Trump has in mind is to turn over the task of long-term nuclear waste to private enterprise. Just think of the job creations that will come from this. Oh you couple that with revised reduced regulations and the sky will be the limit to profitability. If Trump doesn't have friends in the nuclear waste storage business you can pretty much bet that Rick Perry does.

What does the supposedly independent NRC have to say on this subject? So far nothing. So quiet you could hear a pin drop. 

Once again most things nuclear don't make the news. At least not until there is a catastrophe - by then it is a little late.

Nevada is not too happy about this recent event. "I am troubled that the new energy secretary is visiting the site without informing members of the Nevada congressional delegation," said Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev. But that is pretty much the modus operandi of this new administration - stealth strikes.

Read more from the AP News.

"It is important to note that nine of 17 Nevada counties have asked for the science to be heard and that has been Nye County's position for years," he told The Associated Press. "If science proves it's not safe, no one wants it. But if it is safe, who would say no to a multi-billion dollar multi-generational public works project?"

Oh, I can think of a few people that would say no. But I don't think science is going to be a big player in this administration's plans.

Continue reading the main story

Gorsuch: Two Views of the Man

The Ultimate Confirmation

It's not difficult to be an unbiased Judge it is a conundrum. I pretty much watched most of the Gorsuch hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. I do this for a couple of reasons. I want to know more about this person who will be taking a seat on the highest court in the land, and I want to try to get a peek into that person's beliefs.

In truth you don't get a lot of specific information at these hearings, other than knowing that Supreme Court nominees usually have pretty strong thighs from all that straddling of questions that they go through.

What I want in a judge is an open mind, a working mind that can discern. I want a judge that can listen to arguments and put forth good arguments as well. I am an idealist, I really think a judge can have personal beliefs and opinions but at the same time be open to arguments that may differ from those he/she holds and be able to make decisions based upon facts in a case and have the intellect to interpret the Constitution.

I get the dancing around and the straddling of questions asked but I also think it is a silly routine. I mean no offense to The Honorable Ginsberg who appears to have set a standard for interrogation.

