Thoughts on Nikki Haley’s confirmation hearing?

I’ve been too busy to watch Nikki Haley’s confirmation hearing for the U.N. job today.

But maybe some of y’all have had time to pay attention. If so, please share your thoughts and I’ll try to catch up later via comments…

73 thoughts on “Thoughts on Nikki Haley’s confirmation hearing?

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    One good thing: At least the discussion of her qualifications on social media is staying on a high level:

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          What’s remarkable — but not surprising under the circumstances — is that Trump isn’t getting a bump.

          He won the election, but not that many people want to stand up and share “credit” for that fact. He’s at 40 percent, and apparently dropping…

          1. Bart

            The real test will come in about one month after the voters have an opportunity to see him in action as POTUS. Will he do what most are predicting or will he be a pleasant surprise? Doubtful with the pleasant surprise thing but who knows?

            Friday should be a very interesting day. Just hope the crowds supporting and protesting remain as civil as possible and not let their emotions get out of hand.

              1. Richard

                I’m more confident than I have been in as long as I can remember with a Presidential change. Maybe not since Reagan.

        2. bud

          Don’t think most Americans are glad to see the best president since FDR leave for a serial gropper. He will genuinely be missed.

          1. Richard

            First, “best president”, not be a long shot.

            Second, missed by the left and those who make a living by being professional welfare recipients, and Hollywood liberals.

            1. bud

              Inflation moderate
              Interest rates low
              Unemployment low
              Wages up
              Budget deficit down 2/3
              International surveys show great respect for POTUS
              Fewer troops in harms way
              No scandals
              No 9/11 type attacks
              No My Pet Goat embarrassment
              No lying is into war
              60% approval vs 30% for W
              Low gasoline prices
              Falling uninsured rate
              Reduced nuclear threat from Iran
              Improved relations with Cuba

              This phenomenol first family will be missed.

              1. Richard

                National Debt doubled in the last 8 years. A debt that equals more than every president before him combined.

                1. Richard

                  BTW – You get that by spending more than you earn. The US Treasury was printing and pumping money at record pace under the Obama administration. That’s how you artificially create the economy you want. When someone (Trump) says “enough”, we as a country are going to hit a wall like we’ve never hit before. Thanks Obama, for nothing. You’re great grandchildren are going to be paying back Obama’s reign.

                2. bud

                  Richard that’s a nonsensical right wing talking point. The early years of the Obama administration were punctuated by huge deficits caused by the Bush recession. Those belong to him. Period. The last few years have fallen much lower. This article shows what happened.


                  I think it’s time to update the old phrase that there are 3 types of lies – lies, damn lies and statistics to – lies, damn lies, and conservative talking points.

                3. Claus

                  bud, after 8 years of constantly increasing national debt… it’s not Bush’s fault. If you’re going to give an honest evaluation of the Obama administration you can’t just list the good things that you and liberals credit him with. If you do, then the other things you mentioned are just leftover from the Bush administration.

                  27 more hours of this guy and we’ll be Making America Great Again.

  2. Claus

    Other than the fact that she was thrown softball questions that she couldn’t answer she seems perfect for the position.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author


      The thing is, she’s almost completely lacking in relevant experience, but here’s what hurts: She’s probably the least controversial nominee Trump has put forward.

      Except for Mattis. I mean, if you’re willing to overlook the “civilian oversight of the military” thing. Which in his case, I’m willing to do. His credentials are such that I think he has more potential than anyone to have a salutary effect on the new administration. I don’t think he should be booted on a technicality…

      If I felt great about the rest of his national security team, I might say let’s hold out for a civilian. But as things stand…

      1. Richard

        Is it normal for a candidate to be surrounded by their home state Senators? I thought most sat at the table by themselves. Perhaps this is just one more way for Lindsey Graham to get his mug on television.

      2. bud

        So let me get this straight, you were dogmatic in support of the electors remaining faithful and vote for a serial gropper with 2.8 million fewer votes even though there is NO constitutional reason to do so. Yet here you want a clearly established law to be violated in order to confirm a man named mad dog??? Dude that’s seriously messed up.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          No, I was for electors NOT being faithful, but some of y’all talked me down and I reluctantly agreed maybe my friends here had a point.

