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US Politics - Turtles crawl, the constipation sensation that's gripping the nation.

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2 hours ago, Ran said:

There's no connection between these things. None of their wealth came from Marc Rich and is all accounted for. The Clintons dug themselves out of the legal debts they'd incurred and then built on that wealth with book deals and speeches. I mean, huge surprise that a wildly popular president who had overseen a financial boom would be a popular speaker in the finance industry...

Even so, the pardon was wrong, and Clinton regretted it due to the harm to his reputation and the fact that he gave too much consideration to pressure from Israel and others who Rich had roped into pleading for him. So the similarity is that a number of these pardons/commutations from Trump are wrong, but when you consider that Trump is doing these in the midst of his presidency, that they seem all about signalling his personal continuing corruption while wielding all the powers of the Presidency on his own behalf, and then the sheer number of these crooked pardons, well, there's definitely a vast gulf between them unless you're committed to absurdity.

The Attorney General is an Officer according to the Constitution. The President is not. The President appoints the officers.

 

Marc Rich's wife Denise made a number of contributions to the Clinton library and the Clinton defense fund.  I'm not suggesting there is evidence of an explicit quid pro quo but the Riches were extremely skilled at working the system from a number of angles.   And yes, Clinton regretted it because of the damage it caused to his reputation and because it caused (in those quaint days) a media firestorm.   He was hoping it would escape quietly.  And even though you would think the blowback would be a salutary lesson, once the line is crossed it opens the door to Trump's further massive ugly behavior.  Trump is issuing these pardons because his supporters have petitioned him on behalf of their relatives and friends, and because he has been establishing a precedent of extraordinary use of his pardon power to justify his pardons of Flynn and Stone once the presidential election is over. 

Even so any whataboutism is damaging and wrong.  First because any abuse of power is wrong including the Nixon pardon by Ford, the Iran-Contra pardon by George HW Bush and the Marc Rich pardon by Clinton, and because these abuses of power are dwarfed by the daily abuses of the Trump administration. 

P.S.:  Trump's claim that he is the chief law enforcement officer is straight out of the unitary executive theory playbook pioneered by the Scaliaites. The idea is all executive power is vested by the Constitution in the President, including the power to override any determinations or decisions by the Attorney-General. 

Edited by Gaston de Foix

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On 2/17/2020 at 2:34 PM, mormont said:

I said something like this in the last thread, I think, but it is definitely not a healthy sign for the two major parties or for the US system how the last two primaries for the opposition parties have unfolded. Lots of weak candidates instead of three or four strong ones suggests something is going badly wrong.

No rational, intelligent human being would ever want the job.

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1 hour ago, Stego said:

No rational, intelligent human being would ever want the job.

This is cynical, reductive, and true, true, true, true, true.  

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A doctor analyzes the medical health letters released by Sanders, and also Biden and Warren.

 

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As with this WaPo article, the media on this subject, Bernie and the Hispanic vote, no one seems to mention that one of the most powerful ORGANIZED Nevada voting blocks, is a UNION, the hospitality workers, who are, indeed, mostly of Spanish heritage in one way and another. Such voters and Sanders seem to be compatible indeed.  He's put in a great team of Latinx surrogate campaigners for himself too, with the assistance, of the Squad and AOC.  She's particularly effective in getting the crowds fired up, as I have seen in a variety of Youtube videos that recorded the events.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/19/sanders-campaign-is-counting-latinos-it-seems-be-working/

Of course, over the decades, the Dem Party Organizers have pretty much dumped the very idea of organized labor and unions, because, you know, these workers generally aren't white, and anyway, people who make beds don't even register on their radar r as existing, much less as performing meaningful labor. Sure didn't on Hillary's.

 

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14 hours ago, DMC said:

My main worry about a backlash to a Sanders presidency can be summed up in the different styles between Obama 2008 and Sanders 2020 (and 2016).  Obama abided by the classic maxim of campaigning in poetry and governing in prose.  It's why even though a significant percentage of Democrats are at least disappointed by his administration's policy outcomes, he remains incredibly popular among Democrats.  And - important to note - the loudest complainers of Obama's presidency being too "centrist" tend to be avid Sanders supporters.  Anyway, Obama may have promised big "change we can believe in," but he was sure never to really specify what that change would be, so it's harder to get pissed off at him when he smacked into the ocean DC gridlock. 

In contrast Sanders is campaigning in prose.  He's promising specific policies - and moreover promising specific policies that would represent fundamental changes across a host of policy areas that are just frankly not realistic.  What happens in the incredible likelihood that a Sanders administration encounters the same institutional constraints and comes up almost entirely bare on these promises?  If Obama provoked the backlash he did from the right, what kind of backlash will there be to what will be painted as broad failures of the first "socialist" president?  How will all those supporters of his frustrated with Obama's "centrism" in governing react?  I don't like thinking about it and what it means longterm for the trajectory of American politics.

Governing by Executive Order fiat and ignoring the Senate and House to the maximum extent possible has been completely normalized.

