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May 12, 2017

Comments

If your talking about destruction, don't you know that you can count_me out.....

Take a side. Mine is on the rule of law. When they find an impeachable offense I'm down. Until then I expect our government to support and defend the constitution and laws of the country. I expect law enforcement to investigate, find evidence and turn it over to prosecutors. That process should have oversight from the Congress where that evidence is viewed by both parties to determine if/when there is enough evidence to warrant a special prosecutor. If the President is determined to have committed a criminal offense he should be impeached and arrested. Otherwise he hasnt done anythong that approaches impeachable.

I don't expect that investigation or the day to day workings of the government to be impeded by constant illegal leaks or outright subordination from the ranks.

I don't expect anything except obstruction from Democrats, that would require them to forget the Republican obstruction, and they believe they can demonize Trump enough to retake the House. The war is underway, sides have been taken, coup is being counted. To survive as a country requires both sides to function within the construct of our way of government, even if just within.

This story is about going around government, it is abusing the public trust and weakening the foundation of our country. I believe in our country first, you and your team have given up on it.

When they find an impeachable offense I'm down.


Hmmm... Bribery?

Obstruction of Justice?

Crazy as a loon?

Or just the wrong.

Fine with your folk. Tax cuts above country1

Marty, would receiving a consensual blowjob in the Oval Office meet your standard for an impeachable offense?

OT: Richard Spencer looks like the lead antagonist in the Designated Survivor
series.

"would receiving a consensual blowjob in the Oval Office meet your standard for an impeachable offense?"

Precedent says no, precedent also says that sharing intel with the Russians about ISIS isnt one either, or promising to be flexible in cooperating with them. Nor is doing things lots of people in the country disagree with.

On a brighter note, I got to see Corey Booker giver the keynote speech at U Penn's commencement today. I'm not one to cry much, but I was welling up at the end - not out of sadness. And the whole day made me feel like I was in the midst of, if not part of, an elite politcal-resistance force. (Yeah, that's right, elite - scientifically, ethically, morally, and compassionately elite.)

Cory, FFS...

Wow. That's some major league projection there, Marty.

And we should worry about some Trump lickspittle who leak embarrassing things about their boss?

You can't be serious.

Thank you, hairshirt. I actually love Corey Booker, and am hugely grateful that you feel that way.

A person who I respect greatly had the chance to see him while in college, and was similarly moved. Again, there are some very inspiring Democrats out there, some of whom have to make occasional compromises in order to be elected.

Here's to electing enough Democrats that they don't have to compromise. Will take years, but I've got twenty maybe.

Less than twenty for copying the misspelling of Cory Booker's name.

Marty: When they find an impeachable offense I'm down.

Marty revealed unto us last year that Hillary Clinton is a corrupt, power-hungry, criminal.

Marty reveals unto us now that He, Trump (formerly Birther-in-Chief, always Liar-in-Chief, and now possibly Leaker-in-Chief), while deplorable, deserves a certain measure of respect and deference owing to the office he holds.

Reading between the lines, I am left with the impression that the "they" Marty speaks of are the Republicans and the right-wingers, for accusations against, or condemnations of, Mr. President Donald J. Turmp from Democrats or lefties are a threat to the nation.

Oh, well: Marty is a True American, unlike you lot, so keep paying attention to him if you must.

--TP

They: investigators and prosecutors, you know, the people we have entrusted the responsibility to.

Not Comey, though. Right, Marty?

--TP

Marty, I'm having trouble seeing the Democrats opposing impeachment and removal. Keeping the ability to "run against Trump" just doesn't seem like nearly enough reason. In addition to the possibility, which you apparently reject out of hand, that they might want him gone for the good of the country, there is this: how great would it be to run against the administration of the first President ever removed from office?** Even after he was gone, the charm is obvious.

No,if the Republicans in Congress ever reach the point where they are willing to act, the Democrats won't be trying to obstruct them.


** Because, of course, Trump will never do a Nixon and resign. Admitting to being a loser just isn't in him.

TP, I didn't mean any of that. Dems will obstruct any progress, heck they will just throw an accusation a day and yes, would love to be able to start in on Pence.

I don't particularly blame them for that.

Coney? He moved from being a primarily even handed law enforcement professional the day he decided to announce that he determined that Clinton's actions didn't rise to the level of prosecutable. He became a political figure at that point. His latest testimony was all about the political calculations he made along the way. The FBI Director should not be making those calculations.

In the end he refused to review what his testimony was going to be with Trump before he testified the last time. A common courtesy normally provided to the boss in that circumstance. A simple heads up. Another political calculation on his part.

Those things make it ok with me that he get replaced. The single most important criteria for a new FBI Director for me is someone who doesn't play that political role.

Sorry, first half was to wj.

Adam Silverman at BJ. And more.

Nuance. Imagine.

Marty, thanks for the clarification.

A common courtesy normally provided to the boss in that circumstance.

The president has the power to dismiss the director of the FBI. Is he really his 'boss' ?
You might want to consider the constitutional implications of that.

He is the boss. The President runs the executive branch to which the FNI Director reports. To create some amount of seperation it was decided, in the last century, to appoint Directors to a ten year term so they would have some independence. The very point being to make them above The politics.

