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Profile Information

Name: Dolores
Gender: Female
Hometown: California
Home country: USA
Current location: California
Member since: Thu Nov 30, 2017, 02:58 PM
Number of posts: 3,750

Journal Archives

AG Barr is the real threat.



It turns out, of course, that Barr is more radical than anyone could have imagined. I've written about his adherence to the "unitary executive" theory quite a bit. But last Friday night he gave a speech to the Federalist Society that makes clear his pet constitutional theory is only a part of the problem. This is not just about presidential power. It is about a deep loathing for his political opposition on such a visceral level that it's frightening to think about such a man having so much power and being answerable only to the inept bully in the White House. It was frankly authoritarian.


Barr seeks to make the conservative movement see Trump's alleged victimization as a reflection of their own. They must see themselves as easy prey, hunted by the ruthless leftist "resistance," which seems to include all members of the legislative branch, "disloyal" federal employees and any member of the judiciary who may have ruled against Trump's policies.

The speech was frightening both in its arrogance and its lack of self-awareness. Right now, Barr is in the midst of an investigation into the "origins" of the Russia investigation during the 2016 campaign. He has strongly suggested he believes it was improper to investigate a Republican presidential campaign, and the fact that the DOJ and the intelligence community, which undertook that investigation, are themselves part of the executive branch he now venerates as a repository of unlimited power doesn't seem to have occurred to him.

Barr's speech has come under a lot of public criticism. But the members of the Federalist Society in attendance on Friday night gave his rousing call to arms a standing ovation. The supposedly brilliant legal minds of the conservative movement ecstatically applauded a demagogic, partisan speech by the most powerful law enforcement officer in the nation, setting forth the idea that America should be ruled by a succession of dictators who will keep the nation's true enemies — the political terrorists of the left — in line.

If we're lucky, Donald Trump will not be president much longer. But this is the Republican Party he will be leaving behind. Rather than being chagrined by this experience, they seem to be evolving into a new level of authoritarianism.

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Mon Nov 18, 2019, 06:01 PM (42 replies)

After 4 days of power outage here in CA, I can come out of the dark and catch up on the news.

We are south of the Kincade fire in Sonoma County and are slowly starting to resume normal operations. We weren't under mandatory evacuation but it was stressful waiting to hear if there was any change for the worse. It has been quite an experience and if nothing else, I realize how many conveniences I take for granted.
Posted by alwaysinasnit | Wed Oct 30, 2019, 04:09 PM (11 replies)

Self-Dealing in Ukraine: The Core of the Impeachment Inquiry

Article from Lawfare that is in-depth and clarifies a lot of the issues and ramifications.


As the Ukraine story develops, the public focus has remained largely on wrongdoing by the president outside the realm of criminal law, focusing instead on President Trump’s apparent use of his office for personal gain. On one level, this makes sense: Impeachment is only about removal of the president from office, not about criminal prosecution and imprisonment. So the standards and processes for impeachment are different.

But it would be a mistake to ignore the criminal law entirely. Evidence of criminal misconduct, specifically, the federal bribery statute, should influence political judgments about impeachment. After all, “Bribery” is one of the grounds for impeachment specifically enumerated in the Constitution.


The bribery law—18 U.S.C. § 201(b)—is easy to understand. The elements, as they pertain here, are as follows:

Whoever, being a public official …
directly or indirectly demands or seeks …
anything of value
for himself or some other person
in return for being influenced in the performance of any official act …

has committed the felony. I believe the federal bribery crime, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, also gets at the heart of the self-dealing issue more effectively than some alternative theories of criminal behavior, such as “honest services fraud” (which has some complex legal issues associated with it) or foreign campaign finance violations (which tend to involve monetary help apparently lacking here).

Anyone joining knowingly in the commission of the above could be liable as well, probably under the conspiracy statute (18 U.S.C. § 371). That might include Giuliani, who is not a public official.


Posted by alwaysinasnit | Thu Oct 24, 2019, 03:39 PM (0 replies)

Researchers Detail How Slashing Pentagon Budget Could Pay for Medicare for All

Researchers Detail How Slashing Pentagon Budget Could Pay for Medicare for All While Creating Progressive Foreign Policy Americans Want



Koshgarian outlined a multitude of areas in which the U.S. government could shift more than $300 billion per year, currently used for military spending, to pay for a government-run healthcare program. Closing just half of U.S. military bases, for example, would immediately free up $90 billion.

"What are we doing with that base in Aruba, anyway?" Koshgarian asked.

Other areas where IPS identified savings include:

cancellation of current plans to develop more nuclear weapons, saving $20 billion
a total nuclear weapons ban, saving $43 billion
ending military partnerships with private contractors, saving $364 billion
production cuts for the F-35—a military plane with 900 performance deficiencies, according to the Government Accountability Office—saving $17.7 billion
a shift of $33 billion per year, currently used to provide medical care to veterans, servicemembers, and their families, to Medicare for All's annual budget.

"This item takes us well past our goal of saving $300 billion," Koshgarian wrote of the last item.

As Koshgarian published her op-ed in the Times, progressive think tank Data for Progress released its own report showing that a majority of Americans support a "progressive foreign policy" far less focused on decades-long on-the-ground wars, establishing military bases around the world, drone strikes, and arms sales.


The Defense budget is an ever-increasing black hole.

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Sun Oct 20, 2019, 01:35 AM (10 replies)

Mississippi City claims that undocumented immigrants have no constitutional rights...WTF?


A court filing publicized late last week drew outrage on Monday over the case of Ismael Lopez, a 41-year-old man who was killed by police two years ago in Southaven, Mississippi.

To avoid responsibility for the man's death, attorneys for the city are arguing that Lopez had no constitutional rights due to his status as an undocumented immigrant—blatantly contradicting U.S. law and numerous rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, was among the immigrant rights defenders who drew attention to the case on social media.