          There’s no constitutional ban on a recent general being SecDef. If I recall, Congress passed a guideline to that effect — then immediately broke it for Marshall. Because Congress can do that.

          I’m for Mathis because he’s the sharpest, best-qualified nomination Trump has offered. He’s a grownup, and this administration badly needs adult supervision…

        2. Bryan Caskey

          “Yet here you want a clearly established law to be violated in order to confirm a man named mad dog??? Dude that’s seriously messed up.”

          First: “Violated”? I think you mean “changed”, right? We have a law. Congress (who makes the laws) is proposing an amendment/waiver/exception to that law in this instance. It’s going through the proper channels, to-wit: Congress. Surely you agree that changing, modifying, or creating an exception to a law isn’t violating it, right?

          Second, you understand that nicknames are fairly common in the military, right? Mad-Dog sounds kind of like Mat-tis, which is a pretty logical (and awesome) nickname for the guy who was the commanding officer of the 1st Marine Division in the Iraq War.

          Third, the following Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to confirm Mattis:

          Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island
          Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida
          Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri
          Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire
          Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut
          Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana
          Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii
          Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia
          Sen. Angus King, D-Maine
          Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico
          Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts
          Sen. Gary Peters, D-Michigan

          That’s about as bipartisan as you could get with the committee voting in favor of him 26-1. The lone dissenting vote was Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York. Shouldn’t we be celebrating the Senate’s bipartisan agreement on this? 🙂

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Maybe it would make Bud feel better if we use his other nickname, “The Warrior Monk.” Then again, maybe not, since it has “warrior” in it…

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              And as we all know, not liking the phrase “warrior monk” would be like not liking “Kung Fu,” which would be just plain unAmerican, grasshopper.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                That was such a strange moment in American popular culture, the early 70s period that produce Billy Jack and “Kung Fu” — two deeply spiritual lovers of peace who could always be counted on, when the chips were down (which eventually happened in every episode) — to thoroughly and impressively kick the butts of everybody whose butt needed kicking…

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  The prevailing antiwar sentiment abroad in the land meant all young men had to make like they were peaceful, gentle souls if they wanted to get chicks… but Hollywood knew that deep down, they wanted to see some butt-kickin’.

                  And Billy Jack and Kwai Chang Caine gave them permission…

          2. Bryan Caskey

            “Surely you agree that changing, modifying, or creating an exception to a law isn’t violating it, right?”

            The only correct response to this question is: You’re right Bryan…and don’t call me Shirley.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              I did NOT support him!

              However, it appears that I simply did not oppose him strenuously enough. Perhaps it’s that I turned shy when the time came to board, or something…

          1. bud

            You reel kind of easily. All I’m saying is at the end of the day you buckled under when you didn’t have to .

  3. Richard

    What I find more interesting is her financial situation. Between $500k and $1 million in debt. Bank accounts with between $1001 and $15,000 total. A mortgage debt of between $250,000 and $500,000 the rest on one credit card and line of credit. She made just over $200,000. Her husband has no reportable income. How does one get possibly $500,000 in debt not including a mortgage? How do you make $200,000 per year and likely have less than $10,000 in the bank?

  4. Phillip

    Nikki complains the UN is “often at odds with American national interests and American taxpayers” and wonders if we are getting what we paid for.

    Indeed! The temerity of the nations of the nations of the world, to disagree with the United States from time to time. How dare they? As if they were entitled to opinions of their own, preposterous.

    1. Doug Ross

      Well, what ARE we getting out of it? What does the U.N. actually do that is of any substance? Let’s move it to Geneva.

      1. Phillip

        UNESCO, UNICEF, peacekeeping, a forum for the nations of the world, large and small, to communicate with each other and to try to forestall wars–certainly a third world war, considering that it was the Second that provided the impetus for its creation. The Kyoto Protocol emerged from UN initiatives in the 1990s. Think about the history of the world and realize that, for all its many flaws, this is really the first enduring attempt to give all the nations and peoples of the world a seat at the table, so to speak. Obviously, the structure with the permanent Security Council members (again, a legacy of the post-WWII era) creates its own obstacles to progress. But the world without a UN is unthinkable.

