I have read the Department of Justice memo setting forth the policay of not indicting a sitting US president: https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/olc/opinions/2000/10/31/op-olc-v024-p0222_0.pdf

I have set down some thoughts about the Department of Justice Memo establishing the “policy” of not indicting a sitting US president. I am not going to refute the memo point by point. Rather I will present a set of presumptive reasons why a sitting president must be indicted if evidence suggests and a grand jury finds a true bill.

Part of the rationale by the Department of Justice memo for not indicting a sitting president is that it would result in some functions of government not being performed. Other than an immediate military response to foreign aggression the Justice department overstates this “issue.” Most government operations carry on without even awareness by the president or even of that agency’s or department’s head. So unless the president is a complete twit or nitwit, I am relatively confident he or she could rise to the occasion in case of military threat from abroad–even a nuclear one. If the president is a complete twit, the 26th Amendment should have been employed.

To over simplify the Justice Department memo also stresses that indicting a sitting president would look bad abroad. Prestige and image are so important that we should continue a person who has met all the criteria for an indictment from a grand jury or a finding from a prosecutor? In the simplest legal terms, “give me a break.”

Go back and read the Declaration of Independence. The charges against the King were that he was above the law–unaccountable to anyone for his actions. Clearly Americans did not fight a war to institute a head of state that is above the law-unaccountable, indictable. So, any failure to hold a president accountable is a violation of one of the fundamental pillars upon which this nation was forged. Three paragraphs in the Declaration of Independence directly apply to the twit today:
“He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.” “He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices…” Note, the asking for personaly loyalty as he did James Comey. AND “For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:” Note, the taxes he has imposed are though tariffs which we pay in our purchase of those goods.

In the United States no other head of a unit of governments, agency, state, local unit of government or government corporation has immunity from indictment, arrest, trial or imprisonment. The president should not have this kingly privilege either.

The Department of Justice asserts, and again I over simplify, that indicting a president interfere with the separation of powers doctrine. Nonsense. Only the executive branch is involved until trial. To assert that the Judicial Branch is interfering when the case goes to trial is also foolishness, for the Judicial Branch depends upon the Executive Branch to execute decisions coming out of court cases/decisions. I seem to recall President Jackson noting this in a Georgia Indian Removal case, “John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him carry it out.”

The bulk of the Justice Department memo is built on case law. However, the memo, originally written as a consequence of, shall we say, the criminal al Richard Nixon, is hypothetical. All officers of the Court, employees of the government, appointed or merit, take an oath to uphold the law and defend the Constitution. If there is evidence persuasive enough for a grand jury to make a true finding and issue an indictment, then any person who has taken an oath to uphold the law and is in any position to act, must execute that indictment with all due haste or be liable for failure to meet the terms of their oath.

That those working in the Justice Department are either civil servants or hold political appointments from the president make the argument of breaching separation of powers all the more absurd. A note on The Declaration of Independence and naturalization laws and the encouragement of immigration. Specifically the current occupant of the White House is guilty of the same grievance King George III was in 1776 and earlier.

So, to not indict and try a sitting president is contrary to the very reasons the Founding Fathers gave for separation and founding a new nation.

 

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Elements of Donald Trump’s Strategy to be Dictator

