Sunday, June 30, 2024

Biden's Judo Moves, Part One: Who is the Big Fat Liar?

This could be won in so many ways! Loyal and sane Americans might apply so many under-used tactics to settle this latest phase (#8 I reckon) of the recurring U.S. Civil War, restoring peace and rationality to civilization. Elsewhere I offered 100+ such tactics. 

 

But right now - as frantic pearl-clutchers moan for Joe Biden to withdraw - two proposals stand out.

 

Today, please consider the most plausibly effective one.

 

 

== Joe, make it about facts. The very existence of facts. ==

 

Amid all the hoorow over Joe Biden’s shaky performance in the first presidential debate of 2024, Lawrence O’Donnell nailed it: 

 

“How come the (100%) liar is seen as ‘winning’ a debate?”

 

How come? The answer’s simple. Though our savvy ‘blue’ pols & pundits never get it. 


Somehow, here in the most scientific, technologically competent and progressive society the world ever saw, the word ‘fact’ is debased to a mere matter of opinion.

 

I’ve been railing about this for eons. Right after the debate, I crafted a careful description of how this mental trap likely has you ensnared and thus rendered politically useless. Only then I realized - you won’t read anything complicated.

 

So, instead I’ll just offer here a capsule of the only issue that truly matters in this election.

Instead of lamely murmuring “That’s not true,” as he did many times in the debate, Joe Biden (and every other Democrat) should shout:

 

>> There is no better test of who shouldn’t be president than which of us is lying!

 

So let’s check that now!

 

>> I propose right now that Donald Trump and I nominate respected, mostly-nonpartisan Americans for a commission to adjudicate just that one matter.

 

Which of us is a big, fat liar.  

 

>> I will offer a list of nominees tomorrow that includes Republicans and Independents, scientists, sages, biblical scholars, and retired senior military officers, all of whom should be acceptable to any opponent who is an honest person.

 

>> Let’s see your list, Don! Widely revered Americans who aren’t overtly partisan or under anyone’s thumb.* 

 

Let’s join in this one thing! Helping separate truth from lies, restoring FACT to some meaning in American political life.

 

>> Just don’t give us any crap about how “It’s all subjective” or “Truth isn’t decided by experts voting on it.” You use biased ‘experts’ all the time. (Many of them operating in Fox or Kremlin troll shops. Today it’s the same thing.) 

 

Look at the list I’ll offer!  If you don’t offer up a matching list of widely respected, judicious, mature and knowledgeable Americans to participate, we’ll all know why.  

 

It’s because you don’t have any! …and because you know that you are the big, fat liar. 

 

And that is why you run away from challenges like this one, screaming more lies as you flee.

 

 

                                    == WHY THIS WON’T HAPPEN ==

 

Sure. Yeah. I know all the reasons why you are shrugging this off, right now. Why you are muttering “It’ll never work, Brin. Trump and his minions will just ignore this, or mock it.” 

 

Alas, all that proves is your laziness. Because it’s worth a try!

 

(I get similar responses when I push the tactic of demanding pre-staked wagers over easily fact-verified challenges like ocean acidification. It always works, making the cultists flee in panic. Always. Yet, lazy bums make excuses to never even try it for themselves.)

 

Do I think Trump will actually accept, if Biden issues this challenge? Will Donald Two Scoops nominate a list of admirably cogent and responsible adults to join Biden’s nominees on such a fact-adjudicating commission? 

 

Of course not. He doesn’t dare!  If Trump accepts the challenge and names qualified people, he’ll be fact-checked into oblivion. If he names shills, that will be clear!  And if he refuses…

 

No, of course Fox and the Kremlin trolls will shriek denunciations, like “You don’t vote on facts!” Or “Our viewers do their own research! By leaving ‘fact’ presentation to us!!!”

 

Only, that’s the point, fool. Their shrieks and excuses will be the silver bullet. Because millions will see the cowardice!  They will see Biden’s long list of respected American sages** and compare it to whatever list Trump provides… of shills and raving loonies and KGB agents. And just those lists, compared side by side… will say it all.

 

Okay. I know that I type too much, in an era when almost no one has the patience to read. I have so much more to say about this, like how Biden whining “That’s not true!” during the debate was utterly counterproductive.  I’ll follow this posting with all that stuff, even knowing how futile it is.

 

 

== Other ideas ==

 

I also have a second proposal, in case Joe-B wants to both soothe and satisfy those calling for him to withdraw. It’s potential gesture he could make that could be a win-win-win all around!  

 

I’ll post some of that, midweek… if I can find the heart for it. 

 

Only it can be hard, these days. Because (again) I know that it is futile.  If one side in this phase of the U.S. Civil War consists of confederate-Kremlinist incantation junkies flocking around Vlad Putin and a cabal of microcephalic inheritance brats…

 

…the other side – the side with all the cogent citizens and fact people and scientists and loyal Americans and just plain decent folks who can’t stand a pervert-traitor slathered in tanning dye, makeup, hairplugs and bad karma… alas, the good, loyal, Union side in this phase of the 250 year culture war over America’s soul…

 

… has the collective political/tactical IQ – en masse – of a crypto biotic tardigrade.

 

===

* We can interrogate each others’ nominees before cameras, like in jury selection. Televised. Let’s do it!

 

** The thing about such a list is the dems don’t even have to line up these folks, before listing them! The whole purpose is to list folks who AREN’T overtly very partisan! Being listed can be involuntary, since all you are saying is “here are people I respect and would listen-to.” 

 

Okay, in today’s polarized nation, most such folks have already taken sides. But still, just offering such a list is worthwhile!  Because you’ll get Trump to denounce them! And each august American he denounces will be a blow that rocks some supporters out there.

216 comments:

1 – 200 of 216   Newer›   Newest»
Alberto Monteiro said...

But it was not Trump, but Biden, that helped put a holocaust denier, forest-burner, yanomani genocider, pro-Hamas, pro-Putin tyrant as "president" of China's satrapy of Brazil. Everyone that Biden supported in Latin America chants "death to Amerika", everyone that Trump supports (Milei, Bolsonaro, the presidents of Paraguay and Uruguay) love America and wish our countries had America's freedom.

David Brin said...

Politifact on debate falsehoods.
https://www.politifact.com/article/2024/jun/28/2024-presidential-debate-fact-check-biden-trump/

David Brin said...

A.M. what a stunning pile of utter drivel.

Slim Moldie said...

Here's a link to Seth Abramson's debate box score fact-checking Trump: 602 lies in 40 minutes.

https://sethabramson.substack.com/p/donald-trumps-shocking-box-score

scidata said...

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
Fool me 602 times in 40 minutes, clearly I want to be fooled.

Tacitus said...

Mornin' all. I know this is not an ideal week to wander back in. I've been off doing excellent family stuff.....Little League games, dance recitals, helping build a first house. It's much better than arguing on the Internet.

So I'm not going to try and persuade anyone of anything. I regard you as a generally smart bunch who maybe need to get out in the fresh air, eat a hotdog in the bleachers, swing a hammer in the hot sun....

OK, Biden's performance. Given a full week to prepare for the most important moment in his life and THAT was his best effort? This is not a person you'd want in charge of foreign policy....to say nothing of the nuclear arsenal. I believe we've been hoodwinked for a good long time already.

A multi level question. Do you really think he's going to be able to make 3am crisis decisions for a second term?

And if not...is it actually democratic, small d, to ask voters to choose a President with the wink/nudge assumption that we'll just rely on people behind the scenes to run the country? Who? And how do we hold them accountable?

It may be too late to put forward a more competent candidate. The failure to do so a year or so back will haunt the D party in November. That's not a good thing.

Tacitus

GMT -5 (Hugh) said...

I did not watch the debate. Mae and I watched the 1981 movie DRAGONSLAYER instead. Mae later watched the replay of the debate on Youtube. She is a progressive and will vote for whomever the Democratic party nominates. She was dismayed....or should I say, dis-Mae'ed?

I am interested in seeing how the Supreme Court rules on Trump's immunity claim. I've litigated partial immunity cases defending government officials in days past. I also litigated a lot of claims where I used the Chevron doctrine to defend government actions. The end of the Chevron era will be interesting. Fortunately for me, the IRS does not rely on Chevron.

Larry Hart said...

Tacitus:

I know this is not an ideal week to wander back in...


And yet, you thought you would anyway. So here we are.


So I'm not going to try and persuade anyone of anything.


Uh huh.


This is not a person you'd want in charge of foreign policy....to say nothing of the nuclear arsenal. I believe we've been hoodwinked for a good long time already.

A multi level question. Do you really think he's going to be able to make 3am crisis decisions for a second term?
...
It may be too late to put forward a more competent candidate...


More competent than the candidate who negotiated Social Security on the fly during the State of the Union address? Who earned a ten BILLION dollar profit for the treasury by shrewd market timing with the strategic reserve? Who negotiated a border bill with that hostile congress who turned around and nixed their own bill because it would have been successful and thereby robbed Trump of a campaign issue?

President Biden is the most accomplished president of my adult lifetime, and that's in the teeth of opposition by congress and the supreme court. The debate was the aberration, not the years of his administration.

You've been away most the past year or so, so you haven't heard my brutal assessment of Biden's presidency, and I mean this without irony:

Listen, surely I've exceeded
Expectations. Tried for three years.
Seems like thirty. Could you ask
As much from any other man?

Larry Hart said...

From the supreme court opinion on presidential immunity. Emphasis mine:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/documents/b135ae03-8c5a-467e-96b8-7fd371855fa3.pdf?itid=lk_inline_manual_5

...
Held: Under our constitutional structure of separated powers, the nature
of Presidential power entitles a former President to absolute immunity
from criminal prosecution for actions within his conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority. And he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for all his official acts. There is no immunity for unofficial acts. Pp. 5–43.


My personal comment: "If the law presumes that, sir, then the law is a ass!"

Larry Hart said...

Blogger ate my reference to the supreme court immunity decision with links. I'm mostly posting this just to test whether it sticks.

A part of the decision mentioned that presidents are immune for constitutionally-specified acts and are entitled to at least presumption of immunity for other official acts. Whatever that means. They did admit that there is no immunity for non-official acts. I suppose Thomas and Alito get to decide which acts are which.

Der Oger said...

I suppose Thomas and Alito get to decide which acts are which.

Did I understand that right:
If I as a president gave the official order to arrest and execute anyone - including the SC judges and enough congress members to avoid impeachment - I not only would have immunity, but also could pardon anyone involved?

David Brin said...

We all like Tacitus2! And it is sweet envisioning him at little league, dance recitals and homebuilding…

…though his implicit assumption – explicit, in fact - is that WE do none of those things. Oh! We snooty nerds would never do anything wholesome! My own volunteer mentoring, my wife’s 30+ hours a week with poor kids. The long hikes, the sports and karate lessons… nah. (Care to compare my 73 year old body build to yours, sir? ;-)

The archetype of Jimmy Carter – Sunday school teacher for 80+ years and hammer-swinging Habitat for Humanity home builder is nothing to you. Not compared to a makeup-slathered, tanning-bed sexual predator with hairplugs who arranges to ‘win’ golf club championships at a svelte '215 pounds'…

Dear Tacitus, I sleep very well knowing a wise old grampa uses his ten hours of sharpness per day carefully & sagaciously APPOINTING the best people on this planet to actually run the US government. Brilliant grownups like Blinken, Austin, Buttegieg, Harris and so on, who are like another species than the long list of utterly proved Kremlin agents, shills and monsters that infest your entire party.
And now Two Scoops declares he’ll no longer appoint ANY ‘adults’ – even partial ones like Kelley - in his 2nd term and instead…

Ah well. Never mind.
Only please dig it, my friend. You clutch the ‘old grampa’ meme desperately and ignore the fact that Trump said not a single true thing during the entire debate.
And I mean that literally, if you include surrounding sentences and context.
Not… one… true thing. FIND FOR US a full minute of DT ranting when he isn't flat out, provably lying.

You would shrug that off… and the Kremlin puppet strings and the 40:1 ratio of indictments/convictions. And being ‘in love” with Kim Jong Il and Trump getting support from every current or ‘former’ communist regime. And the GOP’s all-out war vs science and the US Officer corps…

…you can ignore all that and the perfect storm of lies… while clutching “but he’s OLD!!!”

You’ll notice I didn’t demand a wager from you this time, over a myriad fact-checkable cases where your party has gone mad.
I know better.

But the facts are still there. And a man like you could have more ripple effects for the good of the nation than any of us here.
But you won’t.

So back to your house building and enjoy! May you thrive!
Enjoy your snorts of dismissal of us hand-wringing nerds. Somehow we’ll save American without your help.

David Brin said...

Der Oger: "Did I understand that right:
If I as a president gave the official order to arrest and execute anyone - including the SC judges and enough congress members to avoid impeachment - I not only would have immunity, but also could pardon anyone involved?"

It's worse. Their assertion is that he must first be impeached and convicted in the Senate AND hence he can personally walk into the Senate and shoot enough senators that the vote will fail, while his Secret Service detail prevents anyone doing anything about it. No need to 'order' anyone and no pardons required.