Here are some opinions of Neil Gorsuch from differing points of view. Maybe there is something to be learned about the man in the reading that we couldn't get from the questions of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Source: Conservative Review, Who Is Neil Gorsuch? 10 Things You Need To Know About Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee, By: Nate Madden
Donald Trump has nominated 10th Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court. 
Here’s what you need to know:
1. His academic resume alone is very impressive: 
He completed his undergraduate studies at Columbia University in New York, got his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and then earned his doctorate from Oxford after studying under the titanic legal philosopher and natural lawyer John Finnis
2. There would also be another interesting first:
After clerking under Justice Byron White, Gorsuch clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy. If confirmed, it would be the first time a Supreme Court justice sat on the same bench as a jurist for whom he’d previously clerked.
3. He knows the struggles of being a conservative on a liberal college campus: 
A bio prepared by the Alliance for Justice during his confirmation process in 2006 outlines his conservative student journalism 30 years prior:
“While in college, Mr. Gorsuch co-founded a newspaper and a magazine at Columbia University. Both publications – The Morningside Review (the magazine) and The Federalist (the newspaper) – were intended to counter what Mr. Gorsuch and his co-founders saw as the predominance of liberal political views at Columbia during the mid-to-late 1980s. A review of available issues of the The Morningside Review, located in the Columbia archives, revealed two pieces authored by Mr. Gorsuch: one was a comment on U.S. policy in Afghanistan; the other, a general defense of conservative political philosophy. The Columbia archives also contain most, but not all, of the editions of the The Federalist published during Mr. Gorsuch’s tenure at the paper. According to its initial statement of purpose, The Federalist attempted to provide a “classically liberal” forum for conservative students and others who want to air views not typically heard on campus. Mr. Gorsuch, one of the paper’s three founders, served on the board of editors and later as a contributor.”
4. He’s no fan of over-litigation:
Frivolous lawsuit-mongers — leftist and otherwise — may want to take heed to Gorsuch’s 2005 op-ed in National Review, where he calls out the Left’s obsession with what Justice Scalia called “social transformation without representation”:
During the New Deal, liberals recognized that the ballot box and elected branches are generally the appropriate engines of social reform, and liberals used both to spectacular effect–instituting profound social changes that remain deeply ingrained in society today. In the face of great skepticism about the constitutionality of New Deal measures in some corners, a generation of Democratic-appointed judges, from Louis Brandeis to Byron White, argued for judicial restraint and deference to the right of Congress to experiment with economic and social policy. Those voices have been all but forgotten in recent years among liberal activists. It would be a very good thing for all involved–the country, an independent judiciary, and the Left itself–if liberals take a page from David von Drehle and their own judges of the New Deal era, kick their addiction to constitutional litigation, and return to their New Deal roots of trying to win elections rather than lawsuits.
5. He’s pro-term limits (or at least was during the Bush 41 administration): 
According to a 1992 paper he co-authored shortly after finishing law school at Harvard:
Recognizing that men are not angels, the Framers of the Constitution put in place a number of institutional checks designed to prevent abuse of the enormous powers they had vested in the legislative branch. Bicameralism, frequent elections, staggered terms, differing qualifications, shared and exclusive powers, and state control over election procedures are all examples of the mechanisms the Framers crafted with the hope of ensuring a responsive yet responsible legislature. A term limit, we suggest, is simply an analogous procedure designed to advance much the same substantive end.
Gorsuch and Guzman argue that this has been upended by the party system, legislative seniority, committee assignments and things of that ilk, thus precipitating term limits.
6. He’s literally written a book on life issues: 
After studying the issue at Oxford, Gorsuch penned a book about the moral and legal arguments surrounding the end-of-life debate, entitled “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.” Published by Princeton University Press, the work is cited extensively in Ryan Anderson’s Heritage Foundation paper on physician-assisted suicide from 2015. 
7. He’s also a rock star on federal regulations administrative law: 
One area where Neil Gorsuch appears to be more of an originalist than Justice Scalia is on the question of giving federal agencies the ability to interpret statutes themselves and make de-facto regulations. The so-called Chevron Deference is one area where Gorsuch has made substantial waves as an appellate judge with a dynamite opinion back in August:
“There’s an elephant in the room with us today. We have studiously attempted to work our way around it and even left it unremarked. But the fact is Chevron and Brand X permit executive bureaucracies to swallow huge amounts of core judicial and legislative power and concentrate federal power in a way that seems more than a little difficult to square with the Constitution of the framers’ design. Maybe the time has come to face the behemoth.”
“For administrative law nerds, U.S. Tenth Circuit Court Judge Neil Gorsuch’s” Chevron opinion “is about as thrilling as it gets,” reads a press release from the Pacific Legal Foundation.
8. He’s no fan of over-criminalization: 
In a 2013 lecture at the Federalist Society, Gorsuch tackled head on the problem of having far too many laws on the books:
“What about our criminal justice system, you might ask. It surely bears its share of ironies too. Consider this one. Without question, the discipline of writing the law down—of codifying it—advances the law’s interest in fair notice. But today we have about 5,000 federal criminal statutes on the books, most of them added in the last few decades, and the spigot keeps pouring, with literally hundreds of new statutory crimes inked every single year." 
“Neither does that begin to count the thousands of additional regulatory crimes buried in the federal register. There are so many crimes cowled in the numbing fine print of those pages that scholars have given up counting and are now debating their number." 
“When he led the Senate Judiciary Committee, Joe Biden worried that we have assumed a tendency to federalize, ‘Everything that walks, talks, and moves.’ Maybe we should say ‘hoots’ too, because it’s now a federal crime to misuse the likeness of Woodsy the Owl. (As were his immortal words: ‘Give a hoot, don’t pollute!’) Businessmen who import lobster tails in plastic bags rather than cardboard boxes can be brought up on charges. Mattress sellers who remove that little tag? Yes, they’re probably federal criminals too." 
9. He pulls no punches on due process rights: 
Another notable area of Neil Gorsuch’s jurisprudence revolves around the Fourth Amendment and his decisions on issues surrounding search and seizure — especially as they relate to technology and cyber security. “New technologies bring with them not only new opportunities for law enforcement to catch criminals,” he wrote in an opinion in U.S. v. Denson, “but also new risks for abuse and new ways to invade constitutional rights.”
In another case, which focused on police entering a property without consent, Gorsuch ruled that the home owner had “unambiguously” revoked the government’s ability to enter his home unwarranted when he posted a no-trespassing sign on his property.
10. He won’t be that easy to confirm:
With a resume this impressive, Senate Democrats are going to put up one hell of a fight to get someone more “mainstream,” as Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. (F, 2%) has demanded. Republicans will either have to get rid of the filibuster for judicial nominations or invoke the two-speech rule to get Gorsuch onto the bench.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Source: The New Yorker, Behind Neil Gorsuch’s Non-Answers, Every sign suggests that he would be at least as conservative a judicial activist as Samuel Alito, By Jeffrey Toobin

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the diminutive liberal colossus of the Supreme Court, has built a distinguished record as a Justice, but her legacy as a nominee is more dubious. In her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in 1993, she refused to answer most questions about how, if confirmed, she would rule. In an oft-quoted phrase, she vowed to give “no hints, no forecasts, no previews.” Nominees have invoked this stonewall ever since. Last week, Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s choice to fill the seat of the late Antonin Scalia, proved an especially ardent follower of what has come to be known as the Ginsburg rule.

