Pinocchios As Far As The Eye Can See

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Michael Cohen’s office, his home, and a hotel room were searched recently by the FBI.

Here are some of the responses from President Trump.

I just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys

Attorney–client privilege is dead!

Disgraceful situation

It’s a total witch hunt

It’s an attack on our country,

It’s an attack on what we all stand for.

Let’s go through what actually happened and compare it to Trump’s response.

The FBI executed a search warrant obtained by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. What that means is that a federal judge had to issue this search warrant. What that means is that the evidence that the federal prosecutor presented to this judge was sufficiently convincing that the judge agreed that whatever evidence they were looking for was at risk if an immediate search did not occur. What THAT means is that the judge and the prosecutor who are both very aware of the concept of attorney client privilege, determined that the possible criminal activity here was not protected by that privilege. According to the Wash Post.

Searches of an attorney’s office are extremely rare and are not favored, due to their potential to impinge on the attorney-client relationship. Prosecutors must jump through multiple hoops to get such a warrant approved, both within their own office and at the criminal division of Main Justice. (Notably, this would likely have included approval by Trump’s own guy, the new interim U.S. attorney for the Southern District, Geoffrey S. Berman, who was just appointed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions this past January.)

And

Approval of a search warrant suggests prosecutors were able to demonstrate not only the gravity of the potential case but also the risk that evidence might be destroyed or otherwise go missing if they pursued a less aggressive option.

Trump and the White House knew all of these facts. Yet Trump characterized it as a “break-in”. It was nothing of the sort. The FBI had a warrant.

As far as the attorney-client privilege, it does not protect communications used in committing either fraud or a crime. Also if Cohen acted on his own, as Trump claims he did in the Stormy Daniels payoff, that action isn’t protected because the “client” part of the conversation is missing. Finally, fraudulent or criminal documents are not protected just because they passed through an attorney’s hands.

Because of the sensitive nature of this investigation, prosecutors go through extraordinary lengths to shield those involved in the prosecution from those involved in the investigation. That protects the prosecution from any claims of bias that could develop during the investigation. This is evidence of the legal system working at a high level to insure that there is no taint of bias.

There are likely going to be legal wrangles on what documents actually end up being used in this case. That’s why it was important to secure them. The courts will ultimately decide which documents are admissible in Cohen’s trial.

Trump called this a disgrace and the end of attorney-client privilege. It is nothing of the sort. Instead it is the highest demonstration of how our legal system works to both protect the attorney-client privilege and prosecute those who seek to abuse it.

The New York Federal prosecutor was involved because of a referral from Mueller. What that means is that in the course of the Mueller investigation they came across evidence that implicated Cohen, but that evidence was not directly related to the Mueller investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 election. As a result, Mueller did what he was supposed to do. Rather than go outside the limits of the investigation set by the Deputy AG, he turned his information over the Federal prosecutor in NY and let them decide what to do with it.

If this was the witch hunt that Trump has claimed, Mueller would have pursued this himself. He didn’t because it isn’t.

What’s likely going on here is that Mueller gained access to information regarding the Stormy Daniels payoff. That information probably didn’t implicate Trump, but did suggest that Cohen broke the law. Cohen will have an opportunity to defend himself in court. As a lawyer, however, Cohen knew what risks he was taking when he agreed to broker this payoff. He is now suffering the consequences.

So, is this an attack on our country?

I say yes, but not in the context that Trump meant it. Trump isn’t the victim. He is the attacker. He is actively undermining the public trust in our system of justice. A judge has decided that there was enough information to authorize searching an attorney’s office. It is HIGHLY likely that the information that the Federal prosecutor already has is sufficient to convict Cohen. It will be interesting to see if Cohen will make a deal in order to avoid jail time.

Is this an attack on what we all stand for?

Yes again. It is another example of authoritarianism at work. No one is above the law. What we all stand for is equal protection under the law.

Trump is claiming that he is being persecuted. But Cohen isn’t being investigated because of his relationship with Trump. He is being investigated because there is strong evidence that he broke the law. If Trump is to be believed, Cohen broke the law on his own. Cohen will have his day in court.

Similarly, Trump has only himself to blame for the Mueller investigation. He was the one who fired Comey. He was the one who lied about Russian involvement in the election. He is the one who has chosen to pick a fight with the media. He is the one broke his promise to release his taxes. He is the one who refused to divest himself of his investments. He is the one who ignored nepotism rules. He is the one who chose to seek the support of authoritarians. He is the one who continues to undermine our democracy with his words and action.

