Monday, October 23, 2017

How ‘Unraveled’ Does Trump Have to Be? Presidential Disability and the 25th Amendment. - Lawfare


There's a lot of loose talk about the 25th Amendment as a mechanism for removing Trump from office.  Not so fast...

Amendment XXV - Constitution of he United States of America
SEC. 2. If the President shall declare in writing that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
SEC. 3. If the President does not so declare, the Vice President, if satisfied of the President’s inability, and upon approval in writing of a majority of the heads of executive departments who are members of the President’s Cabinet, shall discharge the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
SEC. 4. Whenever the president declares in writing that his inability is terminated, the President shall forthwith discharge the powers and duties of his office.
How ‘Unraveled’ Does Trump Have to Be? Presidential Disability and the 25th Amendment. - Lawfare
by Matthew Kahn//Brookings Institution
Vanity Fair recently reported that White House sources believe the president is “unraveling.” As politicos across a widening swath of the ideological spectrum grow concerned with the president’s conduct, temperament and basic competence, references to the 25th Amendment have proliferated. It even showed up in the Vanity Fair piece: Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon told Trump that the biggest threat to his presidency wasn’t impeachment but the 25th Amendment. Trump reportedly replied, “What’s that?”
It’s a good question.
***
In September, Jane Chong observed two myths about impeachment: that the process is purely political, and that the House cannot begin considering it without clear evidence of criminality. One can say something similar about the 25th Amendment. The process is not purely political, though the final mechanism is a political process. And there’s no particular threshold that needs to be reached before the relevant body—in this case the Cabinet—starts thinking about it. That said, objective criteria like medical considerations should be at the fore. (A 1983 Miller Center commission co-chaired by Sen. Birch Bayh and Attorney General Brownell endorses the view that science should be central to the judgment.) And a Cabinet should always be vigilant about signs of presidential disability; it is the constitutional duty of Cabinet officers.
Each citizen should draw his or her own conclusion about presidential disability. But make no mistake: Invoking Section 4 would have a dramatic and potentially dangerous effect on our politics. Even if meticulously executed, the process is fraught with political pitfalls that could further undermine divisions among the public and legitimacy in U.S. institutions.
So although Bannon might have been right that the 25th Amendment could pose a real threat to the Trump presidency, it should give the president's political opponents little, if any, solace.

Timeline~ Trump's obstruction of justice

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/10/a_complete_timeline_of_the_obstruction_of_justice_case_against_donald_trump.html

Friday, October 20, 2017

Lawrence O'Donnell on John Kellly's dreadful attack on M.C. Wilson about Trump Call to widow of St.

John Kelly, the White House Chief of Staff, insulted in racist fashion a female Black Member of Congress.  And he got his facts wrong.  Then went into self-righteous rant about how the country has gone to hell.  "Women used to be sacred, life used to be sacred...not know", he said with disgust.
Well I'm disgusted - and Lawrence O'Donnell shows why.  Kelly's racism is no accident - it is a self-indulgent relapse into the spiteful racism of the Boston Irish Catholic neighborhoods where he and O'Donnell grew up.  Remember the crowds in south Boston who threw stones at school buses crying Black children.

We like to forget the racism of our youths.  We grew up in Levittown, NY  - a 100% white town financed with FHA and VA backing.  We were not virulent - because we had no encounters with Black people.  When we did talk about them as kids (including in high school in Brooklyn) we casually used terms like spear-chuckers and jungle bunnies.  John Kelly knows what he is doing when he calls a Black woman an "empty barrel". among other offenses. - gwc

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Bevin Boys - WW2 conscription down the coal mines


In England 48,000 men from 18-25 were conscripted for National Employment Service to mine coal during WWII.
ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly: Bevin Boys - WW2 conscription down the coal mines

Coal was essential for military production during WW2; somehow Britain had to match the quotas needed to keep fact­ories churn­ing out the munitions required at the front. And as Britain was unable to import coal in wartime, the production of coal from local mines had to be increased. But how? 36,000 miners were already cons­crip­t­ed for army duty and had left their collieries.

Ernest Bevin, wartime Minister of Labour and National Service and a former Trade Unionist, believed the short­age could be remedied by using conscripted men to fill the vacancies in the mines, keeping production at the rates requir­ed. In Dec 1943 he announced a scheme in Parliament.

