Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Knife »

As much as I don't want to agree with TRR, I do think he's closer to right than you Enigma. Sure, Trump hasn't completed all the purges and co-opting of institutions to be end stage Dictator, but he's sure as hell is in the process of it. Perhaps he is not a successful Dictator right now, but he sure is in the process of being one.
They say, "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots." I suppose it never occurred to them that they are the tyrants, not the patriots. Those weapons are not being used to fight some kind of tyranny; they are bringing them to an event where people are getting together to talk. -Mike Wong

But as far as board culture in general, I do think that young male overaggression is a contributing factor to the general atmosphere of hostility. It's not SOS and the Mess throwing hand grenades all over the forum- Red
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Enigma »

And he'll fail. Then again I do not care. I take a neutral stand in politics. I view them all as clowns.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf »

Enigma wrote: 2020-02-09 03:09pm And he'll fail. Then again I do not care. I take a neutral stand in politics. I view them all as clowns.
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." -Desmond Tutu

Also, it doesn't matter whether or not Trump becomes dictator. The bigger risk is that it sets precedent for the next guy to go further than Trump did. Trump would not have been possible without the horrors of Bush II.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic »

Enigma wrote: 2020-02-09 03:09pm And he'll fail. Then again I do not care. I take a neutral stand in politics. I view them all as clowns.
:roll:

And fascists fucking love that shit, because it means you disengage from the democratic process, and legitimize fascists by putting them on the same level as every other politician.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Enigma »

The Romulan Republic wrote: 2020-02-09 09:17pm
Enigma wrote: 2020-02-09 03:09pm And he'll fail. Then again I do not care. I take a neutral stand in politics. I view them all as clowns.
:roll:

And fascists fucking love that shit, because it means you disengage from the democratic process, and legitimize fascists by putting them on the same level as every other politician.
Couldn't vote even if I wanted to, being an immigrant and all.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic »

Enigma wrote: 2020-02-09 10:36pm
The Romulan Republic wrote: 2020-02-09 09:17pm
Enigma wrote: 2020-02-09 03:09pm And he'll fail. Then again I do not care. I take a neutral stand in politics. I view them all as clowns.
:roll:

And fascists fucking love that shit, because it means you disengage from the democratic process, and legitimize fascists by putting them on the same level as every other politician.
Couldn't vote even if I wanted to, being an immigrant and all.
Fair enough, although there are other ways to be politically active if one is wishes to be.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by loomer »

Enigma wrote: 2020-02-09 03:09pm And he'll fail. Then again I do not care. I take a neutral stand in politics. I view them all as clowns.
Congratulations, you win the coveted Dumbest Post of the Year award.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Eulogy »

Enigma wrote: 2020-02-09 10:36pmCouldn't vote even if I wanted to, being an immigrant and all.
That doesn't mean you can't help people not vote for the fucking dictator and his toadies.

Granted, the Trump Cult is a lost cause, but they ain't everybody, not even close.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic »

In other news, after Trump fired Lt Col Vindman for lawfully testifying against him, and fired his brother in a North Korea-esque punish the family retaliation, and had Vindman escorted out by security, he took it a step further by suggesting that the military should discipline Vindman as well.

I watched this with concern, because I've been saying for a while now that this was likely to come down to who the military sided with when Trump tried to rig/overturn the election results. And the military prosecuting one of their own for following the law instead of Trump at Trump's behest would therefore be the clearest indication yet that we are utterly fucked.

Well, the good news is that it looks like the military basically said "fuck that":

https://politico.com/news/2020/02/14/al ... ion-115286
The Army will not investigate Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the former National Security Council staffer who testified in the president’s impeachment investigation, the service’s top civilian said Friday.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy made the announcement at an event just days after President Donald Trump said he imagined the military would “take a look at” whether Vindman should face disciplinary action for the “horrible things” he told House investigators about the president’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last July.

Vindman was ousted from his position on the NSC last week after the Senate acquitted Trump. Vindman’s lawyer said the move amounted to retribution.

McCarthy on Friday downplayed Vindman’s return to the Army, saying he simply returned to the service a few months earlier than planned and would have a “bridging assignment” for a couple of months in the Army’s headquarters office in Washington.

“Then he will be heading to a senior service college this summer. There’s no investigation into him,” McCarthy said at a National Press Club luncheon.

On Tuesday, Trump told reporters “if you look at what happened, [the military is] going to certainly, I would imagine, take a look at that.”

“It turned out that what he reported was very different [than what occurred],” Trump added. “And also when you look at the person he reports to, said horrible things, avoided the chain of command, leaked, did a lot of bad things. And so we sent him on his way to a much different location, and the military can handle him anyway they want.”
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic »

The latest round of pardons and commutations to the Fuhrer's friends and allies:

https://washingtonpost.com/politics/tru ... story.html
President Trump on Tuesday used his sweeping presidential pardon powers to wipe away the crimes of a list of boldface names, including disgraced politician Rod R. Blagojevich, convicted junk bond king Michael Milken and former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik.

