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trump is Building the Most Visible Symbol of a Failed State
Posted:Sep 28, 2020 12:24 pm
Last Updated:Sep 29, 2020 4:37 pm
261 Views
Jonathan V. Last of the Bulwark has laid out a nightmare scenario regarding the Supreme Court: If President Donald J. trump appoints a conservative justice, that justice gets confirmed, and then in a few months that justice is asked rule the election of Donald J. trump remain the president: huge nightmare. Saturday, trump is expected nominate conservative 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett fill the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat the high bench. The rest of the nightmare coming true is not implausible.

Last joined The Gist Thursday (before Barrett was reported as trump’s pick) discuss the -too-possible bleak future he lays out in his piece and what may or may not be done to prevent it. A portion of our interview is transcribed below; it has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

Mike Pesca: When you wrote this piece about the legitimacy of the Supreme Court just a couple of days ago, it was premised on ways that mostly Republicans—either in the Federalist Society or in the Senate—can thwart what now seems clear to be an eventuality: a Republican Senate taking up a potential justice nominated by Donald J. trump. Is it too late to avoid this nightmare scenario?

Jonathan V. Last: It’s never too late until it happens. So I wrote that piece just a couple hours after the word broke that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed on. And it was not clear that [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell would have the votes then. And it was not if you remember for the first hour or so, it wasn’t even really clear that Republicans would do this. It wasn’t clear that they would push ahead.

Once it was signaled that they would push ahead, it wasn’t clear that maybe they wouldn’t just announce a nominee, but then [just] say this is who the nominee is, and we’ll let the voters decide. And by Tuesday morning this week I believe McConnell claimed to have had the votes for it. We heard that Martha McSally and Cory Gardner were going to be two fists in on this; Mitt Romney was going to be in. [Lisa] Murkowski and [Susan] Collins were going to be against, to try to protect [Collins’] Maine seat.

If you wanted to try hard to be optimistic about it, the only thing you could say is, “Well, this would be better than doing it in a lame duck session after they lose the Senate and the White House.” That would have been worse. But that’s as close as you get to optimism. It’s really bad. It’s bad for everybody. It’s going to be bad for whoever the nominee is. It’s going to be bad for the institution of the Supreme Court. It’s going to be bad for everyone in America who wants a system of government that is capable of functioning in a reasonably competent and coherent way over the long term.

So I’ll relay to my listeners the key sentence in your piece: “If trump and Republicans replace Ginsburg, it will destroy the remaining public legitimacy of the Supreme Court.” Full stop. I wonder if this is true in an election case, in the case of Donald J. trump v. Joe Biden, or Donald J. trump v. the United States, or Donald J. trump v. Florida. But will the court be destroyed if the court isn’t asked to rule on the election of trump?

I think so. Yeah. I mean, there is “more destroyed” and “less destroyed,” right? It’s a sliding scale. This morning the piece is out in the Atlantic where Barton Gellman has spoken to some legal advisers connected to the trump campaign, one of which tells him the following. This is a quote: “The state legislatures will say, ‘All right, we’ve been given this constitutional power. We don’t think the results of our own state are accurate. So here’s our slate of electors that we think properly reflect the results of our state.’ ”

What he’s talking about is sending a different slate of electors to the Electoral College in battleground states where Republicans control the state legislature. If we wind up in a Bush v. Gore, but instead a trump v. Biden–type situation, [that] is the most likely scenario for the Supreme Court having to rule on it.

If that’s where we are, then we’re already a failed state. I mean, if you get to the point where the president of the United States is telling state legislatures controlled by his party to send competing sets of electors to the Electoral College, and you have two groups of people showing up demanding that they’re the real people representing Wisconsin, or the real people representing Florida, this is not what happens in stable democracies. It simply isn’t.

