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Messages - Wayward Son

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General Comments / Re: British elections!
« on: December 11, 2019, 12:40:47 PM » has a good summary of what's up (for those on the west side of the pond).

The general consensus seems to be that this is one of those elections that the United States seems to have so often these days, where voters will be choosing the less problematic of two bad options. On one side are the Conservatives and Boris Johnson. His flaws are pretty well known, but just in case anyone has forgotten: He's a nativist and populist who abuses his power and has been guilty of what the Guardian describes as "breathtaking hypocrisy." He's also hardly a model of ideal behavior in private; he alienates the people he works with, is allegedly somewhat lazy, and has been credibly accused of having a child from an extramarital affair, and then pretending that child does not exist. Should he be sustained, he's going to try to ram through a Brexit deal that makes very few people happy, as it keeps the UK tied to the other EU countries in many ways, except without a lot of the benefits of actual EU membership, such as having a say in crafting EU policies.

Alternatively, folks could check their ballots for Labour. That would put Jeremy Corbyn in 10 Downing Street. Corbyn, however, has quite a few flaws of his own. To start, the fact that he and his party are not surging despite 10 years of shaky Conservative leadership and plenty of "throw the bums out" sentiment speaks to Corbyn's rather low popularity. In fact, he has the lowest approval ratings of any major British politician of the last decade, and has shown no ability whatsoever to expand his (or Labour's) appeal beyond hard-core supporters. He has also done a lousy job of responding to anti-Semitism in his own party, with the result that Jewish voters have taken an "anyone but Corbyn" attitude heading into Thursday's balloting. If Corbyn is elected, he has promised to cancel Brexit without holding a new referendum. Given that about 50% of the populace has remained steadfast in their support of Brexit, that will be an unpopular move, to say the least.

There are no other parties in the U.K. that, right now, have a plausible path to a majority in Parliament. Jo Swinson, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has far less baggage than Johnson or Corbyn, but the premiership is not in her immediate future (and is probably not in her distant future, either). The best projection available suggests that Johnson is not only going to remain in power, but that he'll pick up 25-30 seats in Parliament, which will allow him to pass his Brexit deal. Of course, polling British parliamentary elections is always a tricky business, and you should never take anything to the bank until the ballots are counted. Still, if Johnson does win convincingly, then that will likely be the end of the line for Corbyn as Labour leader. Undoubtedly, the Party is wishing it had its old leader, Ed Miliband, back. Not only was he more moderate and more popular, he is also Jewish.

Good luck, Quang, deciding between the rock and the hard place. :)

General Comments / Re: Do we still have a Fourth Amendment?
« on: December 06, 2019, 04:55:50 PM »
Could you please be specific about which journalist and attorney had their phone records subpoenaed, so we know exactly what you are talking about?

Because it sounds like this comes down to whether there was probable cause or not, which is very specific to the circumstances.

"That was funny when I said that guy was two-faced."

President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, referring to his name-calling of Canadian President Justin Trudeau.

...half the oxygen gets tied up in Water, which doesn't naturally get converted back to molecular oxygen.

That statement got me thinking that there might be some plants that convert water into oxygen.

Turns out that I was wrong.  Some plants do not turn H2O into O2; practically all plants do, as part of photosynthesis.  The CO2 used gets converted into sugars.

So I wouldn't worry about oxygen depletion.

Well, the rain forests are one of the major converters--and therefore producers--of oxygen in our atmosphere, so if they were all burned down, there would be less oxygen created to replace that which is used in other processes.  So such a scenario would also deplete oxygen from our atmosphere.

However, at 1.1E18 kg of O2 in our atmosphere, we would need to emit about 5E16 kg of methane to deplete around 10 percent of it.  That's about 500 million billion kg by my calculations.  I'm not sure of what the estimated methane reserves are, but I suspect it falls far short of that. :)

Oxygen depletion is another problem.

Just to put your mind at ease, I'm pretty sure oxygen depletion is not a problem now.

I read an article on whether the burning of the rainforest would affect our oxygen supply.  The consensus was that there is more than enough oxygen in reserve in our atmosphere to provide for life for the foreseeable future.  It would go down, of course, but by such a small percentage per year that it would not be noticeable.

If burning the rainforests has negligible effect, I'm sure methane conversion to CO2 would be similarly negligible.  (There is approximately 1.1E18 kg of O2 in the atmosphere, according to my back-of-the-envelope calculations.)

General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: November 26, 2019, 12:38:24 PM »
Of course, everyone knows there's a problem.  WaPo reporter Rachel Bade has the inside info on how some Democrats getting are “cold feet” as worries grow about public opposition to impeachment. You gotta understand, after 2 weeks of public hearings, support for impeachment has declined signficantly:
According to the FiveThirtyEight average of national polls, support for impeachment has shrunk from 50.3 percent in mid-October to 46.3 percent presently, while opposition has risen from 43.8 percent to 45.6 percent.

Among independents in the FiveThirtyEight average, support for impeachment topped out at 47.7 percent in late October but has sunk to 41 percent over the past three weeks.
Almost 7% drop from the 538 guys. That means out in the real world it's probably quite a bit more than what they report.

Enjoy it while you can, boys.  The latest FiveThrityEight average has bounced back.  As of 11-26-19, it's up to 48.6 percent for impeachment and opposition has dropped to 41.1 percent--2.5 percent increase from your quote, and a 4.5 percent decrease in opposition.

Which means that out in the real world, it's probably worse. :)

I guess hearing from the officials themselves that the U.S. government actually did try to pressure the Ukrainian government to try to influence our elections by announcing an investigation against Trump's most likely opponent is slowly sinking in. :)

General Comments / Re: In any other administration...
« on: November 13, 2019, 06:19:19 PM »
Trump's settlement here is on the corporate governance of a charity that was almost completely funded with his own money.

