Will wonders never cease? I woke up in time to listen to the live broadcast of the SCOTUS hearing on the Colorado case removing Donald J. Trump from the primary ballot. I got a lot of questions but I’m not going to go into them now as I’m sure most if not all will be both brought up by the “Talking Heads” in the days to come and also addressed by the courts ruling. No, what I’m going to deal with a question that has not even been addressed out loud yet. That question is:
“If the court rules that the several states can not enforce the qualifications to hold office before a person is elected when and who does enforce them?” Let me set up the hypothetical for you here:
A person who will not be 35 at the time of being sworn in, when I who says he/she can not be sworn in? Is it done when the electors of the several states are approved by the state legislatures? Is it done when the elector collage votes are counted by Congress? Or is it when he/she steps up to take their oath of office (and who does this)? See the problem?
Now it is possible for the Court to say that this is the responsibility of the Congress. But what do we do if the Congress does not act. The current House of Representatives does not fill me with confidence. What does congress do if it gets conflicting Elector ballots? If he/she is not allowed to take office, who does? The Vice President? The Speaker of the House? Who?
See the problem, no mater what the Court does we are in for some very hard times, some much much harder than others. Only time and the Court will tell.
With the election year off to a staggering start I have yet to hear much about just who Donald Trump will select as his V.P. This could end up being of critical importance to the GOP and/or the nation as a whole. I say this because if Trump does get elected President who his Veep is could be critical.
I say this because the odds of Trump living another five years is low. His mental state being good is even lower. Trump is 78 this year so it is a coin toss how long he could live. What concerns me more is his mental state. I have now had to deal with several people who have suffered from loss of mental acuity as they aged. Two were some form of dementia while loss of memory and reasoning was another. In all cases they suffered from a degradation of there judgement and reasoning.
Now, sense the Trump/MAGA campaign has seen fit to bring up Pres. Biden’s health, both physical and mental, it is only fair we look at Trumps state. The easiest of these to look at is his mental acuity. We just need to listen to him when he is speaking. NOTE: I recommend that no one use his blogging/texting etc as there is no way to be sure this has not been either edited of ghost written. I’d even go so far as to only go by what was live in front of a group of people. Interviews can also be edited.
I leave it up to you, my dear reader to draw your own conclusions. But think on this; Trump gets returned to the Presidency in this election and then suffers either a physical or mental breakdown. Say like Pres. Wilson did. Something so bad that even if he doesn’t die he is severely disabled and can not do his job as President. If and until his cabinet and his Veep invoke the 25th Amendment the the person or persons who control access to the President will be controlling the government.
Now let us consider this scenario as stated above. Given the past performance of the MAGA/GOP leadership and just how much importance Trump places on personal loyalty it seems likely that we can expect to see one hell of a knock-down drag out of a fight over two things. First who controls the access to the Presidential sickroom. Second getting a majority of the cabinet to certify that Trump is not physically and/or mentally able to execute the office of the President. An all the while this is going on the executive branch will be lock up and the congress will most likely be too. Now add in all of the cyberspace rumors that will be flying.
Now let’s add in that the Veep and the several and several of the cabinet members have strong connections with MAGA and any or all of them are willing to do what it takes to be in control. Or let’s say the Veep selected for just ‘Hollywood’ reasons and doesn’t have much strength at all. Or let’s say the Sec of Defense is willing to call out the “Army” ? What if the Army leadership doesn’t want to get involved? Or it splits?
The coming months are going to be very interesting for us court watchers. SCOTUS has at least two and possibly more critical cases coming before it. Some of them are also time critical. Some will allow the court to demonstrate that they really do believe in the judicial/constitutional philosophy thus exposed in recent and controversial decisions.
On the last point, the Colorado case (Anderson v. Griswold) removing Trump from the primary ballot seems to be the most likely case in point. In several recent decisions the court has used both the “Originalist” and “Textualist” doctrines to justify their rulings. The “Textualist” doctrine gives the court the best course to rule against Trump and the “Originalist” gives them two ways to rule one for Trump and one against.
