Electoral College: The Good..The Bad..The Ugly

A three part series.

By D13

EC!There has been much said about the Electoral College and is it better to be without it today. So, after much research and some deep thought, I, personally feel, that the EC is still the best system. I have outlined the basic arguments for and against. Since there are many, in fact, too numerous to list all of them, I have looked at the top reasons for and against.
A majority of 270 electoral votes is required for a President to be elected. How each allotment of electoral votes is given is based on the number of representatives in the House and the two senators which represent the state. That means the minimum number of electoral votes is 3, while there is no maximum.
So, here we go…
Basic Argument, pro and con.

The advantage of the electoral college is that it promotes fairness from a regional perspective. Individual votes count, but in a way that is represented by states. This prevents 2-3 very large states from overwhelming the popular vote count so that a greater portion of the country can be represented by the government.
The disadvantage is that individual votes feel like they do not count either. In 2000 and 2016, the candidate who won the popular vote did not win the electoral college.

Advantages

It requires a distribution of popular support.
Because of the structure of the Electoral College, a President must receive national support to win an election. This promotes a healthy cohesiveness within the country because there must be a distribution of that support so that a majority of electoral votes can be received. Without this structure, a candidate would spend most of their time in large population centers campaigning because that’s where the popular vote would be won.
2. It gives minority interests a say in the election.
Since a national level of support is required because of the Electoral College, minority causes, interests, and concerns are given a voice that reaches a national level. The votes of a small minority in a state can sway the difference in an election, especially since most states award all their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote. This allows a certain amount of leverage to be used during the election that may not be possible in general society otherwise.
3. It encourages political stability.
The United States focuses on a two-party system because of the structure in the Electoral College. That doesn’t mean other political parties can’t get involved in the election. It just means most candidates that are elected will be either a Republican or a Democrat. The only independent candidate to be elected President in US history was George Washington. The last third-party candidate to win a state’s electoral votes was George Wallace in 1968. This means there is a reasonable certainty as to how the government will run, no matter which major party in the US winds up with the white house.
It maintains a system of national representation.
The United States was founded on the idea that taxation without representation was unfair. It was part of the reason for the rebellion of the colonies in the first place. With the Electoral College, a general consensus can be maintained so the structure of the government and the independent political powers of each state and local government can continue existing. In national representation, each state and population district receives equal representation, in either the house or the senate, and that allows individual voters to still have a say in what happens.
Disadvantages
It creates the possibility of a minority president being elected.
The US has elected two minority presidents in the last 20 years because of the Electoral College. In 1992, President Bill Clinton was elected with less than 50% of the total popular vote. If no one individual candidate reaches the 270 threshold, then anyone who has received an electoral vote can be elected President by the legislative branch of the government. All it takes is 1 electoral vote.
There is a risk of faithless electors casting ballots.
No elector has changed the outcome of an election in the United States by not voting for the candidate their individual voters wanted, but the structure of the Electoral College makes it a possibility. There have been 167 faithless electors in history, but 81 of those votes were changed because the original candidate died before the date on which the votes were to be cast. In 2016, there were 10 faithless electors.
It can depress voter turnout in some areas.
In the 2016 Presidential election, candidate Hillary Clinton had a consistent 15- to 20-point lead over Donald Trump in the polling for several weeks before the election. The final outcome showed a difference of 16.2 percentage points. For Republicans or Independents, casting a ballot for the election could seem pointless because Clinton’s win seemed like a foregone conclusion. Because of the structure of the Electoral College, this can lead to voters choosing not to vote because they feel like their vote is not going to matter anyway.
It may not be an accurate reflection of the will of the people.
In the Republican primaries leading up to the 2016 Presidential election, Donald Trump was consistently receiving about 35% of the Republican vote. 30% were voting for Marco Rubio and another 30% were voting for Ted Cruz – both men part of the Tea Party movement and the son of an immigrant. Without that split, Trump may not have made it out of the primaries. Even then, he failed to win a majority of the votes in the main election. With the Electoral College, all that matters is the final count of electoral votes, not actual votes, and that means a candidate may be supported by a minority only.

Now, these are pro and cons of the EC. I have not gone into the pros and cons of the popular vote as yet. So, please, keep your arguments limited to the EC for now.

Comments

  1. 😎

  2. The EC, in my opinion, is what is keeping us from becoming a Democracy. Being a Constitutional Republic has provided for the country to become the economic powerhouse in the world. Prosperity is key to a stable country. With the best unemployment numbers ever for women and minorities, growing wages and a great economy, the EC has worked as intended, keeping a few States from taking over the country and allowing rural America a voice.

  3. That means the minimum number of electoral votes is 3, while there is no maximum.

    False.

    There are 538 votes attributable. These are attributed amongst 50 states + DC = 51 locations.

    Each state is guaranteed a minimum of 3, so that totals 153 which are pre-ordained.

    The remainder, 385, can go to one state. Let’s say Kentucky.

    Kentucky gets it’s minimum + all the extras. Everyone else, combined, gets 150. That’s a total of 538. There are no more votes available.

    Thus, there IS a maximum: 388.

    • Well, take it up with MSNBC…..that is where that portion of the research came from….

    • Just A Citizen says:

      So there is better understanding, lets break down the numbers for the Electoral College.

      Voting member of Congress = 535
      100 – Senators
      435 – Representatives
      535 Total

      Non Voting members of Congress (WA D.C.) = 3
      2 – Senators
      1 – Representative for D.C. (5 others for USVI and other territories, but no EC votes)
      3 Total

      Electoral College Votes
      535 Voting members of Congress
      3 Non Voting members of Congress
      538 Total Electoral Votes.

      270 Electoral Votes needed to win POTUS/VPPOTUS

      Minimum Electoral Votes for all States & D.C..
      102 – Minimum Electoral Votes for Senate seats
      51 – Minimum Electoral Votes for House seats
      153 – Total Electoral Votes from minimum in each State.

      Total Maximum Electoral Votes to be allocated based on population distribution.
      538 Total – 153 Minimum = 385

      • Total Maximum Electoral Votes to be allocated based on population distribution.
        538 Total – 153 Minimum = 385

        Close.

        385 is the allocable portion, that’s correct.. but you have to send that somewhere and wherever that “where” is (again, let’s say Kentucky) has to ALSO have its 3 baseline votes.

        50 * 3 = 150… (49 states + DC = 50)
        1 * 388 = 388.. (Kentucky)

        388 + 150 = 538

        • Just A Citizen says:

          Mathius

          I thought the question on the table was the maximum increase above the minimum. That is 385.

          Of course given the formula for allocation, the entire nations population above about 1 million per state would have to be in that single state of yours. And even then I am not sure it would come out to one state getting all the available allocation. The formula is pretty complicated.

  4. Just A Citizen says:

    INTERESTING article about a very disturbing presentation.

    But not disturbing, in my view, due to the conclusions of the speaker or author, but the total bias they expressed and they don’t see it either. Everything is the RIGHTS fault. Rightwing this and that. One ray of hope? Go to the comments where even the author offers up that “hope” exists because Hillary won the popular vote. Cause of course, she would have been so much better.

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/09/08/shawn-rosenberg-democracy-228045

  5. When Pence was in Ireland this week, he stayed at the Trump property (Pence, the Secret Service, the whole entourage, etc) all used government funds to stay at the Trump resort. Then they had to commute back and forth 180 miles to Dublin for the meetings. This is like staying in Boston when your meetings are in New York.

    It’s… weird.. right? Surely they could find a closer location, no?

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    • Just A Citizen says:

      His stay was not just about the official meetings. It is hard to comment without knowing the travel rules that govern POTUS and VPOTUS.

      If it were a Govt. employee they would have to pay out of pocket for the difference in cost because their per diem would not cover the excess. That would also go for any car rental that could have been avoided by staying closer.

      My biggest complaint is that once again the Admin is blind to LOUSY OPTICS.

    • I have a different take than JAC’s……….also with this entourage, would be the secret service and all the local law enforcement that goes with security. Not only are the optics bad (which they suck) but in no way should Trump or any of his affiliates be enriched at all. If the properties were in a blind trust and the trustee authorized the stays, then there is no problem. BUT……since there is no “blind trust” to make such a ruling, and the decisions have to do with the sons, then I think it is wrong. It just stinks, in my opinion, and should not happen. I also think Trump should have stopped it the minute he found out….and if you think for one minute that his spn knew and daddy different, I have some of G man’s swamp land to sell.

      This is not the same as a foreign dignitary deciding to stay at a Trump property, which I have no problem with at all. These are government funds using tax money enriching a property owned by a sitting POTUS…it is wrong.

      • DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING HAS NOT YET BEEN CONFIRMED BY MATHIUS. THIS IS ALL SCUTTLEBUTT.

        Some additional buzz I’ve seen floating around (which I haven’t yet fact checked) is that the local airport was in financial trouble. Seeing as it’s the only airport close by, its shutting would be a serious problem for the resort.

        Starting in 2016, after the election, but before being sworn in, military flights started getting rerouted to refuel at Shannon Airport rather than at military bases where fuel would be cheaper. Military staff were sold rooms (at cost) at the resort (which, though it didn’t make them “profit, per say, definitely helps to offset fixed costs).

