I personally think the House should wait for the Mueller report before deciding whether Trump has committed any high crimes or misdemeanors that rise to the level of impeachability, but in an op-ed piece in today's New York Times David Leonhardt makes the case for impeachment before we even find out what Mueller knows. Here are some key excerpts from The People vs. Donald J. Trump: He is demonstrably unfit for office. What are we waiting for?. I encourage people to read the full piece instead of these excerpts, even though it is lengthy - it actually appears in the Times Sunday Review rather than in The New York Times itself. The links in these excerpts work:
quote:The presidential oath of office contains 35 words and one core promise: to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Since virtually the moment Donald J. Trump took that oath two years ago, he has been violating it.
He has repeatedly put his own interests above those of the country. He has used the presidency to promote his businesses. He has accepted financial gifts from foreign countries. He has lied to the American people about his relationship with a hostile foreign government. He has tolerated cabinet officials who use their position to enrich themselves.
To shield himself from accountability for all of this — and for his unscrupulous presidential campaign — he has set out to undermine the American system of checks and balances. He has called for the prosecution of his political enemies and the protection of his allies. He has attempted to obstruct justice. He has tried to shake the public’s confidence in one democratic institution after another, including the press, federal law enforcement and the federal judiciary.
The unrelenting chaos that Trump creates can sometimes obscure the big picture. But the big picture is simple: The United States has never had a president as demonstrably unfit for the office as Trump. And it’s becoming clear that 2019 is likely to be dominated by a single question: What are we going to do about it? ... He has already shown, repeatedly, that he will hurt the country in order to help himself. He will damage American interests around the world and damage vital parts of our constitutional system at home. The risks that he will cause much more harm are growing. ... For the country’s sake, there is only one acceptable outcome, just as there was after Americans realized in 1974 that a criminal was occupying the Oval Office. The president must go. ... It will require congressional Republicans to acknowledge that they let a con man take over their party and then defended that con man. It will require Democrats and progressive activists to understand that a rushed impeachment may actually help Trump remain in office. ... Trump has used the presidency for personal enrichment. ... Trump has violated campaign finance law. ... It’s worth acknowledging that most campaign finance violations do not warrant removal from office. But these payments were not most campaign finance violations. They involved large, secret payoffs in the final weeks of a presidential campaign that, prosecutors said, “deceived the voting public.” The seriousness of the deception is presumably the reason that the prosecutors filed criminal charges against Cohen, rather than the more common penalty of civil fines for campaign finance violations.
What should happen to a president who won office with help from criminal behavior? The founders specifically considered this possibility during their debates at the Constitutional Convention. The most direct answer came from George Mason: A president who “practiced corruption and by that means procured his appointment in the first instance” should be subject to impeachment.
Trump has obstructed justice.
Whatever Mueller ultimately reveals about the relationship between the Trump campaign and Russia, Trump has obstructed justice to keep Mueller — and others — from getting to the truth. ... Obstruction of justice is certainly grounds for the removal of a president. It was the subject of the first Nixon article of impeachment passed by the House Judiciary Committee. Among other things, that article accused him of making “false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States.”
Trump has subverted democracy. ... Individually, these sins may not seem to deserve removal from office. Collectively, though, they exact a terrible toll on American society. They cause people to lose the faith on which a democracy depends — faith in elections, in the justice system, in the basic notion of truth.
No other president since Nixon has engaged in behavior remotely like Trump’s. To accept it without sanction is ultimately to endorse it. Unpleasant though it is to remove a president, the costs and the risks of a continued Trump presidency are worse. ... Throughout his career, Trump has worked hard to invent his own reality, and largely succeeded. It has made him very rich and, against all odds, elected him president. But whatever happens in 2019, his false version of reality will not survive history, just as Nixon’s did not. Which side of that history do today’s Republicans want to be on?
I wish they would do something, but I can also see the whole effort simply making his position stronger. His base often works in direct inverse proportion to logic, reason, and reality.