Now let me state right here I do not expect SCOTUS to use any of these paths. I fully expect the court to find some way to totally dodge the issue, most likely using some arcane procedural reasoning. This court all too often has shown itself to have the backbone of a slug. That said let’s dive into the issues as I see them.
The “Textualist” ruling deals almost exclusively with the 14th Amendment and its 3rd Section, probably one of the most overlooked clauses of the Constitution. The only real issue is whether the President is an “Officer” of the United States. Given both the customs of the time and the debate on the Amendment it is clear that the President is an “Officer” of the United States. Let us totally bypass the illogic of saying that the only two offices that “Insurrectionist” could hold are the two highest offices in the nation. We are, after all talking about the “Radical” Republicans of the post Civil War and given the detailed list of the offices it is not reasonable to hold that the offices of President and Vice President are excluded.
This now lead us into one of the more interesting arguments “Originalist” reading can give us. Does the Amendment apply to all insurrectionists, past, present, and/or future? It can be argued that the “Insurrection” being referred to by the Amendment was the Civil War and it only applies to that one “Insurrection”. If that is the case then section 3 is a dead letter as the last surviving vet of the war died over 50 years ago. Unfortunately this kind of “Originalist” reading of the Constitution leads down a very twisty road as how do we deal with the following.
Given the above interpretation of how “Originalist” doctrine is would be applied, the 1st Amendment protection of free speech can only apply to the spoken or printed word. So it would not apply to Radio/TV/Movies as these Media did not exist nor even imaged when the amendment was written. The same for the Second Amendment, it could only apply to those kind of “Arms” that existed at the time of writing. To be fair we can say it would apply to modern ships and cannons but not to aircraft or spacecraft. I can see arguments both ways for submarines.
I shall leave you with just this point, these are just two of the problems facing SCOTUS using the “Originalist” doctrine in one case currently before it. The are several more now before it and I’m sure more to come in the near future. So keep your ears open and your head down it is going to get very very interesting.
With the Indictment of Donald J Trump last week and the first of the formal court proceedings (aka reading the charges) we are now entering what is the next phase of our Sheldon Crisis. We are now nearing one of the major crux of this crisis, I hope. In the next year or so we can expect to see one or more things happen, and I am taking this time to list the ones I see right now.
Trump is not convicted.
This can happen in several ways. First and most unlikely is that the Prosecution does an incredibly bad job and/or the Defense does an incredibly good job. As I said, not likely but it has happened in the past.
Next, a still unlikely the defense is able to convince at lest one juror to vote for acquittal . This would end up in a hung jury and most likely lead to a new trial. So the defense needs to get the presiding judge to declare the miss-trial with ’prejudice’.
What I think the defense is trying for is to get the presiding judge to throw out most if not all of the evidence of what Trump is accused of. This is very hard to do and timing will be everything. If at all possible these ruling(s) need to take place so that the prosecution has little or no time to appeal.
Trump is convicted
Now let’s get to the dangerous part. The trial runs its course and Trump is convicted on one or more counts. Now what happens?
Almost assuredly Trump appeals all the way up to the Supreme Court and it has one of several things it can do.
First it could just not hear the case. This could be the best for the Court if the lower court throws out the conviction. But if the conviction is still standing when SCOTUS hears it then the court still has several things it can do. The best for the court would be to put the case on what is sometimes called the ’Merit Docket’ hear all the arguments and then make it’s ruling. Unfortunately this case is the political hot potato of hot potatoes and this court has not shown itself to be willing to take on this kind of case in the ’Merit Docket’ To many people will see just who is a loyal MAGA who isn’t.
SCOTUS could also decide to take the case on what is called the ’Shadow Docket’. This is attractive in that it is done all behind closed doors and without any of the justices putting their name on the ruling. In fact no reasoning needs to be given. SCOTUS could just rule that the case is overturned with prejudice and say nothing else. The one major problem with doing this is that what ever the prestige SCOTUS has with the general public will take a very big hit.
Well my computer is now overheating with running all the Sheldon Equations so I’ll say good by for now.