The FBI Director bevame a thing in 1908. There is no constitutional implication to an executive branch employee being fired by the head of the executive branch despite the histrionics and Lawrence Tribes e.g. al best attempts at rewriting history.

wow. there seems to be nothing Marty won't excuse, so long as he can remain pointing away from liberals.

awesome

Nobody doubts that the President has the authority to fire the FBI director. But the fact that he is the boss doesn't mean that he has the authority to demand a profession of personal loyalty to him. (Which he is alleged to have done.) There is a reason that the FBI Director (also the military, etc.) take their oath of office to support, protect, and defend the Constitution, not those above them in the chain of command.

Also, even if one has the authority to fire someone, it can still constitute (attempted) obstruction of justice if they are engaged in investigating him. Whether that applies to overseeing the investigation, rather than actively doing the digging is a matter of some dispute. But if it applies, the calls for impeachment are not merely histrionics. Certainly they are more solidly based than just lying about adultery.

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2017/05/unimaginative-and-incoherent-economic.html

Would like to wade in again, if I may.

Check this out: https://lawfareblog.com/bombshell-initial-thoughts-washington-posts-game-changing-story

Long? Yes. But comprehensive - and I have to trust - by people who know what they're talking about.

All good and fine that he has the authority to fire Comey. No-one can dispute that. But the implications endorsed in the link above show that relying exclusively on narrow legal technicalities to do this, that, and the other indeed only go just so far. Such technicalities have only just a certain shelf life with what appears to be a security breach on his end vis-avis the check-by-jowlfest with the Russian press apparatchiks.

Would like to see what McK has to say about the article.

the GOP's new motto is, apparently, "technically not illegal!"

"technically not illegal . . . when we do it!" Hilary sent material which was not (at the time!) classified, but which was later classified. Just because it wasn't illegal when she did it didn't matter at all.

I keep reading (and saying myself) that Trump is only getting away with this because the GOP congress lets him. I think that's both right (because they could undercut him significantly) and wrong (absent impeachment he's going to keep on Trumpernating), but in any event there is an underlying assumption to this view.

Which is, that the GOP Congress even knows how to reign Trump in. There is no real oversight of POTUS by a Congress controlled by the same party, and there hasn't likely been since the 80s, maybe even 70s (or earlier). This is not much of a problem if POTUS is not batsh1t insane and/or has learned advisers. In Trump's case it's disastrous.

They have not idea what it means to conduct real oversight of a GOP President. Or rather, they can't imagine it. For Hillary and Obama and Bill any old pseudo-scandal will do, or something that needs a real investigation gets blown up into a giant conspiracy. But with the GOP, it's like they become catatonic- even for Trump!

Hell, a lot of the GOP Congress bashed Trump at one time or another during the primary (see comments from Rubio, Cruz, Ryan) in statements that are almost unbelievable now. And yet in office it's "we needsss us our precious tax cutsss" slobbering all over him.

Fncking madness.

And another thing: Paul Ryan is a complete and utter fraud, as I've said before, and he is so caught up in his Ayn Rand fever dream of finally being able to sh1t all over the poor and sick he can't even mouth limp platitudes.

And I think Mitch McConnell, for all his formidable legislative negotiating and maneuvering skills, is actually afraid to try to do anything about Trump. Literally afraid.

Alpha males, indeed.

the GOP Congress has no incentive to go after Trump as long as the people who elect them like still Trump.

sure, every day Trump does something that makes them all look like hypocrites; and then the next day he does something different that makes them all look like different kinds of hypocrites. but as long as the GOP base is OK with that (and they totally are), 'sallgood, man.

dumb enough to vote for Trump, dumb enough to keep supporting him no matter what.

Marty, you are simply wrong.
The FBI director reports to the Justice Department, which is headed by the Attorney General (the current incumbent having incidentally recused himself from anything to do with the Russia enquiry...).

https://www.justice.gov/about
The Mission statement of the Justice Deprtment:
To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

Their responsibility is not to the President, but to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens - of whom the president is but one.

The 1870 Act remains the foundation for the Department’s authority, but the structure of the Department of Justice has changed over the years, with the addition of the offices of Deputy Attorney General, Associate Attorney General, and the formation of various components, offices, boards and divisions. From its beginning as a one-man, part-time position, the Department of Justice has evolved into the world's largest law office and the chief enforcer of federal laws.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The most sacred of the duties of government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens.” This sacred duty remains the guiding principle for the women and men of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Ugh, first time as tragedy, second time as farce. Trump is just Reagan revisited.

http://www.vqronline.org/essay/reagan-retrospect

Literally afraid.

Republicans are afraid because they're complicit. This Russia thing most likely has very long tentacles. There's no reason whatsoever that these people couldn't get the same agendas passed under Pence. But there's a reason they're not going in that direction. They're compromised.

that's an interesting thought sapient.

Separately, if Trump is physically/mentally ill, I think the biggest clue would be to look at what he said about Hillary's health during the campaign and apply that to him. He's all projection.

He or his campaign raised questions about her stamina & strength, a spokeswomen said she had dysphasia. That's from just a quick google.

They're compromised

my favorite theory about why we know Trump told the Russians what he told them is that someone in the WH realized that Trump had just compromised himself. he told the Russians something that he shouldn't have and that gave the Russians possible leverage over him. so, someone de-leveraged the info. clever, but i dunno.

still, i'm sure they are all afraid of what an active FBI investigation will turn out. guys like Trump and Stone and Bannon are bound to have things in their closets that, even if not about Russia, they would prefer to be kept in the dark.