        The result is millions of dollars being redirected to support this airport (note, this is different than millions of dollars being spent.. we’d have had to spend “much” of this anyway.. it just would have gone elsewhere) for the potential purpose of supporting the Trump resort.

        News is still emerging… perhaps you have more information?

        • Just A Citizen says:

          Mathius

          Your scuttlebut is actually an opinion created by a left wing writer which spread it across the web this weekend. Cause after all, it fits the narrative.

          With that said…. I do not know if and how Mr. Trump himself is enriched by this. By law, he cannot receive payments from the US Govt. outside his salary. What is going on here is the accusation that this govt money flows directly to him. But does it really? Or like most businesses does it flow to the business entity, and then dividends or fees distributed.

          Remember, many of the Trump properties are actually licensing deals. So again, I am missing some key info. just as you are.

          But, if he is the listed owner and there is a direct link between money at the resort flowing to him personally, then that violates the law.

          Where I differ with the Colonel on this is that a Blind Trust really doesn’t necessarily eliminate the problem, depending on who is running it and the instructions for its management. But it would have pretty much eliminated this issue.

          I am just guessing here, but I bet the Lawyers have taken a fine tooth comb to this issue and figured out where the legal cracks exist. If true, then Mr. Trump thinks he is gaining some advantage over the media and Dems by POKING them with people staying at his properties.

          Frankly, I am far more curious about the Air Force personnel that stayed at his resort. That seems quite out of the ordinary.

        • I do not have any more information on this. But, who would be in charge of re-routing prior to being sworn in….all the Obama staffers were still there………

          Now, (putting on my conspiracy theory hat…twisting dials) I wonder…….if this change was made prior to Trump taking office……..is it possible this was a set up for the appearance of impropriety down the road? The Dems would have certainly pouced on this early, I think…..but who knows?

          ****The Shadow knows****

      • This is not the same as a foreign dignitary deciding to stay at a Trump property, which I have no problem with at all. These are government funds using tax money enriching a property owned by a sitting POTUS…it is wrong.

        Does this rise to the level of “self-dealing” or “corruption” in your mind?

        • Corruption,,,,,,,,no. Please explain self dealing.

          • Self-dealing is the conduct of a trustee, attorney, corporate officer, or other fiduciary that consists of taking advantage of his position in a transaction and acting in his own interests rather than in the interests of the beneficiaries of the trust, corporate shareholders, or his clients.

            This interpretation……hmmmmmmmmm…………………thinking…………thinking………I do not see a fit here. Where am I wrong?

            • Would you be expanding “self dealing” meaning to the point of not using a blind trust?

              (Remember, I am an old retired Army Colonel who knows nothing).

            • Perhaps it an inexact match for that term…

              But is it “corrupt” to route government expenditures to enrich yourself?

              If you become a general and then it’s discovered that you quietly switched the military’s beef contracts to your ranch, would you get in trouble for that fact? What would the charge be on your Court Marshal?

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Ah, that would be CONFLICT OF INTEREST under the Federal employment rules.

                A FIRING offense by the way.

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Sorry Mathius, I forgot.

                In my opinion that would be CORRUPTION. Knowingly using Govt. position to enrich yourself by using said Govt. position to move Govt. funds into your personal possession.

                Point of interest. In my career there were a couple of times when a govt. employee owned a business which had the best deal for goods for the govt. to buy. It took a mtn of paper work to allow the sales but they were approved. A couple of other times the employee/owner just said screw it and wouldn’t let his business sell the goods.

              • Oh, I would be relieved of command and “ushered” out of the Army. It would be using my position to enrich myself…..and that is a big NO NO……however, the scenario you gave me was…..Trump won but before being sworn in, this was done……by who? Trump could not have done it….he was not in power yet.

              • In my opinion that would be CORRUPTION. Knowingly using Govt. position to enrich yourself by using said Govt. position to move Govt. funds into your personal possession. In the context of part two of the example……in the example of a visiting dignitary…no corruption.

              • Trump could not have done it….he was not in power yet.

                If you think the President Elect has “no power yet,” I also have some of Gman’s swamp land to sell you…

              • And, just to be clear, there are TWO items here..

                A) Trump/Pence et all keep staying at his resort in Ireland. This is fact. The question is “what does it mean” and “is there anything ‘wrong’ about this?”

                B) Allegations that military flights are being re-routed to prop up the local airport which is far more nebulous of a charge.

        • Just A Citizen says:

          It would be in my view an Ethical Violation for sure. It could also arise to violation of the Constitutional prohibition, ie. the Emoluments Clause. But this is where it gets sticky and not a clear cut as the MSM and Dems have made it out to be.

          But in my view, if he receives money from the resort directly then he is in violation.

          But……… what is the consequence? I do not think this is an impeachable offense. It is a legal issue to be handled by Congress and the Attorney General. Forcing a change in behavior. I also think, and I believe the Dems understand, that if Mr. Trump is in fact found to not only be profiting but has been directing people to use his facilities to gain profit, he is toast. It will open the door to a successful Rep. challenger. But the connection has to be clear and provable. Following is background for those who care:

          The Constitutional Provisions
          The Constitution mentions emoluments in three provisions,
          each sometimes referred to as the “Emoluments Clause”:
           The Foreign Emoluments Clause (art. I, § 9, cl. 8):
          “[N]o Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under
          [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the
          Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or
          Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or
          foreign State.”
           The Domestic Emoluments Clause (a.k.a. the
          Presidential Emoluments Clause) (art. II, § 1, cl. 7):
          “The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his
          Services, a Compensation which shall neither be
          encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he
          shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within
          that Period any other Emolument from the United
          States, or any of them.”
           The Ineligibility Clause (art. I, § 6, cl. 2): “No Senator
          or Representative shall, during the Time for which he
          was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the
          Authority of the United States, which shall have been
          created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been
          encreased during such time; and no Person holding any
          Office under the United States, shall be a Member of
          either House during his Continuance in Office.”

          Black’s Law Dictionary defines an “emolument” as an
          “advantage, profit, or gain received as a result of one’s
          employment or one’s holding of office.” There is
          significant debate as to precisely what constitutes an
          emolument within the meaning of the Foreign and
          Domestic Emoluments Clauses, particularly as to whether it
          includes private, arm’s-length market transactions. The only
          two courts to decide this issue adopted a broad definition of
          “Emolument” as reaching any benefit, gain, or advantage,
          including profits from private market transactions not
          arising from an office or employ.

          • Just A Citizen says:

            Pretty good summary and discussion of the “cloudiness” of using this clause.

            https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/IF11086.pdf

            It is the source of the clip I posted just above.

          • that if Mr. Trump is in fact found to not only be profiting but has been directing people to use his facilities to gain profit, he is toast. Not only toast but, in my opinion, this is an impeachable removal from office, offense.

            • Just A Citizen says:

              Colonel

              I agree it should be. Maybe the most important and viable issue for impeachment, as this was the biggest issue when written. This and actual Treason.

              I am just not sure it would reach that level given the legal complexity. Although the politics does come into play.

    • Just A Citizen says:

      Mahtius and Colonel

      Found this……… interesting. Looks like the real issue is transparency at this point. Because the Trump organization does not release any info. it feeds into the claims of Conflict. Like I said, I do wonder if this is deliberate. Kind of like a POTUS who played rope a dope with his birth certificate.

      https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/politics/2019/03/18/president-donald-trumps-promises-didnt-end-business-entanglements/3030377002/

  6. Just A Citizen says:
    • Except Scooter Libby was not the leak.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        TRay

        I know, but neither was Armitage……… not really. Recall, she had been outed due to her smoozhing around in the D.C. celebrity ball circuit.

        This “My Country Betrayed Me” crappola just don’t fly with me.

  7. Just A Citizen says:

    With this you wonder why Mr. Trump and the R’s just keep ignoring the problem. I think the answer is in the details of the article. Mainstream economists believe that pumping the economy with low rates, lower taxes more spending keeps it running at high levels. And high levels are needed to sustain the debt….. capital vs debt, or “ability to pay”. If the economy is growing then it looks like we can make the payments. BUT, it takes more borrowing to keep the growth rate. WE ARE STUCK IN A LOOP……….. A DEATH SPIRAL. In the long run “we are screwed”.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/09/real-us-debt-levels-could-be-a-shocking-2000percent-of-gdp-report-suggests.html

    • Sure…..business 101…….Law of Diminishing Returns…..

      Exactly how the social security system was built….based on continued population growth.

      Ponzi should be proud.

    • Minor note:

      Let us just keep in mind that “lowering rates” is effectively the biggest “dry power” available to the Fed.

      If they keep rates low (which boosts the economy, keeps borrowing cheap, etc), and then there’s a problem that requires them to lower rates… they can’t go lower than zero (well, I suppose they can, but they really shouldn’t).

      In other words, and without advocating for any specific policy here, when they can raise rates without harming the economy too much they should. Otherwise they’ll have no dry power when they need it.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        You are missing the “d” key this AM I see. Did you hurt your left middle finger this weekend?

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Maybe they should let the market dictate the rates……. just sayin.