A ballot would take place to put a fixed perc­ent­age of cons­cript­ed men into the underground collieries rather than into the armed services. “We need 720,000 men continuously employed in this industry. This is where you boys come in. Our fighting men will not be able to achieve their purpose unless we get an adequate supply of coal.” Any refusal to comply with the Direction Order would result in a heavy fine and/or imprisonment under the Emergency Powers Act in force back then.

Democracy Can Plant the Seeds of Its Own Destruction - Thoms Edsall - The New York Times

In case you thought that Orwell was wrong when he talked about The Big Lie in his dystopian classic 1984....think again.
Democracy Can Plant the Seeds of Its Own Destruction - The New York Times
by Thomas Edsall

Will President Trump’s assault on the norms underpinning constitutional democracy permanently alter American political life?
On a daily basis, Trump tests the willingness of the public to accept a president who lies as a matter of routine. So far, Trump has persuaded a large swath of America to swallow what he feeds them.
Asked whether the media makes up stories about Trump, nearly half the population of the United States, 46 percent, now says yes, according to a Politico/Morning Consult pollconducted Oct. 12-16. This compares to 37 percent who say that the media does not fabricate material about the president. While Republicans and Democrats diverge in the directions you would expect, a plurality of independents, 44 percent, says that the media produces false stories; 31 percent say the media is accurate.
Trump has flourished at a time when trust in basic institutions — organized religion, banks, medical services, Congress, the media, government, you name it — has eroded. His presidency is a product of this erosion, but it is also proving to be an accelerant of the process.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Abraham Lincoln ~ letter of condolence

Check out @YAppelbaum’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/YAppelbaum/status/920468791276032001?s=09

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Half-baked, spurious nationalism is unpatriotic | John McCain | Opinion | The Guardian

This speech has been reported for John McCain's denunciation of the "half-baked spurious  nationalism of blood and soil." VIDEO
But read the whole thing.  It is a kind of farewell as he confronts an aggressive brain cancer. - GWC
Half-baked, spurious nationalism is unpatriotic | John McCain | Opinion | The Guardian
by John McCain
hank you, Joe, my old, dear friend, for those mostly undeserved kind words. Vice-President Biden and I have known each other for a lot of years now, more than 40, if you’re counting. We knew each other back when we were young and handsome and smarter than everyone else but were too modest to say so.
Joe was already a senator, and I was the navy’s liaison to the Senate. My duties included escorting Senate delegations on overseas trips, and in that capacity, I supervised the disposition of the delegation’s luggage, which could require – now and again – when no one of lower rank was available for the job – that I carry someone worthy’s bag. Once or twice that worthy turned out to be the young senator from Delaware. I’ve resented it ever since.
Joe has heard me joke about that before. I hope he has heard, too, my profession of gratitude for his friendship these many years. It has meant a lot to me. We served in the Senate together for over 20 years, during some eventful times, as we passed from young men to the fossils who appear before you this evening.
We didn’t always agree on the issues. We often argued – sometimes passionately. But we believed in each other’s patriotism and the sincerity of each other’s convictions. We believed in the institution we were privileged to serve in. We believed in our mutual responsibility to help make the place work and to cooperate in finding solutions to our country’s problems. We believed in our country and in our country’s indispensability to international peace and stability and to the progress of humanity. And through it all, whether we argued or agreed, Joe was good company. Thank you, old friend, for your company and your service to America.
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Timeline of Trump and Obstruction of Justice: Key Dates and Events

Timeline of Trump and Obstruction of Justice: Key Dates and Events: A timeline of key dates and events related to whether President Donald Trump or other U.S. officials engaged in an obstruction of justice with respect to the Russia investigation.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

President Clinton Looks Back at President Grant - The New York Times

OTHERWISE: President Clinton Looks Back at President Grant - The New York Times

Bill Clinton's reputation has taken a lot of hits lately.  The foundation he started - though a brilliant success - was vilified because it accepted donations from foreign state while his wife Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.  Compromises were made as President - such as on criminal justice - that look worse in hindsight than they did at the time.  And of course there is his sexual dalliance with a young intern.

But his thoughtful review of Ron Chernow's new biography of Ulysses S. Grant reminds us of how thoughtful and reflective he is at his best - which is often.