It was back in 2016 that I first heard ”What ever Trump touches he destroys”. We are now well in to the second act of our ’Greek’ Tragedy. The first seen was, of course, the long battle for Speakership of the House where Rep. McCarthy publicly sold his soul for his dream of being the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Much ink has flowed over just what it means and what it will mean. I fully expect that there are many future Masters and Doctoral Thesis’ on the subject. For now we just get to live thru the ’live action’.
We are now coming to the end of the second seen of the Act, where we all await the much anticipated indictment(s) of Donald J Trump by Local, State, and Federal law enforcement. There are many questions to be asked in this seen. Like, who will be first? How many charges against how many people. Who will turn on who and who will stay loyal to whom. All I can say is that I expect everyone to be surprised by it all.
The last seen of the act will be taken up by all of the actions taken by both Trump and his supporters. Centerstage will, of course, be Trump himself, along with as many of the House MAGA caucus as can fit. Just be sure that Trump will manage to upstage everyone and everything.
We have seen in this act of the tragedy all of the damage ’caused’ by Trump to the Republican Party was mostly, if not entirely, inflicted not by the ’enemies’ of the GOP but by it’s ’so called friends’. What for now is called the MAGA Republicans. The likes of Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Matt Gates, just to name two, have done more to harm the GOP in the eyes of many of it’s fellow Americans than anything done by other political parties.
In the name of defending Donald Trump they have taken actions which many feel goes counter to what the GOP once stood for. How can the Republicans say they stand for ’Law and Order’ while attacking the same people who defended the Capital on 6Jan2021? Or when Georgia changes its laws so that D.A. will be subject to legislature instead of independent? An let us not forget being for the rights of the individual while taking the right to make their own medical decisions away from half of the population.
No, the principles of the Grand Old Party lie in ruins. Cast down by the ”Populist” insurgents of the ’Freedom Caucus’, ’Tea Party’, and MAGA. The true Rino’s are not those who still think of themselves as Conservatives/Republicans, but the followers of Trump. An if you think this current act was bloody bear knuckles, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
The other day I came across, on my daily walk, what I took to be ”Time Capsule” that appeared to have been washed down from the mountains. The only problem is that everything seems to be dated from 220 AT. When I first saw it I thought it might be from the early Spanish Mission period of the San Fernando Valley. It was a square box of about 11” and about 5” tall. It seemed to be made out of kilned backed adobe. Upon closer examination I detected the use of a wire meshing made of coper wire. So definitely not from the Spanish Mission period.
The contents of the box turned out to be what appear to be some kind of analog sound recordings (3). Five USB sicks, and two SDD drives. Along with over 40 pages from what appears to be magazines, but not made of paper. Most pages did have pictures and many have what appears to be dates but have no relationship to any known calendar.
3 Ivana 211 AT
11 Baron 193 AT
29 Don 219
This last goes with a picture that show what seems to be some kind of ceremony taking place in the Capital in Washington D.C. It is captioned “The Assumption of power by Barron III, Trump and Autocrat of all the States”. In the picture is one person, presumably Barron III, before a line of men, no women are in the photograph, who are placing there hands between his, while they are kneeling.
Another photo is of a woman inspecting what appears to be a heavily fortified wall with a large number of bones on one side. The photograph is captioned ”Ivana II inspecting the Great Wall of the South”. Most of the pages with out photographs, have drawing and seem to deal with the Great accomplishments of Trump (again this seems to be a title and not a persons name). Other pages deal with the accomplishments of what are called Boss of Bosses, Great Boss, Bosses, and Little Boss. It seems that the Boss of Bosses is appointed by the Trump, but just what their responsibilities are is not clear. The Great Bosses seem to run the States, the Bosses counties and the little Bosses cities and towns.
This last maybe in error as there are several references to State governors, and Mayors of large cities. It is quite possible that the term “Boss” in all it’s forms is just slang. Until further study of the Box and it’s contents can be done any conclusions drawn are pure Speculation. Finally, the idea that the ”Time Capsule” is actually from either the future or an alternate time line is pure fiction.
With the news of SCOTUS on Roe Vs Wade and the New York gun law along with what the Trump Mob tried to do last year I think it is time to say something about the people who don’t vote.