Larry Hart said...

Der Oger:

the official order to arrest and execute anyone - including the SC judges


On January 6, 2021 when the Proud Boys and company were converging on Trump's speech, it was taking a long time to get everyone though the metal detectors, and Trump wanted them taken down. He said something like, "They're not here to hurt me."

I think the supreme court is engaging in similar calculation. President Biden wouldn't do something like that even if he is ruled to have the right to, and Trump "wouldn't be there to hurt them".

My interpretation of the decision is "The president is immune from prosecution for 'official acts', and we (the supreme court) decide which acts those are."

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

Not compared to a makeup-slathered, tanning-bed sexual predator with hairplugs ...


In all fairness, Tacitus doesn't approve of Trump, and some of his anxiety over Biden seems to be that the Democrats aren't mounting an effective campaign to prevent another Trump presidency. He sounds much like my wife's Republican sister who admits Trump is vile, but is more worried about Biden being too old. Shades of 2016 when Trump was already obviously vile, but there was just something no one could quite enunciate about Hillary that was (apparently) too scary to countenance.

I might have been too flippant in my opening remarks responding to Tac above. But I do dispute the idea that the one bad debate performance represents the "real" Joe Biden who has been hidden from view these past three years, while his actual performance as president doesn't count. On that, I will continue to push back. And even the punditry, now that the initial scrambling is wearing off, seems to be trending toward that same page.

DP said...

Let Sotomayor's dissent explain why we now have a legal dictatorship thanks to trump's SCOTUS

In her dissent, she declared that “When [a president] uses his official powers in any way, under the majority’s reasoning, he now will be insulated from criminal prosecution.” She listed out some extreme cases where she argued this ruling would shield presidents from prosecution:

Orders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.Let the President violate the law, let him exploit the trappings of his office for personal gain, let him use his official power for evil ends. Because if he knew that he may one day face liability for breaking the law, he might not be as bold and fearless

as we would like him to be. That is the majority’s message today.
Sotomayor added: “In every use of official power, the President is now a king above the law.” She went on, concluding her dissent by stating her “fear for our democracy”:

The majority’s single-minded fixation on the President’s need for boldness and dispatch ignores the countervailing need for accountability and restraint. The Framers were not so single-minded. In the Federalist Papers, after “endeavor[ing] to show” that the Executive designed by the Constitution “combines … all the requisites to energy,” Alexander Hamilton asked a separate, equally important question: “Does it also combine the requisites to safety, in a republican sense, a due dependence on the people, a due responsibility?” The Federalist No. 77, p. 507 (J. Harvard Library ed. 2009). The answer then was yes, based in part upon the President’s vulnerability to “prosecution in the common course of law.” Ibid. The answer after today is no. Never in the history of our Republic has a President had reason to believe that he would be immune from criminal prosecution if he used the trappings of his office to violate the criminal law. Moving forward, however, all former Presidents will be cloaked in such immunity. If the occupant of that office misuses official power for personal gain, the criminal law that the rest of us must abide will not provide a backstop.

With fear for our democracy, I dissent.

DP said...

Appointing an ambassador is an official act. If trump accepts a bribe for this official act he is now immune.

Counting the popular and electoral college votes are "official acts".

Trump is now immune when he pressures a state to find him 10,000 votes.

SCOTUS just hand trump the keys to a dictatorship


Combine this with the recent SCOTUS ruling gutting federal regulations.

Especially financial watch dogs.

Because what could be more honest and trustworthy than an unregulated bank?

And now you can bribe the president not to prosecute bankers (as if any banker ever goes to jail) since the decision to prosecute is an official act.


All trump has to do now is slap "official act" on any action knowing it could take years for the appeals process to run it's course.

Which brings me back to the GOP project 2025.

Especially the part of rounding up and deporting undesirables to some kind of camp. You know, where they can concentrated.

And it's only a matter time before the cattle cars come.

Or did you all think the deportation would be confined to just Hispanics?


Mark this date as the day American democracy dies and the republican "slow coup" achieved complete success.

DP said...

Dr. Brin, with all due respect you need to stop bringing rhetoric to a knife fight.

If democracy is to survive we need to be just as vicious nasty ruthless and cunning as those on the Right.

GMT -5 (Hugh) said...

Short analysis of the case.

1. For core duties delineated in the US Constitution: absolute immunity.
2. For "Official Acts:" presumption of absolute immunity, but presumption can be overcome.
3. For unofficial acts: no immunity.

Regarding "Official Acts," what is to be done if a President purports something to be an official act but where it arguably is not. This can be handled in a number of ways:

1. Impeachment based on this act being a "treason, bribery, or other high crime or misdemeanor." Impeachment would presumably convert the underlying action into an unofficial act. This could then be followed by a standard criminal prosecution.
2. Criminal prosecution after the end of the President's term of office. The status of the action as an "Official Act" would be one of the facts to be litigated.

This decision does not give a president the ability to order executive branch personnel (military or law enforcement) to "murder" or "assassinate" anyone. Such an order would be de-facto illegal. Congress would be able to immediately impeach and remove this president. If Congress did not act, said president could be indicted, tried, and convicted after they leaves office. The status of the action as a core constitutional duty, official act, or un-official act would be part of the facts to be decided by the jury.

mcsandberg said...

If Trump hadn’t said a single word it still would have been obvious that Biden is not the president. That’s why nobody cares about Trump’s supposed “lies”.

“ What millions of Americans witnessed during last Thursday’s presidential debate was far worse than the mere implosion of an incumbent’s reelection campaign. The irredeemable corruption of the Democratic Party was also laid bare for all to see. There can be little doubt that Joe Biden’s unfitness for office has long been common knowledge among his party’s leadership as well as its rank-and-file officials. Yet the Democrats deliberately defrauded the American people concerning who really controls the executive branch of our government. Nor do they intend to do the right thing even now. The party’s “senior statesmen,” former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, have publicly urged Biden to continue the charade.



Sadly, this is not a ball game. Joe Biden is masquerading as the President of the United States. After last Thursday, no one believes this man is in charge of anything. This means the people who actually run his administration wield enormous power — without the consent of the American people. Regardless of what one thinks about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, no one voted for any of the Obama/Clinton retreads who currently infest the White House. Nor was a single ballot cast for “Dr. Jill.” Nonetheless, the Democratic Party is perfectly content to let this continue if it offers even a slim chance to remain in power. [ https://spectator.org/bidens-debate-debacle-disqualifies-his-entire-party/ ]”

Larry Hart said...

GMT:

Impeachment based on this act being a "treason, bribery, or other high crime or misdemeanor."


Trump's two impeachments made clear that no Republican president will ever be convicted in the Senate.


Such an order would be de-facto illegal.


Not if a 6-3 majority on the supreme court says otherwise. Or even 5-4.


If Congress did not act, said president could be indicted, tried, and convicted after they leaves office.


Contesting the election and "protecting" the American people from a rigged election can be construed as an official act. And again, it's up to Gorsuch, Alito, Thomas, Kavanaugh, and Roberts to say, even if Amy Coney Barrett joins the other girls.


The status of the action as a core constitutional duty, official act, or un-official act would be part of the facts to be decided by the jury.


And again, to have the trial court overturned by the fifth circuit and then the supreme court.

You're presuming that congress and the supreme court take their role concerning checks and balances seriously, rather than being part of the coup.

Larry Hart said...

DP:

Mark this date as the day American democracy dies and the republican "slow coup" achieved complete success.


Only if Trump wins. Granted, that is a distinct possibility, but it's not a done deal.


If democracy is to survive we need to be just as vicious nasty ruthless and cunning as those on the Right.


Here, I agree. In this, it's too bad that President Biden is such a nice institutionalist. What we need is a president wielding the powers the supreme court keeps ceding to him in ways that make Republicans shriek, "He can't do that!!!"

Note that this isn't solved by replacing Biden on the 2024 ticket. It requires the current POTUS to do it.

scidata said...

Larry Hart: Amy Coney Barrett joins the other girls

Just like so much of human history, this is all coming down to the Y-chromosome.

TheMadLibrarian said...

McSandberg, welcome to Contrary Brin. Be prepared for vigorous debate and rigorous examination of your opinions.

Larry Hart said...

GMT:

For "Official Acts:" presumption of absolute immunity, ...


"If the law presumes that, sir, then the law is a ass!"

Larry Hart said...

Hmmm, apparently blogger didn't like my previous post in which I spelled that word correctly.

Larry Hart said...

The Mad Librarian:

welcome to Contrary Brin


mcsandberg isn't new here. He regularly drives by with a visi-sonor to sow despair. A little late this time, though. His latest would have been more effective Thursday night.

Larry Hart said...

On a team meeting, a work colleague just claimed, "My brain is fried, 'cause I've been taking cough medicine all day."

Occam's Razor says that was President Biden's problem Thursday.

For a more obscure theory, what exactly were Trump and the Russian embassy plane discussing while parked next to each other at Dulles Airport just before the debate?

David Brin said...

LH: “In all fairness, Tacitus doesn't approve of Trump, and some of his anxiety over Biden seems to be that the Democrats aren't mounting an effective campaign to prevent another Trump presidency.”

Alas, you are wrong about that. Tacitus is the clearest example I know of an “Ostrich” Republican. Head buried and chanting desperately. “But Biden’s OOOOOLD!” And “Facts are so painful!!!”

DP said...Dr. Brin, with all due respect you need to stop bringing rhetoric to a knife fight.

Jesus. DO you know the subtitle of my book, sir? Even if you never, ever read anything between the covers, could you at least read the COVER? Polemical Judo, by David Brin: http://www.davidbrin.com/polemicaljudo.html

specifically, your "rhetoric" snark is one more excuse for utter laziness. "It woul;d never work so I WON'T TRY!" In fact though, there's probably 2 million US voters who are miserably watching all this who could be swayed by the RIGHT rhetoric. Or the right... polemic.

Mcsandberg you are a dismal Kremlin shill. I spit in your eye, sir. Better yet, meet me on a field of high stakes $$$ wagers and I will own your house. Have your atty contact me when you have escrowed enough stakes to be worth my time with you.

Joe Biden accomplished more for the republic in just the years 2021 and 2022 than ALL other presidents of this century, combined. And the quality of his appointments is all I need in order to sleep well, content for him to nap occasionally. And yes, for Kamala to take over when necessary. Solid, she is. So drop dead. Sir.

Bill Seymour said...

DP @11:36:  I’m stealing your “bringing rhetoric to a knife fight”!

Dr. Brin, is there a way to get a link to a particular comment to one of your posts?

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

Care to compare my 73 year old body build to yours, sir?


A few weeks ago, I was chatting at the lake with a woman who had (like me) grown up in Evanston and attended Evanston High School. I'm happily married, but I do tend to flirt, especially when I know nothing more can come of it. Anyhoo, I get to mentioning that I graduated in high school in 1978, and after a bit of demurring, she informs me that she's 12 years older than I am. All I could think to (truthfully) say is, "Wow, you don't look it."

Then, she paid me a compliment I never expected to hear again in this lifetime. "I wish I was your age."

locumranch said...

Like Dr. Brin, I accept the existence of Objective Fact -- I even recognize it when I see it -- yet we diverge and disagree hugely as to the meaning & implied significance of said facts.

The FACTS are as follows:

(1) Demographic Replacement is real;
(2) Socialism, communism & globalism are failed modalities;
(3) Technocracy equals the totalitarian impulse rather than popular will; and
(4) The Right is rising in both the US & EU.

I accept that we vehemently disagree as to the meaning & significance of these facts, so I will remain silent as you dither over whether or not a ham sandwich & the impromptu presidential declassification of documents represents an immunity-worthy 'official act'.

Later, I'll remind you that the facts are the facts are the facts while your most cherished narratives are NOT, as a narrative is just a story we tell ourselves in an attempt imbue a data point with a greater significance.


Best

A.F. Rey said...

I think it's obvious what Biden's first official act should be after this Supreme Court ruling.

He should officially retire the five conservative justices immediately.

The next court can decide that it was an "official" act, and thus immune. Then overturn this ruling. :D

Der Oger said...

@GMT:
Congress would be able to immediately impeach and remove this president.

Not if enough members of congress who have been officially declared traitors are in prison or dead. Or bribed and blackmailed.

This is very, very bad.

In essence, the US have ceased to be a democracy.

Looking at the options:

If Biden uses those dictatorial powers before the election to an extend necessary to save the democracy, you will have civil war.
If Trump is elected, you will need an Elsner or Stauffenberg to get rid of Trump, and might either have a tyranny and/or also a civil war.
If Biden is re-elected, he may let this powers sleep ... until the next Gopper with dictatorial ambitions comes around.
Unless Congress shifts blue in a manner that would allow overcome the GOP blockades (unlikely), no law will be passed to amend the problem.

matthew said...

"Official Act"= when the GOP do it.
"Unofficial Act"= when the Dems do it.

GMT, you are one of our resident Fed Soc members, IIRC.
Have you resigned your membership in disgust yet?

Same question to our other resident Fed Soc members here - How far does the imperial GOP judiciary get to go before they cross a line that you will not personally support? At what point is the corruption too much for you to ignore?