Marty revealed unto us last year that Hillary Clinton is a corrupt, power-hungry, criminal.

her killing spree continues!

https://patch.com/district-columbia/washingtondc/seth-rich-bombshell-fake-news-heres-why

Uh, McMaster just said Trump is going to give a speech in Saudi Arabia "intended to unite the broader Muslim world" and on Trump's "hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam."

God is fncking with us.

Erik, son of Erick, says the person who leaked about Trump's leak is a Trump supporter.

“The President will not take any internal criticism, no matter how politely it is given,” Erickson explains. “He does not want advice, cannot be corrected, and is too insecure to see any constructive feedback as anything other than an attack. So some of the sources are left with no other option but to go to the media, leak the story, and hope that the intense blowback gives the President a swift kick in the butt.”

Additionally, Erickson’s source claims that “what the President did is actually far worse than what is being reported” and that “the president does not seem to realize or appreciate that his bragging can undermine relationships with our allies and with human intelligence sources.”

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/05/conservative-erick-erickson-claims-source-who-leaked-latest-russia-bombshell-was-a-trump-supporter/

heh.

the GOP Congress has no incentive to go after Trump as long as the people who elect them like still Trump.

This is true. Also, they will continue to support him b/c they will believe the things he does they like and not believe the things he does they don't like (or excuse/minimize them somehow).

I do wonder what % of Trump's support comes from a simple "Gorsuch is on the Court, and we may get more" view. 60%? 90%? If they can get tax cuts too, even temporary, it's win win. Yuuuuge.

Nigel,

I am not wrong. Until the late 20th century the Director of the FBI reported to the President, ass an employee of the Department of Justice he is clearly an employee of the Executive branch whose boss is the President. Did you suspect that the FBI would be an independent fourth branch of the government? We only have three.

Thomas Jefferson knew nothing of the FBI but it is true that they are sworn to uphold the laws and constitution of the US. So is the President.

they are sworn to uphold the laws and constitution of the US. So is the President.

Quite. So if the President if failing to do so, their loyalty is to upholding the laws and Constitution, not him. Right?

heh. snap.

The classified intelligence that President Trump disclosed in a meeting last week with Russian officials at the White House was provided by Israel, according to a current and a former American official familiar with how the United States obtained the information. The revelation adds a potential diplomatic complication to the episode.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/16/world/middleeast/israel-trump-classified-intelligence-russia.html

cleek,

if true, the Israelis will find a way to smooth it over, and they shall be very selective going forward about "sharing" intelligence.

my surmise anyway.

agree with bobbyp

nigel,

everybody here should read that article about Reagan. Those were the days.

Trump's disapproval rating, as reported by FiveThirtyEight is at an all-time high, and his approval rating is a tenth of a percent shy of his all-time low.

Keep the faith, Marty!

I am not wrong. Until the late 20th century the Director of the FBI reported to the President

Not">http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fbi-founded">Not correct.

The FBI has always been an arm of the Department of Justice, and it's head reports to the Attorney General, who reports to the President.

sigh....try again:

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fbi-founded

yes bobbyp he has always been in the Justice Department but he reported to the President:

"The Director briefed the President on any issues that arose from within the FBI until the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 was enacted following the September 11 attacks. Since then, the Director reports to the Director of National Intelligence, who in turn reports to the President.[5]"

Wikipedia

hsh,

I know how unpopular he is, I believe I commented on that yesterday. But much like I went on during the Obama years about how people wouldn't like the powers he had assumed once a Republican is in office( pretty obviously true now) I am now going on about how a bloodless coup being acceptable will only make it easier the next time, perhaps when someone you like is on the butt end of this sham.

Removing him at any cost is, too costly.

I am now going on about how a bloodless coup being acceptable will only make it easier the next time

1998 is on line 2.

It would be good Marty if you could detail the powers assumed by Obama that were (1) not there when Obama took office and (2) are now being used by Trump & making liberals unhappy.

More broadly, however, I would agree that POTUS has been given too much discretion on many fronts.

With the writing of the Constitution, the presidency was viewed largely as an administrative role. That didn't last long. Even Washington didn't always color within the lines of the Constitution.

Trump may be just the person to deflate excessive expectations for the presidency. The downside is that future presidents may make Trump look rather bland by comparison. In some quarters, The Rock is being touted for 2020.

"Thomas Jefferson knew nothing of the FBI ...."

Neither does trump.

But surely, Jefferson has communicated the Constitutional rightness of the FBI's existence, to originalists Scalia (before Hillary had him killed, or come to think of it, after) Thomas, Alito, and now Gorsuch at those seances they conduct over at the Federalist Society.

I mean, they asked him, didn't they?

I have the transcript:

Jefferson: Effbeeeye? What is that you say? Let me think. Did Adams and Hamilton sneak that under the tent flap too, those kingly buggers?
Oh, of course, the Federal Bureau of Investigation! Yes, yes, now I see. I included that in the Louisiana Purchase boondoggle, because after all, we have the prerogative of changing our minds, don't we, isn't that right, girls?

But can we please dispense with these, how you say, acronyms? There was no mention of any such creatures in the Constitution, FYI. IMHO, the other Founding Dads and I would have had a fit if it had. Now, the States may use acronyms, but you characters at the federal level must spell things out in full. So I guess in that respect, the lot of you are SOL.