In the meantime, the foundations of Trump-world crumble as one after another of his allies resign, are fired, or are indicted. While Trump may retain political support, in a democracy there are unavoidable legal consequences to lying. Holding those accountable who break the law is what we all stand for.

29 Responses to “Pinocchios As Far As The Eye Can See”

  1. Keith says:

    Famed Harvard lawyer Alan Dershowitz – a Democratic lion and Hillary Clinton voter who has rushed to Trump’s side on technical questions of law.

    ‘This may be an attempt to squeeze Cohen – he’s the lawyer, he’s the guy who knows all the facts about Donald Trump – and to get him to turn against his client,’ Dershowitz said in the clip.

    ‘This is a very dangerous day today for lawyer-client relations.’

    ‘If this were Hillary Clinton [having her lawyer’s office raided], the ACLU would be on every TV station in America jumping up and down,’ Dershowitz protested.

    ‘The deafening silence of the ACLU and civil libertarians about the intrusion into the lawyer-client confidentiality is really appalling.’

  2. Keith says:

    https://www.verdict.co.uk/trade-war-xi-strikes-conciliatory-tone-warns-cold-war-mentality/

    Who knows what China will really do.
    Ever really wonder what those nutty Trump voters wanted?

  3. Keith says:

    And never forget this famous quote-

    Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.
    Lavrentiy Beria

    It’s only a matter of which man we want to look at.

  4. Keith says:

    If there were collusion between the Russians and Trump, presumably it would be so the Russians could blackmail Trump to get him to do as they’d like. Trump is not acting towards Russia as one might think Putin would like him too and Trump isn’t acting as though he’s concerned about that. Putin at any moment has the evidence on Trump to have him thrown from office if the “charge” of collision is true. Thoughts?

  5. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Famed Harvard lawyer Alan Dershowitz – a Democratic lion and Hillary Clinton voter who has rushed to Trump’s side on technical questions of law.

    Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard. He has a conservative view of the constitution, but politically he is a liberal. If you agree with him on this issue, then you also have to agree with him that Clinton should not have been investigated by the FBI, that Clinton was a better candidate in 2016, that appointing Kenneth Starr to prosecute Bill Clinton was unconstitutional, he is not a fan of Trump populism or his backers. Here’s a recent quote.

    When Republican zealots demanded that we “lock up” Hillary Clinton, I defended her against partisan efforts to criminalize political differences. I pointed out that no one had ever been prosecuted for what Clinton was accused of, and that to selectively prosecute her would endanger all of our civil liberties. As a result of defending the civil liberties of Clinton (and hence all Americans), I received hateful e-mails from many partisan Republicans who cared more about destroying Clinton than protecting civil liberties.

    Dershowitz has said he is no fan of Trump, and those who say he is are misinterpreting his statement.

    In Dershowitz’s telling, he’s standing up for civil liberties over politics — something he says nobody else appears interested in doing in a deeply polarized time. He’s criticized Trump, too, calling Trump’s alleged disclosure of classified information to Russia “the most serious charge ever made against a sitting president.”

  6. Jeff Beamsley says:

    https://www.verdict.co.uk/trade-war-xi-strikes-conciliatory-tone-warns-cold-war-mentality/

    Who knows what China will really do.
    Ever really wonder what those nutty Trump voters wanted?

    Why should I trust what the Verdict says?

  7. Jeff Beamsley says:

    https://www.kiplinger.com/article/business/T019-C000-S010-gdp-growth-rate-and-forecast.html

    Tax cuts for both businesses and individuals should goose the economy going forward, but likely not as much as President Trump would like. Improving business profitability should generate business investment, but some of the bigger profits will go toward stock buybacks and shareholder returns. Increased wealth and burgeoning home values will encourage some extra consumer spending, though recent uncertainties in the stock market could induce some caution. Tax cuts for individuals will help, but wealthier taxpayers, who tend to save more, will benefit the most.

    The CBO forecast that 2018 would come in a 3.3% but that it would be all downhill from there.

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/07/slow-economic-growth-new-normal-america/

    This is a George Will column (not a favorite) from two years ago. Curious what relevance it has today?

