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US politics - wheeling and dealing, avoiding debt ceiling


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4 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Title bets only last a month. You can just get in afterwards. They're not concurrently, 

But to me it seems pretty clear Trump is fucked and the other likely charges to come down will only be worse. No regular person could avoid serious jail time for everything he's done. In many ways his situation is a true stress test of the entire legal and judicial systems. If he gets off, why even have prisons? 

This. 

His defenders have been making the (bad-faith) argument that presidents are different. 

The unsophisticated version is But Hillary (and Biden and Pence) and the "catastrophe" that jailing a former president and current candidate will inflict on our country. 

The sophisticated version is that the Presidential Records Act authorizes access to unclassified and classified information to former presidents, so they should get some form of special treatment. 

It's all a million miles away from what he did, and what the PRA authorizes etc. etc.  

Anyway, I found Kal's IRL alter-ego: https://josephklein.substack.com/p/tangled-up-in-trump?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2.  Fundamentally wrong, but provocative and well-argued.  

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36 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

It's all a million miles away from what he did, and what the PRA authorizes etc. etc.  

What he did is do more damage to the country than the KKK could have ever dreamed of and the idiot didn't even care about what he was doing.

But in this specific case he stole and shared classified information by every account and then lied about it. That should absolutely put him in jail in any sane world.

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14 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Unless you want to lock up a dozen secret service clowns with him.

Quite a few of them in his detail are also under investigation . . . .

Of course in these discussions as to whether he will be locked up, most are missing the point of criminal justice systems, which is to protect his class from the rest of us.  The criminal justice system is about taking our ilks out of society, jailing and punishing us, for threatening Them.  This is true from the cops to the SCOTUS.  It's the southern states' antebellum model of US justice.

Edited by Zorral
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3 hours ago, Gaston de Foix said:

Anyway, I found Kal's IRL alter-ego: https://josephklein.substack.com/p/tangled-up-in-trump?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2.  Fundamentally wrong, but provocative and well-argued.  

Yeah, that's good. Popehat also wrote a very good writeup similar to that, where he concludes that there's a very good chance Trump gets out of it and the law requires us to go after him anyway:

https://popehat.substack.com/p/jack-smith-donald-trump-and-the-kobayashi

Quote

 

First, jury nullification can be a force for justice and a bulwark against tyranny. It can also be an expression of ignorance and bigotry and an expression of injustice. Prosecutors should consider justice but not be deterred by the chance that jurors should be unjust. Anything less means that you let jurors decide who is or isn’t protected or bound by the rule of law.

Second, some judges will always be partisan, and some politicians will seek to appoint or elect partisan judges. It’s not fair. But nobody promised you it would be fair. Deciding not to prosecute because of the risk of biased judges cedes justice to them and also relieves them of the consequences of being biased — public opinion, opinion of their colleagues, reputation, and legacy. It lets them be biased cost-free. If you confront bias, and force judges to be biased in the daylight, it’s harder for them, and social and cultural factors may deter them.

Third, it’s corrosive and unjust to say that we won’t hold people to account because they are popular and powerful. The system doesn’t need more of that, thank you, we’re all stocked up. It’s already a fact, we don’t need to make it a policy as well. Strongmen already fare indescribably better than normal citizens when facing the justice system. Going full-on junta and making it an official principle of prosecution not to prosecute the powerful means abandoning even an aspiration of equality before the law.

Fourth, yielding to people who say “if you punish me or my friends for breaking the law I’ll hurt you” is a terrible way to run a society. It’s governance by thugs. If someone says “if you apply the rule of law to hold me accountable for my conduct, I will later abuse the rule of law to punish you,” you know that person is a dishonest, dishonorable partisan. There is no rational basis to believe that a dishonest, dishonorable partisan will ever behave well. In other words, the proposition “Trump and his cronies will abuse the system if we prosecute them, but if we don’t, they will behave” is deeply dubious. Paying the Danegeld — whether in coin or in abandonment of principles — doesn’t deter the Danes from reaving any more than throwing bacon at a dog makes it run away. To the contrary, abandoning the rule of law to avoid angering Trump and his ilk makes them bolder, not more compliant.