Trump pardoned or commuted the sentences of seven convicted white collar criminals at the center of federal anti-corruption and tax fraud cases spanning decades, alongside four women whose cases were not as well known.

The action frees Blagojevich, the former Democratic governor of Illinois, from the federal correctional facility in Colorado where he was serving out his 14-year sentence. He was convicted on corruption charges in 2011 for trying to sell then-president elect Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat.

“He’ll be able to go back home with his family after serving eight years in jail,” Trump told reporters. “That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence and my opinion and in the opinion of many others.”

Tuesday’s clemency announcements came as Trump has been flexing his power in recent days after being acquitted by the Senate on two impeachment charges earlier this month. The president has removed from their jobs witnesses who testified against him and publicly weighed in on criminal cases concerning his associates while dismissing the idea his actions have crossed any ethical or legal lines.

The pardons and commutations focus on the type of corruption and lying charges his associates were convicted of as part of the Russia investigation, once again raising the question of whether he will pardon former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and longtime adviser and friend Roger Stone. Trump said he hasn’t thought about pardoning those three but made clear he isn’t happy with the cases brought against them.

“I think Roger Stone has been treated unfairly. I think General Flynn has been treated very unfairly,” he told reporters. “I think a lot of people have been treated very unfairly.”

The executive actions announced Tuesday fit a pattern of highly personal presidential justice that largely bypasses the traditional pardon process administered by the Justice Department. Most of the people who have received clemency under Trump were well-connected offenders who had a line into the White House or currency with his political base.

Most Trump clemency grants bypass Justice Dept. and go to well-connected offenders

Milken received a pardon with the White House providing a long list of advocates for the wealthy financier, including Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, political donors Miriam Adelson and Sheldon Adelson, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

Milken became a symbol of the culture of greed during the 1980s that was fictionalized in movies like “Wall Street,” where Michael Douglas plays ruthless financier Gordon Gekko who declares that “greed is good.”

Milken rose to prominence for his role in developing high-interest-bearing securities markets, known as junk bonds, before pleading guilty in 1990 to six felony counts, including securities fraud, mail fraud and aiding in the filing of a false tax return.

Since then, Milken has sought to rehabilitate his image by becoming a major donor to causes such as cancer research.

Also on Trump’s pardon list were Kerik, who was convicted of tax fraud, and Edward DeBartolo Jr., the billionaire former owner of the San Francisco 49ers football team, who pleaded guilty two decades ago to charges related to his role in a corruption case against former Louisiana governor Edwin W. Edwards (D).

The president also pardoned David Safavian, a senior official in the former George W. Bush administration who was convicted of obstructing a federal investigation as part of the scandal surrounding lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and two lesser-known business executives, technology executive Ariel Friedler and construction company executive Paul Pogue, who were convicted of computer and tax charges. He also pardoned Angela Stanton, an author who served a six-month home sentence for her role in a stolen vehicle ring.

Kerik is a frequent visitor to the president’s Florida Mar-a-Lago Club who recently posted a picture at the Trump hotel, tagging the president and bragging of “Badassry” at the hotel. He declined to comment. Safavian now works at the Trump-aligned American Conservative Union Foundation’s justice center and attacks Trump critics through his Twitter account. Blagojevich’s wife actively lobbied for her husband’s release, including going on Fox News to maker her case.

The White House says all 11 actions help people who had were treated unfairly or had repaid society through good works. Most are white men with connections to power, and in some cases to Trump himself.

Blagojevich and Trump were well acquainted from when the former Illinois governor was a contestant on Trump’s show “The Apprentice” in 2010. Trump fired Blagojevich for shoddy work on a Florida theme park project, telling him, “Your Harry Potter facts were not accurate. Who did the research?”

Kerik and Milken were both prominent New Yorkers during Trump’s professional rise as a New York real estate magnate.

“We have Bernie Kerik, we have Mike Milken, who’s gone around and done an incredible job,” Trump said, adding that Milken had “paid a big price.”

The 11 grants Tuesday mark the largest group Trump has announced so far, but barely makes a dent in the record-setting backlog of nearly 13,000 people currently waiting for a responses to their clemency requests.

The White House released synopses of each case Tuesday, including lists of supporters for each action that reads like a who’s-who of the president’s elite orbit.

Nelson Peltz, who threw the president a $10 million fundraiser at his $95 million Palm Beach house Saturday night, recommended the pardon of Milken.

TV personalities, including Geraldo Rivera, Andrew Napolitano and Maria Bartiromo, were all cited as pardon advocates by the president.

Gov. Chris Christie, who advises the president and takes on legal clients, got one of his clients a pardon.

Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, was listed as a supporter for both Milken and Kerik, who also received backing from Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was granted clemency by Trump last year. Kerik rode his prominence as Giuliani’s police chief during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to a nomination to be Homeland Security secretary in the George W. Bush administration. But he soon ran into legal trouble and his nomination was pulled.

Newsmax Media Christopher Ruddy said he had lobbied Trump on behalf of Kerik and Blagojevich.

“It was just so glaring that it was a political case,” Ruddy said of Blagojevich.

The entire GOP delegation from Illinois lobbied against the Blagojevich pardon, officials said.

“We are disappointed by the President’s commutation of Rod Blagojevich’s federal sentence. We believe he received an appropriate and fair sentence,” Illinois Republican Reps. Darin LaHood, John Shimkus, Adam Kinzinger, Rodney J. Davis and Mike Bost said in a statement. “History will not judge Rod Blagojevich well.”

Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), who signed a letter supporting the Kerik pardon, said the president “has had a lot of respect for Bernie over the years.” Geraldo Rivera also signed the letter and was instrumental in the pardon, King said.

Trump acknowledged that in deciding whom to pardon, “a lot of times I really rely on the people that know them.”

The head of the pardon office in the Department of Justice during the first two years of the Trump administration told The Washington Post that he quit last year because the White House had sidelined his office in favor of taking its cues from celebrities, political allies and Fox News.

DeBartolo, Kerik and Milken were all denied pardons under President Obama. Friedler never applied to the pardon office, Justice Department records show.

Most presidents in recent decades have faced accusations at one time or another that they exploited the pardon power. President Bill Clinton issued pardons in the final hours of his presidency to his half brother, a Whitewater business partner, his former housing secretary and a fugitive commodities trader married to a major Democratic donor.

Under Trump, however, politically motivated grants have become the rule, not the exception.

Obama granted an unprecedented number of commutations, about 1,700, under a sweeping initiative that prioritized nonviolent drug offenders. Nearly all of those selected had been sentenced under the mandatory-minimum penalties deployed during the “war on drugs” that critics say disproportionately punished minority communities. Nearly all of the people who received commutations from Obama were men and nearly 80 percent were African American and Hispanic, according to a report by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

The program ended when Trump took office. He has granted clemency to only one African American man so far: the late boxer, Jack Johnson.

The White House also announced Tuesday that Trump had granted clemency to three women convicted of nonviolent drug or fraud offenses. The cases of Tynice Nichole Hall, Crystal Munoz and Judith Negron were all supported by Alice Johnson, a criminal justice advocate whose life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense Trump had commuted last year.

Johnson, whose case was featured in a Trump campaign ad aired during the Super Bowl this month, had been recommended to Trump by reality star and criminal justice advocate Kim Kardashian West.

“It’s a clemency process for the well-connected, and that’s it,” said Rachel Barkow, a New York University Law School professor and clemency expert. “Trump is wielding the power the way you would expect the leader of a banana republic who wants to reward his friends and cronies.”

Blagojevich was caught on FBI wiretaps talking about trying to sell Obama’s vacated Senate seat, saying it was a “valuable thing” and “you don’t just give it away for nothing.”

Trump has mentioned the Democrat’s case frequently in recent years, focusing on what Trump said was a disproportionate punishment for an offense he suggested was really just politics.

“He’s been in jail for seven years over a phone call where nothing happens — over a phone call which he shouldn’t have said what he said, but it was braggadocio, you would say,” Trump told reporters last year. “I would think that there have been many politicians — I’m not one of them, by the way — that have said a lot worse over the telephone.”

Trump first publicly mused about commuting Blagojevich’s sentence in 2018, when he exercised his clemency powers in a string of cases and speculated about others he might pardon. Others mentioned at the time included Martha Stewart, the television personality and lifestyle mogul who was convicted in 2004 of obstructing justice and lying to investigators about a well-timed stock sale.

Trump has routinely downplayed and mischaracterized the case against Blagojevich, whose trial included not only the wiretap but also numerous witnesses testifying that he had solicited campaign cash in exchange for official acts.

In comments last year, Trump also falsely blamed Blagojevich’s treatment on “the Comey gang and all these sleazebags,” a reference to James B. Comey, the FBI director Trump fired amid the mounting investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Comey was in the private sector at the time of Blagojevich’s prosecution and conviction in December 2011.

At fundraiser last year at his Chicago hotel, Trump polled the room on whether he should grant a pardon, taking some donors by surprise. Trump was pleased that so many people said they would be okay with it, people familiar with the event said.

Blagojevich’s turn as a contestant on Trump’s NBC reality show came after he was indicted but before his convictions. Trump praised Blagojevich at the time for having “a lot of guts” to appear on the program.