  9. Jeff Beamsley says:

    And never forget this famous quote-

    Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.
    Lavrentiy Beria

    It’s only a matter of which man we want to look at.

    This from the person who is convinced that Hillary Clinton committed a crime.

    We have a justice system where everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty and those who are guilty are punished. Cohen will have his day in court, but the nature of this particular search warrant virtually guarantees that he is guilty of a serious crime. If that turns out to be true, are you still going to question the nature in which the evidence that convicted him was gathered?

  10. Jeff Beamsley says:

    If there were collusion between the Russians and Trump, presumably it would be so the Russians could blackmail Trump to get him to do as they’d like. Trump is not acting towards Russia as one might think Putin would like him too and Trump isn’t acting as though he’s concerned about that. Putin at any moment has the evidence on Trump to have him thrown from office if the “charge” of collision is true. Thoughts?

    Trump is not going to be convicted of collusion. He is at great danger of being convicted of obstructing the investigation into the Russian involvement in the 2016 election. As Dershowitz warned, he is also in great danger of being accused of perjury if and when he testifies before the Grand Jury. Finally, if he fires Mueller, all heck will break loose.

    At this point, I think that the Mueller investigation will continue well past the 2018 elections. If the Dem’s win control of the house, Trump’s agenda is over (with the exception of SCOTUS nominations). If the Dem’s also win control of the Senate, then I think there is a very real chance that Trump will be impeached. At the very least, the Republican “brand” will be severely tarnished as the truth comes out regarding ALL of the stuff that has occurred under Trump’s watch.

    If Trump survives until 2020, he will have endured at least two years of real investigations (compared to what Rep Nunes organized) from the House. The economy will likely be on the skids by then. If so, he will certainly face stiff opposition in the Republican primaries if he chooses to run. The divisions that will cause in the Republican party will hand Democrats the Presidency on a platter.

  11. Jeff Beamsley says:

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/06/23/magazine/the-obama-campaigns-digital-masterminds-cash-in.html

    The Obama campaign did not break Facebook’s data use rules. Cambridge Analytica did.

    BTW Trump just eliminated the Obama admin rules protecting the privacy of internet users. So in practical terms, it doesn’t matter what the Obama administration did or didn’t do. From this point forward, the Trump administration owns all of the good and bad comes from revoking this privacy rule.

  12. Keith says:

    Just trying to get you to focus.

    Meeting with the fat kid to Denise himself. Great if he can.

    Taking in China on trade. Hopefully we end in a better place then we started.

    He’s taking on Russia. Don’t know what anyone would think poorly of him for that. They are the declared enemy of the Dems.

    GDP and economic activity way up after the Obama administration said low GDP is here forever.

    Trump is a morally bankrupt individual whom I believe is giving it his best. It’s goi g as I would like.

    Let’s see how the things that matter turn out. All the while he’s fighting a gallizion internal battles here at home.

    Deficit are going up. Let’s see how that ends.

  13. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Meeting with the fat kid to Denise himself. Great if he can.

    Nothing of substance has happened in NK. There is no evidence that they have suspended their nuke developments. Trump gave them something (a willingness to meet with no real preconditions) and received nothing in return. Now he has hired the crazy hawk Bolton as his key adviser. The chances of this ending well are small.

    Taking in China on trade. Hopefully we end in a better place then we started.

    Hope is not a plan. Threats of a trade war have already taken their toll on the markets and businesses who are LESS willing to invest in expanding their businesses because of this uncertainty.

    He’s taking on Russia. Don’t know what anyone would think poorly of him for that. They are the declared enemy of the Dems.

    He just made hash of any progress that he might have made as a result of sending forces into Syria. He did EVERYTHING that he criticized Obama for doing. He gave an advance signal to Assad that US troops were leaving. A few days later Assad uses chemical weapons. Think that is a coincidence? Then he brags that he is going to throw some missiles at some Russian sites in Syria. Please tell me what value that has. The bottom line here is that his erratic strategy is ultimately going to drive our only real allies there, the Kurds, into the arms of the Russians. The Russians are more than happy to help them out because they want to peel Turkey away from NATO. That’s what’s going to happen if Trump “lets other countries clean this up”. He is clueless and easily manipulated by pretty much everyone that wants to do us ill.

    GDP and economic activity way up after the Obama administration said low GDP is here forever.

