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keopeli

keopeli's Journal
keopeli's Journal
February 6, 2024

What happens if SCOTUS kicks Trump off the ballot? An enlightening perspective.

I thought this comment by Kimberly Wehle, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, was particularly enlightening:


If the justices were truly concerned about the legitimacy of the Supreme Court as an institution, they would not have taken this case in the first place. It’s conceivable that enough red-leaning states could join Colorado and Maine to decide, under their own election laws, that Trump is disqualified from their respective states’ presidential ballots and so as to deprive him of 270 Electoral College votes well before Nov. 4. In the name of federalism and judicial conservatism, stepping aside from this one and letting state law — and state legislators’ voters — work it out would have been a more prudent course for the court to take.

......

Consider the three biggest legal issues the Colorado case presents and the fallout that would ensue if the court decides to keep Trump on the ballot. First: Is the president an officer of the United States under Section 3? If the court rules that no, presidents don’t qualify under Section 3, incumbent presidents seeking a second term can employ the massive law enforcement, military and investigative powers of the office to stay in power knowing that insurrection or rebellion by former presidents is constitutionally impossible. Second: Was Jan. 6, 2021 an insurrection? If the court rules no, it was something less serious than that, then future presidential candidates or former presidents can plan and stage a redo of that deadly day knowing that the Constitution, again, cannot make any difference in guiding their behavior. Third: Did Trump engage in insurrection on Jan. 6? If the court holds no, he didn’t do enough to qualify as engagement, then future insurrectionists can remain in the shadows, masterminding a coup rather than joining the rioters with weapons in the street, knowing that it’s okay with the Constitution so long as presidential hand-to-hand combat is not involved.

Which leaves the biggest question of all: If Jan. 6 was not an insurrection, and Trump didn’t engage in it, then what’s left of Section 3 itself? The obvious answer is: Probably nothing. By keeping Trump on the ballot using one of the arguments above, the Supreme Court would have effectively repealed a live section of the Constitution without bothering with the supermajorities in both houses of Congress and state legislatures that the Constitution requires for amendments to that document.

Only one decision will strengthen the Constitution, our democracy and the rule of law. The mantra “no more Kings” should go for everyone — including Supreme Court justices. And presidents.

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2024/02/05/predicting-the-fallout-if-the-supreme-court-throws-trump-off-the-ballot-00139381

(Her comment is at the bottom of the page.)

November 1, 2023

Oct 31 is my 21st DU Anniversary. Here's what was going on when I joined. (x-post from yesterday)

For the past few months in 2002, the drums of war were beating. VP Cheney remarked about Saddam Hussein having WMDs. Condi Rice warned of a mushroom cloud over the US because of Iraq. Senator Wellstone tragically had just died in a plane crash. Important mid-terms were a week away, though we would not do as well as we hoped because of 9/11 fever. Three weeks earlier (Oct 10), Congress authorized war against Iraq. Only 23 Senators (including 1 Republican) and 133 Representatives (including 6 Republicans) voted against it because it was obvious and provable that Saddam had NO WMDs. Anyone paying attention knew this. (McClatchey articles were top-notch at the time and the only news outlet publishing the unvarnished truth.) But many Democrats voted to pass the bill, including Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. Without their votes, there would have been no Iraq War. I vowed then I would never vote for Clinton or Biden unless I had no choice. I kept that promise until I voted for Biden as VP under Obama in 2008 (so I could vote for Obama) and for Clinton as President in 2016 (not in the Primary though). Hillary's vote that month haunted her for the rest of her political life. It haunted Joe, too, but he was not a front-runner for higher office (except VP, which is different) for almost 20 years and, as with Hillary in 2016, the threat of Trump overrode everything else. It seems hard to understand now, since Hillary is such an outstanding politician, but for years we had other viable options to support and the Iraq War was such a colossal mistake it seemed unbelievable she or Biden or any other Dem would support W's war.

I was very worried and afraid my boyfriend at the time was going to be drafted. Thankfully, that didn't happen. Americans were still reeling from 9/11 and the Repubs were high on their cancel culture (Phil Donahue, Bill Maher, Dixie Chicks, and many more. (Don't let today's GQP make you think Dems created "cancel culture". They've been doing it for decades at least.) Bush "W", whose approval was artificially high from 9/11, had taken his eyes off the ball to avenge his daddy and let bin Laden slip through his fingers in Afghanistan.

I was teaching music in college and running a Summer Choral Music Festival in Hawaii that changed the mold of Choral Music Festivals since that time. My computer, which I built, ran Windows XP and no one knew smartphones would change the way we live and think. Two African American actors won the top acting Oscars for the first time: Denzel Washington and Halle Barry.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. And on Halloween, I found Democratic Underground. I registered as Keopeli and I've been here every day for 21 years. I wonder what I will say after 42 years in 2045? I hope I'll be alive, but if I am, I know I'll start that day reading and chatting with my compatriots on DU. Thank you, fellow DUers! And thank you, EarlG, Elad, and Skinner. You changed my life for the better.

