Balkinization  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

This just in: All courses on constitutional law cancelled until January 2017

Sandy Levinson


The legal academy is buzzing with the news that the Deans of America's leading law schools are about to issue a joint statement cancelling all constitutional law courses now scheduled to be taught in the fall of 2016.  Asa leaked copy of the joint statement puts it:

 "It is simply irresponsible to purport to teach about the American Constitution (or the interpretation of statutes whose issues have constitutional overtones) during the fall of an election year, given that the current Court is so hopelessly divided on a number of important issues and no professor canclaim to teach his or her students what the Constitution means until the American people have issued a mandate in the November election as to how some of the most important controversies should be resolved.   Students who may have relied on their institutions to offer courses on such topics as Equal Protection, Freedom of Religion; Presidential Power and the like will simply have to understand that it would be a mistake to treat the coming semester as "normal."  It is, as Carl Schmitt might have put it, an "exceptional" situation, and one simply cannot expect institutions to behave as if times were "normal."  We look forward to resuming our rich set of offerings dealing with the United States Constitution after the election, unless, of course, the Senate continues to be held by a party different from that of the newly elected President.  In that case, we will have to put the resumption of such courses on hold until a confirmed nominee takes his/her oath of office.  In the meantime, we expect that students will be enthralled with our rich array of courses on comparative law, a much understudied subject in American law schools.  We also implore the members of our student-edited law reviews to announce immediately that they will accept no articles that involve current issues before the Supreme Court unless there is every reason to believe that the addition of a new justice would make absolutely no difference whatsoever to the potential outcome of any cases before the Court and the analysis that might be offered in any of its opinions.



Comments:

Given some estimates, including by a law professor at another blog, might want to push that back another semester or two.
 

Shouldn't you have sat on this news for a couple of weeks?
 

I think I agree with Brett (although it's not easy determining what Brett may actually be thinking with his frequent HUMPTY-DUMPTY meanings). Had I pulled a brief Rip van Winkle?, No, my computer says its March 17, 2016, which we in MA celebrate as Evacuation Day and/or St. Patrick's Day, and which I plan to celebrate at the liberal, some progressives, lunch later today. So perhaps this is Sandy's pre-emptive April Fools contribution. I welcome it. A little Blarney is good for the souls of the legal profession.

But the thought of a possible President Trump brings to mind Evacuation Day, which might be reincarnated nationally if this thought became a reality.

As to more of a focus on comparative law, that would be rather boring other than with constitutions as Sandy has demonstrated over the years in addressing political dysfunction and a call for a second constitutional convention.

So, Sandy, thanks for providing my day with a good start. You'll need a sense of humor when open carry on campus begins this Fall.

And Brett, did I read you right?
 

If you read me to be suggesting that April Fool's day is two weeks hence, you read me right.
 

Thanks Brett. So I was indeed able to accomplish what all the King's horses and all the King's men could not do. (No, I don't mean to "egg" you on, merely to recognize your occasional subtlety.)
 

We also implore the members of our student-edited law reviews to announce immediately that they will accept no articles that involve current issues before the Supreme Court unless there is every reason to believe that the addition of a new justice would make absolutely no difference whatsoever to the potential outcome of any cases before the Court and the analysis that might be offered in any of its opinions.

Alas, if it were only so, a bench who would routinely apply the law as written.

Judge Garland's history on the bench suggests a progressive jurist with a law enforcement bent who has routinely rubber stamped bureaucratic decrees and voted for an en banc hearing of the Circuit decision in Heller to reinstate the DC firearm prohibition and ensure that the Second Amendment remained erased. In short, Garland will almost certainly join the prior Obama nominations to erase or rewrite the law to accommodate progressive policy.

Unfortunately, this is what the "Deans of America's leading law schools" seek and what their professors of constitutional law are teaching their young skulls full of mush.
 

"A strong, attractive surname name with a mix of possible origins: either from the Welsh first name Meuric,which is a form of Maurice, and contains Germanic elements meaning fame and power, or from a Scottish Gaelic word meaning a fork in a river or a road, which led to the name of several places named Merrick in Scotland.

Despite its ancient history, Merrick these days sounds more modern than the somewhat tired Derek."

http://nameberry.com/babyname/Merrick

 

If I were the GOP, I would bring Garland in for a hearing, ask him whether he would reverse previous Supreme Court decisions which did not follow the Constitution or the US Code, and vote him down as unqualified when he says no.

That would change the norm for judicial qualification from graduating from some "elite" law school and then checking the correct career boxes to instead a willingness to enforce the law as written.
 

SPAM I AM! seems to think that the GOP Senators have the knowledge/qualifications to know what decisions of the Court do not follow the Constitution and decisions that do.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], it may be April 1, 2016 on SPAM I AM!'s mental calendar. Maybe SPAM I AM!can get Sandy to release the names of these Deans and their leading law schools.
 

If I were the GOP, I would bring Garland in for a hearing, ask him whether he would reverse previous Supreme Court decisions which did not follow the Constitution or the US Code, and vote him down as unqualified when he says no.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:33 AM


That sounds like a great plan, Blankshot. I'm sure that President Clinton will select a much more qualified candidate.

 

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“The President has made a very wise choice. Chief Judge Garland is a brilliant jurist who believes in and upholds the rule of law undergirding our constitutional republic. I have known him well for many years. He is superbly qualified to serve on our nation’s highest court.” – Judge Ken Starr

Garland was first nominated by Bill Clinton, but does this mean Hillary is against him? Miguel Estrada (conservative filibustered by Democrats/but he's Kagan's pal, so shrugs] calls him "superbly qualified." Says "I look forward to his service on the Court." [Jan Crawford]

Sen. Orinn Hatch said he was a "fine man" and not someone Obama would nominate (contra someone the liberal base wants). His friends include "conservatives such as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and D.C. Circuit colleagues Laurence H. Silberman and David Sentelle." Roberts is a conservative turncoat (ACA) but did dissent on SSM. http://mediamatters.org/research/2016/03/16/conservatives-have-been-praising-merrick-garlan/209303

He applied Citizens United in a way that expanded its reach but he once pre-Heller wanted to re-hear an outlier decision on the 2A and upheld a gun regulation. So, you know, DISQUALIFIED on that front. It will be fun to watch some try to find a person even Ed Whelan of the National Review admitted was the best of the likely bunch on a short list be tarred as some sort of extremist. The special "we can't confirm anyone until we lose in November" rule probably is better.
 

Frankly, Orin Hatch complimenting him isn't going to help his case with most conservatives.

"It will be fun to watch some try to find a person even Ed Whelan of the National Review admitted was the best of the likely bunch on a short list be tarred as some sort of extremist."

Best on a short list of very bad extremists. Not difficult concept to express.
 

"Most conservatives" not respecting the opinion of a conservative Republican senator from Utah makes me wonder who counts. The special prosecutor behind the Clinton impeachment? The guy Republicans over and over again toss out as a martyr to Democrat filibustering? Conservative appellate judges? Who?

How exactly is Sri Srinivasan a "very bad extremist"? Sorry "not agreeing with me" isn't how I define that term. I stick by my amusement.


 

Shag: SPAM I AM! seems to think that the GOP Senators have the knowledge/qualifications to know what decisions of the Court do not follow the Constitution and decisions that do.

Most of them are attorneys and should be able to read the law. Those who need assistance can consult with an attorney.
 

SPAM I AM! with this:

"Most of them are attorneys and should be able to read the law. Those who need assistance can consult with an attorney."

may be shamelessly hoping he, one on America's premier rural DUI legal specialists, might be consulted on what the meanings of the Constitution are. I assume most attorneys can read. But consider how attorneys do not as yet have a consensus on all of what the Constitution means going back to 1787. SPAM I AM! takes the simpletonian approach, often in the manner of HUMPTY-DUMPTY. Heller was a 5-4 decision with serious accusation that both sies did not honor originalism well. We haven't had the Court grant cert on a 2nd A case since McDonald in 2010. So far Heller and McDonald (also 5-4) are limited to certain arms in the home for self-defense. A President Trump might be a 2nd A absolutist, similar to SPAM I AM! and Brett. Perhaps that might might address their mutual concerns with the changing demographics.

While rural DUI defendants may flock to SPAM I AM!, I'm not so sure many Senators would would for advice on constitutional law. Which brings to mind what our SPAM I AM!'s current views on the Cruz Canadacy vis-a-vis "natural born citizen." [Monitoring alert to Mr. W for awarding Pinocchios to SPAM I AM!)
 

This sounds like a subset of the reasons Larry Tribe gave for not revising his treatise. Everyone who has ever taken Con. Law has had the "original" insight that for all the lawyerly hoop-jumping it's really a legal form of Kremlinology. But then, if they think about it some more, they realize that this insight, even if true, is useless. They still have to master the lawyerly hoop-jumping to give cover to the 5 votes you need.
 

One of my favorite moments in this debacle is hearing Orin Hatch alternate between the GOP line "we should delay any nomination process so the people can have a say via the election" and "we should delay the nomination because I'm tired of the SCOTUS nomination/confirmation process being a political football."

Having said that, I still think Obama's pick was a monumental failure politically (and really that's all there is to these things now). There are no good government moderate GOP officials to shame by sending up a well liked centrist, they have all the political reason they need to obstruct any nominee he sends up, so he could have at least sent up a qualified nominee that would energize some key part of the base.
 

FWIW, now that Obama has made his nomination, the GOP really can't lose here. If Clinton wins, they simply consent to Garland during the lame duck session before Clinton can take office. High hypocrisy, I know, but effective.
 

the GOP really can't lose here. If Clinton wins, they simply consent to Garland during the lame duck session before Clinton can take office. High hypocrisy, I know, but effective.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 8:18 AM


The GOP can lose very easily. Obama can just withdraw the nomination and let President Clinton make the pick.
 

Paul Krugman's NYTimes column today "Republican Elite's Reign of Disdain" references recent National Review articles that seriously question the Trump base of whites, mainly males, and their misplaced blames for their economic plights (as if they expect significant trickle-down from Trump's billions?) Brett is well aware of the mortality rates for white males, especially those that are divorced, with high rates of suicide and drug addictions. Are the changing demographics to blame for this plight? Or are they themselves at fault?
 

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And, even if I'm too rosy, SOME of that stuff is right and "monumental failure politically" is an exagerration. Me, I honestly feel good with that fact basically the most qualified person on the list was picked. Really, I like Judge Kelly, e.g., but she was a defense attorney plus an appeals judge for two years. Plus, the guy is replacing SCALIA. At some point, shouldn't get too greedy on that front.

Anyway, I'm was told that any Obama pick is a lost cause. So, if THIS guy fails, hey we tried. When Clinton picks someone to his left, can't complain.
 

BB:

The President has no power to withdraw nominations any more than the Senate has the power to withdraw their consent.
 

Shag: Paul Krugman's NYTimes column today "Republican Elite's Reign of Disdain" references recent National Review articles that seriously question the Trump base of whites, mainly males, and their misplaced blames for their economic plights (as if they expect significant trickle-down from Trump's billions?) Brett is well aware of the mortality rates for white males, especially those that are divorced, with high rates of suicide and drug addictions. Are the changing demographics to blame for this plight? Or are they themselves at fault?

The costs of regulatory compliance and minimum compensation mandates have priced many young and low skilled workers in developed countries out of a job because they cannot produce enough goods and services to justify the costs or compete with other nations without or with lower government imposed costs.

Trump is making political hay with low skilled workers by scapegoating foreign competition in the form of immigrants or imported goods for the largely hidden costs of progressive government. Cruz is the only one pointing out the actual problem, but is doing a poor job making his case in a way working class voters can easily understand.

 

The President has no power to withdraw nominations any more than the Senate has the power to withdraw their consent.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:03 AM


I suspect that Justice Miers would be amused to hear that news.
 

BB:

The Constitution does not prevent the President from making a second nomination for an opening.
 

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but is doing a poor job making his case in a way working class voters can easily understand.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:13 AM


They might understand better if they weren't drinking water contaminated with lead.
 

The Constitution does not prevent the President from making a second nomination for an opening.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:23 AM


No shit. How long do you think it will take for that slot to open up when Clinton wins?