If you live in a Red state or district, or if it is even Purple and you don’t vote you are actually voting for the Republican candidate. An they like you not voting. They want you to not vote. Their bass is very motivated and will do what ever the Mob Boss tells them to do. Their is only one thing that can be done. Get out and vote. NOW!
If you don’t you are just empowering Capo Trump. An it will be you fault if they get control of the Congress. So remember, not Voting is what the Capo is betting you will do. Prove him Wrong.
For quite sometime now I’ve been hearing the people on the Media talking about how Donald Trump has/is destroying the Republican Party, conservative movement, etc. To my way of thanking this is not just wrong, but also bad for the country. Donald Trump and/or Trumpisum is not doing anything to the Conservative Movement, nor to the Republican Party. Donald Trump and Trumpisum is a symptom of what ales them, it is not the cause.
Everything that is happening to the GQP today has its roots back in the late 1960’s. It was then that liberal Republicans started migrating to the Democratic Party and conservative Democrats started migrating to the Republican Party. In the 1968 elections Richard (Tricky Dick) Nixon came up with his famous ‘Southern Strategy’ to woo the former Dixiecrats to vote republican. It is also when the unholy alliance between social conservatives and financial conservatives was truly formalized. Now in the 21st century we are seeing the results of what was started back then.
If you just do a little work you can see the seeds of all the ‘Great’ issues of today in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. The thing to remember is Donald Trump is not smart enough, nor Machiavellian enough to have created what we are see. In fact he is just arrogant enough to both claim credit for and to bring it out into the day light for all to see. An just like the high fever lets us know we are truly sick, Donald Trump is letting us know just how much trouble our body politic is in.
Our body politic is no longer facing a quiet infection slowly destroying our democracy. No, the raging fever has broken out and we now know we are in deep trouble. An just like a high fever we must first take action to rid ourselves of the disease. We must not only take action to get rid of the symptoms, just like we take medicines to bring down a fever, we must also take medicines to rid us of the actual disease. An to do this we need to identify the infecting agents but also what is being infected. This is not easy, nor pleasant.
So just how do we identify the agent of infection in our Body Politic? I say lets get more transparency and more truth. I’d start with making the fundamental source of all funds coming to any political campaign be public. Next only natural people may fund any political campaign. (By the way I’m using natural person in the legal since of the words.) An I don’t mean just cash money, I mean anything of value. The next thing is to change are libel and slander laws to take in the new cyber media. An we also need to bring in the use of algorithms that either internally of unintentionally case harm liable for the harm they cause. By this I mean that the person or persons who knowingly or should have known that the algorithm they are using has, or would have, caused harm are liable for the damage caused.
I know the above is very complex and it will take a lot of work to get right but we have done this before (just look at the history of the telephone, radio, and tv) but we can do it. It will be done. The only question is what shape our nation will be in when it is done.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been following a fair number of discussions on why the Republican Party has not done an ‘autopsy’ on why they lost in 2020. In most of these discussions the continued faithful loyalty of the GOP rank and file is almost always touch upon. What is often totally ignored is just why the rank and file of the GOP are still loyal to Donald J. Trump. There are, undoubtedly many reasons for this but I would like to just touch on one that seems to being ignored.
What I will be talking about is the known reluctance of a Con-Artist victim to actually admit to the con. This phenomenon is well know to all those in law enforcement who’s job it is to track down and lock up the Con-artist. The reasons for their behavior is legion and I will not attempt to go into it here. What is important is the attitude of the victims that keeps them from admitting, even to themselves, that they have been conned. All that is important here is the phenomenon itself.
This disinclination to admit to being conned by Donald Trump is the starting point to understanding why so many GOP Rank and File are staying loyal to him. At some level they know that if they start looking for some other leader than Trump they will be starting down the road to admitting that they were conned by Trump and they are not yet ready for that. It is just too painful. It is also to shameful. We all know the old saying “You can not Cheat an honest man.” And, fundamentally, a con is offering the mark a way of cheating. In the case we are addressing here we are looking at getting something you have not really a right to.