Elements of Donald Trump’s Strategy to be Dictator

Today over 300 newspapers across the US published editorials chiding President Trump for his attacks on the media. https://www.msn.com/en-us/video/watch/newspaper-editorials-across-us-rebuke-trump-for-attacks-on-press/vp-BBM0SGh Our local Newspaper, The Daily News of Longview Washington, was among them.
President Trump’s attack on the news media is an attempt to control what the public hears and believes. This attack is anti-democratic and authoritarian. It is one part of a multiple part strategy to obtain rule by one man instead of the current Rule by Law. Another part of his strategy to become the absolute ruler is secrecy. He has apparently required non-disclosure agreements for White House and Staff (and I assume others). He has held private meetings with foreign heads of government and not included others nor informed even member of his administration of the contents of those meetings and what he has promised, most notably with North Korea and Russia. The third step in his campaign to become the absolute ruler of the United States is his taking action that either circumvents existing procedures set down in law or have no basis in law. Stripping security clearance from a former CIA head unilaterally because the former CIA chief criticized him and the relevant agencies who do the reviews and recommendation for such action were never notice nor consulted. Separating Children from their parents at the border, wholesale, and making asylum seekers criminals and their children sufferer is a policy that is not an American Law. Indeed, it is un-American.
Without going into more parts of his strategy to become dictator of the US, simply read his tweets. He campaigned against political correctness. Reading his tweets, there may be elements of political corrects therein; however, on balance, he is not politically incorrect. No, he is rude, crude, impolite, boorish, and untruthful in those tweets.
While I well understand people being afraid and supporting a mirage of strength and defiance. What those fearful people should fear is Donald Trump. His tax policy, combined with his tariff wars will cause more economic upheaval than did the explosion following the subpar mortgage fiscal of ten years ago. His economic policies are designed to line his pockets (and others with money). They are short-term and short-sighted. Those policies are already beginning to eat away at the security of some of his staunchest supporters in the 2016 election: farmers.
So, are the editorials published today going to make a difference? They may, but in ways that need a follow-up. Trump will use this day of editorials to say, “See there is a Fake News conspiracy.” And the people will believe him. So, the media needs to adopt a long-term strategy. For instance only send one reporter and camera, a pool, to cover the man and his White House. Film everything and report only news and not his lies. The media needs to continue their push back against him on a daily basis. Take him to court, report on his violation of the emoluments clause on a daily basis—accounting details of what the government spends on his golf weekends at his golf resorts. But, the media will know much more than I how to go to war against the Fake President.
T. Edward Westen
August 16, 2018

America’s New Vulnerability

America’s New Vulnerability
By T. Edward Westen

President Trump has played fast and loose with treaties, agreements, trade, and relationships with allies, trade partners and international organizations around the world. He has asserted that treaties, agreements, trade, and relationships with allies, trade partners, and international organizations are “bad deals” made by predecessors in the White House. The empirical evidence and facts do not support his assertions. Regardless, his actions have negative consequences for Americans as well as those nations party to those treaties, trade arrangements, and international organizations with which he unilaterally terminated.

When President Trump assumed office, he did not sell his businesses and put his assets into a blind trust. This opened him to accepting money from his fellow Americans, the United States government, foreigners, foreign governments, and international organizations whenever staying in his properties. By returning monies to the U.S. Treasury for profits his accountants attribute to stays by U.S. government employees, President Trump is attempting to avoid prosecution and impeachment on the charge of violating the emoluments clauses in the U. S. Constitution (Art. I Section 9, Clause 8). But, he is also admitting that he profits when anyone stays in his properties.

Since President Trump is in a position to profit from his business, especially his properties, he is also in a position to incur losses from those properties. Also, since the properties are so dear to him, they represent a way to get President Trump’s attention. President Trump’s properties are America’s newest vulnerability.
I can think of at least a half-a-dozen, legal ways to exploit that vulnerability to get President Trump’s attention by focusing on his properties. But, I am relatively confident all those who have been impacted by his reneging on treaties, agreements and trade have better imaginations than I.

     If you are not an American, forward this to your foreign minister. President Trump’s weakness may not be visible to non-Americans. If you are American, get your creative juices flowing.

 

Big Brother Wants to Keep Tabs on the Press and More

I heard an NPR report this morning that make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I could not find it under NPR, but was able to find the same report at MSN https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/homeland-security-database-would-track-journalists-media-influencers-report/ar-AAvzXl3
Essentially, I conclude the worst when it comes to any branch of any government collecting information except to apportion the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The twit has declared war on the free press in this country with his casting the charge of fake news at any report he does not like. While the White House Press Office is in a contest with FOX opinion shows for originating the second most fake news stories in America today, the twit’s tweets are in first place, it is disturbing to see Homeland Security get into the data collection business of writers, editors and other purveyors of information in America. Homeland Security collecting data on “identifying ‘any and all media coverage related to the Department of Homeland Security or a particular event”’ smacks of Big Brother, or the KGB, or the Gestapo watching in their authoritarian contexts.