 

SPAM I AM! informs us:

"Cruz is the only one pointing out the actual problem, but is doing a poor job making his case in a way working class voters can easily understand."

which is faint praise for the Cruz Canadacy. If Cruz tried to make the case, he would have to contrast - and risk losing his white male base - on the fact that the problem is not the same for people of color. Brett has expressed his views at other blogs on the mortality plight of white divorced males, a significant part of Trum's base as well as of the GOP as a whole. SPAM I AM! is blind to the fact that the once Republican Party of Lincoln has Whig-ed out.

As to SPAM I AM!'s response to BB, does the Constitution permit a President to submit multiple nominees to the Senate for advice and consent for only one vacant Court seat?

 

The President has no power to withdraw nominations any more than the Senate has the power to withdraw their consent.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:03 AM


But the nominee can withdraw. 13th Amendment and all that. Is a nominee more powerful than the President?

 

But the nominee can withdraw. 13th Amendment and all that. Is a nominee more powerful than the President?

It seems to me that "nomination" is merely shorthand for "asking the Senate to advise and consent". The clause reads "he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ... judges of the Supreme Court." It's a 2-stage process, and merely because the Senate gives its consent, the President is not bound to make the appointment. This would be obvious in cases of death, but also in cases of serious illness, when the nominee decides not to take the job, etc.
 

The brief stray thought in a later post is one I'd join too as we discuss politics etc.
 

Art. II and Marbury v. Madison appears to split it into nomination, appointment and commission. The latter, fwiw, speaks of the middle as a "judgment" of the President.

"The power of nominating to the Senate, and the power of appointing the person nominated, are political powers, to be exercised by the President according to his own discretion."

I don't think the opinion sets things in stone, but it's kinda considered a super-precedent. The opinion then makes the commission more ministerial: "When he has made an appointment, he has exercised his whole power, and his discretion has been completely applied to the case."

So, even if the Senate confirms in December, Garland appears not to have vested right in an appointment. (Obama's press secretary said he doesn't plan to block it.) BUT, if Obama does appoint him, appears under Marbury, Clinton doesn't have the power to refuse to grant a commission if the process did not complete by Jan. 20, noon.

But, text and precedent is selectively applied at times. Still, the tone of those playing Calvinball when "liberals" are involved in decision-making are a tad hard to take.
 

joe, I think you seem to concede at some level that a qualified minority and/or woman would have been more satisfying for critical parts of the liberal base. The GOP is not going to let anyone in from Obama, period, unless they find themselves in a position of political weakness (which in that case Garland would be a poor choice because he's a moderate). Obama's choice was politically naive at best, to put it nicely.
 

'These people are holding up the potentially first Asian-American or Black woman or Hispanic male Supreme Court Justice just out of spite' is a much stronger rallying call for key parts of the Democratic base than 'These people are holding up yet another old white guy, though with good qualifications to be sure!' Everyone that doesn't like the GOP already sees them for their obstruction, making the nominee a old white guy doesn't add to that one iota, but energizing entire ethnic groups with the promise of (finally!) representation on our most powerful law making body would. It's not even close.
 

I deleted an expansive discussion but referenced my thoughts elsewhere.

Find your language harsh and unfounded. Obama knows what you are saying; he isn't "naive." He is taking everything into consideration here, including some things we probably don't know. After all, even openly, it was reported one judge on the list took her name off, IIRC.

It also makes various groups a bit petty to treat this guy as merely "yet another old white guy," especially when we have one of his black women clerks going out there defending him. For instance, he has a good record on labor. Let's say Obama picked a "young Indian-American." The guy was a corporate lawyer. Soooo much better, especially given this pick rubs the Republicans intransigence in their face? And, that IS getting traction. The very fact senators -- who said they would not -- are starting to meet the guy shows that.

And, excuse me, finally? Sonia is on the phone. She's a bit miffed. But, hey, she's not a MALE Hispanic. Why not toss a doomed pick so he can be trolled, including by attack ads, since she isn't enough there. A Jewish woman never a judge, a Latina and lots of lower court justices isn't enough, even when SCALIA is being replaced. Okay. Like Bernie supporters, likely some other group will find something to complain about. Even Paul Watford was a prosecutor.


 

joe, you simply can't be comparing the appeal of a older white judge whose former black employee thinks highly of him with a minority nominee in terms of appeal to key parts of the base. Come on!

Yes, there will be some policy or background tidbit that some group might not like, but that's true of Garland equally (his pro law enforcement bent), but without the potential to make history by breaking a color/ethnicity/gender barrier!

If you need more proof consider this: before his announcement our own died in the wool uber partisan Bart lamented that Obama would do what I suggested and predicted his party would feel a lot of pressure to cave, now with the Garland nomination he thinks it's a no-lose situation for the GOP.

I try not to make definitive predictions, but I would be highly, highly surprised if Garland gets a nomination unless the GOP finds itself square in some really bad political straights (and in that case liberals would do better to actually get a liberal). And you can't blame McConnell et al.,; enough of their constituents hate Obama not at some policy level but at a visceral level such that letting anything associated with him pass is an unforgivable offense. To walk back on their initial defiance would be political suicide for them in today's political climate. It doesn't matter one whit how palatable the nominee is to them, and so it shouldn't matter for the other side.
 

Actually, I think you underestimate the extent to which the Republican base hate Obama, yes, on some policy level. Quite a few policy levels, actually. Perhaps because it's become a reflexive trope on the part of Democrats that nobody disagrees with Democrats for respectable reasons.

Personally, I'll be surprised if Garland doesn't get confirmed. The cave in has already begun.

Really, the only reason McConnell doesn't want to hold the hearings is because some of the Senators up for re-election are vulnerable to primary challenges. Once the Senate primaries are past, that reason expires, and he'll feel free to betray the party's base yet again, expecting us to grit our teeth until they crack, and vote for turncoat Republicans over loyal Democrats.


 

"joe, you simply can't be comparing the appeal of a older white judge whose former black employee thinks highly of him with a minority nominee in terms of appeal to key parts of the base. Come on!"

I'm looking at the nomination as a whole.

First, it is not as if Obama picked a bunch of white guys. He has well stocked the lower courts with women and minorities (sometimes both) and one or more of them would be prime for Clinton or given their youth maybe even a later President to pick. Second, he already picked two women, one a Latina. Third, even "parts of the base" can appreciate him in certain respects. I gave you an example -- e.g., I have seen someone saying Judge S. being nominated as a serious threat to Clinton's election because he's deemed too corporate friendly. A tad much, but it's a serious matter. The NYT ranked him ideologically more liberal than Breyer.

I'm not seeing refutation of any of this. Citing Mr. Spin doesn't convince me. WHATEVER Obama did, he would find a way to spin it as helping the Republicans. Fact is this pick took Republicans by surprise and made it harder for them. The reactions on that level aren't wrong. Next, Republicans already are bending from their harsh language. Brett sees this as "the cave in," but it is happening. Republican voters aren't all like Brett. Some actually think totally rejecting Garland is a step too far, especially in swing states.

And, besides all of that, Obama very well might have thought he was the best choice, especially for a Scalia slot at this time. He isn't the stereotype some put him out to be, nor is he only playing the political cards. He actually also tries to govern, and yes, Garland is a very qualified candidate even if people are annoyed someone is going to be on the Court for twenty years or so isn't enough or two women and one minority isn't deemed enough etc.

McConnell is playing hard ball because that is what he has been doing for years. Why change now? As to "betraying," yeah, go ahead, reject Garland when the odds are Clinton will win. Let her pick a more liberal judge. That will help the base! That is, their usual feelings of anger and victimhood. And, since "the people" (as compared to Brett) doesn't want the Supreme Court 4-4 for years, Clinton's nominee will eventually be confirmed. Imagine if the Republicans actually lose the Senate!
 

Actually, I think you underestimate the extent to which the Republican base hate Obama, yes, on some policy level.
# posted by Blogger Brett : 3:50 PM


They hate him for getting a Republican idea (Obamacare? to actually work?
 

So, even if the Senate confirms in December, Garland appears not to have vested right in an appointment. (Obama's press secretary said he doesn't plan to block it.) BUT, if Obama does appoint him, appears under Marbury, Clinton doesn't have the power to refuse to grant a commission if the process did not complete by Jan. 20, noon.

And even once the commission issues, the Court held in Marbury that it couldn't issue a mandamus to force delivery of the commission, so there may be some discretion there too, in practice. I say this without checking on the presumably different statutory language now in existence.
 

BD: The President has no power to withdraw nominations any more than the Senate has the power to withdraw their consent.

CJColucci said... But the nominee can withdraw. 13th Amendment and all that. Is a nominee more powerful than the President?


So far as it concerns what work he performs, a judicial nominee is indeed more powerful that the President.
 

Brett: Personally, I'll be surprised if Garland doesn't get confirmed.

The chair of the Senate judiciary committee has the power to hold hearings and the Senate Leader alone has the power to hold votes on nominees. These two Senators can allow their colleagues who feel the political need to posture all the leeway they wish and still not hold a hearing or a vote.

Kabuki theater like all those show votes to repeal Obamacare without actually withdrawing any funding.
 

"perhaps because it's become a reflexive trope on the part of Democrats that nobody disagrees with Democrats for respectable reasons."

This is a bit much coming from one of our two regular conservatives for whom any disagreement on matters of policy or law means there is an USURPATION! INVASION! BETRAYAL OF THE CONSTITUTION! BANK ROBBER! Etc.

"I think you underestimate the extent to which the Republican base hate Obama, yes, on some policy level."

I don't doubt that a lot of it is policy or that it may start there, but it's moved beyond that. The guy is seen as not just wrong but suspect, not a 'real American,' someone whom those real Americans must 'take back' the country from, a 'secret Muslim' whose religious representations are suspect, a de-colonialist who actually hates his country and doesn't wear a flag pin, an effete elitist who eats arugula...Let's remember that Chris Christie was a hero to the right up until the moment that he made the sin of acting nice to and embracing Obama when he was visiting the storm wrecked Jersey shores assessing damage for federal funds. This has gone beyond policy differences.
 

"He has well stocked the lower courts with women and minorities "

To his credit, but how is this helpful in this election? Most people don't keep up much with the lower courts, and a live issue is what's needed politically. Besides, it reminds me of Ginsburg's answer to how many women on the court would be enough: nine!

"I have seen someone saying Judge S. being nominated as a serious threat to Clinton's election because he's deemed too corporate friendly"

That's an outlier for sure. That kind of thing is just not as motivating as making history by breaking a racial/ethnic/gender barrier. Like I said, Garland can match someone like S. for possible progressive concern on the minus side, but he can't match him on the plus side (first Asian-American justice).

"He isn't the stereotype some put him out to be, nor is he only playing the political cards. He actually also tries to govern, and yes, Garland is a very qualified candidate"

Then more the fool is he, because he's dealing with an opposition united to play political hardball. By not responding in kind he will neither help his side win politically or govern (because of being a political loser). You have to secure power and then govern well.
 

Kabuki theater like all those show votes to repeal Obamacare without actually withdrawing any funding.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 6:38 PM


Actually, that wasn't theater. Those were real votes. They just didn't have enough people voting in favor of the thing that they wanted to accomplish.
 

Bart, in case you missed it, Grassley IS one of the latest gang of eight. If he says Garland gets a hearing, he gets a hearing. Exactly what McConnell said wouldn't happen.
 

"That's an outlier for sure."

Why? Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are but two people who get a lot of support from "the base" in large part based on economic issues. Sort of "motivating." Occupy Wall Street was as seminal as Black Lives Matter.

Why wouldn't some of the base be concerned about someone deemed corporate friendly? Look at some of his firm's clients. I also saw someone looking at the situation from the outside, an European. The person made a logical argument it is useful to appeal to the "not Trump" swing voter here too. Blacks aren't THAT much of a threat. They are will support the black President and the Clinton family they strongly supported for decades.

And, it isn't just lower courts, though the base is not unaware -- come on! the very NAMES are OBAMA appointments. Plus, Sotomayor is a Supreme Court justice. I am not firmly convinced, but I'm not going to toss around words like "fool" when there are various decent arguments POLITICALLY and MERITS (see, e.g., a woman and Indian-American over at Slate -- Dahlia Lithwick and Akhil Amar) for this pick.

