How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

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thoreau
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by thoreau » 30 Dec 2018, 22:27

On emoluments, no, I don't need anything from Mueller. His violations have been on the front page.

And some of us knew this from day one.

On Russia, he has admitted on TV to obstructing the investigation. We don't need anything from Mueller there either.

If you want to see coordinated activity with Russia, well, there are degrees, and it depends on where you set your threshold. Do you want proof that he knew of the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya and what she was offering and kept quiet rather than calling the FBI? Do you want proof that he agreed to not enforce sanctions on Russia in exchange for campaign help? It is plausible that evidence for the first one will emerge. The second one is less likely to be provable, being negotiated with winks and nudges rather than explicit promises.

But the other stuff is enough.

And if we don't punish him for it, within a decade a Blue candidate will accept business and/or campaign favors from a foreign country in exchange for policy concessions.

The Republic may be in the endgame now.
"They were basically like D&D min maxers, but instead of pissing off their DM, they destroyed the global economy. Also, instead of their DM making a level 7 paladin fight a beholder as punishment, he got a +3 sword of turning."
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by thoreau » 30 Dec 2018, 22:32

Let's turn it around: What would it take to justify impeachment and removal? Of anyone, not just this guy.

Frankly, I think that if Trump had fewer scandals it would be easier to focus attention and get people to see and understand the full case surrounding one of them. But by the time people start paying attention to the latest emoluments issue he's out there tweeting about how he had the right to burn an intelligence source while talking to Sergei Lavrov, and just as you start to wrap your mind around that one of his cabinet Secretaries is resigning, then one of his lawyers pleads guilty, then the emoluments case gets another airing on page 4, but then another Russian mobster is tied to one of his business deals...
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by thoreau » 30 Dec 2018, 22:48

Oh, and his refusal to enforce sanctions that Congress explicitly imposed on Russia. That is impeachable, and on the front page.

And before you roll your eyes at my yammering about Russia here, I thought that Congress should have impeached and convicted Obama for continuing his "kinetic military action" in Libya without congressional approval after the deadline in the War Powers Resolution.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by JasonL » 30 Dec 2018, 22:52

I think that's a foolishly low bar.

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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by JasonL » 30 Dec 2018, 22:54

The fundamental process for removing an undesirable POTUS is an election. It should be truly remarkable to even attempt any other process. The bar should be quite high.

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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by thoreau » 30 Dec 2018, 22:54

Separation of powers, yo.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by thoreau » 30 Dec 2018, 22:58

JasonL wrote:The fundamental process for removing an undesirable POTUS is an election. It should be truly remarkable to even attempt any other process. The bar should be quite high.
I thought that you were the guy who doesn't trust democracy and populism and is ok with what the Berners would call the neoliberal status quo. Trump is a threat to your values as much as mine, democracy is not a reliable cure, and Congress asserting power would help to reinvigorate checks and balances against what is dangerously close to being an elected four year monarchy.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by thoreau » 30 Dec 2018, 23:14

Also, over our years of sparring I think I have moved closer to what I thought your position was, on the primacy of systems and processes and incentives over specific personalities and circumstances. That is indeed a better way to run a country, and that means separating the man from the office. Trump is a man who sees no such distinctions. His emoluments clause violations are part of that. And that is why the emoluments clause was written, and why the use of a wholly constitutional process is appropriate here.

His allergy to taking advice and preference for negotiating from the gut is another part. Foreign leaders aren't negotiating with the head of a team, a man who is exercising judgment after considering the views of many advisors, many expert voices both in his executive agencies and Congress. In other words, they aren't negotiating with the head of a government as an institution. They are negotiating with a TV star who likes drama and hopes that his family business can get favorable terms on future deals.

Some of the stuff in the previous paragraph goes to impeachment-worthy emoluments clause violations. Some goes to why it would be healthy for the country if Congress chooses to exercise its constitutional powers here. There is zero chance of Mike Pence violating the emoluments clause.
"They were basically like D&D min maxers, but instead of pissing off their DM, they destroyed the global economy. Also, instead of their DM making a level 7 paladin fight a beholder as punishment, he got a +3 sword of turning."
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by Eric the .5b » 31 Dec 2018, 00:19

Jadagul wrote:
30 Dec 2018, 17:51
though, to be fair, Iraq hadn't started yet in this point in Bush's term, and there's still time
An under-appreciated point. That, and there's been nothing like 9/11 greasing the machinery for Trump. Without 9/11, another Iraq invasion would have been a damn hard sell.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by JasonL » 31 Dec 2018, 00:39

Thoreau I think we disagree mostly on the degree to which impeachment is supportive rather than destructive to institutions and incentives if invoked at a lowish threshold. I think you see it as holding the line and I see it as raising the stakes.