...I am now going on about how a bloodless coup being acceptable will only make it easier the next time...

Putting aside who I might "like," if there's ever anyone again approaching how bad Trump is as a president, I hope it is easier the next time.

My thinking is that Trump's antics will inspire a bipartisan reigning in - through the passage of explicit legislation - of executive discretion.

So maybe it won't be possible to be as bad as Trump, at least not for as long as Trump will be that bad.

Bloodless coup?

Sam Giancana and a dead Vivian Vance impersonator are having a good laugh over that.

Do you acknowledge AT ALL that, even though The Free Market results in vast income disparities BEFORE TAX, The Guvmint can decrease those disparites AFTER TAX without handcuffing The Invisible Hand?

Even with my math skills, I understand that taxing income at a higher level reduces after tax income. So, yes, I get your point. I don't get why it is self evident that Rush's bile or HRC' pre-election bribes from Goldman Sachs should be taxed at higher rates just because I don't approve of either of them. I don't like using the tax code as a means of punishing those I don't care for. For one thing, it punishes people who I either don't know or who I admire.

Do you honestly think that a 50% marginal rate kicking in at $3M/year, or a 60% rate above $30M/yr, would distort the market for conservative radio blowhards or hedge fund managers or major league shortstops?

Your question assumes I've given the matter sufficient thought to have a considered opinion. I haven't, so this is off the cuff: probably not.

I question whether increasing taxes like that would make any difference--if anyone in the lower income quartiles would even notice--other than as a feel-good for people who find income disparities so troubling that they can't sleep at night because there are uber wealthy running around spending shitpiles on Gulfstream 10's and 250 foot yachts. I don't think the supposed beneficiaries of the angst certain non-right of center, non-center types have for the uber rich would ever notice either the higher rate or the impact of the higher rate. As I said, it has the look of a feel good thing, not a substantive thing.

When you get off your "left'ish" fet'ish, I will happily talk turkey with you about what income tax rates -- on what income BRACKETS -- would be sensible or even "fair". Until then, be aware that if the time for pitchforks and torches ever comes back, your conceit that you're one of the oppressed minority of poor, hardworking, job-creating, multimillionaires will look foolish in at least two different ways.

So, there isn't a right or a left? I don't hale from the right? I thought I did. You're not a lefty? I thought you were. Have I imputed to the left something that isn't left'ish? No one here seems at all concerned with a commenter refers to the right or right wing or something similar--why the issue with being identified as left? Regardless, when the mobs turn out, if they ever do, they won't see me as an ally, nor will I claim to be.

Would like to see what McK has to say about the article.

I agree with it. Or I agree with it for the most part. There are probably nits here and there that I would quibble with. Big picture-wise, I concur.

Jonah Goldberg commented yesterday that regardless of whether the story as reported *is* true, because of what we know of Trump it certainly could be true. Because of who and what Trump is, he could have done most or all of what is alleged. My sense, from reading the entire WaPo story is that there was some piling on, but on collateral matters, not on the main thrust.

Taking this a step further and making the assumption that Trump fired Comey because he could not control Comey and Comey either refused to commit to being controlled or left that impression with Trump. Everyone is the hero in their own story, so I'm not taking a side in which of those two are being completely honest.

You can fire one, maybe two nominally independent executives under questionable circumstances. You can stupidly spill some intelligence beans a time or two. But when it becomes a serial aspect of a presidency, forget impeachment: the pres gets bounced on the 25th Amendment. The Repubs want to be around in 4 years, not relegated to the Permanent Party of Trump. They will need to do the heavy lifting to fix their mistake or face the consequences. Acceding to a Democrat-led impeachment is the worst of all worlds for the Repubs. At a minimum, they will have to use the threat of the 25th A to force his resignation.

My two cents and probably worth exactly that.

Marty,

Could be, I get the impression that the FBI chief could brief the President directly on "national security" (i.e., intelligence) matters, but he did not report to the President as a matter of course. I would suspect Hoover, with all his power, started this custom.

I found no citation of legislation passed that institutionalized such direct 'briefings'. Could exist, but I don't know of it.

Marty:

'Removing him at any cost is, too costly'

......might I ask how you are accounting for the cost side of the analysis in allowing him to remain as POTUS with no constraints on his destructive incompetence?

Acceding to a Democrat-led impeachment is the worst of all worlds for the Repubs.

Well, since impeachment proceedings originate in the House and the House is under control of the GOP, I feel you can rest easy on that score, McKinney. As of now, there can be no "Democrat-led" impeachment.

But thanks for thinking of us!

My thinking is that Trump's antics will inspire a bipartisan reigning in - through the passage of explicit legislation - of executive discretion.

hsh....that would be nice, but that horse left the barn some time ago. it's not coming back.

And no surprise, it was pretty much a bi-partisan affair. Simply put, Congress, as an institution, has abdicated a lot of that responsibility....for a host of reasons.

I feel you can rest easy on that score, McKinney. As of now, there can be no "Democrat-led" impeachment.

The Repubs have the House for now. But even then, you could have the Dems and enough Repubs lead the charge. Ugly, but possible.

when it becomes a serial aspect of a presidency, forget impeachment: the pres gets bounced on the 25th Amendment. The Repubs want to be around in 4 years, not relegated to the Permanent Party of Trump. They will need to do the heavy lifting to fix their mistake or face the consequences.

