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January 15, 2017

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I predict someone, probably Mattis, will at some point over the next several years have to show up with an armed platoon at the Trump Tower and carry out the impeachment removal terms

He'll have to get past the wall of meat.

Has there ever been an inauguration which featured private groups gathering to provide a physical cordon around the POTUS, like some kind of amateur Pretorian Guard or maybe a free-lance Sturmabteilung?

Has there ever been a POTUS who opted to retain his personal security detail, who apparently will work alongside the Secret Service, which in and of itself ought to be pretty entertaining?

Has there ever been a POTUS who operated a for-profit private business, including significant financial obligations to foreign banks and likely to foreign sovereign funds, while holding the office?

There has been a POTUS who employed family members in policy-making positions, most recently Bill Clinton. Folks were surprised when I said Hilary should have had nothing to do with drafting or advocating for health care legislation when Bill was POTUS, now you know why. That precedent has been set, there is no basis for objecting to Kushner or Ivanka in advisory roles. If they don't get paid, they are not in violation of the nepotism laws, and they don't need the money. If you were cool with Hilary leading the health care charge, you have no basis for objecting to Kushner or Ivanka.

Why do people like me consider Trump a threat to the nation? Because he has no apparent understanding of, respect for, or inclination to comply with, generations of protocols, practices, and institutions that have served to preserve the integrity of the office he holds and the institutions he will oversee.

"The president can't have a conflict of interest". That is a statement that should get your attention. Actually, it's a statement that should *immediately disqualify him for the office*, but we don't have the political or electoral machinery to enforce that.

And no, we shouldn't just wait to see if he actually has conflicts. The conflicts are inherent - they exist now, already - because the bar is not only not to participate in acts of blatant corruption, but to be above suspicion of corruption.

Right Marty? Right McK? Hilary was too compromised to hold the office, too many suspicions about her integrity. Where there is smoke, there must be fire, right?

Every day that DJT holds the office of POTUS, he will undermine the credibility and integrity of that office. Which is something he neither understands or has any apparent concern about.

So yeah, it all sucks.

After Nixon, there was a brief period of wanting to set things up so that stuff like that wouldn't happen again. I don't remember there being a similar impetus to address the BS of the Reagan and Bush I years, e.g. Iran-Contra and illegal sub-rosa wars in South America. After Bush II there was a deliberate effort to NOT hold any of the actors who brought us Gitmo and a torture regime and the doctrine of pre-emptive warfare to account.

Too divisive! Can't have it!

So whatever Trump breaks, I assume it's going to stay broken. I think we may have used up the last of our national scruples. Don't want to upset anybody!

As far as guns, some people have really weird relationships with firearms. Count, you did extremely well to intervene as you did, it will only do that young man good to understand the what the boundaries of responsible firearm ownership and use are.

I believe there are times when candid discussion among people of different points of view are really useful. I'm not sure this is one of them.

Et tu Brute? russell, we all know that "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing", but it is also necessary in order to oppose evil that good men (or people) remain themselves, with the characteristics (tolerance, openness, fairness) of good people.

While we are respectfully exchanging our thoughts, grifters are stealing what isn't nailed down, burning down whatever's left, and surrounding the whole mess with land mines on their way out.

Agreed.

Should we chat about that? Debate the pros and cons? I am asking in all seriousness.

Maybe the time for companionable debate among gentlepeople is over, at least for a while. It might be time to pick a side and fight.

As far as I can tell, everybody has already picked their side, and is preparing to (or is already starting to) fight, in various ways. I've seen no sign, here on ObWi, of people really debating pros and cons, just timing (Marty and McKinney: let's wait til he does something unacceptable before opposing. Most of us: already happened, but for actions as opposed to words, or cabinet picks, wait 48 hours).

McKinney, I think you have misunderstood if you believe that most of us really think Trump to be actually insane. "Unhinged", "batshit crazy" "sociopathic", "unstable" etc, I grant you have been often used, but actually insane I think would be very difficult to prove. So your:

The VP and a majority of the cabinet can declare the President unable to discharge the duties of the office and that remains the case until either President says he can discharge his duties and the VP and the cabinet agree or, if the VP and Pres disagree as to the Pres' fitness, congress decides the issue.

So, there are remedies for insanity in office. It's why, during the Cold War (1967), this Amendment passed.

would almost certainly not apply, but even if it did it needs his cabinet to agree with it, and since the appallingly unsuitable people he has picked presumably have a good reason for accepting (probably self-interest in most cases) I think it unlikely that they would voluntarily vote to derail the gravy train.

it is also necessary in order to oppose evil that good men (or people) remain themselves, with the characteristics (tolerance, openness, fairness) of good people.

To try to clarify my point:

I think it's fine if people want to talk. I have no intentions of being anything other than tolerant, open, and fair, to the very best of my ability.

I think that's all worthwhile, and I don't think it will have any effect whatsoever in mitigating the damage that I expect a Trump presidency to do.

Key word here is "useful". Yes, talk is useful for its own ends, however in the current context it is not sufficient.

Maybe never is, but sometimes we can pretend. Not now.

I don't think Trump is like anyone else who has held the office.

actions as opposed to words

Also, his words have caused stock prices to go up and down (no doubt to the benefit of his friends).

It's already happening, not just words.

I'm all for discussion, which is why I show up here (although venting may be a better term). But don't expect me to assume good faith on the part of people who have let (helped) this happen, and who refuse to acknowledge their role (even currently) in facilitating it.

Also, his words have caused stock prices to go up and down (no doubt to the benefit of his friends).

Incidentally, I have a retirement account that I incrementally move money in and out of stock funds, depending on what the market is doing. I don't do it frequently - only when there are large shorter-term swings or after a long, sustained run in either direction. And, by "incrementally," I mean that I don't move more than 10% or so of the money in one shot, barring really unusual circumstances.