More than almost any other US governmental institution almost I’m concerned with the person who won an election taking office until unseated or defanged through elections. That’s how you want our system to work. If the first thought with each subsequent POTUS is “ok how can we get this person invalidated” rather than “ we lost an election to that guy wtf did we do wrong”, we are in a worse not better institutional spot. I worry that will be the lasting legacy of the trump years. Fuck it total war whatever it takes to get him out I hate him.

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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by Shem » 31 Dec 2018, 02:20

JasonL wrote:
30 Dec 2018, 22:54
The fundamental process for removing an undesirable POTUS is an election. It should be truly remarkable to even attempt any other process. The bar should be quite high.
If a flagrant and public violation of one of the few specific rules set out in the Constitution governing the behavior of a president is too high a bar for you to even countenance a trial, what you're really saying is that short of being caught red-handed committing treason, there is no crime for which a president should be able to face impeachment.

Also, I'm at a loss as to how you can see a process that requires 67 senators to agree that both that a President is guilty and that their guilt warrants removal as anything other than an extremely high bar. If we wind up removing presidents from office on a whim because it happened once with Donald Trump, we have bigger problems than the legitimacy of our presidential elections.
Fuck it total war whatever it takes to get him out I hate him.
What exactly did you think birtherism was about, then? Or carrying through the Starr investigation past the original land deals to the Lewinsky affair? Or the spate of sore loser laws passed when Republicans lost control of governorships around the country. If that's your worry, you're about 20 years late.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by Eric the .5b » 31 Dec 2018, 02:21

JasonL wrote:
31 Dec 2018, 00:39
More than almost any other US governmental institution almost I’m concerned with the person who won an election taking office until unseated or defanged through elections. That’s how you want our system to work. If the first thought with each subsequent POTUS is “ok how can we get this person invalidated” rather than “ we lost an election to that guy wtf did we do wrong”, we are in a worse not better institutional spot.
Image
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by thoreau » 31 Dec 2018, 03:18

Shem wrote:
31 Dec 2018, 02:20
Or the spate of sore loser laws passed when Republicans lost control of governorships around the country.
Yeah, this one especially worries me. But it does toss some cold water on me, reminding me that as much as I might get all DOOOOM about what Americans might do via democracy, some of the people most determined to erode norms want less democracy, not more.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 31 Dec 2018, 03:45

Aresen wrote:
28 Dec 2018, 13:59
I think the worst-case scenario is if the economy has a major recession, especially one brought on by a currency crisis. That could strongly radicalize both sides. We'd get 'Hang the Rich' vs 'Hang the Immigrants'. The US would muddle through, but it would be a long time before we'd see anything like 'normal' politics.
I say we hang the rich immigrants and call it a draw.

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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by JasonL » 31 Dec 2018, 07:47

You guys are a lot more certain than most legal commenters I’ve seen about how clear the violation on emoluments is. You would be expanding the case law to get a) the president at all; b) arguing that having a hotel or resort or other business transaction is basically the same as taking a salary from a foreign power. That is not an obvious thing beyond the offices of Nancy Pelosi and apparently Grylliade.

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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by thoreau » 31 Dec 2018, 13:21

I forgot to respond to these:
Shem wrote:
31 Dec 2018, 02:20
Fuck it total war whatever it takes to get him out I hate him.
What exactly did you think birtherism was about, then?
To be fair, I think that a great many Birthers knew, on some level, that it was bullshit. It was less about "We just need to prove that his documents are fake and we can totally remove him!" and more about "That black guy ain't one of us."
Or carrying through the Starr investigation past the original land deals to the Lewinsky affair?
To be honest, if I could build my time machine to the 1990's I would vote GOP in 1998. In a strange way, that would be the woke course of action, and on this matter I have become more woke. I regret standing by the powerful man who slept with an intern. It's true that she said "yes" rather than "no", and that "yes" does mean something, but the power differential means far more.
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How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by Mo » 31 Dec 2018, 14:06

JasonL wrote:You guys are a lot more certain than most legal commenters I’ve seen about how clear the violation on emoluments is. You would be expanding the case law to get a) the president at all; b) arguing that having a hotel or resort or other business transaction is basically the same as taking a salary from a foreign power. That is not an obvious thing beyond the offices of Nancy Pelosi and apparently Grylliade.