        Do you think they would be below 2% in this environment? Do you think the savings rate would be below 1%???

        • Before market can dictate…….GET THE FED OUT OF THE BUSINESS

        • I am most certainly not qualified to make that kind of a call.

          I have an economics degree (BS and MBA), but that’s a far cry from sitting on the Fed.

          I don’t know the answer to your question, nor even, really, how to go about beginning to think about what that answer should be. I might as well throw a dart.

          I know just enough to have some perspective of just how mind mindbogglingly complicated that question actually is.

          • Well hell……NOW I know what your problem is………question, what discilpline is the MBA? Mine is finance.

            Fun Fact…..I wanted a PHD but there was none in business EXCEPT economics….took one half of the first course and I was done…….it took two weeks for me to decide I did not need PHD in eco.

          • Just A Citizen says:

            Come on, you know the basics.

            The interest rate HAS to exceed the Inflation Rate otherwise it is meaningless with the respect to the price of money. Same holds for savings rate. Otherwise you are losing money value over time. Which is what is happening to the middle/lower class……Thanks to the FED.

            We did forget to mention that by keeping rates low the Fed assures that Govt. borrowing can continue without defaulting on the payments. Until the revenue doesn’t materialize.

            • Come on, you know the basics.

              I know the basics, yes,

              The interest rate HAS to exceed the Inflation Rate otherwise it is meaningless with the respect to the price of money.

              I also know that “inflation” is higher than the government likes to pretend it is.

              Same holds for savings rate.

              Correct. Part of the reason no one saves is that “saving” isn’t worthwhile.. also that they don’t generally have enough money to save.. but that’s a different topic.

              Otherwise you are losing money value over time. Which is what is happening to the middle/lower class……Thanks to the FED.

              Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh….

              The lower classes don’t have savings because they don’t have sufficient income relative to their expenses. They are, in a sense, judgement proof. You can’t deplete their savings because they don’t exist. This is really a problem for the upper middle class and the lower-upper classes who have enough to save, but not enough to invest the way rich people do.

              The lower middle and lower classes are really just getting screwed by stagnant wages and inflation (while the government is busy pretending there is no inflation). That’s their problem, not the Fed.

              We did forget to mention that by keeping rates low the Fed assures that Govt. borrowing can continue without defaulting on the payments. Until the revenue doesn’t materialize.

              A-Friggin’-Men!

              ——–

              Ok, look, I think the rate has to be raised, but doing so is a serious problem for a government running trillion dollar deficits in a lackluster economy which is fueled almost entirely by gains in the stock market fueled largely by stock buy-backs and corporate tax breaks.

              What should it be? It’s now 2.25… I’d really like to see that up above 5%, but that’s contingent on a much healthier economy than we’ve got right now. And, above all, we would need to get there slllloooooowwwwwllllllyyy.

              What should it be today? 2.5, maybe? Tops. I’d like to raise it a bps each quarter until we’re safely deleveraged and saving is reasonable again and the Fed has enough dry powder to actually respond to economic events.

              But that deficit………… it’s like the sword of Damocles… Honestly, just another percent might be economic suicide.. I have to imagine that’s the main driver for why the fed has kept rates so low. But if they ever uttered those words out loud, the market would be down 40% the next day.

          • Just A Citizen says:

            Mathius

            You, I and the Colonel would do no worse than they. I have it on good authority that the FED and all their experts don’t have a clue either. So if they don’t and we don’t, let why don’t WE try it? Cause I know they are not going to even try.

  8. Just A Citizen says:

    Oh the possible irony if Putin’s downfall came not as the result of prior POTUS efforts to weaken him, but Mr. Trump praising him.

    Then I would have to start considering SK’s claims that he is a master of 3D chess.

  9. Just A Citizen says:

    Which of the following three Mtn West/WAC QB’s has the best chance to win a Super Bowl Ring, as of today. Note: All three played against each other and they were all great games.

    Collin Kapernick
    Kellen Moore
    Andy Dalton
    Derek Carr (forgot that one first time)

    • Kellen Moore is my choice.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Bwahahahahaha 🙂 🙂 🙂

        I thought someone else would have something to offer. Should have included Kirk Cousins on the list so that Anita would play.

        • The reason I picked him were the parameters of your question. Of the Qb’s you listed current and past…..you asked which is more likely. If the Cowboys win the Super Bowl this year, then he gets a Super Bowl Ring being a coach.

          • Just A Citizen says:

            Colonel

            Yes Sir, you got my trick question. The others, except Kapernick, are still playing but Moore, as Dallas’ OC has the best chance to get a ring, as of today.

        • Ha! Moore, your boy from Boise State, who ended up with the Lions for a few, now with the Cowboys…of course the Colonel votes for him! I’d pick him too from that list.

          Cousins is disqualified because he’s from THE ORIGINAL football conference…the BIG 10!

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Did you notice how he took basically the same talent and reconfigured it to be more effective? Prescott and he may just have something special working together. He seems to have Prescott believing in himself again.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Colonel

        A little fun diversion. Watch Gruden’s Camp with Moore. What struck me at the time was it was unlike any other I had seen. Instead of talking about Moore, they kept talking about the offense and how he made it run so well. Make sure to watch all the way to the end, where you will find the hint of where things are today. Except for size and arm strength Gruden never asked about mistakes in different games, except one when he as a Freshman.

        • Really cool…..The Cowboys really like him and so do the players.

          • Just A Citizen says:

            That is what I understand. I saw Prescott interview over the decision and it sure looked like he was happy, happy, happy Moore got the job. That says something. I also saw talking ed opinions going back a couple years. All asking why the “Boys” keep Moore and the answer always was…..the team and coaches love the guy. LEADERSHIP and of course knowledge of the game. I knew he was a leader at Boise but didn’t know if it would translate, especially in a league filled with so much AAA talent and egos to go with it.

            Could be a tough year for me. Forced to pull for the Cowboys because of Moore. Right up until they play the Seahawks. Can’t go all the way.

  10. Just A Citizen says:

    Just found this in the Pending file. From an unknown source via Twitter, near as I could tell. Rather than post the Name and screw up the site connection if it were fake, here is the comment itself.

    In reply to gman.
    Voters in the biggest cities in the US have been almost exactly balanced out by rural areas in terms of population and partisan composition.

    16% of the U.S. population lives outside the nation’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Rural America has voted 60% Republican. None of the 10 most rural states matter now.

    16% of the U.S. population lives in the top 100 cities. They voted 63% Democratic in 2004.

    The population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 15% of the population of the United States.

    The rest of the U.S., in suburbs, divide almost exactly equally between Republicans and Democrats.

  11. Just A Citizen says:

    House Judiciary Committee voting to start impeachement investigations and setting the rules.

    So tell me…… why does the Chairman’s public comments not disqualify either him or the entire investigation?

    ““The unprecedented corruption, coverup, and crimes by the president are under investigation by the committee as we determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment or other Article 1 remedies,” Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. ” That whole “innocent until proven guilty thing” seems to be missing here.

    I also note that this is a blatantly political statement and a serious investigation’s leader would probably not be making such a public statement.

    Then there is this, from the R opposition: “Judiciary Democrats are trying to pull a fast one on Americans,” said Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary panel. “They know they don’t have the votes for the whole House to impeach, so they’re trying to adopt committee rules to govern an ‘impeachment investigation’ the House hasn’t even authorized.”

    • Some factions within Blue Team are desperate to impeach.

      I don’t think there’s enough to impeach… lots of smoke… my god… look at all this smoke!.. but no fire.

      The thinking seems to be “he must have done something that can stick, so we’ll impeach him and hope we find the magic bullet in the process.” Which, I think you’ll agree, is ass-backward.

      Now, that said, and not to change the subject, but I’m a bit young to remember the Clinton impeachment too clearly/objectively. My “memory” of the impeachment is that of a witch hunt, followed by a bullshit charge due to a bullshit question being asked that should never have been asked, and a “gotcha” moment leading to a slap on the wrist. Now, I’ve done some reading and matured this narrative a bit over the years, but that’s what I remember as a then-15 year old.

      So I’d be interested in your take… what do you think of the Clinton impeachment in light of these current efforts?

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Mathius

        The impeachment arose from Clinton LYING to a Grand Jury over the Lewinsky affair, not him having the affair, whether in the Oval Office or not. However, I have never seen the full transcript so I don’t know if he lied about other things.

        Why the Grand Jury? Because of a Special Prosecutor charged with investigating the White Water real estate company in Arkansas, to which the Clinton’s were party. Especially Mrs. Clinton. What so many selectively forget is that the White Water investigation ended up with Convictions of some of the Clinton cronies. Those cronies played dumb regarding the Clinton connection, to the point of it being absurd the way I remember.

        The Lewinsky thing came into play because of all the women who came forward accusing him of rape or at least harassment. This included charges of him using the Arkansas State Police to coerce people into silence. Mrs. Clinton was also implicated in this mess. A couple of State Troopers came forward to testify and one, I believe, suddenly died under mysterious circumstances. Other witnesses supposedly disappeared as well. This is where the “Clinton Kill List” meme comes from, if you didn’t know. Vince Foster was just an add on to the list, not the source.

