Closing Thought–13Jun19

These days we hear a lot of back and forth in the media about the Constitution especially the “Emoluments Clause”…..

Are you aware of what the “Emoluments Clause” has to say?

The Constitutional Provisions The Constitution mentions emoluments in three provisions, each sometimes referred to as the “Emoluments Clause”:The Foreign Emoluments Clause(art. I, § 9, cl. 8):“[N]o Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”The Domestic Emoluments Clause(a.k.a.the Presidential Emoluments Clause) (art. II, § 1, cl.7): “The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.”The Ineligibility Clause(art. I, § 6, cl. 2): “No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments where of shall have been encreased during such time;and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Now what does the term “emolument” mean?

Black’s Law Dictionary defines an “emolument” as an “advantage, profit, or gain received as a result of one’s employment or one’s holding of office.” There is significant debate as to precisely what constitutes an “emolument” within the meaning of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses, particularly as to whether it includes private, arm’s-length market transactions.The only two courts to decide this issue adopted a broad definition of “emolument” that includes profits from private transactions not arising from an office or employ.

Have you got all that?

Good!

I asked in an earlier post if we were having a Constitutional Crisis….and this goes along with that question in search of an answer.

Now the news that started this post…..as usual it was something the “Mouth on the Potomac” had to say…..

President Trump made what his opponents called a stunning admission during an ABC interview Wednesday: He said he would consider accepting damaging information on his 2020 rivals from foreign governments. “I think I’d take it,” the president told George Stephanopoulos. “I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” Trump said. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, ‘We have information on your opponent’—oh, I think I’d want to hear it.” He rejected the suggestion that the information would be “interference” and said he would “maybe” go to the FBI if he thought there was “something wrong.” But “when you go and talk, honestly, to congressman, they all do it, they always have, and that’s the way it is,” Trump claimed. “It’s called oppo research.”

When Stephanopoulos told him that FBI Director Chris Wray had said the bureau should be contacted in such a case, Trump said: “The FBI director is wrong, because frankly it doesn’t happen like that in real life.” Trump’s remarks were swiftly condemned by potential 2020 rivals including Joe Biden, the BBC reports. Trump “is once again welcoming foreign interference in our elections,” he tweeted. “This isn’t about politics. It is a threat to our national security.” Former federal prosecutor David Weinstein tells Politico that Americans involved in elections have a “fundamental responsibility” to report contacts with foreign agents.

The FBI director is wrong? Seriously?

Now put any political affiliation aside…is this a violation of the Constitution?  Or should we just ignore the Constitution when it confronts our favorite politician?

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Is This A Constitutional Crisis?

We hear a lot about the Congress and the president and the antics by each. My thought is there is a reason for a Committee called “oversight”…..and any time anyone interferes with the operation of that principle then they should be smacked down….matters not if it is a WH attorney, a child, the AG or the president himself…..we either live by the checks and balances or we start an imperial presidency.

I remember the calls for the impeachment of a president that got his wanker licked and those that called for such are now overlooking their “oversight” duties to massage the ego of a mental midget……

The conservative media is totally ignoring the crisis brewing and even are helping it destroy the democratic scheme we had before…..

As legal experts, historians, and Democratic lawmakers have sounded the alarm over President Donald Trump’s blanket obstruction of congressional oversight of his presidency — suggesting we have reached or are approaching a constitutional crisis — Trump’s conservative media allies are brazenly misrepresenting the arguments and suggesting everything boils down to a fight over the Mueller report, claiming Trump’s obstruction is normal, and ridiculing Democrats for speaking out.

https://www.mediamatters.org/research/2019/05/14/conservative-media-downplay-trump-administrations-unprecedented-stonewalling-congressional-oversight/223698

The media reports, if we may call it that, but it is sensationalism not anything but entertainment…..

So are we in a Constitutional crisis? Yes or No or what?

It is probably safe to say that this is not how we imagined America’s little fling with representative democracy would end. But on Wednesday morning, New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler described the battle unfolding between the Trump White House and Congress thusly: “The ongoing clash between congressional Democrats and President Trump over the Mueller report has turned into a full-blown constitutional crisis.” On Thursday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used the same turn of phrase, warning that the nation is now in a “constitutional crisis.”

In the totality of Trump scandals, this week’s is rather boring and technical. The problem at hand: The House Judiciary Committee seeks to interview William Barr, the attorney general of the United States, on the subject of the Mueller report. When he refused to show up, they voted to hold him in contempt of Congress for doing so. Meanwhile, the president has opted to assert seemingly boundless executive privilege in an attempt to shield the unredacted Mueller report from congressional scrutiny. The question at hand is basically: What happens in this standoff between Congress and the president? The stalemate, and immovable positioning, is certainly making it feel as though we are hurtling at high speeds toward a new precipice.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/05/trump-barr-constitutional-crisis-yes-no-or-wrong-question.html

To help you with the question…..there a 4 types of Constitutional crises……

People have been talking about the possibility of a “constitutional crisis” since before President Trump’s election. And in the wake of Trump’s executive order restricting the ability of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations to travel to the U.S., we’re once again hearing that term a lot. Rep. Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat, used the phrase to describe reports of Customs and Border Protection officials snubbing members of Congress and refusing to abide by a judge’s ruling delaying the enforcement of the order. And the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake investigated whether Trump’s disparaging remarks about a federal judge who ruled against the administration could be considered a constitutional crisis.