If it doesn’t come to that—if Joe Biden appears to win by so much on Election Day, maybe this won’t even be a available them. If they think they have the votes in the legislatures of Michigan and Pennsylvania, but turn out not , maybe this won’t happen. If it’s close enough for the trump administration or a trump campaign pursue suits, but the lower courts smack them down regularly and don’t agree with them, maybe we avoid that, too, right? Maybe we avoid the court having to rule on this. In that case, what does that say about the legitimacy of the court or if we are living in a failed state?

Yeah, well, in that case, we’re not at failed-state levels. We’re merely at a level where the Supreme Court is going to come to be regarded just like every other branch of government. Which compared with the failed state thing sounds pretty attractive. You’d say, “Wow, it could be worse.” But it’s not attractive. It’s not attractive at .

We’ve done this weird thing over the years where we have really altered the balance of power constitutionally. We’ve expanded the power of the executive branch, we’ve expanded the power of the judicial branch, and [we’ve] shrunk the power of the legislative branch. Which is probably pretty bad for us long term. But even as that’s happened, the judicial branch has still been regarded pretty widely as being legitimate. People look at it and they say, “OK, I may not like this ruling. I may think that I would like this ruling be changed at some point, but at least I’m going respect that this ruling is the law of the land.” And it has been arrived at by a legitimate manner.

“If there is a 5 percent chance that America could wind like Hungary, that’s a big f–––ing deal.” — Jonathan V. Last

And what Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans have done here is really just break that. I don’t think there’s any other way say that. And be very clear if they had voted Merrick Garland and then decided vote this nominee now, I think that would basically be fine. If they had taken the tack they took Garland and not held a vote and then not held a vote now, that would have been fine. You can make constitutional arguments for one of those eventualities over the other as being preferable, but so long as there some basic consistency, you could say, “OK, this might be suboptimal, but it’s not the end of the world.” Doing this with a swing seat [though], the only remedy winds being a wholesale reform of the court. And reforming the court just because we live in the worst of possible timelines is likely take the form of attempted reforms, which will continue escalate the problem.

And this is why the idea of expanding the court by another, what, justices or justices—however many more justices you want put —I think winds continuing down the very dangerous road that we’re on. And the much better way would be find a mechanism which would allow us de-emphasize the importance of the court, make it less of a flashpoint and make it so that we don’t have have total war every time there’s a Supreme Court nomination.

And the obvious answer for that, I think, is to regularize the terms—so the Supreme Court terms are 18 years. You have a regular schedule; this way even a two-term president doesn’t get to have a majority of appointees on the court at any one time. But I’ve given up on hoping that anything good can ever happen in the world we live in.

Well that’s good; that at least protects yourself.

When we talk about the legitimacy of the court, Gallup last did polling in 2019. So what they ask is “how much trust and confidence do you have in”—and they go through the different branches. So the executive branch in 2019 polled at cumulative 55 percent expressing not much or no confidence at all in the executive branch. The legislative branch, 61 percent no confidence at all or not much confidence in the legislative branch, deservedly I would say. The judicial branch was at only 31 percent no confidence. They were at 69 percent having a great deal of confidence or a fair amount of confidence.
So if it becomes seen as illegitim what does that really mean? Does that mean that the judicial branch numbers become the legislative branch numbers? Does that mean something other than the perception of the average American? Or does that mean, even if people don’t have confidence, as in the president and the legislature, both those branches still have the means execute their policy.

But the courts and the Supreme Court are fairly dependent, not just the perception of legitimacy, but on the perception of the other two branches of their legitimacy. Otherwise we get into the situation where it’s, “Mr. Taney has made his ruling; now let us see him enforce it.”

Yeah. I think that’s right. And we’ve already seen this with the legislative branch. Look at the way the trump administration has just simply refused to comply with directives from the legislature, right? Refusing to send witnesses and then saying, “well how are you going to do that? You’re going to have the sergeant of arms go and rouse people off the street and bring them in testify?”

Why wouldn’t you wind at a point where the Supreme Court could make a ruling, and the chief executive who happens also be the commander in chief could then say, “No, we’re not going do that.” Would you put that past Donald trump? I sure wouldn’t. And legitimacy is one of these things that sounds like just this gauzy, gooey abstraction, and you don’t really understand how important it is until it’s gone, because it’s the foundation of everything. It is the consent of the governed.