        So as I remember, all this was going on and the Special Counsel was looking into much of these accusations in addition to the real estate deals. Then the Lewinsky thing hit which gave Ken Starr something he could directly question Clinton about under oath, having proof in his back pocket. Then Clinton with his large ego, LIED. To the American People but more importantly to the Grand Jury.

        So I disagree with you that the question should never have been asked. I know that Starr now regrets following that path. But he did so at the time because he was being stonewalled in the other investigations of Clinton abusing power to cover up his affairs and accusations of rape.

        Despite the Dems howling this was all about Sex between consenting adults, it was far more than that. And that never did address the Sexual Harassment nature of his thing with Lewinsky. Something Corp. Execs were being fired for at the same time, and something for which any other Govt. Executive would have been fired.

        Based on my dealings with their crew in those years I am more and more inclined to believe all the slime about them was pretty much true. But I have never seen much DEFINITIVE PROOF. I still believe it though. He was the play boy face and she was the power, real nasty and dirty power. Her and many of the cronies that came with them. Somewhere just before or during their early time in office they figured out the NGO angle to shuffle money into their pockets. Mr. Al Gore and his people played a role as well, and may be the ones’ who clued the Clinton’s in to this game. Of course that has nothing to do with your question, but explains why I was so strongly opposed to her being elected. Those same slimy staff people would have come back with them.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Mathius

        Reading your question again I think I got to far into the weeds.

        I agreed with the Clinton impeachment, but not the Special Prosecutor having unlimited power which led to the Lewinsky affair being included.

        I disagree with the House Dems taking the current path. And I still disagree with the Special Prosecutor having unlimited power.

        Now, if an actual CRIME appears, such as the Clinton case, then the Dems are free to file charges and I have no problem.

        But remember, they set the standard back then. A sitting POTUS lies to a Grand Jury and the Democratic controlled Senate finds him Not Guilty. To me they look like hypocrites at the grandest scale at the moment. But that is probably why the older Dem guard is so reluctant to move forward. More institutional memories than this newer and more radical group.

  12. Read along today about Govt folks using possible Trump business property. Thought it was all kind of comical, mainly because Obama spent millions at Martha’s Vineyard and Hawaii. While he didn’t have a “business” interest in those properties, that we know of, if anyone thinks those rich folks who owned those properties didn’t donate millions to the Democrat campaign coffers, I gots plenty of great ocean front property in Kansas for sale 😀

    • A) “if anyone thinks those rich folks who owned those properties didn’t donate millions to the Democrat campaign coffers”… Support that or get outta he’ah!

      B) “Obama did it, so it’s fine if Trump does it” is just shitty logic.

      Please reach out to Anita to see if she will offer your her immunity card. Otherwise, get outta he’ah!

      C) ” I gots plenty of great ocean front property in Kansas for sale”… well, once global warming kicks in, maybe that’ll be worth something. There’s no other way I’m ever moving to Kansas.

  13. Stephen K. Trynosky says:

    Ya see, Trump has a real problem here, he was a businessman in business before he became president. Had Ross Perot won I suspect anything to do with computers would have led to calls for his impeachment too. Our “normal” presidents are not businessmen, not even old G. Bush whose Daddy’s money (really great grandaddy’s money) bought him a baseball team. They have all been government teat suckers all their lives. Oh yes, tehre is the occassional peanut farmer or General or Movie actor but recently, Jesus H. YouKnowWho!

    So what will come of all this nonsense is 1. Trumnp will NOT back down 2. Myriad investigations. 3. Hotels delivered at or below cost which people COULD have figured out (and probably did ) on day 1.

    • How does he put his holdings in a blind trust when they have is name above the door? The trustee would have to sell the assets and manage the money which kind of defeats the whole business.

      • Whether or not his name is on anything does not matter. In a blind trust, you do not have to sell assets….you do not have to change your name…..you just do not run the business. You do not attend board meetings, you do not have a say so in the operations. That is all. The management team stays the same…..everything stays the same. Just not you. It can be a friend. You do not have to give up ownership……just no say so in the operations while you are in office.

        • Definition: a financial arrangement in which a person in public office gives the administration of private business interests to an independent trust in order to prevent conflict of interest. Under the trust, the owner does not know how the assets are managed.

          • Just A Citizen says:

            In the case of Trump I don’t see how it would have made a difference in actual affect.

            APPEARANCE, yes. But actual effect, not so much. And the Jackals would not have stopped howling either. It would be harder to sell but they would not have stopped with the accusations of self dealing.

            • It would be harder to sell but they would not have stopped with the accusations of self dealing.

              You are, of course, entirely correct.

              It would be harder to sell but they would not have stopped with the accusations of self dealing.

              … but…. are they wrong? I’m trying to be clear-eyed about this, but it sure feeeeeeellls like he’s self-dealing… Pence staying 180 mi from Dublin… that’s just the latest… it’s getting pretty hard to see it any other way…

            • JAC, I agree, the carrion feeders will not be satisfied.

        • But, to T-Ray’s question, he would still know what he benefitted from.

          He would still know that staying at Mar-a-Lago benefited the blind trust and therefore himself. And any significant changes would no doubt be reported on Fox & Friends for him to learn about.

          So, if the point of the blind trust is to remove him from control over those assets, sure, it would work. But if it’s to stop him be using the Presidency to self-enrich and/or eliminating a conflict of interest, then it wouldn’t work. Unless I’m missing something major here…

          If you put your investment account in a blind trust, it’s fine, because you don’t necessarily know what the trust is choosing to invest in. But unless the trust liquidated the Trump assets and bought all new stuff – and kept it out of the news – I fail to see how this would be effective at preventing conflicts of interest.

          • Basically that is my point.

            Now did you know that the IRS audits presidents annually for compliance on this issue? Second, reports out there are that Trump’s net worth has declined since taking office. I have no knowledge if this is true. Dan Bongino, a former SS agent, says that the SS has input into where the protectee stays. Part of the assessment is cooperation of the host.

            • Basically that is my point.

              Yup… and it’s a good one.. just waiting on the colonel’s response…

              Now did you know that the IRS audits presidents annually for compliance on this issue?

              No.. how so… what have been the results…?

              reports out there are that Trump’s net worth has declined since taking office. I have no knowledge if this is true

              Trump determines his wealth by “feelings.” He has spoken before that he values his “brand” according to his own feeling of what his brand is worth and then counts that into his wealth. As such, his “wealth” is a totally meaningless figure.

              Forbes had him at 3.7b in 2016 and 3.1b in 2019, so that would seem to jive with your understanding. But, again, that is probably counting his “brand,” so I’m not sure how to objectively interpret this.

              Dan Bongino, a former SS agent, says that the SS has input into where the protectee stays.

              Input, sure… but it’s not like the SS was the one who pushed him and Pence to stay at Trump resorts.

              Trump: I want to stay at the Motel 6!
              SS Agent: No! You’re going to stay at Mar a Lago, and you’re going to damned well like it!
              Trump: Oh… ok… whatever you say, sir..

    • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

      Correct me if I am wrong here but are not most of these “Blind trusts” set up to handle investment income? Trump was running an ongoing business which requires immediate day to day decisions.

      Colonel. how would you make out in a blind trust situation? You seem to be running a fairly hands on business yourself.

      • I am running a hands on business….I do not have anything in a blind trust. I understand the rules of blind trusts very clearly. No, blind trusts are set up to also run operations…make decisions, investment and otherwise. In a true blind trust, the owner does not have control over who does what…..In Trump’s case…..he legally cannot designate or even HINT at staying at his properties, for example. He is not supposed to even advertise or say anything publicly or privately about his trust or its operations.

        So if Stephen, runs for office and owns Trynosky hotel, and he puts that in a blind trust…..you are still the owner and your hotel will rise of fall on the decisions of the trustee. You would have no say…….BUT, if the Trustee says it is ok for your government officials to stay there…then there is no problem and since you did not direct nor have any input into the decision, you are not helping yourself. On the converse, if your trustee decides to open a brothel in your hotel….you cannot do anything about it either. YOu do not even have the right to sell it because you would not be in control.

        It is a horrble stretch of imagination to say that Trump is enriching himself IF his holdings were in the hands of a trustee….a blind trustee. There would be no enriching of anything if Pence then stayed at his properties no matter where they travelled. However, the surface of this stinks worse than cow shit on a 110 degree day standing down wind…..his sons are running it and I will never be convinced that this is not talked about of=ver Thanksgiving dinner. It stinks……but unless you have Trump directly involved in the decsion…then no foul.

  14. Saints 30 – Texans 28 That was a fun game to watch, great last 2 minutes.

    • Oh, the irony of OAN complaining about other media’s accuracy…..

      That said, good f’in luck! Just from the clip in the body of the article you posted, I’m going to tell you this’ll get laughed out of court unless MSN sticks around to try for their legal fees or a counter-suit… both of which stand a plausible chance.

      What OAN has done is take a whole segment on an allegation that they have a reporter on the Russian / Kremlin payroll (true) and ignored all the context, then cherry picked six words they objected to. It is perfectly clear from the segment what she’s saying, why she believes it, how she sourced it, etc. The six objectionable words are clearly hyperbolic within the context, but even if they weren’t….