After the so-called "Trump rally" had been going long enough that the DJIA was nearing 20k, I got rid of ALL my stock funds in that account. I'm not sure where my first buy point is, numerically or time-wise, but I expect the index will be significantly lower than it now is when that point does come.

I do think there may be further rallying when this or that tax policy goes into effect, increasing profit margins for some period of time. But I also think the gains will be illusory, being lost several times over once DT breaks enough stuff.

Mentally italicize that first sentence, please.

actions as opposed to words

The minute he takes the oath of office, he will be in violation of his lease on that property.

The folks responsible for enforcing the terms of the lease are the GSA. Which are part of the executive, and which therefore fall under his oversight.

Such a bureaucratic detail, of course. What harm is done by Trump owning and operating a hotel built in a property leased from the feds?

Really, is this something we want to make such a big deal about?

We'll probably just make an exception. Nobody wants to make a fuss.

Or, we'll spend hundreds of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars - or more - of legal and staff time and effort to figure out how to deal with it.

Just to accommodate Trump. Because it's too hard for him to divest himself of his businesses, as every president for the last couple of generations have done.

He's our special snowflake. And he's not even president yet. It's going to be one freaking mess after another, for the next four years.

There are two things that I would like to see come out of the Trump mess.

1. No exemptions, for anyone in the executive, from the conflict of interest laws found in the US Code.
2. No exemptions, for any member of Congress, from insider trading laws.

To some degree, Trump is really just the apotheosis of BS that has become dead normal in government. But IMO so blatantly in his case that he represents a kind of bright line.

Enough of this self-dealing crap already. We aren't well served by people who treat public service as a way to make themselves filthy stinking rich.

Consider that a bi-partisan comment if you like.

Key word here is "useful". Yes, talk is useful for its own ends, however in the current context it is not sufficient.

Maybe never is, but sometimes we can pretend. Not now.

OK, fair enough. I'm also certain talk is not sufficient. But I'm equally certain that talk is valuable, if only to keep reminding ourselves that not all the people who hold opposing views are corrupt or evil, even if their views end up enabling corruption or evildoing. There is a difference, although in practice it's easy to overlook it. But our humanity, and sense of self, demand of us that we distinguish, even while we continue to fight.

Hardly any of trump's Cabinet travesties knows shit from sherlock about the lawful missions of the agencies they are about to "fuvk", pardon me, head up.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/01/quote-day-lead-what-lead

And the ones who do know all the wrong things and plenty they've made up.

Just like the private sector and business run things, am I getting warm? You wanna good lawyer, hire a tow truck driver. You wanna good doctor, hire the guy dribbling into his gin and tonic down at the end of the bar who once gave mouth to mouth to the female bartender against her will. You wanna weather man, hire a scarecrow. You wanna good car mechanic, hire a mime. You wanna new Mayor of Munchkintown, hire a flat witch.

You wanna leader for the most full of shit country in the world (and not only, but a country that idealizes full-of-shitness in reality shows), find the guy who is the most full of shit of all.

At least he's qualified, unlike the others.

It don't take a weatherman to see which way the wind blows....

He claimed publicly last week he was putting the finishing touches on his ACA "replacement plan".

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2017/01/tactical-methods-for-tricking-president.html

Apparently not.

Talk all youse want, Americans gonna be snuffed out by the tyranny of a grinding state genocide machine that the tyrants find sadistically amusing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_WEvWcVoFw

Is Richard Cheese invited to sing this song over the Inaugural dinner as an appetite stimulant among the ravenous Republican ghouls, I hope:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at02Fvdhk2I

I'll be singing it at karaoke Thursday night.


that digby post gives a (or another) reason to prefer Trump to Pence - the former's capacity to screw things up in a single tweet, putting congress in a tail spin for a few days or longer until Trump tweets something else.

Under Pence, he would sign the ACA repeal while in the limo from the Capitol to the White House after his swearing in.

Probably less likely to end up in a nuclear war under Pence though...

I thought the Gopnick piece was thoughtful and well presented. The part LJ posts above left me with what I inferred to be the impression left with Marty: a bunch of high profile lefties making a big deal about how they'd never do anything to support the D no matter what, i.e. a bunch of tasteless virtue signaling. There has been plenty of that.

McT, thank you for reading the article. This thread here veered off. as it usually does, with some questions about this place here ('But what does this mean for ObWi?!?!). I'm not bitching about that, I'm a inveterate naval-gazer, that's probably why I ended up in this corner of the internet. So I'll toss my 2 cents in here: You/we are not going to have any kind of meaningful talk if we/you don't make the initial assumption that when someone links to some information, 'I need to read that before I say something'. Any "talk" begins with actually listening to what the other side is saying. And communication, being imperfect, might mean asking for restatements, clarifications, expansions. And when people, regardless of their political persuasion, don't do that, there is no talk.

lj, on my own behalf I want to apologise for my poor thread discipline/etiquette. This is the only blog I have ever commented on (apart from occasional recent comments on cleek's blog) and I have had to pick up the rules/conventions as I have gone along. I don't think I acknowledged having read your Gopnik link, which I thought interesting and good, because I didn't think I had anything worthwhile to say about it, but I realise after reading your comment 06.13 that I had treated your post as an open thread, for which I apologise.

GftNC, thanks for the apology, but that's not a problem for me. It's more trying to take the thread in exactly the opposite direction that I have a problem with. In Geometry terms, if you reverse the direction, you can probably describe the amount of tolerance I have as a number of degrees from the original. No particular problem going 90 degrees from what I wrote, but when folks start getting to 180 degrees, I get a little unhappy ;^)

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