And once it goes away, you can’t put it back together again. I talk about us as a failed st and we’re not yet. It’s important say that this is—I’m catastrophizing a little bit only because I’m looking down the road say that you can see how this happens. And even if you don’t think it’s likely happen, you look at it and you say, “Look, we are unlikely wind like Hungary.” [But] if there is a 5 percent chance that America could wind like Hungary, that’s a big fucking deal.

Yeah.

This is a state of affairs that we have not had in America in 0 years. go from a 0 percent chance a 2 percent or a 5 percent chance should scare the living crap out of everybody.
7 Comments
Frustrated with your efforts to get 'laid'? ...trump ladies are your salvation
Posted:Sep 8, 2020 12:14 pm
Last Updated:Sep 26, 2020 1:33 pm
2895 Views
Gentlemen are you frustrated with your efforts getting laid? (common parlance intended)
Your salvation lies with ladies that support trump.
Simply impersonate being a trump supporter. (the gain will outweigh your pain)
How does this work so easily and how do I execute it, you ask?:
1) as trump ladies are subservient, they will easily bend towards your will
2) best pickings are at counter-protests currently
3) these events get their pheromones flowing
4) your best Friend Finder game will actually be enough for your triumph in this quest
5) bring your best rage and with no doubt you will lure one into your cage
Enjoy and you are welcome
Cavet: the trump supporters have a leg up on you, so if need be study some lexicon
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29 Comments
trump on the Losers and Suckers
Posted:Sep 6, 2020 11:05 am
Last Updated:Sep 11, 2020 10:20 am
3484 Views

There is no question that saying such is within his wheelhouse

Amazingly the losers and suckers, would loose and suck again for the trump be able utter such
First Amendment Freedom?
Shit Hole trump?
Hater in Chief
29 Comments , 47 votes
trump Takes Cookies Away From All US Citizens
Posted:Sep 2, 2020 8:59 am
Last Updated:Sep 3, 2020 6:26 am
2839 Views
A tradition for almost three decades, the Family Circle magazine first lady cookie contest is no more.

Family Circle, a publication founded in 1932 and dedicated the domestic arts, went out of business late last year, ending one of the more famous election-cycle competitions for hopeful first spouses. Since 1992, first lady cookie recipes from incumbent and potential presidential spouses have been pitted against one another, tasted, and voted on by Family Circle readers. Though a playful polling indicator, the competition has successfully predicted the presidential winner in five out of the last seven election cycles.

The most recent first spouse cookie contest, in 2016, was not accurate. Melania trump's recipe for star-shaped cookies -- featuring the controversial ingredient of sour cream -- was bested by Bill Clinton's "Clinton Family Chocolate Chip Cookies." (The addition of Bill Clinton to the "first lady" mix forced the -change of the contest the "Presidential Cookie Poll.")

The 2016 challenge was held by Family Circle on its page, where the Clinton recipe received 1,623 likes and hearts, while trump's cookie received 535, according to a statement at the time from the magazine shortly after the recipes posted. The Clinton cookie stayed ahead of Melania trump's cookie, leading by about a 3:1 ratio, during the entirety of the six-week voting period.

The Washington Post was first to report the end of the competition.

In 2012, Michelle Obama's recipe for chocolate and white chocolate chip cookies beat Ann Romney's M&M cookies, but Obama's previous recipe in 2008 for a shortbread cookie lost to Cindy McCain's butterscotch oatmeal treats.

It could perhaps be stated it was more than past time for the cookie competition to burn out. Most first spouses have come into the role of first lady with impressive career credentials, and soliciting baking tips feels antiquated, if not downright out of touch. However, the irony of the origin of the competition, which began in earnest in 1992, came out of a comment from Hillary Clinton, was defending her work as a lawyer. "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided do was fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life," said Clinton, a quippy statement that would have a ripple-effect across the country, pitting stay-at-home spouses against those work.