John Wagner and Marc Fisher contributed to this report.
Once more the message is clear: if you are rich, corrupt, and work to undermine government, democracy, and the rule of law, Donald has your back.

The Blagojevich commutation looks like its also probably yet another petty act to spite James Comey.

We definitely need a constitutional amendment to strip the President of the authority to pardon and commute. One man should not have the power to overturn the entire legal system for the benefit of his friends, allies, or personal vendettas.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf »

Yeah, it's maybe an upside to the whole Trump thing that it might make people a little more aware of how much the US is protected by norms as opposed to laws.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

- A.B. Original, Report to the Mist

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic »

Gandalf wrote: 2020-02-19 07:12pm Yeah, it's maybe an upside to the whole Trump thing that it might make people a little more aware of how much the US is protected by norms as opposed to laws.
This is true of most systems, to be honest.

There are plenty of laws that could and should constrain Trump... if they were enforced. They're not, though, because he's rich and powerful and he has one of two major parties almost entirely in his pocket, and the other party is divided over how to deal with him.

A law without the will to enforce it, and a culture that values the rule of law and fair play, is just a piece of paper, or at best a symbolic declaration of principles, not something with actual force.

But its also fair to say that US law grants the President a fuck-ton of power in the assumption that the President will use it honourably and well- and now we're seeing how flawed that assumption is. Of course, we've seen it before, albeit not this brazenly (Nixon comes immediately to mind, but there are other examples). But there was also the assumption that the other branches of government would actually function as checks and balances and reign a corrupt, criminal PotUS in (as they largely did, in the end, with Nixon). That is the assumption that is being proven wrong today.

The Founders prepared for a criminal PotUS- that's why they wrote that now-too-divisive-and-dangerous-to-be-used impeachment provision into the Constitution. But apparently, the Founders failed to consider a scenario where the Senate and a large portion of the Judiciary would be collaborating with a criminal PotUS.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic »

The march to fascism continues:

Appeals court rules Trump can withhold federal funds to sanctuary cities:

https://aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/cour ... 11923.html

Trump demands Left-wing Supreme Court Justices recuse themselves from all cases involving him:

https://theguardian.com/us-news/2020/fe ... r-ginsburg

Trump blames falling stock market on fears of Democrats winning:

https://cnbc.com/2020/02/26/trump-says- ... virus.html
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Knife »

Yeah, I'm not sure this doom and gloom of "if there is a brokered convention, Trump automatically wins". Sure, if the dems act like little children and start flinging pooh at each other I can see that. But just the act of, the crucible of, electing an nominee does not hurt them. If anything, it sharpens the candidates. It puts them through the ringer, inoculates them against GOPer and Trumper attacks.
They say, "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots." I suppose it never occurred to them that they are the tyrants, not the patriots. Those weapons are not being used to fight some kind of tyranny; they are bringing them to an event where people are getting together to talk. -Mike Wong

But as far as board culture in general, I do think that young male overaggression is a contributing factor to the general atmosphere of hostility. It's not SOS and the Mess throwing hand grenades all over the forum- Red
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic »

Knife wrote: 2020-03-01 08:53pm Yeah, I'm not sure this doom and gloom of "if there is a brokered convention, Trump automatically wins". Sure, if the dems act like little children and start flinging pooh at each other I can see that. But just the act of, the crucible of, electing an nominee does not hurt them. If anything, it sharpens the candidates. It puts them through the ringer, inoculates them against GOPer and Trumper attacks.
A contested convention means two things, right off the bat:

First, it means that the nominee will lack the support of the majority of Democratic primary voters going in.

Second, it means that the Democrats will have to wait until mid-summer to start running their general election campaign, meaning that Trump gets several extra months to build his general election war chest, and to run effectively unopposed.

It also most likely means, given the current math/polls, that Sanders came in with the most delegates. And given the attitude of the other candidates toward him, plus most of the super delegates, it likely means that the nominee is then given to a Centrist (probably Biden), despite Sanders having more votes going in.

It'll be, from the point of view of Sanders supporters, every "establishment rigged primary" theory made manifest. Sure, a lot of us will suck it up and vote Blue regardless, given the alternative. But many won't. Probably more won't than in 2016, because at least in 2016 there was no real doubt that Clinton came to the convention with more votes, and more delegates.

And Trump (and the Kremlin) will exploit that anger and division relentlessly. The "Crooked DNC rigged primary" talking points will practically write themselves. It'll be 2016 dialed up to eleven.