Seriati, what makes you think Trump's charity was almost completely funded by Trump?  ::)

When was the last time Trump donated to his own charity?  Look it up.  You might find it enlightening.

“You’re doing a fantastic job for the people of Turkey.”

--President Trump to Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 11, 2019, 03:38:18 PM »
He was so concerned about it that he didn't pin anything down in writing...

Why?  Would something that Taylor put down in writing matter to you?  Would something that Taylor wrote at that time change you mind in any way?

Because from what I've heard, Taylor took "meticulous" notes at the time.  It's just that the White House has those notes, and refuses to provide them.

If those notes are one day released, and they corroborate Taylor's statements from memory, would that have any effect?  Is there anyone who is more "reliable" than that bold-faced liar, President Trump?

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 07, 2019, 04:30:55 PM »
If you have something better let me know, what's cited above as Lloyd Perna points out isn't proof that US policy was a quid pro quo or that Donald Trump ordered one, only that Sondland apparently now remembers that he thought there was one.

You're missing the point.  It doesn't matter if he remembers, if he was the only one who thought it, or whatever.  He told the Ukrainians that it was quid pro quo.  He told them that the aid was dependent on them making the statement about a corruption investigation.

Once he told them that, it was quid pro quo.  Period.

Once you tell someone, "Your money or your life," it's a robbery, whether you misinterpreted what someone else said to you or not. :)

Once you tell someone, "You (probably) won't get his aid unless you do this," it's quid pro quo, whether you misunderstood someone else or not.

Admittedly, his statement does not make clear that the statement he was referring to was an investigation into Biden's son.  However, in context, wouldn't you expect that he would have clarified that in his statement if it wasn't?  Since the heart of this investigation is the accusation that Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Biden and Crowdstrike, don't you think he would have mentioned if the statement he was requesting had nothing to do with the investigation?  ::)  It's kinda germane.

Hopefully someone will ask him to clarify that statement when he appears in the televised hearings.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 07, 2019, 02:57:16 PM »
You left part of it out.  Emphasis is mine.

I always believed that suspending aid to Ukraine was ill-advised, although I did not know (and still do not know) when, why or by whom the aid was suspended.  However, by the beginning of September 2019, and in the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I presumed that the aid suspension had become linked to the proposed anti-corruption statement.

If "there is no question" this has to mean proved, does it not? The fact that there is other evidence is immaterial, by saying "there is no question now" you imply that this testimony on its own puts quid pro quo beyond doubt.

"Presumption" is irrelevant.

And, yes, the statement--

"I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks."

--does prove quid pro quo.

Because it states that U.S. aid would (likely) not be given unless the statement was made.  Aid directly tied to statement.  Quid pro quo.  No wiggle room on this.

Unless, of course, Sondland was lying about telling Yermak that.

But why would he lie about that?  He basically said that he possibly committed a crime.  (At least, that is what the House is trying to prove here.)  Why would anyone lie to Congress about committing a crime?  You're in trouble either way; if you told the truth, you committed a crime; if you lied, you committed perjury.  Doesn't make sense.

So I doubt that he lied.  Which means, as a representative of the United States government, he told the representative of the Ukrainian government that getting aid was directly tied to them issuing the statement.  Quid pro quo.

The question now becomes why did Sondland tell Yermak that there was a quid pro quo for the desperately needed military aid?  Was he mistaken in his belief?  Did someone like Guilliani tell him to say that?  Or did the direction come from higher up?

But unless Sondland was lying through his teeth, there is no longer any question about a quid pro quo for military aid to Ukraine.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 07, 2019, 10:55:02 AM »
Meanwhile, Gordon Sondland admits that the military aid offered to Ukraine was dependent on Ukraine investigating Biden's son.

After that large meeting, I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks. I also recall some question as to whether the public statement could come from the newly appointed Ukrainian Prosecutor General, rather than from President Zelensky directly.

6. Soon thereafter, I came to understand that, in fact, the public statement would need to come directly from President Zelensky himself. I do not specifically recall how I learned this, but I believe that the information may have come either from Mr. Giuliani or from Ambassador Volker, who may have discussed this with Mr. Giuliani.
(Emphasis mine.)

So there is no question now whether quid pro quo occurred.  The only question now is who directed it.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 07, 2019, 10:47:13 AM »
Ah, I see, that is what you meant by "some of the last ones to experience it."  That since 1882 or so, it was primarily blacks who were lynched, but before that, it was (possibly?) mainly whites.

While this may be historically accurate, it does not take away the apparent fact that, since 1882 or so, it was primarily used to terrorize blacks, and that is the most recent use of the practice.  And the most recent use is the one that people think of when they think of historical usage.  For example, consider the swastika, a traditional sign of peace in Indian cultures (IIRC).  Do you think for one second that people would consider the display of the swastika a sign of peace today? ;)

So while it is true that lynchings have been color-blind through most of its history, it was decidedly color-depended for its most recent use.  And so there is more than adequate reason to see the practice as color-dependent, unless you are referring to a specific period of history when it wasn't.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 06, 2019, 06:02:24 PM »
When did you ever hear of a lynching where blacks were in attendance to watch and offer their opinions and interrogate the lynchee? -- )

Some people seem to be under the mistaken and very anti-historical view that only black people were ever lynched in the history of the term/practice. From my recollection of history, that is not so, and it was far from being something that was exclusively done to blacks. Far from it, blacks weren't even the first ones it was done to. What they are, is some of the last ones to experience it.

Perhaps the last ones, but certainly the main ones.  :(

Per the NAACP, about 73 percent of those lynched were black.

From 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States.  Of these people that were lynched 3,446 were black.  The blacks lynched accounted for 72.7% of the people lynched.  These numbers seem large, but it is known that not all of the lynchings were ever recorded.  Out of the 4,743 people lynched only 1,297 white people were lynched.  That is only 27.3%.  Many of the whites lynched were lynched for helping the black or being anti lynching and even for domestic crimes.