Later that fall, on the cusp of the election, Clinton's sweet revenge was her cookies beating those of Barbara Bush, in a chocolate chip versus chocolate chip face-off.
No word on which cookie recipe Jill Biden would have submitted had the contest still been in the works. Biden told Parade magazine in February she wasn't much into sweets anyway, adding, "I love French fries!"
4 Comments
trump's speech fact checked for bullshit
Posted:Aug 28, 2020 9:00 am
Last Updated:Sep 4, 2020 6:22 pm
3174 Views
trump’s RNC speech averaged a false or misleading claim every 3 minutes

“trump said Joe Biden is ‘talking about taking down the border wall.’ Biden has specifically, explicitly rejected that idea. He just said he’ll stop further additional construction.”

“trump claimed, as always, that he is the one who passed the veterans’ choice law. Barack Obama signed that into law in 20. trump signed a 2018 law modify it.”

“trump said, ‘I have done more for the African American community than any president since Abraham Lincoln.’ That is ludicrous. Lyndon Johnson, for one, signed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.”

“trump again touted a ‘record 9 million job gain over the past months.’ He didn’t mention, as usual, that that gain follows a record 22 million job loss over the previous months.”

“He said he’ll ‘continue lower drug prices.’ They’ve increased during his presidency.”

“He said they opened a Jerusalem embassy for less than $500,000. Early documents show it was at least $21 million.”

“He claimed NATO member spending has increased for the first time in about 20 . Spending, in fact, rose in 2015 and in 2016, before he took office.”

“He said he will always and Republicans will always strongly protect people with preexisting conditions. That pledge has already been broken. He and they have repeatedly tried to weaken those protections in Obamacare.”

“He claimed again that he banned travel from China and Europe. No, he imposed partial restrictions with many exemptions. Tens of thousands of people continued traveling over.”

“He boasted about the Covid testing system and about his general response. Look, experts nearly universally say the US was fatally slow in its response, especially slow in setting up adequate testing.”

“He said he ended what he called ‘a NAFTA nightmare’ and he signed a brand new US-Mexico-Canada agreement — the USMCA. That agreement preserves, maintains most of NAFTA.”

“He boasted about building about 300 miles of border wall. What he didn’t say is that most of that is replacement barrier. As of August 7, according to official data, just 5 miles had been built where none existed before.”

“He suggested Joe Biden would confiscate guns. That’s baseless. Biden is running on a non-mandatory buyback of so-called assault weapons.”

“He said Democrats want to defund the police. Biden, again, doesn’t, has rejected that.”

“He said he has ‘very good information’ that China wants Biden to win because Biden is soft on China or cheerleads for China. The US intelligence community says China wants Biden to win because it sees trump as unpredictable.”

“He said Biden vowed to close down charter schools. Biden’s plan is skeptical on charters, but not would abolish them entirely.”

“He denounced Biden for voting for the Iraq War. Biden did indeed vote for the Iraq War. But what trump doesn’t mention is that he also supported that invasion.”

“He said Democrats twice removed the word ‘God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance at their convention. individual caucus meetings outside the main primetime programming did leave it out, but it was uttered in every primetime event.”

“trump denounced so-called cancel culture as an insidious, left-wing thing. He, trump, has tried get dozens of people and entities canceled, fired, boycotted, including literally last week Goodyear.”

“He said he imposed an order give in prison rioters. That’s a maximum discretionary sentence up judges in existing laws. His order just asked the government fully enforce.”