      The bar for media is outrageously high, which is why tabloids are a thing that exist. The bar for talking about public figures / public companies is also outrageously high, which is why I can safely tell you that Trump is actually a Mole Man. More to the point, the bar for public figures / public companies was set by SCOTUS decades ago and requires something called the “actual malice” standard. This standard places the burden of proof entirely on the plaintiff to prove that malice via “clear and convincing evidence.” And Maddow is citing another news source, so to argue that she didn’t believe what she was saying (within context.. and the courts will absolutely consider the context) it puts the burden of proof to prove the negative entirely on OAN. This was dead before the ink dried.

      Oh, and there’s no obligation of retraction. Even if she was wrong or mispoke, or took it a step too far, it might be “good form” or “the right thing to do,” but it’s not necessary in any way from a legal standard and may even harm their case by admitting factual error. (this is why Canadian law excludes apologies and retractions from admissible evidence in court.. so that you can apologize without hurting your interests.. but US doesn’t work that way, which is why you will almost never get an “apology” from any company where they might possibly be sued.)

      There’s just no chance OAN is going to be able to make their case. Let alone establish $10mm worth of damages (ha!). Or punitive damages (ha! ha!). If anything, this raised their profile and helped them, so OAN should be thanking Maddow.

      OAN’s lawyers have to know all this, so it’s just a publicity stunt.

      Were I the judge in this case, I would throw it out the second it hit my docket, grant Maddow’s request for legal fees which she will surely file, and slap the plaintiff’s attorneys with disciplinary actions for filing a frivolous lawsuit. Judge Mathius has no patience for this kind of bullshit. (and, no, it wouldn’t matter if the roles are reversed.. in fact, I might be harsher on MSN as a more established company suing an obvious rag like OAN.. they should know better.)

      …..

      …..

      Also, not for nothing, but the truth is an Absolute Defense* to slander.. so if it turns out that that they are funded by the Kremlin… even slightly, even indirectly… well… that would just be icing on the cake. And, IF they have a reporter on the Kremlin payroll, that sounds like a pretty good justification for the interpretation that they are “literally paid Russian propaganda.”

      *Absolute Defense is an actual legal term here.. it means what it sounds like… there is literally nothing else necessary to win if you can prove this.. I could have been lying maliciously, deliberately, and it could have been hugely damaging to you… but if it turns out, even after the fact, that I’m right, well… tough cookies for you.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Mathius, Mathius, Mathius. They are not complaining about accuracy. Come on man. Maddow pulls her usual stuff tossing out a claim buried in a ton of stuff. It is about the accusation of being Russian Propaganda.

        And having an independent writer who also contributes to other outlets is not the same as having someone paid by Russia on your staff.

        You are probably correct about the lawsuit, but there is nothing reasonable about Maddow’s story and especially conclusions.

        The sadder part it this is indicative of the media today. An obvious biased rag puts up a story that fits a desired narrative and MSM outlets pick it up and rewash, rinse and repeat. Let us not forget good ol’ Lawrence O’Donnell just had to issue a retraction for doing something like this without checking the sources.

        I expect that may have been the incentive to file this lawsuit. O’Donnell’s actions could go to a “pattern”.

        • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

          O’Donnell did not really retract. he simply said the story was not ready for prime time and used the “if” word .

        • Mathius, Mathius, Mathius. They are not complaining about accuracy.

          I mean.. that’s explicitly what the lawsuit is claiming… that she slandered them… requisite in “slander” is that the claim being made is not accurate.

          Maddow pulls her usual stuff tossing out a claim buried in a ton of stuff. It is about the accusation of being Russian Propaganda.

          I can’t really speak to this… I don’t watch her much (though I generally enjoy her when I do), but it seemed clear to me what she’s getting at within the context of her larger segment. TO ME, this is clearly hyperbolic opinion rather than an assertion of objective fact. I can certainly see how you’d see it otherwise, but it is just 6 words in the middle of a several minute-long segment discussing a employee contributor who is Kremlin-linked.

          That said, I was weighing in on the legal aspects of the suit.. and for them to win, the burden of proof is on OAN to prove that she did mean it as a statement of fact rather than hyperbole by “clear and convincing” evidence… and I don’t think that’s a case that be made. “Questionable” or “unclear” or “murky” all result in a Maddow win.

          And having an independent writer who also contributes to other outlets is not the same as having someone paid by Russia on your staff.

          Maybe, maybe not.. Again, I wasn’t weighing in on the factual-ness of the “assertion.” Only into the legal aspects of the suit.

          Given the particulars of libel law involving media and public figures, the plaintiffs are going to have to prove that she meant it maliciously, that she knew it was false, and that it damaged them… ain’t happening.

          She can be factually wrong – objectively wrong – dead to rights.. but if she believed it, then she’s safe… legally.

          And because they’re a public entity, they’re gong to have to prove that she knew it was wrong and fat chance of that happening.

          … That said.. her charge may be defensible… it doesn’t have to be right-right… just “right enough” to be technically barely accurate (eg, a 5-10% chance that a hurricane might nick a tiny corner of Alabama level of accurate). And if she’s right, then they don’t have a (legal) leg to stand on. Truth is an Absolute Defense to libel. And a case could be made that, in some interpretations, accepting and publishing contributions by a man on the Kremlin payroll is “really literally is paid Russian propaganda.” It’s not a “good” argument.. but it an argument… and if a court found it to be true even in one interpretation, then… again, the suit is dead. Still, I wouldn’t hang my hat on this as my defense.

          You are probably correct about the lawsuit, but there is nothing reasonable about Maddow’s story and especially conclusions.

          I’m pretty sure I am.

          And if we know this, then their lawyers know this, which makes this a frivolous lawsuit.

          It’s a publicity stunt.

    • … That’s my daughter …

      • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

        A very wise child!

        • My older one is a self-imposed vegetarian because “it’s wrong to eat animals.”

          ‾\_(ツ)_/‾

          • Just A Citizen says:

            Have you explained that it is sin fact our Natural state to eat animals? We are the descendants of hunters/gatherers.

            Our ancestors recognized the conundrum of taking life to sustain life, that is why they gave thanks to the animal for giving its life so that they might live. Aboriginal customs and what we call religions more than likely developed from this, and certainly codified it in these societies.

            • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

              Unfortunately. We have lost that connection. Funny in about 100 years, IF (big if) western civilizatioin survives, we will be looked at as savages as bad as cannibals! If western civilization does not survive, no problem.

              • Just A Citizen says:

                SK

                Yes but the great irony is that while humans were developing this “connection with nature” we were also causing TWO, count em-TWO, great extinctions of flora and fauna around the world.

                The environmentalist and Hollywood view of ancient peoples, including Indians, is a myth. While a snap shot looks like living with nature, the whole story shows the reality. Humans displaced and/or destroyed the natural systems and animals which existed before they arrived.

              • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

                JAC, In high school in my Roman History class (in lieu of flunking third year Latin) I read how the Romans wiped out several European species including their big cats and bison to feed the animals to the spectacles in the “games”.

  15. Stephen K. Trynosky says:

    Politico, (very Politico) seems to have a problem with aircrew staying at a Trump hotel even when it is within the budget for such stays. How damn petty can you get? Guess they want everyone to stay at a Red Roof Inn. This is the UNITED STATES AIR FORCE we are talking about here, not the Army. I’ve been told by reliable sources that tha Air Force will not even deploy if hot showers are not avaiable!

    http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pages/2019/September%202019/USAF-Reviewing-Travel-Policies-as-Trump-Resort-Stays-Face-Scrutiny.aspx

    • It’s a simple enough question… why there?

      There are a lot of places to stay. Trump owns 0.00001% of the world’s hotels*. Are we imagining that it’s just chance that they ended up staying at the hotel owned by the President of the United States? That’s an awfully big coincidence, isn’t it?

      So… why there?

      *number pulled out of my ass

      • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

        Why not? Maybe they like golf!

        Note that the airport has been on a recommended refueling list for a long time. If you got a chance to stay in a four star for the same relative cost as a one star which would you take?

        I have a hunch, that somebody in the aircrew business did a google search at some point and realized that this place was probably a whole lot better than the Red Roof they had been staying at. Service members, contrary to popular belief, are incredibly adaptable and….sneaky!

        Back in ’69 the US Army, after I’d been discharged, gave me round trip air fare to return as a civilian a week later and testify at a courts martial. My Sr, NCO, crafty dude, told me to just hang out in the barracks for a week, nobody would notice, and show up a week later to testify. I pocketed the money. Then , going home, he conveniently left me alone in the company office with the forms on the desk necessary to fly home, space available, as if I were still in the Army. $ 27.50 from St. Louis to LaGuardia, in first class! Three steaks and three bloody Mary’s!

        I’m sure all of us veterans have myriad stories of how to tweak the system to ones benefit. These POLITICO asswipes have just screwed the help. Bastards!