So, yeah, it was something done primarily to blacks.

General Comments / Re: The Race is On
« on: November 05, 2019, 06:04:16 PM »
So he just "presumed" that the President was asking him to do something unethical and probably illegal, and didn't feel the need to clarify it or perhaps warn the President that maybe it might be bad.

Yep, Trump only hires "the best!"  ::)

President Donald Trump:

"False stories are being reported that a few Republican Senators are saying that President Trump may have done a quid pro quo, but it doesn’t matter, there is nothing wrong with that, it is not an impeachable event. Perhaps so, but read the transcript, there is no quid pro quo!"

Parse that!  :P

General Comments / Re: The Race is On
« on: November 05, 2019, 03:16:06 PM »
I had the same take, it sounded like you thought it wasn't worth clicking on the link or looking at any of the information because ya just can't trust that NPR.

My point is that when the primary source of “news” around this is coaching the witnesses, refusing to allow questions that conflict with a preferred narrative, and conducting this all in secret, we can be sure that whatever is reported conforms to that narrative and, when it comes to DNC media outlets, we can be sure that it’s reported as demanded by their masters so as to shape the perception.

That is exactly what was done. So you could say I totally trusted NPR to do this. They didn’t disappoint.

But, since all this was done "in secret," you actually don't know any of this.  You're just hoping it's true!  ;D

Of course, if you were curious enough to test your ideas, you would look at the transcripts and see if there was any "refusing to allow questions that conflict with the preferred narrative" by the Republicans who were present in this "secret meeting" (which isn't all that secret anymore since the actual transcript--not a summary like Trump's "perfect call"--was released).

Perhaps you are waiting for the Trump version of the transcripts?

Trump has not responded well to the current turn of events. In fact, one could spend a very long time scripting a response for him, and it probably wouldn't be worse than what he actually came up with. Here it is:

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump
If Shifty Adam Schiff, who is a corrupt politician who fraudulently made up what I said on the “call,” is allowed to release transcripts of the Never Trumpers & others that are & were interviewed, he will change the words that were said to suit the Dems purposes. Republicans...

4:48 PM - Nov 3, 2019
Twitter Ads info and privacy
31.9K people are talking about this

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump
Replying to @realDonaldTrump
....should give their own transcripts of the interviews to contrast with Schiff’s manipulated propaganda. House Republicans must have nothing to do with Shifty’s rendition of those interviews. He is a proven liar, leaker & freak who is really the one who should be impeached!

4:48 PM - Nov 3, 2019
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24.2K people are talking about this

First of all, the President might as well hire a skywriter to fly over Washington and write: "THIS ALL LOOKS VERY BAD FOR ME!" His response could not make that any more clear. Still, his game is clear—he wants to raise doubts about the credibility of what people are going to be reading in newspapers and on websites over the next few days. That despite the fact that if Trump's claim was true—that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is cooking the books—the witnesses would promptly take note of that and point out the distortions.

Meanwhile, in his attempt to create "alternative facts" for his base to believe in, Trump has just publicly called for the members of Congress to falsify evidence. That is a crime, and it's surely a high crime and/or misdemeanor.

Let's see how many of the witnesses point out any distortions. ;)

That's what is so funny about Republicans like you.  You keep telling us how we can't trust the MSM, then feed us a bunch of just-so stories based on bias and wishful thinking which is even less reliable than the MSM.  ;D   TSS at it's best.

Let's get back to what this tread is all about.

Donald Trump, Private Citizen, is implicated in breaking tax laws in the State of New York when he was Donald Trump, Private Citizen.

The State of New York wants to investigate this.  In order to investigate it, they need to look at his tax records.  He is refusing to cooperate with the investigate.

As justification for not cooperating with this investigation, his lawyers are arguing that the President has complete immunity from any criminal indictment or investigation during his time in office.

IOW, since he is now Donald Trump, President, he is not subject to investigation or indictment by the police like every single other person in the United States of America.  :o

In fact, his lawyers admit that, under this theory, the President could murder someone on 5th Avenue and not be indicted until he leaves office.

This is based on theory about the Constitution (not explicitly written in the Constitution itself, but an interpretation) that the Presidency is a unique office in the government, entirely unlike any other office, elected or otherwise, in our entire government.  And because it is so unique, laws that apply to every other person do not apply to him, unless Congress decides to remove him.

If Congress is in his pocket, or so divided that it can't come to a decision about him, he is free and clear to do anything he wants while in office.

This, on the face of it, seems like a ludicrous assertion.  That felonies that would get any other person in the country executed cannot even be investigated if the accused is the President.  Just to make sure he isn't distracted from his job.  ::)

So Al Capone, if he had been elected President, would have been immune from killing two people with a baseball bat at a dinner party (not just one, as depicted in the movie :) ), because it might distract him from running the country.  Unless, of course, you could convince a majority of Congress that he did it.  Which would be difficult, since the Chicago police would have been prevented from even investigating his operation while he was President.  :o

The legal principle stinks.  Just because you are President doesn't mean you are no longer a citizen of the United States, subject to the same laws that every other citizen (and non-citizen) is.

It has become an issue now because we elected a President that really doesn't respect the law.  He didn't respect it when he was a Private Citizen; he doesn't respect it now.

So rather than defending himself based on facts in this case about his state taxes, he prefers to hide behind the immunity principle.

Whether he uses his immunity to murder someone or just to hide his crimes while he was a private citizen, the principle stinks.  Yes, the President should not be subject to so many indictments that he cannot do his job.  But at the same time, the Presidency of the United States should not be a way for criminals to escape prosecution--or even INVESTIGATION--of their crimes while they are in office.  That is a stupid proposition.  One I would think we should all agree on.

General Comments / Re: Do you think Nixon was innocent of wrong doing?
« on: October 31, 2019, 02:01:15 PM »
Yeah, it means anything you want. That’s what you’re going for, it’s what I said.