People on my side basically are upset when Republicans don't want to govern. Obama made a good choice here on that level AND pragmatically. And, long term it matters. This is more of RBG being sneered at for not resigning, since President Jeb Bush or something will replace her. People called her names too. I saw it.


 

We've got to prolong this thread through April 1st for obvious reasons - but not with spamming. So let's go back in time to 9/4/14 and take a look at Sabato's Crystal Ball for the 2016 presidential campaign, at:

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/2016-presidenti

Of course, foresight is not 20-20, nor is hindsight necessarily. Republicans thought they had very qualified candidates, even when the number rose to 17. Now it's down to three. Did the cream rise to the top? While perhaps each individual who entered the Republican Clown Car could demonstrate political credentials on a resume, the debates wre pupuppeteered by the Donald, afflicting the game plans of the other candidates. It has worked for Trump - and some think more so for the Democrats. In mergers there may be such a thing as synergy making the merged company more valuable than its parts. But all mergers - perhaps few - have synergy. But was there ever a chance of some sort of synergy politically with the many "qualified" Republican candidates? What happens at the Republication convention will give us a better understanding of the Republican Party and its survival following the general election. Trump continues to call the shots - and he can always find ammunition. (He's now questioning whether Romney is really a Mormon.) Trump's base may have no cash but it believes in carry via the 2nd A. That base may think it can "carry" the general election despite the changing demographics. Riots at the Republican convention, in the general election? Consider the crossfire. Political climate change may be more of an immediate problem than global warming.

It might be interesting to follow Sabato's Crystal Ball after 9/4/14. Think of the books and articles that will replace forests in telling the making of the President in 2016.
 

I'm done with defending the Garland choice for now. Also, I have found Mr. Sabato helpful in the past, including his presidential candidate charts.

The reference to 2A .... reading about Tinker v. Des Moines, noticed this 1930s case was cited by the majority opinion:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/293/245/

It concerns freedom of conscience involving "a state law that requires students at its University to take a course in military science and tactics." A case being heard next week by the Supreme Court concerns that as applied to contraceptives.

The opinion here also references the Second Amendment, a rarity. It noted:

Undoubtedly every state has authority to train its able-bodied male citizens of suitable age appropriately to develop fitness, should any such duty be laid upon them, to serve in the United States Army or in state militia ... the state is the sole judge of the means to be employed and the amount of training to be exacted for the effective accomplishment of these ends. Second Amendment; [cases].

The next set of races is on Tuesday. Arizona (Trump leading; winner take all), Utah (Cruz favored; proportional) and America Samoa (unbound) delegates are up. April 1st is North Dakota. John Oliver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYusNNldesc
 

I haven't felt the need to defend Judge Garland or to be critical of his nomination. I think Obama made a good choice. But you never know how a new Justice will turn out once on the Court. Political scientists have a lot to say on the subject that I find of interest.

I started at English High School in Boston as a freshman in the Fall of 1943. I already knew from my older brother who began his stint there in 1941 about the military drill course. I think the program started in late 193os with the outbreak of WW II. By the time I got there, the uniform for miltary had changed from WW I style leggings to chinos. Once or twice a week, classes in military drill would take place in the gym. Those days we would wear our chino outfits to school. We had mock rifles. Primarily we drilled, paraded, with (or without) the mock rifles. I did not take this seriously although some were obviously Gung-Ho as they advanced to an officer category. While military drill was somewhat competitive at English High, each year the competition would extend to all Boston high schools with preparation for and marching in the annual Schoolboy Parade through Boston street starting near Boston Common. Many of us were too young and naive to understand the seriousness of WW II. But we soon learned when we would become aware of a relative, neighbor, friend, serving in the military who was wounded or killed.

I found Joe's comments and quotes of interest, as the 2nd A focus clearly related to the militia in states and the role of the federal government in federalizing the militia.

I was drafted in April of 1955. (I was a post-Korea, pre-Vietnam "veteran.") Military drill at English High was of some benefit during basic training as many of my fellow draftees came from communities that did not offer such. As a result of my draft service, I was not subjected to Vietnam. This brings me to the objections that developed during Vietnam over the draft. This led to the 1968 presidential election and the Democrat convention in Chicago, with Republican Richard Nixon eking out a win over Democrat Hubert Humphrey. And we know how Nixon escalated Vietnam and was forced to resign due to Watergate before the end of his second term. Nixon did not ruin the country - but he came close. Fortunately Republicans back then realized Nixon had to go. Do we face something similar with the Republican convention this year?

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], Maureen Dowd's NYTimes column is online earlier than usual. It's based upon a conversation she says she had with the Donald who probably thinks she's nicer than Foxy Megan Kelly. But Maureen can be rowdy in addition to dowdy.
 

Joe:

I had not run across the Hamilton case before. Its citation to the Second Amendment for the proposition that states have the power to train their militias is strange. Apart from a possible suggestion arising from the term "well-regulated," there is no reference at all to state powers or training the militia. Instead, as the subsequently cited Presser opinion recognized, the armed citizenry is the militia and one of the purposes of the Second Amendment's guarantee of the people's right to keep and bear arms was to prohibit the government from disarming the militia:

It is undoubtedly true that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force or reserve militia of the United States as well as of the states, and, in view of this prerogative of the general government, as well as of its general powers, the states cannot, even laying the constitutional provision in question out of view, prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining the public security, and disable the people from performing their duty to the general government.

The Constitution recognizes the state power to train its militia through the combination of the Militia Clause and the Tenth Amendment.

BTW, if Cruz wins a majority, UT is winner take all.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

To further the (to me) interesting footnote, the citations:

Houston v. Moore, 5 Wheat. 1, 16, 17, 5 L.Ed. 19; Dunne v. People (1879) 94 Ill. 120, 129, 34 Am.Rep. 213; 1 Kent's Commentaries, 265, 389. Cf. Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, 6 S.Ct. 580, 29 L.Ed. 615.

[1] The page cite deals with state power over the militia. Story's separate opinion specifically suggests the 2A has some implication to this.

[2] A state case available online advancing the same point. Again, a reference to the 2A is later made in the context of advancement of a state militia.

[3] Online. Discusses state power over militia.

[4] Same. Also, notes 2A is not incorporated (this being the 1880s) though (referencing the 2A) "even laying the constitutional provision in question out of view," the states cannot disarm the people so completely as to interfere [I would assume per the discretion of Congress] with the federal power to call up the militia when necessary.

Anyway, the opinion noted that the state regulation wouldn't infringe the 2A anyway, even if it was incorporated. The regulation barred a person a right "to associate with others as a military company, and to drill and parade with arms in the towns and cities of the State." Heller later accepted the 2A "does not prevent the prohibition of private paramilitary organizations." Like private militia groups?

===

The brief reference in a single case is just noted for interest & at best helps the so-called "collective rights" view somewhat w/o necessarily inhibiting the "individual rights" view. The 2A can protect a state's power over its militia, including training ("well-regulated") while still protecting individual rights.
 

I came across the following in my Internet rounds this morning (at Daily Kos):

***

The historian Douglas Brinkley, whose book “Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America” came out this week, noted that Mr. Trump’s excess contrasts with other eras in politics, when candidates “tried to tamp down the perception of wealth.”

… “Trump is like a one-man Gilded Age, carrying opulence wherever he goes. We’ve never had someone running for president who is a bling artist.”

***

The manner in which SPAM I AM! has profiled himself over the years at this Blog, especially on The Gilded Age, might suggest a Trump supporter rather than his active role as a shill for the Cruz Canadacy. But if the Cruz Canadacy fails, can we expect SPAM I AM! to join Brett in support of the Great White? Or might SPAM I AM! join the growing Republican minority in its efforts to dump Trump if not at the Republican convention then by means of a third party conservative (via Libertarian Party?) to take key states away from Trump as nominee to deny sufficient electoral votes for him or Clinton in the general election, thereby throwing the making of the next President into the Republican controlled House? But might such a Republican strategy impact House - and Senate - races this Fall?
 

Shag:

Progressivism is best understood as a class movement of the "elite educated" credentialed caste who populate the professions, media, finance and the bureaucracy. When often far less educated industrialists passed them in wealth and public stature during the industrial revolution, the credentialed caste sneered at these upstarts and attacked the industrial revolution as the "Gilded Age."

Today, the progressive credentialed caste like Brinkley has no problem al all with plutocrats so long as they toe the progressive line and finance progressive politics. However, if a progressive plutocrat of good standing for decades like Trump changes teams, out comes the "Gilded Age" rhetoric again.

Trump is one of yours, not mine, regardless of what party he claims.
 

SPAM I AM!'s:

"Trump is one of yours, not mine, regardless of what party he claims."

will be as haunting of SPAM I AM! as were his:

"These poll numbers are great for John McCain."

The real political differences between Trump and SPAM I AM!'s Cruz Canadacy are quite narrow. Perhaps SPAM I AM! will attempt to demon-strate [sic] otherwise. Of course, SPAM I AM! is not denying his rhetoric over the years at this Blog that The Gilded Age were America's best days.
 

Here's an SSRN link:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2748863

"Why Ted Cruz Is Not a Natural Born Citizen Eligible to Be President and Why the Issue Is Not a Political Question" by Einer Elhauge. Check out Mike (I'm not Rappaport) Ramsey's post at the Originalism Blog for further details and commentary, including that he agrees it is not a political question.



 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Shag: The real political differences between Trump and SPAM I AM!'s Cruz Canadacy are quite narrow.

Their political differences are more akin to a canyon.

Over the past two book projects, I have been struggling to distinguish socialism, fascism and progressivism from one another and from classical liberalism. The problem with distinguishing socialism, fascism and progressivism from one another is that, although they often war on one another ideologically and militarily, these ideologies are all really variations on one totalitarian theme and freely share one another's policies, even though they will often deny doing so.

There really are only two ideologies in the developed world - classical liberalism and totalitarianism.

Classical liberalism believes in limited government and natural liberties. Totalitarianism does not recognize any limits on government power and believes that liberty is a privilege rather than a right. A totalitarian government does not direct everything (and has never done so historically), just those areas of our lives it considers to be social or economic problems. The only real difference between socialism, fascism and progressivism is what they consider to be problems.

Classical liberalism believes in separating legislative, executive and judicial power and granting the first two powers to a democratic republic. Totalitarianism grants most power to a bureaucracy and that power is absolute - the combination of legislative, executive and judicial. A totalitarian government may have either an elected or a dictatorial nominal representation, but most power is exercised by the bureaucracy. The only close historical analogy is Mandarin China.

Classical liberalism believes that we all own our ideas, labor and property. Totalitarianism believes that government may appropriate or redistribute our ideas, labor and property as it deems necessary to achieve a government goal. Once again, a totalitarian government does not redistribute everything, just what it feels is necessary. The only real difference between socialism, fascism and progressivism is what they consider to be necessary.

On this ideological continuum, Cruz is far closer to classical liberalism and Trump (like his fellow progressives) far closer to totalitarianism.

Compare and contrast them on almost any issue.
 

SPAM I AM! in response focuses upon his two book projects, once again shamelessly commercial, closing with this:

"Compare and contrast them on almost any issue."

But SPAM I AM! fails to set down positions of either Trump or his favored Cruz Canadacy. SPAM I AM! talks about various political ideologies with no discussion of either Trump's positions or those of the Cruz Canadacy, concluding that screed with:

"On this ideological continuum, Cruz is far closer to classical liberalism and Trump (like his fellow progressives) far closer to totalitarianism."

Alas, SPAM I AM! provides no details, like on immigration, securing the borders, foreign policy, etc. Rather, SPAM I AM! emphasizes his two book projects in obvious self-promotion. Before I or anyone else, can "compare and contrast", SPAM I AM! needs to provide details on the issues discussed during the many Republican Clowm Car debates. Trump and Cruz are two Ps in a pod. (One guess what P stands for.)

 

Kasich announces he doesn't want the v.p. job.

Not looking like he is aiming to help Cruz too much quite yet.

Shag is back in full force after his hiatus.
 

In an earlier comment o mine on the supposed 17 "well qualified" Republication candidates for 2016, I had trouble remembering a more descriptive phrase. I was reminded of the phrase in my Internet rounds this morning (Daily Kos) once again);

'Somewhere back there, I distinctly remember a line of pundits referring to how 'deep' the 'Republican bench' was this year. Just so much 'talent.' So much that they can’t find one guy sane enough to gather round."