        • I’m sure all of us veterans have myriad stories of how to tweak the system to ones benefit. Why……of all the insults…..the..the suggestion that any veteran knows how to “tweak” the system…..I mean….the veracity of it all….the…. the……I am speechless…..I never……I…I………….(another bloody mary, please)…….to insinuate…….the shock….the horror……….to suggest that a Colonel would use his rank for first class tickets and linen napkins and suites and things………..I am dumb founded………I just don’t know what to say……**burp/hic**

      • I think the more useful question is ,Why did the air force start using this airport to refuel? Is there some reason they wanted to insure it stayed open?

        • Just A Citizen says:

          That should be the primary question.

        • That’s the big question…

          If that airport went under, it would be quite detrimental to the Trump resort…

          • But, all the same…..still a question. So, to use Mathius logic, (makes my head hurt)….just the mere innuendo without proof makes it worthwhile for a special counsel.

            • No need for a special prosecutor… unless someone starts stonewalling…. just a few friendly questions that need to be asked to make sure everything is above-board….

              • Objection: Show me a politically “friendly” question?

              • Mathius: Hi Donald, what time is it?
                Trump: 6:72 on Friesday

                Mathius: Hi Sarah, what time is it?
                Palin: That’s a gotcha question, dontchaknow! … I once shot a moose from a helicopter.

                Mathius: Hi Bill, what time is it?
                Clinton: I do not recall.

                Mathius: Hi Bernie, what time is it?
                Sanders:: We’ve got to do something about the time inequality!

                Mathius: Hi Mike, what time is it?
                Pence: I’ll ask mother.

                Mathius: Hi Nancy, what time is it?
                Pelosi: It’s Trump’s fault!

                Mathius: Hi Mitch, what time is it?
                McConnell: ::withdraws into shell::

                Mathius: Hi Morena, what time is it?
                Baccarin: Who are you and how did you get in my house?!

        • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

          Read the article. It was a traditional stop which dropped off the map for awhile but in 2015 which is the year before the election I believe, the USAF stopped there 95 times. Apparently the weather is better than Shannon in Ireland. The former RAF installation closed, not the airport.

          http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pages/2019/September%202019/USAF-Reviewing-Travel-Policies-as-Trump-Resort-Stays-Face-Scrutiny.aspx

  16. Just A Citizen says:
    • Good words… I’m primarily interested in deeds, however.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        So you are admitting that if he doesn’t rule per your desire he is bad?

        Like supporting the POTUS travel ban, various issues regarding border enforcement, etc. Like those decisions.

        • So you are admitting that if he doesn’t rule per your desire he is bad?

          Yes.

          But, to be clear, as far as his rulings are concerned, I want him to rule in line with a reasonable interpretation of the law. THAT is my “desire.”

          For instance. I think gay marriage is – absolutely – a good thing. But the ruling in Obgerfell is clearly an example of the court reaching the conclusion it wanted to reach, and then working backward to create a legal justification.

          I would want to see him overturn this decision… and then I’d want to see an Amendment to reinstate it. Or, better still, Amendment first.. just sayin’…

          Similarly, I think Roe is (generally) a good thing.. but I don’t agree with the ruling’s justification. I think they wanted to legalize abortion and worked backward to justify it. I’d be happy (and sad) to see it overturned… and then I’d want to see an Amendment to reinstate it (as I see it, not necessarily as the current case-law sees it).

          Put JUSTICE Mathius on the Court, and I’d overturn both. And I’d hate doing it. (My dissenting opinions would piss off literally 99% of the country).

          Like supporting the POTUS travel ban

          POTUS absolutely had the right to the travel ban… but not when religiously motivated. That’s pretty firmly established jurisprudence.

          The same action can be legal or illegal based on motive.

          If Trump had been able to keep his big mouth shut, JUSTICE Mathius would have ruled in his favor (and hated to do so). But, as he was quite clear to call it a “Muslim travel ban,” there’s no way JUSTICE Mathius can permit it (and would gleefully prohibit it).

          various issues regarding border enforcement, etc.

          You’d have to be more specific.

          But if he’s ruling in an impartial manner rather than just being a “politician in a robe”.. and if his rulings are well-grounded… and he’s not actively expanding the imperial Presidency or breaking down the separation of church and state… Yea.. I might dislike the results, but that won’t change that I would agree with his rulings.

          The litmus test – for me – is never “will he rule the way I would like to see America” but rather “will he rule in line with the rule of law.” If that ruling is “bad but legally correct/justified” then the problem isn’t his ruling.. it’s the relevant law which needs to change.

          Judges – on both “sides” – are supposed to interpret the law, not make it. THAT is what I want to see him do. And if I don’t like the results, well, that just sucks for me, doesn’t it.

          • Just A Citizen says:

            I am pleasantly surprised by some of your answer. Not completely though, that is surprised.

            On the homosexual marriage thing, yes the ruling was wrong. I am not sure an Amendment should have been done, however. If the Fed had stayed out of this I really do believe that the States would have it legalized by now, that is most of them. Once they had it legalized the remaining States would have had to rewrite laws to deal with the underlying discriminatory issues, like right to contract, medical, etc. etc. I think we would have seen a move by States to take the Oklahoma solution. NO GOVT place in sanctity of marriage. EVERYONE gets a Civil Union certificate. Marriage then becomes a personal choice.

            • I am pleasantly surprised by some of your answer. Not completely though, that is surprised.

              Why would you be surprise? I’ve been saying for for a decade.

              n the homosexual marriage thing, yes the ruling was wrong. I am not sure an Amendment should have been done, however. If the Fed had stayed out of this I really do believe that the States would have it legalized by now, that is most of them.

              ::nodding along::

              ::nodding along::

              Yea… “most”.. but that boils down to “screw the guys living in conservative states…

              Once they had it legalized the remaining States would have had to rewrite laws to deal with the underlying discriminatory issues, like right to contract, medical, etc. etc.

              ::nodding along::

              ::nodding along::

              NO GOVT place in sanctity of marriage. EVERYONE gets a Civil Union certificate. Marriage then becomes a personal choice.

              HELL YEA…

              Wait… why do we even need “civil unions” at this point? All that other stuff.. beneficiaries, hospital rights, etc.. that can all be worked out with appropriate legal documentation. Wills and medical proxies, etc. Why does the government need to form a “union” in order handle these things? I can add a person to my bank account or not. I can have a kid and, if we go our separate ways, the courts can still weigh in on custody and visitation and financial obligations without a “union” in the first place. Why would a “civil union” be necessary at all?

              Also, what about those polygamists? Why shouldn’t I be able to form a Civil Union with my harem?

              I’d rather the government but out… entirely… on the subject.

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Why??? Efficiency

                Same reason we have Govt. agencies and regulations. It is more EFFICIENT than filing millions of contracts and lawsuits.

                Polygamy? Fine by me. You can live with whomever you want……… if they are a functional consenting adult.

                My “Surprise” was due to some of your inconsistency in the detailed decisions and previous discussions. Your general position was not a surprise and I knew your view on Roe v Wade. At one time you were siding with Buck on the living document theory that goes to judicial review rather than amendments. I understand that modern society creates issues that have to be reviewed under laws that did not foresee certain details. That is not “living document” theory as you and I have discussed.

                But on those issues, I do think SCOTUS should sometimes reject certain claims and just clearly state that the law does not really address the issue and therefore Congress must act.

                One precedent I bet we disagree over is when SCOTUS ruled that pornography was protected speech. Along with all kinds of other things that are not really about speaking or expressing “opinions”.

              • Polygamy? Fine by me. You can live with whomever you want……… if they are a functional consenting adult.

                Of course!

                you were siding with Buck on the living document theory

                I do subscribe to “living document,” but only to a logical outgrowth… for example, “speech” when it was written could never have considered internet forums… but it is a reasonable outgrowth to extend the 1st to cover it.

                It is NOT a reasonable interpretation to, say, take the ERA, which was written about one thing and extend it to a wholly different thing because it kinda-sorta fits while ignoring the plain text document and the rational of those who passed it.

                One precedent I bet we disagree over is when SCOTUS ruled that pornography was protected speech.

                Right you are, pal.

                Just because you don’t like the “message” being conveyed, and just because the interest is prurient… doesn’t change the fact that it is you expressing yourself in every bit the same way as a book or a movie.

                It’s not my job – JUSTICE Mathius, that is – to decide what has merit and what doesn’t. If you put it own on paper medium and transmit it, and it doesn’t pose an imminent threat and isn’t libelous and doesn’t violate copyright law, etc.. who am I to say what you do and do not have a right to communicate?

                All those exceptions have a grounding in that they violate or impact significantly on the rights of others. But consenting individuals sending and receiving porn does not impact on the rights of others. It’s only a question of “I don’t like that, so it should be illegal,” and that’s a bullshit argument.

                Besides… I like pornography.

                Along with all kinds of other things that are not really about speaking or expressing “opinions”.

                Yes… This might fall under that “living document” mentality.. “speech” is not “words” but “conveying of ideas.”

                As long as those ideas are not violating or threatening other people’s rights, then you can convey whatever you want any way you want…

                …. within reason 😉

            • Hey, JAC,

              I know you’d never want me as a politician.. but would you support the nomination of JUSTICE Mathius to the Supreme Court?

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Mathius

                Yes I would. You are not a perfect candidate but your general approach is good. Probably closer to mine than those recently appointed.