Chernow's book is the most recent to rehabilitate rant's reputation.  Long slandered as a drunk and corrupt, the truth is the opposite.  He was a masterful commander, generous in victory, an advocate of the 15th Amendment and a firm supporter of post-civil war Reconstruction.
President Clinton Looks Back at President Grant - The New York Times
by Bill Clinton

President Clinton Looks Back at President Grant - The New York Times


Bill Clinton's reputation has taken a lot of hits lately.  The foundation he started - though a brilliant success - was vilified because it accepted donations from foreign state while his wife Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.  Compromises were made as President - such as on criminal justice - that look worse in hindsight than they did at the time.  And of course there is his sexual dalliance with a young intern.

But his thoughtful review of Ron Chernow's new biography of Ulysses S. Grant reminds us of how thoughtful and reflective he is at his best - which is often.

Chernow's book is the most recent to rehabilitate rant's reputation.  Long slandered as a drunk and corrupt, the truth is the opposite.  He was a masterful commander, generous in victory, an advocate of the 15th Amendment and a firm supporter of post-civil war Reconstruction.
President Clinton Looks Back at President Grant - The New York Times
by Bill Clinton

Why schools still can’t put segregation behind them

Why schools still can’t put segregation behind them: Segregation is supposed to be forbidden, but it still thrives. And it's coming back

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

Trump’s Speech on Iran: Warmed-Over Rejectionism « LobeLog

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Trump’s Speech on Iran: Warmed-Over Rejectionism « LobeLog>>
by Paul Pillar (Senior Fellow, Georgetown University Center for Security Studies...His senior positions included National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, Deputy Chief of the DCI Counterterrorist Center, and Executive Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence. He is a Vietnam War veteran and a retired officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.)   October 13, 2017

"...Trump referred repeatedly in his speech to the “Iranian dictatorship.” There was no hint of recognition that the Iranian regime is currently one of the more democratic ones in the Middle East (and much more so than some other regimes in the region that Trump prefers to associate with). There was no acknowledgement that the JCPOA was negotiated with the government of a popularly elected Iranian president who won re-election over hardline opposition partly because of the promise of better relations, including economic relations, with the West under the JCPOA.
The misrepresentations in the speech were too numerous to catalog entirely, but one of the biggest was Trump’s assertion that “the previous administration lifted sanctions just before what would have been the complete collapse of the regime.” There is no evidence whatsoever that the Iranian regime was on the brink of any such collapse. Piling on more and more sanctions in the absence of engagement and diplomacy had merely seen the spinning of more and more centrifuges enriching uranium. This line in the speech points to the vacuity of what Trump is offering for a policy toward Iran: endless hostility and confrontation, and with it the risk of war, sustained by a baseless hope of regime change—a hope that has brought costs and chaos that the United States knows all too well."

Tired of winning, Joe Scarborough Quits GOP

The four term GP Congressman has had enough.


Torts Today: Roy Moore Led Charge Against Removing Segregation From Alabama Constitution – Talking Points Memo

Torts Today: Roy Moore Led Charge Against Removing Segregation From Alabama Constitution – Talking Points Memo Alabama’s state constitution still contains the following language: “Separate schools shall be provided for white and colored children, and no child of either race shall be permitted to attend a school of the other race.”

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Why don't tenured professors support adjunct faculty?

There are, of course, many reasons. Full-time professors are fighting for their share of the same pot of money.   But there's more.
The Plight of Adjuncts https://nyti.ms/2yXoRKX

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

An impeachable offense

 

Constitution of United States of America 1789 (rev. 1992)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fallows: Pence's Anthem Stunt

Check out @JamesFallows’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/JamesFallows/status/917120642725613568?s=09

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Jesuits appeal for Puerto Rico

http://jesuits.org/news-detail?TN=NEWS-20171003045700

Brit spy's Trump dossier groes in importance

The Trump-Russia dossier: why its findings grow more significant by the day https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/07/trump-russia-steele-dossier-moscow?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Mark Mooney ~ his last byline

https://medium.com/@markmooney/my-last-byline-869a64f591d6

Friday, October 6, 2017

Iran deal a model for North Korea

http://lobelog.com/trumps-choice-iran-deal-model-or-north-korean-bomb/?utm_content=buffer68456&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#

Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian is a Middle East security and nuclear policy specialist at Princeton University and a former chief of Iran’s National Security Council’s Foreign Relations Committee.