Regardless of how squishy the definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors" is, it is certainly not limited only to actual, chargeable crimes, as you seemed to imply.

General Comments / Re: The Race is On
« on: October 30, 2019, 11:42:16 AM »
Right, Trump and Zelensky are lying, the call transcript is fake, everyone in the whitehouse involved in producing the transcript is in on the conspiracy. Also, we can prove this if we have secret meetings where Republicans are not allowed to question anyone and Schiff coaches the witnesses - if they’re even allowed to know the identity of the witness.

My god, Crunch, was there even a single truthful statement in that screed?  And you like to talk about "fake news."  ;D

No one but you is calling the "transcript" "a fake."  I'm certainly not.  What I was pointing out is that it was not a word-for-word transcript of the conversation, which means that it is not a record of the exact wording and phrasing, and apparently is even missing portions of the call.  So it is not a transcript, and does not provide a complete record of the conversation.  It says so itself in the flag note on the first page.

So, yes, everyone is in on the "conspiracy," because they stated it in black and white on the very first page!  ::)

The meetings are not "secret" because there are Republicans, and their staff, on every single committee, who hear the testimony at the same time as the Democrats on the committees.  And you do realize that according to the rules of the House of Representatives (which were approved by vote in 2015), these hearings are supposed to be held in private?

House meetings shall be open to the public except when a committee or subcommittee, in open session and with a majority present, "determines by record vote that all or part of the remainder of the meeting on that day shall be in executive session because disclosure of matters to be considered would endanger national security, would compromise sensitive law enforcement information, would tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate any person, or otherwise would violate a law or rule of the House."
(Emphasis mine.)

Does anyone think that there is no tendency of these hearings to incriminate, defame, or degrade anyone? ;)  Would you like to ask President Trump for a second opinion? :)

And remember--these hearings are not a trial.  They are more like a Grand Jury investigation.  Testimony and facts are being uncovered.  Hearsay is allowed.  If there are sufficient facts, they go to the Senate, where the facts are reviewed.  That's where lawyers and cross-examination occurs.  So complaining that the Republicans on the committees may not have as much information or latitude as they would wish is just obfuscation.  They'll have their chance, in the chamber they control.

When you have the facts on your side, you pound the facts.  When you have the law on your side, you pound the law.  When you have neither, you pound the table.  There has been a lot of table-pounding about this lately. :)

So do you feel comfortable about that?

That every four years, we elect one person in our nation to be above the law?  A person who cannot be touched, unless Congress removes him?  An emperor, a king who could shoot someone on 5th Avenue, and if Congress agrees, is not subject to our laws, at least for his term in office?

That is not what our Founding Fathers envisioned.  They did not write it into the Constitution.  They did not intend for us to have a king, for however long.  And, yes, we never had to consider it before because we never had a President before who might have considered using it before.  Who had his lawyers argue that, why yes, if he shot someone on 5th Avenue, he could not be charged with murder while he is President.  :'(

That's the guy you elected.  Someone who would use that to avoid being investigated.  Makes you wonder what he does intend to do with that power.  :o

General Comments / Re: The Race is On
« on: October 29, 2019, 06:43:38 PM »
We have the call transcript. What witnesses to the call do you need?

Gods, Crunch, how many times do we have to remind you that it isn't an actual, word-for-word transcript?  ::)

General Comments / Re: Do you think Nixon was innocent of wrong doing?
« on: October 29, 2019, 06:38:57 PM »
Why don't you look up what it means before making disparaging remarks, Crunch?  You're just showing your ignorance with stuff like that.  :P

But consider the principle.  He's above the law unless Congress removes him from office...

What if, instead of killing a man on 5th Avenue, he shoots most of Congress.  Who would have authority to remove him from office?

Or you could, you know go read my first few responses which were completely reasonable and addressed the actual solution to the less "extremist" version.  You know, impeachment, removal and then indictment.

I really don't know what to say to you guys.  The threads premise, and how Wayward has defended it are clear as day, yet you seem to want to gaslight me on the whole thing.

For the record, no, I'm not "worried" that Trump will shoot anyone, much less Congress.  He's not that kind of guy.  (If he'd do it, he'd have one of his lawyers do it, but that's another topic... :) )

I'm pointing out that the legal principle (which, BTW, is just an interpretation of the Constitution, not in the Constitution itself--look it up) would make it legal for the President to shoot people, by shooting the only people who could remove him from office and make him subject to the judicial system.  The "perfect murder," if you will.

It's just another way of saying "THIS THEORY IS *$%#@)^ STUPID!!!!"  Because it theoretically makes someone above the law.  And in my America, no one is (legally) above the law.

I don't know where you got the idea that I was seriously concerned about Trump shooting Congress.  My apologies if I somehow gave you that impression.  No one is trying to gaslight you.

TDS manifests in humorous ways some times.

People with TSS shouldn't comment on people with TDS, Crunch.  :D

Well, let’s walk through this.  Orange man is so bad that you literally fear he will walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, guns in both hands, firing randomly into crowds and nobody could stop him. The bad orange man’s murderous desires, obvious to all, are unstoppable. Bad orange man is above the law. He’ll kill us all and get away with it. That’s the premise here and it’s a childishly absurd one.

Never mind that this type of immunity to prosecution while in office has applied to every president and is absolutely nothing new, it’s only the bad orange man that has you suddenly worried. There is nothing new or different here, nothing that should surprise or frighten normal, reasoning, people. This is a purely emotional thread, based on fear and hate. It’s nothing but “orange man bad” as parroted by NPC’s across the media. It’s a manifestation of TDS to suddenly find something that’s been applicable to every president is now a problem.

More TSS on top of TSS.  Talk about doubling-down!  ;D

President Donald Trump:

"The Never Trumper Republicans, though on respirators with not many left, are in certain ways worse and more dangerous for our Country than the Do Nothing Democrats. Watch out for them, they are human scum!"