                Your hanging on Mr. Trump’s prior speech regarding the “Muslim ban” is one I disagree with you on. The structure of the actual rule should have been the primary criteria and if solid that should have been enough. And it seemed solid to me.

                There was no need to ban travel from all the countries in the region just to satisfy a biased view against the decision. They banned travel from those they could not adequately vet travelers. But because you recognized that POTUS did have this authority I could over look this slight mistake.

                Now if you could address the underlying legal issue on that one. Suppose you have a religious sect declaring war on the USA. Known to have carried out attacks against the USA. This sect exists within countries which we have little control over. Would not banning travelers from those countries seem prudent? But if we ban travel it is obvious that some belong to that RELIGIOUS sect might be banned. This is where I find the religious prohibition untenable. It is a little like our right to speech only worse. Our laws force us to allow people to come here who desire to destroy us.

                With that said, I agree with you in that the law is clear. So it is not your job Justice Mathius nor mine as Justice JAC to overturn that law, unless it violates Congressional authority under the Constitution. It is Congress’ job to change the law and ours to amend the Const. if needed.

                I am waiting to see the day when the ACLU sues the Govt. for banning someone with an infectious disease from entering the USA because it violates the American with Disabilities Act. The poor disabled person should not be discriminated against.

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Mathius

                P.S. While I disagree strongly with some of your views that is not true with all of them. And you are sometimes a rational thinking (:wink:)

                So SURPRISE……… I would not mind you being a politician representing me nearly as much as most of the sludge now holding office. On the other hand, I kind of like you so I wouldn’t wish you to hold such an office that would do nothing but eat at your soul.

              • Now if you could address the underlying legal issue on that one.

                Sure.

                Suppose you have a religious sect declaring war on the USA. Known to have carried out attacks against the USA. This sect exists within countries which we have little control over.

                I’ll try to imagine such a world..

                Would not banning travelers from those countries seem prudent?

                Yes… though outside the scope of my jurisdiction to question. PRESIDENT Mathius would certainly see fit to ban such travel.

                But if we ban travel it is obvious that some belong to that RELIGIOUS sect might be banned. This is where I find the religious prohibition untenable.

                No.

                Banning travel from these countries because of the potential presence of threats is fine.

                Banning travel from these countries because of the presence of members of a religion is NOT fine.

                That the two circles of the Venn diagram overlap significantly is irrelevant.

                I can LEGALLY run you over in my car… provided it’s an accident. If I swerve to avoid a deer and hit you, that’s fine. If I swerve to hit you because I want to hit you, that’s not fine. Same action, same result, different motivation. One is legal and just “shit happens” the other is illegal. Motivation can make a difference in legality for the same actions.

                In the US, the law cannot be a Religious test. And by calling it a Muslim Ban, he makes clear that the driving factor is religion. The exact same ban as a “terrorism travel ban” is completely ok.

                It is a little like our right to speech only worse. Our laws force us to allow people to come here who desire to destroy us.

                JUSTICE Mathius might have gotten on board if it were a “Extremist Wahhabi Muslim Ban” as this is a sect which is expressly hostile to America, it’s as much an ideology as a religion, thus the groups being targeted are definitionally hostile and potential threats… The case could be made that the ban is targeted at the ideology, not the religion and that the two just so happen to overlap perfectly. I’d be open to the argument at least.

                But “Muslims” are not all hostile to America.. 99% of them just want to live in peace. Thus it’s not targeting “threats or ideology” but “a religion.” And you can’t target a religion.

                Ruling upheld.

                With that said, I agree with you in that the law is clear.

                Not always. Rational minds can disagree. If it were so clear, there would be no need for a judicial hierarchy.

                So it is not your job Justice Mathius nor mine as Justice JAC to overturn that law, unless it violates Congressional authority under the Constitution.

                Well, I mean, there’s a whole legislative hierarchy… Constitution –> Federal (congressional) Law –> Federal (agency) Law –> State Constitution –> State (congressional) Law –> State (agency) Law –> City Constitution / Charter –> City Board –> City Agency –> Town charter –> Town board –> town agency –> HOA –> wives*

                *depending on the wife in question, her position in this hierarchy may be significantly higher.

                I am waiting to see the day when the ACLU sues the Govt. for banning someone with an infectious disease from entering the USA because it violates the American with Disabilities Act. The poor disabled person should not be discriminated against.

                Keep waiting….

          • I don’t know what to do about his answers above…..Mathius actually was…….coherent and precise.

            To Canine Weapon: Go pat him on the head and say “good boy”…..in dog language of course.

  17. I heard a segment on radio this am that a scientist has learned how to read DNA age. They have also come up with a cocktail that, in early tests, can take a couple years off the DNA age. So Mathius, your longevity pill may be coming very soon. I can’t find the link to this but it may be a TED talk.

    Now, the big question will be will the Ponce de Leon pill be available to only the rich or will Bernie make it available to all. Great campaign slogan: “Vote for me and you will live to 150 years old just like me”

    • I saw this.. they found it by accident while testing diabetes (?) drugs.

      The “DNA age” is an old enough test, which considers how much collective damage the DNA has accumulated and the length of the telemeres, etc.. it’s not really an “age” per say.. that’s more of a branding exercise.. I’d present it more as “condition of your DNA” where it’s “pristine” at birth and “severely damaged” in old age. Which is to say, the DNA appears to have been slightly “repaired” over the course of the trial which is phenomenal.

      THAT SAID, the sample-size was tiny and only included men, and does not clarify if the results are sustainable or temporary, or if it’s only a minor improvement or if you can be pushed all the way back to pristine DNA health, or if the minor change means anything at all, so there’s a loooooong way to go before we can safely call this a “longevity pill.”

      Still.. pretty damned cool.

      Exciting times.

  18. Just A Citizen says:

    Finally, something that looks like a reasonable explanation. Although the editor had to create a misleading lead for the story to make it look like Mr. Trump was directing this. This is a normal business relationship between hotels and other services with airports, from what I have been told. Airports are a good place for advertising. Car rental agencies as well.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/460638-trump-had-deal-with-airport-to-send-aircrews-to-his-scotland-resort

    Now this explains the connections, but not the increase in stays by the Air Force. And probably nothing to do with Pence’s stay.

    • Now this explains the connections,

      Seems reasonable… and he wasn’t running for office at the time, so I wouldn’t allege any kind of impropriety on his part…

      but not the increase in stays by the Air Force. And probably nothing to do with Pence’s stay.

      Riiiigggghhtttt…. about those… what gives?

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Mathius

        I do not know. I suspect the Air Force thing is just as SK described. Air crews figured out they could stay in plush quarters at little or no cost to them. I really doubt that Mr. Trump or anyone directly linked to him told the Air Force to have crews stay there.

  19. Just A Citizen says:

    I just get a kick out of the Dems and their enviro supporters throwing a fit over this BLM move issue. The same people who have ripped on the BLM for not shutting down grazing and mining on their demand. But now that Trump Admin wants to move them around,….OMG our hair is on fire.

    https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/460601-trump-administration-to-move-blm-congressional-staff-to-reno

    While working for the “other” federal agency we all used to joke about how nobody would miss the Washington Office if they all just vanished over night. The only people that need to be near D.C. are the Congressional liaison folks.

    Note: If you read carefully, this and other stories, you will get a picture of how simple federal agencies become so implanted in the SWAMP. Also realize that Govt employees living in D.C. get a huge cost of living adjustment which carries over to retirement. That is why they are crying about being sent to Kansas City, Salt Lake and Reno. The adjustments are not as high and the lifestyle of rubbing elbows with impotent’ people is lost.

  20. MODERATION!

  21. Just A Citizen says:

    Of course they failed to correctly identify Step One: Require picture ID to validate the voter is actually the voter and they are actually eligible to vote.

    As long as we are relying on machines and statistics there will always be doubt. Utilizing 100% paper ballots and hand counting? It will always create doubt.

    Part of the problem is our misplaced desire to have voting completely anonymous.

    https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2019/09/10/election-security-000954

  22. MODERATION…….

  23. The Dread Pirate Mathius says:

    Mathius said: I’d rather the government butt out… entirely… on the subject [of marriage].

    Just A Citizen said: Why??? Efficiency. Same reason we have Govt. agencies and regulations. It is more EFFICIENT than filing millions of contracts and lawsuits.

    ——————

    WHAT MADNESS IS THIS?

    Have you switched bodies? JAC, are you under duress? Blink three times if you need me to send help.

  24. Just A Citizen says:

    Ah my poor Mathius. This explains so much. Actually it reflects so much, namely your view of Federal supreme power and as you say, States being relegated to administering federal law.

    Well, I mean, there’s a whole legislative hierarchy… Constitution –> Federal (congressional) Law –> Federal (agency) Law –> State Constitution –> State (congressional) Law –> State (agency) Law –> City Constitution / Charter –> City Board –> City Agency –> Town charter –> Town board –> town agency –> HOA –> wives*

    This is NOT the hierarchy we have. I will admit that it is the one often taught in schools but it is not valid. It is not a linear hierarchy but more a circle with overlapping little circles. Overlapping authorities and powers as well as influences.