Asked repeatedly by members of the committee about his views of such cases as Roe v. Wade and Citizens United, Gorsuch not only refused to answer but went on to say that his feelings, if he had any, were of no consequence: “It’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. It’s a matter of it being the law, and my job is to apply and enforce the law.” Gorsuch portrayed himself as a kind of judicial automaton, obligated to pay mindless obeisance to the Court’s prior rulings. This interpretation of the role of Supreme Court Justices is, to put it charitably, incorrect—they can and do overturn their earlier holdings. And Trump didn’t nominate Gorsuch simply because he knows how to follow precedent. He nominated Gorsuch because his career resembles a lab experiment synthesizing every trend in modern conservative thought.

A ruggedly handsome Coloradan—this President cares a great deal about appearances—Gorsuch has an appealing manner and an impressive résumé. He did well in good schools, held prestigious clerkships, worked at a fine law firm, took a senior post in the Department of Justice, and for the past decade has served on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. From his boyhood days as a Republican Senate page to his decades of volunteer work for G.O.P. candidates, Gorsuch has been a strong party loyalist. (Like many Republican pols, he refers to the “Democrat,” rather than the Democratic, Party.)

His background also includes a dose of pro-corporate, deregulatory libertarianism, as reflected in his close relationship with the billionaire Philip Anschutz, a client turned mentor. A sampling of authoritarianism can be seen in Gorsuch’s service in George W. Bush’s Justice Department, where he helped craft a proposal for the treatment of detainees at Guantánamo. (The Supreme Court later ruled it unconstitutional.) There’s social conservatism, too, evident in his one book, a critique of death-with-dignity laws and physician-assisted suicide. “All human beings are intrinsically valuable,” he wrote, “and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.” It’s easy to read the book as a coded attack on abortion rights.

To the extent that Gorsuch said anything of substance at his hearing, he put himself across as a mainstream figure. He said that he had participated in some twenty-seven hundred cases on the appeals court, and had voted with the majority in ninety-nine per cent of them. This proves only that most cases are routine. (Even the Supreme Court issues unanimous rulings more than half the time.) The hard cases are the ones that matter, and it’s reasonable to project how Gorsuch would vote in them. He would oppose abortion rights. (Trump promised to appoint a “pro-life” Justice.) His predilection for employers over employees is such that it yielded a circuit-court opinion of almost Gothic cruelty. When subzero temperatures caused a truck driver’s trailer brakes to freeze, he pulled over to the side of the road. After waiting three hours for help to arrive, he began to lose feeling in his extremities, so he unhitched the cab from the trailer and drove to safety. His employer fired him for abandoning company property. The majority in the case called the dismissal unjustified, but Gorsuch said that the driver was in the wrong.

As a Justice, Gorsuch would embrace the deregulation of campaign finance symbolized by the Citizens United decision. (He argued in an opinion that judges should evaluate limits on political contributions using the same tough standards that they apply to racial discrimination.) His most famous Tenth Circuit decision had him taking a side in the culture wars. In Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, he ruled that a multibillion-dollar corporation could withhold federally guaranteed rights to birth control from thousands of female employees because of the religious beliefs of the corporation’s owners. (His position was upheld, 5–4, by the Supreme Court.) In an embarrassing coincidence, on the second day of Gorsuch’s testimony, the Court unanimously rejected one of his holdings in the Tenth Circuit, ruling that it denied adequate educational opportunities to students with disabilities. Every sign suggests that Gorsuch would be at least as conservative a judicial activist as Samuel Alito.

It’s also clear what Neil Gorsuch is not: Merrick Garland. Gorsuch’s nomination is inextricable from its shameful political context. When Scalia died, more than eleven months remained in Barack Obama’s Presidency, but Senate Republicans refused to give his nominee even a hearing. This departure from norms was all the more outrageous because the tactic was used to block a moderate; the Republicans denied Obama his constitutional right in order to trade a Justice who might have been less liberal than Stephen Breyer for one who might be as radical as Clarence Thomas. Such a turnabout seems especially disturbing given that the F.B.I. and other agencies are now investigating the very legitimacy of the Trump Presidency. Indeed, Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, has called for a delay in the Gorsuch vote until there is some clarity about the Trump camp’s ties to Russia. Last week, he also promised to lead a filibuster against Gorsuch’s confirmation, but Republicans, in response, vowed to change the Senate rules to allow them to confirm the nominee by a simple majority.

The Supreme Court is, as political scientists like to say, a counter-majoritarian institution: the President and the members of Congress must answer to the voters; the Justices, who serve for life, answer only to the commands of the Constitution. But, in doing so, it’s their duty to speak for those who lack political power. The Trump era has already meant trouble for these people—the poor, the sick, dissenters, immigrants—and Gorsuch, for all his intellectual distinction, has shown scant regard for their concerns. There’s little reason to believe that he would as a Justice, either. ♦