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June 16, 2020

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I generally agree with the idea that Biden is a more palatable candidate to people who are politically middle of the road than many or most of the other (D)'s running this year.

If that means that, on net, fewer people are alienated by a Biden win, all to the good. Even if folks looking for a progressive hero don't get everything they want.

Number 1 priority, to me, is getting Trump the hell out of the White House. Anyone concerned about "hatefests" and "divisiveness" should be on board with that, he is a one-man fountain of hate and division.

If folks not necessarily inclined to vote (D) find Biden to be an acceptable option, all good.

Ham sandwich, y'all. Who knows, maybe he'll do a really good job. At a minimum, he knows his way around. Stranger things have happened.

I may have had others in the Democratic race that I was more partial to. As did, so far as I can tell, pretty much everyone here.

Warren was top of my list.

Biden won. I'm fine with it, and not just in an "any port in a storm" way. The fact that a lot of people who are, basically, afraid of a (D) POTUS are comfortable with Biden is a good thing, IMO.

Warren's my senator, she's not going anywhere, other folks like her will likewise still be around. My own preferences policy-wise will still be represented.

If Biden's the guy everyone can live with, then it seems to me that Biden's as good a choice as any and better than most.

There's also the detail, for those who would prefer someone more progressive, that Biden may win big enough that his coattail generate a Democratically controlled Senate. Which is a prerequisite for getting any of the changes to the law that you want.

Not to mention the growing possibility of changing some state legislatures in advance of redistricting. And if, as seems amazingly possible, Texas is one of those, he will have changed national politics as well for a decade or more.

No offense, but I'd say that this is one of those times when we what we need is the person with the best chance of winning. Full stop.

We can need more than one thing. Even if I grant that what we need most is the best chance of winning, that doesn't mean Biden can't possibly bring something else that we need as a nation at this particular time.

There's also a certain circularity to the idea that we need someone with the best chance of winning. Why does someone have the best chance of winning? Because people will vote for that person for various reasons. What are those reasons? Why do they matter to people? Those things, in aggregate, are what gives someone the best chance of winning.

You don't have the best chance of winning because ... you have the best chance of winning.

On the subject of winning the Senate, this zinger from the Lincoln Project
https://lincolnproject.us/news/names/

wj,

You get no argument from me on 2020. He, Trump must be defeated -- and be seen to be defeated, to borrow Maggie Thatcher's admonition about dealing with tinpot tyrants.

Now, what was the GOP calculus in 2016? With lots of candidates to choose from, and knowing they'd face the devil incarnate come November, did Republicans coalesce around their most "electable" candidate? No fair peeking ahead to assess "electability" post hoc.

Incidentally, I don't think anybody ever called Barack Obama "The Electable One" in 2008 either.

In strictly political terms, the main difference between 2020 and either 2008 or 2016 is incumbency. I've pointed out many times that Americans habitually re-elect incumbent presidents and then switch parties in the White House. The last incumbent to fail of re-election was Poppy Bush, and he was essentially the 3rd term of Ronald Regan. The one before that was Jimmy Carter. Both of them lost in large part because of strong challenges from within their own party. It's not clear that the Never-Trumpers amount to such a challenge. And who did Poppy and Jimmy lose to? Safe, Establishment opponents? Or shoot-the-moon upstarts? I think it's fair to say that Reagan wasn't the Establishment guy when he beat Carter, and Clinton wasn't the Establishment guy when he beat Bush.

Having observed many years ago that I thought Joe Biden would make a better president than he ever was a candidate, I am delighted he is our nominee. But I'm not sanguine that he is "electable" due to being the "safe choice". Anti-incumbent elections are different from open-seat ones. Mitt Romney, central casting's version of a presidential candidate and surely Establishment, failed to defeat Obama despite being a "safe choice".

The main thing Biden has going for him -- as a challenger -- is widespread disgust with the incumbent. Is that disgust widespread enough? I certainly hope so.

--TP

While most of the media is more interested in the Trump tax return subpoena cases the SCOTUS ruled on this morning (my summary: the President is not a king, which should ease sapient's mind, but there are i's to be dotted and t's to be crossed, so no tax returns before election day), I personally find McGirt v. Oklahoma the most interesting of the three.

I put it in a category with Arizona v. Arizona from a few years ago. In that one, Kennedy surprised almost everyone by siding with the use of ballot initiatives. Kennedy served in the 9th Circuit before reaching the SCOTUS. Ballot initiatives are a real thing in the 9th. Gorsuch surprised almost everyone today by siding with the tribes. Gorsuch served in the 10th Circuit before reaching the SCOTUS. Tribe-state jurisdictional conflicts are a real thing in the 10th.