General Comments / Re: Do you think Nixon was innocent of wrong doing?
« on: October 29, 2019, 02:40:37 PM »
Guilty of what? What law was violated?

Doesn't need to be a "law," Crunch.  High crimes and misdemeanors, remember?  Using a public office for personal gain (even re-election) would be considered a "high crime."

There may also be obstructing justice (which is a crime).  We'll have to see what the other charges are.

TDS manifests in humorous ways some times.

People with TSS shouldn't comment on people with TDS, Crunch.  :D

General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 26, 2019, 01:07:04 PM »
Went through 8 years of just that thing. You thought it was great then, didn’t you? Unfortunately, it’s gonna be tough putting this back in the bottle unless Congress decides to reclaim its power.

I’ll share your outrage when you’re consistent with it.

So I guess that means there is no "outrage" that the House isn't following the rules and voting on starting an impeachment inquiry (especially since there is no such requirement).  So we all should be outraged that Trump is pretending that it isn't Constitutional.

But, of course, why should we be outraged about Trump thumbing his nose at the Constitution when no one else is following the Constitution?

In fact, what do we need a Constitution for anyway when no one follows it's rules?

The inevitable conclusion of not believing in the rule of law unless all your opponents do, too.  ::)

It is gratifying to see you say the same thing I and many others said from 2008-2016. You guys made this bed, no[w] we’re all going to lay in it. Thanks for that

Next time a Republican talks about how corrupt and unethical Democrats are, show them this response.  This shows that Republicans are just as corrupt and unethical as they accuse Democrats of being, if not more so, but they just blame Democrats for their own shortcomings.  "You spat on the Constitution, so that makes it OK for me to do it, too, and even more than you guys did!  It's all your fault!!"  ::)  They can't even take responsibility for their own actions, but have to blame the Democrats for it.  ;D

The Republican party has become a sick joke of it's former self.

I don't think any of these arguments would be made if it wasn't Trump, I have to be honest.

You're probably right, Fenring, but for the wrong reason.

No one but Trump has bent the rule so far as to require us to define when the President should be indicted or not.  We have never elected an out-and-out crook to the White House in recent memory.  One that would fight to keep his job in order to hide his crimes behind the office of the Presidency.  Even Tricky Dicky resigned rather than fight to the end.

Consider the recent report of Trump using two different evaluations of his properties in the past--one for asking for loans, and a lower one for paying taxes.  These were verified from public records.  He committed either financial fraud or tax fraud.  But now his lawyers are saying that he can't be prosecuted because he's President?  That's he gets off scot free because he was elected and because the Senators in his party don't want to rock the boat?  That no one can even look into this now because he's President?

His job is important, but not so much that we have to tolerate a criminal in the job.  Because if his job is so important and so powerful, what would stop him from using his position to prevent him from being punished?  Do you want someone who has no respect for the law to be in charge of the Department of Justice?

Sorry, I don't have enough faith that no more than 32 Senators will always do the right thing and remove a criminal President, especially in this divided age when people will turn a blind eye to the imperfections of "their" candidate.  I don't think our Founding Fathers had such faith, either.  Trump is putting that to the test.

Learn from history.  Use the impeachment process before dragging the president through the courts.

As you will see, impeachment does not mean the President won't wag the dog, either. :(

Thinking about it some more, I think that Yale Review article is based on a questionable premise: that the President is unique and irreplaceable.

The main argument is that all the power of the Executive Branch rests with the President, and since he alone was elected, giving the power to someone else would be taking power away from the American people.  But the President was not elected alone; he was on a ticket, which included the Vice President.  The voters elected both of them, not just the President.  So giving the Presidency to the Vice President would still be following the will of the people.

Not having the elected representative is not a disaster, either.  If so, then the removal of every senator and representative would be a similar "disaster" for the states and districts they represent.  But the article dismisses such worries by pointing out that they have only limited power and influence in Congress.  Which may be true for Congress as a whole, but not for the districts they represent.

I also think they overstate the power of the Presidency.  Yes, all of the responsibility of the Executive Branch rests with the President.  But it is not executed exclusively by him.  He has a huge staff, the heads appointed by him, to run the day-to-day business and to make most of the decisions.  These people would not go away if the President was arrested.  So it's not like the Executive Branch would suddenly not be there if the President was removed.

And remember, the Founding Fathers considered the Presidency to be a lesser branch than Congress.  How big is the disaster if a lessor functionary is removed for criminal behavior?

This is not to say that I think the President should be open to every little indictment that comes along.  He is still the President, and has enormous responsibilities.  But major indictments should not be dismissed because he is irreplaceable.  And certainly not investigations into wrong doing.  In our government, every member is replaceable, because no single individual or institution has absolute power.  It is all shared, if only to prevent the rise of a tyrant. This includes the President.

Here's a really easy to read write-up from 1997, that seems to come from one of the Yale law reviews.  They pretty much acknowledge that the issue is still subject to debate, as are all matters under US law, until they get to the SC - and sometimes even after.  But they also walk through a good bit of the history and the literal deference of the courts to the principals that require it.

That is an interesting argument for temporary immunity.  A few questions, though:

1.  Would this argument also apply to civil prosecution?  Wouldn't that also take the President's time away from his job?  (In fact, wasn't 1997 about the time Clinton was being sued?  ???)

2.  What about the situation where (as you corrected me) 31 Senators decide that no crime, past or current, is worth removing the President from office.  Would this not have the effect of putting the President above the law while he is in office?

3.  What does this argument have to do with investigating a sitting President, which is what the court case is about?  Doesn't it mean that a President could get away with a crime if the statute of limitations runs out before he leaves office?  And wouldn't delaying any investigation also delay justice if he was guilty?