There is no nice way to say this, it is not just possible. Donald J. Trump has offered the GOP something for nothing. The problem is TANSTAAFL (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch) and at some level we all know this. The genius of Donald J. Trump is he offered something different to all the segments of the GOP. Each and every faction was offered what they most wanted, without having to pay for it. The White Supremists were told they could, no matter what the law said, do as they wish on all non-whites. He offered some the ability to take from the public coffers all they could manage. This list is both long and well known so I shan’t go on here. I will close with the most fundamental thing Trump gave the GOP rank and file the confirmation that “You are in the right! No matter what anyone else says.” He gave them the freedom from self doubt and questioning. He gave them permission to say “it is self evident that I’m right so I don’t have to explain.”
And there is the rub, eventually it will all come out. Eventually you will have to explain yourself. You will have to admit you were conned and admit you were being dishonest. Some people will not be able to do this, ever. Some will, but it will take time. What we, who recognized Donald J. Trump for what he is, have to do now is wait. Stand our ground. Be understanding of the MAGA but not give one inch in holding them responsible for what both Donald J. Trump did and what they did even though he told them they could. Eventually the lunch is paid for. We just need to be sure that it is paid for by those who eat it and not by us.
With 56 days till Election Day I thought it would be good to share some positive thoughts. That is why I have Alfred E. Newman on this post. It is also why I’m going to talk about the 2016 election and not the 2020 election in this post. I think we need to remind ourselves just where we are coming from.
First off I want to remind everyone out there that Donald Trump did not win in 2016, Hillary Clinton lost. And in looking back on that she lost should not be much of a surprise to anyone. But that is the problem. Most of the scholars and pundits of Political Science (or just plan Politics) are pretty much at a loss on why or how Donald Trump won. The problem is that they are asking the wrong question. What they need to ask is how did Hillary Clinton lose?
It is not all that hard to understand when looked at in the correct way. We need to remember that Clinton was and still is, one of the most divisive people in our body politic. Almost no one doesn’t have an opinion about her. Starting there, let’s take a look at the campaign of 2016 as if it was a long long foot race.
At the start of the race, Hillary gets off to a good start as all of the Republican contenders keep getting in each other’s way. Until, lo and behold, the one contender everyone thought of as a joke ends up the only one still in the race with all of the others falling down in the dust. And now the fun starts as the clown knows how to keep all the attention on him.
So, now almost no one sees and even few comment on all of the interference that was thrown in Hillary’s way. It’s like no one cares that people in the stands are throwing things onto the track that the leaders have to deal with, which slows her down and lets the challenger creep up. Here I’m talking about the slow drip drip from WikiLeaks and the Russians. Then the way some of the officials acted, by letting the challenger get extra boost by acting totally unfairly in the debates. Several times in all the debates Trump acted in such a way that in any other debate setting he would have been called out. But not in the Presidential Debates of 2016. I’m particularly thinking of the time(s) Trump left his podium to walk around the stage. In any other debate the moderator would have interrupted and directed him to return to his place. Think of this as disruptive as a runner cutting across lanes on the track.
Finally we have the most telling blow. The absolutely wrong action of the FBI in the final weeks of the election and the problem with “Hillary’s e-mails”. Think of this as a track official stepping out onto the track, in the runner’s lane just as the runner is going into their final kick, to warn the spectators not to step out on the track. Then the final point, calling the race for the Trump winner runner because he breaks the tape even though Hillary’s foot crossed the finish line first. When looked at it this way, it is no wonder she lost.
In fact I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict in 20 or 30 years the scholars will be all talking with amazement that Hillary Clinton came so close to winning with everything stacked against her. And that brings me to the positive point I want to leave you with. This is 2020, not 2016. We know what happened back then and we, the American Electorate, are on the lookout for all the dirty tricks that were played and who played them.
We are fortunate that WikiLeaks is no more. Even if we have Q-Anon we know it for what it is. And yes, the Russians are playing the same game as before, but again, we know what to look for. Even the attempt to paint Joe Biden with a broad brush of scandals backfired. It got Donald Trump in the history books as only the third president to be impeached and showed up the Republicans in the Senate to be the spineless lickspittles they are.