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Member since: Sun Jun 27, 2010, 10:05 PM
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FEMA Director scores big in prime time and Trump sells asshats for $40. (Margaret & Helen)

FEMA Director scores big in prime time and Trump sells asshats for $40. In other news, Obama wasn’t president during Katrina.


From Helen:

Margaret, that man is so stupid if he threw himself on the ground he would miss. And in that ridiculous hat he looks like something the dog is hiding under the porch. Honestly honey, I just don’t like him. He makes my ass itch every time he opens his mouth.

At the same time thousands in Brazoria County were being told literally to get out now because a levee had been breached, Trump was declaring job well done and commenting on the size of the crowd that showed up to hear him talk. My God that man thinks the sun comes up just to hear him crow. At one point he actually marveled about how famous the FEMA director was becoming on TV as if FEMA Director Brock Long should be paying attention to his Neilson ratings.

Look, I don’t care what shoes Melania was wearing and I don’t care that Trump didn’t do any photo shots with victims. I don’t even care that he’s selling that USA hat he was wearing for $40 dollars on his own website. Ok. Maybe I care a little bit about that. I mean how shameful is this man? I’ll give $45 to shove it up his ass. But I digress…. What I do care about is our president has the vocabulary of a third grader and the empathy of a tree stump.
But you know what is most telling about this whole situation? It’s the number of Trump supporters who were bitching to me on the internet that “at least Trump showed up because Obama was playing golf during Katrina.” Hey asshats, Obama wasn’t the president during Katrina. Bush was. And for the record, Obama volunteered in Louisiana during Katrina.

Much more at link. And what a treat. Two Margaret & Helen in just two days!

Legal challenge to Arpaio pardon begins


Protect Democracy*, an activist group seeking to thwart Trump’s violations of legal norms, and a group of lawyers have sent a letter to Raymond N. Hulser and John Dixon Keller of the Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division of the Justice Department, arguing that the pardon goes beyond constitutional limits. In their letter obtained by Right Turn, they argue:

While the Constitution’s pardon power is broad, it is not unlimited. Like all provisions of the original Constitution of 1787, it is limited by later-enacted amendments, starting with the Bill of Rights. For example, were a president to announce that he planned to pardon all white defendants convicted of a certain crime but not all black defendants, that would conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

Similarly, issuance of a pardon that violates the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause is also suspect. Under the Due Process Clause, no one in the United States (citizen or otherwise) may “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” But for due process and judicial review to function, courts must be able to restrain government officials. Due process requires that, when a government official is found by a court to be violating individuals’ constitutional rights, the court can issue effective relief (such as an injunction) ordering the official to cease this unconstitutional conduct. And for an injunction to be effective, there must be a penalty for violation of the injunction—principally, contempt of court.

Put simply, the argument is that the president cannot obviate the court’s powers to enforce its orders when the constitutional rights of others is at stake. “The president can’t use the pardon power to immunize lawless officials from consequences for violating people’s constitutional rights,” says one of the lawyers who authored the letter, Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech for People. Clearly, there is a larger concern here that goes beyond Arpaio. “After repeatedly belittling and undermining judges verbally and on Twitter, now President Trump is escalating his attack on the courts into concrete actions,” says Ian Bassin, executive director of Protect Democracy. “His pardon and celebration of Joe Arpaio for ignoring a judicial order is a threat to our democracy and every citizen’s rights, and should not be allowed to stand.”

* https://unitedtoprotectdemocracy.org/about/

More at link. Note that the Washington Post has dropped its paywall for the duration of the Harvey emergency.

The incredible shrinking president


As President Trump formally launches his tax-reform drive this afternoon with a no-details, "vision-casting" speech in Springfield, Missouri, the self-inflicted wounds of the past 222 days are adding up.

The "most powerful man in the world" is suddenly looking mighty powerless:

-Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are going their own way on tax reform.
-Hill sources believe his original targets, including a 15% corporate rate, are dead.
-SecDef Mattis didn't immediately embrace his full ban on transgender troops.
-His Justice Department won't drop the Russia probe.
-Courts won't allow his full Muslim ban.
-Mexico won't pay for his wall.
-Congress won't pay for his wall.
-The Senate won't pass his promised health-care reform.
-Gary Cohn and Sec State Tillerson won't tolerate his Charlottesville response.
-North Korea won't heed his warnings.
-China doesn't fear his trade threats.
-CEOs won't sit on his councils.
-Mexico and Canada won't bend to his will on NAFTA.