4.  Does this apply, at all, to Congressional investigations?  Or would the time the President had to take to respond to House inquiries also be an unreasonable burden on the Presidency?

5.  What if the prosecutors promised to limit the amount of time the President personally had to take to respond to prosecution to, let's say, 10 hours a week?  Wouldn't that cover any unreasonable burden on his time, and allow him to run the country?  Perhaps we can't arrest and jail him until he leaves office, but the sentence could commence the day he does. :)

The Constitution provides for a scenario like that. In that case the President can be removed in accordance with the provisions of the 2nd Amendment.

Gods, you guys are a bloody-minded lot.

First you advocate a ridiculously bad legal theory--making the President not subject to American laws, even murder.

Then you advocate murder to solve the problems that you made.  ::)

Why do you even bother with laws?

I'm pretty sure that the cabinet would remove him, or did we want to extend the scenario to even more ludicrous extent? Like he nukes DC?

The President's lawyers are arguing that he has carte blanche to ignore any laws.  That no one but Congress can charge him with anything.  Heck, he's arguing that no one can even investigate any criminal activity he has ever done.  With something this ludicrous, what scenario is even more ludicrous? ;)

And if you find that too extreme, how about the more realistic scenario where a slim majority of the Senate refuses to consider the possibility of criminal activity by the President.  So 50 senators and the Vice President can overrule any charge against him while he is in office, even murder.  And no one but the House can even investigate whether he murdered someone or not.  (And it seems that even having the House investigate is up in the air.)  Does the opinion of 50 senators and the VP really overrule our entire criminal justice system for the President?  Is he really that much above us all?  Is that what Republicans really think these days?  :'(

I strongly suspect that if he tried that, somebody who works at the White House would "have an accident" with a most likely fatal outcome for the President. Failing that, some certain other somebody's might suffer "an unfortunate equipment malfunction" which results in the location the President is at being destroyed.

So you're advocating murdering the President for something that he can legally do (according to this stupid theory)?  Sounds pretty anarchistic to me... :)

I think you're worrying about things that should be worried about at all times, but in the case of the current President, such fears are really overblown in nearly every meaningful way. Trump is no Eisenhower, Kennedy, or Obama for that matter.

I know.  He's far, far worse.

You do realize that the court case is not even to charge the President with a crime?  No, it's to investigate a possible crime.  It's to examine Trump's tax returns to look for signs of malfeasance.

So the lawyer is not just arguing that a sitting President is immune from criminal indictment.  He is immune from investigation into possible criminal conduct.  IOW, according to this theory, as long as he is President, anything he did, past or present, is automatically considered legal until the end of his presidency.  He is, by definition, a saint that cannot be touched.  ::)

Could you imagine the Postmaster General making such an argument?  ;D

Trump's lawyer, and by extension, Trump himself, does not understand America.  Government officials are servants of the people, who must follow our laws and are held to a higher standard than most people.  They are not the rulers of our country, who are above us and above the law and can do anything they want with impunity.  This is the ideal that we have all subscribed to and is worth fighting for.

No Wayward, I think they were quite clear in what they believed.  They believed, correctly I think, that no Congress would tolerate that circumstance.  It's a nonsense hypothetical, put forward by a judge as a question specifically to make for the quotable moment.

But consider the principle.  He's above the law unless Congress removes him from office...

What if, instead of killing a man on 5th Avenue, he shoots most of Congress.  Who would have authority to remove him from office?

The replacement Congressmen?  He suspends elections.  Sure, it's illegal, but who's going to stop him?  He's above the law, not like us peasants.  He can do whatever he likes if Congress doesn't stop him.  And if there is no longer a Congress, there is no legal way to remove him...

This is not a principle of a Nation of Laws.  This is the principle of an autocracy.  This is the principle of a king, a dictator, a strong man.  Is this really what you want our nation to become?  Do you really want the Presidency to be beholden to no law, only to Congress?  And if a slim majority of the Senate decides they don't care what he does, then he is legally above the law?

So 51 individuals can decide that laws in this country don't matter, and there is no legal way to stop them.  Is that what you think America is all about?  ???

No, I didn't think it was controversial at all.  I thought everyone knew it stinks;)

My god, man, do you really believe the Founding Fathers intended to give the Presidency unlimited power to break the law, so long as Congress goes along with it?  ???  That he can literally ignore every and any law, and as long as he isn't removed from office, no one can touch him?  That he is literally above the law for his time in office?

Remember, it isn't just for 8 years.  That's a very recent addition to the Constitution.  It could have been for life, as with FDR.

Do you really believe the Presidency was meant as a "Get Out of Jail Free" card?


Trump is fighting the subpoena on the grounds that as president, he has absolute immunity from criminal indictment or investigation. His attorney said that would block Trump from being arrested and charged even if he followed through on his campaign trail claim: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voters, okay?”

Attorney William Consovoy argued that New York authorities would have to wait until the president was out of office to arrest and charge him for that crime. The DA's office argued the claim was a fabrication.

“Once a president is removed from office, any local authority” could prosecute him, Consovoy told a panel of three judges from the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. “This is not a permanent immunity.”

Judge Denny Chin pressed him on how the crime would be handled while Trump remained in office. “Nothing could be done, that’s your position?” he said.

“That is correct,” Consovoy replied.

It just shows how bad things have gotten that a lawyer could seriously present such an argument in court.  ::)

General Comments / Re: Anti-immigrant sentiment in NYC
« on: October 22, 2019, 06:09:14 PM »
Hey, I didn't say America was the healthiest place, just that NYC has a renowned health culture.

You haven't spent much time in NYC, have you?  ;D

Admittedly, they may be a bit thinner because they have to constantly walk in that city.  A typical New Yorker gets more aerobic exercise getting to and from the subways than most places.  But being more health conscious?  You haven't seen those Philly sandwich places!  ;)

From what I've seen, NYC is not significantly more health conscious than the rest of the U.S.  I suspect that the reason the city thought they could ban large amounts of soft drinks is simply because it is a good idea.  We, as a society, really shouldn't ingest that much sugar.  I suspect that the city leaders thought that, if they made it a law, people would just go along with.