October 14, 2023

"Ring of Fire" - October 14, 2023, complete annular solar eclipse in Bosque Farms, NM - 10:34 am MDT

Naked eye photo of today's annular eclipse. I adjusted the color and sharpness for clarity.

You can barely see the outline of the moon in front of the sun as well as reflections of the anomaly in the light aura.

The reflection of the eclipse is the most clear view of the annular eclipse (the green circle bottom right). If the moon was not present, it would be a full green circle. The green line is a reflection of the Ring of Fire effect.

Amazing astronomical event!




(selfie)

October 14, 2023

"Ring of Fire" - October 14, 2023, complete annular solar eclipse in Albuquerque, NM - 10:34 am MDT

Naked eye photo of today's annular eclipse. I adjusted the color and sharpness for clarity.

You can barely see the outline of the moon in front of the sun as well as reflections of the anomaly in the light aura.

The reflection of the eclipse is the most clear view of the annular eclipse (the green circle bottom right). If the moon was not present, it would be a full green circle. The green line is a reflection of the Ring of Fire effect.

Amazing astronomical event!





(selfie)

June 23, 2023

The Titanic Mistake

I'm so in wonder today over how the events of 1912 and 2023 are so similar.

Both crafts were thought to be invincible enough to sell to passengers, even though they had known risks and limitations.

Both crafts had both Captain and Owner present in its demise who knew of the design limitation, the men who made the mistake.

Both crafts ignored warning signs.

We lost huge minds, filthy rich people, and innocent lives.

Both events shocked the world.

Both events lie in the same water tomb on this planet forever, always to be viewed together.

Ironically, the two men who devoted their lives primarily to the history of the Titanic in 1912 have passed from this world via the same path that the 1500 souls did so many years ago.

The Titanic Mistake is hubris.

June 23, 2023

The Titanic Mistake

I'm so in wonder today over how the events of 1912 and 2023 are so similar.

Both crafts were thought to be invincible enough to sell to passengers, even though they had known risks and limitations.

Both crafts had both Captain and Owner present in its demise who knew of the design limitation, the men who made the mistake.

Both crafts ignored warning signs.

We lost huge minds, filthy rich people, and innocent lives.

Both events shocked the world.

Both events lie in the same water tomb on this planet forever, always to be viewed together.

Ironically, the two men who devoted their lives primarily to the history of the Titanic in 1912 have passed from this world via the same path that the 1500 souls did so many years ago.

The Titanic Mistake is hubris.

June 23, 2023

The Titanic Mistake

I'm so in wonder this evening over how the events of 1912 and 2023 are similar.

Both crafts were thought to be invincible enough to sell to passengers, even though they had known risks and limitations.

Both crafts had both Captain and Owner present in its demise who knew of the design limitation, the men who made the mistake.

Both crafts ignored warning signs.

We lost huge minds, filthy rich people, and innocent lives.

Both events shocked the world.

Both events lie in the same water tomb on this planet forever, always to be viewed together.

Ironically, the two men who devoted their lives primarily to the history of the Titanic in 1912 have passed from this world via the same path that the 1500 souls did so many years ago.

The Titanic Mistake is hubris.

June 11, 2023

Republicans think the President is King (no Queens, please) for 4 years! Jim Jordan admits it on CNN

Jordan Defends Trump - Politico article link about the Jordan/Bash CNN: State of the Union clip from today

On CNN: State of the Union, hosted by Dana Bash, Rep Jim Jordan staunchly defended Trump against the indictments he faces.

Here are his words:

“He said he declassified this material,” Jordan added. “He can put it wherever he wants and handle it however he wants.”


This is not only wrong, it is anti-American! A President is not a King. The moment he/she becomes President, follows swearing a solemn oath to the American people. This oath was written by George Washington, our founding President. Trump himself took the oath. It's very simple. Perhaps too simple.

Here are George Washington's (and Trump's) words:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.


A monarch would not take that oath. A monarch does not "preserve, protect, and defend" anything except themselves and their own personal interests.

Defending the nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic, is the President's most important job. Did Trump protect us from the insurrection? No, because it benefited him NOT to do so. Did he protect us from the Coronavirus? No. Sadly, half a million Americans died needlessly because of Trump. Did he protect us from the Nazis that were growing during his tenure? "Good people on both sides." Was it in the nation's interest to kill the Iranian General (and many others)? Was it in our interest to abandon our Kurdish allies in Syria and hand the war effort over to Putin? Was it best for the nation to faun over the Saudis and Israelis, both of whom are prosecuting malicious and illegal war efforts (Yemen and Palestine, respectively) while, at the same time, undermining our strongest and oldest allies?