With all the Republican Clown Car debates, it comes down to Trump, Cruz and Kasich. Image these debates as a sausage machine, permitting us to watch political sausage being made. We may not get the end product until the Republican convention in July, at which some new ingredients might be added. It's a variation on "Ten Little Indians," except that the Republicans will end up with one from the "deep" "Republican bench" with so much "talent." If "TRUMP" is not branded on that finished Republican sausage, can riots follow? I imagine some, if not many, Republicans will become Vegans.

BREAKING NEWS!

George Will believes the Senate should approve Judge Garland even before the election of a new President. Will is troubled with the posturing of waiting until after the election as either Clinton or Trump would offer a less desirable choice.
 

I think that Blankshot is trying to say that Republicans are easily conned by fascists.
 

Shag:

You are the one claiming that Trump = Cruz. What is your proof?

BTW, every single GOP presidential candidate is more qualified than your corrupt felon dowager queen in waiting. Trump is at least not a criminal and does not have Clinton's long history of f_cking up policy position she has ever held.
 

My 2A comment was a personal indulgence but as Shag suggests, guns is an important concern of Republican voters these days, if some more than others.

Presser v. Illinois is interesting there in part because it involved a socialist labor private militia group who drilled and paraded in public. This was illegal and the Supreme Court held it was acceptable to so hold, even if the 2A was incorporated. And, Heller assumed it was an uncontroversial statement. "No one" on the individual rights side "contended," so it said, otherwise.

But, private militia groups are out there, and it would surprise them if they didn't have a constitutional right to assemble in that fashion. Also, I wonder the limits of this "parade in public" idea. After all, various groups -- from the Black Power movement to various conservatives, do just that with arms. Not merely walking around (open/concealed carry) but purposely parading while armed to make a point.

In fact, Heller notes around certain "sensitive places," guns can be banned in a broad sense. I guess the teaching of such contours of "gun control" will be held in abeyance per the opening post. Still, given Cruz's "no compromise" stance on this issue, I gather he thinks Heller is overly restrictive and justices he would appoint would "overrule" certain parts of it deemed just that. Meanwhile, other side would try to apply gun regulations allowed broader.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/10/politics/ted-cruz-guns/

Anyway, George Will probably doesn't count Shag though haven't seen a list of those who "most" conservatives respect. BTW, I even saw a poll that said that if Trump was the candidate, UTAH might vote for Hillary Clinton. Guess Cruz doesn't quite equal Trump in that respect though Cruz is telling people he basically supports the things they like about Trump. He didn't last this long in government (you know as an outsider) w/o being savvy.
 

I claim there is little difference between Trump and Cruz as demonstrated by the many Republican Clown Car debates. In fact, except for former candidate Jim Gilmore, the "sweet sixteen" were in lockstep on many issues.

Now SPAM I AM! is not great on nuance. just a few short comments ago, he claimed Trump was a progressive. In his most recent comment SPAM I AM! paid a comparative (to Clinton) complimentt to Trump:

"Trump is at least not a criminal ..." but SPAM I AM! does not specifically state that Clinton is a criminal, perhaps because of SPAM I AM!'s legal knowledge about defamation. Cute, SPAM I AM! but no cigar.

And look at how those "more qualified" Republican candidates let Trump be their puppeteer in the debates. Why Carly "manned up" with more of a pair than any of the others. I imagine that after the dust settles we can expect a Broadway musical comedy on the Republican Klown Kar Khaos 2016 debates. Any casting ideas for Trump and Cruz?

 

Shag: I claim there is little difference between Trump and Cruz as demonstrated by the many Republican Clown Car debates.

You obviously have not watched any GOP primary debates since Cruz spends most of his time in those debates identifying all of Trump's progressive positions and current lies to distinguish himself from the Donald. This is why Trump refuses to do any more debates.

And look at how those "more qualified" Republican candidates let Trump be their puppeteer in the debates.

You most definitely have not watched a single GOP debate. The Donald has repeatedly exposed his lack of basic policy knowledge and name calls or cites polls when other candidates call him on it.

Now SPAM I AM! is not great on nuance. just a few short comments ago, he claimed Trump was a progressive. In his most recent comment SPAM I AM! paid a comparative (to Clinton) complimentt to Trump: "Trump is at least not a criminal ..." but SPAM I AM! does not specifically state that Clinton is a criminal, perhaps because of SPAM I AM!'s legal knowledge about defamation.

How many times have I posted here about Clinton's hundreds of misdemeanor and felony crimes in violation of the classified materials laws?
 

since Cruz spends most of his time in those debates identifying all of Trump's progressive positions and current lies to distinguish himself from the Donald. This is why Trump refuses to do any more debates.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 7:43 PM


I haven't watched a single minute of the GOP debated. Why don't you list some of those differences.
 

"the armed citizenry is the militia"

"It is undoubtedly true that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force or reserve militia of the United States as well as of the states"

It seems plain to me as a matter of simple English that "all citizens capable of bearing arms" does not equal "the armed citizenry." And the inclusion of 'reserved...or reserve' points to the difference between a potential and an actual.
 

BD: "the armed citizenry is the militia"

Presser: "It is undoubtedly true that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force or reserve militia of the United States as well as of the states"

Mr. W: It seems plain to me as a matter of simple English that "all citizens capable of bearing arms" does not equal "the armed citizenry." And the inclusion of 'reserved...or reserve' points to the difference between a potential and an actual.


While is true that some of the people capable of bearing arms may not own arms, as the Supreme Court in Pressercorrectly noted, the purpose of the"right of the people to keep and bear arms" is to keep government from disarming the militia aka the armed citizenry.
 

"Trump is one of yours, not mine, regardless of what party he claims."

Hilarious. If Trump thought what he's selling would sell in the Democratic nomination he could have gone that route as easily as he could have with the GOP (in fact, it's traditionally been easier to run in the Dem process). He knew where he'd do well, and in this he was correct as he's currently the frontrunner having won more states than everyone else combined in the GOP contest.

"Classical liberalism believes in limited government and natural liberties. Totalitarianism does not recognize any limits on government power and believes that liberty is a privilege rather than a right. A totalitarian government does not direct everything (and has never done so historically), just those areas of our lives it considers to be social or economic problems."

This can be easily dismissed by noting that to an anarchist the classical liberal looks like the one that doesn't believe in limited government and natural liberties and wants to not direct everything, just those areas of our lives the classical liberal considers to be social or economic problems.

"How many times have I posted here about Clinton's hundreds of misdemeanor and felony crimes in violation of the classified materials laws?"

You're not a criminal prosecutor or judge though, and no one of them has found Hillary Clinton guilty of anything.
 

"as the Supreme Court in Presser correctly noted, the purpose of the"right of the people to keep and bear arms" is to keep government from disarming the militia aka the armed citizenry."

Bart, the Court held in Presser that the 2nd Amendment was not meant to apply to the state and their regulation of firearms ("the amendment is a limitation only upon the power of congress and the national government, and not upon that of the state."). The passage you cite mentions a limit to this, but it's a limit not from the 2nd Amendment ("even laying the constitutional provision in question out of view"). Again, the fact that it doesn't reference the "armed citizenry" but rather "citizens capable of bearing arms" in conjunction with the statement about applying to the federal government and not the states suggests what's meant in your passage is "the people can't be prohibited from keeping and bearing arms to such a degree that they couldn't be called up by the feds if needed." That suggests the collective view, that they're talking about state armories. This is probably why nearly ever court to apply Presser pre-Heller used it to deny 2nd Amendment claims (usually out of hand).


 

Here's a recent link on issues differences:

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20160228/OPINION04/160229307

Difference between Trump, Rubio and Cruz? Trump's a better salesman - HeraldNet.com
By Catherine Rampell

Published: Sunday, February 28, 2016, 12:01 a.m.

A lot more is readily available via Google.
 

Shag:

You are linking to someone else who is clueless and offering nonsense.

The Trump and Cruz tax plans are nothing like one another. Trump is offering a somewhat reduced progressive income tax. Cruz is offering two low flat taxes on income and consumption. Neither are offering a "regressive" tax code where everyone pays the same amount of tax and neither cost a penny since the government does not own our earnings.

Trump is offering nonsense about compelling Mexico to build a wall and deporting 11 million illegal immigrants. If the stories about his chat with the NYT editorial board are correct, and his history of hiring legal and illegal foreign workers suggests, Trump is lying. Cruz simply says he will enforce the law as it stands.

Trump has previously supported both Obamacare and single payer, and is lying again about repealing Obamacare. Cruz has been working to attach an actual repeal to the budget.

Trump says he will replace Obamacare with "something terrific" (probably single payer). Cruz is offering a detailed replacement with tax credits to buy private health insurance across state lines (which means without national or state government mandates making it far more expensive).

Trump does indeed support government drug price fixing (which is what progressives really mean by "negotiating drug prices.") Cruz does not.

In sum, Trump is a progressive plutocrat who is playing the populist. Cruz is the most libertarian conservative still running.


 

You are linking to someone else who is clueless and offering nonsense.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:58 PM


Blankshot, I checked out the link. It's not your blog.
 

But seriously, Blankshot, why do you think it was so easy for a fascist to con Republicans into voting for him? Is it because Republicans are naturally fascists? Or is it because Republicans are just stupid?
 

" government drug price fixing (which is what progressives really mean by "negotiating drug prices.""

The government using its market share to negotiate the best possible price for taxpayers is no more 'price fixing' than when Wal-Mart does the same for its shareholders. In both cases drug companies are free to walk away, not accept the price and do business with others.


"Trump is offering nonsense about compelling Mexico to build a wall and deporting 11 million illegal immigrants."

Cruz is all for deporting too:

"Cruz’s latest comments came in response to a question that specifically contrasted his immigration stance with Trump’s and asked whether he supported “deporting all the illegal immigrants.”
“Absolutely,” Cruz replied"

http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2016/01/05/3736142/ted-cruz-out-trumps-trump/

And he likes walls too:

"To regain control of our border, a Cruz Administration will:

Build a wall that works."

https://www.tedcruz.org/cruz-immigration-plan/
 

BD: "government drug price fixing (which is what progressives really mean by "negotiating drug prices.""

Mr. W: The government using its market share to negotiate the best possible price for taxpayers is no more 'price fixing' than when Wal-Mart does the same for its shareholders. In both cases drug companies are free to walk away, not accept the price and do business with others.


Walmart cannot threaten to have multiple regulatory agencies limit or prohibit the sale of your products unless you accept their terms.

Cruz is all for deporting too...And he likes walls too

Trump is lying. Cruz generally does what he says. That was my point.
 

Trump is lying. Cruz generally does what he says. That was my point.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 8:52 AM


I have bad news for you, Blankshot. They're both lying. We're not building a wall.
 

BB:

Cruz is not discussing constructing some forty-plus foot castle wall along the border like Trump.

Cruz's "wall that works" depends more on an expanded Border Patrol with technology to secure the border. This is a more intelligent approach than a static defense because the border is currently a law free zone where both drug gangsters and illegal aliens cross at will. Walls are easy to breach when there is no-one there to defend them.

https://www.tedcruz.org/issues/secure-the-border/
 

John Oliver basically did a Mr. W. last night and took someone more seriously than he really deserves: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/donald-trump-john-oliver-wall. He also, optimistically perhaps, is planning a replacement for doggie Scalia. There are three options (sounds familiar) and you can vote on Twitter.

In "the liberals are just waiting for a shot to overturn Heller" news, a per curiam decision just now was handed down (without dissent) saying the MA Supreme Court was wrong when it said stun guns were not covered. http://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/032116zor_h3ci.pdf

The usage of a two page per curiam is rather curious/thin but the case had complications (e.g., seizure took place outside of the home) that made me at least think they wouldn't take it. But, they didn't just take it; they summarily overruled it. In a case regarding an atypical "arm" outside the home. Heller isn't quite dead yet, perhaps. Alito/Thomas concurred with more words and empathy (including about the state not providing the means to defend the at risk woman here) plus passion about the 2A.


 

Cruz's "wall that works" depends more on an expanded Border Patrol with technology to secure the border.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:00 AM


So Ted Cruz would basically continue to do what we're doing now. Too bad for Ted that Republicans want a castle wall. And a moat. With sharks in the moat. Sharks with frickin' lazer beams attached to their heads.
 