They didn't realize how much people love their Coke.

General Comments / Re: Anti-immigrant sentiment in NYC
« on: October 22, 2019, 10:46:45 AM »
Let us not forget that the phrase "Go back to where you came from" was specifically cited in U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines as being potentially unlawful conduct in regards to anti-discrimination laws, well before Trump ever uttered the words.

CNN, MSNBC, MediaMatters, et al think it’s terrible. Consequently, you think it’s terrible. This is my shocked face.

So you want to establish a new nation for the Kurds and defend it forever from all their enemies. Do you remember when you were anti-war? It’s amazing how Trump turned you guys into the pro war crowd.

Wow.  After quoting four or five reasons why it's a bad idea, all you can come back with is "CNN, MSNBC, MediaMatters, et al think it’s terrible."  Don't you think for yourself?  Or do you just look to Trump and his Conservative Media and hate whoever they tell you to?  ???

And if you hadn't noticed, the invasion didn't start until after Trump said he was withdrawing our troops.  Our troops were keeping the peace.  So don't give my that "pro war" BS.

Another perfect example of TSS.  :P

General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 18, 2019, 03:07:17 PM »
Went through 8 years of just that thing. You thought it was great then, didn’t you? Unfortunately, it’s gonna be tough putting this back in the bottle unless Congress decides to reclaim its power.

I’ll share your outrage when you’re consistent with it.

So I guess that means there is no "outrage" that the House isn't following the rules and voting on starting an impeachment inquiry (especially since there is no such requirement).  So we all should be outraged that Trump is pretending that it isn't Constitutional.

But, of course, why should we be outraged about Trump thumbing his nose at the Constitution when no one else is following the Constitution?

In fact, what do we need a Constitution for anyway when no one follows it's rules?

The inevitable conclusion of not believing in the rule of law unless all your opponents do, too.  ::)

Ok. There’s a cease fire. I didn’t get to read too deeply into it but looks like it will be permanent and we’ll help the Kurds relocate.

Good plan?


First off, it isn't permanent.  It's only for five days.

Second, third, fourth...

On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence was dispatched to Turkey (along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo) to work out a deal on Syria with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. And on Thursday, less than 24 hours after getting on a plane, Pence reported back with big news: a temporary ceasefire has been reached!

If you are surprised that a deal was worked out so very quickly, especially since the flight from Washington to Ankara takes about 13 hours, well, you're right to be skeptical. To start, the Turkish government quickly said that they had not signed off, and that, in any case, the deal is not a ceasefire. Meanwhile, the leadership of Syrian Kurdish forces said they had not been consulted at all, and that they rejected the agreement in toto. That means we have a bipartisan agreement that is, at best, monopartisan, and is, at worst, nullpartisan. And yes, we did just make up that word, because nonpartisan is already in use for a different concept.

More significantly, the details of the "deal," such as it is, have a decided slant. Note that the U.S. government had been negotiating with the Turkish government over this matter for many weeks before the recent blow-up. What Turkey wanted, during the course of negotiations, was a 20-mile-wide zone of control in northern Syria. They also demanded an end to the autonomous Kurdish political unit of Rojava.

Pence and Pompeo, who had additional leverage given the sanctions that were just imposed on Turkey, managed to negotiate the following deal: The sanctions will be ended, and Turkey will be given a 20-mile-wide zone of control in Northern Syria. Further, before Pence and Pompeo already arrived, the Kurds had already cut deals with Syria and Russia, de facto bringing Rojava to an end.

You may notice that Turkey appears to have gotten everything it wanted, while the United States and the Kurds got...nothing. That is certainly how it looks to folks who have followed this matter closely. Consider these headlines from Thursday:

Slate: Trump Gives Turkey Exactly What It Wants, Claims Victory
CNN: Pence announces Syria ceasefire that appears to give Turkey everything it wants
Commentary Magazine: The 'Ceasefire' That Wasn't. Some Deal
MSNBC: In 'final betrayal,' U.S. brokered Syria ceasefire is effectively a Kurdish surrender
Washington Examiner: Trump's Syria peace plan: Get the Kurds to surrender to Turkey
PoliticusUSA: Trump Thanks His "Friend" Erdoğan For Allowing The US To Surrender In Disgrace
MediaMatters: Mainstream media are portraying Trump's Syria deal as a cease-fire, while Fox News praises it as a win, but experts say it's neither...

Obviously, many other folks in Washington were not nearly as impressed with Team Trump as Trump was. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a statement describing the agreement as a "sham" and opining that "President Erdoğan has given up nothing, and President Trump has given him everything." And Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who really might be preparing himself to lead anti-Trump Republicans in the Senate, blasted the accord as "a bloodstain on the annals of American history" and said that Trump backed down in the face of a bully.

Indeed, this whole drama follows the same pattern we've seen several times before, most obviously with North Korea:

1. A crisis (sometimes created by Trump, sometimes not) emerges
2. Trump rages on Twitter while his counterpart does a little saber-rattling
3. Trump wilts and gives up concessions in exchange for an empty "deal" that he can tout as a victory
4. Trump takes many victory laps, kisses his counterpart's rear end, and starts talking about how it's high time that he be given a Nobel Peace Prize.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 16, 2019, 04:04:23 PM »
But remember, yossarian, Trump won by a very thin margin.  A hundred-thousand votes out of 65 millions going the other way would have caused a tied election; two-hundred thousands would have completely tipped it.  So it won't take that many votes to change and/or not be cast to change the outcome of the next election.

Really it comes down to what is revealed in the investigation.  We already know that some diplomats believed that Trump as trying to extort the Ukrainians into investigating Biden.  If the people working for him perceived him as asking for quid pro quo, is there any doubt that it could have been perceived that way by others?