19 days in August: Trump's road not taken ... Now imagine where Trump would be today if he had instantly (and only) condemned the racist violence in Charlottesville, blown off the Arizona meltdown rally, and held off on the Arpaio pardon till the usual protocol could be followed.

More at link.

In A First, Connecticut's Animals Get Advocates In The Courtroom


A Connecticut law makes it the first state to provide animals with court-appointed advocates to represent them in abuse and cruelty cases, similar to laws that provide for victim's or children's advocates.

Seven lawyers and a law professor in the state are approved as volunteer advocates, the AP reports. Judges have discretion on whether to appoint an advocate; defense attorneys and prosecutors may request them.

This week University of Connecticut student Taylor Hansen was the first of the advocates to testify in court, in a dogfighting case, alongside the approved law professor, Jessica Rubin.
"The animal advocates are an official party to the case," the AP explains. "They can do investigative work prosecutors often don't have time for, such as interviewing veterinarians and other witnesses. They also make arguments, write briefs and make recommendations to the judge."

Another large step in the right direction. More at link.

(Margaret & Helen) If Only The Trump Presidency Could Be Counted In Dog Years.


From Helen:

Margaret, I used to assume that the majority of racists were probably Republican, but now I am beginning to wonder if the majority of Republicans are actually racists. How else do you explain a party still standing behind this Make America Great Again Asshat of a President? And while I know that I am painting with broad strokes, I still just see a canvas of predominantly white people making up excuses for the racist things coming out of Trump’s mouth. The man is 12 shy of a dozen and we need to get him out of office. Hurry Mueller. Please hurry.

Earlier this week I did that Twitter thing and said that I wished Trump would not come to Texas. And for that, one of Trump’s supporters called me a c**t. Listen. It’s not a nice word but I’ll take being called the C word over being called a Trump Supporter any day. And I have good reason to not want Trump to come to Texas.

Before we all turned our attention to Harvey there was a lot of talk about Trump’s handling of Charlottesville. In case you forgot a white supremacist… neo-Nazi… white separatist… hell let’s just call it like we see it… a member of the Trump base drove a car into a group of counter protestors in Charlottesville killing a young woman named Heather Heyer. Trump said he needed time to determine how he felt about what happened. His initial reaction was to blame many sides. Then two days later he condemned hate groups only to then flip again and show us what he really thought by saying there was blame on both sides. Both sides. On one side there were Nazis and one of them took a car and ran over a young woman. On the other side there were no Nazis. None. Not even one on a bicycle named Rolfe. Nazis on one side. No Nazis on the other. But somehow our President came down in the middle, unable apparently to take sides even though we literally fought and won a war about the No Nazis thing. This isn’t a Mel Brooks play. These Nazis didn’t dance and sing. They marched and chanted death to Jews.

And then a few days later another horrible man – this one seemingly not a Nazi – drove a van into a bunch of people in Barcelona killing thirteen. Almost instantly Trump blamed Radical Islamic Terrorists. No sides. Just an entire religion to be blamed. Of course, that Nazi in Charlottesville being a Christian and all has no bearing. Maybe if more Muslims were Nazis… I don’t know. Just thinking out loud.

Second half of letter at link.

Trump takes time out from Harvey to tweet Mexico will pay for wall:


With Mexico being one of the highest crime Nations in the world, we must have THE WALL. Mexico will pay for it through reimbursement/other.

Arpaio Pardon is Impeachable Offence

(Note: This article was written before Trump announced the pardon of Arpaio.)


Arpaio Pardon Would Show Contempt for Constitution
And there would be only one remedy for Trump's disrespect: impeachment.