Today the Supreme Court is almost all justices who served in the northeast urban corridor. I sometimes wonder if things might be different if more of the Circuit Court areas were represented.

there are i's to be dotted and t's to be crossed, so no tax returns before election day

No tax returns for Congress. But the DA who was asking for them does get them.

It won't make them public to influence the election. But Trump must be frantic. Especially as it means that, win or lose, he may find himself under indictment. (Which he likely would have avoided, had he not won....)

I don't think anybody ever called Barack Obama "The Electable One" in 2008 either.

No. But then, Palin's manifold shortcomings notwithstanding, McCain was nothing like as bad as Trump. Which is to say, the downside risk was smaller, and therefore might be worth taking. In that case.

Biden's strength, IMO, is that he's just such a normal, fundamentally decent guy.

yeah, he has a temper, and he likes to bullshit a bit too much, and he's handsy in a way that was tolerated 40 years ago but has rightfully fallen out of favor.

even with all that, he's not an internet troll. he's not a seething pit resentment and insecurity and racism and sexism and hatred. he's not a petulant and proudly-ignorant child. he's not going to try to turn the WH into a vehicle to shovel money into his personal businesses.

he's just an affable guy who seems to mean well but who's a few years out of step with a few cultural changes. most people can relate to him as a person.

policy-wise, he'll be fine. he'll probably sign anything the Dems in Congress give him. he'll send a lot of Trump's policy garbage off to the dump. and he'll staff the govt with boring career civil servants.

there will be things to complain about and things to cheer. but i won't wake up every morning hoping to learn that the President has keeled over on the toilet, the way i do now.

Which is to say, the downside risk was smaller, and therefore might be worth taking. In that case.

I don't think it's a question of risk. I think it's more a matter of whether or not electability is a valid reason to vote for someone (when lots of people voting for someone is what makes them electable).

hsh, I think that's inevitably a chicken and egg argument.

That said, voting based on "electability" is a matter of taking a personal decision based on a judgement of what other people will do.

But the DA who was asking for them does get them.

The DA may continue to pursue them. The President's argument that they should not be allowed based on absolute immunity and heightened scrutiny is rejected. The decision explicitly states, though

A President may avail himself of the same protections available to every other citizen, including the right to challenge the subpoena on any grounds permitted by state law, which usually include bad faith and undue burden or breadth.... In addition, a President can raise subpoena-specific constitutional challenges in either a state or a federal forum. As noted above, he can challenge the subpoena as an attempt to influence the performance of his official duties, in violation of the Supremacy Clause. And he can argue that compliance with a particular subpoena would impede his constitutional duties.
Back to federal court where the President's legal team gets an opportunity to argue the subpoenas should not be granted for various reasons, plus appeals. No one is going to see the tax returns before the election.

I think electability has at least three variables. It is not simply a lot of people voting for them.

First, they need a core of supporters that will vote for them as their first choice.

Second, they need to be able to capture votes from people for whom they were not the number one choice.

Third, they would preferably not drive higher opposition votes because they are perceived as too far out of the mainstream.


Number 3 was what Biden had that made him more "electable". Less people voting for the competition is a distinct advantage that is not the same as a lot of folks willing to vote for you.

Michael, but since Trump isn't the one being subpoenaed by the New York grand jury, and since the Supreme Court has just said he doesn't have immunity from investigation, it's not really clear that he has standing to contest it.

Who among us doesn't like a ham sandwich?

Less people voting for the competition is a distinct advantage that is not the same as a lot of folks willing to vote for you.

True. So lots more people willing to vote for you than the other candidate(s) would be a more comprehensive way of putting it. Either way, the question is whether that is a metric anyone can measure before an election, at least short of a total boob running. Even then, we got the current WH occupant.

Third, they would preferably not drive higher opposition votes because they are perceived as too far out of the mainstream.

So what if you ran a former first lady, senator, and secretary of state (pretty mainstream!) against a reality-TV "personality" and known con artist who couldn't construct a coherent series of sentences when speaking?

So I think the problem is that people keep explaining the idea of electability when I think everyone has a pretty good grasp on it. I also understand well enough what astrology is, but it doesn't mean I think it's useful.

So what if you ran a former first lady, senator, and secretary of state (pretty mainstream!) against a reality-TV "personality" and known con artist who couldn't construct a coherent series of sentences when speaking?

First, there's the question of whether, just because all of us knew he was a con artist, it was really well known across the electorate. And second, perhaps we mis-estimate what/where the mainstream really is. Maybe it's closer to the folks who believe that professional wrestling is a sport, rather than scripted, than we would like.