Any nominee who won a contested convention, however, would likely be weakened by the process, including Sanders. I won't say its impossible for the Dems to win in that scenario, but it would probably take something like a combination of a recession, coronavirus blowing up in Trump's face in just the right way, and Trump shooting a kid on live television to make it happen.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic »

After scheduling a MAGA (read: white supremacist) rally in Tulsa (site of one of the worst massacres of black people in American history) on the anniversary of the abolition of slavery, Trump has now scrapped Transgender health protections (in the middle of a pandemic) on the anniversary of the anti-gay Pulse Nightclub massacre:

https://npr.org/sections/health-shots/2 ... nistration

Does anybody still doubt that this monster supports mass murder, that he is signalling that support to his heavily-armed followers, and that their endgame is wholesale genocide?
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Mr Bean »

The Romulan Republic wrote: 2020-06-12 09:29pm After scheduling a MAGA (read: white supremacist) rally in Tulsa (site of one of the worst massacres of black people in American history) on the anniversary of the abolition of slavery, Trump has now scrapped Transgender health protections (in the middle of a pandemic) on the anniversary of the anti-gay Pulse Nightclub massacre:

https://npr.org/sections/health-shots/2 ... nistration

Does anybody still doubt that this monster supports mass murder, that he is signalling that support to his heavily-armed followers, and that their endgame is wholesale genocide?
Yes I don't think so highly of him to be well read on the subject.

Steven Miller on the other hand...

"A cult is a religion with no political power." -Tom Wolfe
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic »

Well, if Trump has one real skill, its manipulating media. And as President, the ultimate responsibility is his.

But yeah, Stephen Miller's influence is probably at work here, as well (and possibly Pence, who's hatred of the LGBTQ+ community is infamous- Trump is even on record "joking" that Pence wants to hang all the gays).
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic »

Facebook finally blocks some Trump adds, after people notice that they are using a literal Nazi concentration camp symbol:

https://nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/face ... y-n1231468
Facebook removed 88 ads Thursday posted by the accounts of President Donald Trump, the Trump campaign and Vice President Mike Pence that the social media giant said were “violating our policy against organized hate.”

All of the identical ads featured an upside-down red triangle, a symbol used by the Nazi party in World War II to identify political dissidents in concentration camps. The ads caught the attention of some Twitter users Thursday who pointed out the symbol's historical significance.

A Facebook spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement that the posts violated the company's policies.

"Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group's symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol," the spokesperson wrote.

Other ads with identical language featured different images including exclamation points and stop signs. Those ads are still visible in the Facebook ad library.

The ads were posted from three accounts: the president’s official account, the vice president’s official account and the official Trump campaign account, according to the Facebook ad library.

The ads were initially posted on June 17. Around 1 a.m. ET the next morning, Bend the Arc, a progressive Jewish advocacy group, called out the ads as “campaigning for reelection using a Nazi concentration camp symbol,” in a tweet which quickly went viral with 14,000 retweets.

A Twitter account for the Trump campaign said the image was not in the Anti-Defamation League's Hate Symbols Database and claimed an upside-down red triangle was “widely used by antifa.”

The account directed an NBC News reporter to a T-shirt on which the word “ANTIFA” is written across an upside-down red triangle as proof. The shirt was created by a user from Spain on a website in which anyone can upload their own T-shirt design.

Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the Trump campaign, maintained that antifa used an "inverted red triangle" and that Facebook has an emoji of the symbol.

OPINION
Trump sues Bolton over new impeachment book. And it's (mostly) Congress' fault.
"We would note that Facebook still has an inverted red triangle emoji in use, which looks exactly the same, so it’s curious that they would target only this ad," Murtaugh said in an emailed statement.

The triangle is otherwise not common among antifa iconography, which usually features a red and black flag or three arrows.

The removed ads warned "dangerous MOBS of far-left groups are running through our streets and causing absolute mayhem."

The ad aims to broaden Trump’s mailing list by soliciting contact information on his official site.

"Please add your name IMMEDIATELY to stand with your President and his decision to declare ANTIFA a Terrorist Organization,” it read.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said the Trump campaign should take more caution with the symbols it uses.

"Whether aware of the history or meaning, for the Trump campaign to use a symbol – one which is practically identical to that used by the Nazi regime to classify political prisoners in concentration camps -- to attack his opponents is offensive and deeply troubling," Greenblatt said in an email.

CORRECTION (June 18, 2020, 3:40 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated when the ads later removed by Facebook were posted. They were posted on June 17, not July 17.
I think the more significant story here than Facebook finally, grudgingly doing the bare minimum of moderating its content is that Trump, Pence, and their reelection campaign are literally using a Nazi concentration camp symbol for targeting political dissidents. They're literally one step away from openly using a Swastika in their campaign materials.

And when are we going to stop with this "they should have been more careful" bullshit? This isn't ignorance, because shit like this comes out of their campaign and regime far too often. They know exactly what it means, and what they're saying, and even if Trump doesn't people working for him do, because their goal is the same (to create a dictatorship and put dissidents and minorities in concentration camps).
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic »

Time to just fucking say it: the President of the United States is a literal Nazi.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.
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Der Fuhrer commutes Roger Stone's sentence.