DP said...

Again my apologies Dr. Brin, but words, logic, argument and facts - no matter how intelligent or powerful - are insufficient to defend freedom when it is under attack.

In order to destroy the great evil of slavery, Sherman laid waste the state of Georgia and the Carolinas (doing far worse in the Carolinas).

And he was right to do so.

In order to destroy the evil of Nazism and fascism we burnt entire German and Japanese cities along with their inhabitants.

And we were right to do so.

In order to stop the evil of communism we risked incinerating the entire planet for a half century.

And we were right to do so.

Trump's SCOTUS killed our freedom today. Democracy died and was replaced my a monarch who is above the law.

Time to get physical.

Time to get as ruthless and nasty as the MAGA enemies of freedom.

Time for liberals to stop being the kid who gets his lunch money taken by the MAG school yard bully.

Time for liberals to stop being nice guys.

DP said...

Anybody who wants to know where we are going need only read the history of how the Roman Republic died.

John Viril said...

This decision does not give a president the ability to order executive branch personnel (military or law enforcement) to "murder" or "assassinate" anyone. Such an order would be de-facto illegal

GMT,

Seems to me that Barack Obama addressed this point years ago when he asserted he had the right to order an American citizen's death under certain circumstances.

However, the specific legal framework which enabled this power was "national security" and thus could not be questioned by the press. Indeed, Obama seemed to assert that this power couldn't be questioned except by legal authorities with the clearance to see this Top Secret legal regime.

Obama made this assertion in wake of a controversy where the United States made a drone attack which killed a 16 yo son of an Al Qaeda terrorist (i believe Anwar Al Awlaki was the fathers name) in, I believe, Yemen.

During this public controversy, I also seem to recall Obama asserted that he could exercise this power to order the death of an American citizen WITHIN THE UNITED STATES.

Thus, I'm not sure an assassination order would be prima facie illegal.

mcsandberg said...

Dr. Brin,
"Mcsandberg you are a dismal Kremlin shill. I spit in your eye, sir. Better yet, meet me on a field of high stakes $$$ wagers and I will own your house. Have your atty contact me when you have escrowed enough stakes to be worth my time with you.

Joe Biden accomplished more for the republic in just the years 2021 and 2022 than ALL other presidents of this century, combined. And the quality of his appointments is all I need in order to sleep well, content for him to nap occasionally. And yes, for Kamala to take over when necessary. Solid, she is. So drop dead. Sir."

That is why I quoted from David Catron. It isn't just me, there are a lot of people who saw what I did. That's why the betting odds shifted dramatically on Thursday, June 27, 2024 https://www.realclearpolling.com/betting-odds/2024/president .

John Viril said...

In fact though, there's probably 2 million US voters who are miserably watching all this who could be swayed by the RIGHT rhetoric. Or the right... polemic.

How many of those 2 million voters are going to believe Joe Biden is sharp 10 hours a day after that.debate performance?

I think it will end up being catastrophic for his campaign.

Cenk Uygur of the young Turks is calling him senile. Stephen A Smith is angry at the Democratic party for lying about Biden's health. Jon Stewart mocked Biden's "25th Amendment stare."

These are people with big platforms able to reach the only marginally politically engaged. In particular, Stephen A Smith has a huge black following due to his NBA commentary. Btw, Biden needed 92% of the black vote to win in 2020.

Stewart immediately grasped the "Trump blew it, too" argument, which has become the most effective refutation of a Trump debate victory by most Democrat party loyalists

Larry Hart said...

DP:

how the Roman Republic died.


To thunderous applause?

Tony Fisk said...

The SCOTUS ruling have rendered the debate moot.

Tyrannotrumpus Rex is not a viable option.

Tony Fisk said...

Oh yeah, McS quoted a wall of text to show that people have written Biden off.
Not yet.

Larry Hart said...

John Viril:

How many of those 2 million voters are going to believe Joe Biden is sharp 10 hours a day after that.debate performance?


The nay-sayers, including those ostensibly on our side, are acting as if Biden has been hidden away in Dick Cheney's underground bunker for the past three years, and that we've only had the word of shifty DNC operatives that the man was still alive until we finally saw the real Joe Biden let loose last Thursday.

A weak performance happens to everyone. Remember "covfefe"? "I'll appoint pro-crime judges"? The slow walk down a ramp and two hands to hold a cup of water?

Alan Brooks said...

The scenario of Kamala becoming President sometime in the next four 1/2 yrs, is acceptable. Electing Trump and whomever he picks as Vice Palooka, is thoroughly unacceptable.
Unless one enjoys apocalypse.
His VP choice might be Tim Scott—who possesses the requisite Uncle Tom resume’. What I’d like to ask Trump is:
if Pence isn’t good enough for ‘25- ‘29, why was he so for ‘17- ‘21? Trump would probably reply that choosing Pence in the first instance “wasn’t my idea.”

Slim Moldie said...

Clearly, style matters more than substance.

For the literate audience, the transcript of Biden's debate performance demonstrates that he is intellectually capable of listening to and answering questions while forming and articulating coherent logical arguments on the spot. Contrast this to the other guy who told 602 demonstrable lies in 40 minute, who ignored or evaded questions and who drifted off topic while appearing to be afflicted with Wernicke's aphasia.

(https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/27/politics/read-biden-trump-debate-rush-transcript/index.html)


DP

"Time for liberals to stop being nice guys."

Since this is Contrary B... in what ways do you suggest Biden might wield the new powers his office was granted today by the court?

I think Biden was foolish to have debated in the first place as evidenced by this reaction. Instead he should have challenged Trump to a televised game of golf and to a televised physical and full blood panel and psychological evaluation by a panel of randomly selected military physicians.

David Brin said...

Bill Seymour I’m not sure I understand the question. Maybe take a screen shot?
LH… I found the PERFECT harmless flirt line! Ask “Have you ever sent a thank you note to your orthodontist?” I ALWAYS gets a happy smile and even a blush, and there’s not even the slightest hint I’m flirting with anything but totally innocent (and very brief!) intent.
AFR it’s simpler. Invite Roberts and Gorsuch and Kavanaugh to dinner. Lock them into the Lincoln Room and declare it an Official Act.

DP you can’t even be bothered to read the subtitle of my book and I should listen to you? Dig it there’s PLENTY of room for polemics! The dems pay no attention whatsoever to scores of options. And by FAR the best outcome will be for the vote against the GOP to be so overwhelming that this phase of the US civil war will be mainly over. Except for the McVeighs and secessions. The former are watched by gloriously brave FBI undercover guys. And the latter is solved by:

“Okay, here’s your share of the national debtg. All federal assets in your state move to yoiur state’s blue cities, who we’ll support when THEY secede from YOU!”
I have no reason to continue engaging with a living horror like MCS.

Tacitus said...

David

You presumably don't know that LarryHart and I converse outside this forum on occasion. As such you are speaking from a position of ignorance when you categorize my opinions to him.

You sir, have become predictable and hasty.

Tacitus

scidata said...

Bill Seymour,

You can open a web page at a specific section (eg comment) using an anchor (#):
View the page source (browser dependent), find the comment's section using Ctl-F and its first few words, then copy that comment's ID. Make a url by appending '?showComment=#' to the base page url.

For example, here's a link that will open this page at my comment that begins 'Fool me once':
https://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2024/06/bidens-judo-moves-part-one-who-is-big.html?showComment=#c160023851091155061

I think there's a way to directly link to one specific comment if comments are displayed with an associated time-date hyperlink, but CB isn't set up that way and hasn't been for decades (as far as I know). As is, opening a link to solely one comment would require some modification or extraction of the author's content - not advisable. As the Guardian of Forever said in TOS, "I was made to offer the past in this manner. I cannot change."

scidata said...

Sorry, I forgot that Blogger interprets all angular brackets.

Make a url by appending '?showComment=#[commentID]' to the base page url.

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

Bill Seymour I’m not sure I understand the question.


He's asking if there's a way to permalink an individual comment here, so that if someone clicks on the link, they come right to that individual comment.

I'd guess the answer is "no".

Larry Hart said...

I said:

I'd guess the answer is "no".


I hadn't read scidata's post yet. I'll have to learn how to do that.

Larry Hart said...

@Der Oger,

In light of recent election results, could your country please occupy France again?

Bill Seymour said...

“Bill Seymour I’m not sure I understand the question. Maybe take a screen shot?”

You’re right; I didn’t state the question clearly.  I wanted a URL that I could stick in an HTML <a> tag on my own blog to link back to a particular comment on your blog.

It turns out that scidata has the answer, and it’s even easier than he suggested.  Looking at the source, I see that there’s an <a name=> tag that I can link to; and I don’t even need the “?showComment=” business.

This URL displays the whole page with all the comments, but scrolled down to the particular comment that I want to link to.  That’s just what I want.

Sorry to hijack the comment section when I should have just looked at the source and answered my own question.  Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Larry Hart said...

DP quoting Justice Sotomayor:

The majority’s single-minded fixation on the President’s need for boldness and dispatch ignores the countervailing need for accountability and restraint.


Why can't any of the Trump appointees speak so eloquently? It's sad to recall that the court itself used to inspire such awe.


In the Federalist Papers, after “endeavor[ing] to show” that the Executive designed by the Constitution “combines … all the requisites to energy,” Alexander Hamilton asked a separate, equally important question: “Does it also combine the requisites to safety, in a republican sense, a due dependence on the people, a due responsibility?” The Federalist No. 77, p. 507 (J. Harvard Library ed. 2009). The answer then was yes, based in part upon the President’s vulnerability to “prosecution in the common course of law.” Ibid.


Too bad the "Federalist Society" isn't actually interested in what the Federalists had to say.

scidata said...

Re: link to comment

Bill Seymour - you're right, I was overthinking it*. Also, I just noticed that my own blogger blog does use the datestamp hyperlink trick! (but it also gives the whole page scrolled down to the particular comment.


* Always generalizing a solution is a bad habit learned from my physics days. Seems SCOTUS suffers from the same affliction - alas.

GMT -5 (Hugh) said...

I remember Ronald Reagan had a bad first debate performance against Walter Mondale in 1984 and he recovered in the next debate.

I don't think I was ever a dues paying member of Fed Social. I crashed their 2001 Lawyers' Convention in DC and attended several more after that. I don't go anymore since I might run into a psycho ex-girlfriend.

I am too busy to read the decision, concurrences, and dissents, but Alan Dershowitz seems satisfied with it and he is hardly a fascist (even if he did defend Trump in the first impeachment).

Larry Hart said...

GMT:

Alan Dershowitz seems satisfied with it and he is hardly a fascist


He's been carrying Trump-publican water enough to at least be comfortable being fascist-adjacent.

GMT -5 (Hugh) said...

If you call Dersh fascist-adjacent, I wonder what you call David Goldberger, the ACLU lawyer who represented the neo-Nazis at Skokie?

I am a legal idealist and I will keep my faith in the law because life without law turns into the nightmare that our honored host warns us about - thousands of years of mis-rule by the strongest thugs with the biggest sticks.

David Brin said...

Tacitus, I tire of writing detailed missives to you, asking you to consider things that clearly you avoid remotely thinking about. Your distraction re Larry is utterly, utterly irrelevant. As is clutching desperately at the one Biden, issue – his age – which will become a non-issue when – as the generally wise person he is – he resigns in favor of a tested and utterly sane and qualified VP.

I’m frankly sick of the namby whining over JoeB having a flummoxed debate. Grampa may need naps but he appoints 5000 skilled, brilliant people to replace DT's phallanx of traitor-shills. THAT is basic wisdom and with Blinken, Austin, Buttigieg, Harris etc on the job, I sleep just fine. And I have no fears re President Kamala.

No. What matters is YOUR cultish avoidance of addressing the pure fact that every single minute Donald Trump speaks, he lies. I will back up that assertion with $1000. Moreover, if it is even half true, we are talking about a pathological monster. And you are complicit with all of it.

ALL of the current, remaining communist dictatorships – Cuba, China, Laos, Cambodia – especially N Korea – (tho maybe not Vietnam) -- support Trump, along with the “former” Soviet Union, which is run by 5000 ‘ex’ commissars who all grew up reciting Leninist catechisms and hating America. But YOU believe them when they change a few lapel pins.

Just Trump’s ‘fell in love with Kim Jong Un” and his secret meetings with Putin with no US witnesses would have driven your old self bonkers, were a democrat to do it. Yet now the makeup-slathered tanning-pervert-predator is acceptable to you.

I repeat, you likely have more power to sway (ripple effect) more voters in a swing state than ANY of us here. So know this. Your refusal to consider stepping up for your nation and civilization will haunt you.

---
GMT Dershowitz is an utter monster. It’s not who he represents. It is his blatantly blackmailed, Kremlin serving treason.

David Brin said...

For those moaning over today's utter betrayal by the Kremlin-blackmailed shills in black robes.. Buck up! Hey, we're trying.

Picture how our blue enlightenment project looked in december 1776. Or March 1863. Or after Pearl Harbor. Or after the civil rights worker murders in 1962, or King and then RFK (the worst night of my life) in 1968, which was by far a worse year than anything we face, today, snowflakes.
Buck up!