    Please review the facts. Real GDP growth (less inflation) 2013 – 1.3% 2014 – 2.6% 2015 – 2.9%. 2016 – 1.5%. 2017 real GDP growth was 2.3% was a better year for the economy that 2016, but that’s only a little bit better than Obama’s four year average. Not even close to the 3% number that was promised. The CBO projects somewhere north of 3% for 2018 and then a long decline. Most economists including the CBO are VERY concerned about debt. There is NO indication that Trump has any concern at all about the damage they have done to the long term health of the country.

    Trump is a morally bankrupt individual whom I believe is giving it his best. It’s goi g as I would like.

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this.

    Let’s see how the things that matter turn out. All the while he’s fighting a gallizion internal battles here at home.

    Sorry we are going to have to disagree on this too. “Things that matter” include destruction of our democracy. Not a good plan to wait around and see if Trump is successful in executing his authoritarian agenda. Don’t want to see laws passed that reduce freedom of the press. Not interested in rules that reduce the rights of minorities. Not interested in seeing the EPA dismantled. Those “gallizion” battles that you talk about are HIS FAULT. He and his administration need to be held accountable for lying to the american people. I’m looking forward to EVERY battle that brings us closer to the truth.

    Deficit are going up. Let’s see how that ends.

    You don’t have a “wait” to see what happens. If there is no plan to bring down the deficit, BAD things will happen. The Obama administration executed a plan and DID bring down the deficit as a percentage of GDP. The Trump administration has NO plan. Even if they hit their growth targets, the size of the tax reduction is so large that NO amount of economic growth can pay for it. So instead they have decided to just not talk about it, and you appear to fine with that.

  14. Jeff Beamsley says:

    From James Comey’s book via NYT

    The central themes that Comey returns to throughout this impassioned book are the toxic consequences of lying; and the corrosive effects of choosing loyalty to an individual over truth and the rule of law. Dishonesty, he writes, was central “to the entire enterprise of organized crime on both sides of the Atlantic,” and so, too, were bullying, peer pressure and groupthink — repellent traits shared by Trump and company, he suggests, and now infecting our culture.

    “We are experiencing a dangerous time in our country,” Comey writes, “with a political environment where basic facts are disputed, fundamental truth is questioned, lying is normalized and unethical behavior is ignored, excused or rewarded.”

    I agree with him.

  15. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW CBO is not saying that the tax bill will end up adding $1.9T to the debt because of interest payments. That estimate, BTW, assumes that the personal tax reduction is allowed to expire.

    This is bad stuff.

  16. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW BTW, that “fiction” about authoritarianism?

    It just reared it’s ugly head again in the form of a bid listed on the DHS website to identify and monitor the activities of journalists.

    Here’s the story from Bloomberg Business who were the first to report on it. It has since been confirmed by multiple sources and Snopes even got a response from DHS suggesting that it was nothing that we should worry about.

    It’s seeking a contractor that can help it monitor traditional news sources as well as social media and identify “any and all” coverage related to the agency or a particular event, according to a request for information released April 3.

    The data to be collected includes a publication’s “sentiment” as well as geographical spread, top posters, languages, momentum, and circulation. No value for the contract was disclosed.

    So let’s scan this carefully. A government agency with responsibility for protecting us from terrorists wants to have a list of anyone (not just journalists) who are writing stories about the agency. Not only that, but they want to know whether those people are writing stories supportive of the agency or critical of the agency.

    First of all, this is creepy Big Brother kind of stuff. Second, their mission is to track terrorists. What does that have to do with people posting stuff about DHS and what do they plan to do with this information? If they are successful developing a profile of every person posting something about DHS, how much of a stretch is it to imagine that this same system could be used to track every person posting something about the President?

    Authoritarian governments regularly label those who are critical of the government as enemies of the people and arrests them as terrorists.

    When do we speak up, object, and hold this government accountable for stuff like this?

    This is how Democracies die.

  17. Keith says:

    Would a Democracy be in danger of dying when +/- 90% of those who work in it are from one party?

    I love your nuanced attention to detail. I also like how you can imagine what might happen next. Unfortunately, and for the umpteenth time, you can only do it from a highly partisan view…..

    One can only imagine what fun it would be with Hillary in office.

    2017 GDP was lower because of President Obama’s economy lingered a while. We certainly aren’t blaming Obama for GW’s impact on 2009.