Sharks in a moat might be easier/cheaper.
 

Sharks in a moat might be easier/cheaper.
# posted by Blogger Joe : 10:28 AM


The best Ted Cruz can deliver is ill-tempered Sea Bass...

 

So Ted Cruz would basically continue to do what we're doing now.

Well, what we used to do before say 2012 when the Border Patrol was all but told to stand down.

If Cruz and the other advocates were serious about eliminating illegal immigration, they could do so in two easy steps: (1) Make it a misdemeanor crime to hire an illegal alien without confirming citizenship on e-verify, and (2) review all federal benefit recipients for citizenship.

Until then, this is all political posturing.
 

Well, what we used to do before say 2012 when the Border Patrol was all but told to stand down.

Apparently Cruz and Trump aren't the only ones lying...

If Cruz and the other advocates were serious about eliminating illegal immigration
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:42 AM


They're not serious. But they know it's the only thing they can pretend to offer their non-millionaire voters, so they do like to talk about it. The problem is that they just got "Trumped" by someone who says he'll really put laser beams on the sharks.
 

Until then, this is all political posturing.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:42 AM


In other words, Trump's "policies" are no different from any of the other GOP candidates.
 

SPAM I AM! attempts to be a realist regarding the views of 2016 Republican candidates as:

"Until then, this is all political posturing."

A part of the Republican base consists of businessmen who may hire the undocumented. But SPAM I AM! suggests only a misdemeanor; why not a felony? But even a misdemeanor would raise the hackles of this declining base.

As a realist, from among the sweet 16 + 1 SPAM I AM! chose the Cruz Canadacy, Cruz being the biggest (yes, bigger than Trum) hater, a profile SPAM I AM! shares.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], John Oliver is great on the great wall of Trump. Joe earlier provided a link. A direct link is available at Huffington Post.
 

I doubt Trump has in mind anything but "a wall that works", assuming he actually means to build a wall.

The obvious thing is to build enough of a physical barrier that it's blindingly obvious where the border is, that's capable of slowing people down. Enough sensors so that nobody can cross it undetected. And enough fast response border patrol stations along it so that you can reach people before they've gotten very far from the wall.

Is Trump thinking in these terms? Don't know. But I do know that his position papers have looked pretty good. He seems to know who to hire to write them. I'd assume that if he really wants a working wall, he can hire people who'll figure out how to do that, too.

A good executive doesn't need to know how to do everything. He needs to be good at picking people to delegate to, and know enough to detect it when he's being BS'd.

Would I prefer Cruz? Sure. But Trump doesn't look to me like he'd be a bad President, if he really means to be a good one.
 

"Would I prefer Cruz? Sure. But Trump doesn't look to me like he'd be a bad President, if he really means to be a good one."

Yes, regarding the ways he wants the government (including the national government) to get involved in our life, supporting religious belief of a certain type etc., he would be a more logical choice for a conservative than Trump. More consistent too though Republican voters tend to be a "what have you done for us recently" group.

He has strong anti-government posturing too though has long been part of it & if he actually was President, Cruz would probably change his tune a bit. So, a bit of a wash.

"picking people to delegate to"

Trump will do that, huh? Seems like the sort where he would think, even if should know better, he was right and WOULDN'T delegate even when he should. And, what exactly leads one to think Trump knows enough about a range of issues to "know enough to detect it when he's being BS'd" is unclear. He had little reason to know "about a range of issues" in that respect.

Anyway, sounds like ... and he's okay enough for Brett ... the point is that Trump is in effect doing some "puffery" and selling something to his audience that they should know really doesn't quite mean literally what he says. Since he isn't a Democrat, he is getting more of a pass from certain people.
 

Note politicians generally do puffery. Cruz does. Clinton does. Sanders does. Kasich does. But, some just are more upset when "the other side" does it.
 

But Trump doesn't look to me like he'd be a bad President, if he really means to be a good one.
# posted by Blogger Brett : 2:20 PM


You look at that buffoon and think "yeah, I guess he'd be a good president"? Really!? Was medical pot a really big part of your cancer treatment?

 

Joe:

Putting abortion aside for the moment, how is Cruz going to use government to force his faith on you? He has been campaigning on maintaining religious liberty FROM government coercion - being compelled to recognize and service the government redefinition of marriage to include SSM, etc.
 

I look at him, and conclude he has the capacity to be a good President, if that's what he's aiming for.

He has run large enterprises. He's taken large enterprises through bankruptcy, which is unfortunately relevant experience for being the U.S.'s chief executive.

He's picking the right people to write his position papers.

He's playing the media like a violin.

I think it's all up to whether he's doing this as a mammoth joke, or is looking to cement his reputation by being a successful President.

But, can he be a good President? Sure, if that's what he intends to be.
 

BB:

Don't make the mistake of underestimating Trump.

The man is not stupid or a buffoon.

Trump's campaign is using demonstrated populist and fascist techniques, and he is filling venues like Obama in 2008.

The millions who disapprove of both Trump and Clinton are likely to stay home or go third party, not go to Clinton.
 

Don't make the mistake of underestimating Trump.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 3:16 PM


I'm not underestimating him. He is a buffoon. He is a con artist. Americans who are not blinded by their anger and racism will see right through him and vote for Clinton.
 

Clinton is a con artist, too. The chief difference between them is that Trump has actually "built that". Which is more than Hillary can say.

The thing about Trump, the one hopeful thing, is that he is not just a con artist. Running a con is just part of his skill set.

It's the whole skill set for Clinton.
 

Brett, thanks for clarifying why it's so easy for Trump to con stupid Republicans.

BTW, Trump didn't "build" anything. His daddy had money. Trump won the lucky sperm lottery.
 

Even Politifact disagrees with you. Trump got some money from his father, as did his brothers. He turned it into a lot more money.

Most people given a large fortune turn it into a smaller one, not an even larger one. Indeed, when Trump got his initial inheritance from his father, he'd been running his father's company for him for 8 years already. So even the size of the inheritance is a testament to his own skills.

Was he lucky? Sure. Your problem is that you want him to just be lucky. Rather than lucky AND talented.
 

His business record is mixed at best, even as U.S. businesses go. You make him out to be average there. Relying on Trump to properly delegate seems a tad naive. Getting people write position papers that impress you (they impress experts a tad less) only goes so far too. And, Clinton did various things in her life -- including in private practice, as a senator and Secretary of State.

Saying she is "just a con artist" is your usual special anti-Democratic pleading.


 

Most people given a large fortune turn it into a smaller one

# posted by Blogger Brett : 3:50 PM


Trump has filed for bankruptcy 4 times. Lucky sperm.


 

Yes, she did various things in her life. Failed the bar exam, got fired from the Watergate investigation for cause, married right, and rode her husband's coat tails into a fortune and political power. Or, I should say, political power and a fortune, as the former created the latter.

As far as I can tell, she hasn't done anything productive in her entire life. But, as con artists go, she's almost in a class by herself.

Hillary and Trump. They're practically made to run against each other, ought to be fun to watch.
 

Your problem is that you want him to just be lucky. Rather than lucky AND talented.
# posted by Blogger Brett : 3:50 PM


He's also really lucky that Republicans are easily duped by racist con artists.
 

Brett:

The Clintons are no slouches at making money. They made a nine figure fortune from nothing but a couple hundred hours of speeches...and selling political influence.

Trump v. Clinton would be the worse choice for president EVER!
 

Trump v. Clinton would be the worse choice for president EVER!
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 4:05 PM


Worst choice for you. Democrats are feeling relatively good about their choices.
 

BB: Democrats are feeling relatively good about their choices.

Progressives never had any problem following demagogues, influence peddler and criminals.

My standards are higher.

 

I said it would be fun to watch. It's not the matchup I would have chosen six months ago. But Trump undoubtedly knows every dirty trick Clinton has to play. It's going to be a brutal, bloody general election

Probably literally bloody, with the Democrats determined to wage politics with riots, and Trump seemingly not averse to cracking heads in response.

The Clintons are no slouches at getting money. I don't know that they've ever made any.
 

My standards are higher.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 4:11 PM


You're one of the most despicable lying scumbags that I have ever encountered.
 

Anyway, I stand by my assessment: Trump has the capacity to be a good President, he has the necessary skills. It's all up to what game he's playing here.

OTOH, we know what game Hillary is playing: Selling US policy to the highest bidder, and building a unbreakable legal firewall between her and her criminal past. At this point, the latter might even be the larger goal, she surely does not want to spend her twilight years in prison.
 

It's going to be a brutal, bloody general election

# posted by Blogger Brett : 4:13 PM


LOL Trump is going to be crushed.
 

That, Bartbuster, is what people were predicting for the Republican primaries. I see no reason to think that people who predicted that Trump would be crushed in the primaries will be right about his being crushed in the general election.

It makes no sense to assume that Trump will go from a world-beater in the primaries, to a wuss in the general election. I believe he will continue to outperform expectations, because the expectations are built on a wrong model of US politics. Only a fool invests confidence in models that have already proven wrong.

I take no joy in realizing that the US is a country where either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump could be elected President. What a ghastly choice.
 

That, Bartbuster, is what people were predicting for the Republican primaries. I see no reason to think that people who predicted that Trump would be crushed in the primaries will be right about his being crushed in the general election.

# posted by Blogger Brett : 4:31 PM


Brett, there aren't enough stupid white racists to win a national election any more. Those days are long gone.


 

It makes no sense to assume that Trump will go from a world-beater in the primaries, to a wuss in the general election.
# posted by Blogger Brett : 4:31 PM


Well, it actually does make sense. I'll give you a hint. What demographic dominates the GOP, but is not enough to win a national election any more?

 

By the way, Trump hasn't been a "world beater" in the primary. He's just been better than a bunch of crappy alternatives.
 

Brett says Clinton is just a con artist. I note she did various things. He bashes her some & then says she didn't do anything "productive." That's subjective enough to be true in some fashion. So, you know, Brett kinda admits he's wrong and provides useful color commentary. Appreciate the reply.

 

Yes, she did do various things. She failed the bar exam. Got fired for cause from the Watergate investigation. Married a crooked politician on his way up, and road his coat tails to money and power. Well, actually power and money, since the money was all pretty transparent bribes and kickbacks for abusing the power.

Then she got a Senate seat handed her on a silver platter, and got to be SoS, where she made a lot more money selling US policy, while causing national security secrets to be transmitted via an insecure server that got hacked at least once. Maybe that last was responsible for some of the bribes and kickbacks, even.

Oh, and she destroyed a fair number of lives along the way, but didn't lose even one person in Libya. Knows where they're buried, so they're not lost, as such...

So, yeah, she's been busy, done a lot.
 

Oh, and she destroyed a fair number of lives along the way, but didn't lose even one person in Libya. Knows where they're buried, so they're not lost, as such...

So, yeah, she's been busy, done a lot.
# posted by Blogger Brett : 7:25 PM


The Libya thing always cracks me up. Cheney/Bush get more than 4,000 US troops and who knows how many 100s of thousands of Iraqis killed for nothing and there isn't a peep out of scum like you. 4 Americans are killed in Libya and suddenly you find your outrage.
 

So, basically, not what you first said and more bashing. Thanks.


 

Bartbuster, I don't think Cheney or Bush ever had the nerve to claim they didn't lose a single man in Iraq. They might have thought the deaths were worth it, but they didn't pretend the deaths didn't happen. Doesn't her having the sheer gall to say that bother you, even a little?

Joe, she deserves bashing. Everything I said of her is true. That someone like Hillary could get within reach of the White House is a horrible indictment of what America has become.

I mean, I might have not liked Carter, or Mondale, or McGovern. I disagreed with their policies. But, my God, at least they weren't known criminals!

What has the nation come to, that somebody like Hillary Clinton might end up as President, rather than in prison? We're becoming a third world kleptocracy, writ large. Countries like Zimbabwe will point at us and laugh, if she's elected. And they'll have a point.
 

Bartbuster, I don't think Cheney or Bush ever had the nerve to claim they didn't lose a single man in Iraq. They might have thought the deaths were worth it, but they didn't pretend the deaths didn't happen. Doesn't her having the sheer gall to say that bother you, even a little?