What case law? Jimmy Carter put his fucking peanut farm in a blind trust. Also, the black letter law of the constitution applies to the president. The Saudis booking 500 rooms to get on the president’s good side is exactly what the clause was intended to cover. The OLC has previously said the president receiving money from a foreign state to a business partnership or similar entity where he has a stake counts.

From Article I, which governs the executive branch, “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
Last edited by Mo on 31 Dec 2018, 14:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by Shem » 31 Dec 2018, 14:07

To be honest, if I could build my time machine to the 1990's I would vote GOP in 1998. In a strange way, that would be the woke course of action, and on this matter I have become more woke. I regret standing by the powerful man who slept with an intern. It's true that she said "yes" rather than "no", and that "yes" does mean something, but the power differential means far more.
And I think removal from office for coercing a subordinate into sex was warranted, and am still irritated that Bill gets a pass for it. But the fact of the Starr investigation means you can't really credibly say that "get him use the courts he ain't our guy" is some looming threat rather than a decades-old status quo.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by thoreau » 31 Dec 2018, 14:13

Shem wrote:
31 Dec 2018, 14:07
To be honest, if I could build my time machine to the 1990's I would vote GOP in 1998. In a strange way, that would be the woke course of action, and on this matter I have become more woke. I regret standing by the powerful man who slept with an intern. It's true that she said "yes" rather than "no", and that "yes" does mean something, but the power differential means far more.
And I think removal from office for coercing a subordinate into sex was warranted, and am still irritated that Bill gets a pass for it. But the fact of the Starr investigation means you can't really credibly say that "get him use the courts he ain't our guy" is some looming threat rather than a decades-old status quo.
Fair enough. There's no doubt that they simply wanted to get him no matter what.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by JasonL » 31 Dec 2018, 15:30

Mo wrote:
31 Dec 2018, 14:06
JasonL wrote:You guys are a lot more certain than most legal commenters I’ve seen about how clear the violation on emoluments is. You would be expanding the case law to get a) the president at all; b) arguing that having a hotel or resort or other business transaction is basically the same as taking a salary from a foreign power. That is not an obvious thing beyond the offices of Nancy Pelosi and apparently Grylliade.

What case law? Jimmy Carter put his fucking peanut farm in a blind trust. Also, the black letter law of the constitution applies to the president. The Saudis booking 500 rooms to get on the president’s good side is exactly what the clause was intended to cover. The OLC has previously said the president receiving money from a foreign state to a business partnership or similar entity where he has a stake counts.

From Article I, which governs the executive branch, “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
It is super not clear market transactions are emoluments and I'm not questioning that others have been very much interested in avoiding any perception in this regard, nor that the current guy is very much not that way, but I am questioning that nobody has ever tried to apply this to a sitting president and further nobody has ever established that an emolument includes market transactions rather than payments for services rendered or a salary or such.

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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by JasonL » 31 Dec 2018, 15:37

But overall yes - I believe the pursuit of Clinton was a mistake. I think birtherism is a minor league fringey red herring to more serious attempts. I think the treatment of trump is fine but you better get him on something that a lot of people think is a serious violation. If you get him on something that feels to a lot of people like a technical violation - you are invalidating an election on flimsy grounds and harming not helping legitimacy of the relevant institutions.

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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 31 Dec 2018, 15:44

Shem wrote:
31 Dec 2018, 14:07
To be honest, if I could build my time machine to the 1990's I would vote GOP in 1998. In a strange way, that would be the woke course of action, and on this matter I have become more woke. I regret standing by the powerful man who slept with an intern. It's true that she said "yes" rather than "no", and that "yes" does mean something, but the power differential means far more.
And I think removal from office for coercing a subordinate into sex was warranted, and am still irritated that Bill gets a pass for it. But the fact of the Starr investigation means you can't really credibly say that "get him use the courts he ain't our guy" is some looming threat rather than a decades-old status quo.
Is there any evidence of coercion or are you thinking of someone other than Lewinsky?