  18. Keith says:

    Did you happen to catch any of Mark Zuckerberg’s two testimony?

    He actually said out loud the he is concerned about “who makes the rules and decides” as Facebook sits in the bastion of progressive land and Facebook is populated by very very liberals and he is “very concerned about that.” His comments about what was hate speech was interesting also. Much the same as our govt employees in DC I might add.

  19. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Would a Democracy be in danger of dying when +/- 90% of those who work in it are from one party?

    I have no idea what you are talking about. We all “work” in a democracy. Last I looked 23% of those polled by Gallup consider themselves Republicans, 45% are independents, and 29% are Democrats.

    Democracies die because VOTERS are willing to give up their freedoms in return for security. Authoritarians take advantage of high anxiety moments in history to promise voters security. What they deliver instead is a dismantling of democracy. Hungary is a good example of the process if you are interested in reading about it in the NY Mag.

    I love your nuanced attention to detail. I also like how you can imagine what might happen next. Unfortunately, and for the umpteenth time, you can only do it from a highly partisan view…..

    If you think I have misstated anything, please feel free to hold me accountable. For the umpteenth time, I have an opinion. I use this blog to express it. I don’t expect you to agree with everything that I write.

    One can only imagine what fun it would be with Hillary in office.

    For the umpteenth time, she won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote. As a result, we will never know what her presidency might have been like. We recall we had a similar discussion about Al Gore. Gore would never have invaded Iraq. Hillary would never have appointed Gorsuch or added $1.9T to the national debt by cutting taxes. Beyond that there really isn’t any value in speculating.

    2017 GDP was lower because of President Obama’s economy lingered a while. We certainly aren’t blaming Obama for GW’s impact on 2009.

    We’ve had this discussion before too. Bush handed Obama the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Obama saved the global economy, saved the domestic auto industry, and managed to leave office with the second largest drop in the unemployment rate in our history (7.8% – 4.8%). He did set a record for the longest unbroken strong of positive job growth (75 months).

    Factcheck.org has a nice summary.

    But honestly, I don’t think that we need to quibble about Trump’s slow start. He is not going to hit the growth rate that he promised. Inflation is already ticking up, so even if he did hit 4% growth in GDP in 2018, once you subtract 2% for inflation we’re back down to the same 2% growth that you criticized Obama for. And we haven’t even started to talk about the Recession that is out there in the 2019-2020 time frame.

  20. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Did you happen to catch any of Mark Zuckerberg’s two testimony?

    No I didn’t because I knew it would be all talk and no action.

    He actually said out loud the he is concerned about “who makes the rules and decides” as Facebook sits in the bastion of progressive land and Facebook is populated by very very liberals and he is “very concerned about that.”

    Please don’t try to blame Facebook on liberalism. Facebook is a business. Their primary purpose in life is to make money. They have figured out how to make money by selling information about their users. One of my businesses depends on Facebook advertising for new users. It works very well and is really pretty cheap.

    The problem is that Facebook’s basic business model leaves it vulnerable for the sort of organized hacking that Russians did. There is virtually nothing that Facebook can to prevent bad actors from taking advantage of Facebook again this election cycle.

    They are not going to volunteer to pivot to a different business model. So the only alternative that I see is that the Federal government starts regulating social media in the same ways that we used to regulate broadcast media.

    His comments about what was hate speech was interesting also. Much the same as our govt employees in DC I might add.

    If you’ve got some bone to pick about folks who have government jobs, please just say it. But also do me a favor and don’t try to promote that “deep state” BS without something to back it up.

    Just as a primer, if you have forgotten your civics, there are four types of government jobs. One is a political appointment, one is a military job, one is a civil servant, and one is a contractor.

    Contractors can be hired and fired at will. They aren’t necessarily political appointments, but a lot of big contractors are affiliated with particular parties and flow in and out of positions based on who is in office. Their ability to influence policy is determined by their contract rather than their personal political beliefs.

    Political jobs reflect whatever party is in the White House. This particular administration has been particularly inept at filling their political jobs (and keeping them filled). That’s their fault. If they are required to keep political appointees from the last administration in place just to keep parts of the government running, then they should not be surprised if those political appointees may oppose the politics of the new administration.

    The military and civil servants pledge to do their jobs without political bias. In return, their jobs don’t depend on who is in the White House. That doesn’t mean that these people don’t have a political opinion. They just don’t express that opinion through their work.