        If its contributions to world education, addressing hunger, grappling (sometimes successfully, often not) with resolving conflicts peacefully, are not things that the United States values, then no, I guess we’re not “getting anything out of it.” I just wonder why Nikki thinks it’s worth mentioning or even particularly noteworthy that the UN is often “at odds with American interests…” It doesn’t exist for any one country to “get something out of it.” The UN is not going to march in lockstep with any one nation’s agenda, nor should it.

        1. Doug Ross

          “Obviously, the structure with the permanent Security Council members (again, a legacy of the post-WWII era) creates its own obstacles to progress. ”

          Yeah, that’s sort of like saying that the existence of Alabama creates an obstacle to progress for USC winning the SEC.

          I’m not suggesting there shouldn’t be a U.N. Only that it shouldn’t be funded by the U.S. disproportionately; it should be located outside of the U.S. in a country without the “weight” of the U.S. and its global objectives,; and that if it is truly a “United” set of nations, that there be no “Executive First Class Lounge” with a subset of members.

          The bottom line is that the U.S. will do whatever it wants to, whenever it wants to, regardless of what the members of the U.N. think.

  5. Burl Burlingame

    In the meantime, in what will be the only close vote, the Senate voted 51 to 48:
    1. To end coverage for preexisting conditions, veterans benefits, and aid to rural hospitals.
    2. To remove discrimination protection for women in healthcare.
    3. Against the provision allowing children to remain on their parent’s insurance till the age of 26.
    4. To cut off funding for the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
    5. Against ACA contraceptive coverage and maternity care provision.
    6. To direct committees to send budget legislation to defund and repeal the Affordable Care Act.
    For those who get health insurance through work, no pre-existing conditions. Lifetime caps for coverage are back for everyone.
    Real and disastrous actions are being taken that will affect more than just the 20-30 million people who will lose their health care coverage and the 3 million people who will lose their jobs.
    Despite their assertions of this being an action to “repeal and replace,” no viable alternative plan has been proposed.
    The House votes Friday.
    As of this moment, no replacement exists.

    1. Claus

      Under the current plan, those who didn’t have health insurance will, those who have health insurance can’t afford the new premiums and will be forced to drop health insurance coverage because they don’t qualify for the government subsidies. So what do we have, a bunch of welfare recipients with free health insurance and working people who can’t afford health insurance and will take the penalty at the end of the year.

    2. Bart

      Did you for one moment thing lame-brained Republicans were actually going to come out with a plan before they repeal ACA? No, they are so hell-bent on repealing it they haven’t taken time to actually come up with a replacement or an overhaul. If anything, their actions are worse than Democrats when they cobbled together a Gordian’s Knot called ACA and foisted it on the citizens of the US.

      Damn, didn’t Republicans learn anything and don’t they understand that ACA should not be repealed until they have an actual workable plan in place. ACA was passed with the caveat Nancy Pelosi placed on it, “We have to pass it to see what’s in it.” While Pelosi understands her comment, the average American didn’t. Apparently Republicans see the opposite, “we have to repeal it to find out what we can cut out of it.”

      1. Claus

        Well the lame-brained Democrats created ACA not realizing that it was going to triple or greater increase the premiums, co-pay, and out of pocket expenses for those who weren’t already on welfare.

        How many who voted actually read the act?

      1. Claus

        Yeah which ones? I’m looking to retire in a few years, maybe I can get a lot at the base of El Capitan, I’ll build my cabin out of redwood trees.

      2. Norm Ivey

        Here’s an article from The Guardian explaining what they did. Basically allows them to give the land to the states, which can then do what they want with it.

        1. Bryan Caskey

          That’s the same article Burl linked. It’s essentially making it easier for the federal government to transfer vast tracts of land owned by the feds to the states. Saying that it’s going to get rid of national parks is literally fake news.