Larry Hart said...

GMT:

I wonder what you call David Goldberger, the ACLU lawyer who represented the neo-Nazis at Skokie?


There's a difference between "Nazis have first amendment rights to free speech too," and "Nazis have good ideas about how government should be run."


I will keep my faith in the law because life without law turns into the nightmare that our honored host warns us about


The court specifically said that immunity doesn't apply to unofficial acts. So why does Trump think it throws out his conviction on the "hush money" activities that necessarily happened before the election? Is "trying to get elected" an official presidential act? Trump is apparently confident that this court will agree that it is.

Faith that the rule of law is necessary requires keeping the courts honest, not just accepting the dictates of corrupt courts because asserting that two plus two is in fact four somehow undermines the rule of law.

Alan Brooks said...

and who has had the largest influence on the 21st century?
Bin Laden. On 9/10/‘01, the big news was Gary Condit—after the next day it’s been one Bad Scene after another.

Alfred Differ said...

Now that I few days have gone by and all the hand-wringing by Biden's supporters has come out honestly into the open, I'm going to take a moment to point out what I saw and challenge the POV that Biden is too old. Those of you with any medical experience could have a decent counter-argument for my POV, so fire away if you can.

1. Biden is a known stutterer with life-long coping experiences.

2. Some who do not understand stuttering as a condition confuse it with poor IQ, dementia, and other brain flaws that have in common a general reduction in the ability of the sufferer to reason.

3. Strong emotions can hamper ANY of us when it comes time to string together thoughts and then articulate them.


Now recall some of the times when it was Biden's turn to respond and tell me

a. he was not angry,
b. he was not having trouble stringing together thoughts and articulating them,
c. he wasn't magically cured of stuttering.


Truth is… if I were Biden's political opponent… I'd probably want him pissed off more often than not… especially in public settings. This would be strategically ideal as it would put Biden's coping experiences just out of reach in front of people who confuse stuttering with dementia.

———

Stuttering isn't dementia.
Stuttering isn't related at all to a general inability to reason.
Stuttering is all about articulation. The thoughts are there, but don't get out right.

———

Sure. Biden is getting old.
His coping strategy for stuttering wasn't up to snuff on the night of the last debate.
Big f%*)ing whoop.
I'll still vote for him because he won't piss on me and call it rain. He won't take the Oath of Office and then betray it minutes later.
F*ck Two Scoops. And his supporters.

Der Oger said...

@Larry:
In light of recent election results, could your country please occupy France again?

As for the current polling trends, I'd rather propose that Charles III renews the claim to the throne of France. And maybe the United states, since you are a monarchy now.

(BTW, the last British king with the title "King of France" was George III.)

Ian said...

I'm surprised you're opposing Trump when you and many of your fan-boys share so many of his opinions.

Ian said...

I'm also at a loss as to why a self-described "futurist" is so concerned about which individual gets to start the nuclear war with China.

Perhaps you should reread Poul Anderson's "The Last Of The Deliverers"

Larry Hart said...

Even in the context of the supreme court ruling, can someone please explain how activities that took place during the 2016 election count as presidential actions when the candidate was not yet president?

WTF am I missing?

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/07/01/nyregion/trump-sentence-hush-money.html

Donald J. Trump began an effort on Monday to throw out his recent criminal conviction in Manhattan and postpone his upcoming sentencing, citing a new Supreme Court ruling that granted him broad immunity from prosecution for official actions he took as president, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

DP said...

Trump - who controls loyal right wing paramilitary groups - can now legally use death squads against people he does not like.

Congratulations right wingers, you now have the racist dictatorship You've always wanted.

But be warned.

Germans who voted for Hitler thought the gestapo would only be used against Jews. The people they hated.

The gestapo was for everyone.

Americans who vote for trump think MAGA will only be for Hispanics gays woke feminists and blacks. The people they hate.

MAGA will be for everyone.


It's also the racist dictatorship that the 1% always wanted.

When society starts to unravel with the next food shortage, heat dome, or pandemic the rich and the powerful now have the the legal tool that allows the government to clamp down, gun down protesters and make dissidents disappear.

You might not believe this is coming, but the elite do.

Which is why they are building survival bunkers.

mcsandberg said...

Well, that is quite the promotion!

"I have no reason to continue engaging with a living horror like MCS."

From insignificant pest to Living Horror!

Larry Hart said...

The Stephanie Miller show is suggesting the same thing I was feeling, although I know this particular president will unfortunately never do it. President Biden should immediately use his newfound kingly powers to combat a clear and present danger to the United States, that danger being Donald Trump.

My point--as opposed to theirs--is not that Biden should do mean things to Trump, but that Biden should force the Republicans to recognize that they can't oppose things that he does without refuting the notion of presidential immunity.

Larry Hart said...

Der Oger:

The last British king with the title "King of France" was George III


Heh. I suppose it's lucky for him that he wasn't visiting that domain in 1789.

Der Oger said...

@ DP
It's also the racist dictatorship that the 1% always wanted.
If peaceful transfers of power have become a thing of the past, the newly crowned emperors tend to develop paranoid tendencies. See the Night of the Long Knives, see how many siloviki have been suicided during the last few years.

@Larry
WTF am I missing?
Maybe he has talked in private with some supreme court justices that the whole affair was "official". Or he just tries to desperately lie and cheat his way out of this one.

Larry Hart said...

Stonekettle on Threads:

https://www.threads.net/@stonekettle

Somewhere, right now, Richard Nixon is like, "MOTHERFU...!"

Tim H. said...

Interesting, AFAIK, Trump is still free on bail, in spite of the SCOTUS ruling on Presidential immunity. This implies a very old school sort of conservatism on Biden's actions, a fear of degrading the office and therefore tarnishing the United States in the eyes of the world.

Larry Hart said...

Tim H:

This implies a very old school sort of conservatism on Biden's actions,


Like Edith Keeler, President Biden is right, but at the wrong time. His dignified actions could delay entry into the war and give Republicans time to complete their heavy water experiments.

Der Oger said...

Heh. I suppose it's lucky for him that he wasn't visiting that domain in 1789.

Wonder what he thought about it. After the French crown helping you in your war of independence, it would not be out of place for him ordering a bottle of champaign. "I may have lost my colonies, but you, you first lost your gold, then your crown, then your head."

Larry Hart said...

The more I think about the recent supreme court rulings that rival Plessy vs Ferguson for venality and illogic, the more my reaction is:

"When in the course of human events..."

Larry Hart said...

How does this even make sense?

https://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2024/Items/Jul02-1.html

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA): Today's ruling by the Court is a victory for former President Trump and all future presidents, and another defeat for President Biden's weaponized Department of Justice and Jack Smith.


Didn't the supreme court just explicitly legalize weaponizing the DOJ ?

How does a decision about increasing presidential power different for Biden than it is for "Trump and all future presidents"?

Larry Hart said...

A few reactions by readers who are more astute than the politicians and lawyers...

https://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2024/Items/Jul02-1.html

S.B. in Warsaw, Poland: Biden "blasts" and "deplores" the president-is-king ruling but we all know he's not going to do anything about it. I'm not saying he should officially order the assassination of Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito now that it's apparently legal, but the Democrats' impotence is clearly one of the reasons the U.S. is where it is, with one party systematically dismantling the rule of law and making good progress on the way to fascism, the other scared to death that any assertive action might alienate wealthy donors. And the big money will always prefer juicier profits to democracy, even if some plutocrats find Trumpism aesthetically displeasing.

It's depressing to witness the Democrats' strategy reduced to repeating ad nauseam "he lies" and "we're not as bad as he is." But after all, Joe Biden is a man of his word and he promised that nothing would fundamentally change under his watch. Good night and good luck, America.

L.S. in Greensboro, NC: It will never happen, but...

Biden should immediately order the Secret Service to take Trump into custody, strip him of his U.S. citizenship, confiscate his passport, and deport him to Russia, or if Putin won't have him, to Eastern Ukraine.

Then he should do the same with the two clearly corrupt Supreme Court justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, along with John Roberts, who authored this horrible opinion.

All of this would clearly be within his official duties to protect the nation from corrupt authoritarians bent on destroying it.

E.T.C. in Kapolei, HI: The Supreme Court, in its wisdom, gave Joe Biden a magnificent gift—immunity from question for his official acts, criminal or not. As the Constitution says of senators and representatives, "...[He] shall not be questioned in any other place."

The president swears an oath on taking office to, among other things, "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Donald J. Trump, in his past and current words and deeds, has shown himself to be the most serious threat to that Constitution in the history of our nation. More so than the British of 1812; more so than the Confederates of the 1860s; more so than the Axis powers of the 1930s. His actions and words are more egregious because he attacks from within. He arouses the gullible among us to action against the very soul of our nation by his mendacious words and deeds. Donald Trump is a clear and present to our democracy and to our Constitution.

For that reason it is right and proper that President Biden take immediate and official presidential action to arrest this treasonous miscreant and incarcerate him in our prison at Guantanamo for life under the care of our military. There he can "rage, rage against the dying of the light," as, no doubt, did Napoleon on Saint Helena island.

Tim H. said...

I suspect Speaker of the House Johnson expects that this ruling is for Republican Presidents only.

Larry Hart said...

Tim H:

I suspect Speaker of the House Johnson expects that this ruling is for Republican Presidents only.


Yes, just as he apparently expects "all future presidents" to be Republican.

It's like Trump in the same breath insisting that the Jan 6 rioters were exercising protected First Amendment rights while claiming that he'll invoke the Insurrection Act to put down protesters if he's elected. So a real insurrection is considered legal, but legal protests are considered an insurrection. Real 1984 stuff.

Larry Hart said...

Ya think?

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/30/opinion/moyle-idaho-abortion-emtala.html

...
Under Tennessee’s stand-your-ground law, a person is entitled to presume that there is a threat of imminent death or bodily harm when someone “unlawfully and forcibly enters” another person’s “residence, business, dwelling or vehicle.”

I’m referring to this law because, if you believe, as I do, that an unborn child is a separate human life, then the longstanding legal rules that govern when we can lawfully take another life are quite relevant to the debate, and a nation that tells a citizen that he can open fire the instant he reasonably believes he is in serious danger but tells a pregnant woman that she has to be objectively on the verge of death before she can abort her child is a nation that treats pregnant women as second-class citizens.
...

scidata said...

Larry Hart: Real 1984 stuff

It certainly is getting surreal. A modern, technological Empire, complete with an Imperial high court. This is really starting to go "Foundationy". I don't think they fully comprehend what they're hatching. We don't have Asimov anymore, I'm glad we do have OGH.

DP said...

scidata - these people know exactly what they are doing.

They've played the long game and performed a slow moving coup.

David Brin said...

Hey “Ian”. Is something missing? Like the “v” in “Ivan”, you blatant Kremlin basement troll?

I've been mocked for asserting for years that blackmail - not mere 'corruption' or dogmatism - is the only possible explanation for the monstrously treasonous behavior of high level Republicans. But folks are coming around, especially in light of the new 'ruling' by the Supreme Court majority, granting presidents absolute immunity for anything remotely deemable as 'official acts.'
At this point, the notion that Roberts & Kavanaugh and likely Gorsuch are NOT blackmailed shills obedient to a foreign power is beyond absurd.

Note the universal rejection of this latest travesty by Democrats has a subtext: "We would not abuse this power and we don't need it or want it!" Implicit is the sure confidence - on the part of Republicans - that Joe Biden will NOT hurry forth to arrest or kill opponents, or do anything else felonious. And hence, this ruling will not only protect Trump from past crimes but enable more, if he returns to office.

It is time to declare the SC an illegitimate partisan 'institution' and that henceforth any rulings by the DC Court of Appeals will be deemed the highest judgements in the land.


“It's also the racist dictatorship that the 1% always wanted.”

Nah. It’s the 0.01% (one percent includes all the upper middle class dentists and doctors and professionals. Nope.) And the top 0.01% USE racism to rile MAGA morons… but are mostly not racist themselves. Their enemies are nerds, the one force blocking return to feudalism.

“MCS: Well, that is quite the promotion! "I have no reason to continue engaging with a living horror like MCS." From insignificant pest to Living Horror!

You WISH, you boring imbecile. Both can be tr….zzzzzzz

Oh, since we have trolls, this time, I quick skimmed lame-o-ranch’s asserted ‘four facts.’ Hey dope. Not one of those is a ‘fact’ and I’ll put money on it. There’s no ‘replacement’ plot. Though yes, demographics are shifting BECAUSE your lords crippled immigration reform for decades in order to keep up their supply of cheap labor. Have your atty contact me when you’ve escrowed wager stakes that… sigh… stop… feeding … trolls…

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

Like the “v” in “Ivan”,


Heh. I was going to go there myself, but he didn't even give a good line to reply to.


It is time to declare the SC an illegitimate partisan 'institution' and that henceforth any rulings by the DC Court of Appeals will be deemed the highest judgements in the land.


And didn't the supreme court just declare that President Biden can do that. It would be an "official act" after all.