It’s popular to say America’s in civilizational decline. It’s possible; I don’t know. I’m skeptical of narratives that make us extraordinary. But I know this: if we’re going down, we should go down swinging, not cringing. Donald Trump boldly, gratuitously, arrogantly broke the law. He’s bragged about being able to do so without consequence. He’s not being persecuted, he’s being provided with due process that will give him myriad ways to defend himself and vindicate his rights, and his vast resources make him uniquely suited to do so. If the Department of Justice doesn’t take the shot, then what’s the point of it?

I do not understand what is fundamentally wrong about it, though. I mean, I wouldn't - it largely describes my viewpoint on the political side of it, and the legal side is still not super awesome either. But why would you say that it's fundamentally wrong? What does it get wrong on its face? 

Edited by Kalnak the Magnificent
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20 hours ago, Gaston de Foix said:

Anyway, you are probably more in the right than I am, even though I continue to think such a term in a plea argument would be deeply constitutionally problematic.  

Well, yeah.  This was based on the discussion of deals like Agnew's (or a number of other officeholders) that have agreed to resign in exchange for a more favorable deal.  Granted, agreeing not to run is significantly different and those deals were not really formalized either (didn't need to be, the defendant in question would just resign).

Anyway, I don't think it'd lead to a "constitutional crisis" if, hypothetically, such a provision was included in a plea deal under such circumstances.  But as we basically all agree, Trump's never going to go for it anyway, so the hypothetical is rather decidedly moot.

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2 hours ago, Zorral said:

Quite a few of them in his detail are also under investigation . . . .

Of course in these discussions as to whether he will be locked up, most are missing the point of criminal justice systems, which is to protect his class from the rest of us.  The criminal justice system is about taking our ilks out of society, jailing and punishing us, for threatening Them.  This is true from the cops to the SCOTUS.  It's the southern states' antebellum model of US justice.

Yeah, and how are they going to get the cuffs on him with those tiny little fists of his? It just won’t work I tell you.

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1 hour ago, LongRider said:

Just use plastic cuffs as they can be pulled tightly as needed.  He won’t get out of those.   

Cuffs? He should be wheeled in Hannibal style. We cannot forget that he is pretty much without question the worst person to ever serve as president and is still actively using his connections to protect himself and help him get back into power. Zero quarters are to be given to this motherfucker who tried to destroy our country. 

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2 hours ago, LongRider said:

Just use plastic cuffs as they can be pulled tightly as needed.  He won’t get out of those.   

-gasp-

Zipties? You would have him bound by the same nylon technology they use on the Plebs?!? Nevah! It’s bracelets or nothing. 

Besides, he’d easily break those with his manly man strength. Bigly. He doesn’t weigh an ounce over 220lb BTW. Solid muscle. Yup.

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7 hours ago, Kalnak the Magnificent said:

Yeah, that's good. Popehat also wrote a very good writeup similar to that, where he concludes that there's a very good chance Trump gets out of it and the law requires us to go after him anyway:

https://popehat.substack.com/p/jack-smith-donald-trump-and-the-kobayashi

I do not understand what is fundamentally wrong about it, though. I mean, I wouldn't - it largely describes my viewpoint on the political side of it, and the legal side is still not super awesome either. But why would you say that it's fundamentally wrong? What does it get wrong on its face? 

Yeah, let me try to articulate what I think Popehat and Joe Klein get wrong, maybe by starting by what they get right. 
Klein (and Popehat) are both right that an indictment is a shitty instrument to blow up Trump's political campaign.  Joe Sixpack (or Joe the Plumber) doesn't understand this issue and wouldn't really give a shit if he did.  At this point we've proved this proposition ad nauseam with Mueller, the Ukraine Impeachment, Stormy Daniels, E Jean Carroll etc.    