Wj, they'll have to be down in the weeds on that one. AIUI, the prosecutor subpoenaed several years of tax returns for Trump's personal and corporate identities. The latter will be tricky. The Trump Organization is 500+ interlocking LLCs with Trump either directly or indirectly the controlling member of all the important ones. I know that the IRS doesn't recognize LLCs as a separate category, for federal tax purposes they're either sole proprietorships or partnerships. I assume the controlling member(s) of a partnership have standing.

I've said all along that most of the subpoenas could be tied up for years simply by making the prosecutor establish relevancy for each of the LLCs whose records he wants.

First, there's the question of whether, just because all of us knew he was a con artist, it was really well known across the electorate. And second, perhaps we mis-estimate what/where the mainstream really is. Maybe it's closer to the folks who believe that professional wrestling is a sport, rather than scripted, than we would like.

All of which seems to me to boil down to "electability is unmeasurable" in even what appears to be the most obvious case.

never forget: Trump lost the popular vote, by a lot, and he only barely won the states that put him over the top. and he won the GOP primaries by raking up a bunch of early plurality wins while the mainstream candidates split their votes and messaging.

whatever his actual electability is has been refracted through the (indefensible) kaleidoscope of the electoral college and the absurd primary process.

Michael, but the subpoenas aren't for Trump or any of his manifold organizations. They are for an accounting firm. (Which has indicated it will comply.) Which means that Trump a) doesn't control the records (attorney client doesn't apply) and b) doesn't have to expend any time or effort to comply (so no direct impact on his duties as POTUS). Trying to claim some kind of blanket presidential immunity was all he had. And he just lost that one.

How long it will be until the grand jury comes out with indictments, and the relevant records get unsealed, is another question. Guesses range from

  • They're ready to go as soon as they get the records. That is, perhaps a month. To
  • They're barely started, and it will be next year some time.

Wj, I'll take your word for it that if they subpoena my accountant I lack standing to object (say, on the grounds that it's a fishing expedition and they have given no reason to subpoena records for that particular LLC).

If we're betting on the GJ status, I'll go with "they're barely started." My thinking is that even if the accountants do a core dump, the forensic accountants will be months sorting things out. Which goes along with what I said when the special prosecutor started poking: "The family is almost certainly guilty of money laundering but it will take a team of forensic accountants with access to the books five years to prove it."

If you're gonna do crimes, best to stay out of the public eye.

If you're gonna do crimes, best to stay out of the public eye.

Hard to do when the crimes you aim to commit require you to be in the public eye in order to pull off the caper.

Trump is hiding in plain sight.

The White House is a Safe House for these criminals.

The place might as well be a beach front deposit box in the Barbados.

The Hole In the Head Gang.

Natch, if Biden or any Democrat enters the place, corrupt criminal superspreader Republicans will go full Barney Fife and declare their precious bullsh*t Presidential herd immunity unConstitutional for even the smallest infractions.

Biden would do well in that respect to keep William Barr at Justice.

Preferably lying in state in the lobby after the undertaker's cosmetician puts him back together for public viewing.


"The family is almost certainly guilty of money laundering but it will take a team of forensic accountants with access to the books five years to prove it."

To uncover all of it, five years is probably optimistic. On the other hand, if it's as dirty as I suspect, they could find enough to start issuing indictments a lot sooner. And, especially if they can show that the accountants were a party to some of the illegal activities, getting them to flip could move things along a lot faster.

So - my opinion, based on what we do know about Trump's businesses, is that he's a crook. Tax cheat, general purpose fraudster, almost certainly money launderer for international kleptos, especially Russians.

Folks may disagree, that's my opinion. We may never know the truth of it in detail, but this is a blog, not a court of law, and what I've said above seems... not overly controversial. To me, at least.

There is, for lack of a better term, a field of play within which you can maybe get away with stuff like that. If it's not obscenely egregious, if you have a lot of money and enough lawyers to make it a royal PITA for law enforcement to pursue, if your particular bad behavior is not that unusual for your industry, if you know people and can call in a favor here and there.

As long as Trump was merely famous loudmouth blowhard reality TV guy and occasional guest on the Howard Stern show, he could mostly get away with it. What he couldn't get away with, he could throw money and lawyers at and settle.

The rules are different for POTUS.

Some might say you can actually get away with *more* as POTUS, and there's something to that, I guess. But the stuff you can get away with is of a different character.

Garden variety chiseling, even if on a large scale, falls outside the scope of what you can sweep under the rug, as POTUS.

Trump's a garden-variety chiseler, at epic scale. Hard to pull that off under the microscope. So far he's avoided the microscope with his bizarre claims of universal executive privilege.

No more.