Post by The Romulan Republic »

https://nytimes.com/2020/07/10/us/polit ... mency.html
WASHINGTON — President Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr. on seven felony crimes on Friday, using the power of his office to help a former campaign adviser days before Mr. Stone was to report to a federal prison to serve a 40-month term.

In a lengthy statement released late on a Friday evening, the White House denounced the prosecution against Mr. Stone on what it called “process based charges” stemming from “the Russia Hoax” investigation. “Roger Stone has already suffered greatly,” the statement said. “He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case. Roger Stone is now a free man!”

Punctuated by the same sort of inflammatory language and angry grievances characteristic of the president’s Twitter feed, the official statement assailed “overzealous prosecutors” working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and the “witch hunts” aimed at the president and his associates. It attacked the “activist juror” who led the panel that convicted Mr. Stone and went on to complain about the show of force used by federal law enforcement agents when he was arrested.

“These charges were the product of recklessness borne of frustration and malice,” the statement said. “This is why the out-of-control Mueller prosecutors, desperate for splashy headlines to compensate for a failed investigation, set their sights on Mr. Stone.”

The statement did not argue that Mr. Stone was innocent, only that he should not have been pursued. “The simple fact is that if the special counsel had not been pursuing an absolutely baseless investigation, Mr. Stone would not be facing time in prison,” it said.

Mr. Stone, 67, a longtime Republican operative, was convicted of obstructing a congressional investigation into Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign and has been openly lobbying for clemency, maintaining that he could die in prison and emphasizing that he had stayed loyal to the president rather than help investigators.

“He knows I was under enormous pressure to turn on him,” Mr. Stone told the journalist Howard Fineman on Friday shortly before the announcement. “It would have eased my situation considerably. But I didn’t.”

After the commutation was announced, Grant Smith, a lawyer for Mr. Stone, said: “Mr. Stone is incredibly honored that President Trump used his awesome and unique power under the Constitution of the United States for this act of mercy. Mr. and Mrs. Stone appreciate all the consideration the president gave to this matter.”

Democrats quickly condemned the president’s decision, characterizing it as an abuse of the rule of law. “With this commutation, Trump makes clear that there are two systems of justice in America: one for his criminal friends, and one for everyone else,” said Representative Adam Schiff, Democrat of California and a leader of the drive to impeach Mr. Trump last year for pressuring Ukraine to incriminate his domestic rivals.

The commutation for Mr. Stone was the latest action by the Trump administration helping the president’s convicted friends. The Justice Department moved in May to dismiss its own criminal case against Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. And last month Mr. Trump fired Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney whose office prosecuted Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former personal lawyer, and has been investigating Rudolph W. Giuliani, another of his lawyers.

Mr. Trump has used his power to issue pardons or commutations to a variety of political allies, supporters or people with connections to his own circle, like the former New York police commissioner Bernard B. Kerik, the financier Michael R. Milken and former Governor Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois. But Mr. Stone is the first figure directly connected to the president’s campaign to benefit from his clemency power. While Mr. Trump has publicly dangled pardons for associates targeted by investigators, that was a line he had been wary of crossing until now amid warnings from advisers concerned about the possible political damage.

Mr. Stone made no secret of his desire for clemency from the president. While it was not immediately clear when the two last spoke, Mr. Stone has given several interviews in which he said he was “praying” for a reprieve from Mr. Trump. He cited health concerns, including asthma, and a fear of the coronavirus.

“I think I’ll be the last person to know” if there is an action from the president, Mr. Stone told Fox News earlier this week. “He hates leaks, and he hates to be told what to do. I have instructed my lawyers not to contact the lawyers at the White House.”

Mr. Stone added: “The president, who I’ve known for 40 years, has an incredible sense of fairness. He is aware that the people trying to destroy Michael Flynn, now trying to destroy me, are the people trying to destroy him.”

Mr. Stone has been one of the most colorful figures in American politics for decades, cheerfully engaging in dirty tricks that others would disavow. He made political contributions to a Republican challenger to President Richard M. Nixon in 1972 under the name of the Young Socialist Alliance and hired an operative to try to infiltrate the campaign of George McGovern, the Democratic candidate.

He was accused of leaving a threatening, profanity-laced voice mail message for the father of Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York, resulting in his resignation. But he later got his revenge on Mr. Spitzer by claiming credit for spreading the rumor that the governor wore black dress socks during sexual escapades with prostitutes.

An unapologetic admirer of Mr. Nixon who even had the disgraced president’s face tattooed on his back, Mr. Stone also worked for other major Republican candidates including former Gov. Tom Kean of New Jersey and Senator Bob Dole, the party’s 1996 nominee for president.