This brings me to Popehat's parade of horribles: 

"If Judge Cannon presides over the case she can derail the prosecution in myriad ways, some of them unreviewable, if she wants to. Moreover, there’s reason to doubt that a Florida jury will convict Trump. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, striking Trump down with a federal indictment may make him more powerful than we can possibly imagine. Trump will use the prosecution to energize his base, propagandize “independents,” and fundraise from rubes. It’s very possible it will make it easier to win the Republican nomination and plausible it will help him win the Presidency, which he will use to pardon himself and further demolish the rule of law."

haven't seen any convincing empirical evidence that these legal troubles will help Trump win the Republican nomination (let alone the General Election); I think on the whole it is a (mild) drag on his electability. If his opponents were willing to argue it disqualifies him from the presidency it might help them; then again it might make it impossible to unify the Republican party after the primary. Morally ofc their is position is cowardly and indefensible.  But anyway, he's the probable nominee no matter what. 

But the claim that it won't hurt him (much) but will help him a lot, "plausibly to win the presidency" just strikes me as wildly off-base and based on a very asymmetric reading of the electoral response.  If he wins the 2024 election it won't be because he's indicted but despite it.  Those who care about the personal fortune and wellbeing of DJT are already his supporters and voters; those who don't represent his opponents and the bored, indifferent, mercurial middle. 

I also don't really buy Klein's claim that some further revelation about Trump selling secrets to Saudis or Russians would have been the clincher.  Klein is right that Trump's words before Jan. 6 can be parsed narrowly to provide him plausible deniability.  But the causal observer is not paying that kind of attention.  But the events of Jan. 6 (and his repeated lies and attempts to overturn the presidential election in the months that preceded it were the clincher for anyone that cared.  Not many.  The ultimate deciders of his fate; the Republican senate didn't acquit him because he didn't order the storming of the capitol explicitly, they just did it because of politics.  

We should just accept that Trump's bad acts (and the legal repercussions) will not knock him out of the political arena.     

This brings me to the legal side.  This is a slam dunk case, legally.  You have actus reus, you have mens rea, you have it on tape, photographs, and lawyer notes and testimony.  

Yes, Cannon can run interference for Trump.  There's reason to wonder if she will be the trial judge (and the only DOJ case will be in Florida), but also remember she tried last time and it blew up in her face. 

But even if you don't think she will be intimidated into playing this straight remember this time around it's a much dicier political bet.  Trump is 76.  Cannon is 42.  Her hopes for future advancement, if she does something outrageous in support of Trump will depend entirely on Trumpism (and a Trump) being in power, and for a Republican senate to unanimously support her.  You think RDS or Pence or President Josh Hawley will reward her? Fat chance.  And you gotta get the votes of the Susan Collins of this world even then.  

 Yes, jury nullification remains a real risk, especially in South Florida.  But the track record of juries in politically-charged cases in the Trump era is actually very impressive; Manafort and E Jean Carroll spring immediately to mind.  But I guess we'll see.  

Edited by Gaston de Foix
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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Cuffs? He should be wheeled in Hannibal style.

:lol:

1 hour ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

Zipties? You would have him bound by the same nylon technology they use on the Plebs?!? Nevah! It’s bracelets or nothing. 

You're killin' me Smalls!     :lmao:

Yeah, considering who and what he is, plastic's not good enough for him.   

LOCK HIM UP!

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On 6/9/2023 at 12:17 AM, Tywin et al. said:

A single source that's unverified and discredited per the FBI making a claim does not mean Biden did anything wrong, especially when we consider everything going on and the people making these kinds of claims are known liars. 

I'm sure that there are 50+ former intelligence agency employees willing to state that that story has all the hallmarks of Russian disinformation.

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