Cops in Southhaven Mississippi knocked on the door of the wrong house and killed an innocent man, Ismael Lopez - shooting him in the head

His family sued the city

The city is now moving to dismiss the case, arguing that undocumented people have no rightshttps://t.co/x1ePIfYJCE

— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) September 29, 2019

Lopez was shot in the back of the head when the police came to his home, where he'd lived for 16 years, in July 2017. His widow, Claudia Linares, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Southaven this past summer, a year after a grand jury declined to indict the two officers involved in his death.


I can't even wrap my head around this type of thinking.
Posted by alwaysinasnit | Mon Sep 30, 2019, 06:26 PM (7 replies)

Privacy threat flying mostly under the radar...



A casual announcement made Wednesday by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that his company is writing facial recognition regulations for legislators to enact is exactly what "digital rights activists have been warning" would emerge from Silicon Valley unless lawmakers pass a full ban on facial recognition surveillance.

Bezos told reporters at a product launch event that the company's "public policy team is actually working on facial recognition regulations."

"It makes a lot of sense to regulate that," Bezos said. "It's a perfect example of something that has really positive uses so you don't want to put the breaks on it. At the same time there's lots of potential for abuses with that kind of technology and so you do want regulations."

Amazon earlier this year released facial recognition guidelines that it hoped lawmakers would consider when creating regulation.

Now, Amazon is writing draft legislation to pitch to lawmakers, Jeff Bezos said in a surprise media appearance yesterday https://t.co/MdWwkWZxgj pic.twitter.com/YMOnKjBL9r

— Jason Del Rey (@DelRey) September 26, 2019

For a form of technology that digital rights advocates call "uniquely dangerous," regulations—especially those that Amazon lobbyists have a hand in developing—are not sufficient to keep Americans safe from the privacy violations facial recognition can cause, said Fight for the Future.


Posted by alwaysinasnit | Thu Sep 26, 2019, 03:15 PM (0 replies)

45's lawyers argue that it is unconstitutional to even investigate him....WTF?


Lawyers for President Trump argued in a lawsuit filed on Thursday that he could not be criminally investigated while in office, as they sought to block a subpoena from state prosecutors in Manhattan demanding eight years of his tax returns.

Taking a broad position that the lawyers acknowledged had not been tested, the president’s legal team argued in the complaint that the Constitution effectively makes sitting presidents immune from all criminal inquiries until they leave the White House.

Presidents, they asserted, have such enormous responsibility and play a unique role in government that they cannot be subject to the burden of investigations, especially from local prosecutors who may use the criminal process for political gain.

Several constitutional law scholars interviewed by The New York Times said that if the lawyers’ position were accepted by the court, it would set a sweeping new precedent.


I wonder what legal basis they are using to underpin that argument.
Posted by alwaysinasnit | Fri Sep 20, 2019, 02:03 PM (17 replies)

This article explains the inner workings of MSM news organizations and why we can't count on them.



As a journalist who has worked both inside and outside of establishment media, I see influence as embedded in a corporate media culture rather than in isolated cases of CEO dictates. It happens in little ways, such as how an interviewer frames a question, and in big ways, like the decision to exclude a topic, a person or a group of people from the airwaves.

Like most US companies, news organizations are hierarchies, which people who have worked in corporate offices can readily understand. Given that “90% of the United States’ media is controlled by five media conglomerates,” the top executive at many news outfits is likely the CEO of a multinational corporation. The word comes down from the business execs to the company’s division chiefs, as seen in countless movies (like the 1976 classic Network). This was how it was when I worked on primetime national news at CBS in the 1990s.

On the inside, it wasn’t easy to see organizational bias, when job security and team work required overlooking it. The response to the heavily promoted primetime news pairing of two well-known anchors exemplified how news personnel learn to toe the line. The two anchors had zero chemistry, but no one mentioned it, as if an unwritten code had been instantly internalized. This dragged on for two years, pulling down the network’s ratings.

Higher-ups would never offer editorial staff direct input on content. That’s what the executive and middle management were for. Would these managers confide to their staff that the big guns gave them a certain direction? No. Whatever it was, they would present it as their own, and it would be adopted.


Posted by alwaysinasnit | Thu Sep 19, 2019, 04:50 PM (3 replies)

The practical effects of 45's/GOP's fight to count US citizens.


by Jeffrey W Ladewig, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Connecticut

The U.S. is still months away from the start of the 2020 census – but the decennial count of the country’s population is already controversial.

After the Supreme Court’s decision at the end of June, President Donald Trump conceded that the administration would no longer pursue a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census.

Instead, Trump announced that he signed an executive order instructing the executive branch to share all citizenship data with the U.S. Census. He suggested that the augmented data could be used in the apportionment and redistricting processes.

I have studied and taught how the U.S. apportions seats in Congress and redraws congressional districts for two decades. These topics have been of paramount importance to democratic representation since, at least, the founding of the U.S. And both are critical for the future legitimacy of the American government after the 2020 Census.

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Thu Aug 8, 2019, 03:50 PM (1 replies)

The difference between 'left' and 'liberal' and why voters need to know.


According to press accounts, all of the Democratic contenders taking the stage this week rank on a spectrum of more or less “liberal.”

They don’t.

While most are liberal, two or three are leftist, not liberal. It’s important that voters start distinguishing between those terms because the primary presents them a stark choice between the two.

Leftism and liberalism are distinct political categories with different histories. Understanding the problem of fusing them requires a quick tour of British history from around 1845 to 1980 with just a few stops along the way to the U.S. in 2019.


Interesting article and well worth reading.
Posted by alwaysinasnit | Tue Jul 30, 2019, 05:08 PM (24 replies)
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