A couple of basic discovery concepts w/r/t accountants. The common standard for document production (federal and most states) is that you are obligated to produce all documents that are in your “possession, custody or control.” If you give your accountant your financial papers, those papers are still in your control because the accountant works for you and he is your agent.

Absent extraordinary circumstances, accounting firms comply with a court orders to produce. I would be surprised if the Trump accountants every took a contrary position. They will leave it to the client to raise objections to the production and then follow the court order.

I would not be so sure that blanket immunity is the only argument that Trump had. For example, Florida recognizes an accountant-client privilege. I don't think that NY has a free-standing accountant-client privilege, but almost all states allow for an attorney to seek advice from an accountant and then bring the accountant under the universally recognized attorney-client privilege. I would be shocked if Trump didn't avail himself of this.

If nothing else, these questions can take significant time to answer.

On McGirt v. Oklahoma I have seen everything today from "Good job, SCOTUS" to "Stupidest decision ever" to "F*ck Oklahoma because Oklahoma" to "F*ck the Indians because Indians". The sanest thing is probably the joint statement by the State of Oklahoma and the Five Tribes:

The State, the Muscogee (Creek), Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole Nations have made substantial progress toward an agreement to present to Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice addressing and resolving any significant jurisdictional issues raised by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma.

The Nations and the State are committed to ensuring that Jimcy McGirt, Patrick Murphy, and all other offenders face justice for the crimes for which they are accused. We have a shared commitment to maintaining public safety and long-term economic prosperity for the Nations and Oklahoma.

How long can He, Trump skate politically on legalistic ice? How long can He keep up the pretense that He has no crimes to hide but only presidential privileges to protect?

I say it depends not a whit on his partisans, who probably like the fact that He is a crook. Nor does it depend on those of us who knew Him for a crook since long before He started shitting in the White House. It depends on the (large?) contingent of people willing to pretend that not-convicted is all a POTUS needs to be, no matter how thin the legal ice on which he pirouettes.

My advice to Democrats is: talk as if you take it for granted that He, Trump is a crook and let the chips fall where they may. If "independents" are so fixated on formalities as to be put off by that assumption, the election is already lost anyway.

--TP

How long?

He's 74 years old. So far so good. And he knows how to do it. We don't, because none of us has 74 years of rinse and repeat chops, bolstered by fully EVIL enablers all along the line, of doing it and getting away with it.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/trump-candidate-won-trump-man-lost/613960/

I'd say he'll skate as long as he needs to, which equals his natural lifespan.

He's the Hans Christian Anderson, the Brian Boitano of skaters.

And all along the way, when it's required, he can find a partner or partners (release forms signed, natch, because no one is this f*ck's partner, no matter the amount of the tax cuts bestowed as bribes, Fredo) bully into catching him just before he lands on his fat ass in front of the judges.

It's mulligans and Roy Cohn malign viciousness all the way down. Roy Cohn, who taught Trump how to skate, and moreover to slash the skate blades across the faces of those who attack them.

Others emulate him ... see the pathetic Michael Cohen (law and order conservatives sure hate them some law and order, the subhumans) who forgot to wear his mask dining out during his temporary release from jail .. about to placed back in Covid-19 prison heaven .. but they just don't have the chops Trump has.

Joe Biden seems a fundamentally decent man, with all the fuckuppedness of your normal American decent man who ponders foreign policy from our fool's gold mine of made-up, imaginary exceptionalism.

He will not unleash the savage fury that is needed to clean up Dodge.

Count your blessings, conservatives, and pay your taxes and shut the f*ck up.

It coulda shoulda been a lot worse.

The conservative movement maintains a deep bench of EVIL to inflict upon the country.

Trump was mere practice.

see the pathetic Michael Cohen (law and order conservatives sure hate them some law and order, the subhumans) who forgot to wear his mask dining out during his temporary release from jail .. about to placed back in Covid-19 prison heaven

I though Cohen's problem was that he's written a book. Trump's Board of Prisons demanded that he sign an agreement not to publish it, or talk to the media. When he declined, he got picked up.

I've got no brief for Cohen. But on this one it sure looks like he's on the receiving end of another Trump perversion of the justice system.

I'd say he'll skate as long as he needs to, which equals his natural lifespan.

Fine with me.

Get him out of the White House, I don't really care about him one way or the other.

He can crap in his golden toilet until the day he drops, and then Melania and the kids can get their knives out and fight over the spoils.

Just get him the hell out of the WH.

"I've got no brief for Cohen. But on this one it sure looks like he's on the receiving end of another Trump perversion of the justice system."

No doubt.

Schnooks and dupes abound.

We'll try to account for this, if the empathy gland is still secreting, in the firing squad lineup schedule.