    Ok now your turn.

  21. Keith says:

    “Authoritarians“ = the new found comfort food/word of the progressives. Ok I’ll play along.

    An executive order, which is legal, qualifies as an authoritarian action. Any president who’s used an execitive order is an authoritarian.

  22. Keith says:

    DC votes +/- 90% Democrat.

  23. Keith says:

    But I believe the best statement of democracy failing would be the onenive sites many times “A democracy is doomed to fail when its citizens realize it can vote themselves shares from the public treasury.”

  24. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Authoritarians“ = the new found comfort food/word of the progressives. Ok I’ll play along.

    An executive order, which is legal, qualifies as an authoritarian action. Any president who’s used an execitive order is an authoritarian.

    Is that really the best that you’ve got.

    I provided you the academic test for authoritarian behavior.

    I’m not concerned about executive actions in general. I am concerned if those actions are used to

    1. Reject or show weak commitment to democratic rules.
    2. Deny the legitimacy of political opponents.
    3. Encourage or tolerate violence.
    4. Stifle or limit civil liberties of opponents, including media.

    Trump give us more evidence every day.

    Let’s start with the attempts by Trump, the White House, and Trump allies to discredit Comey.

    The big questions in Comey’s badly reviewed book aren’t answered, like how come he gave up classified information (jail), why did he lie to Congress (jail), why did the DNC refuse to give Server to the FBI (why didn’t they TAKE it), why the phony memos, McCabe’s $700,000 & more?

    Comey has written a book which is clearly within his rights to do. He has not been formally accused of disclosing classified information or lying to Congress. Comey’s memos have been made public. They do not contain any classified material. He gave them to a friend and asked that friend to give them to the NYT. McCabe has denied the accusation that he displayed any bias because of a political donation his wife received, and nothing has been proven otherwise. There is no proof that there was any deal between Lynch and Bill Clinton. If there was, he should ask for his money back.

    Then Trump, in another tweet, suggested that Comey was interested in a job in the Clinton administration. Given the damage that the Clinton campaign felt Comey did to their campaign, if that WAS Comey’s strategy, it had entirely the opposite affect.

    By my count he checked the boxes on three of the four with just one tweet.

    If you have a problem with the claim of authoritarianism, you’re going to have to do better. Good luck.

  25. Jeff Beamsley says:

    DC votes +/- 90% Democrat.

    So what. Here are the demographics of the residents of DC.

    The population distribution is 49% black, 43.6% white, 5.0% other (including Native Americans, Alaskans, Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders), and 3.1% Asian. Of these, there were 8.3% Hispanic (of any race) and 1.6% mixed.

    The median income of white voters in DC was $120K. 55% have at least a college degree or higher.

    The widest gap in presidential preference was education. Those with at least a college degree preferred Clinton by a 9 point margin. Those without a college degree preferred Trump by an 8 point margin.

    Seems pretty obvious that there just aren’t a lot Trump voters in DC.

    If you were trying to say something else, please say it.

    BTW, your claim that everyone who lives in DC works for the Federal Government is also bogus.

    29% of DC residents work for the federal government. If you think that is too high, 28% of the residents of the state of Alaska work for the federal government too, but it is one of the most reliably Republican states in the country. Your claim that a high percentage of Democrats in DC is somehow connected to a high percentage of government workers is simply not true.

  26. Jeff Beamsley says:

    But I believe the best statement of democracy failing would be the onenive sites many times “A democracy is doomed to fail when its citizens realize it can vote themselves shares from the public treasury.”

    This is a fake quote. It didn’t come from anybody famous. It first showed up in 1951 is an op-ed piece in the Daily Oklahoman under the byline of Elmer T. Peterson.

    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Alexander_Fraser_Tytler

    What’s funny about this quote is that citizens have been able to vote themselves a share of the public treasury for quite some time. The only ones who have been able, in fact, to realize great gain as a result of government policy are the wealthy and corporations.

    Just to make this point finer, a study in 2014 proved that the US is no longer a democracy. It is an oligarchy. That means that the government acts overwhelmingly in the interests of the wealthy and not the majority.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/major-study-finds-that-the-us-is-an-oligarchy-2014-4

    The peer-reviewed study, which will be taught at these universities in September, says: “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

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