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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by Mo » 31 Dec 2018, 15:45

JasonL wrote:
Mo wrote:
31 Dec 2018, 14:06
JasonL wrote:You guys are a lot more certain than most legal commenters I’ve seen about how clear the violation on emoluments is. You would be expanding the case law to get a) the president at all; b) arguing that having a hotel or resort or other business transaction is basically the same as taking a salary from a foreign power. That is not an obvious thing beyond the offices of Nancy Pelosi and apparently Grylliade.

What case law? Jimmy Carter put his fucking peanut farm in a blind trust. Also, the black letter law of the constitution applies to the president. The Saudis booking 500 rooms to get on the president’s good side is exactly what the clause was intended to cover. The OLC has previously said the president receiving money from a foreign state to a business partnership or similar entity where he has a stake counts.

From Article I, which governs the executive branch, “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
It is super not clear market transactions are emoluments and I'm not questioning that others have been very much interested in avoiding any perception in this regard, nor that the current guy is very much not that way, but I am questioning that nobody has ever tried to apply this to a sitting president and further nobody has ever established that an emolument includes market transactions rather than payments for services rendered or a salary or such.
No one has tried it against a sitting president like this because presidents have in the past 100 years have avoided these conflicts. The Washington farm precedent is different as ag commodities are a bit of a different beast.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by Jennifer » 31 Dec 2018, 15:48

JasonL wrote:
31 Dec 2018, 15:30
Mo wrote:
31 Dec 2018, 14:06
JasonL wrote:You guys are a lot more certain than most legal commenters I’ve seen about how clear the violation on emoluments is. You would be expanding the case law to get a) the president at all; b) arguing that having a hotel or resort or other business transaction is basically the same as taking a salary from a foreign power. That is not an obvious thing beyond the offices of Nancy Pelosi and apparently Grylliade.

What case law? Jimmy Carter put his fucking peanut farm in a blind trust. Also, the black letter law of the constitution applies to the president. The Saudis booking 500 rooms to get on the president’s good side is exactly what the clause was intended to cover. The OLC has previously said the president receiving money from a foreign state to a business partnership or similar entity where he has a stake counts.

From Article I, which governs the executive branch, “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
It is super not clear market transactions are emoluments
So there was no need for Carter to put his peanut farm in a trust (nor any other past or future president to do similar things with their own business or money-making ventures)? And also nothing remotely problematic about it had Carter continued to personally run his peanut business while president, and agents of foreign governments not-necessarily-friendly-to-America always bought out his peanut crop at premium prices?

For that matter, if you have no problem with Trump businesses making money off the Trump presidency, then is there ever ANY emoluments violation involved with lobbyists openly giving business to POTUS-owned and -operated companies?
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Re: How do you solve a problem like a MAGA?

Post by thoreau » 31 Dec 2018, 15:49

JasonL wrote:
Mo wrote:
31 Dec 2018, 14:06
JasonL wrote:You guys are a lot more certain than most legal commenters I’ve seen about how clear the violation on emoluments is. You would be expanding the case law to get a) the president at all; b) arguing that having a hotel or resort or other business transaction is basically the same as taking a salary from a foreign power. That is not an obvious thing beyond the offices of Nancy Pelosi and apparently Grylliade.

What case law? Jimmy Carter put his fucking peanut farm in a blind trust. Also, the black letter law of the constitution applies to the president. The Saudis booking 500 rooms to get on the president’s good side is exactly what the clause was intended to cover. The OLC has previously said the president receiving money from a foreign state to a business partnership or similar entity where he has a stake counts.

From Article I, which governs the executive branch, “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
It is super not clear market transactions are emoluments and I'm not questioning that others have been very much interested in avoiding any perception in this regard, nor that the current guy is very much not that way, but I am questioning that nobody has ever tried to apply this to a sitting president and further nobody has ever established that an emolument includes market transactions rather than payments for services rendered or a salary or such.
Suppose a foreign leader says "Book the entire delegation for rooms in the hotel that the President owns. He'll like that."

That is a blatant conflict of interest that, at a minimum, sits somewhere between the spirit of "emolument" and the spirit of "bribery." It is not something that a liberal republic can allow.
"They were basically like D&D min maxers, but instead of pissing off their DM, they destroyed the global economy. Also, instead of their DM making a level 7 paladin fight a beholder as punishment, he got a +3 sword of turning."
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