I mean, if we execute Cohen first, Trump will crow, through his mouth gags and from shackles:
'See, it was him, not me, whoever he is, I've never met him."

If instead, we execute Trump first, his dupes, minions, sons and daughters, in laws, random voters who haven't suffocated first mid-sentence from Covid while extolling "Make America A Piece of Shit", the whole kit and kaboodle, will look at each other and say "Well, I guess we are well-fucked and next."

It's all a matter of theater.

In other news, I've heard, somewhere, that Russell is a drummer.

Just found this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwMY8ldLKv4

In the NYT today, in a piece headed An Unexpected Struggle for Trump: Defining an Elusive Biden, this jumped out at me about the extraordinary job the rightwing have done over the years to create the caricature of HRC, which we have often discussed here:

“Trump has much less time to pile up negatives on Biden,” said Nelson Warfield, a Republican consultant who served as press secretary for Bob Dole’s presidential campaign in 1996. “I made my first negative ad starring Hillary Clinton in 1992 and I kept doing ads criticizing her across the next 24 years. And I was by no means alone. Republicans have months to do to Biden what Republicans had over two decades to do to Hillary.”

It seems Trump has still got his weather map Sharpie
https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2020/07/10/trump-fay-new-hampshire/

The Party of Personal Responsibility and murderous pandemic genocidal bio-warfare:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/covid-and-flu-season-are-set-to-collide-and-experts-fear-disaster

I retract not one word I've written here over the past ten years regarding what is coming to them.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/roger-stone-donald-trump-commutation-sentence-cover-up

A twofer for America's death.

I retract not one word I've written here over the past ten years regarding what is coming to them.

Hmmm. It seems that we're the ones who are enduring that fate, not them. So good try!

The House should pass an impeachment resolution each and every day going forward and throw them in McConnell's lap to make these fascists vote repeatedly to demonstrate their fealty to the thug in chief.

The House should pass an impeachment resolution each and every day going forward and throw them in McConnell's lap to make these fascists vote repeatedly to demonstrate their fealty to the thug in chief.

Absolutely.

we either turn this sh*t around in November, or we are fncked.

not sure what else there is to say about it.

not sure what else there is to say about it.

Well, I agree with that totally, but the else there is to say about it is that after we prevail we have to keep our shit together moving forward for years to come. How that works, I do not know (although my suggestions here have been roundly rejected). I will march.

Hey, if the Moss Cow Midge can reapeal Obamacare once a week, why shouldn't the Dems impeach Jabbabonk at the same frequency?

Because if you want to actually accomplish something, you have to put your time and energy into that...? Just a thought. (There are less labor-intensive ways to keep Trump in freak out mode.)

Can he do that?

...he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

That's one of these context thingies. Whose impeachment? There are several interpretations (and the totally independent judiciary will use the most convenient one in each case).
it could mean for example (list incomplete):
1.an impeached president cannot pardon anymore (that would invalidate pardons issued by Bill Clinton before he left office.).
2.a president cannot pardon an impeached person (it's not just presidents that can be impeached), i.e. (s)he cannot reverse an impeachemnt or its consequences. (so e.g. the president could not reinstall an impeached judge).
3.a president cannot pardon anyone involved in the impeachemnt process of another person (e.g. as a bribe for obstructing it).

Impeach Barr this time.

Or at least bombard him with rotten peaches all the time. Should be a legitimate part of subpoenaed interviews in Congress (some strict constructionist will surely find that this was part of the original intent. He shall be put into the stocks and pelted with rotten fruit and vegetables, preferably peaches befitting his rank.)

Hartmut, technically Stone did not get Pardoned. He just got his sentence commuted to "time served." Which might reduce whatever legal merit your argument has (IANAL).

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/07/why-did-trump-commute-roger-stones-sentence-instead-of-pardoning-him/

https://heavy.com/news/2020/07/blake-neff/

The enlisted military is seething with Boogaloo.

QAnon is infiltrating Congress and controls the White House.

Fascist candidates are flashing gang signs.

This guy:

https://twitter.com/Jwheels_74/status/1281324870010376192

Hat tip to Hullabaloo on that last. There are 50 million of them or more. Adolfs and Karens.

All armed. Weapons in both hands, placed there by subhuman Republicans.

I'm going to make my mark for the ham sandwich on my ballot in November.

Win or lose, it won't be enough to exorcise what has crawled up America's fat, dumb, conservative ass.

wj, I was responding to Pro Bono.
I am aware that Jabbabonk avoided a pardon in this case.
Iirc a pardon is a double edged sword because it voids the recipient's right to remain silent in his case. In other words, a pardon would make them potential witnesses that could be charged anew, if they refused to answer.
Also a pardon at least imples guilt and Jabbabonk's 'defence strategy' is built on the claim that there was no crime in the first place (apart of course from the investigation itself).