So what exactly is a constitutional crisis? We should be clear about what does — and, more importantly, does not — merit this description. It’s possible to have a major political crisis even if the Constitution is crystal clear on the remedy, or to have a constitutional crisis that doesn’t ruffle many feathers.

Political and legal observers generally divide constitutional crises into four categories:

The 4 Types Of Constitutional Crises

Are we in crisis?  Is the Constitution still the law of the land?

As it is today I am not so sure any more.

This simple cartoon can answer the question better than I can…..

And The Governed Lead

I wish it were so…..that the governed lead, that would be us the voter, but sadly it is a pipe dream with no footing in reality…..

What can we the governed have to look forward to between now and the 2020 election? An infrastructure plan? NO! Health care for Americans? NO! Equal pay perhaps? NO!

The truth is the we have NOTHING to look forward to for this country. NOTHING will get done…..NOTHING but theatrics, fantasy, obstruction and lies……all the things that we have come to look for from this president…..and the Congress.

2020….the Dems are as usual shooting themselves in the foot….23 candidates?  Seriously?

Do not believe the hype the politeness of the candidates there is NOTHING advantageous about 20+ candidates.

This is the first mistake.

The second is not having an adequate message, as usual…..their message is all over the place.

The older Dem Americans over 45 are all for Biden….they were the same for Hillary and look what that gave this country.  The media needs to STOP breaking it down to the minute numbers…I realize why they are doing this failed policy….they have lots of time per hour to fill and they will do so with all the speculation they can muster.

The MSM is pushing Biden hard and some are seeing him as the Bob Dole of the 21st century…….

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate field seems to grow by the day, increasing the chances that someone unexpected could emerge from the pack.

But, at the moment, the most conventional candidate is ahead in the early polls. That would be former Vice President Joe Biden.

Historically speaking, though, there isn’t much recent precedent for someone like Biden to win the presidency, even if he does snag the party’s nomination, presidential biographer Jon Meacham Told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday’s edition of Meet the Press. Meacham, who has written books about Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, and George H.W. Bush, said that when looking at Democrats who have been elected to the Oval Office in the post-World War II era, most of them have been younger, more innovative forces.

https://theweek.com/speedreads/844887/presidential-biographer-tells-nbcs-chuck-todd-that-biden-could-end-eras-bob-dole

Then there is the joke of party politics……the biggest voting group are independents….a cowards way out (my feeling only)…….

American Party politics would be a complete farce if the consequences weren’t so grave. Were either of the dominant Parties to achieve 100% consensus on any issue, it would represent the views of about 18%* of eligible voters. And while a diversity of views would represent social vitality in a functioning democracy, in the winner-take-all American system, it represents continued rule by the oligarchs.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/07/electoral-politics-versus-democracy/

Voters need to think back over the life of their voting……Biden is nothing about change…he will be the same as all other Dems in the past 50 years…..long on hot air and short on action and a warm embrace of corporate handlers.

Stop letting the media pick your candidate.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Vote!

They Showed Their Ass

Closing Thought–11Jun19

You know how the people you know complain about the Congress and the way they are a do-nothing bunch…..well yesterday the GOP showed exactly why they are the laughing stock of the nation….

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday held the first of a series of hearings to examine the findings of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report in order to determine if any further action, including an impeachment inquiry, is needed.

But the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee chose to spend their time during the hearing delivering petulant, conspiratorial rants instead of taking the hearing seriously or asking any questions that might be relevant to the facts of Mueller’s report.

Most of the Republicans’ childish comments were directed at John Dean, who served as White House counsel to former President Richard Nixon. Dean was brought into the hearing to put Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice into historical context, given that Dean pleaded guilty to helping Nixon obstruct justice during the Watergate investigation.

https://shareblue.com/gop-congressmen-humiliate-themselves-ranting-mueller-report-hearing/

They tried to be cute with John Dean and Dean handed them their asses at every turn……

The GOP has proven to the clowns I have always said they were and I appreciate them making me a prophet……and yet as silly as they all were they will be re-elected at most turns….so maybe the clowns and buffoons are the voters after all.

All in all the GOP clowns gave me a good chuckle yesterday….for that I thank them …..especially this d/bag……Hawley of Missouri……

“Talk about living in the past,” he said. “The Democrats want to talk about Watergate? I mean this happened before I was born! This is a total waste of time. It’s a total waste of time.”

Missouri senator says it’s a waste of time to study history because it was a long time ago

This statement shows just how much damage the educational policies of the GOP have done to the schools and learning in this country…..it is all a joke.

This stunt, and it was a stunt, was more pathetic than the Dems with the KFC bucket when Barr decided not to honor a subpoena……games are all these spineless freaks know….it is never about the governing just how they look on CSPAN.