Note the universal rejection of this latest travesty by Democrats has a subtext: "We would not abuse this power and we don't need it or want it!"


I said above, but will say again, Biden is being Edith Keeler here. He's right, but at the wrong time. The moment calls for a Democratic Chris Christie. Exercise those king powers, not to achieve policy goals but to demonstrate that the wheels have fallen off the bandwagon. Force Republicans to repudiate the unitary executive notion in order hide behind every tree in England.

Note, this is not a call for Biden not to run in November. That's too late. We need him to channel his Dark Brandon, now!

Der Oger said...

Their enemies are nerds, the one force blocking return to feudalism.

Some of whom know to use arms, lead and train troops, and conduct intelligence operations.

If only 1% of federal agents, officers and enlisted men are pissed of enough to deliver resistance - you suddenly have an army of tens of thousands of guerilla fighters. Have they thought this through? I doubt.

Larry Hart said...

Der Oger:

Have they thought this through? I doubt.


They seem to assume that all the "tough people" are on their side. That's why Trump always praises rogue cops and pardons war criminals.

David Brin said...

Der Oger: "Have they thought this through? I doubt."

This is a feature, not a bug. They know they cannot take over America for extended periods. Their objective is flames.

Alfred Differ said...

Larry,

...Biden is being Edith Keeler here.

Eh. No.

Biden took the Oath and no SCOTUS ruling relieves him of that. His obligation is to defend the Constitution... not to do what the SCOTUS says he can.

It is important that people see the Oath in action. Integrity is something that has to be seen to be believed.

scidata said...

Since we're all trying to scare each other, here's the first piece of A.I. that actually gave me chills. A screenplay written by ChatGPT4 and produced by meatbags.
https://lastscreenwriter.com/

scidata said...

Also, I neither endorse nor vouche for The Last Screenwriter. I was interested however, that it was pulled from theatres due to screenwriters' outrage.

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

Integrity is something that has to be seen to be believed.


Edith Keeler was right too, but at the wrong time. It might not help to remain above the fray while the Nazis perfect their A-Bombs and the V2s to carry them.

I want to agree with you. I want integrity to be a winning strategy. I want to still be the good guys when we win.

What I don't want is to still be the good guys when we lose.

Larry Hart said...

scidata:

Since we're all trying to scare each other


I know we're supposed to be terrified of runaway AI, but Republicans are much more horrifying.

I wish the biggest concern today was whether screenwriters would continue to have jobs.

scidata said...

Larry Hart,

Sort of similar stories. As in BNW, the ease with which humans can be corrupted and zombified is the real horror.

Alan Brooks said...

Nyet.
We are allegedly violent pinkos, but at the same time we’re wussy peaceniks? We must be Jekyll and Hydes—so please do continue with your prognoses.

Larry Hart said...

https://www.stonekettle.com/2024/07/the-republic-is-dead-long-live-republic.html

...
The majority opinion, penned by Roberts himself alleges the founders of this country, the Framers of the Constitution, those men who'd just fought a bloody war of rebellion to free themselves from a monarch utterly immune from accountability and the law, actually envisioned an Executive who would likewise be immune from the law and accountability but is also somehow not a king.

Ur?

Never mind, he's rollin'

The opinion uses words like “vigorous,” “energetic," "decisive," and "speedy execution” of the president's duty to "faithfully execute" the law -- something the president has been able to do for 248 years, through multiple wars and myriad national emergencies, somehow without having absolute immunity.

But today in this new age, apparently the law cannot be executed vigorously, energetically, decisively, or in a speedy fashion if the president actually has to obey the law he's "faithfully" executing.
...

Alan Brooks said...

Then you are not at a loss,
if you’ve arrived at your conclusions re CB so rapidly.

Alan Brooks said...

You name-checked many individuals, including Jill Biden.. But no mention of Kamala: is the Vice President a non-entity to you?

David Brin said...

Remember this guy? How savagely the GOP swarmed to shut him up and eject him? Political death over a casual remark. It could only draw such a reaction if true re rampant sexual lures+blackmail all across the party. And the SC's majority is explained.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/mar/30/madison-cawthorn-washington-orgies-cocaine-claims

Danny Stevens said...

Of course the zealots won't care about the Judo. However they are not the target audience.
Every public discourse in this arena needs to talk to the folks on the edge who are still capable of paying attention and thinking independently.

Alan Brooks said...

Perhaps you are neither pest nor horror, it might be that you are at the wrong blog.

Larry Hart said...

Our local news last night claimed that Hurricane Beryl could turn into a Category 6. Wouldn't such a category have to first be established?

I do remember a dystopian fictional story in which a so-called Category 6 hurricane formed as a permanent fixture on the Earth, like Jupiter's red spot. I think it was by the comics writer Steven Grant, but I don't remember the title. It might have just been an idea for a story.

mcsandberg said...

Alan Brooks

No doubt this blog is unfriendly territory. I like places like this https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/07/01/federal-judge-sides-with-louisiana-and-strikes-down-joe-bidens-illegal-assault-on-american-energy/ that know that LNG exports being unblocked is good news.

Tony Fisk said...

I daresay it will be soon revealed that Roberts is able to channel the founding fathers so readily because he was one himself in a former life.

David Brin said...

LH the novel was MOTHER OF STORMS by John Barnes.

Alan B. Please be specific to whom you are responding.

Alan Brooks said...

Today I posted sub-comments such as the one a couple of hours ago, stating my opinion that the commenter was neither pest nor horror. Merely at the wrong blog.

Alan Brooks said...

...without knowing the naysayers here, have no way of knowing if they are pests, horrors, trolls, flamers, FSB agents or agents of other nations—or NGOs.

locumranch said...

LH: I do remember a dystopian fictional story in which a so-called Category 6 hurricane formed as a permanent fixture on the Earth, like Jupiter's red spot. I think it was by the comics writer Steven Grant, but I don't remember the title.

DB: LH the novel was MOTHER OF STORMS by John Barnes.


I believe LH was referring to 'Heavy Weather' by Bruce Sterling, published 1994, of which Amazon provides the following synopsis:

"Set in a dystopian, climate-ravaged future, we join a band of high-tech storm chasers hoping to find and study a powerful F6 tornado."

Interestingly, 'Mother of Storms', by John Barnes, utilized a similar plot device (a nuclear hurricane) & was also published the same year, proving only that any singular fact may lead to any number of different but equally valid conclusions.

That one fact may lead to any number of different but equally valid conclusions, why it's practically inconceivable, is it not?


Best

mcsandberg said...

Alan Brooks

We do have fun http://theviews.org/Life%20at%20the%20Views/2024/june-30-2024-hummingbird-update.html

Alfred Differ said...

Larry,

That story with Edith Keeler doesn't really hold up here. It presumes knowledge of the future... which we do not possess. It's a great story demonstrating Kirk's humanity, but you presume muchly if you think it truly applies.

You COULD be correct about our future, but Spock was certain. Are you really that certain?

Tim H. said...

Also, the NAZIs, being what they were, divided their fissionables between several groups, none of which had sufficient material to achieve criticality. They might've required decades to get a bomb.

Tim H. said...

There was something timely at crooked timber, everyone involved used words better than I do:
https://crookedtimber.org/2024/07/02/supreme-court-rules-hitler-immune-from-prosecution-for-burning-down-reichstag-seizing-absolute-power/

Recent SCOTUS rulings are a window into the nature of the new confederacy sought by the (Formerly) GOP.

scidata said...

Alfred Differ: but Spock was certain

Ah, Spock. The greatest character ever created. His 'river of time' postulate could have spawned entire new stories/series (and perhaps did). He knew that the transistor* is mightier than the bullet. "I am endeavoring Ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bearskins."

* or its equivalent in duotronics, multitronics, or even psychology

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

You COULD be correct about our future, but Spock was certain. Are you really that certain?


The point of the Edith Keeler allusion is that it is indeed possible to be right but at the wrong time. There's nothing contradictory in admiring President Biden's integrity but fearing that it's a losing election strategy.

No, I'm not certain, which is why I dither between wanting to be the good guys and wanting to win. I wish it were possible to do both, but I don't see the path to victory. Is it really perceived by voters as a virtue to play fair when the umpires have ruled that the other side can cheat with impunity? Can you convince me that such is plausible?

Larry Hart said...

Yeah, what's with the "liberal" media?

https://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2024/Items/Jul03-1.html

...
It appears painfully obvious, at least to us, that Trump's performance was more disqualifying than Biden's. Alternatively, calling for both Trump AND Biden to go seems a reasonable response, but we could only find one of those. The Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal had an op-ed headlined "Biden Should Withdraw, And So Should Trump."

But this business of piling on Biden, and letting Trump skate? We just don't get it. Is it clickbait? Bothsidesism? Left-leaning people acting on their emotional impulses? Trump's venality being so baked in that it's not even newsworthy at this point? All of the above? Something else? If we were the editor of one of those publications, at some point we'd say, "OK, maybe we've gone a little over the top with this; let's pare it back." It's just hard to take seriously a publication that has the same basic story five and six and seven times, with little counterbalance in the form of "Trump was bad, too" or in the form of "Dumping Biden isn't the slam dunk it might seem."
...

scidata said...

Nobody wants JB to drop out more than DT does.

DP said...

Welcome to Gilead.

(Didn't the Heritage Foundation use to be an intellectual think tank putting out policy papers mostly concerned with monetary policy?)

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/project-2025-bloodless-threat_n_6684dd34e4b038babc7d6e99

‘Absolutely Chilling’: Conservative Behind Trump Agenda Ripped For Ominous ‘Threat’
Kevin Roberts, president of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, declared a “second American Revolution.”

The head of an organization behind an influential policy document expected to guide a potential second Donald Trump administration declared that there’s a revolution taking place right now.

And he appeared to deliver an ominous warning to “the radical left” as he spoke.

“We are in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless ― if the left allows it to be,” Kevin Roberts, president of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, said on Real America’s Voice.

Larry Hart said...

@DP,

https://www.stonekettle.com/2024/07/the-republic-is-dead-long-live-republic.html

...
Up above I said I'd made a number of comments on social media that were later removed.

Here's another one:

When they line us up in front of that ditch they made us dig in the field outside the concentration camp gates, just before one of Supreme General Mike Flynn's Hauptsturmf├╝hrers gives the order to fire, I'll be the guy who smacks you in the back of the head and snarls "I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO."

The post got several hundred responses.

-- You won't get the chance, I won't be there. I'm going for their throats with my bare teeth when they show up to "detain me for reeducation". They're going to have to shoot in the street in front of my own house in front of everybody.

-- I won't get there. I will take a few with me first.

-- Before that happens, I'm going to take out as many of those single helix mutant pieces of shit neckbeards as possible. You're welcome to join me. I will not go quietly.

-- Im not going down without taking a few of them with me.. jfs

-- I’ll be the girl who turns around and storms the bad guys. They may kill me, but I’ll go down fighting.

There were many, many more in the same spirit, I was in the process of recording them when Threads took the post down and I lost access to the feed.
...

Larry Hart said...

Yes, I don't understand either.

https://www.threads.net/@stonekettle

I'm still trying to wrap my head around this.

See if I got this right: if a president pays off a sex worker to keep quiet about an adulterous affair he had BEFORE he was president, or if he were to incite violent insurrection, or even threaten state officials to change the results of an election, those are official presidential acts and he should have absolute immunity.

BUT, if that same president were to, say, forgive student loan debt, he should be impeached.

I have that correct?

Larry Hart said...

Even the New York Times had to sit up and take notice.

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/07/01/opinion/supreme-court-presidential-immunity-trump.html

Prior to this decision, there was no grant of criminal immunity to presidents; though the authors of the Constitution gave a form of that privilege to members of Congress, they declined to do so for the chief executive. For a conservative majority that pretends to rely on historical precedent, the newly created standard is remarkable for its lack of basis in the Constitution, law or any precedent of the court. It was made up out of thin air.

Tacitus said...

As Mr. Spock has entered the conversation I'd like to respectfully request permission to discuss the Issues of the Day entirely from the perspective of Star Trek II, Wrath of Khan.

Hubris, nemesis, ageing.....it really does have it all.

But I shan't intrude if not welcome.

Tacitus

Larry Hart said...

Tacitus:

discuss the Issues of the Day entirely from the perspective of Star Trek II, Wrath of Khan.


Please do.

Would the Enterprise have fared better if that youngster Decker were in charge?

Darrell E said...

Speaking of fiction and youngsters, I'd really like to see Pete Buttigieg as POTUS in 2025.

Larry Hart said...

GMT redux:

I will keep my faith in the law because life without law turns into the nightmare that our honored host warns us about


Again, I share your sentiment.

My question is what happens when the supreme court makes a ruling that actually contradicts the text of the Constitution. Over 200 years ago, the court took unto itself the power to decide whether or not statues violate the Constitution. But they've jumped from that to declaring that (to use Orwell) the Constitution is whatever the Party says it is.

So which position truly represents faith in the law? Acquiescence to the court's ridiculous assertions, or calling them out on it? You know where I stand.

JRiese said...