Btw can a person get pardoned twice for the same act? Let's say Jabbabonk pardons one of his cronies condemned for obstruction of justice/perjury etc. Said person is then called up again as a witness in the same case against Jabbabonk but lies or refuses to answer again and is charged and condemned again. Could this be pardoned again, rinse and repeat ad infinitum?

The word of the day (or the week, or even the whole 4 years): brazen

https://twitter.com/gtconway3d/status/1281694566073217024

Money quote: "even Tony Soprano would have used only a pay phone or burner phone to say something like this." But Stone just tosees it out.

Could this be pardoned again, rinse and repeat ad infinitum?

Yes, so long as each is a pardonable offense (federal, criminal, not impeached). So long as those are satisfied, the President can pardon who he/she wants when they want. About the only thing that's up in the air is whether she/he can pardon themselves.

That whether a POTUS can pardon himself is "up in the air" shows that American law schools have produced many generations of moral morons.

BTW, the moral lepers who have argued for He, Trump in court that a POTUS cannot be indicted, let alone convicted, of any crime including murder on 5th Avenue, would probably say that the reason a POTUS cannot pardon himself is obvious.

--TP

Tony, IANAL, but am a former state legislature staffer, and the first rule is that no one knows what the law actually means until a court rules on it. No President has tried to pardon themselves. So while the notion that they can do so seems silly, we won't know until the SCOTUS says it's silly. From my perspective, most of the interesting parts of the law are cases where some lawyer suggested there was a different way to interpret the words.

Given how absolute and unquestionable/unreverseable the Pardon power is, is there even a mechanism to get the question of whether or not a President can pardon himself in front of a court? And who would have standing to raise the issue?

can anyone with pardon authority pardon themselves?

like, is it even part of the concept of "pardon" ?

Forgive me, Michael, but I think you merely reinforce my point: what's silly is that American jurisprudence even allows the possibility that a POTUS can pardon himself.

Also, I repeat: how could a POTUS even find himself simultaneously convicted of a federal crime AND still holding the pardon power?

I do of course remember that when "the sonofabitch pardoned the sonofabitch", it was for "any crimes he may have committed or participated in while in office". If President Biden did that for He, Trump -- with the same scope; not for tax fraud before 2016 for instance -- I'd be pissed off. But He, Trump pardoning himself on His way out the door would be a very different kettle of fish.

--TP

Also, I repeat: how could a POTUS even find himself simultaneously convicted of a federal crime AND still holding the pardon power?

Because conviction of a crime doesn't remove someone (including POTUS) from Federal office. That takes impeachment and action by the Senate. When you have a Senate populated by those who put party above either country or oath of office, as we manifestly do now, well....

wj,

I do know that criminal conviction does not remove the convict from office. So, we must postulate a POTUS, specifically, who is indicted for a crime, tried for it, and convicted of it -- without having been impeached and removed first. The Framers may, possibly, have considered such a scenario (not having the benefit of the OLC opinion about indicting presidents) and figured that their posterity (us) would never be nuts enough to even entertain the silly, silly notion that a POTUS can pardon himself and get away with it.

--TP

Nowhere in the Constitution does it foretell America's last words: "I thought it was a hoax."

https://digbysblog.net/2020/07/learning-the-hard-way/

We was Framed.

And we are reminded once again that there's really no cure for stupid.

The Covid-19 virus will be wiped out by a fully nuclear World War III started by America's conservative movement in the person of Donald Trump.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/08/asia/china-us-nuclear-treaty-intl-hnk/index.html

You'll be able to shelter at home and watch yourself be incinerated on ZOOM.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say taxes may be levied to finance the incineration of the human race, so we got off easy.

I thought it was a hoax.

No doubt somebody they trusted told them it was a hoax.

So, maybe stupid, but also misled.

Having responsible people in positions of leadership actually matters. The lack of it actually does harm people, up to and including the loss of their lives.

Strictly speaking the Constitution does not require pardons to be post factum just that they be for 'Offences against the United States'.
Depending on how one defines the latter, a lot of pardons could be illegitimate. Is the breaking of any law of the US an offence against the US?

And it seems that there have been pardons for people not yet convicted (although at least the crimes had already happened).

So, preemptive pardons are not, from a purely literalist POV, automatically excluded.

Is the breaking of any law of the US [i.e. a Federal law, not a state law] an offence against the US?

In a word, yes.

And it seems that there have been pardons for people not yet convicted.

Nixon being the most prominent example.

An interesting point about pardons is what happened with Chile(or Argentina?) and the "amnesty" for crimes committed during the time when a RW junta was in power.