The question becomes, at what point will those who need to invoke the 25th Amendment decide that they have to do so? Or, perhaps more accurately, when do they decide that their electoral calculus is better if they do so?

Let's face it, even starting such a discussion among Trump-appointed Cabinet Secretaries would be a high risk matter for all concerned. For openers, the instant Trump heard of it, firings would proliferate like mad. So it would have to be done with extreme care that those talking would not leak.

Or, I suppose, those who think it has to be done could start rumors that those opposed were the ones considering it -- get Trump to fire people until they were a majority of those remaining....

bobbyp,

My estimate of the cost of him staying in power is much lower than most. I see him as a generally incompetent one term President who will fade into the background of the political fights over health care and taxes and immigration. This would move faster if there wasn't a constant, daily attempt to find another story to fan the flames of impeachment talks.

Each of these episodes is outrage built on a sand pile. He does something, the usual suspects declare it is the last straw, the country has collapsed. Then everyone gets up, goes to work the next day, the world didn't end and the other usual suspects say it is no big deal, mostly correctly. The most prominent, and commonly agreed, feature of all of this is the embarrassment that he represents us.

Over the course of another six months everyone will figure out it isn't good, but it isn't impeachable and the momentum will die and he will fade to the background because no one will follow his every muttered/tweeted asininity.

Then, I hope we get some stuff done in Congress because some things will have moved along behind the scenes.

From my perspective, the best thing we could hope for is that the Democrats convince the Republicans, honestly, that getting rid of Trump by itself would be enough to restore a more positive working relationship in the Congress. The coup is quick and painless and suddenly a crapload of the Republican agenda is passed with some nice bones for the Democrats.

Barring that, I think we should, and probably will, suffer through four years of Trump and the whole country will look to primary candidates a completely different way from now on.

Even Jeff Sessions at one time agreed that the Attorney General does not simply follow the instructions of the President:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/31/sally-yates-responded-jeff-sessions-asked-would-defy-president/
The prescient clip begins with Senator Jeff Sessions - President Donald Trump's pick for attorney general - saying: "You're going to have to watch out, because people will be asking you to do things that you just need to say no..."

He goes on to ask: "Do you think the attorney general has a responsibility to say no to the president if he asks for something that's improper...?"

Ms Yates replied: "I believe the attorney general or the deputy attorney general has an obligation to follow the law and the constitution and to give their independent legal advice to the president." ...

Marty's constitutional understanding seemingly has much in common with that of Trump.

I believe that the Director of the FBI has those same responsibilities up to and including telling the President no. I also believe the President has wide latitude, not exceeded in this case, to fire the FBI Director, as his boss. Those two things are not mutually exclusive, and certainly in no way a constitutional question.

So Marty, you can live with the embarrassment so long as the GOP gets to keep their ill gotten gains? Tax cuts uber alles

Tax cuts uber alles

That's what they live by.

I don't think Republicans have changed much since Nixon, except for the fact that almost none of those in Congress even care about how it all looks.

Of course, the news of the hour is that Comey took careful notes, and they point to Trump's obstruction of justice. That's a "high crime" pretty clearly. Of course, it's enforceable by Republicans in Congress, and considering they're all like Marty, we'll have to see.

McKinney hopes that the 25th will be invoked. If that is on anyone's mind among Congressional Republicans, one would think that they'd be distancing themselves from the crazy. I'm not seeing much of that.

Marty,

Yes, the sun will still come up tomorrow and long into the future. I would agree that we can look forward to 4 years of incompetence and Trump getting sidelined. Unable to get out of his own way, maybe he won't do too much harm.

Fingers crossed.

However, the last thing I want to see is a Pence presidency and a GOP Congress.

The GOP congresscritters will not abandon Trump as long as his base does not abandon him.

On removal: Any kind of a "coup" you can envision shall not be quick and painless unless Trump just decides, "f*ck it! I'm not taking this any more," and resigns out of prideful spite.

The Dems will can do nothing about impeachment, and even if there were GOP defectors in the House, you are talking about a coup in that chamber, and speaker Ryan getting the ax. Utter turmoil.

The Dems still wouldn't join in unless they could count the 2/3 Senate votes needed for a conviction.

Otherwise they will make noise, but sit tight.

That leaves the GOP in a bind.

A bind I am only too happy to see maintained until those incompetent f*cks are thrown out of office.

bobbyp,

I can see that. Dems really don't want Pence with a GOP Congress so unless they could get a massive repudiation of the whole election(Russian collusion) then they don't really want Trump gone, they just want to keep getting another to insert a well placed banderilla each time they go by to keep him crippled. Then they want to wrap the GOP around him like they did with Bush so they can get two more years of control of the House and maybe the next President.

I suspect that over 4 years they will begin to suffer from the electorates outrage fatigue and end up with less upside than they hope in the Presidential election.

And I really, really want those tax cuts.

unless they could get a massive repudiation of the whole election(Russian collusion)

They could get? They got. Weird that it doesn't bother you at all. And your love of tax cuts makes me way less worried about your insurance situation. Just saying.

I don't think Republicans have changed much since Nixon Wild Bill McKinley.

Fixed.

McKinney hopes that the 25th will be invoked. If that is on anyone's mind among Congressional Republicans, one would think that they'd be distancing themselves from the crazy. I'm not seeing much of that.