If President Donald Trump pardons Joe Arpaio, as he broadly hinted at during a rally Tuesday in Arizona, it would not be an ordinary exercise of the power -- it would be an impeachable offense. Arpaio, the former sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County, was convicted of criminal contempt of court for ignoring the federal judge’s order that he follow the U.S. Constitution in doing his job. For Trump to pardon him would be an assault on the federal judiciary, the Constitution and the rule of law itself.
An Arpaio pardon would express presidential contempt for the Constitution. Arpaio didn’t just violate a law passed by Congress. His actions defied the Constitution itself, the bedrock of the entire system of government. For Trump to say that this violation is excusable would threaten the very structure on which is right to pardon is based.
When a sheriff ignores the courts, he becomes a law unto himself. The courts’ only available recourse is to sanction the sheriff. If the president blocks the courts from making the sheriff follow the law, then the president is breaking the basic structure of the legal order.
When a sheriff ignores the courts, he becomes a law unto himself. The courts’ only available recourse is to sanction the sheriff. If the president blocks the courts from making the sheriff follow the law, then the president is breaking the basic structure of the legal order. From this analysis it follows directly that pardoning Arpaio would be a wrongful act under the Constitution. The Constitution isn’t perfect. It offers only one remedy for a president who abuses the pardon power to break the system itself. That remedy is impeachment.

James Madison noted at the Virginia ratifying convention that abuse of the pardon power could be grounds for impeachment. He was correct then -- and it’s still true now.

Much more analysis at link. Well written and well reasoned.

Good people doing good things.


Homeless Man Sleeps Outside Of Animal Shelter Hoping That They Have Found His Lost Dog

A worker at DeKalb County Animal Services in Georgia arrived at work in the morning to find the man lying on the sidewalk out front of their shelter. When they woke him up they learned that he had spent the last of his money to take the bus over to them after his dog had gone missing. He was waiting for them to open to see if they had found her.

It turns out that they had. The shelter had picked up a stray two weeks earlier and taken it to their new facility on the other side of town. That’s when the kennel technician did an act of kindness that is going viral. The shelter worker paid for his train ticket so he could get to the other location and reunite with his dog, Tata. Their reunion was captured on camera and the shelter wrote, “We see some amazing reunions here at LifeLine’s DeKalb Animal Services, but this one was extra special.”

The shelter was so moved by the touching reunion that they waived all of the fees and offered the man assistance through their outreach program – it’s a program that helps the homeless with their dogs.

Video of reunion at link. Well worth a look.

President Trumps list of false and misleading claims tops 1,000


We have been tracking President Trump’s false or misleading claims for more than seven months. Somewhere around Aug. 4 or Aug. 5, he broke 1,000 claims, and the tally now stands at 1,057. (Our full interactive graphic can be found here.)

That’s an impressive number by any standard. In fact, we are a little late with this update because we have simply been overwhelmed keeping track of the deluge of claims made by the president in the later part of July. Things slowed down during the president’s “working vacation,” so we have finally been able to catch up.

At the president’s current pace, he averages nearly five claims a day. Many are repeats of claims that have been previously debunked. We also include statements that are unacknowledged flip-flops from previously held positions, such as touting new highs in a stock market that he previously derided as being a “big, fat bubble.”

More than 30 of the president’s misleading statements have been repeated three or more times.

Trump 'seriously considering' a pardon for Joe Arpaio.

So much of what has been written about the 'possible pardon' has been along the lines of 'this will be a shout out to the alt-Right'. Or that it will be a signal that you are above the law if you are on Trump's side.

But, my opinion, is that it would be much worse than that. It would be a signal to the entire court system that Trump doesn't care about them and will overrule them whenever he, and he alone, thinks they are wrong, regardless of law or evidence. Remember that Arpaio was convicted of Criminal Contempt of court. What message would a pardon send to the judicial system, when Trump is willing to pardon Criminal Contempt - for perjury and refusing to obey a court order? It would be an absolute slap in the face to the entire judicial system. Perjury? No problem. Refusing to obey a judicial order? Never mind.

Trump has decimated the State Department, appointed the most singularly unprepared Cabinet, and in a number of cases appointed people who are actually opposed to the mission of the department they are supposed to be running. He is actively attacking members of his own party, attacking the press, attacking anyone who doesn't 'bend a knee' to King Trumpsie.

Now with the Phoenix 'rally' coming up, is Trump actually trying to start a national 'civil war' between the left and the alt-right? A upswing in violence to the point that he felt he could declare Martial Law? With the number of generals in the White House advising Trump, how far are we from a military 'take over' - whether via Martial Law, or an actual coup where the generals and the military deem it a necessity to take over the White House until they can 'restore order'?

I am afraid. I am very afraid.
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