I did take notice of Trumps comment on using the emergency powers act if necessary ...and wonder if he would attempt any outrageous action were he getting impeached? Or if he could.
Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain " ~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo
Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity. In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.~Stile
I think the whole Trump pre-2016 election campaign was an effort to loose. He did a failed outstanding job of showing that he shouldn't be President. Way back, I said that Trump was Andrew Dice Clay, only with (maybe) a lot of money. Now he's stuck with the job.
I think that Trump might well be trying to get impeached. His ego won't let him just quit, so impeachment would be his easiest way out of a job he really doesn't want. He'd go out being seen by his core supporters as some sort of martyr to the cause.
Professor, geology, Whatsamatta U Evolution - Changes in the environment, caused by the interactions of the components of the environment.
"Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer." - Bruce Graham
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." - John Kenneth Galbraith
"Yesterday on Fox News, commentator Glenn Beck said that he believes President Obama is a racist. To be fair, every time you watch Glenn Beck, it does get a little easier to hate white people." - Conan O'Brien
"I know a little about a lot of things, and a lot about a few things, but I'm highly ignorant about everything." - Moose
third option: that's russia's official line, therefore it is his
I wasn't thinking about the specific view of history he's presenting, so much as the incoherent way he presents it. It's difficult to fathom what kind of understanding lies behind such a phrase as 'they went into being called Russia again instead of the Soviet Union.' It's like listening to someone who's heard of something called Russia but doesn't really know what it is, and are trying to hide their ignorance.
On YouTube I found a series of videos whose premise echoes my own experience: How Creationism Taught Me Real Science. It is a series of more than 40 videos by Tony Reed whose general format is that he starts out "encountering" a creationist claim, finds that it sounds convincing, and decides to check it out, to verify it. And of course the claim falls apart under inspection. That title and approach really appeals to me, because it reflects my own experience, that by verifying creationist claims I have learned so much more actual science.
For that matter, I would be very supportive of a public school class in which specific scientific topics raised by creationism would be examined. Frank Awbrey and Bill Thwaites ran just such a "two-model" class at San Diego State University in which visiting professional creationists mainly from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR, in those days about a dozen miles away in Santee) presented half of the lectures and Awbrey and Thwaites (A&T) presented the other half, primarily to present the actual science and to respond to the creationists -- eg, it was at Gish's lecture on the bombardier beetle where the two chemicals were supposed to react by spontaneously exploding that A&T mixed the two chemicals together and ... nothing happened. The SDSU administration eventually forced A&T to close their class because of pressure from the campus Christian clubs. So much for creationist support of "equal time and treatment".
Similarly, this Trump Administration is providing the same service as creationism as it continually raises legal and constitutional questions that extremely few members of the public were even aware of. As Trump continually pushes against the limits of what is allowed or allowable (with no clue as to what is or should be allowed, since he's a "fucking moron" (Tillerson) detached from reality), we gain from all the watchers and analysts, many of whom do have a background in law.
Going into this, most of the questions of what the President can and cannot do and of what we can or cannot do against him have for a couple centuries been mainly academic exercises. Now Trump is forcing all that into practical practice. And now we are learning so much more about pardons, the Posse Comitatus Act (1878), the National Emergencies Act (1976), etc.
As most people know by now, in a court filing a few days ago Manafort's lawyers failed to properly redact one of the documents revealing that Mueller had accused their client of lying about providing Trump campaign polling data to the Russians during the 2016 election. The filing didn't deny that Manafort did it, arguing only that his failure to inform Mueller was because he simply didn't recall it at the time, that he wasn't hiding anything and therefore didn't violate his plea agreement.
So we now know that Manafort was providing information to Russian intelligence. We don't know why he was doing this, but if there was a quid pro quo and if the candidate knew about it then Trump is in a lot of trouble, the "impeachable offense" kind of trouble.
Also recall that while Manafort was operating under the plea agreement and telling Mueller what he knew that he was also crossing the street into the White House and telling them everything Mueller was asking him about, another violation of his plea agreement.