“He said Biden’s plan would eliminate America’s borders. No. Just no. It’s wrong.”
14 Comments
Kenosha police chief says deadly shooting wouldn't have happened if people weren't out after curfew
Posted:Aug 27, 2020 9:43 am
Last Updated:Aug 28, 2020 11:04 pm
3195 Views
The Rittenhouse family has be a most interesting clan

The silicon chip inside his head
Gets switched overload
And nobody's gonna continue protest today
He's going to make them stay at home
And doesn't understand it
He always said he was as good as gold
And he can see no reason
'Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need be sure

He wants with his toys a while
And school's out early and soon we'll be learning
And the lesson today is how to dle
And then the bullhorn crackles
With the problems and the how's and why's
And he can see no reasons
'Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need
I want to shoot
The whole day down
Down, down
Shoot it all down
4 Comments
Bannon and Brian Kolfage et al of We Build the Wall fame cannot be pardoned by trump
Posted:Aug 20, 2020 2:38 pm
Last Updated:Sep 6, 2020 11:06 pm
3672 Views
New York federal prosecutors charged trump's former adviser Steve Bannon, Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea with defrauding donors of hundreds of thousands of dollars as part of a fundraising campaign purportedly aimed at supporting trump's border wall.

Bannon and Brian Kolfage et al of We Build the Wall fame cannot be pardoned by trump (as trump will no longer be on the payroll).

Hopefully public service is their restitution and we dont waste our tax dollars by sending them 'away'. I think cleaning National Park restrooms We Clean Toilets for 10 years everyday would befit them all nicely.
9 Comments
will we see the formation of the Dead trumps ?
Posted:Aug 16, 2020 9:27 am
Last Updated:Aug 16, 2020 3:17 pm
3891 Views
The Dead Kennedys did an awesome job and remain relevant at present

Is there a new band forming by the name of the Dead trumps?
5 Comments
Natural Selection has begun its scrub at Sturgis
Posted:Aug 7, 2020 8:05 am
Last Updated:Sep 9, 2020 6:50 am
4400 Views
Did they mail in their trump ballots pre Sturgis?
And if so are those ballots valid when you have gone tits up before election day?

Positive note:
Looking for deal on a terrible scooter?
Wait till the fall, used Harleys will flood the marketplace.
My calculations show an extra 24,763 to become available.
10 Comments
trumps Swan Song ...Some of the Craziest Bits
Posted:Aug 5, 2020 12:27 pm
Last Updated:Aug 6, 2020 6:41 pm
4579 Views
As if his pandemic press briefings haven’t been bonkers (and dangerous) enough, president trump made the full extent of his ineptitude known in a stunning new Axios on HBO interview with national political correspondent Jonathan Swan. The interview is an outrageous, confusing, delusional, and enraging half-hour journey as Swan relentlessly presses trump on the nationwide COVID-19 death toll (which he dismisses), Black Lives Matter (which he also dismisses), delaying the election (he doesn’t quite rule it out), and his well wishes for Ghislaine Maxwell (he stands by his earlier statement).

Swan somehow displays a highly commendable level of resolve as trump spews misinformation at every turn (Swan’s facial expressions throughout the interview became a trending topic on Twitter); many viewers won’t stay as calm. There was a wealth to choose from, but here are the seven craziest things president trump said in the train-wreck Axios interview everyone is talking about.

When trump implied that China intentionally spread COVID-19 to the U.S.

To the world, it may be a public-health emergency, but for trump, the COVID-19 pandemic is a bitchy power move from China to punish the U.S. for its economic success. “This was sent to us by China and we’re never going to forget it, believe me, we’re never going to forget it,” trump said. “We were beating China at every single point. We were beating them on trade. We were making progress like nobody’s ever made progress. Before the pandemic they had the worst year that they’ve had in 67 years.… Then, all of a sudden, the game changed...and I closed the greatest economy ever in history.” To be clear, an estimated 692,000 people worldwide are dead from coronavirus, but trump is still focusing on his personal feud with China.

When he coldly downplayed the COVID-19 death toll.

trump repeatedly attempted to downplay the nationwide surge, and the fact that the curve we were supposed to flatten is only spiking. This resulted in a staggeringly insensitive line. “One thousands Americans are dying a day. They are dying, it’s true. It is what it is,” trump told Swan. “That doesn’t mean that it’s under control as much as we can control it.” Evidently, tweeting medical conspiracies about not wearing masks and holding packed rallies now counts as trying his best.

The president even went so far as to produce his own charts, claiming the U.S. death rate from coronavirus was among the lowest in the world. The only problem, as Swan pointed out: trump’s charts showed deaths by case number, rather than deaths by population. trump’s retort? “You can’t do that.” Better, of course, to ignore the rising death and hospitalization rate in favor of figures that suit him.

When trump floated the insane idea of “too much” testing.

Asked by Swan when he can commit to providing Americans with widely accessible same-day testing, trump scoffed: “There are those that say, ‘You can test too much,’ you know that?” When Swan immediately replied, “Who says that?” trump shot back: “Read the manuals, read the books.” Unsurprisingly, he was unable to provide any specific book titles that discourage as much testing as possible in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

When he stood by holding a crowded, mask-free Tulsa rally.

Swan confronted trump about the danger and recklessness of holding a crowded event, but got a classic egotistical trump reply: bragging about his crowd size and TV ratings. “We had a tremendous crowd, it was like an armed camp,” he boasted. “We had the highest rating in the history of Fox television.” At this, Swan delivered one of his best lines of the interview: “I’m not criticizing your ability to draw a crowd. Are you kidding? I’ve covered you for five years,” he said. “You draw massive crowds. You get huge ratings. I’m asking about the public health.”

When trump made John Lewis’s death all about himself.

Here’s a telling glimpse into trump’s megalomania. In his mind, John Lewis is not a civil rights hero, but a guy who declined to attend his inauguration. “I don’t know John Lewis. He chose not to come to my inauguration,” the president said. “He didn’t come to my inauguration, he didn’t come to my State of the Union addresses, and that’s okay, that’s his right.” As he has done before, trump later congratulated himself for doing “more for the Black community than anybody, with the possible exemption of Abraham Lincoln.” Swan then asked how that could be, considering the legislative record of LBJ. “You believe you did more than Lyndon Johnson, who passed the Civil Rights Act?” Swan asked. “I think I did, yeah,” trump answered. (Cue another of Swan’s incredulous facial expressions.)

When he again began casting doubt on the 2020 election results.

In light of his recent, chilling tweet suggesting delaying the election, trump went off about voting by mail. “We have a new phenomenon. It’s called mail-in voting,” he said. (Praise Swan for replying: “New? It’s been here since the Civil War.”) trump proceeded to claim mail-in voting is rife with fraud (“Somebody got a ballot for a dog”), arguing that millions of ballots are being sent out (in fact, Swan corrected, those are applications). “You could have a case when this election could not be decided on the evening of November 3. You could have a case when this election is decided two months later,” trump said. “Because lots of things will happen during that period...especially when you have tight margins.”

When he wished Ghislaine Maxwell well. Again.

trump doubled down on his kind wishes for alleged sex trafficker Maxwell. “Her friend or boyfriend was either killed or committed suicide in jail. She’s now in jail,” the president said. “Yeah, I wish her well, I’d wish you well, I’d wish a lot of people well. Good luck, let them prove somebody was guilty.”

15 Comments
trump fails to blow Ossoffs hose ...opps nose
Posted:Jul 28, 2020 10:53 am
Last Updated:Jul 30, 2020 6:36 pm
5043 Views
From Ossoff

Sitting U.S. Senator David Perdue's digital attack ad distorted my face to enlarge and extend my nose.

I'm Jewish.

This is the oldest, most obvious, least original anti-Semitic trope in history.

Senator, literally no one believes your excuses.
3 Comments
trump supporters confused about apparently everything
Posted:Jul 26, 2020 6:55 pm
Last Updated:Aug 15, 2020 3:19 pm
5298 Views
trump supporters, confused about apparently everything, don swastika face masks at Minnesota Walmart . note: the use of 'don' was intentional
6 Comments
Godspeed John Robert Lewis - The Boy from Troy
Posted:Jul 18, 2020 6:22 pm
Last Updated:Jul 21, 2020 6:57 am
5991 Views
We want our freedom and we want it now

Thank you
6 Comments

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