I can well understand the desire to protect Americans from influence from foreign nationals in elections. However, given the position that twit has taken on ‘no collusion’ and his anti-Muller Investigation, this effort by Homeland Security cannot be viewed as an effort to protect American voters from false influence, but rather an opportunity for the right wings in the administration to attempt to stifle the free exchange of ideas and reporting by making those using free speech and press look over their shoulders to see who is watching. With information comes more opportunities to threaten, intimidate and suppress. Are we returning to McCarthy Era attempts to control others by accusation and black balling? This data base and the specifications for the “contractor do no remove my fears that we are not.

Gerrymandering and Court Standards for Redistricting

 

Gerrymandering has been in the news especially since the recent Pennsylvania Special election where the winner would have to run in a different district this fall because of the Penn. Supreme Court throwing out the gerrymander set of districts they currently have. Then too I read an article where the US Supreme Court was a bit hassled with the prospect of being a policeman on redistricting in the computer age.

It has occurred to me over the years that what the Court needs to do is hire a mathematician to determine if their constraints of compact, contiguous, and equally sized (in terms of population) districts are able to generate a unique (single) solution for a geographic area (a state) with a population density that varies (the real world). If not, what models could be used to generate districts without taking voting patterns into account?

Often state legislatures claim they district the way they do to preserve community representation. If one looks at the relative geographic sizes of urban versus rural districts in any state, the notion of representing communities comes into question. A district in the heart of NY City compared to a rural upstate district belies the notion of community. So, it may be possible to meet the constitutional standards set by the court and have the smallest variance in geographic size of districts as well.

In short, let a mathematician see if he or she can prove the Supreme Court standards are possible (a theorem proof). If so, the Court would not have to police redistricting issues, but simply require the states to apply the model. If a mathematician cannot prove the standards are possible then let the mathematician demonstrate algorithms, free of voting patterns, that come the closest in any given state.

Yes, I realize how ridiculous my approach is, but then it doesn’t smack of partisanship and the evils thereof.

 

One Constitutional Issue After Another

March 28, 2018

I was some what amused yesterday with the talking heads and the twit’s administration proposal to add a question about citizenship to the Census. I heard all sorts of nonsense from left and right but somehow the talking heads on the two segments I watched on two networks missed an actual reference to the words in Article One I stipulating that all Free Persons and Indentured Servants were to be counted for the purposes of apportionment. These talking heads are paid, right? If they had stipulated the purpose first, perhaps their blithering about their points of view would have been tolerable.

I got to thinking about my comments on the 2nd Amendment and realized that the articulated reason for that Amendment was to reassure the voters of NY that they could keep their guns to fight off a tyrannical central government if it came to that. So that makes the back ground for the Second Amendment at odds with the provision under law, U.S. Code › Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 115 › § 2385, that it is illegal to advocate the violent overthrow of the US Government, much less actively attempt it. My my we are a conflicted nation.

I would observe that the frequency with which Constitutional Issues come to the fore today is probably a testament to the fact that the twit has not read the document and if quoted to him, he clearly does not understand its words—some of them are just too big for a self proclaimed genius to wrap his genius head around.

I did note that Nicole Wallace yesterday in addressing the Stormy Daniels news said, in effect, ‘if this guy can’t negotiate a hush agreement with a porn star how can we trust him to negotiate with North Korea?’ (I am paraphrasing).

 

What happened to the first thirteen words of the 2nd Amendment?