          Yes, the Republican Party Literally Wants to Eliminate National Parks – Esquire, July 15, 2016

          GOP Platform Proposes To Get Rid Of National Parks And National Forests – ThinkProgress, July 15, 2016

          Republicans Announce Plan To Sell Off ALL National Parks, Federal Lands To Kochs, Corporations – Occupy Democrats July 15, 2016


          I could go on, but you get the idea. I guess that’s why there’s so much respect for the media these days.

    1. Doug Ross

      You mean allocate back to states some parts of some parks, right? Otherwise I need to see a reference to when the Might 5 parks in Utah are shutting down as I plan to be there in May.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      The national parks, huh?

      You know, I don’t want much from the Republican Party. I’m not demanding that they become the party of Lincoln again. I don’t want them to strain themselves or anything. I’d settle for the party of Teddy Roosevelt….

      1. Bill

        Given the news on public lands below and the fact that it was Teddy Roosevelt who established the National Park concept, I think you’d better give up on that particular benchmark. Today, Teddy would be labelled a “socialist” and drummed out of his own party – or, more likely, he would’ve turned his back on it.

        The party formerly known as the “GOP” has for all intents and purposes become a cult.

    1. Doug Ross

      Yeah, nothing to do with National Parks at all. It’s a little more nuanced than “getting rid of national parks”.

      1. Doug Ross

        From the article:
        “Some 60% percent of Alaska is made up of national land, and the state’s representatives have tried to pass laws claiming parts of it for state use as recently as 2015. ”

        As someone who spent a night sleeping in a tent by myself a few miles from Denali, it would concern me if the government was doing something to shrink Denali National Park. But what is being proposed isn’t that. If a state that is 425 million acres is 60% national land, then reclassifying or turning over a couple million acres of tundra to states or local governments isn’t exactly the doomsday scenario burl would try to lead us to believe.

    2. Bryan Caskey

      From your article:

      “At stake are areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Forests and Federal Wildlife Refuges, which contribute…”

      I noticed they didn’t mention the National Parks Service, which is the federal entity that manages the national parks and monuments. So…you’re entirely wrong.

        1. Doug Ross

          The hysteria continues. The parallels to “Obama Was Born in Kenya” are obvious.

          If everyone would just chill out until something actually happens, it would save a lot of wasted anxiety.

          1. bud

            Doug, in a way you have a point. But you just can’t ignore all the warning signs about the really, really risky person Donald Trump is. He insults everyone. Isn’t it just possible, likely even, that he’ll insult the wrong person or group and something really serious could occur? I don’t think we should just sit back and casually ignore these warning signs.

          2. Brad Warthen Post author

            Doug, it already happened. The presidency of the United States will now be held by a rude, crude, incredibly petty, childishly self-centered, malevolent, volatile, pathologically lying ignoramus. Which despite what cynics would say, has not happened before — not even with Andrew Jackson. Not even close.

            So America is a lower-quality nation than it was. We’re making some banana republics look good.

            Of course, maybe that’s our gift to the world. But I’m not happy about it.

            In any case, it’s already happened….

          3. Scout


            If you observed another person about to drink what you knew to be cyanide but the other believed to be something else entirely, would you wait until something actually happened to do anything?

            Maybe you would. Most people would feel the need to say or do something.

            This is how clear the danger seems right now. The man has narcissistic personality disorder. He is pathologically incapable of not responding to taunts and criticism. We have ample evidence of this already. And he is about to control nuclear weapons.

            1. Doug Ross

              First, I would want to be sure there was cyanide in the bottle.

              There are two mindsets in the country currently. Those who are going about their business, living their lives, enjoying their friends and families… and then there are Hillary voters. As someone who supports neither Obama or Trump, it’s very easy to recognize the hysteria that each group who lost the election demonstrated. The losers can’t accept that the other side won so they demonize the winners.

        2. Richard

          Burl do you miss being a newspaperman so badly that you feel the need to join the crowd and distribute fake news?

  6. Burl Burlingame

    “Federal properties” includes national parks. The focus up front here, though, is to allow strip-mining and deforestation and other commercial use in wildlife refuges and other “unused” wilderness areas. And if federal land holdings have been devalued to zero, it’s easier for the government to sell them off (or GIVE THEM) to private businesses.

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