Mr. Stone’s history of scandals and dirty tricks did not trouble Mr. Trump. Mr. Stone is not only Mr. Trump’s longest-serving political adviser, but he has been integral to most of the president’s political activities over the past 33 years. He was there when the celebrity real estate developer first wrote “The Art of the Deal” in 1987 and a makeshift effort in New Hampshire was made to draft Mr. Trump to run for president.

He helped organize Mr. Trump’s speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee in 2011, where he declared himself against abortion rights. And he helped map out the first days of Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign before leaving after several weeks over the direction of the campaign.

Mr. Stone quit as an adviser to Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign; Mr. Trump later claimed he fired Mr. Stone. Either way, the falling out was sour. Mr. Trump later called him a “stone-cold loser” and aides said the president viewed him as a self-promoter.

But after Mr. Stone was indicted, the president repeatedly hinted that he might pardon him. “Roger Stone and everybody has to be treated fairly,” he said after Mr. Stone was sentenced. “This has not been a fair process.”

The debate over clemency for Mr. Stone has raged within the White House for months. Among those who advocated on behalf of it from outside the building were Tucker Carlson, the influential Fox News anchor, and Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Within the White House itself, Mr. Stone had few allies. Many Trump aides who knew him from the campaign did not like him, were envious of his long relationship with Mr. Trump or thought clemency would be bad politics.

Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, expressed concern about possible political damage, according to two people familiar with the discussions, although he has left people with different impressions about where he stands. The same is true of Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who has been involved in most of the clemency discussions throughout the last three years.

Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, was concerned about intervening on Mr. Stone’s behalf, according to the people close to the discussions. One of the few within the White House who backed clemency was Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser and an old friend of Mr. Stone. Mr. Kudlow spends more time with Mr. Trump than many other advisers.

Mr. Stone was convicted last year of obstructing a congressional inquiry into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election. Prosecutors convinced jurors that he lied under oath, withheld a trove of documents and threatened an associate with harm if he cooperated with congressional investigators. Mr. Stone maintained his innocence and claimed prosecutors wanted him to offer information about Mr. Trump that he said did not exist.

Mr. Stone was sentenced against a backdrop of upheaval at the Justice Department not seen for decades. First, four career prosecutors recommended that he be sentenced to seven to nine years in prison, citing advisory sentencing guidelines that generally govern the department’s sentencing requests.

After Mr. Trump attacked the prosecutors’ recommendation on Twitter, Attorney General William P. Barr overruled it. Mr. Trump then publicly applauded him for doing so, even though the attorney general said he made the decision on his own and criticized the president on national television for undercutting his credibility.

The prosecutors withdrew from the case in protest, and one quit the department entirely. At Mr. Stone’s sentencing hearing in February, United States District Judge Amy Berman Jackson called the situation “unprecedented.” Without naming him, she suggested that the president had tried to influence the course of justice by publicly attacking her, the jurors and the Justice Department lawyers.

“The dismay and disgust at any attempt to interfere with the efforts of prosecutors and members of the judiciary to fulfill their duty should transcend party,” she said.

In an interview with ABC News this week, Mr. Barr defended both the original prosecution of Mr. Stone as well as his own intervention to reduce the punishment, saying the case itself was “righteous” but the sentencing recommendation “excessive.”

Mr. Stone, who lives in Florida, had been ordered earlier to report to the Bureau of Prisons by June 30 to begin serving his sentence. He sought a two-month delay, citing the coronavirus pandemic sweeping through federal prisons, but Judge Jackson granted him only a two-week reprieve, noting that the prison he was to report to was “unaffected” by the outbreak.

Two other former aides to Mr. Trump who were convicted of federal crimes were released from prison to serve out their sentences under home arrest because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Cohen, who broke with Mr. Trump and publicly accused him of vast wrongdoing, was released from a federal prison camp in May, but taken back into custody this week after refusing to agree to terms of his probation that would have forced him to scrub a tell-all book he planned to publish in September. He was serving a three-year sentence for campaign finance violations and other crimes related to a scheme to pay hush money during the 2016 presidential race to two women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump, which the president has denied.

Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, was also released in May from a central Pennsylvania prison, where he was serving a seven-and-a-half year sentence for bank and tax fraud. He is now confined at home.
Few things fill me with rage like the thought that, barring some other crime he has committed being uncovered once Trump is gone, Roger Stone is now forever beyond the reach of Justice, because the framers of the Constitution never imagined when they gave the President the power of pardon and commutation that the Presidency would one day be held by a Mob Boss who would use it to protect his henchmen, or that there would be a Senate craven and corrupt enough to allow such a President to remain in office.

Fuck the constitution, fuck the law. Nothing Trump has done should be regarded as legitimate, because the actions of a Mob Boss should not become lawful just because he managed to buy, con, or otherwise cheat his way into the Presidency. At this point I'd support a Constitutional Amendment stripping the pardon power from the Presidency, made retroactive just long enough to fuck Roger Stone personally.