And the testimony and the investigation probably will uncover other problems with this Administration.  We already have Guilliani tied to a couple of jokers who donated foreign money to the election, something that Republicans wanted to hang Hillary for a few years back on much less evidence.  Who knows what else will be revealed?

And remember that this is also tied to Trump's popularity.  As long as people like the President and are satisfied with his job, they won't be swayed.  But if he does something stupid, like throw the Kurds under the Turkish bus, he may lose his personal support.  And then suddenly they won't be so forgiving of his many peccadilloes.

Trump's hard-core supporters won't be moved, but they number maybe 30 to 40 percent of the voters, if that.  The others can be swayed, even many of the hard-core ones if he does something to upset them.  So while currently the end of this story seems foreordained, you can expect a few more twists before the last page.

General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 11, 2019, 06:49:54 PM »
Calling names makes you big again?

It occurred to me last night that you may have taken my "moron" comment as being directed at you.  It was not, in the slightest.  It was directed at Trump.

No worries, I didn't think it was directed at me.  I wouldn't have reacted if you had directed it at me rather than using it as part of an argument.  It's sloppy thinking to think Trump doesn't understand things because he's reaching different conclusions.  In fact the results of what he's done, like using tariffs, are making me personally realize that I've been relying too much on the "experts" without examining exactly what they were saying.  In this case that the export of US jobs to China and other jurisdictions was a feature of the system, but don't worry cause our jobless people will have lower prices and our rich people will have more money from which to pay those taxes.  That the important things is "no US tariffs" no matter how many trade constraints the non-US actors impose.

The particular "moron" comments was directed at Trump specifically for suggesting negative interest rates, not about tariffs or such.  For that I can call him a "moron" and suggest that he doesn't understand what he's talking about.

Sinclair [economics professor at George Washington University] said GOP policies that cut regulations may have helped lead to stronger business investment under the Trump administration, but it’s hard to blame or credit a presidential administration for most economic outcomes.

Indeed, as we have noted time and again in fact checks, experts say it is wrong to attribute too much to individuals or particular policy changes. There are simply too many factors in the economy to boil it down to one.

Trump's cutting regulations and tax cuts may have helped the economy.  His trade wars have hurt the economy.  But overall economic growth has too many players and influences for Trump or any President to have control over it.

I think though you're misunderstanding what that quote really says (or maybe more accurately the fact checkers are misunderstanding the concept they are citing).  It says it's hard to attribute change to particular policy changes.  It leaves literally unsaid whether changes can be attributed to policy changes that are of much broader scope.  This ties directly into your first request that we list out the specific policy changes and their direct impacts - can't really do that.  However, what actually happened was a fundemental shift of ALL policy, which changed from viewing the economy as harming social goals to viewing economic success as the way to achieve social success.  That impacted literally every decision of the entire government.

Or to put it in simpler terms, there's little question that if Warren or Biden get elected and don't moderate their goals that it will have a massive impact on the economy and business confidence.  Again, that's a general and complete change in EVERY policy of the government.

It's almost impossible to believe that a government NO MATTER WHAT it does wouldn't be able to impact an economy.  If that were the case, communist economies and capitalist economies should largely and randomly have been great or bad, and that's not remotely how it plays out in real life.

I'm not saying that the government has NO effect on the economy.  I specifically said that.

But saying that a great economy is completely the result of Trump's policies is not true, either.  And predicting that the economy would tank because Warren or Biden gets elected is not based on facts, either.  It's all speculation and expectation, not reality.  And eventually reality comes home to roost.

General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 11, 2019, 06:14:48 PM »
Right. It was called the Bush economy for 8 years by all the same people now saying you can’t credit the administration for successful economic policies. These same people claimed that merely electing Trump would crash the economy.

All through the election, Trump claimed he would get these results and was ridiculed by the “experts”. Obama talked about Trump waving a magic wand and the left and the media found it hilarious.

Now that Trump delivers, suddenly he can’t affect the economy. Suddenly, living in the best economy in human history is just an accident.

It’s just impossible for the left to be consistent or honest.

What a bunch of malarkey.

Every President since FDR has taken credit for the economy.  They have all been wrong.

Every toady since FDR has credited the economy on the President.  They have all been wrong.

Every pundit opposed to a President has blamed economic downturns on the President.  They have all been wrong.

Just because everyone in the past has been wrong doesn't mean they are suddenly right.  ::)

Now, let me be clear.  The economy is not entirely unconnected to the President.  Presidents can ruin an economy through bad actions (e.g. tariffs).  Presidents can help an economy through good actions (e.g. tax cut, deregulations).  So if a President raised taxes enormously and the economy tanked, he very well may have been responsible.  OTOH, if a President cut tax and the economy tanked, he may not be responsible.

But every President and follower who take credit for a great economy is just blowing smoke.  It used to be that Republicans were sensitive to smoke.  Nowadays, though, it looks like they breath it in like fresh air. ;)

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 11, 2019, 06:04:54 PM »
The Washington Examiner can now can confirm that, among the many indicators of extreme bias, the leaker worked for Joe Biden.

Work for Biden or worked with Biden?  There is a difference.

If the whistleblower was with the CIA and worked in the White House, and had been doing so for more than three years, he naturally would have worked with Biden.  He was probably checking up on what Biden did just like he was checking Trump.  And since Biden was VP, technically he would have been working for Biden then, too.

Exactly how did he work for Biden?  As an aid, as a subordinate, as a supporter, or as oversight?

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 10, 2019, 04:22:24 PM »
Your explanations of the Sondland/Taylor conversations sounds plausible, Fenring.  The best and easiest thing to do is have them testify under oath to Congress about the exact circumstances of the conversation and what they meant, so they can clear up and put to rest any nefarious readings of the words.

When are they scheduled to testify again? ;)

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