Actually, what I'm saying is that the Trump presidency is in a perpetually fluid state. If he continues to do overtly, objectively stupid things, things that are widely perceived as such, the Reps will have to move away from him. That's how I see it falling out. We aren't there yet but seem to be moving in that direction.

Further to my point, this just in from the NYT:

WASHINGTON — President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

The existence of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.

Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. The memo was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.

We aren't there yet but seem to be moving in that direction.

I keep hoping for that, but it seems to me that the direction towards which we're moving is whatever crazy Trump dishes out, Republicans accept and defend it.

I'll be interested to see whether Comey's memos make a difference. So far, Republicans see the next godawful thing, and accept it, and move on. Like Marty, it's all about tax cuts with all of them. If Comey's memos show blatant obstruction of justice, or if some inquiry results in proof of collusion with Russia, Republicans will shrug it off.

Republicans are traitors. Admit it.

Like Marty, it's all about tax cuts with all of them.

Well, for libertarians, it's all about the regulatory cuts too. :)

So, CharlesWT, do you have some examples of regulatory cuts that would be so great? Have you ever been to rural China where air pollution (particulate matter can choke you? Do you really want that here? What's your goal with all of this?

By the way, I understand that regulations can be burdensome. Some burdens outweigh the good, and we have to be vigilant about monitoring that. But industries are pretty noisy about when that happens. We are good at using studies and data to figure out what works.

Why the across-the-board regulation hatred?

I can see that.

Well, I thought Clinton would win, so there you go.

Lower taxes you say? OK, but you have to go along with single payer, cutting military spending by 1/3rd, breakup up the big banks, capital gains taxed as ordinary income, estate taxes at 90% above $10mil, tilt toward the Palestinians and Iran, repeal Taft-Hartley, heavy regulation and/or taxes to end global warming, increase foreign aid by 400%.

I'd like to abolish (a lot of so-called) private property as well, but you can't get everything.

Do we have a deal? :)

may the unicorns be with you.

Nah, tax cuts aren't that important.

More seriously, I wonder first if after being told no Trump let it go. Stupid thing, could get him legitimately impeached. I guess I'll have to hope Pence likes tax cuts.

Second, I was discussing tax matters with a very smart woman I know that ran a billion(2?) Fund almost in the same breath we agreed that the only tax cut we were hoping for was on foreign cash. Apple is up to 100b in debt and the machinations to fund anything in the US on the value of their foreign cash is starting to get tricky even for them. Imagine how it might help smaller players.

Despite many arguments to the contrary, if I were the CEO of these companies I would be more likely to spend money locally if I didn't have to borrow it.

Oh, and kill the regulations. On pot. Wait, that's not you g to happen. Maybe there are some things I don't like about Trump. If I recall they were Flynn and Sessions. Still same.

Have you ever been to rural China where air pollution (particulate matter can choke you?

We're long pass that stage in industrial development and won't be going back there even if all clean air regulations were repealed. Though it's had a significant impact on how clean the air is now, the air was getting cleaner even before the EPA existed.

The EPA has spent years diving deeper into the weeds of diminishing returns. The EPA has argued that the law doesn't require it to make cost/benefit analysis when creating new regulations. That it is allowed to create regulations that cost more than any possible benefit.

The EPA has also wasted a lot time and resources going after individual property owners who've had the audacity to make some spot on their property wetter/dryer than their betters in Washington thought proper. You're very likely doing something wrong when you take cases all the way to the Supreme Court and it rules unanimously against you.

The EPA has spent years diving deeper into the weeds of diminishing returns.

I notice that whereas a lot of us provide links to our assertions, you provide nothing.

Data speaks volumes.

So, if you run a business from your home, say making pies, the costs of a commercial kitchen are sometimes prohibitive. That's when you seek a waiver, to disclose to prospective buyers of your product that it is not inspected or made in compliance with state health regulations.

I'm all for those kinds of waivers (and disclosures). But large public manufacturers can afford to comply with environmental and health regulations.

Take milk, for example. There is a market for raw milk, because some people think it's fine to drink unpasteurized milk and are willing to take the risk of brucellosis, or whatever. Okay, people should be able to buy that milk from a farm, IMO, if they are made aware of the risks. (Also, some people want unpasteurized milk because it's easier to make cheese with it. So fine, if they know where it comes from, so that if a disease occurs, it can be located and stopped.)

But what about unpasteurized milk that's in a large production facility, and combined with other milk and nobody knows what's what? That's a recipe for disease epidemic.

Libertarianism is crazytalk. We need sensible regulation.

Whatever the achievements of EPA programs in the past – don't forget that rates of air and water pollution abatement didn't actually speed up after the creation of the agency in 1970 – we are well past the point of rapidly diminishing returns when it comes to additional pollution abatement. It is the right moment to make states and municipalities more responsible and responsive to their local citizens when it comes to handling environmental concerns and issues.
Relax: Gutting the EPA Won't Make Your Air Dirtier and Water More Polluted: There have been diminishing returns to federal pollution regulation for a long time

sapient, as you point out in your two comments, a lot of regulation harms the very people you would want to help. People on the lower end of the income scale.

a lot of regulation harms the very people you would want to help.

And, as I point out in my two comments, there should be waivers for small entrepreneurs. I have some small experience with that, and it works quite well.