No, a President does not get to do "whatever he wants" as Jim Jordan says. A President must obey the same laws we all obey. And, frankly, it's not hard to do that and wield great power (see Trump's predecessor). In fact, a President is more constricted by laws than most of us. He's constricted by national security laws, confidential information laws. Though the President is at the top of the food-chain, so to speak, regarding classification of information, he/she still must obey the laws and procedures while defending the best interests of the nation. I might add that this means EVEN IF the best interest of the country is not necessarily in your OWN best interest.

The thing is, we all KNOW this. All of us. Republicans and MAGATS and bad lawyers and bad judges, they all know that the President is not King. Take a poll and ask, is being President the same as being King for 4 years?

The President would NEVER store NUCLEAR SECRETS, COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE in a bathroom or storage closet because a President knows that is NOT in the best interest of the country. WE ALL KNOW IT.

One thing I learned early on from Trump is that simply laughing in someone's face about their facetiousness is not effective. It shows how uncomfortable one is. The correct response should be outrage. Our press should stand firmly for Democratic principles if nothing else. That is, after all, why they have the freedom to do their job.

We (DUers) should expect more, many more, moments like these. Rather than laugh in their face (which doesn't help), we should be outraged as Americans on behalf of ALL Americans that anyone, especially a US Representative is suggesting that the President is actually a King with no limits, no laws, no boundaries, and no oversight. Wave the flag and call it what it is:

UNAMERICAN!

---
Post-script: I was guilty of choosing to laugh at MAGATS in 2016 and being mis-led by polling. I'm not condemning anyone who made this mistake, like I did. Rather, I'm trying to find my own path to a better, more conscientious reaction so that I do not make the same mistake 8 years later.

And, my obligatory little sarcasm thingy for the "no Queens, please" joke I inserted in the title above. Being Gay Prride weekend where I live, I couldn't help but make reference to the "Drag Queen" threat - which is very real!

May 25, 2023

Supreme Court Has Narrowed the Scope of the Clean Water Act

Source: NPR

May 25, 2023 @ 10:53 AM ET

The U.S. Supreme Court placed new restrictions on the scope of the jurisdiction the Clean Water Act has over wetlands, ruling in favor of Idaho landowners who had challenged the law.

The court was unanimous in finding that the land owned by the Idaho family was not subject to the Clean Water Act, but split 5-4 on the court's new test, which held that only wetlands that have a continuous surface connection to a body of water are covered by the law.

Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with the court's three liberals. He wrote the "courts new test will leave some long-regulated adjacent wetlands no longer covered by the Clean Water Act, with significant repercussions for water quality and flood control throughout the United States."

In a second opinion, the court unanimously ruled for an octogenarian resident of Hennepin County, Minn., whose home was seized by the county for a failure to pay taxes. The county sold the home for more than the amount she owed, and the court ruled that authorities violated her Fifth Amendment rights because she was not properly compensated

Read more: https://www.npr.org/2023/05/25/1178150234/supreme-court-epa-clean-water-act



There is no more information at the link as of 3:03 PM ET.
February 26, 2023

NM Legislature submits bill to declare official state aroma: "smell of roasted green chile"



The NM Legislature is in session and had some fun with naming an official state aroma, a bill developed as part of a civics lesson for students at Monte Vista Elementary School in Las Cruces, NM.

Senate Bill 188, which is heading to the House after winning approval in the Senate, has captured national attention, including on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, whose host recently joked he thought New Mexico’s official aroma “was an abandoned RV that a bobcat is living in.”

Before the bill passed the Senate 31-4, Sen. Cliff Pirtle, a Roswell Republican, introduced an amendment to replace the smell of roasting green chile with “dairy air.”

Sen. Joshua Sanchez, R-Bosque, asked Pirtle whether he “brought any of the aroma” he was proposing for senators to sample.

“I have a pair of rubber boots hanging on the back of my truck if you want to take any samples,” Pirtle responded. “There’s plenty of samples there if you’re unaware of what dairy air smells like. There’s an abundance on those rubber boots and, in fact, on most days … I’m really tempted to wear those rubber boots in this building.”


Republican State Senator Greg Baca observed:
"Could it be that his part of the state is located a little too near Texas and that, in fact, is what he’s smelling?”


Another Republican State Senator, Greg Brandt, reflecting on NM recently legalizing recreational cannabis, commented:
“Lately, about the only thing I smell is the aroma of pot, so maybe we should have made marijuana the official aroma of the state of New Mexico,”


A Twitter commenter, @RightNewsNM, later observed:
“Next on the agenda: declaring goat heads the official torture device of New Mexico.”


More humorous commentary at the article from the New Mexico Political Report, originally from the Santa Fe New Mexican:

Link to NM Political Report article by Daniel J. Chacon

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Home country: USA
Current location: Albuquerque, NM
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 3,409

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