While none of the gun advocates have responded, I keep asking “What happened to the first thirteen words of the 2nd Amendment?” (“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,”). As I recall, when given a condition before permission, the condition needed to be fulfilled. For example “If you clean your room you can go play basketball.” Every parent understands that the condition must be met or no basketball. Yet those same parents are some of those who keep yelling that they have a right to have guns because of the 2nd amendment. Indeed they argue self-protection. hunting and sports as the reasons the 2nd Amendment gives them the right to own guns. Never have I heard anyone in the NRA or its fellow travelers argue the right is to keep the state secure by having a well regulated militia. In the context of the time that the language was written a well regulated militia involved regular drills and a structure with officers chosen, usually by election. How is it that we do not insist that well regulated militias be maintained as a prerequisite to citizen gun ownership? Hell, if Chicago had well regulated militias, one might argue that the gangs would be driven out of the city by those militias. I suspect the gun advocates do not know there are 13 words in the 2nd Amendment before the bit about citizen’s rights to keep and bear arms is mentioned.
As I recall, the 2nd Amendment was added as the people at the time were afraid of a big central government, you know like the one in London at the time. There was a real concern that a standing army and a central government would impose tyranny upon the people and states. So far that tyranny manifest itself by a central government here in the good old USA stamping out first, slavery and then bigamy. That tyranny also imposed integration. Well, we seem to be taking steps backward of late, so perhaps it is time to remember the first 13 words of the 2nd Amendment and resist the current tyrant and his regime. I wonder how the NRA and fellow travelers would feel about that use of the 2nd Amendment. Regardless it is impossible to have an intelligent discussion about guns as long as the advocates of more guns seem to have missed the point entirely and don’t even acknowledge the 2nd Amendment has those awkward first 13 words.

The Twit’s Tariffs — a bad idea, he should try thinking once

Let’s examine the twit’s justification for the tariff on steel and aluminum. There seem to be three threads. 1) we need to have this capability for national defense, 2) We need to keep jobs in America, and 3) we are being treated unfairly by other countries and taken advantage of by them.

By imposing a 25% tariff on steel, this means that the 180,000 or so steelworkers and the handful of corporations will indeed remain n business and perhaps even grow a bit. However, the imposition of the tariff will increase the steel components across every industry in American that uses steel by 25%, a cost that is passed on to the buyers of these goods and services. Let’s suppose this impacts 1,000,000 workers directly and indirectly. The employment in those industries will decrease by at least 180,000 jobs and the costs of products will go up with fewer people purchasing them so there will likely be even more unemployment in those steel and aluminum using industrious. So, to maintain the capacity for national defense, the twit has ensured that we will have lower overall production and employment and higher costs, not to mention the increased costs of all goods using steel. It would be cheaper for the country if we simply subsidized the steel industry and kept the production levels where they meet defense needs and stockpile their output until needed, if ever. By subsidizing steel and aluminum we would not incur the unemployment in industries using steel and aluminum as inputs and increase the cost of their goods which increases the cost of goods to the American Consumer. Subsidize is the more rational and economically sound approach to maintaining steel and aluminum production capabilities for national defense (armament) purposes.

Keeping job in America is a hot-button issue. Unfortunately, when tariffs are involved, fewer jobs remain in America as they are lost not to foreign competition but to increased prices of the output of those jobs remaining here that need the tariff to protect them. So, under the guise of keeping jobs in America, tariffs actually increase the decline of jobs. Reread the prior paragraph.

The twit alleges often and loudly that foreign countries are taking advantage of America and that there isn’t an even playing field. However, I have never heard him explain how foreign countries are taking advantage of American in trade. The closest the twit has come to illustrate this is to point at the trade deficit that results when we spend more in country x than country x spends here. What that means is that country x uses its resources and labor to produce things that we get from them in exchange for our currency (probably electronic bookkeeping entries). So we get real things and they get money. Remember there is nothing backing our money except faith that it is money. So we get something for an idea (money) of value. Unfortunately, if the countries with a positive trade balance of our dollars ever figure out they are giving us something for nothing in return our easy life will come to a sudden end. The twit is really not quite understanding that we win when we have a deficit, we win big. And he wants to put a stop to that by claiming unfair trade practices that he can’t explain or name.