# posted by Blogger Brett : 6:45 AM


You have lost your fucking mind.
 

Emma Roller's NYTimes column "Live Free or Trump" focuses upon the possible role Gary Johnson could play in the GOP's Dump Trump efforts if, as expected, he becomes the nominee of the Libertarian Party once again in 2016. Brett was once a self-proclaimed anarcho libertarian who has recently segued into a Great White Republican stalwart. SPAM I AM! may still claim libertarian roots what with "Atlas Shrugged" under his pillow as he dreams of a reviival of The Gilded Age, America's best days he claims.

The Libertarian Party got 1% of the vote in 2012. With Ganja gone wild, perhaps the Libertarian vote may be higher in 2016. Perhaps the Libertarian Party could lure more votes with the slogan "Smoke if you've got 'em." That might puff up Libertarians.

In 2012, the Libertarian Party failed to get into the debates for the general election. (Likewise the Green Party.) But what if for 2016 the Libertarian Party makes it into the genera's debate. Imagine the bawdy language if Gary Johnson is the nominee of the Libertarian Party if and when the subject of Trump's small hands get into that debate. Johnson may prevail over small hands Trump.
 

Brett's:

"But, my God, at least they weren't known criminals! "

in effect accuses Hillary of being a criminal. But are there criminal charges pending against Hillary? Has Hillary been adjudicated as a criminal by a competent court of law?

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], is it a crime for a divorced white man to attempt to do himself in? Would that make him a criminal without a competent court process?

Accusing one of a crime can be defamatory. But Brett used to be an anarcho libertarian, for whom anything goes.

4 divided by 4,000 = 0.001% for perspective.
 

"In 2012, the Libertarian Party failed to get into the debates for the general election."

"Failed". As though it were an accomplishment they fell short of, rather than the very purpose of having the debates managed by the "Bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates".

It isn't an accident that the LP does badly. It is the aim of coordinated public policy. I still recall when the League of Women Voters decided that the Libertarian candidate qualified for the debates, and they took the debates away from the League, and created that commission to make sure nothing like that would ever happen again.

Third party candidates do not get into the Presidential debates unless the major parties think it in their interest. There are no objective rules. Any more than there are actually objective rules for qualifying for federal financing.
 

"in effect accuses Hillary of being a criminal. But are there criminal charges pending against Hillary? Has Hillary been adjudicated as a criminal by a competent court of law?"

Don't be an idiot, Shag. Being adjudicated isn't what makes you a criminal. Breaking laws is what makes you a criminal. Or else "convicted criminal" would be a redundancy.

The DoJ being corrupt doesn't make you an honest person. It just makes you a criminal with friends in high places.

And, "in effect"? No, I outright stated that she's a criminal, it wasn't implied.
 

And being a libertarian makes you batshit crazy.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

BB:

Your dowager queen in waiting was one of the "scum" who voted to go to war with Iraq, she was the lead advocate to go to war in Libya without a declaration of war/AUMF from Congress, she left her State Department personnel in Libya nearly defenseless in order to not upset the terrorists her war left in charge of that country, and then lied to the families and the American people about the al Qaeda attack on Benghazi to cover her ass.

The difference between you and I is that I will refuse to vote for fascists and felons regardless of party, while you will cheerfully vote for whatever incompetent, corrupt, lying criminal your party nominates.

Have you Democrats no shame?
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

BB, I'd only fear for my sanity if I found myself agreeing with you on something.

Bart, I find this TDS a bit much. The man is not a fascist, unless the term has lost all meaning. Worst case he's a moderate Democrat, I think.

Well, shame on the GOP for creating the environment in which a moderate Democrat could win it's nomination. But it won't be the end of the world if he's elected.

Maybe the end of the GOP, but I'd appreciate that.
 

SPAM I AM!'s "principled" response to BB that:

" ... I will refuse to vote for fascists and felons regardless of party, ...."

means that he would not vote for Trump if the Republican nominee, suggesting that SPAM I AM! is a Republican with shame. Now what candidate is a felon? Perhaps SPAM I AM! can provided specifics, as opposed to the untrained-in-law Brett.
 

Your dowager queen in waiting was one of the "scum" who voted to go to war with Iraq
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 9:14 AM


And has since acknowledged that she made a mistake. Of course, given the resulting disaster she didn't really have much of a choice. Amazingly you lunatics still have not come to that realization. Have you no shame?
 

Brett has come out as a conservative. It makes more sense especially when his choice is the candidate who self-identified as a conservative.

As to HC, again, Brett said one thing. It isn't actually true except if you use words in a special way. When Democrats allegedly do this, they are akin to bank robbers.

When called on this, he spins to something else. As with his creative use of words, it is a tad strange Brett disdains lawyers and politicians. He has their shtick down.

The fact that Clinton's alleged criminal actions is what is supposed to be the "shocking new low" underlines the policy leanings of writer, especially given some of the actions of actual people elected President not with a "D" next to their names.
 

The difference between you and I is that I will refuse to vote for fascists and felons regardless of party
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 9:14 AM


LOL You cheerfully defended torturers.
 

Might Brett's:

"Maybe the end of the GOP, but I'd appreciate that."

result in Brett photoshopping his comment-picture as a Whig?

 

"It isn't actually true except if you use words in a special way."

That a "criminal" is somebody who has committed a crime irregardless of whether or not they've been convicted of it isn't a using words in a special way. Whether you've been convicted doesn't even enter into most dictionary definitions of "criminal".

When your preferred candidate happens to be a criminal who's been sheltered from prosecution her entire adult life by friends in high places, I can see why you'd want "has been convicted" to be part of the definition. But it isn't.
 

Brett: Bart, I find this TDS a bit much. The man is not a fascist, unless the term has lost all meaning. Worst case he's a moderate Democrat, I think.

Trump is running a classic fascist political campaign - scapegoat some other (in this case foreign illegal immigrants and exporters) for a poor economy and then run as a strong man promising to make the nation great again by punishing the scapegoats and those who support them.

Whether Trump will enact fascist policy is an open question. Trump is very much a progressive and progressivism and fascism are ideological kissing cousins. Progressives considered Mussolini and to a lesser extent Hitler to be political rock stars and modeled the New Deal after fascist economic policies. The New Dealers only turned their backs on the fascists after they started conquering out allies.

Well, shame on the GOP for creating the environment in which a moderate Democrat could win it's nomination. But it won't be the end of the world if he's elected.

Brett, you know better than to parrot Democrat propaganda. Trump's fascist political campaign is exploiting the economic wreckage, foreign policy weakness and rampant lawlessness of our current administration.
 

Brett, you know better than to parrot Democrat propaganda.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 9:55 AM


He's parroting your propaganda, numbnuts. YOU are the one calling Trump a Democrat.
 

BD: Your dowager queen in waiting was one of the "scum" who voted to go to war with Iraq

BB: And has since acknowledged that she made a mistake. Of course, given the resulting disaster she didn't really have much of a choice.


Do you realize that your dowager queen in waiting is lying to you again to cover her ass?

I sure as hell would not vote for that women if she was the Republican nominee.
 

And I believe that the "conditions" he's talking about are not the economic conditions, but the stupidity of Republican voters.
 

BB:

Trump has been subsidizing (paying off) Democrats (including your dowager queen in waiting) and has supported progressive policy for decades. The Donald's born again conservatism in 2016 is about as real as Obama claiming to be a post ideological pragmatist in 2008.

Liars and propagandists.
 

Do you realize that your dowager queen in waiting is lying to you again to cover her ass?

You're really in no position to be calling anyone a liar.


I sure as hell would not vote for that women if she was the Republican nominee.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:01


You voted for Palin. You voted for Bush. You voted for Cheney. You will vote for Trump. That is a LOT worse.

 

Liars and propagandists.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:03 AM


That should be the title of your autobiography.
 

BB: And I believe that the "conditions" he's talking about are not the economic conditions, but the stupidity of Republican voters.

Most of the working class folks who are buying Trump's campaign today also bought Obama's campaign in 2008. See Stan Greenberg's essays after the 2008 election on how the Reagan Democrats supposedly came home to the Democratic Party.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...
 

Fascism has some specific implications. Trump is promising to round up people, sure, but only people who aren't legally here. That's been law on the books for decades. You think Trump is just going to walk all over Congress? No D after his name, so they might actually have a spine, and the Democrats won't have strong reason to have his back, either.

I don't see any death camps, nationalized industries, or funny marching in our near future if Trump wins. Just the continuing degradation of our politics. While Hillary represents a decision to skip the process, and just jump straight to being a 3rd world country.

Understand where I'm coming from. I'm a libertarian, I helped found my college chapter of the LP back in the 70's. The only reason I'm in the Republican party is that the GOP and Democratic party got together on making third parties effectively illegal in the US, and I wanted to continue being politically active, so I had to pick a major party to align with.

But, get this straight: I have a burning hatred of the GOP, that is exceeded only by my loathing of the Democratic party. If Trump tears the GOP to pieces, I'll hold a party and get stinking drunk celebrating. Only thing that would delight me more is if the Democratic party goes down with it.

I live in a country whose political system is no longer as free as the country I was born in, and the GOP is as guilty of that as the Democrats. I'll never forgive that.
 

Most of the working class folks who are buying Trump's campaign today also bought Obama's campaign in 2008. See Stan Greenberg's essays after the 2008 election on how the Reagan Democrats supposedly came home to the Democratic Party.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:08 AM


Blankshot, there doesn't appear to be a way that you can twist Trump leading the GOP primary that does not end with "Republican voters are stupid".
 

Brett: Fascism has some specific implications. Trump is promising to round up people, sure, but only people who aren't legally here. That's been law on the books for decades..

Rounding people up in not a necessary part of the fascist political economy, it is often a consequence.

You think Trump is just going to walk all over Congress?.

In a heartbeat. Listen to this man's speeches! Obama has already crossed the Rubicon of ruling by decree. All Trump has to do is follow the trail his predecessor blazed.

I don't see any death camps, nationalized industries, or funny marching in our near future if Trump wins.

Trump is already on the record supporting nationalized health care.

Understand where I'm coming from. I'm a libertarian, I helped found my college chapter of the LP back in the 70's. The only reason I'm in the Republican party is that the GOP and Democratic party got together on making third parties effectively illegal in the US, and I wanted to continue being politically active, so I had to pick a major party to align with.

You and I took the same political route. This is why I cannot understand why you tolerate Trump in any way, shape or form. The fact that Clinton is a incompetent, lying, corrupt criminal does not make the Donald look any better. They are both a clear and present danger to the liberty we value.
 

BB: there doesn't appear to be a way that you can twist Trump leading the GOP primary that does not end with "Republican voters are stupid".

You mean as opposed to those Democrats who support the incompetent, lying, corrupt felon poised to become their nominee?

In any case, a minority of Republicans voters bolstered by Indis and Democrats in open primaries support Trump.
 

In any case, a minority of Republicans voters bolstered by Indis and Democrats in open primaries support Trump.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:26 AM


Don't worry, you'll move past denial and on to acceptance when you get to the voting booth. I'd say RIP to your dignity, but you never had any.
 

You mean as opposed to those Democrats who support the incompetent, lying, corrupt felon poised to become their nominee?

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:26 AM


Here's the thing. Your opinion of the Democrat nominee does not matter in the slightest. Normally my opinion of the GOP nominee would not matter, either. But the problem for you is that my opinion matches that of most Americans. You. Are. Screwed. And there is no one happier about that than me.
 

"They are both a clear and present danger to the liberty we value."

I think Trump is the lesser threat, and more a threat to the GOP establishment. An establishment whose grave I'll gladly laugh over. Is he the one I'd have picked to get the nomination? No, I voted for Cruz, and if I'd had the chance, I would have voted for Paul.

You think the GOP is going to save the country from what's coming? The GOP is half the reason for what's coming. It's nearly as corrupt as the Democratic party. (At the federal level. At the state, it's not *quite* so bad.) If Cruz manages to get the nomination, he's only going to slow the decline a bit.

The country is going down into the abyss, Bart. I believe it will claw it's way back out of there, eventually, but not before the "Gods of the Copybook Headings" have taught it a very thorough lesson. And both major parties will die down there, their death will be part of the process of escaping it.

 

First 4-4 decision arising from Scalia's death was announced today.

