Thursday, June 2, 2016

Don't look now, but...

...Sen. Jefferson Sessions of Alabama (sounds like a Confederate general) just vaulted into third place in the betting on Paddy Power for Republican vice president:

Newt Gingrich, 6/4
Scott Brown, 7/2
Jeff Sessions, 4/1

So who is this guy? Well, his Wikipedia page begins like this (all emphasis mine):

Jefferson Beauregard "Jeff" Sessions III (born December 24, 1946) is the junior United States Senator from Alabama. First elected in 1996, Sessions is a member of the Republican Party.

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III? Now that really sounds like a Confederate general!

From 1981 to 1993 he served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. President Ronald Reagan nominated him to a judgeship on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in 1986, but he was not confirmed. 

Not confirmed to the Federal bench, huh? Is that a red flag? I don't know; you tell me:

At Sessions' confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, four Department of Justice lawyers who had worked with Sessions testified that he had made several racist statements. One of those lawyers, J. Gerald Hebert, testified that Sessions had referred to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as "un-American" and "Communist-inspired" because they "forced civil rights down the throats of people."

Thomas Figures, a black Assistant U.S. Attorney, testified that Sessions said he thought the Klan was "OK until I found out they smoked pot." Sessions later said that the comment was not serious, but apologized for it. Figures also testified that on one occasion, when the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division sent the office instructions to investigate a case that Sessions had tried to close, Figures and Sessions "had a very spirited discussion regarding how the Hodge case should then be handled; in the course of that argument, Mr. Sessions threw the file on a table, and remarked, 'I wish I could decline on all of them,'" by which Figures said Sessions meant civil rights cases generally. 

Figures also said that Sessions had called him "boy." He also testified that "Mr. Sessions admonished me to 'be careful what you say to white folks.'"

Sessions became only the second nominee to the federal judiciary in 48 years whose nomination was killed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I wouldn't worry about it, though, because a recent piece in the Daily Caller reassures us, "Jeff Sessions: Donald Trump Will Attract Black And Hispanic Voters In General Election."

He should know about how "the blacks" and "the Hispanics" will vote, right?

What about Sen. Sessions's career in the Senate?

Sessions was ranked by National Journal in 2007 as the fifth-most conservative U.S. Senator, siding strongly with the Republican Party on political issues. He supported the major legislative efforts of the George W. Bush administration, including the 2001 and 2003 tax cut packages, the Iraq War, and a proposed national amendment to ban same-sex marriage. However, he was one of 25 senators to oppose the establishment of TARP. He has opposed the Democratic leadership since 2007 on most major legislation, including the stimulus bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act. As the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, he opposed both of President Barack Obama's nominees for the Supreme Court.

Sen. Sessions, 69, is a good ol' boy from the Deep South with one of the most conservative records in the Senate whose background on civil rights prevented him from a federal judgeship.

Sounds perfect.

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