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JERRY KASSAR
JERRY KASSAR

Putin has not changed.  He is the same megalomaniac person who headed the KGB, the same leader who continues to harass and threaten his own citizens, the same head of state who continues attempting to bring the former Soviet states back under Russian influence.  He may not call himself a communist, but we are right to call him a dictator with no stomach for democracy.

It is a shame it took the Russian response to a chemical attack by their ally Assad on his own people for many Americans once again to consider the leader of the Russian government to be a sworn enemy of all the United States represents.

President Trump was correct in responding with a Tomahawk missile attack on the airbase in which the aircraft that delivered the lethal nerve gas were located. With these missiles, the president put American might behind the words of U.S. United Nations Representative Nikki Haley who said (I am paraphrasing) sometimes when something completely immoral and inhumane occurs, a nation may need to act on its own if others will not stand up with them.

President Trump did not wait for the nations of the world to join with us. He told them what he was going to do and he took action. He essentially told Russia to get out of the way. He showed strength and leadership. He certainly put to rest many in the international community who questioned his resolve.

He took the advice of many highly qualified senior military and diplomatic leaders including his secretary of defense, showing that the U.S. defense establishment continues to operate as a highly efficient tool to extend America’s resolve wherever the president feels in a crisis it must be felt.

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I find the expression “nuclear option” when applied to the operations of the U.S. Senate to be disturbing.  Basically, the U.S. Senate went back to allowing a confirmation by majority vote. Nowhere is the 60 vote for cloture rule contained in the U.S. Constitution. Moreover, you do not need a 60-vote rule to filibuster.  The effectiveness of the filibuster could be reduced, but the parliamentary nature of such remains.

By the way, most state legislatures including New York confirm their top state judges by a simple majority vote. Filibusters do happen on occasion. I can remember a six- hour one when I worked in the state Assembly.

The Supreme Court now is back at its full complement of nine members. Both sides, politics aside, admit that Gorsuch is highly qualified. The Supreme Court has a lot of work ahead of it. It is time they get on with it.

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The popular spring recycling event sponsored by State Senator Marty Golden (whom i serve as chief of staff) will take place on Saturday April 22 in the St Anselm’s Church parking lot (82nd Street and Fourth Avenue) from 11 to 3 p.m. Among the recycling items accepted will be electronics.

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