OK, but you have to go along with single payer, cutting military spending by 1/3rd, breakup up the big banks, capital gains taxed as ordinary income, estate taxes at 90% above $10mil, tilt toward the Palestinians and Iran, repeal Taft-Hartley, heavy regulation and/or taxes to end global warming, increase foreign aid by 400%.

Interesting list though;

Not single payer, but public option for poor and uninsured

I'm good with significant defense cuts phased in to limit the displacement of those currently serving. 1/3, 1/4? Sure

Breaking up the big banks is a colossally bad idea. It's just knee jerk revenge.

Capital gains taxed as ordinary income: short term, sure oh wait. Long term I suppose if you legitimately means tested it. Middle class folks are planning on those for retirement.

I have become, which is a change I think, strongly against estate taxes. Doesn't get the treasury a meaningful amount of money and seems petty.

I won't be for the terrorist states, no matter how much rehabilitation they provide. I remember the hostages and the dozens of suicide bombers. No way.

I actually think Taft-Hartley is mostly irrelevant.

No such thing as global warming, no, no such thing as climate change, no, the weather says that my part of the country is going to benefit from the new tropical climate and Utah seafront. I think we should do what we are doing. It's either too late or it's unnecessary, really there is no middle ground.

Yeah we can give 20 billion in foreign aide rather than 5, or whatever that number is, it won't make drop in the bucket.

The pie filter works really well. I'll remind people that it's available if the anger management seems to be imperilled.

Breaking up the big banks is a colossally bad idea. It's just knee jerk revenge.

OK, but then there's no such thing as "too big to fail". If they get in trouble, they go bankrupt like anybody else. Shareholders get nothing -- at least until the depositors have their full balances, not just the insured amount. Executive employment contracts are void: no compensation beyond what they have in hand, and any in-house retirement is gone as well. Accept that, at minimum, and we can talk.

strongly against estate taxes. Doesn't get the treasury a meaningful amount of money and seems petty.

It does have the serious plus of putting rewards on accomplishment, not just having won the lottery on parents. Yes, you should (and we do) have a reasonably high threshold before it kicks in. But if you can't make it in life because you only inherited $2 million, rather than $50 million (or $2 billion), my sympathy is d*mn limited.

reaching way back to income inequality:

average rents for a one-bedroom in Salem MA are $1600+. For two-bedroom, $2000+.

My company lost a really good dev-ops guy last year because he and his wife want to have kids and they couldn't afford to buy a big enough house. He moved out to western MA.

I know some homeless folks in my area, most of them have jobs. I know of one family that was living in their car with three kids, one of them 8 weeks old. Another family came up here from GA so the dad could get some specialized medical care, they ended up living in their car with two little kids because housing was so expensive. Mrs. We're-Living-In-Our-Car was employed, it just wasn't enough to make rent.

Because the folks that have the money around here have enough more than the folks that don't that it screws up the housing market sufficiently to price poor people out, full stop.

You can live in a dangerous place cheaper, and you can get on line for Section 8 and wait. Or you can live in your car.

You're right, poor people just want a job and a decent place to live. They don't give a crap how much money other folks have, they're just trying to make their own nut. Jobs are around if you will work for $10 or $15 or $20 bucks an hour, on a gig basis, with no benefits. Decent places to live are harder to come by. Who the hell is going to lend somebody a quarter of million bucks or more if their income is $20/hour on a gig basis. How do you come up with $7500 cash for first, last, and current on a 2-bedroom so your kids don't have to sleep in your bedroom or on the couch, when you're making $20/hour on a gig basis.

My wife and I have a good friend who lives in San Francisco. She has a very successful marketing consultancy, her partner is a very successful fertility doc. They have a lot of money, they live side by side with people who have no money. They're afraid of those people, and those people mostly hate them, because rich people are driving them out of the places they have lived all their lives.

They sometimes walk out the door to find junkies or drunks crashed in their shrubs. One day our friend was driving through Berkeley in her beautiful white Benz, and some guy threw his soda at her. This stuff freaks them out. They're nice liberals, but it freaks them out, because they've worked hard and have become very successful, and they thought they'd be insulated from that kind of bullshit.

And, no doubt, the poor guy who threw his soda at my friend while she was driving thought that he also works hard, and thought he'd be insulated from rich people taking over the whole fucking city.

Inequality. It actually is a thing. Look around, it's not at all hard to see.

Maybe Houston is a magic place, where none of this goes on.

As far as Trump and impeachable offenses, every single day he is in violation of the emoluments clause. Every single day he violates the terms of his lease on a property that is owned by we, the people. Every single day he and his family pimp the office of the POTUS for favors from a variety of foreign governments. Many of his business associates are known Russian gangsters, as in have done time for securities fraud, assault, and a variety of other charges. It's extraordinarily likely that he's been involved in laundering Russian kleptocratic money through his real estate holdings.

But, but, the rule of law!! If the rule of law had any teeth, he'd be out on his ass already. The (R)'s will keep him around until they get their tax cuts and their regulation rollbacks so they can screw the poor and rape the land for another generation.

There is not a fucking thing that Trump can do short of shooting James Comey in the head in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue at high noon that you, Marty, will not defend, or at least minimize as some kind of "nothing to see here" liberal pearl-clutching fantasy.