Manafort's lawyers did manage to redact the rest of the filing documents, so we don't know the rest of what the filing says. Maybe it constitutes an effective defense, maybe not. but if it turns out that Manafort provided the polling data in exchange for something (email hacking, for example) then he's got a lot more to worry about than just plea bargain violations. Charges of treason could be in his future.
I think leadership in both the House and Senate (Ryan and McConnell) were enabling and complicit in encouraging and amplifying Trump's autocratic penchants. Fortunately Ryan is gone, but McConnell remains. His laissez-faire attitude toward Trump misdeeds and abandonment of all oversight responsibilities has contributed greatly to the erosion of American institutions and global leadership. He (and Ryan) seems to think it his responsibility to implement the president's program.
There's a strange and perverted attitude on the Republican side of the aisle that believes there should be one party rule, that it is the duty of Republicans, by hook or by crook, to keep Democrats, once elected, from exercising any power. We saw this very recently in Wisconsin where a Democrat finally won the governorship and attorney general spot. Republican leadership declared under the full glare of TV lights that they would do all in their power to limit the influence of Democrats in state government.
Edited by Percy, : Punctuation - a missing period.
This is all stems from when the GOP decided that politics was a zero-sum game. To a great extent, compromise was a hallmark of US politics. With the rise of the radical, religious right and the tea party, compromise is seen as a weakness. This was one of the crowning failures of Obama. He thought until close to the end of his presidency that the GOP would compromise for the good of the country. But instead most of them saw an uppity n-word. They were not satisfied until he and the Dems lost. There was no compromise acceptable to them. To them, it is party over country. There will be no stability or moving forward in the US until the current Republican drifts away inti insignificance. Hopefully then, a new conservative party will arise to put a check on the worst impulses of the progressive movement(of which I am a proud member).
Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.
If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?
If Elizabeth Warren, often referred to by me as Pocahontas, did this commercial from Bighorn or Wounded Knee instead of her kitchen, with her husband dressed in full Indian garb, it would have been a smash!
quote:Max Boot – a conservative and former editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page – outlines 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian agent:
1. Trump has a long financial history with Russia.
2. The Russians interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to help elect Trump president.
3. Trump encouraged the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails.
4. There were, according to the Moscow Project, “101 contacts between Trump’s team and Russia linked operatives,” and “the Trump team tried to cover up every single one of them.”
5. The Trump campaign was full of individuals, such as Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and Michael Flynn, with suspiciously close links to Moscow.
6. Manafort, who ran the Trump campaign for free and was heavily in debt to a Russian oligarch.
7. Trump associate Roger Stone, who was in contact with Russian conduit WikiLeaks.
8. Once in office, Trump fired Comey to stop the investigation of the “Russia thing” — and then bragged about having done so to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister while also sharing with them top-secret information.
9. Trump has refused to consistently acknowledge that Russia interfered in the U.S. election or mobilize a government-wide effort to stop future interference.
10. Trump attacks and undermines the Justice Department and the FBI.
11. Trump attacks and undermines the European Union and NATO.
12. Trump supports populist, pro-Russian leaders in Europe, such as Viktor Orban in Hungary and Marine Le Pen in France.
13. Trump has praised Putin while trashing just about everyone else from grade-B Hollywood celebrities to leaders of allied nations.
14. Trump was utterly supine in his meetings with Putin, principally in Hamburg and Helsinki.
15. Trump defends the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and repeats other pro-Russian talking points.
16. Trump is pulling U.S. troops out of Syria, handing that country to Russia and its ally Iran.
17. Trump has effectively done nothing in response to the Russian attack on Ukrainian ships in international waters, thereby encouraging greater Russian aggression.
18. Trump is sowing chaos in the government, most recently with a record-breaking partial government shutdown and “acting” appointees in key posts such as the Defense Department and Justice Department.
What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python
One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie
If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy
The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq