Above The Law

On May 1, 1977 David Frost had the interview of his career. This was three years after Nixon resigned. Nixon was working on his memoirs and his publicist believed that these interviews would boost his popularity. Frost was able to get Nixon to admit that he DID cover up the Watergate burglary but that it wasn’t obstruction of justice because, in Nixon’s opinion, the President can’t do anything illegal.

Trump’s lawyer just floated the same defense for Trump.

This argument was first proposed by Alan Dershowitz this summer after the Comey firing. That argument has been dismissed by many legal scholars since including the Brookings Institute. In their document entitled “Presidential Obstruction of Justice: The Case of Donald J. Trump” they make the case that even if Trump had this authority (which is highly suspect) he cannot exercise it for corrupt purposes. Stopping an investigation into crimes committed by those in the White House is corrupt.

The problem is that Trump’s claim isn’t just for past actions. His attorney was asserting his ability to intervene in “any case” that may come up in the future. If the Mueller investigation is able to turn up credible evidence linking Trump to the crimes of others, Trump is asserting his right to “express his view” by firing everyone associated with the investigation.

Dowd is basically arguing that as the chief law enforcement officer, Trump has the authority to block investigations into himself, his allies and into his friends, and nothing he does can be construed as obstruction of justice,” Matthew Miller, a former Justice Department spokesman, told me this morning. “The logical extension of all this is that Trump can try to remove Mueller and it would be entirely legitimate.

But this ultimately won’t be a legal issue. It is a political one. That’s why the authors of the constitution gave Congress broad authority to hold the executive and judicial branches accountable for actions that were damaging to the country, even if they weren’t illegal.

Which brings us to the current problem.

Trump feels as though he can largely act with impunity because no matter what he does Republican Party leaders stand with him.

Here’s a brief list of his actions over the past couple of weeks.

  • Disputed the validity of the Hollywood Access tapes – No Republican response
  • Distributed inflammatory European anti-Muslim videos – British respond. Mild Republican response
  • Calls Sen. Warren Pocahontas at a meeting with American Indians – no Republican response
  • Piled on the sexual assault claims of celebrities and Democrats while ignoring accusations against himself and other Republicans – no Republican response
  • Wrongly claimed that the tax plan doesn’t benefit him – no Republican response
  • Endorses Roy Moore – Republican leaders (including McConnell) back off of their previous condemnations

He may be right when he says, “Hey look, I’m President. I don’t care. I don’t care anymore.”

He understands that he has the Republican Party right where he wants them. They need the passage of a tax bill (any tax bill) to support their campaign in 2018. They are not going to abandon Trump and risk fracturing the party when they are on the cusp of winning. He’s how EJ Dionne characterized it.

Don’t count on Republican politicians abandoning Trump quickly now that their tax victory is in sight. They and the president have a lot more in common than either side wants to admit. The primary loyalty they share is not to God or country or republican virtue. It is to the private accumulation of money, and this is a bond not easily broken.

The reality is that sexual assault and pedophilia are now acceptable as long as you are a Republican.

You need no more evidence than the tax plan to understand that the Republican Party does not care about the white working class voters that put them in office. When questioned about the faulty math in that bill Chuck Grassley said, we’re not talking about math here, we’re talking about philosophy. That philosophy is that what is good for business and good for the wealthy is good for the country.

What is happening instead is that Trump is remaking the Republican Party in his own image. By their silence, they are allowing Trump to define what the party stands for.

The Moore election in Alabama is a perfect example. Trump’s argument is that voters should ignore the claims of pedophilia because it is more important to have a key Republican vote in the Senate. Moore’s own defense is that his pro-life position should be all voters care about. Senate Republicans have now said they will accept whatever choice Alabama voters make.

If this is true, is there anything that Trump (or Moore) could do to cause the Republican Party to turn against him?

At this point I doubt that even video supporting the Steele Dossier Russian orgy claims would damage Trump’s core support.

Would invading North Korea and putting US territory at risk of a nuclear attack be a problem?

How about bombing Iran in an effort to destroy their nuclear facilities?

Trump is obsessed with testing the limits of his support. That has been true in his personal life. Now it is being demonstrated in his political life. The difference is that it is now our constitution and the fabric of our democracy that he is testing rather than the fidelity of his spouse or the loyalty of his employees. The only thing we can be sure of, is that as long as he is in office, this will continue. He will systematically break every taboo and challenge every social and political norm in order to prove that he is the most powerful man in the world. History tells us that these people always fail eventually. He is in the process of taking the Republican Party down with him. It will be interesting to see what the final straw will be for the rest of the country.

68 Responses to “Above The Law”

  1. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Not sure what this Clinton clip is supposed to prove.

    Clinton was impeached by the House by a Republican House majority for lying under oath and obstructing justice.

    http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1998/12/19/impeachment.01/

    Clinton was acquitted of all charges in the Senate because the Republicans, although they were in the majority, did not have enough votes to meet the 2/3 requirement to impeach. After his acquittal, Clinton had the highest approval ratings of any modern President (73%). He left office with the highest approval ratings of any departing president since Truman (65%).

    His popularity is what kept him from being convicted. Most people felt that he was an effective President and his personal life was his own business.

    The difference is that Trump is HISTORICALLY unpopular with voters.

    But because of the 2010 tea party election and the gerrymandering which followed, there are still Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Even though more Democratic votes were cast in the last election than Republican votes AND in states like Michigan and Wisconsin, more democratic votes were cast in the state than Republican votes, but Republicans still control state government and have a majority representation in the House.

    The ONLY way that Trump will be impeached is if there is a Democratic majority in the House. It is possible that this will happen in 2018. It is HIGHLY unlikely that the Democrats will get a 2/3 majority in the Senate as a result of the 2018 vote.

    The real test is going to be 2018. If Trump candidates lose, then perhaps the party will feel that he is a handicap and will begin to distance themselves from him. But so far his support among voters has remained in the solid high 30’s. As a result, most Republican office holders and keeping their mouths shut. IMHO, they will ultimately pay the price for that.

  2. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, Nixon’s approval rating was 24% in the months before he resigned. The only one with a lower approval rating was Truman. His rating fell to 22% in February, 1954. That was because the Korean war was at a stalemate, inflation was headed up because of war spending, and Truman was slow to respond to a corruption scandal at the IRS. Bush II hit 25% in October, 2008 with a similar confluence of bad news with the failed Iraq war and the collapse of the economy.

    With this as a backdrop, I guess that one of the things that could get Trump in trouble is if his tax plan causes inflation to spike and ultimately drives the economy into a recession. Pile on top of that some ill conceived foreign adventure in Africa, Afghanistan, NK, or Iran and maybe that might do it. It doesn’t appear that any amount of domestic corruption is going to convince the minority who currently support Trump to change their minds.

  3. Keith says:

    YS)Don’t count on Republican politicians abandoning Trump quickly now that their tax victory is in sight. They and the president have a lot more in common than either side wants to admit. The primary loyalty they share is not to God or country or republican virtue. It is to the private accumulation of money, and this is a bond not easily broken.

    The reality is that sexual assault and pedophilia are now acceptable as long as you are a Republican.

    MR) the video … you are certainly disingenuous in your comments about republicans. The Dems full throated “victory celebration” on the video moments after being impeached was as vial to us as what’s happening today for you. It’s both parties sir and it did start today. Both parties would do exactly this.

  4. Keith says:

    It didn’t start today

  5. Jeff Beamsley says:

    MR) the video … you are certainly disingenuous in your comments about republicans. The Dems full throated “victory celebration” on the video moments after being impeached was as vial to us as what’s happening today for you. It’s both parties sir and it did start today. Both parties would do exactly this.

    This video was recorded after the Senate exonerated Clinton of all charges in the impeachment indictment passed by the House. In a political trial, his admitted lies failed to meet the standard of impeachment.

    There is equivalence in the sense that these are political matters and Clinton won his case because a large majority of voters felt that his impeachment was a political overreach by the majority Republican Party.

    Trump and his supporters also believe that the Mueller investigation is a political overreach. But the difference is that the Democrats are not in the majority. The reason Mueller got appointed is because of Trump’s actions and Session’s lies during his nomination process. They did this to themselves.

    The differences are profound.

    1. Clinton was getting high marks with regard to job performance even during this period of time. Trump’s job performance in the eyes of voters is the lowest ever registered for a President at this point in his term.

    2. Clinton lied about a consensual sexual encounter. Monica Lewinsky told others that her plan was to have a sexual encounter with the President. Clinton was investigated for many years and at great cost to the public on all other charges of sexual assault. No charges were ever brought forward. There are more than a dozen women who claim that Trump assaulted them. One of them is taking him to court for defamation. His only defense is that they were all lying. While Clinton initially said the same thing about Lewinsky, the issue was never sexual assault. There is a big difference between assault and consensual sex.

    3. If the court allows the case to move forward against him, Trump will have an opportunity to defend himself. If he is found innocent of this particular claim, he is welcome to give a similar speech. What will likely happen is that he will settle before there is any trial which will leave his guilt or innocence still in question.

    4. Trump will likely NOT get impeached for sexual assault. He will likely get impeached for obstruction of justice in his attempts to cover up his campaign’s involvement with the Russians. That impeachment will only happen if the Democrats regain control of the house. They have a chance to regain control of the house BECAUSE, in the eyes of voters, Trump is doing a bad job. He will likely not be found guilty in the Senate unless there is a clear case for treason because there aren’t enough Democratic votes. The big question is, if Mueller does come out with a recommendation to indict Trump, will he resign or go through the impeachment process?

  6. Jeff Beamsley says:

    It didn’t start today

    Not quite sure what this means.

    But here’s my take.

    This is not political bias.

    There is certainly political bias at work, but every President faces opposition. Obama faced fierce opposition, but there was never a credible case for impeachment even after Republicans gained control of the House.

    There IS a credible case for impeachment for Trump because he fired Comey during an active investigation and later said that firing was because Comey refused to stop the investigation.

    That is Trump’s fault. Democrats didn’t encourage him to fire Comey. Trump did it because he felt that he could get away with it.

    So no it didn’t start today. It started when the Trump campaign lied about their contacts with Russians and it became an impeachable offense when Trump fired Comey.

    We’ll see how far this goes when Mueller finishes his investigation. BTW, the fact that Mueller is getting financial information on Trump’s loans from Deutsche Bank may establish the link that Mueller was looking for to explain WHY Trump has been so friendly to Russia. If Deutsche Bank sold some of the loans they provided Trump to Russian interests, there would be a clear conflict of interest that Trump should have disclosed. But this is what thorough investigations are supposed to do. Follow every path and answer every question. BTW, this aspect of the investigation is also Trump’s fault. If he had released his tax returns as every president on modern history has done, we would already know what, if any, financial connections exist between Trump and Russia.

    Also just to tie a bow on this conversation, Trump is also responsible for the large investments that media are making into investigative journalism.

    Rather than work with the press, he made them the enemy.

    Their response is to defend themselves and prove their value to the country by investigating ALL of Trump’s claims.

    This is HIS fault. It was a CHOICE that he made. Now he and his supporters are going to have to live with the consequences. Those consequences will ultimately be profound.

  7. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW BTW, just a comment about the economy and the proposed tax rewrite. These quotes are from an article today in the NYT.

    Economists almost universally say Mr. Trump has had little to do with the rebound, which began long before he was elected and has not accelerated meaningfully since he took office. But with unemployment low and wages beginning to creep upward, voters may be more inclined to give credit.

    “It’s a really, really strong economy,” said Tom Gimbel, chief executive of LaSalle Network, a staffing firm in Chicago. “Companies really want to take advantage of the economy, so they want to hire and get while the getting’s good.”

    That strength could also pose challenges, particularly in light of the $1.5 trillion tax cut that Congress could pass as early as this month. Economists expect the tax bill to provide at least a modest lift to the economy — but they are not sure that’s a good idea.

    With unemployment so low and the economy fundamentally healthy, a tax cut could lead the economy to grow too quickly, pushing up inflation and forcing the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates faster than planned.

    “It’s a very poorly timed fiscal stimulus,” said Joseph Song, an economist at Bank of America. “It kind of raises the risk of a boom-bust cycle.”

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    It started as a trickle but soon became a raging torrent.

    John McCain voted no on the healthcare bill because of his concern about procedure.

    Flake, Corker, and Collins opposed the tax bill.

    Richard Shelby said he wasn’t going to vote for Roy Moore.

    Nicky Haley says that women who accuse anybody should be heard.

    Roy Moore loses Jeff Sessions seat to long shot Democrat Doug Jones AFTER Trump and Bannon go “all in” to support Moore.

    The Republicans now have only a two vote majority in the Senate and McCain has terminal brain cancer. Sounds a lot like the Senate when Ted Kennedy died.

    And there are reportedly still a number of sitting senators and representatives the might be vulnerable to sexual misconduct charges.

    In the meantime Mueller keeps stacking up the indictments and gathering information. The Deputy AG rejected any suggestions that the fired FBI agents represent any issue of bias in the Mueller investigation.

    Trump pals Roger Stone and Chris Ruddy both say that they expect Mueller to bring an indictment against Trump.

    Republicans may get their tax bill passed, but as the markets say, that good news is already factored into the price.

    In the meantime, Trump has started a twitter war with a female senator from NY. This is not a war he is going to win. He shut Tillerson down again regarding negotiations with NK and he threw a cherry bomb into the middle east for no good reason.

    His approval rating again hit a new low on RealClearPolitics (37.3).

    When is it going to get better for Trump?

    The Moore loss may encourage other House and Senate Republicans up for re-election next year to distance themselves from Trump. The fact that it only takes only two Republican senators to derail any future legislation in the Senate gives incredible power to folks like Flake, Corker, Collins, and McCain. Three of them are not going to run again and the fourth (Collins) is in a fairly safe moderate seat. While it is a long shot to expect that the Dems could regain the Senate in 2018, it is possible enough that those Republican Senators that ARE up for re-election may start to put some distance between themselves and Trump.

    We’ll see.

  9. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Another Republican Congressman, Blake Farenthold has announced that he doesn’t plan to run again in 2018 and that he will pay the government back for the $84K settlement agreement with an aide who claimed sexual harassment. That money was paid from a taxpayer funded oversight account. He is a former conservative radio talk show host who was elected in the 2010 Tea Party wave. He is most famous for challenging Susan Collins to duel because of her opposition to the Senate Obamacare Repeal bill. To his credit, he did apologize.

  10. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Now we hear that Paul Ryan is saying he is going to retire the speakership of the House after 2018. You can suggest that he is tired, or you can connect the dots and suggest that Ryan doesn’t want to be a minority speaker or in any way take any blame for Republicans losing the house in 2018. By saying he is not going to run for speaker again now, his resignation of that post if Dems regain control won’t be seen as caused by their defeat. If they win, he still has the option of reconsidering his earlier announcement. My fond hope is that he loses his seat in 2018 and the issue is moot.

  11. Keith says:

    The only question is will Trumps loses be as thouroughly complete as President Obamas? Do I need to recite the stats again?

    And if you still have questions about mainstream media bias merely reflection the tone of coverage following Roy Moore’s loss and President Trumps win.

  12. Keith says:

    And ………. Nikki Haley would be a fine president.

  13. Jeff Beamsley says:

    The only question is will Trumps loses be as thouroughly complete as President Obamas? Do I need to recite the stats again?

    The only stats that matter are majorities. 2010 gave the Republicans a majority in the House. Dems retained a majority in the Senate. The special election in Alabama AND the number of Republican Senators that are retiring could put the Senate in play too. It would be nice to get some state wins too in preparation for the 2020 census, but Dems will have two shots at that – 2018 and 2020.

    And if you still have questions about mainstream media bias merely reflection the tone of coverage following Roy Moore’s loss and President Trumps win.

    “Tone” is in the eye of the beholder. The facts are that Trump went “all in” supporting the election of a suspected pedophile. His argument was that a vote for Moore is a vote for the Trump agenda and a vote for the Trump agenda is more important than any concerns about Moore’s past. Since Trump carried Alabama with 62% of the vote, the expectation is that “his” voters would translate into Moore voters. That didn’t happen. There are two simple conclusions. Either Trump voters no longer support Trump and his agenda. Or Alabama voters cared MORE about the character of the man they were voting for than they did about Trump and his agenda. In either case, it was a loss for Trump and that’s what the media reported.

    Like the 2016 election, polls were all over the place regarding who was going to win this race. The Jones victory was unexpected because of Trump’s huge margin of victory in 2016. So the media reported that too.

    One of the other unusual facts is that Trump is the most unpopular first term president in history. Common wisdom is that this deep unpopularity will eventually start to show up at the ballot box. This is the first instance of the predicted Democratic win in a normally conservative state. So the media is also going to report that this could be the beginning of a major wave of democratic backlash at the ballot box to Trump’s election. The media reported the same thing in the run up to the 2010 elections and the emergence of the Tea Party. Scott Brown winning Ted Kennedy’s seat in January, 2010 was widely reported as the first example of a backlash to Obama’s election.

    Though the media hasn’t reported much on this last issue, I’ll post something on it in the near future. This was also one of the first elections where there was a demographic difference in Republican voters over 45 compared with voters under 45. I’ve been posting for a while that demographic shifts were going to damage the conservative base. This is the first election where it actually happened.

    Finally, IMHO the fact that 46% of the voters in Alabama were willing to elect a suspected pedophile is stark evidence of the damage that “Trumpism” has done to democracy and our shared values as a country. Pedophilia, racism, misogyny, adultery, authoritarianism, mendacity, and disrespect for military heroes have all been taboo in our society. Trump has embraced all of them and by proxy forced his supporters to do the same. I’ll post something about this too, but I am concerned that the Trump presidency has brought the country to a dangerous crossroads. The natural reaction of a society when its taboos are violated is to punish the offenders. If this doesn’t happen, society breaks down into warring tribes whose only allegiance is to their tribe. If the “punishment” does happen, often the pendulum swings too far in the other direction in the zeal to punish every sympathizer. I don’t think that there will be a civil war, but we are still dealing with the repercussions of that war 150 years later. A day of reckoning is certainly coming. Demagogues like Trump leave no other option. It is currently uncertain how things will resolve themselves. My hope is that it will be peaceful.

  14. Jeff Beamsley says:

    And ………. Nikki Haley would be a fine president.

    She is just one of a long line of Republicans who are distancing themselves from Trump in order to challenge him in 2020 (if he survives until then). Jeff Flake, John Kasich, and Ben Sasse are others. Ted Cruz will also be in the mix. Maybe even Paul Ryan if he decides to step down as speaker.

  15. Keith says:

    Jeff my good man.
    Again you miss the obvious point. I was referring to the gleeful cheer and abundant joy and over the top enthusiasm in which they did so. Wolf Blitzer was actually leading cheers. Surely you don’t miss this. Remember media bias isn’t anything more the the way the, even FACTUAL, news is presented.

    Do I vote for the pedifile, and hope he is never seated, or the person who supports the Slaughter of millions of babies? Democrats faced this same delimma with president Clinton.

  16. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Jeff my good man.
    Again you miss the obvious point. I was referring to the gleeful cheer and abundant joy and over the top enthusiasm in which they did so. Wolf Blitzer was actually leading cheers. Surely you don’t miss this. Remember media bias isn’t anything more the the way the, even FACTUAL, news is presented.

    Sorry, but there is NO WAY to measure the bias that you claim. The facts are the facts. That’s why I rarely watch broadcast news. The night of the election, I just followed the interactive NYT site. It was the first one to call the election.

    Do I vote for the pedifile, and hope he is never seated, or the person who supports the Slaughter of millions of babies? Democrats faced this same delimma with president Clinton.

    Abortion is legal and has been since 1971. Capital punishment is legal in some states. Gun deaths now exceed the number of people killed in auto accidents every year. War, famine, lack of clean water all kill hundreds of thousands of people across the world every year. Please tell me why abortion is the most important thing. Also please tell me how all of the conservative politicians that you have voted for since 1971 have materially changed the legal status of abortion.

    Many prominent evangelical leaders have abandoned single issue politics. They have instead refocused their efforts on the more sound biblical pursuits of reducing poverty, caring for the ill, helping the homeless, visiting the imprisoned, and comforting the widowed.

  17. Keith says:

    Many things are legal Jeff which I oppose, and so do you. Silly arguement.

    It’s nice you follow NYT’s post but the fact is their is a mainstream media and it does, or attempts, to influence the narrative. Because you choose not to participate doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It does and it’s really. So if you don’t watch then you can’t comment.

    The NYTimes also only shows you what it chooses. Another form of bias, even factual.

    Abortion is an issue. I am not a single issue voter guy but that one is big. Income inequality is big for you yet it’s “legal.”

    Guns – 2/3 of gun deaths are suicide. Deceptive number.

  18. Keith says:

    What we’re going to learn is “which sin is acceptable.” Today a women is forced out of the Kansas election.

  19. Keith says:

    And before you call Roy Moore a pedifile what was the age of marriage in Alabama in the early 70’s? What’s Legal? What law did he break? What proof do you have? Have you seen any interviews with older people in Alabama asking them what they thought of that? Many said “the mothers probably encouraged there daughter to be pursued by a fine man like Roy Moore.”

    I will say again. I AM NOT A ROY MOORE SUPPORTER!!!

  20. Jeff Beamsley says:

    It’s nice you follow NYT’s post but the fact is their is a mainstream media and it does, or attempts, to influence the narrative. Because you choose not to participate doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It does and it’s really. So if you don’t watch then you can’t comment.

    The NYTimes also only shows you what it chooses. Another form of bias, even factual.

    Read my lips – ALL BROADCAST MEDIA IS BIASED. That’s why I avoid it. It is biased because of their business model. They have to have an audience to sell to their advertisers. The only broadcast model that is somewhat immune from this inherent conflict of interest is PBS.

    The NYT and WashPost, among others, are committed to publish all the news that is fit to print. We’ve been through this before. So far you have failed to come up with examples of news stories that were ignored by the NYT or the WashPost. I realize that this is a conservative meme, but that doesn’t make it true. There is a lot of conspiracy theory and outright lies that show up on conservative media outlets (and some liberal sites as well). It is all click bait. Stuff that is invented in order to generate traffic based on the bias of the reader. The first thing that I do when I see or hear something like that is check to see if one of the credible news sites is covering it. If so, they always have a better more balanced story. If not, it ALWAYS turns out to be fiction. The other important distinction is that when reputable news sites DO get something wrong, they fix it. They print a retraction or issue an apology explaining how and why they made a mistake.

    Abortion is an issue. I am not a single issue voter guy but that one is big. Income inequality is big for you yet it’s “legal.”

    You have already said that you can excuse many of Trump’s shortcomings because he is going to appoint conservative judges who may at some point in the future reverse Row. What I’m trying to find out is what the limits are of the amount of “shortcomings” you or other conservatives are willing to accept. In particular, I’m also curious how long you will continue to vote for conservatives who promise to change the law regarding abortion, but fail to deliver. We’re going on 50 years.

    Guns – 2/3 of gun deaths are suicide. Deceptive number

    Yes, more guns mean more suicides.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/suicide-rates-maryland-rural-urban-firearms-guns-johns-hopkins-united-states-a7898951.html

    He pointed to previous research which found 71 per cent of people acted on suicidal thoughts within an hour of having them.

    “If there is no gun around, many people won’t have the means to follow through on those impulses, or would use a less lethal method with a much greater chance of survival,” Dr Nestadt said.

    “Suicide is an impulse and can only be carried out by firearm if there is a gun in the drawer. Any barrier you can put up can work.”

  21. Jeff Beamsley says:

    What we’re going to learn is “which sin is acceptable.” Today a women is forced out of the Kansas election.

    We are in a period of transition. Hopefully we will end up at a place of zero tolerance for any sexual harassment or assault which means that no sin is acceptable.

  22. Jeff Beamsley says:

    And before you call Roy Moore a pedifile what was the age of marriage in Alabama in the early 70’s? What’s Legal? What law did he break? What proof do you have? Have you seen any interviews with older people in Alabama asking them what they thought of that? Many said “the mothers probably encouraged there daughter to be pursued by a fine man like Roy Moore.”

    If you aren’t a Roy Moore supporter, please stop defending him using the tribal conservative responses.

    The age of marriage without parental consent in Alabama was 16 in 1970 unless she is pregnant. The issue was that Roy Moore was identified by police as someone who was a potential risk to teenage girls. This has nothing to do with age of marriage or the attitudes of parents at the time. I trust the women who have come forward. Why don’t you?

    IMHO when candidates are confronted with issues like these, they should withdraw from their race and clear their name before they again ask the public to trust them. That’s what happened in Kansas and it is what should have happened in Alabama.

    For those who are in office, there should be an investigative process which will quickly render some opinion regarding guilt or innocence. Until that process is complete, the representative should recuse themselves from any votes which might influence the process.

  23. Keith says:

    Q4 GDP 4%?????

    May Fed raises US fourth-quarter GDP growth view to near 4 percent.
    Reuters 12-15

    Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  24. Keith says:

    Jeff.
    I am neither defend MR Moore nor and I using a tribal conservative response. Rather, I asking you to get out of your comfort zone and consider another day and time. My response was based on my friends, there experinave and a very real way of life I came to understand while living in the south. I’m neither saying right or wrong but you have no idea what you are saying, writing by dismissing it as conservative tribal response. Sorry sir but it’s far different then that.

  25. Keith says:

    Thank you for agreeing the mainstream media is biased. That’s the first you’ve agreed to that. I also agree all broadcast media is biased.

    I will remain in my opinion your favored sources are also. It’s impossible to not be. The editorial page and choices of what it covered, what context, and where it’s place is also. Trumps tax cuts are not reported on, mostly in a positive light. The ACA was championed.

    Also how can the NYT, as an example, never endorse a republican for president. Because their belief doesn’t allow them to. If it’s your though that doesn’t influence in any way then…….

    The facts are the facts. The presentation of the facts are a far different thing.

    Hope you and your family are well. Merry Christmas Jeff.

  26. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Thank you for agreeing the mainstream media is biased. That’s the first you’ve agreed to that. I also agree all broadcast media is biased.

    I said the broadcast media is biased. I believe the ethical print media (NYT, WashPost, CSMonitor, etc.) are not biased. Also I believe that the term “mainstream media” has also become a term of bias used by the right wing media (who by the way are all bias).

    I will remain in my opinion your favored sources are also. It’s impossible to not be. The editorial page and choices of what it covered, what context, and where it’s place is also. Trumps tax cuts are not reported on, mostly in a positive light. The ACA was championed.

    I enjoy exchanging message with you, but I’m not sure I would call you a source. If I did, it would be a biased source. That’s because you misunderstand the concept of opinion. Every newspaper has an opinion. They earn the right to express that opinion by a couple of things. First, they clearly separate their opinion pieces from the news. That way those who are reading know when the paper is expressing an opinion versus simply reporting the news. Second, they report the news WITHOUT opinion. That doesn’t mean that they are committed to telling all sides, because some sides may be lying. But they do their best to state what they know to be true.

    Also how can the NYT, as an example, never endorse a republican for president. Because their belief doesn’t allow them to. If it’s your though that doesn’t influence in any way then…….

    Their endorsement IS opinion. That’s why it is usually the editorial on the opinion page rather than on the front page.

    The facts are the facts. The presentation of the facts are a far different thing.

    My challenge remains. Please point to any NYT news story that you feel misrepresents the facts and we can have a discussion. Until then the facts are that bias is just your opinion.

  27. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I am neither defend MR Moore nor and I using a tribal conservative response. Rather, I asking you to get out of your comfort zone and consider another day and time. My response was based on my friends, there experinave and a very real way of life I came to understand while living in the south. I’m neither saying right or wrong but you have no idea what you are saying, writing by dismissing it as conservative tribal response. Sorry sir but it’s far different then that.

    You ARE using the tribal conservative response. The issue is NOT whether pedophilia was ever an accepted practice in the south, nor was that Moore’s defense. Moore’s defense was that all of the women who were accusing him were liars. He has not provided any defense for the police records which indicate that the local police considered him a potential threat to young girls – nor have you. The only difference between now and then is that Alabama used to tolerate suspected pedophiles in office. Now they don’t.

    Passing off sexual assault as a rite of passage for young women in the south is just another myth created by those who believe that tribal loyalty is more important that morality or patriotism. That same tribal loyalty has sought to characterize the Civil War as righteous cause for those defending states rights. It wasn’t. It was fought over preserving or abolishing slavery. That same tribal loyalty supported the rise of the KKK and opposition to civil rights and integration. This wasn’t a righteous cause either. It was simple institutional racism.

    BTW, just to put the whole thing into context, you have been playing the role of the south with the issue of abortion. You lost the “war” in 1970, but you haven’t given up the fight. Your “tribe” has blown up clinics and killed physicians. They have elected conservative politicians who each promised a return to a time when your tribe was in power. They never delivered but you continue to vote for them anyway because they are part of your tribe. The South wraps themselves in their flag while preserving the institutional racism that consigns minorities to the slavery of generational poverty. You wrap yourself in the Bible while ignoring the plight of the poor, the stranger, the widowed, and the imprisoned.

    Please don’t lecture me about the South. I understand it and you better than you think.

  28. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Q4 GDP 4%?????

    May Fed raises US fourth-quarter GDP growth view to near 4 percent.
    Reuters 12-15

    Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Yup, the economy is doing great.

    Please tell me again why this is a good time to give this economy a massive stimulus in the form of a tax cut?

  29. Keith says:

    What do I tell my friends who were 15 years old when either they or their spouse married?

    Make a law that says 1 + 1 = 3 and I’ll continue to say it’s 2.

    I say let’s bring folks into this country legally. You’ve argued many times our laws are woefully inadequate. What’s the difference?

  30. Keith says:

    I have always advocated for a competive corparate tax rate. I am hopeful this retains and attracts business. This should retain and or create jobs. I am also hopeful large corporation will increase share buybacks and dividends.

    I am also a semi advocate of starving the beast. Since government somehow can’t ever bring themselves to cut spending, then let’s just give them less. I want less government, not more.

    Surely you’re not against the doubling of the standard deduction?

    Next infrastructure……

  31. Jeff Beamsley says:

    What do I tell my friends who were 15 years old when either they or their spouse married?

    This issue IS NOT about the legal age of marriage. Please stop trying to defend a pedophile by suggesting that his intentions were pure. This IS about a 32 year old man sexually assaulting a 14 year old girl. This is not normal nor is it courtship. This is someone who was engaged in activity that others felt was sufficiently troublesome that the police were keeping an eye on him. He earned that reputation by sexually assaulting MULTIPLE minors. Passing this off as courtship is the worst kind of moral delusion.

    This is also not about a teenage romance. If your friends have built a successful marriage on the foundation of a teenage romance, more power to them. I strongly suspect that none of your friends had an 18 year age difference that they also had to deal with.

    Make a law that says 1 + 1 = 3 and I’ll continue to say it’s 2.

    The law is intended to protect minors from sexual predators. Please tell me how that adds up to “3”. The only miscalculation is the suggestion by some conservatives that being a God fearing evangelical Republican somehow absolves Roy Moore from his past actions.

    I say let’s bring folks into this country legally. You’ve argued many times our laws are woefully inadequate. What’s the difference?

    We’ve been through this before. There is no comparison between Roy Moore’s sexual assaults and immigration laws.

    The current immigration laws are failing to satisfy the economic need for workers. As a result, the laws CREATE an incentive for people to come this country illegally. Enforcement has focused on illegal immigrants rather than those that employ them. As a result, employers are able to continue to employ people under terms and conditions that are more favorable than employing those who have immigrated legally.

    Your hopes of a faster growing economy are going to collide head on with the reality that there aren’t enough workers or consumers to support that growth without significant immigration reform and access to global markets. I don’t see either of those things happening under a Republican administration.

  32. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I have always advocated for a competive corparate tax rate. I am hopeful this retains and attracts business. This should retain and or create jobs. I am also hopeful large corporation will increase share buybacks and dividends.

    The effective corporate tax rate WAS competitive. US companies pay around 24%. The rest of the world pays around 21%. US multinationals pay 28%, other G-7 multinationals pay 29%.

    That said, I agree the US corporate tax code IS too complicated and riddled with special loopholes. The simplest solution would have been a revenue neutral change that eliminated the loop holes and delivered a 24% rate for everyone. Instead we are raising taxes on individuals in order to fund a 21% tax rate for corporations.

    https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/actual-us-corporate-tax-rates-are-in-line-with-comparable-countries

    Please also tell me why more companies would come here than are already here because of our tax plan. I haven’t been able to find any credible economist who supports that claim.

    There is also little evidence that corporations will take this money and create more jobs. Demand is what creates jobs. They will instead use the money to buy back their stock which will raise their stock price and provide their top execs higher bonuses. This is EXACTLY what corporations did the last time Republicans gave them a big tax cut.

    So please tell me again why we are adding $1.5T to the deficit to accomplish this?

    I am also a semi advocate of starving the beast. Since government somehow can’t ever bring themselves to cut spending, then let’s just give them less. I want less government, not more.

    How can you advocate cutting spending when you just supported adding $1.5T to the deficit? If you were really concerned about reducing the deficit, you would be opposed to this tax plan.

    Surely you’re not against the doubling of the standard deduction?

    I’m against a huge giveaway to the wealthy and corporations that will have no net benefit to the economy. Instead it will make it that much harder to fix Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

    Next infrastructure……

    What infrastructure plan? The Republicans just spent the money on a tax plan that could have been used to support an infrastructure plan. The infrastructure plan is dead.

  33. Keith says:

    Sorry, I didn’t title well. The 1+1 =3 was Redding to abortion.
    I apologize for not making that clear.

  34. Keith says:

    Here’s one we agree on. I said in a meeting with 12 of my managers who were complaining how hard it is to hire workers in our warehouses and truck drivers “If Trump creates 5 million jobs that great but there apparently aren’t 5 million people willing to take those jobs.”

  35. Keith says:

    As to companies coming here. I can tell you they left. Have you ever heard “inversion.”

  36. Keith says:

    “Starving the beast.”
    If I raise taxes the govt, meaning democrats, have less money to spend when they ultimately return to power.

    In your opinion, does the explosion in GDP and the stock market have anything to do with the election of President Trump? Someone, or in the case of artificial intelligence running a money fund, some thing, must have recognized what a republican house senate and executive branch would do that would be favorable to economic growth. So far it has exceeded everyone’s expectation, except President Trump. Lol

    Listen, I’m all about we as a whole are one big continuum. 8 years a stagnant growth could only set the stage for something better if a few tweaks were made. I’m just left to wonder why the demacrats could pull the trigger on a few business friendly items. There were many to choose from.

    Just think of what happens when bank leverage is loosened a couple points.

  37. Keith says:

    As to your link about comparable tax rates. Sorry but that’s big data and not useful. Every company is different. Those with higher rates elsewhere might consider our now lower rate and come here. There are many reasons to be here namely our energy costs. However if I moved here and pay 33 percent I’m not coming, regardless of what the average rate paid by companies in America. All politics are local MR Jeff.

    And by the way most big data is useless in application.

  38. Keith says:

    I’m watch NYT columnist Michelle Goldberg on TV. She just said President Trump got a minority of the votes, republicans are the minority, party, and what they are doing with the tax bill is steeling from the rest of us. It’s an insult to the poor an insult minority’s, to all of us. This will distort many public schools. These among other things.

    Think she is biased? Think it comes out in her writing?

    I watch many of your favored new sources employees on TV and they are mostly very very VERY far left of you!!!

  39. Keith says:

    I just heard the tax bill is racist……
    Now is you’re for this tax bill you are a racist.
    How do anyone have a discussion with someone like that?

  40. Keith says:

    I just heard someone say “Trump has no Urban agenda.”
    The host said African American unemployment is at near or record lows. The gentleman said its down for whites, Mexicans and African Americans, that’s not doing anything for the black community.

    Should I be wondering when the government is going to do something for me? I’ve never considered that. Maybe if I had then I could understand progressives more … thoughts?

  41. Keith says:

    Wells Fargo raises pay after tax bill
    http://www.seekingalpha.com/news/3319530

  42. keith says:

    Many, many companies are now join in……
    This is good news…seems greedy companies are doing the right thing!

  43. Jeff Beamsley says:

    As to companies coming here. I can tell you they left. Have you ever heard “inversion.”

    Very familiar with inversion.

    The problem is that the new tax bill provides more incentives to move jobs overseas than the current system including inversions.

    But the fine print of the new global minimum tax would make the problem worse, several tax specialists said.

    “The overall effects of this are going to be unambiguously bad for the workers that it’s ostensibly designed to help,” Clausing said.

    1. The new global minimum tax contained in the bill covers only profits above a “routine” rate of return on overseas tangible assets. A tangible asset is something like a factory. The more overseas tangible assets, the more tax free money the US-based multinational company can bring back to this country.
    2. The “routine” rate of return in the bill is set at 10%. Normally in contracts this rate is much closer to Treasury yields which are currently running at 2.4%. What that means is that US-based multinational can build a $100M factory in Vietnam that makes $20M in profit and only pay $1M in taxes (first 10% is free and the tax rate after that is 10%). The tax building that same factory and generating that same amount of profit in this country would be 20% of the whole $20M or $4M.
    3. Finally, the minimum tax (10%) is calculated based on a global average rather than an average of the tax rates for countries in which the multi-national companies actually operate. That provides MORE incentive for multi-national companies to shift US profits out of this country to tax havens like the Caymen Islands. Operating in these low or no tax countries provides them another competitive advantage over those who choose to stay in the US.

    To really slam the door on offshoring, the minimum tax should be calculated on a country-by-country basis, and the rate should be set closer to the 21 percent U.S. rate, Rebecca Kysar, a professor at Brooklyn Law School who specializes in international tax law, and other analysts say.

    “The plan does not meaningfully reduce the incentives for companies to move their operations and shift their income overseas,” Kysar said. “You could say it will make things worse.”

  44. Jeff Beamsley says:

    “Starving the beast.”
    If I raise taxes the govt, meaning democrats, have less money to spend when they ultimately return to power.

    I understand what starving the beast means. What I don’t understand is how you can claim that adding $1.5T to the deficit is an effective strategy for preventing future spending.

    Do you really understand anything about the US Government budget?

    65% of the budget is mandatory spending – Primarily Medicare and Social Security.
    6% of the budget is interest payments – This is going to go up because of the sharp increase in government debt that this tax bill will cause particularly when we hit the next recession – which is not that far away.
    29% of the budget is discretionary spending – This is the spending that you’ve said Democrats expand irresponsibly. In total it amounts to $1.1T. This is LESS than what Republicans just spent cutting taxes – FOR NO GOOD REASON.

    Of that $1.1T – 54% goes to the military. Trump’s budget INCREASES the military’s budget.

    The next biggest slice is government itself at 6.54% – you could shrink the size of government, but that’s going to put a lot of people out of work and will hurt your efforts to get the country to grow at the ridiculous rates needed to reduce the cost of this crazy tax plan.

    Education, Healthcare, Vet Benefits, and Housing and Community aid all run around 6% or around $65B each.

    EPA and International Affairs (State Department) are each around $40B and also employ a lot of people.

    Science (Nasa), Transportation, Labor, and FDA are each around $30B.

    So here’s the problem. What part of the “beast” do you want to starve? If you answer anything other than the military, you aren’t being serious. There are only four ways to substantially reduce government spending.

    1. Substantially reduce what we spend on the military.
    2. Substantially reduce the cost of Social Security
    3. Substantially reduce the cost of Medicare and Medicaid.
    4. Substantially reduce the cost of healthcare (which would have the effect of reducing the cost of Medicare and Medicaid).

    Republicans want to eliminate the ONLY program that has been able to reduce the rate of growth in healthcare costs. That’s why they can’t be trusted to manage the economy. Instead they are suggesting that we should restructure Medicaid, Medicare, and yes they are coming for your social security too.

    They will fail though, and great will be their fall.

  45. Jeff Beamsley says:

    As to your link about comparable tax rates. Sorry but that’s big data and not useful. Every company is different. Those with higher rates elsewhere might consider our now lower rate and come here. There are many reasons to be here namely our energy costs. However if I moved here and pay 33 percent I’m not coming, regardless of what the average rate paid by companies in America. All politics are local MR Jeff.

    And by the way most big data is useless in application.

    Sometimes your ignorance is mind boggling.

    The facts are the facts. The effective rate is 24%. Yes that is an average of companies that pay more and companies that pay less.
    But I can guarantee you that for large companies, the spread is very small because they have lots of money to spend on tax lawyers and lobbyists. That 24% compares favorably with all other G-7 countries. It’s true that a lower rate might attract other foreign companies to come here. But ultimately that is a race to the bottom if our only value is low taxes.

    So please answer my question. Why didn’t we just do a revenue neutral tax reform that took away all of the loopholes that allow one company to pay a different rate from another and made the rate for every company 24%. That would still be a competitive rate and wouldn’t have added $1 to the deficit.

  46. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I’m watch NYT columnist Michelle Goldberg on TV. She just said President Trump got a minority of the votes, republicans are the minority, party, and what they are doing with the tax bill is steeling from the rest of us. It’s an insult to the poor an insult minority’s, to all of us. This will distort many public schools. These among other things.

    Think she is biased? Think it comes out in her writing?

    I watch many of your favored new sources employees on TV and they are mostly very very VERY far left of you!!!

    I will not defend anyone on TV. As I’ve said before, other than maybe PBS, there are no ethical sources of news on TV.

    Michelle Goldberg writes an OPINION column for the NYT. She is paid to express her opinion. She is NOT paid to write or report news.
    If the NYT characterized her opinions as NEWS, as virtually every right wing news source does with their columnists, they would indeed be biased. BUT THEY DON’T. Instead they have a special section of the paper where all of these opinion columns are printed. It is usually the same section of the paper where the editorials and letters to the editor are printed. They earn the right to express their opinions on the opinion pages by reporting all the news that is fit to print in as honest and ethical way as they can.

    Not sure why this is so hard for you to understand.

    You should read more of the NYT. It is really a great newspaper.

  47. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I just heard the tax bill is racist……
    Now is you’re for this tax bill you are a racist.
    How do anyone have a discussion with someone like that?

    If you heard it on a broadcast channel, then it is your own fault for letting yourself get upset at stuff that is DESIGNED to get you upset.

    If you read it somewhere, please post a link to the article and then we can again have the discussion of whether this is news or opinion.

    I don’t happen to believe that the new tax bill is overtly racist, but it certainly takes money from the poor to benefit the wealthy. But I don’t think that it takes money from the poor because they are black. I think it takes money from the poor because Republicans believe that they can depend on at least poor white votes regardless of how badly they are treated.

  48. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Should I be wondering when the government is going to do something for me? I’ve never considered that. Maybe if I had then I could understand progressives more … thoughts?

    Your lack of self awareness is shocking. OF COURSE you want something from the government. You want the government to make abortion illegal. You want the government to pack the courts with conservative judges who will limit LGBT rights and bring Christian prayer back into public schools. I could continue to regurgitate the various conservative positions that you have advocated, but hopefully by now you have gotten the point.

    African Americans want our justice system to work better for them. They want law enforcement to stop killing them. They want the same things that everyone else wants with regard to good jobs, safe neighborhoods, affordable housing, and good schools. What’s wrong with that?

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