 

The Twit’s Tariffs

 

Another day, another tariff as the twit in the White House tries to reduce the US trade deficit. Unfortunately, things are often not what they seem nor as bad as they sound. Specifically, trade deficits are not what they seem nor as bad as they sound. Unfortunately, the twit in the White House, who claims to be a rich guy, does not seem to understand money. He seems to think our dollars paid for China’s development to our detriment. Let’s look at the facts.

 

 

China sends good to America in exchange for US Dollars. The goods that China sells in America require raw material inputs and labor to fashion them. Since we run a trade deficit with China that means they sell us more goods than we sell to them so the extra goods they sell to us require we ship them US Dollars (a good percentage of which are electronic entries in financial accounts. the rest of pieces of paper with printing on them).

 

 

Take a look at a US Dollar. What backs it up, Gold? NO, nothing backs it up. You will find that the law, as printed on the front, mandates that ‘this note is legal tender for all debts public and private.’ It is fiat money. It is money because the US Government says it is and because almost all Americans think it is money. However, the law requiring one accept it as payment stops at our borders (and the borders of countries using the US Dollar as currency). Yet, the Chinese and almost all other nations accept our US Dollars in payment. If you think about it foreign nations and nationals accepting US Dollars in payment is very strange.

 

 

The US issues a lot of US Dollars on a virtually continuous basis. One would think that would create inflation. However, sufficient US Dollars go to foreign entities who sell us goods and services in exchange for those dollars. So, one break on inflation is the sheer volume of dollars flowing overseas. Then too, some exchanges (market) are traded in US Dollars, oil springs to mind. The international oil market is cleared with US Dollars. With a significant portion of the US Money Supply tied up in the international oil market, we have another break on inflation.

 

 

So let’s take the twit’s logic and stop the flow of money abroad. That means we will enter an inflationary cycle. America will be awash in money, as the twit calls it, coming home. The domestic value of the US Dollar will plummet (and so will the value of the dollar in financial markets).

 

 

At the same time the twit’s tariffs will kick in and the price of goods Americans, individuals and firms, will increase by at least the value of the tariffs (not to mention the inflationary impact of the flush of dollars driving all prices up, remember, inflation?). Americans will be able to afford less of the goods they have been purchasing. When prices go up, standards of living go down and Americans can not afford the domestic products the tariffs are supposed to generate.

 

 

Obviously there is more. But this is enough for today.

 

Respect for the National Anthem and Flag

I am somewhat amused at the current fervor for standing for the National Anthem that the pestilence and his core base are focusing their “we are better than you are because we don’t kneel for the National Anthem” attention.  The fact is that the pestilence himself has sat through the National Anthem countless times (probably 1009 times for every time he stood for its playing). And those of his core base supporters who watch ball games on television or their devices or listen on the radio routinely sit and feed their fat faces and sip their beers when it is played at the beginning of games as they relax in easy chairs to watch the game. If the player’s show of respect is so important why do the pestilence and his core base sit, lie, or even sit on the john when the National Anthem is played through their television, radio or device speaker?

As for professional ballplayers protests being disrespectful, I see them quietly kneeling, a sign of respect for an injured player. I see them saying our country is broken in the “all men are created equal” department. They kneel for that injury. That it is characterized as a protest by the pestilence and his core base supporters. I see it as a sign of respect for the country despite the injuries done to segments of the body politic who are not treated equally, indeed are still in this century systematically treated unequally. What is one protesting sitting on one’s rear end while the National Anthem is played on the television, device or radio?

I also heard the pestilence call into question the mothers of protesting players. To the extent that the crowd roared in approval and those in his core base who were not there signaled their approval does highlight the full meaning of the term “base” when it comes to pestilence and his supporters. It would seem they have mistaken politeness and common courtesy for political correctness that they so love to breach. I will not call the pestilence a name that reflects upon his mother in the off chance he can provide a birth certificate that says he is a human being. To be brutally clear, I am not asking to see his birth certificate, I am asking for proof of his species.

To his core base, I am looking forward to your learning to stand every time you hear the National Anthem played unless you go to your knee in respect for the injuries to your fellow Americans that occur every hour. Then I will cease to be amused at your ignorance; and, you can then point a finger without being a hypocrite.