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Member since: Wed Jul 24, 2013, 01:10 PM
Number of posts: 1,421

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I think I understand Turley's motivation.

I've heard him speak before. He's basically a contrarian. His positions may hold some principle, but in large part, he's taking the opposite side just to do it. He's a more intelligent version of Alan Dershowitz.

Academia is full of such people.

I just did something I've never done.

I sometimes use C-SPAN to follow the hearings while I'm working.

I decided to keep it on during a pause in the hearings and listen to the call-in segment.

Where, exactly, do these callers come from? Half of the callers on the "Democratic" line are either Republicans or very, very ignorant people. Ditto for the alleged independents.

I was once surprised at how close I came to convincing a graduate student - a geology graduate student - that clocks in the southern hemisphere go in the other direction because of the Coriolis Effect. Now I know where such graduate students come from.

Wow. Just....wow.

I'd never really listened to Devin Nunes until now.

This dude is living in an alternative reality.

How should the constitution be fixed?

When this nightmare ends, the constitution should be amended to make sure this never happens again. But how?

Some needed amendments are obvious. The electoral college has to go. Partisan gerrymandering has to be abolished. Citizens United has to be overturned.

But I think additional amendments are needed:

1. The president's power to pardon should not be absolute. Presidents should not be able to pardon people whose crimes occurred during their administration, for example. I also think presidents should be barred from pardoning previous presidents. The "let's move forward" attitude has done real damage to the Republic.

2. There needs to be clarity on whether a sitting president can be indicted.

3. Presidents should also be unable to interfere with independent counsels.


Yeah, about the Orange One's mental decline -

I think it's pretty obvious to most people that the president's cognitive faculties have been on the downswing. The amount of sense he makes when he talks - never large to begin with - is shrinking. His behavior seems increasingly erratic.

What impact might this have on future attempts to prosecute him, either for crimes committed while in office or before?

I'm serious about this. I wonder if a good lawyer could get a judge to rule him unfit to stand trial.

I'm not talking about an insanity defense. I'm talking about legal professionals deciding that Trump is mentally incapable of defending himself in a court of law.

I recall this being the subject of discussion in the aftermath of Iran-Contra; there were concerns that Reagan's Alzheimer's was advanced enough to render him untriable.

suggestion about presidential portrait

I've said several times that I want Trump to leave office in such disgrace that his official presidential portrait is never commissioned. I don't want his face to besmirch the White House or National Portrait Gallery.

But I've had a better idea: have the official portrait executed by a cartoonist.

Suggestions for who this should be? I go back and forth between Matt Groening and Tom Toles.

something we need to hear from every Democrat.

Every Democrat running for every office - at least on the national level.

What will you do if/when a Democratic president is sworn in in January 2021? Will you pardon Trump, or decline to pursue further investigations of his administration? Or will you allow due process to continue at the federal level and, if appropriate, allow the Department of Justice to bring legal proceedings against him?

Do we "look ahead" and not dwell on the past? Or do we learn from that past?

This is ESPECIALLY true for those Democrats seeking the party's nomination for the presidential election, but it also holds for those running for Senate or HR seats.

In my opinion, our country has suffered from well-intended efforts to "move forward" and "not look back." Ford pardoned Nixon. Bush the 1st decided not to pursue accountability over Iran-Contra. (He was probably neck-deep in it himself.) Obama dropped further investigation of the Bush the 2nd administration's warmongering in Iraq. No one really followed up when revelations were made about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, Nixon's deliberate derailing of peace efforts in 1968, or any of the other myriad scandals that were discovered years after they were revealed. It was all so much "let's not bicker and argue about who killed who."

The rationale was always "we should move forward." Dwelling on the past was seen as harmful and not productive.

Iran-Contra happened because of Watergate. The Iraq War happened because of Iran-Contra. Every day, we're seeing the current administration wipe its dripping anus with the US Constitution because so much latitude was given to Trump's predecessors. People in high positions broke the law, and there weren't consequences.

We need to hear this from every Democrat running for office - there will be no amnesty without accountability. Our country will not survive if we keep allowing bygones to be bygones.

congress has to subpoena everything

I'm on record as doubting Epstein's death was anything more than the suicide it appears to be. I still want his death investigated (pardon the pun) to death, because (a) I could be wrong, and there could indeed be some sort of foul play involved, and (b) if I'm right, there has to be accountability for grotesque negligence.

Whether there's a conspiracy or not (and as I've said, I lean not), it would be very easy for a certain shaved orangutan in the nation's capital to use Epstein's demise to his own benefit. We can't let that happen.

Why I don't (necessarily) buy Epstein conspiracy theories

Is it possible that someone got to Epstein to shut him up? Yes.

Is it likely? No - and neither is it the best explanation.

1. Suicide is actually a fairly common phenomenon for men - especially powerful men - publicly exposed as pedophiles. If Epstein committed suicide, itís not unusual. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3629679/

2. Yeah, a lot of powerful people were about to be exposed. But given what the Feds already have, Epsteinís death will do nothing to protect them. This isnít analogous to shooting Oswald days after Kennedy was assassinated, before anyone really knew what happened - Epstein was followed for many years, and the records are already in hand.

My thoughts, anyway. I donít completely reject the possibility that he was killed to keep him quiet, but iím not convinced we need to invoke it. His silence wonít have as much practical benefit as many think.

why I don't think it's (necessarily) about white privilege

There's been a lot of discussion about the protestor who jumped on the stage featuring a discussion with Kamala Harris. This person - a white male - grabbed the microphone out of Senator Harris' hands and started to talk about an issue other than what was being discussed. That this person is a white male, and Senator Harris is a woman of color, has led a lot of people to point at this as an example of white privilege.

I'm not going to say it isn't - but I AM going to say it might not be.

Case in point - there was a "town hall"-style forum with our University president, who had been hired less than a year previously. Of the finalists for the position, he was the only one with no academic administrative experience whatsoever. A lot of us felt that the Board of Regents organized a sham interview process to hide this person's direct hire. Hence, his presence on campus was controversial, and the forum was not as even-tempered as one might hope.

Toward the end of the forum, a young man walked to the front of the lecture hall. There was no stage per se, but he walked right past a line of people patiently waiting their turn to use the microphone, stepped up to the podium, and began a lengthy and, frankly, meandering soliloquy.

I thought it was extremely rude. But some of my colleagues told me I should not think so badly of it. The person who cut in front of everyone was African American, and he was interrupting a white male. My objection to his behavior, I was told, reflected my own white privilege.

No, it didn't. It reflected my concepts of courtesy and decorum. Want to say something? Wait your turn, like everyone else.

What I saw in the incident with Senator Harris reminded me a lot of the incident at my university. A protestor who wanted to call attention to his cause interjected himself at the expense of others. That he's white, and the woman he interrupted is of color, didn't necessarily enter into my reading of what happened.

I fully acknowledge that, being a white guy, I'm less likely to pick up on subtle racism. But I honestly think this reflects a sense of entitlement held by activists lacking the ability to se beyond their own causes. Male/white privilege may or may not have played a role, but I've seen people act this way who weren't white men.

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