You'd think that "murdering someone" would be covered, but since the murderer never owned up to murdering the victim, it could be prosecuted as a "kidnapping" which was still ongoing. Yet somehow they didn't want to own up to killing thousands of innocents...or maybe they lost track.

Perjury should be treated the same way, up until the point when they tell the truth. AND there's civil liability (False Claims Act) that (AFAIK) pardons don't affect.

Perjury should be treated the same way, up until the point when they tell the truth.

I would think, however, that you'd have to ask the question again. So that the purjury was committed (not just admitted to) subsequent to the pardon.

Good thing you can't pardon someone for crimes not yet committed. Or Trump would be all over that in a heartbeat. Especially for himself.

Is there actually any definitive (i.e. SCOTUS) decision excluding preemptive pardons?
The question of self-pardons at least has not yet been put to the judicial test (Nixon thought about but did not act on it).
I believe there have been claims of pre-signed pardons existing in the past (and in other countries, namely France, this was even formalized, although the practice has long been abandoned because it amounted to a get-out-of-jail-free card)

Florida is reporting 15K new cases today. Jesus...

all that gasping is the sound of Freedom™

The Governor of Florida may have succeeded, not really single-handedly but it may get seen that way, in turning Florida blue. Simply by recklessly opening up and subjecting the huge retirement population to the pandemic. It's one thing to put "those people" at risk. But put them at risk and they are going to take major exception.

The Governor of Florida may have succeeded, not really single-handedly but it may get seen that way, in turning Florida blue

in more than one way

This may be the biggest fiasco of an interview I have seen. DeVos is a DeSgrace:

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/07/12/betsy-devos-schools-reopening-plan-sot-sotu-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/

An interesting read on “cancel culture.”

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/cancel-culture-harpers-jk-rowling-scam_n_5f0887b4c5b67a80bc06c95e

nous, is there anyone who actually cares about children and their education (as opposed to ideology) who has anything but contempt for DeVos? If the woman has any redeeming features, she has been a massive success at concealing them.

American will not survive the family DeVos, who are homicidal psychopaths employed by unalloyed EVIL.

This method of Death is too slow to kill off the entire crypto-Christian conservative movement in time to save America:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2020/07/12/floriduh-continued/

Homeschoolers and people who put their children into private religious schools are strong supporters of DeVos. Many of them do care about their own*( children and about education and spend a great deal of their time and resources in pursuit of that goal. And they may be socially isolated enough to dodge this bullet.

And it is a bullet they desperately need to dodge, because the anti-vaxx and anti-science Prager U crap runs deep in their worldview.

*They care about other people's children, too, but only in the abstract way that insists that what other children really need is a perfect nuclear family with strong religious values and that anything less than this is godless folly.

Tucker Carlson said he has never met a white supremacist .... stage cough, cough, ahem while unmasked ... he didn't like.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/07/11/tucker-carlson-writer-blake-neff-resigns-amid-allegations-racism/5419820002/

Remember, this is the head racist, sewage-mouthed writer on the highest rated political TV talk show in something that was once called America, and our country is now under threat of savage violence by the racist, malign, pandemic-spreading, infected conservative movement.

That says it better than Black Lives Matter can.

Statues stand mute and are merely representational. Not harmless by any means, but they don't stride down off their granite and marble bases and host a f*cking television show every evening and spew hate against many billions of people the world over, including our neighbors.

Why not go after the rancid living tens of millions of rank racist filth in this country the statues were erected to represent? And this time, before the next epoch of monument-building Jim Crow conservative haters build yet another series of statues, probably in the likenesses of the Devos' family, to peer down their noses at us and insinuate that we are not true Americans.

Tear THEM down while they are living.

What, in Tucker Carlson's case, is someone going to whine about the rights of those whose TV shows are canceled?

Were Jerry Van Dyke's constitutional rights violated because "My Mother The Car" was a victim of cancel culture?

Covid-19 must work faster and become much more deadly among the unmasked conservative republican filth in this country if America expects to be ready for the thermonuclear world war their God Trump has in the works for us.

These ilk love nuclear holocaust more than our nuclear families.

Their God is pure destructive murderous EVIL.

Why aren't decent Christians in this country, of all denominations, rising up against this anti-American Satanic and murderous rot in their conservative midst?

We get bupkus, we get crickets from them.

I suspect, when things finally shake out, there will be a jump in the number of homeschoolers. The longer schools are closed, the bigger it will likely be.

Currently, homeschoolers are about 59% white. About 51% homeschool because religious instruction is important to them. About 67% because moral instruction is important. And about 34% due to concerns about school environments.