Remember, today is American Samoa (unbound), Utah (split; Cruz likely to get most) and Arizona (winner take all/Trump favored). Dems have Utah, Arizona and Idaho. HC seems to be favored in Arizona while Sanders might do well the other two places.
 

"country is going down into the abyss"

Yes. This is really a documentary.

http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMTUyMTE0ODcxNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODE4NDQzNTE@._V1_SX640_SY720_.jpg
 

Brett:

Trump IS part of the corrupt political establishment. He is the guy who pays off people like Clinton to buy influence. There is zero chance in hell that a NYC plutocrat is somehow a political outsider.

Our political class of both parties are the problem. not the solution. As I have discussed here before, the only solution I see to reverse our failing progressive political economy is fundamental constitutional reform. We need to constitutionally hogtie our political class.

Like Reagan, Cruz might slow the pace or give use a temporary reprieve from the failure, but the political system is not capable of the fundamental reforms necessary to reverse the long term decline.
 

The country is going down into the abyss

# posted by Blogger Brett : 10:53 AM


The country that best matches your ideal level of government, religion, and guns is Afghanistan. You have some very creative definitions for many different words. So we probably have a very different definition for "abyss". I'm feeling pretty confident that your definition for "abyss" probably involves everyone having access to healthcare, fewer guns, and gay people being treated equally.
 

Bart, before we can constitutionally hogtie our political class, we need a people who want them hogtied. After a few generations of government schooling, we don't have that, anymore. That is kind of the point of having the government run the schools, isn't it? Making sure the next generation grow up loving the government.

Hence the need for the Gods of the Copybook Headings to conduct classes for a while.

Yes, Trump has been on the paying side of the protection money/bribes. It's at least theoretically possible that succeeding under the system as it is doesn't mean you like the system. I'm not placing any money on that being the case, but it's possible. I have no particular expectations for him, I'm just not freaking out.

At least he's a businessman who's done productive things, which is something most politicians can't say.
 

Brett: Bart, before we can constitutionally hogtie our political class, we need a people who want them hogtied. After a few generations of government schooling, we don't have that, anymore. That is kind of the point of having the government run the schools, isn't it? Making sure the next generation grow up loving the government.

Then we have work to do to save our Republic.

Realistically, it may take a complete economic meltdown followed by armed uprisings like the period before 1787 before we can call another constitutional convention. I hope not.

Yes, Trump has been on the paying side of the protection money/bribes. It's at least theoretically possible that succeeding under the system as it is doesn't mean you like the system. I'm not placing any money on that being the case, but it's possible. I have no particular expectations for him, I'm just not freaking out.

Our window for reform is the next couple decades at most. We need to start freaking out about political candidates who would accelerate our decline and shorten that window.
 

You people are really fucking crazy.
 

"Realistically, it may take a complete economic meltdown followed by armed uprisings like the period before 1787 before we can call another constitutional convention. I hope not."

Right, the chief reason that I chose the GOP as a lifeboat after the LP ceased being viable: Revolutions need guns, couldn't support a party that was determined to foreclose what might be necessary.

"Our window for reform is the next couple decades at most."

Our window for reform closed a few years ago. National debt is now at a level where a return to historically normal interest rates would have carrying the debt consume most federal revenue. Default is now inevitable, only measures which are unsustainable in the long run are staving it off now. That, and the fracking revolution.

We went over the fiscal cliff with the response to the 2008 economic crash.

The question now is what we do after we hit the rocks. I don't think constitutional reform is feasible until the rocks are hit. Too many people in a position to matter are afraid of a convention, they need to be convinced not having one is worse.
 

"You people are really fucking crazy."

The inmates in the asylum often mutter that, while looking out the windows. You're the one crazy enough to make himself somebody's internet nemesis, that doesn't exactly establish you as the voice of sanity.
 

The inmates in the asylum often mutter that, while looking out the windows.
# posted by Blogger Brett : 11:51 AM


Yeah, unfortunately for you it's what everyone else in the country mutters when they see you nutcases in action.
 

Brett: Our window for reform closed a few years ago. National debt is now at a level where a return to historically normal interest rates would have carrying the debt consume most federal revenue.

We can stay below WWII levels of public debt for another couple decades and recover from there with sharply lower spending like during the 1950s.

BB: You people are really fucking crazy.

I am openly speaking about a systemic demographic and economic failure that progressive academics are currently discussing in hushed tones in papers and conferences using the term "secular stagnation."

Over the next 50 years, the progressive developed world is looking at a collapse in the labor pool analogous to the Black Death and the productivity growth of the folks who still have work is currently sliding to zero.

Double ungood.


 

These poll numbers are GREAT news for John McCain!!!!
 

Over the next 50 years, the progressive developed world is looking at a collapse in the labor pool analogous to the Black Death and the productivity growth of the folks who still have work is currently sliding to zero.

Double ungood.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 12:02 PM


I have some very, very good news for you. You thought that invading Iraq was a good idea. Your judgment is, and I'm being very kind here, not so good. If you see disaster, we're probably headed for mankind's greatest era of prosperity. Relax and get ready for President Clinton.

 

"We can stay below WWII levels of public debt for another couple decades and recover from there with sharply lower spending like during the 1950s."

Three requirements to do that:

1. Keeping interest rates ahistorically low for decades. I don't see that as sustainable.
2. Maintaining a net budget surplus all that time. Remember, you can't inflate away debt while maintaining near zero interest rates, despite the talk recently about trying out negative interest rates. Nobody is going to loan the government money at a net negative interest rate.
3. Requires a sane political class to implement.

Post WWII recovery from deep debt was based on our having an intact industrial infrastructure while most of the world was in ruins from WWII. Gave us quite an economic edge. Don't see that happening without another WW, and while Merkel may give us that, I'm not comfortable planning on that basis.

No, I see default as pretty much inevitable at this point, with a balanced budget following only because nobody will loan us money.
 

In an earlier comment on the role of the Libertarian Party on the Dump Trump GOP move I mentioned that the Libertarian Party got only 1% of the vote in 2012. Brett has switched back quickly to an anarcho Libertarian and SPAM I AM! continues as a libertarian (but perhaps not anarcho variety). So these two libertarians have been engaging in dialog in opposition. This suggests why the Libertarian Party vote is so low. It's tough getting the varied types of libertarians to be in any sense collective, each focusing on I, I, I. Many claim to be libertarians but find it difficult coming to a consensus. It's an "I've got mine!" philosophy.

Perhaps a third libertarian should join the colloquy. That would be fun.
 

"Perhaps a third libertarian"

or maybe one who actually appears to be one
 

"This suggests why the Libertarian Party vote is so low."

Having the ballot access laws and other political mechanisms deliberately rigged against us doesn't help. You try running against parties that get on the ballot with $50 filing fees, (And put on the ballot anyway if they forget to pay it.) when you're required to mount a massive ballot access drive, instead. It's like being forced to run a marathon to arrive at the starting line of the real race, and then run against people who are rested. You've exhausted your volunteers and fund raising sources before the real election campaign even starts!

But, yes, it's a basic problem for a political party consisting of people who want to be left along to live their lives without interference. We don't cooperate as well as people who are ganging together to impose something on somebody else.
 

Libertarians like you seem to cooperate just fine when there are countries that need invadin'.
 

It's like being forced to run a marathon to arrive at the starting line of the real race, and then run against people who are rested.

Sounds like they might need some affirmative action.
 

Brett attempts a pre-marathon metaphor while ignoring Emma's "LIVE FREE OR TRUMP" variation on the NH libertarian inspired license plate message.
 

NH motto should be LIVE FREE, THEN COMMUTE TO MA WHERE ALL THE GOOD JOBS ARE. But it won't fit on a license plate.
 

Nah, I just miss the election laws of the late 70's, when the major parties didn't take the threat of 3rd parties seriously, and actually permitted other parties to compete with them on a level playing field. You could get on the ballot on the same basis as the Democrats and Republicans, the newspapers actually reported on all the candidates, included them in the polling, on election night they didn't report the vote totals with the 3rd party vote subtracted to make it look like nobody voted for anybody but Democrats and Republicans...

But even then I knew that we'd have to grow fast, that if the major parties took us seriously as a threat before we'd had some serious successes, they could write laws to suppress us. So I wasn't all that surprised when it did happen. Mad, but not surprised.

Under today's ballot access and campaign laws, and media culture, the Republicans could never have replaced the Whigs. The system is rigged to guarantee nobody can replace either major party. That's why they've both gotten so horrible. Because they can, and nobody can do anything about it.


 

It's amazing how 'Chicken Little' the Right in the US has become. Brett and Bart are nearly eschatological in discussing the nation they live in. It's hard to wrap one's head around it really, what has them in such an existential crisis? The debt is quite concerning, but it was higher coming out of WWII...Labor force participation rates are much higher than in Bart's Gilded Age (remember, one has to factor in women whose labor force participation in 1900, a time of many gender discriminatory laws and mores, was something like 15-17%)...Even if one is prone to be hysterical over immigration the percent of the population foreign born today is lower than it was in 1860 or 1900...

And then there's all the many pluses of living today. SCOTUS incorporation of the Bill of Rights means that more people assert rights against the government in more areas than ever before (including in areas Brett and Bart seem to find highly important, like affirmative action or gun control). Black people are no longer systematically enslaved or living under Jim Crow, gay people can come out of the closet without fear of being locked up in prison or asylums, women can enter into whatever work or study they wish. These are marked improvements.

One's tempted to ask of conservatives then, why the long face?
 

An answer to Mr. W's:

"One's tempted to ask of conservatives then, why the long face?"

To emulate the GOP Clown Car candidates.


 

Conservatives: :(

BB: :-P

Mr. W: ?

====

We had history lessons in today's Supreme Court opinions, covering Alaska and Native American affairs. The other case was a class action matter.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Mr. W: It's amazing how 'Chicken Little' the Right in the US has become. Brett and Bart are nearly eschatological in discussing the nation they live in. It's hard to wrap one's head around it really, what has them in such an existential crisis?

In a nutshell, here is why the totalitarian political economies employed by most developing countries are failing. (See my supra post why is call the hybrid of progressivism, socialism and fascism developed nations are using as totalitarian):

1) The labor forces are imploding.

a. Totalitarian welfare states are replacing the family as the primary source of economic security, children are changing from economic necessities to expensive luxuries, and the reproduction rate in all developed nations, including the US, has now fallen below maintenance levels. Every subsequent generation and their labor forces will be smaller than the one before.

b. Government regulation and minimum wage mandates are making the young and low skilled who cannot produce enough goods and services to justify paying the government mandates unemployable. Almost all developed countries have large endemic youth under and unemployment, reducing the labor force further.

c. The combination of a redistributionary tax system and a means tested welfare state effectively pays people to remain under and unemployed, punishes them for entering the middle class, and then punishes them again for being successful and entering the top 20% of earners.

2) Labor productivity growth is falling and cannot begin to make up for the lost workers.

a. Regulatory compliance costs between $1-2 TRILLION a year depending on who is doing the counting. This has reduced the number of new small businesses below the number of failed businesses for the first time in American history. Small business provide most of the innovation leading to productivity growth and most employment growth.

b. Our tax code is progressively punitive and punishes wealth creation.

c. Totalitarian governments are taking between 40% to 60% of GDP and that money is spent on the economically inefficient (like more expensive energy) to economically destructive things (like paying people not to work).

d. Labor productivity growth as measured by per capita real GDP growth has been falling in cycles since the 1920s until it is now barely above zero.

3) The combination of a falling number of workers with falling productivity growth and an ever expanding welfare state servicing an increasing number of government dependents has caused a fiscal implosion.

a. Totalitarian governments increase taxes to pay for their expanding welfare states, further reducing economic growth, until the remaining taxpayers revolt and elect governments promising not to raise taxes and/or actively evade tax payments.

b. When they can no longer raise taxes, totalitarian governments start paying the daily expenses of their welfare states with debt. This is like losing your job, going to work for McDonalds and deciding to RAISE your spending by living off of credit cards.

c. Sometime after the public debt reaches about one year's GDP, lenders stop buying the debt and the government goes into default. That has happened repeatedly in second and third world totalitarian nations over the past couple generations and is now hitting Europe. We will arrive at that point on the next couple decades.

I have reams of data to back up these statements of fact piled up around my office.