    We the People sit at the top, or the center if you will. Then State and then Federal, while these two have both primary and secondary roles relative to each. Remember, the STATES ratify the Constitution and its amendments.

  25. Just A Citizen says:

    God we have lost our minds.

    Trump fires Bolton

    The TDS folks on the web are ripping on Trump for a hundred reasons but NOT celebrating. Just can’t say Thank You Mr. Trump.
    Some hard left: Now he and Trump can be tried for war crimes.
    Trump sycophants…… crickets on why he hired him in the first place.

    Romney…”It is a great loss for the Nation” REALLY MITT?????? I get the contrarian thing but for God’s sake, he can be a contrarian at Fox News nightly talk shows. Given this attitude I really wonder now how functional your Administration would have been.

    • Just A Citizen says:

      Along the same lines, of losing our minds. I am sorry but as far as I am concerned not one single additional word, minute or dollar should be spent on this.

      https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/460714-noaa-chief-backs-trump-on-alabama-claims-notes-difficulty-of

      • AGAIN, the issue isn’t whether Trump was correct initially. No one cares.

        People care that he held up a doctored map and presented it as an original.

        • Just A Citizen says:

          Mathius

          That is what YOU care about. That is not what the media frenzy continues to be about. The map is but one part of their idiocy. And they keep feeding this back and forth between the Weather Service and NOAA.

          • A) I can’t help what “they” say. I don’t have to obey “their” guidelines with respect to what I should be outraged by from minute to minute.

            B) Everything I see is about the doctored map.. no one I’m reading seems to care about the error / non-error except insofar as it offers up a humorous jab at Trump… it’s a cheap shot, but not a major issue.

            That is what YOU care about. That is not what the media frenzy continues to be about.

            Even if you’re correct that the error / non-error is the the media frenzy issue, I still don’t care.

            I have said since the moment I first saw this issue that I don’t give a flying rat’s ass, no not a single solitary fuck do I give, that he was wrong. And when he turned out to be right, I still didn’t care. Note an iota.

            But I DO care that he presented a doctored map as an original.

            And I will decide for myself what I choose to consider “the issue”.. so, sure, I can’t speak authoritatively about what “THEY” think the issue is… and I’ll duly retract my assertion without stipulating to your counterpoint… but -I- think the issue that needs to be addressed is his doctored map.

        • Imagine you and I are debating something… I know you took the other side of the issue in the past, but I just can’t find it.

          Mathius: You advocated for murdering hobos a while back.
          JAC: You’re wrong, I never said we should murder hobos.
          Mathius: ::looks, but can’t find proof:: I’m sure you did.
          JAC: Never!

          Alright, so far, so good. We disagree. Sure, I’m actually right (because, of course you advocated for murdering hobos).. but no one believes me. So I hack into SUFA and insert a post from a week ago under your name.

          Mathius: Ah ha! Here’s the proof: JAC says “murdering hobos is a moral imperative”
          JAC: You doctored that post!
          Mathius: ::Finally finds original post from JAC where he does say something similar::
          Mathius: See! You did say we should murder hobos.
          JAC: Oh, I guess you’re right… but it’s not ok that you made that fake post.

          Now…

          1. Is it important that we disagreed? No.
          2. Is it important that I was right all along? No.
          3. Is it important that I falsified support for my case? Yes.

          Which one of those is a “problem”? Which one makes it so that you no longer trust or respect me?

          And, then, for the next several months, my supporters keep deliberately ignoring that I doctored your post and arguing that I was right all along.

          But you don’t care that I was right all along. That’s no big deal. Whether I was right or wrong isn’t important.

          —————-

          Mathius’ supporters: But he was right! He was right all along, see! JAC did say it!

          JAC: But, that’s not the point! The point is that he lied. He falsified data to make himself seem right.

          Mathius’ supporters: But he was right!

          JAC: So what? His rightness isn’t the issue.

          Mathius’ supporters: But he was right! Why are you making such a big deal about this? Can’t you just admit that you’re wrong?

          JAC: It’s not about whether he was right or wrong. I admit that he was right. I admit I was wrong. That’s irrelevant to the point I’m making. It’s about the fact that he hacked into SUFA and inserted fake support for himself. THAT is the problem.

          Mathius’ supporters: But look, here, see, you did say we should stab hobos!

          JAC: GAAA!!! ::stabs a hobo to blow off some steam::

          • Just A Citizen says:

            Mathius

            There is a very large group of people out there who are throwing a fit over Mr. Trump even mentioning Alabama because of the timing of him doing so. Had nothing to to with the map and still doesn’t.

            Everything else is just noise, including the map. Although that does play into a different concern.

            You are one of the few who is focused on the Map. So when I bring up the others, you cannot defend them by saying “well all I care about is the map”. YOU are NOT THEM.

            • There is a very large group of people out there who are throwing a fit over Mr. Trump even mentioning Alabama because of the timing of him doing so. Had nothing to to with the map and still doesn’t.

              I don’t care.

              Even if this is true, I don’t care.

              Everything else is just noise, including the map. Although that does play into a different concern.

              I disagree. I think it’s the ONLY thing of note in this whole brouhaha

              You are one of the few who is focused on the Map.

              Again, I disagree… everything -I- am seeing is focused on the map. There WAS a focus on his being wrong which was mostly a point of mockery (although some, of course, made it out to be more). But everything I am seeing NOW, and for the last few days, is about the doctored map.

              BUT, even if that weren’t the case, I STILL wouldn’t care.

              So when I bring up the others, you cannot defend them by saying “well all I care about is the map”.

              Anyone griping about him mentioning Alabama deserves no defending. I do not defend them.

              BUT, AGAIN, what I am seeing is much more interest in the doctored map.

              YOU are NOT THEM.

              Thank god for that!

              ——————

              But I do note… I still see no answer to “who edited the map and why”? And I see no admission by the Trump boosters that it’s not ok.

              And, more to the point, here, at SUFA, no one is griping or has ever griped about his error / non-error in including Alabama. Yet I have seen – REPEATEDLY – defenses of his correctness. But I don’t see people addressing MY issue. And I wonder why that is…

          • IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU HAD FOR BREAKFAST YESTERDAY.

            Aye, aye, aye. Paging Dr. Hartley….. (bonus for tv show reference)

    • Good riddance. Don’t let the door hit your ridiculous mustache on the way out.

      Thanks for firing him, Trump! Good job.

      … Now why’d you hire him in the first place?

  26. Just A Citizen says:

    As SK often says, so few have any memory of our actual history. For those howling about Mr. Trump’s business interests while in office.

    https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/opinion/columnists/2016/11/25/george-washington-had-some-business-interests-too/94358980/

  27. Just A Citizen says:

    Maybe we should establish a new criteria for holding public office. ONLY those who have owned and operated a business may run.

    Do not worry about them using Govt. to help their business.

    Because if business thrives then so do the rest of us.

  28. Just A Citizen says:

    Wow, just WOW. I guess Trumps inability to admit when wrong has spread to the media. Or maybe it was the other way around………. just sayin.

    https://www.redstate.com/streiff/2019/09/10/new-york-times-says-cnns-jim-sciuttos-report-blaming-trump-us-losing-intel-source-pure-bunk/

  29. Just A Citizen says:
  30. Just A Citizen says:

    I really thought Ms. Rice was smarter than this. These things led to the Great Depression??? Really??????????? Glad my Son didn’t go to Stanford like the wife wanted.

    https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/460778-condoleezza-rice-warns-of-four-horsemen-of-the-apocalypse-in-us

    • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

      “I’ve seen the return of what I’ve called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” Rice said, evoking the biblical figures. “Populism, I’ll say nativism, not nationalism, isolationism and protectionism.”

      Note, she specifically excluded nationalism yet the article says she condemned nationalism???

      I’d disagree with her. She may be a crackerjack national security person but knows nothing about finance. The six trillion we blew on “the War on Terror” could have been better spent (or not spent) elswhere.

      I have no problem with populism unless it turns to something else. I my recent readings of TR’s stuff. He was afraid the country was headed to revolution. Ahead of his time in predicting the chaos in Europe post war. His “square deal” was aimed at leveling out (rightly or wrongly) the playing field. We were all for free trade when we were China! Not so much now that the shoe is on the other foot. Perhaps we will devise a middle ground finally.

      Reading the bleating going on in Europe over NATO and Trump insisting they pay their fair share. The continent is also scared shitless about the military aspects of Brexit which I had not thought about. It seems tyhe Brits have too been doing the heaviest European lifting. So if the “threat” of isolationism scares the bejesus out of them…..fine by me.

      From “Defense News Weekly”, Interesting views on Europe and Brexit.

      https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2019/09/08/as-britain-lurches-toward-brexit-how-will-european-security-fare/

      • The six trillion we blew on “the War on Terror” could have been better spent (or not spent) elswhere.

        Now I have to agree with you on something.

        I hope you’re satisfied with yourself.

        • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

          I don’t think you would have liked my “Plan B”.

          • Was it “buy SKT a very nice car and then do absolutely nothing with the rest so that we don’t blow up the debt worse than we already have”?

          • Not that I’d advocate for deficit spending that $6T, but could you imagine what the US would look like if we’d spent that on infrastructure instead?

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