Defeated Ideology Isn’t Dead

On the day after the DDay celebrations I would like to point out a few things most notably the ideology of hate of the Nazis was soundly defeated by the forces of “good”……it was defeated but not eliminated…..

The threats that caused WW2, Facism and rabid nationalism, are only dormant……and as it awakes it MUST be confronted and put down in its place……When these threats to freedom do re-emerge; where this ideology becomes resurgent; let us be clear. It won’t be defeated by aping or appeasing it. We will defeat it only by confronting it.

75 years ago to this day, the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France was delayed one final time. Appropriately, it was in the face of the British weather that General Eisenhower pushed back the beginning of Operation Overlord – this time by just 24 hours – and on June 6, 1944, D-Day began.

Pilots and aircrew from 12 different nations led a 1200-plane airborne assault, preceding the largest seaborne invasion in history with nearly 7,000 vessels carrying 160,000 troops across the English Channel.

The historian Anthony Beevor records that General Eisenhower, without telling even his closest advisors, had prepared a brief statement to be made in the event of failure. It read: “the landings have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold, and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it was mine alone.”

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2019/06/75-years-after-d-day-ideology-we-defeated-isnt-dead-just-dormant

We see the ugliness of rabid nationalism once again…..and as we did in the past we must step up and put it in its place….in the dust bin of history.

This is not an ideology that can be totally defeated…..but sanity usually returns and this rabid hatred is once again in check….for another generation until we forget the devastation the hatred wrought….then the cycle will begin again….ad nauseum.

Dystopia

This is a word that is used liberally (small “L”) to describe the politics in the US these days……Dystopia.

A political dysfunction of “Brave New World” and a TV series “Dystopia”…but is it possible that it is something close to reality?

Can the United States continue to shape international politics as it has done for the past 70 years, or is the era of US dominance coming to an end? Most attempts to answer this question focus on America’s relative power – that is, the balance of material capabilities between the US and its geopolitical competitors. However, today the most pressing checks on US leadership come not from foreign competitors, but rather from America’s increasingly dysfunctional domestic politics.

America is suffering from a shortage of functional or ‘usable power.’ While relative power as measured by its military arsenal vis-à-vis those of its rivals has held steady, the domestic political ability of US presidents to turn the country’s tremendous power and wealth into international influence is declining. This has been the case for some time now. America’s deficit of usable power did not begin with Donald Trump, but it has grown measurably on his watch as president.

https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/will-dysfunctional-politics-finally-end-american-century#

There is so much that is going wrong in this country…..but can all this partisan b/sh*t bring about the end of the republic?

The American republic could die, just like Rome.

Wavering for some time on the verge of becoming a complete oligarchy, America is on the verge of flipping from a democratic republic to a strongman or autocratic form of government, something that’s happened to dozens of democracies in the past few decades, but never before here. It’s possible we won’t recover from it.

The death of a republic is different from the death of a nation; Rome was a nation for nearly 2,000 years, but its period of being a republic was only around 300 years long. For the rest, it was a brutal empire with a small but wealthy and corrupt ruling class and a thin patina of democracy-for-show.

Trump is openly defying the norms and laws of our republic, while calling for the imprisonment of both his political enemies and members of the very law enforcement agencies that might hold him to account. And he’s only able to do it because billionaires like Rupert Murdoch, with Fox News, and the billionaires Republicans depend on to fund their re-elections are providing him with cover.

 
This republic is under attack….and many Americans could care less as long as their fav celebrity wins the election…..
 
If that is your voting style…then I thank you for helping destroy our republic…l.and I look forward to the crappy country this style will bring…if it has not already hit rock bottom.
 
This next election will show us just how much damage cult worshiping can do to this country….so far it has been pathetic.

Closing Thought–04Jun19

I am an old fart, a Baby Boomer generation, and as we all know we are the problems of society now…..but with that said an adequate health care system is a must…..because by 2035 seniors will outnumber children and that means long term care will be a must by then (kinda is now but not important to the post)…..

By 2035, seniors are projected to outnumber children in the U.S. population.

Maybe then we’ll look back and credit Washington state activists for being on the forefront of tackling America’s elder care crisis. On May 13, the state became the first in the nation to adopt a social insurance program for long-term care benefits.

“This is a huge victory for organizing and people power, for care and caregiving, and for older adults and people with disabilities,” said Josephine Kalipeni of Caring Across Generations, one of more than 20 groups that formed Washingtonians for a Responsible Future to push the path-breaking legislation.

Nationally, our long-term care financing system is broken. Medicare doesn’t currently cover home care or nursing facility care, while Medicaid coverage varies widely by state. To qualify, you have to meet poverty criteria, which requires people to spend down nearly all of their savings before getting coverage.

 
Medicare For All!  We need a health care system and this is one that the machinery of policy are already in place….logic dictates we have an answer…why not use it?
 
I want to enjoy a late Spring weekend……the heat, the humidity and the hurricanes are just around the corner.