Tim H. - The V-2 had a payload of 2200 lbs. and tended to prematurely explode - a lot. Little Boy weighed 9000 lbs. and Fat Man weighed 10,800 lbs. It would have been a long time to get an IRBM. Thor, Jupiter, and Atlas missiles weren't developed until the late '50's.

Larry Hart - "the court took unto itself the power to decide whether or not statues violate the Constitution." No, just NO. The members of the Constitutional Convention knew that several states (including NY) had 'judicial review' in their state constitutions. A. Hamilton wrote in Federalist #78 that “No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution can be valid . . . [T]he interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution is . . . a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them [judges] to ascertain its meaning as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body." Article III implies judicial review. What the Supreme Court did in Marbury vs. Madison (Madison aka "The Father of the Constitution) was to exercise the principle of judicial review for the first time.

Darrell E said...

Larry Hart said...
""GMT redux:

I will keep my faith in the law because life without law turns into the nightmare that our honored host warns us about."



Again, I share your sentiment."


I do too. I also agree with the rest of your comment. GMT's quoted response is really a non-sequitur. The question wasn't are we better off being a nation with laws or a nation without laws. Actually, the response sort of baffles me.

But if that is the question, you've answered it correctly in my view. The current Supreme Court is dismantling our justice system before our very eyes. Anyone who feels that we are better off as nation with a just and fair legal system should be motivated to defend that system from this Supreme Court and the people that have created it, and that are feeding it tailored made cases to advance the agenda of one political party and its masters.

It really shouldn't, but it does surprise me that even at this rather late point so many people still seem to believe that our institutions plugging along as if business is as usual will save us from what the RP and its masters have been doing. You people need to take a closer look at the RP over the past 30 years, and particularly the first Trump administration. Among all the other unprecedented, illegal and undemocratic shenanigans Trump and his toadies pulled, the only people that prevented Trump from keeping himself in the White House after losing to Biden was Mike Pence and a handful of RP state politicians. I think it's safe to say that the Trump team won't make that mistake again. If you haven't, you really should go read the indictments.

The RP keeps on changing things to their advantage, to increase their power and protect them from repercussions, gambling that the DP won't use those changes to their advantage. And that's been a very good gamble for them because the DP tends to believe in the rule of just and fair law. And every time as soon as they get a new change pushed through the RP does use it to their advantage to do the very things that folks like GMT say either they won't do or that the justice system won't let them do.

The best way out of this is stomp their guts out at the voting booths this year. Anything else will result in far more damage to our society and institutions. I'd encourage people to stop thinking about the individuals Trump and Biden. Think rather in terms of administrations. Look at the key people in those administrations and the results they've achieved, and the lack thereof.

Larry Hart said...

JReise:

Article III implies judicial review.

Even so, what they just did concerning presidential immunity goes beyond determining whether a law violates the Constitution. It's as if they opined that two plus two equals five. They might as well have ruled, "Article II says the president can do whatever he wants."

Or "'whole number of persons'" means only eligible voters. Right-wingers are champing at the bit for that one, even though the census referred to clearly included women and children in 1789.

Review doesn't imply asserting that the Constitution says what you wish it said.
That's called "making shit up".

Larry Hart said...

Darrell E:

Actually, the response sort of baffles me.


I don't agree with it, but it doesn't surprise me. If my dad were still alive, he'd be saying the same things. Praying to God that our institutions are holding strong as they were meant to be, because the alternative is too scary to consider.

There's a name I'm forgetting for the logical fallacy, "A is true because not-A implies things I can't bring myself to believe."

Or: "The sum of the angles of that rectangle are too numerous to contemplate."


It really shouldn't, but it does surprise me that even at this rather late point so many people still seem to believe that our institutions plugging along as if business is as usual will save us from what the RP and its masters have been doing.


Well, some of them believe that our institutions doing what Republicans want is a feature, not a bug.

Larry Hart said...

For all you Bitcoin enthusiasts, imagine if the court was the blockchain ledger that kept track of which coins are yours? What if by 6-3, they decided that they themselves owned all of the coins? Would you trust your money to such a system?

For all intents and purposes, the supreme court justices are copies of the ledger that is our Constitution. No one justice can go rogue because a majority of the nodes have to agree. But what happens when five (or six) agree to a rogue interpretation in the same manner? By the rules of the game, the majority decides whatever it wants. The presumption was that a majority would insist on a connection to the actual document, but apparently if the law presumes that, then the law is a a$s. There's no appeal to reality.

Alberto Monteiro said...

Are you aware of what's happening in Brazil?

David Brin said...

Tacitus carumba! You have ALWAYS been welcome here. You are a gentleman and I’d love to have you as a neighbor… as frantically in-denial as you are.

So Spock away on us!

Just expect a response when you try to distract from the utter purity of total treason and evil and Kremlin generated lies that has become of your political party, led by a makeup-crusted hydrophobic (in all ways) mouth-foaming horror.

DanDroid said...

Trump or Bannon?

Larry Hart said...

Mary Trump pulls no punches.

https://marytrump.substack.com/p/with-fear-for-our-democracy

...
If we want to stop the insanity, we need to make sure Donald is not returned to the White House. I believe unequivocally that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are the best way to make sure that doesn’t happen. Will it be easy? Of course not. It was never going to be. But today, we were reminded just how high the stakes really are.

Six unelected people have stripped basic human rights from millions of women, destroyed the federal government, and made it almost impossible to hold Donald accountable while coming very close to granting him the powers of a king. It’s time for tens of millions of us to rise up and vote in unprecedented numbers. That’s how we tell the New York Times editorial board to fuck off. It’s how we increase the likelihood that Donald goes to prison or, at the very least, never gets near the levers of power again. And it’s how we start to take back our country from the corrupt traitors on the Supreme Court.
...

Tacitus said...

Why David you do know how to roll out the Welcome mat. One correction. I am not a member of either party and as you might recall have voted for D/R/I candidates over my many seasons of life. I'll Trek Out a bit later.

Tacitus

David Brin said...

Alberto M please tell us about Brazil. We can skim and take into account credibility.

David Brin said...

Sorry Tacitus. THough every time lately you've shown up here it's been with some 'talking point' that's pure Fox/Kremlin distracto-blather.

The quality of appointments - and lack of ANY malfeasance indictments among them across Clinto, Obama and Biden admins - should be enough of a clincher alone. The incredible positive outcomes from the 2021 -22 bills should be enough. The danger to our planet should be enough. The crucial need for victory over evil in Ukraine. ...

...or the way every commie dictatorship (except maybe vietnam) supports Trump along with all the murder sheiks and casino mafiosi and "former' communists surrounding Putin...

... or the blatantly open intent to repeat 1933 Germany...

But I'll save any further breath except to reiterate. YOU could likely ripple more benefit to America this year than any of us here. If you decide (soon) to snap out of it.

Tacitus said...


".. some 'talking point' that's pure Fox/Kremlin distracto-blather."

That's insulting.

Tacitus

Alfred Differ said...

Larry,

…it is indeed possible to be right but at the wrong time.

Sure. It certainly is.
I don't think that is the situation here.

Is it really perceived by voters as a virtue to play fair when the umpires have ruled that the other side can cheat with impunity?

The issue I have with your position comes down to us disagreeing on who the actual umpires are. I suspect you think the SCOTUS is. They aren't. We are. We The People.

Ponder what it looks like to the next generation when both major parties agree that the ends justify the means.

Can you convince me that such is plausible?

Sure. Our multi-phase civil war is fought for the hearts and minds of the actual umpires. Us.

David Brin said...

".. some 'talking point' that's pure Fox/Kremlin distracto-blather."

>>That's insulting.


Yep! Exactly! Focus on ANYTHING other than content and facts!

Take umbrage over some infelicity of style. ( I have every right to be snippy about the potential death of my freedoms and possibly civilization and planet.) Focus on anything rather than the long list of reasons why every single talking point out of the fox-o-sphere is an utter lie.

I fight for a nation in which millions of fools may wallow in mass delusional hypnosis in peace, if they like, masturbating to those lies. But let's not pretend ANY of them are men. A man would be willing to put wager stakes on the bar to back up ANY of the delusional assertions they repeat...

... having 'done their own research.' There's not a man among them.

Alfred Differ said...

Tacitus,

That's insulting.

A little harsh? Sure. Thick skin required as usual.

From my perspective, though, he isn't off target. Consider this example you posted up top.

A multi level question. Do you really think he's going to be able to make 3am crisis decisions for a second term?

That really IS a Fox/Kremlin talking point. It is as bad as when a newspaper prints a huge headline ending in a question mark.

———

For the record, I think he will manage fine at those 0300 meetings. That's what the knowledgeable people around him are for. Applies to any President with the courage to let their competent staff do their jobs.

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

The issue I have with your position comes down to us disagreeing on who the actual umpires are. I suspect you think the SCOTUS is. They aren't. We are. We The People.


I suspect that metaphors might get so mixed as confuse discussion here.

The courts are the umpires who define the rules of the game. Unconstitutional actions are supposed to be "out of bounds", eliciting penalties or ejection from play. In any sport, penalties are meant to make illegal actions too costly to be useful. If the umpires allow cheating without penalty--or even declare it to be in bounds--then the team who doesn't cheat is at a competitive disadvantage.

I've mentioned it before, but I really dislike the designated hitter rule. However, I don't dispute that using a designated hitter enhances a team's scoring opportunity. In a game which allows the DH, I would not stubbornly have my team refuse to use one out of some misguided sense of baseball purity. I would lobby for neither team to be able to use one, but having lost that fight, I'd play the game by the rules I have, not the rules I wish I had.


Ponder what it looks like to the next generation when both major parties agree that the ends justify the means.


Ah, but the difference isn't necessarily one of tactics. The difference is what those respective ends are. "You offered me the lives of my crew."

"Can you convince me that such is plausible?"

Sure. Our multi-phase civil war is fought for the hearts and minds of the actual umpires. Us.


I was asking if it seems plausible that the actual umpires (us) are impressed enough by the party who doesn't grasp for king powers such that we'll vote for them over the party who impresses us with their bold decisiveness. There seems to be an appetite for authoritarianism these days.

Tony Fisk said...

".. some 'talking point' that's pure Fox/Kremlin distracto-blather."
"...That's insulting."


On one hand: Yes it is.
On another: So what?
Gripping hand: Is it true?

Larry Hart said...

@Tacitus,

I do wish Dr Brin didn't feel the need to challenge you politically when you came here to talk Sci-fi.

OTOH, I wish every one of your infrequent appearances wasn't so defensive about how nobody likes you. It does remind me of the right wing accusing the CNN moderators of being Biden shills in order to intimidate them into being Trump shills.

Which came first? Chicken? Egg?

Alfred Differ said...

Larry,

The courts are the umpires who define the rules of the game.

Eh. Not really… and this is an important point the next generation must understand or we've lost the Republic.

Legislatures define the rules while Courts interpret them. Judges are like the umpires in a game, but legislators are like the owners between seasons.

I get where you are going, though. Rule breaking is supposed to be costly. Let's use your baseball analogy, though, and observe that umpires DO get it wrong often enough to matter… yet the games go on. The Show continues.

———

One of my college friends was big into baseball. Probably still writes scouting material today. He taught me the DH rule generally cost NL teams about half a run per game because pitchers were usually easy outs. Pitch against an NL team and you really only had to earn 24 outs. Pitch against an AL team and you had to earn all 27. Arguments can be made for and against the rule, but the owners make more money when games are exciting… thus the DH rule won out.

Umpires used to be overly tolerant of forced outs at second base when double plays were an option. That eventually died when the owners finally decided to discourage collisions intended to break up the double play. Now the fielders actually have to touch the base instead of being in the general vicinity. Arguments can be made for an against the new rule, but an umpire's generosity and player value obviously weighed on the owners… who make more money when their high value players are playing… thus the rule makes sense.

However, these rule changes reveal who the actual umpires are. If we aren't buying tickets and merch the owners notice. WE ultimately decide.

So… who do you think actually owns this nation?

———

I was asking if it seems plausible that…

Yes. I think there is an appetite for it. I get your pessimism, but we've been in this situation many times through US history. Appetites for authoritarianism never vanish, but those opposed eventually get riled enough to shoot back. It will happen again as long as we don't deprive them of fighting over something worth winning.

Tony Fisk said...

This is an interesting take on one possible response to the SC overreach. Whether any Federal judges are willing to go through with it is another matter...

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

Legislatures define the rules while Courts interpret them.


The supreme court interprets the Constitution, which (among other things) sets the rules for what legislatures and executives can do.

The metaphor of citizens as umpires is somewhat flawed. Umpires call balls and strikes and outs, which ultimately determine who wins a game. But they don't decide among themselves who the winner is based upon their own interpretation of the rules. They may call an out at home which should have been a run, but they can't decide that the team who has the most hits rather than the most runs wins the game. They can't decide that their preferred team can stay at bat even after three outs. They can't allow Donald Trump to bat out of order even though no one else may.