I still hope, probably vainly, for a legal way to someday hold this slime accountable. But honestly? The first thought that came to mind when I heard this news was the following quote from Sherlock Holmes:

"I think there are certain crimes which the law cannot touch, and which therefore, to some extent, justify private revenge."

And I guarantee you more and more people are going to be having those thoughts every time some rich white male Republican walks because he's buddies with the Mob Boss of the United States.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.
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Der Fuhrer proposes stripping tax exempt status from Universities in retaliation for Left-wing speech.

Post by The Romulan Republic »

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/don ... ri18n=true
The man who once famously said, “I love the poorly educated,” apparently has a big problem with higher education.

President Donald Trump on Friday railed against universities and school systems that he argued were “about radical left indoctrination, not education.”

In two tweets, the president said he was telling the Treasury Department to “re-examine” the tax-exempt status of colleges and universities if they use “propaganda or act against public policy.”

Too many Universities and School Systems are about Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education. Therefore, I am telling the Treasury Department to re-examine their Tax-Exempt Status...

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2020
... and/or Funding, which will be taken away if this Propaganda or Act Against Public Policy continues. Our children must be Educated, not Indoctrinated!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2020
But Trump’s proposal to eliminate tax-exempt status for educational institutions that supposedly indoctrinate students may not pass legal muster.

The “advocacy of a particular position or viewpoint” can qualify as educational for tax purposes “if there is a sufficiently full and fair exposition of pertinent facts to permit an individual or the public to form an independent opinion or conclusion,” according to IRS policy reported by Politico.

Many Twitter users also took issue with the president’s tweets.

America wants to investigate YOUR tax-exempt status. https://t.co/3fO2QZe854

— Dan Rather (@DanRather) July 10, 2020
I'm old enough to remember when conservatives went crazy when they thought the IRS was targeting right-wing organizations for political purposes. No doubt, they will all loudly express their indignation over this. https://t.co/Lfn1a5v6KH

— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) July 10, 2020
Real politburo crap here. You do NOT get to define what education is or is not. You do not get to mandate what we say, think, read or how we express ourselves. You do not control our bodies, our minds, our beliefs, or our sexual preferences. @realDonaldTrumphttps://t.co/wK0YqpOY26

— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) July 10, 2020
The would-be dictator wants to withhold funding based on the content of speech. So much for the Constitution. https://t.co/AOFAbvIeQU

— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) July 10, 2020
He's hoping news organizations cover this empty threat today instead of his refusal/inability to read his daily intelligence briefs containing real threats like Putin paying to kill American troops. https://t.co/AwiCnAk4lg

— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) July 10, 2020
No one gets to bitch about "cancel culture" after this overt threat by the sitting president against all higher ed institutions that aren't an iteration of Liberty U because he disagrees with some professors' politics ⬇️ https://t.co/t1GBSkPdez

— Fiddler (@cFidd) July 10, 2020
Dude who had someone take his SATs doesn't understand higher learning. I am shocked.

No wonder he created that sham Trump University. https://t.co/apHVGbvYX3

— Jerry James Stone (@jerryjamesstone) July 10, 2020
One person gently suggested that the president might want to rethink his plan.

Good luck with this one at the Supreme Court. You’ve been racking up loss after loss lately, you really want to go again? https://t.co/BZeICpcKoB

— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) July 10, 2020
HuffPost reached out to the Treasury Department for comment.
But "Both Sides"!

No. Biden wouldn't do shit like this. Because Biden doesn't want to be dictator, and I don't think his most fanatical detractors really believe that he does.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.
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Re: Der Fuhrer commutes Roger Stone's sentence.

Post by Solauren »

What would it take for the US Senate and Congress to pass an act that retroactively stripped Trump his pardon powers?
I've been asked why I still follow a few of the people I know on Facebook with 'interesting political habits and view points'.

It's so when they comment on or approve of something, I know what pages to block/what not to vote for.
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Re: Der Fuhrer commutes Roger Stone's sentence.

Post by bilateralrope »

Solauren wrote: 2020-07-10 09:15pm What would it take for the US Senate and Congress to pass an act that retroactively stripped Trump his pardon powers?
Retroactive law changes are generally a bad idea. Especially when they allow the government to punish someone who couldn't be legally punished without the law change.

Removing the pardon power so that it can't be used by presidents in the future is a different matter. I do not see how pardons are compatible with the rule of law, except in cases where the crime in question is no longer a crime under current law.
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Re: Der Fuhrer commutes Roger Stone's sentence.

Post by TimothyC »

Solauren wrote: 2020-07-10 09:15pm What would it take for the US Senate and Congress to pass an act that retroactively stripped Trump his pardon powers?
They can't. It would have to be a constitutional amendment.
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