Trump is a fucking crook. He's a liar, a grifter, a serial bankrupt, a guy who beats his creditors down with blizzards of lawsuits and drives them into bankruptcy along with himself. he doesn't pay his subs. He's supposed to be some big business genius, but with a 9 figure head-start he can't even beat the market.

He's a fucking crook.

I doubt he'll make four years because he's not a very smart crook, and if you're going to take the criminal path, you really do need to be smarter than average.

But who knows, with the loyal support of folks like you, maybe he'll do his whole term.

But he is a crook, a common shitheel, a fraud, a liar, and a general all-around bullying creep.

Can't wait until we don't have to wake up every day to see what asinine clusterfuck du jour he has managed to foist upon us.

The EPA has spent years diving deeper into the weeds of diminishing returns.

God bless them.

And God bless them for not subjecting every consideration of public health and safety to the nickel-and-diming bullshit of costing out whether the money spent on making things safer is recouped on at least a dollar-for-dollar basis.

You think, if we roll back the EPA regs, that we won't be breathing air you can strain the crap out of again? It'll take less than a generation.

This country is full of SOBs who will be happy to poison you for a one-point bump in their stock price. You might forget that, but I won't.

Just when we needed russell, he showed up.

Maybe Houston is a magic place, where none of this goes on.

Houston is, by far, the largest city in the country without any zoning laws. It seems to work pretty well.

Some of the high cost of housing is due to restrictive zoning and permitting and out of date building codes.

I could see living in a micro house a year or two if I could sock away most of what I'm currently spending on housing.

My gripe with Trump is that he's made my tweeter account almost useless. The people I follow are over whamming me with endless Trumpisms. :(

Because the folks that have the money around here have enough more than the folks that don't that it screws up the housing market sufficiently to price poor people out, full stop.

Is the problem really rich people pricing the poor out by paying more? Or is rich people influencing zoning laws, keeping out apartment buildings, limiting heights, etc.? See Charles' comment about Houston.

That's not to say that NO zoning laws are the best way to go. I think there is actually something to be said for segregating business and residential areas; admittedly a matter of personal preference. But zoning laws which effectively, and often quite deliberately, keep poor people out are a terrible idea.

Yep let's not worry about proof or due process or any of that bs, just throw away the key because we know he laundered money, no matter that the emoluments clause pretty specifically can't be applied to any of the examples ever provided, never mind he's never even been investigated for anything criminal as far as we know, much less the famous line "well hes never been convicted", he's an ass and we don't like him so fing throw away the key. Never mind that, until maybe today, he STILL wasnt under investigation for anything criminal.

That Marty, it's not good enough anymore to say that if they go through the process and he's guilty that he should get impeached and go to jail. You have to be for calling him names, impeaching him anyway, and making shit up about him and doing it every day, or your just taking his side. Chrissakes, what country do you live in? I don't want to live in a country where that's the way this problem is solved.

Interesting list though;

I left off jobs guarantee...many others.

Not single payer, but public option for poor and uninsured

Single payer for everybody. Break the tie of employment to health insurance.

I'm good with significant defense cuts phased in to limit the displacement of those currently serving. 1/3, 1/4? Sure

OK. 1% tax cut for you!

Breaking up the big banks is a colossally bad idea. It's just knee jerk revenge.

They benefit from a huge public subsidy. F&ck them. Break them up or nationalize them.

Capital gains taxed as ordinary income: short term, sure oh wait. Long term I suppose if you legitimately means tested it. Middle class folks are planning on those for retirement.

Means testing anything is a bad idea. Retirement? Increase Social Security payments.

I have become, which is a change I think, strongly against estate taxes. Doesn't get the treasury a meaningful amount of money and seems petty.

The amount of money recouped by the Treasury is not the point. It is a public policy to mitigate the establishment of an economic royalty.

I won't be for the terrorist states, no matter how much rehabilitation they provide. I remember the hostages and the dozens of suicide bombers. No way.

So you don't support Israel. Good for you.

I actually think Taft-Hartley is mostly irrelevant.

Then repeal won't matter? OK. Repeal it.

No such thing as global warming, no, no such thing as climate change, no, the weather says that my part of the country is going to benefit from the new tropical climate and Utah seafront. I think we should do what we are doing. It's either too late or it's unnecessary, really there is no middle ground.

A possible existential crisis is turned into a meditation on land speculation.

Yeah we can give 20 billion in foreign aide rather than 5, or whatever that number is, it won't make drop in the bucket.

Then tell your GOP buddies to stop whining about it, OK?

Thanks.


Houston is, by far, the largest city in the country without any zoning laws. It seems to work pretty well.

fabulous. and if that's working out well for the people of Houston, I say carry on.

just keep it down there with you.

Is the problem really rich people pricing the poor out by paying more?

Again, this goes back to the matter of income inequality. If we have a system that resolutely shifts income upward, this is the kind of outcome one would expect.

I don't want to live in a country where that's the way this problem is solved.

This cookie cutter was baked into the cake as the two major parties have become more ideologically coherent and evenly balanced. There are no more "moderate" Republicans. There are no more segregationist southern Democrats.

The impeachment of Clinton for a consensual sexual encounter set a pretty low bar. The GOP searched for months. They blundered into a reason. A very petty one. They pulled the tripper (sic).

Then came Bengazi. And then, christ almighty, EMAILS!

What goes around comes around. Sorry to say, your whining in this respect is falling on deaf ears.

LOCK HIM UP!!!!

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