Voters can do that. They can vote for the most entertaining candidate or the whitest candidate or the tallest candidate if they so desire. There aren't rules determining which criteria a voter must use to choose. But there are supposed to be rules about who is allowed to run. And there are definitely rules defining what winning elected office allows (and doesn't allow) the officeholder to do. Voters don't generally get to define those rules.


umpires DO get it wrong often enough to matter… yet the games go on.


Which works when there is a general trust that the umpires are honest, and when they make honest mistakes, those cancel each other out on average. That's not what the supreme court is doing. To continue the metaphor, they're not getting the call wrong on a close play. They're calling a runner out at third on a force play when there was no one on first. The game doesn't survive a consistent run of those sorts of errors favoring particular teams.

Alfred Differ said...

Tony Fisk,

Wouldn't be the first time. We have our federal 'court' broken up into districts for a reason. They don't all agree with each other on what to do and how to interpret things.

I doubt you'll see any of our federal judges claim the SCOTUS is corrupt, though. More likely they will assert that a certain ruling doesn't apply and then let everyone appeal to clog up the SCOTUS on rulings those at the lower level found objectionable. Wouldn't be the first time that has happened either.

———

Larry,

Yah. There are limits to the baseball analogy, but I'd probably take it further than you would.

The game doesn't survive a consistent run of those sorts of errors favoring particular teams.

Mmm… I think it has. Few doubt that financial imbalance between teams favors big market teams. Billy Bean had a point about wanting to change the game. Small market teams are essentially farm teams for those with bigger budgets. Just look at the Dodger's roster. The Cubs got Bellinger because the Dodgers could afford more. Other sports leagues have tried to deal with this issue with varying degrees of success.

That's not what the supreme court is doing.

For some of their recent decisions, I'm inclined to agree. (Not all of them. Chevron for example.)

For decisions related to Two Scoops they are playing with nuclear fire. The smart thing to do is avoid saying anything... so the fact they way in suggests there are problems.

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

"The game doesn't survive a consistent run of those sorts of errors favoring particular teams."

Mmm… I think it has. Few doubt that financial imbalance between teams favors big market teams.


Again, the analogy is muddled. I agree that teams with more revenue have an advantage which they can make use of on the playing field. But that's a different thing from umpires actually making incorrect calls favoring the Yankees or whoever. Or actually letting a particular team cheat in return for a personal bribe.

Larry Hart said...

The initial blurb says it all:

https://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2024/Pres/Maps/Jul04.html

Happy (?) July 4th.


It does kinda feel like celebrating my late father's birthday when he was already the cranky old dementia patient in the nursing home.

Ok, for this year, Happy Birthday, America. We've hung in there for 248 years.

For next year,...?

Larry Hart said...

Stonekettle on Threads:

https://www.threads.net/@stonekettle

The inevitable side effect of politicians, pundits, preachers, and a Press who treat insane conspiracy theories as reasonable viewpoints, religion as equal to science in explaining how the universe works, and whoowhoo alternative healing as actual medicine, is a population of marching morons that will eventually step off a roof because they no longer "believe" in gravity.

Unknown said...

For next year, even if President Biden is reelected, anything his administration tries to do will be undercut by the Six Judges Dredd of the Supreme Court, and there will be intensive legal efforts to get cases before them that invalidate the voting of key states so that rumpt can be declared God-Emperor. They've put their thumbs on the scale, and they seem willing to put their collective tuchus on it in the future.

That's the GOOD timeline.

In other timelines, Project 2025 gets merrily under way, Putin feels a thrill like Frederick II of Prussia got after the Tsar died, and certain nations quietly update plans to secure or destroy US WMD in case of general mayhem. I'll be urging my trans child to emigrate.

Glad my Fullbright Girl will be out of danger. She's retired and is leaving the country this summer.

Pappenheimer

P.S. But yes, enjoy this 4th of July particularly well.

Unknown said...

I forgot...

Pappenheimer
USAF, Ret.

Larry Hart said...

Pappenheimer:

I'll be urging my trans child to emigrate.


Serious question. To where? Who will take us non-zillionaires as immigrants?

JRiese said...

Larry Hart
If I may paraphrase you, you suggested the Chief Justice Marshall pulled 'judicial review' out of thin air ("the court took unto itself the power to decide whether or not statues violate the Constitution."). I pointed out that wasn't the case at all. You were wrong with that assertion.
That's completely different from the Corrupt Six pulling their current rulings out of thin air to support their fascist party's positions (Dobbs, Chevron, Immunity, etc.).
JRiese

Der Oger said...

Serious question. To where? Who will take us non-zillionaires as immigrants?

As far as I can see, Americans have far more options than anyone else in the world, though it might depend on the tone of your skin, your religion, and your ability and willingness to earn money how welcomed you are. Any person with an US passport is spared the bureaucracy and other unpleasantries Europe has to offer with a not-so-welcomed origin, say, Syria or Afghanistan.

If it gets really ugly, though, Trump might be right in a former statement: There will be a wall at the Mexican border, and Mexico will pay for it - because they can't handle the tens of millions of refugees. And Canada, too.

David Brin said...

This article in the Economist discusses how solar power's recent huge boom may be only the beginning. 70 years after first introduced by Bell Labs... and frequently sabotaged by filth merchants... "Today solar power is long past the toy phase. Panels now occupy an area around half that of Wales, and this year they will provide the world with about 6% of its electricity—which is almost three times as much electrical energy as America consumed back in 1954. Yet this historic growth is only the second-most-remarkable thing about the rise of solar power. The most remarkable is that it is nowhere near over..."

...Much as I portrayed in EARTH in 1990. Though by now the question is why the lords of carbon are still backing the Denialist Movement when this revolution can't be delayed any longer? Economies of scale have taken over and methane and new nuclear will handle surge capacity, so why do they continue to back a cult bent on wrecking the planet they must live on, too?

Well, the Russians and the Saudis are still utterly fossils (and fossil-dependent) and plausibly they are the ones holding blackmail on almost all high Republicans. And unlike mere corruption (which can sometimes think long term), blackmail is always imminent and near term. It is only about satisfying the blackmailer today.

THAT - fundamentally - is what the Ukraine war is about and it is why the GOP is slavishly devoted to a Kremlin and KGB they once despised.

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2024/06/20/the-exponential-growth-of-solar-power-will-change-the-world

Larry Hart said...

JRiese:

That's completely different from the Corrupt Six pulling their current rulings out of thin air to support their fascist party's positions (Dobbs, Chevron, Immunity, etc.).


Ok, then. That part was my point.

Even the part you disagreed with about judicial review, I only mentioned that to point out that when they've just done goes way beyond judicial review. Marbury vs Madison established that the court can nullify laws which they deem to violate the Constitution. That is nowhere near what they did to "establish" presidential immunity, or to rule that the Fourteenth Amendment requires enabling legislation to remove a candidate from consideration when what the text clearly states is that Congress may--if it wishes with a supermajority--forego removal. I was saying that even granting judicial review, these were not covered by the concept.

Larry Hart said...

Der Oger:

Any person with an US passport is spared the bureaucracy and other unpleasantries Europe has to offer with a not-so-welcomed origin, say, Syria or Afghanistan.


I grant that Europe and much of Latin America are open to Americans as visitors or temporary residents. I'm not clear that that extends to full-blown immigration. I've heard anecdotally that Canada doesn't want Americans working there to remain in country after retirement. I don't have independent verification on that.

Larry Hart said...

@Dr Brin,

As part of my summer reading, I've begun a third look at Kiln People.

I have to ask (if you don't mind spilling) what inspired the name of smersh-Foxleitner syndrome. I recognize the "smersh" from James Bond, and at a quick first glance, I imagined that "Foxleitner" referred to Bond's colleague Felix Leiter. But upon second glance, it doesn't really fit either of those names.

So, is there a story?

Larry Hart said...

Re: Independence Day...

Ok, the visi-sonor must really be pumping out despair today, at least in my direction. I'm actually worrying about escape scenarios from a fascist US government, knowing that my wife won't seriously entertain any of them until it's too late.

The crowd at our parade was diminished this year, probably because rain was forecast for all morning (even though hardly any more than drizzle actually fell). But I couldn't help wondering if people's hearts just weren't in it to celebrate the beginnings of an experiment whose end is in sight.

To me, celebrating this July 4 is akin to a one-last New Years or anniversary date with a partner who has been obviously ready to call it off for some time.

Larry Hart said...

Of the "dump Biden" Democrats, I think there are at least three different types. Those who honestly believe that the man is too old and decrepit to handle the job for four more years; those who still like Biden but worry that the voters will not support him against Trump; and those who won't support a Democrat who isn't with them on everything, even against Trump.

I think the first group is just factually wrong, notwithstanding the debate. I think the third group is insanely self-defeating.

I understand the concerns of the second group. I just don't get what they think the alternative is. There seems to be a belief among many (*cough* Bill Maher *cough*) that Biden is holding back the Democrats' chances of defeating Trump, and that almost any fresh new Democrat would sail to victory. Not only does this not seem borne out in polling, but it's exactly the opposite of 2020 in which Biden was the only Democrat who wasn't too scary for rural white men in Wisconsin or Michigan or Pennsylvania uncomfortable with Trump but wary of socialism might be persuaded to vote for.

I wish those who want to trounce Trump and are afraid that Biden can't get it done would convince me of a non-fantasy alternative path to victory. I was 7 years old, but I remember the Chicago convention of 1968, and it did not work out well for our side.

matthew said...

Blackmail isn't the correct word for the GOP. They are a mafia organization, and have been since Nixon, at least.

One of the primary questions that the GOP has asked of its judicial nominees in private meetings has been "Should Nixon have resigned?"
Preference goes to those who say no. Roberts is a prime example of this.
Willingness to bend and break the law for the cause has been required since long before Bush Sr., let alone Trump.
Social pressure from the truly dirty helps keep the rest of the conformists in line.

In the 50s at the latest, crime family cousins and friends were encouraged to take positions in what our host calls the "protector caste." Judges, Prosecutors, and FBI /NSA agents were specifically targeted with friendly fresh applicants with a clean criminal history.

Look at Bill Barr, and look at who his father made a teacher at his private school.
Look at the FBI Boston office from the 60s to the 90s.

There is a culture of criminal capture in the protectors in addition to the right-wing assault on our constitution. Cases are slow-walked, targets are declared "too political." Not all corruption is blatant, most is accomplished by more subtle means.

Blackmail is not sufficient to explain what we've seen for the last 50 years. Criminal action directing blackmail from the centers of the protection caste gets closer.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
The Press, in theory, though that was also suborned generations ago.

So, as Alfred says, The People.
The People tend to break things as they move.

Unknown said...

Larry,

A number of US citizens I know have retired to Costa Rica. There are even US retiree communities. It's relatively stable, has a decent health care system. Don't know much more than that - I was recommending Denmark or Holland to my kid.

Pappenheimer

Larry Hart said...

From a 1966 episode of Batman. Relevance to today left as an exercise to the reader.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0519466/characters/nm0358076

Chief O'Hara: Go ahead, Commissioner. Call Batman and Robin.

Commissioner Gordon: I never thought it could happen. But like so many of us, I... I'm afraid I've lost faith.

David Brin said...

mathhew, who are you and what have you done with drooling-matthew? This was a cogently presented argument.

I disagree, of course.

-- "Mafia" is another form of classic feudalism, with hierarchy to a narrow top tier. You actually think the tens of thousands in this cabal are all lordly dons and capos? Even Trump is not one of the Dons!

-- The existing 'mafia' is already there in the mix of masters of the GOP... ALL of the casino mafiosi are major Republican donors. Others include ALL the avowedly communist states (except maybe Vietnam) plus the 'former' commies and 'ex' commissars of the relabeled USSR, plus inheritance brats and murder sheiks, hedg lords. And all of that melange must control at least 1000 Republican pols, pundits and factotums.

-- You think those 1000+ menial politicians like Lindsey Graham are MASTERS in this cabal? They keep trying to escape ("I am done with Trump!") and the next day grovel before him. That's called FEAR, not mastery.

Der Oger said...

What strikes me is the lack of civil protest against the Courts decision (and the SC in general), Project 2025 and the threat of a second Trump presidency.

Why aren't people out in the streets, protesting?
Lack of organizers? Political Apathy?

When the details of the "Wannsee 2.0" meeting came out, protests immediately formed, with millions on peaceful protests. Has cost the AfD one-third of their votes in the polls.

What am I missing?

Alfred Differ said...

matthew,

I think you are oversimplifying it.
I think you are portraying 'the opponent' as much more monolithic than they really are.

However…

I am inclined to move with you and break some stuff. We might not agree on exactly what needs breaking first, but I'll bet we can agree on secondary targets.

———

As for Nixon, I think the modern generation forgets that he lost support among many of his supporters. Enough of them actually gave a damn about the nation and the office he sullied. There is also the not-so-small fact that the young generation had recent practice at torching cities and actual experience with riot police. Nixon's context was very different.

I get your point, though. Preference goes to those who never admit the obvious.

Unknown said...

Der Oger,

Faith in our democratic guardrails? Still watching the hit show "Ow, My Balls!"?