Currently, homeschoolers are about 59% white. About 51% homeschool because religious instruction is important to them. About 67% because moral instruction is important. And about 34% due to concerns about school environments.

"Religious instruction" often meaning that they don't want their children taught evolution or sex ed in school.

"Moral instruction" often meaning that they don't want their children to be given any positive information about LGBTQ issues.

"Concerns about school environment" often meaning that they don't want their kids sharing a school with whatever group fills their personal prejudice bingo card.

I've got friends that have homeschooled for good reasons and done a good job of it. I've had students who were homeschooled who were good students whose parents had done right by them. They are, though, in my experience, a minority.

"Concerns about school environment" often meaning that they don't want their kids sharing a school with whatever group fills their personal prejudice bingo card.

And more than a few of them object to their kids being bullied, physically, and sexually assaulted.

It would be interesting, I think, to look at the number of kids homeschooled to avoid abuse that was occurring at school and compare it to the number of kids that were being homeschooled and abused at home.

Not that we could ever get reliable numbers.

It would be interesting, I think, to look at the number of kids homeschooled to avoid abuse that was occurring at school and compare it to the number of kids that were being homeschooled and abused at home.

This is a site that is supportive of homeschooling.

I know from friends and extended family that some people do incredibly well having been homeschooled (although the success stories are more about people having been homeschooled at certain times, not the whole way through K-12).

But, I've seen court cases of the saddest abuse possible with homeschooling having been the cover.

My own philosophy is that, in general, kids need a far wider group of adults than their parents to thrive, and they certainly need some peer interaction. Traditional school situations provide this for most children. I certainly wouldn't quibble with a parent whose child was not doing well in a school environment.

That said, most of the homeschooled adults I know (and surprisingly, I know several) don't have great relationships with their parents.

I suspect that homeschooling that is characterized by students isolated at home with their parents is unrepresentative of most homeschooling today. Homeschoolers can be members of homeschool co-ops where students can interact not only with their parents but with other adults and other kids of various ages. In some states, students can take classes at pubic schools without enrolling in the school. And they can also take community college courses. There's a growing number of choices for students and their parents to craft the kind of education they want.

sapient - I've spent some time on that site in the past and it's a good site.

I think we agree, for the most part, about homeschooling.

My friends who have done well with it were both atheist families who did it either because they were part of the deschooling movement and wanted to give their children a more personalized education, or did it because their children were not fitting in well and were academically adrift as a result.

My brother's family, all homeschooled, seem to get along just fine, but I would not be at all surprised to find that one of the other families in their little homeschool community in town had a secret history of abuse and trauma. There's far too much of that in the evangelical community that has been swept under the rug. I remember seeing the Bill Gothard material floating around. It's not a healthy worldview.

And this stuff happens at missionary schools as well. I'm still sick about that.

In some states, students can take classes at pubic schools without enrolling in the school. And they can also take community college courses.

That's great (maybe, depending on how it affects funding of public schools), but it's not homeschooling.

I suspect that homeschooling that is characterized by students isolated at home with their parents is unrepresentative of most homeschooling today.

Who knows? But maybe. I have known parents who demanded that their kids participate in a menu of public programs that they didn't want to provide themselves (and yet they called themselves homeschoolers). That's cafeteria public schooling, not home schooling. And it's all fine, perhaps, if people recognize that it costs money, and they pay for it.

I think we agree, for the most part, about homeschooling.

Yes.

Actually, I'll crack open a post about homeschooling and if I have a chance, write about the situation in Japan in the comments.

John McWhorter, Atlantic contributor and linquist, responds with some salient points to DiAngelo's thesis:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/dehumanizing-condescension-white-fragility/614146/

Petards abound, he finds, for the hoisting.

McWhorter writes
"The sad truth is that anyone falling under the sway of this blinkered, self-satisfied, punitive stunt of a primer has been taught, by a well-intentioned but tragically misguided pastor, how to be racist in a whole new way."

Which, unfortunately, is characteristic of a significant segment of the far left. NOT, I hasten to add, of all or even most liberals. But those who are the loudest about racism often seem to start and end with discussing guilt, and how to accept it. Actual specifics about correcting the problems the result from racism just don't seem to be of interest.

Again, most liberals, including everyone here, isn't in that category. But they are numerous enough and loud enough that they skew the conversation in unhelpful directions. While alienating those who otherwise could be helping improve things.

Voter fraud! Definitely a thing:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/kansas-republican-charged-with-three-felonies-in-voter-fraud-investigation/2020/07/14/7d0fe8c2-c629-11ea-b037-f9711f89ee46_story.html

Naturally the perp claims the charges are "political." Against a Republican in Kansas. Yeah, sure.

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