I expect this to get worse no matter who is elected, because it will be what the supporters want.

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Just now, argonak said:

Governing by Executive Order fiat and ignoring the Senate and House to the maximum extent possible has been completely normalized.

A president cannot achieve most of Sanders' agenda/platform via EOs or any other unilateral action.

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Just now, DMC said:

A president cannot achieve most of Sanders' agenda/platform via EOs or any other unilateral action.

Well first he has to pack the supreme court, or impeach trump's unqualified judges.  Which a lot of folks are clamoring for after the way Moscow Mitch has behaved.  Good for the goose good for the gander and all that.

If he does that, I'm envisioning an executive order directing medicare to permit sign up via any american citizen regardless of age.  By the time it wends its way through the court its so popular that the House and the Senate have to bow under pressure and put it through anyway.   If he needs money he can just declare a state of emergency with regards to the nation's health and take it from the military.

There's a lot smarter people than me out there, I think they can probably make it work, for a while anyway.  And like Obamacare, once people have it, they won't want to give it up.

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14 hours ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

Want doesn't get.

This really gets to the heart of it. Most people on the left want the same things generally speaking. How you achieve them is the problem to be solved.

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5 minutes ago, argonak said:

Well first he has to pack the supreme court, or impeach trump's unqualified judges.  Which a lot of folks are clamoring for after the way Moscow Mitch has behaved.  Good for the goose good for the gander and all that.

If he does that, I'm envisioning an executive order directing medicare to permit sign up via any american citizen regardless of age.  By the time it wends its way through the court its so popular that the House and the Senate have to bow under pressure and put it through anyway.   If he needs money he can just declare a state of emergency with regards to the nation's health and take it from the military.

You're envisioning a fantasy land.  Not only would Sanders never be able to do any of these processes - while I agree with packing the court it's going to be very difficult to enact; an EO you're envisioning would be stopped by the courts, even by Sanders' own nominees; such action would receive backlash from Dems in Congress, let alone the GOP; Trump's "state of emergency" allowed him to get a few billion for his wall, what you're talking about would be reorganizing the majority of the federal budget - he would never do it.  It's antithetical to his ideology.  And I may have many problems with Sanders, but I certainly believe his general expressed preferences are genuine.

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38 minutes ago, DMC said:

You're envisioning a fantasy land.  Not only would Sanders never be able to do any of these processes - while I agree with packing the court it's going to be very difficult to enact; an EO you're envisioning would be stopped by the courts, even by Sanders' own nominees; such action would receive backlash from Dems in Congress, let alone the GOP; Trump's "state of emergency" allowed him to get a few billion for his wall, what you're talking about would be reorganizing the majority of the federal budget - he would never do it.  It's antithetical to his ideology.  And I may have many problems with Sanders, but I certainly believe his general expressed preferences are genuine.

Assuming this hypothetical fantasy land could exist, how hard do you think the markets would crash? Could make 08 look like a walk in the park.

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29 minutes ago, Muaddibs_Tapeworm said:

How did we go from Yes We Can! to Won't Work, Never Happen, Don't Bother Trying

"Yes We Can" never entailed employing unilateral action to reorganize the nature of the federal government under a leftist dictatorship.

8 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Assuming this hypothetical fantasy land could exist, how hard do you think the markets would crash?

I dunno, very hard?

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30 minutes ago, Muaddibs_Tapeworm said:

How did we go from Yes We Can! to Won't Work, Never Happen, Don't Bother Trying

Observable trends impart data which informs future events.

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1 hour ago, Zorral said:

As with this WaPo article, the media on this subject, Bernie and the Hispanic vote, no one seems to mention that one of the most powerful ORGANIZED Nevada voting blocks, is a UNION, the hospitality workers, who are, indeed, mostly of Spanish heritage in one way and another. Such voters and Sanders seem to be compatible indeed.  He's put in a great team of Latinx surrogate campaigners for himself too, with the assistance, of the Squad and AOC.  She's particularly effective in getting the crowds fired up, as I have seen in a variety of Youtube videos that recorded the events.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/19/sanders-campaign-is-counting-latinos-it-seems-be-working/

Of course, over the decades, the Dem Party Organizers have pretty much dumped the very idea of organized labor and unions, because, you know, these workers generally aren't white, and anyway, people who make beds don't even register on their radar r as existing, much less as performing meaningful labor. Sure didn't on Hillary's.

 

It goes back to the very beginning of Sanders' campaign, where the Latino people he engaged with were given authority, a budget, and actually wrote the policies affecting them that his campaign is producing.  As Chuck Rocha said, "We didn't only have a seat at the table, we ran the meeting!"  Looks like it was very effective.  They stole a march on all the other campaigns a year ago, and none of them ever noticed.

By the way, "Latinx" is just a white people thing.  I believe that community still uses "Latino".

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22 minutes ago, DMC said:

employing unilateral action to reorganize the nature of the federal government under a leftist dictatorship.

That's a funny way of saying "vote a Democrat majority into the Senate."

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