I think the key difference is that Germany went through a Nazi regime which nearly destroyed the nation. I think that for most Americans it's not a real threat yet. They're not coming for me, or my family, are they?*

The GQP is openly planning its own theofascism, and I, for instance, am just typing about it.

*I still remember the Hispanic rumpt supporter who was deported in 2017, exactly as his idol had promised, but maintained that if he could get back in, he'd still be a rumpt supporter.

Pappenheimer

P.S. If you ask Alfred about it, I guess he'd say he's a believer that the mass of humans will correct the elites, but apparently not proactively

Der Oger said...

Exit polls UK: Labour 410 seats, Tories 131.
Needed for majority:326.

Alfred Differ said...

My brother-in-law and his wife retired to Costa Rica. Nice place... but there are rules. If anyone seriously wants to consider that path, I can help put them in contact.

In all honesty, though, unless you are in a tiny minority group likely to be persecuted by our wanna-bee brownshirts, I'll also be inclined to think you are a coward.

(My brother-in-law isn't among the cowards. They went south a few years ago for positive reasons.)

------

Der Oger,

What am I missing?

Protesting the opposition creates newsworthy events which gives them free advertising. Some of our media organizations feel obligated to present balancing viewpoints, thus we'd be providing oxygen to people we'd rather throttle.

Also... most of us have already decided what we are going to do... in November.

mcsandberg said...

Enough of the insanity. Here's how the sane world see's the Supreme Court's Immunity decision:

"This week, the Supreme Court issued a relatively non-controversial decision explaining that the president has criminal immunity for core official acts, presumptive immunity but not absolute immunity for other official conduct, and no immunity for unofficial conduct. There is nothing particularly shocking here. But the entire left exploded with the extraordinary lie that the president had been given the power to drone his political opponents. Nobody in the media or on the left truly believes this -- but Joe Biden immediately rushed to the microphones to speak for four minutes, blasting the Supreme Court and declaring that if he is not elected, the country will fall into Hitlerism.

It was a divisive, nonsensical, utterly dishonest speech. But this is the situation in which Democrats find themselves: running a mentally incompetent 81-year-old for another four-year term, staring down the barrel of a Donald Trump presidency. They have only themselves to blame. And things only get worse from here. [ https://townhall.com/columnists/benshapiro/2024/07/03/joe-biden-just-destroyed-himself-and-the-media-n2641276 ]"

Ben Shapiro is one of the best political analysts around.

Alfred Differ said...

As a broad statement to those outside the US, don't wish for USians to get so upset that they start street protests early. Let us vote on it first because that enables us to TRY to respect the Rule of Law.

Once we get past that kind of respect on BOTH sides, y'all are going to suffer along with us. Our turmoil will be yours too.

Larry Hart said...

Der Oger:

Why aren't people out in the streets, protesting?


One problem is right-wing media. Much of the country is being told--and believes--either that Project 2025 is a good thing, or else it's not being mentioned at all.


Political Apathy?


Something like that too. I think most Americans have become complacent and think that nothing ever really fundamentally changes.

Unknown said...

McS,

Discounting the fact that every article I find about Shapiro mentions him as a 'conservative' pundit, and that a search for him also brings up luminaries like Candace Owens, one thing strikes me as interesting:

If this was such a noncontroversial ruling, why was it issued on the very last day possible?

Pappenheimer, not even a simple country hyperchicken lawyer

Alan Brooks said...

Possibly worse: perhaps Putinism rather than Hitlerism—Hitler did not possess WMDs; and if he had had an A-bomb, he wouldn’t have blackmailed anyone with them.
He would not have hesitated to use it right away.

David Brin said...

>> Exit polls UK: Labour 410 seats, Tories 131.
Needed for majority:326.

Gonna be some squeeze seating arrangements in Parliament.

---

MCS is clearly either a Kremlin basement troll or a jibbering/capering, rabid-frothing, traitor-loony. Either way, I mean to skim past, as with poor, addled locumranch.

Alan Brooks said...

Loc is a cut above, though, maybe near the genius range.
It always comes back round to even if things are hopeless, we try anyway. Could be the Mideast is hopeless, a ‘permanent’ Jurassic Park for humans.

Der Oger said...

Let us vote on it first because that enables us to TRY to respect the Rule of Law.

Maybe it is a cultural thing, but I see (peaceful!) protests not only as a right, but also as a citizen's duty, and the Law is there to protect that.

Unknown said...

Alan,

Re: Hitler and WMD...may not be entirely accurate. Nerve gas is a much less effective WMD, but is considered part of the NBC unholy trinity.

In my early reading, it was noted that Hitler would have used nerve gas on the Allies, but was persuaded not to by advisors pointing out that his own cities were open to retaliation. I can't provide sources at this late date.

Would Hitler, in 1945, have hesitated to use nuclear weapons? Probably not: That would have tied into his Gotterdammerung worldview, I suspect. Win by horror or die alongside your enemies. Makes me wonder about the Last Days of Putin, particularly if he sees himself as being foiled by the West...

Pappenheimer

duncan cairncross said...

Re - Immigration

Some countries expect the immigrants to be a "net positive" to the country - or they won't accept them

So they have age and qualification limits - they don't want us old buggers that would burden their health systems.

NZ, Canada and Australia work like that

Der Oger said...

Possibly worse: perhaps Putinism rather than Hitlerism—Hitler did not possess WMDs; and if he had had an A-bomb, he wouldn’t have blackmailed anyone with them.

Trumpism 2.0 might be different: Extort money from allies for nuclear protection, as personal tribute to the Emperor, and write love letters to enemies. A nuke only to Hurrikanes and cities who are not nice to him and protest, like Portland.

Alan Brooks said...

No. If Hitler had possessed an A-bomb in Dec. ‘41, he’d have dropped it on Moscow.
(Maybe on Warsaw in ‘39.)

Alfred Differ said...

Der Oger,

Maybe it is a cultural thing…

Maybe, but we are pretty close.

Peaceful protests are a right, but they slide into violent (armed) protests as a duty pretty easily.
As a reminder… we are a nation of barbarians.

I don't want to come off sounding melodramatic, but the percentage of us who are 'armed and willing' isn't small. The world is better off with us using long fuses for our tempers.

———

Alan Brooks,

In later years the list of cities would have grown, but likely would have focused on the Soviets.
Leningrad, Stalingrad, etc.


———

Pappenheimer,

…particularly if he sees himself as being foiled by the West…

We probably just have to stand aside and let his own people kill him once he proves he is weak enough. Traditional Russian politics still applies.

scidata said...

Happy Fourth of July!
The threat is real, but so is the Enlightenment.

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

In all honesty, though, unless you are in a tiny minority group likely to be persecuted by our wanna-bee brownshirts, I'll also be inclined to think you are a coward.


Do you consider the Jews who fled Nazi Germany to be cowards? Or the ones who wanted to but were too late to do so? Was Einstein a coward?

I don't actually have a plan for leaving the country and earning a living somewhere else, but I'd like to have an escape option open in case it gets bad enough that it's a choice between mere survival vs death in prison or worse. Of course, that option for most other people used to be the United States--land of the free and all that.

Larry Hart said...

mcsandberg:

Ben Shapiro is one of the best political analysts around.


I'm curious. Did he predict the Democrats controlling the Senate in 2022, or was he on the Red Wave bandwagon?

John Viril said...

re: immunity decision

I am cautiously hopeful that it isn't the disaster the Democrats say it will be. It all depends on the legal regime the courts will create to distinguish core powers of the presidency vs. official acts vs. non-official acts.

At first blush, it seems certain core powers should have immunity. Most state actors have some kind of qualified immunity, even down to the municipal level. Since no president has faced criminal prosecution before now, the courts have little to no jurisprudence with respect to presidential criminal immunity.

Obviously, I'm hoping that the lower courts will not interpret the decision like Sotomayer did in her dissent. In many ways, she's giving a worst-case interpretation to attack the majority's opinion.

Of course, many democrats despise this Supreme Court and see it as a republican party power grab conspiracy---to the point they're assuming the King-like powers they envision will only apply to Republican party Chief Executives.

Were I a lower court justice, for example, I would not find the President to have immunity for ordering Seal Team 6 to execute Nancy Pelosi. Assassination of a political rival isn't one of the "core" powers possessed by the president.

Does Sotomayer somehow think that the President will claim immunity for acting as Commander in Chief? Just under what circumstances does assassinating a US politician become a matter for the US military or part of conducting a war? Or that a President can claim that assassination is rooted in the power to defend the constitution vs. all enemies foreign or domestic?





duncan cairncross said...

JV

A sensible person would not see assassinating a rival as part of his "Presidential Duties"

However the Orange Cockwomble and his MAGA idiots ........

David Brin said...

Pappenheimer described the only solution to Putin… and one he himself mentions often! Obsessively mentioning the Soldiers’ Revolt of 1917, when so many turned from the trenches and marched on Moscow. I have no idea why he keeps talking about it! As if doing so will prevent it, instead of giving em ideas.

It is likely why he does so few prisoner exchanges or lets wounded men go home. He can’t have stories spreading about RF armed forces incompetence & cruelty, vs the Club Med experience Russian POWs get in Ukraine. That plus he likely HAS few Ukrainian prisoners.

Re the immunity thing, see my next blog tomorrow.

Tony Fisk said...

Rishi Sunak: "Today power will exchange hands in a peaceful and orderly manner..."

One can only hope power in the US Congress will be doing the same come November (and that the issue doesn't even arise for the Presidency.)

As for Putin, who's war has been going so FABulously of late that he has now ceased to recognise any legal authority in Ukraine with which to negotiate a ceasefire anyway... he's trying hard to ignore that 547,470+ troops have relatives.*

*even Stalin called a halt on the Finnish invasion after 400,000 casualties.

David Brin said...

An Attempt at populism by a fellow I despise... who exaggerates but... the trend toward inheritance brats and 'rentier' lords buying up US housing stock in cash purchases (immune to interest rates) truly is something that must be fixed.
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/already-own-89-p-500-113144903.html

Unknown said...

Tony,

Stalin did not call a halt in the Winter War simply due to massive casualties. The Finns offered significant territorial concessions as the USSR was on the brink of breaching their main defensive line*. I'm sure those casualties played a part in Stalin accepting those terms (as war with Nazi Germany was becoming a greater concern) rather than pressing on for the whole korvapuust.

If IIRC, when Finland returned the favor in 1941 - joining Nazi Germany in Operation Barbarossa - the Finnish Army brought a long spoon and did not advance further into Russia after recapturing the territory in question. That is an example of a diplomatic overture in the midst of total war.

*Russian heavy artillery is something of a hole card.

Pappenheimer

mone me si erro...dammit, can't find my Wheelock.

P.S. glad to see the Tories out in the UK. Imagine over a decade of uninterrupted rule by the current GQP....which appears to be their plan

Alfred Differ said...

Larry,

Do you consider the Jews who fled Nazi Germany to be cowards?

No. Einstein was a denialist for almost too long. I get it, though. The jews were sh*t upon so often they kinda HAD to be denialists. The shoot-back option was unwinnable.

Do you really see yourself being persecuted that way if Two Scoops wins? I don't. You likely have armed neighbors who wouldn't suffer being shuffled off to a ghetto.

———

I'm serious. I have a brother-in-law who could show how it's done and the resources required. My recommendation, though, is that California is easier and we won't put up with sh*t.

Unknown said...

Alfred,

The problem with assuming you can fight back when the fascists get around to you was discussed by a Mr Neimuller, iirc. Having small arms may not suffice - and some of your neighbors may be happy to turn you in just to keep their TV cable services going.

Pappenheimer

P.S. Am I leaving? Not hardly. Am I armed? Nope; swords don't count any more. Those two statements may clash, going forwards...but getting a rifle isn't going to help much. A map, gps and radio are much deadlier, but you have to be friends with the FA or drone strike team on the other end.

Unknown said...

Sorry, it's getting a bit apocalyptic in here. Here's hoping that even in a rumpt season II: Lock Them All Up, the GQP find most of their Project 2025 plans unworkable, their economic and anti-civil libertarian decisions spark a massive backlash, and there is a thermidor of sorts.

But it's important to take these people at their word. They are planning a second American revolution, and if there is resistance they will not hesitate to use violence.

Pappenheimer

Alfred Differ said...

Pappenheimer,

The solution seems pretty obvious. Don't wait until they get around to you. Go defend someone.

One person with small arms obviously isn't enough. A thousand of them is a different matter. The weapons that don't look like guns at all are more important, though.

Not that I want any of them to come to be. I only mention it because it makes more sense to fight back than to flee. Vastly more preferable, though, is a resolution achieve through voting and fights in court. [We've dealt with conservative courts before. We can do it again.]

Alfred Differ said...

But it's important to take these people at their word.

Yes. I completely agree with that statement.

Der Oger said...

Just under what circumstances does assassinating a US politician become a matter for the US military or part of conducting a war?

Under the insurrection act?

BTW, could Biden use it to make the election more fair?

For example, sending in the army to increase the number of Voting Stations in areas where they are so sparse that hours-long lines form? Protecting poll workers from Mob violence? Helping people to register to vote?

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