Our future looks like a cross between Greece and Zimbabwe (if/when we start printing money to make out debt payments as idiots like Paul Krugman are calling for).

Is it now becoming clearer???
 

SPAM I AM! seems to be taking a Trumpian tack in responding to Mr. W's Chicken Little charge, proving Mr. W's point. SPAN I AM! assures us:

"I have reams of data to back up these statements of fact piled up around my office."

SPAM I AM! doesn't know a fact from his elbow. He wouldn't have all that data in his "office" if his hopper wan't broken.

What, pray tell, would the Cruz Canadacy do about all this data that apparently is not new. But all of a sudden THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!" I think an intervention is in order. We can't rely upon libertarians to intervene; they would just shrug it off while lighting up their doobies.
 

Is it now becoming clearer???
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 8:57 PM


You're fucking nuts. That has been clear for a while.

These poll numbers are GREAT news for John McCain!!
 

b. Our tax code is progressively punitive and punishes wealth creation.

This is laughable nonsense.

These charts show average household income and changes in household income since 1979. The "wealth creators" are doing just fine.

http://www.motherjones.com/files/averagehouseholdincome.jpg
http://www.motherjones.com/files/changeinshare.jpg
 

Bart, your problem seems to be with industrialization, as nearly everything you flag can be found generally in industrialized nations. We've discussed your demographic points (something I know a little something about) and I challenged you to find a nation that has industrialized but which did not subsequently see it's fertility rates drop as you describe. It's notable that industrialized places that were feted as relatively libertarian paradises like Hong Kong have *lower* fertility than the US, so it's probably not all the 'progressive' policy you decry (in fact, I remember challenging you to point out a single country that was 1. industrialized and 2. did not have the basic 'progressive' features you lament and you not being able to name one, this suggests what you decry as 'progressivism' are effects of industrialization itself).
 

"That a "criminal" is somebody who has committed a crime irregardless of whether or not they've been convicted of it isn't a using words in a special way. Whether you've been convicted doesn't even enter into most dictionary definitions of "criminal"."

The problem with that definition Brett is that by it you, me and everyone else here is probably a criminal. As a libertarian surely you're familiar with works like "Three Felonies a Day" by Silvergate that detail how so many things are not officially criminalized that every person probably commits three felonies a day. In the face of such absurd overcriminalization it's silly to use your definition. I mean, think about what you're carrying on about: a person using a personal rather than official server to send emails. That's hardly what most people conjur when they think of a hardened criminal. So even if a law was technically broken* most people rightly see it as not a big deal, and it's a bit telling (I think of your partisanship) that a self professed libertarian would find it to be so.

* asterisk because I've read analysis that suggests that even if Clinton sent classified material in the way alleged she'd have to have done so knowingly and/or willfully (knowing she was sending classified material, something that often hasn't been officially determined at that time) for it to be criminal.

On another matter, I will say I strongly agree with Brett about ballot access for third parties and independent candidates. It's really something that stinks. I'd like to see some kind of Constitutional proposal for ending the differential requirements for the 'big two' and other parties (equal protection? Republican government guarantee clause? suggestions anyone?).
 

Also, let's remind Bart that his self styled progressive, Trump, once again bested his conservative crusader last night, gaining more delegates than Cruz by winning Arizona to his Utah (poor Cruz is almost out of Texas or Mormon states). Next up: Wisconsin, Colorado and...New York with a whopping 95 delegates (good luck there Rafael, hope you enjoyed your smart alek, divisive 'New York values' comment while it lasted!).
 

Mr. W's observations on SPAM I AM! might suggest that The Gilded Age came about by progressives, in that case the RRobber Barons, with their contributions to industrialization. But then in SPAM I AM!'s mind, this was frozen in time, America's best days, and SPAM I AM! would want a return to The Gilded Age. Alas, industrialization - and progress - evolve. But SPAM I AM! cannot accept this as he has reverted to this CHICKEN LITTLE role warning us of THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING! in a world, including America, of totalitarianism. Perhaps SPAM I AM! should be getting around to begatting. [Cue to BB.]
 

BREAKING NEWS!

JEB! endorses the Cruz Canadacy! George H. W. Bush has a relapse. Barbara says JEB! should have taken a cruise to Cuba. George W. Bush is clearly the smarter brother. [Let's not discuss Neil.] But it is not clear whether the Bush/Cheney neocons will Cruz along with JEB!

Query: Were JEB!'s fingers crossed?
 

Mr. W: Bart, your problem seems to be with industrialization, as nearly everything you flag can be found generally in industrialized nations.

The theory underlying the modern totalitarianism political economy began before the Industrial Revolution as a pushback against classical liberalism.

The implementation of totalitarianism coincided with the Industrial Revolution and was championed primarily by a new Credentialed Caste of university educated academics, professionals and bureaucrats; first in France and Germany, then expanding across Europe into the United States. The US experimented with the totalitarian political economy on and off from 1891 to 1920, but did not adopt it in earnest until the Great Depression, some decades after the nation industrialized.

We've discussed your demographic points (something I know a little something about) and I challenged you to find a nation that has industrialized but which did not subsequently see it's fertility rates drop as you describe.

The demographic collapse started several decades after the Industrial Revolution and appears to be the result of a combination of welfare states expanding above a certain level of GDP (most especially pay go public pension systems) and contraception allowing people to choose the size of their families.

Also, let's remind Bart that his self styled progressive, Trump, once again bested his conservative crusader last night, gaining more delegates than Cruz by winning Arizona to his Utah (poor Cruz is almost out of Texas or Mormon states). Next up: Wisconsin, Colorado and...New York with a whopping 95 delegates (good luck there Rafael, hope you enjoyed your smart alek, divisive 'New York values' comment while it lasted!).

Demagoging illegal immigration has special purchase in states like Arizona, whose southern border is a lawless battleground. Even there, Trump could not get a majority. However, so long as Kasich stays in, Trump can win with pluralities.
 

"The problem with that definition Brett is that by it you, me and everyone else here is probably a criminal."

That's not a problem with the definition. I AM a criminal. You are, too. It's what the word means. There are some big problems with what is illegal, but I have done plenty of things I knew were illegal. Some of them I'd have been ashamed not to do.

The problem is that Hillary is a serious criminal. As in, money laundering, refusing to comply with subpoenas, violating laws having to do with keeping national security secrets secure. Not as in making an illegal left turn when nobody was around, or conscientiously refusing to comply with an unjust law.

She's a habitual criminal, who's lived most of her life getting away with things other people go to prison for, because he had the protection of people in a position to see to it that the legal system would not work in her case.

"asterisk because I've read analysis that suggests that even if Clinton sent classified material in the way alleged she'd have to have done so knowingly and/or willfully"

They've got at least one email in which she directs a subordinate to take a classified document, strip off the headings, and transmit it to her over her unsecure email. Further, she had to undergo training to recognize classified information, and confirm her understanding that she had to treat it as classified even if it didn't have the label on it.

So, that's a pretty flimsy excuse for what she was doing.
 

One thing that stood out for me -- maybe early voting helped here -- Rubio received more votes in Arizona than Kasich. Trump had high numbers (almost 50%) in more populous Arizona. He had very low numbers in Utah, but Cruz was still helped by the rules there to deny Kasich/Cruz anything. RealClearPolitics even tells me Cruz and Trump so far received a vote each in apparently Mormon rich American Samoa.

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/what-does-early-vote-say-about-who-will-do-well-n543641

===

The selective concern for voting rights of some is a bit hard to take, but third party ballot access has generally relied on 1A argument. I think that works, including voting as a type of petition. It also protects rights of association and speech. The general republican form of government argument has theoretical merit. Also, the right to vote has been recognized as a liberty and like marriage, this should be an ability to do as you choose there, not an artificial limit. This could raise an equal protection argument as well. The bias toward established parties in power would justify greater skepticism by the courts.
 

Like calling a person a "liar," it seems accepted that a bare technical meeting of the term "criminal" (putting aside that a conviction often is deemed required before for the label to be applied) is not being used. If it was, basically each candidate would be disqualified, since each probably broke the law in some sense. Mr. W. can debate with Brett, if he wishes, the relative serious nature of Clinton's deeds here.

Still, it would help if there was some clear evidence that over time terms were being applied evenhandedly. I among others was here during the Bush years. The Bush Administration broke various laws, including of the sort a libertarian sort should find appalling to violate, blocked oversight including by challenging subpoenas (to run out the clock) etc. But, with all due respect, Brett wasn't strongly upset about the whole thing from what a reader might tell. I'll grant that now and then maybe he showed his distaste and maybe even accepted in theory Bush should be impeached or something. Still, the level of passion simply wasn't there. The sort of passion used against Democrats and liberals.

The same applies to the double standard, in my view, applied to Trump here. He doesn't have service in government. I note in passing that many accept Clinton "did something" there, even if they might oppose her ideology or think her time was flawed. Republicans as well as Democrats praised her for her service as senator and her ability as SOS. But, I put this aside.

So, judge him on what he did do. First, he wasn't a self-made man. Clinton was noted to work off connections. She needed a bit more than being someone's daughter, putting aside that family connections was a way to advance in public life since our Founding (but appeals to that yet again is selective). Anyway, both had help there. Clinton as noted did various things once taking advantage. Trump did too, but he is being judged by a looser standard.

Ditto his failures. He failed repeatedly. Oh well. Such is business. What about the issue of wrongdoing? Let's note actual court judgments need not be shown. Anyways, there is clear evidence of repeated wrongdoing in his business dealings, including NY currently investigating him for fraud. Serious things involving breaking laws. IOW, he is a criminal and not in a petty fashion. But, again, oh well. C'est la vie.

Independent judgment isn't even necessary -- he has good people to write position papers for him, right? And, Brett figures he could delegate. But, given Trump's m.o. that is really naive. If CLINTON was involved here, would he give her such a benefit of the doubt clashing with her lifetime experience. Think not. Likewise, Trump basically is a con artist. Brett finds those who b.s. voters distasteful. But, when TRUMP does it, he is almost gleeful about how he is gaming the media and voters.

Double standard. Now, "Brett" can be replaced by various other Trump voters or Trump-curious types (if Cruz loses the nomination, there is no real evidence Brett wouldn't vote for Trump given his comments here). And, of course, we can show how some non-conservatives have double standards too. But, only one side is here accepting that both sides are imperfect. The other calls one side bank robbers.

(Some call one side "racists" or other mean words; they at times go overboard, but when it comes to Trump at least, I don't think they do that much.)
 

The Cruz Canadacy looks like an effort at a Bush/Cheney third term. SPAM I AM! loved Bush/Cheney's 8 years in lockstep except that he abandoned ship like the proverbial ___ with the flow of the 2007/8 Bush/Cheney Great Recession. But that loving lockstep is on record in the archives of this Blog. Republicans have referenced Hillary's efforts as Obama's third term. Compare Obama's two terms with the Bush/Cheney two terms that started with a surplus left by Hillary's Bill and with generous tax cuts for the wealthy and 2 unpaid wars that messed up the Middle East perhaps for decades and ended with the aforementioned Great Recession, a giant hole left by Bush/Cheney for Obama. So what might a Cruz Canadacy third Bush/Cheney term look like, what with additional support from Karl Rove's Club for Growth? Maybe a government shutdown in the manner of a Senator Cruz would be in order.
 

Bart, I don't think your answer was much responsive-as I've said, if 'progressivism' rather than industrialization caused the effects you point to then we wouldn't see, as we do, those same effects in nations that are by all accounts less 'progressive' but equally industrialized.

joe
Yes, the first amendment seems most relevant, I should have thought of that myself! Thanks.
 

Well, Joe, I suppose it's progress of a sort that you've admitted she's a criminal, even if it's only in the context of making money laundering and an illegal left turn out to be equivalent offenses.
 

Brettt has made admissions in comments at various blogs on certain events that may make him a criminal (although statutes of limitations may have run out). I don't know if Brett engages in social media, but if so, that might also be a place for admissions of criminality by Brett. Now when was it that Brett made that illegal right turn to his current profile? Was it while pulling radishes?
 

I'm not sure what the statute of limitations is on moving violations, but I'm pretty sure it predated traffic cameras, so I'm good.

As for the rest, I won't ask you to confess your felonies online, and I won't confess mine.
 

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