Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Penalties for storming a House hearing in a classified space

This is a rough list of possible charges and penalties for the various crimes committed by the House Republicans now occupying the secured space in the House. At the very least, all the communications devices they brought into the space ought to be confiscated and destroyed by secure procedures.

Interfering with testimony, 18 U.S.C. 1512: 
(d) Whoever intentionally harasses another person and thereby hinders, delays, prevents, or dissuades any person from: (1) attending or testifying in an official proceeding […] or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both.
Breaching a classified space, 18 U.S.C. 793:
(a) Whoever, for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the national defense with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, goes upon, enters, flies over, or otherwise obtains information concerning any […] place connected with the national defense […] Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
Reprimand, censure, or expel, U.S. Const. art. I, §5, cl. 2:
Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.
Under current House rules, the House Democrats can censure or reprimand by majority vote, in addition to expulsion.

Republicans Storm Impeachment Inquiry Hearing In Stunt


This was a meeting of the House Intelligence Committee, which is leading the impeachment investigation, to take classified testimony from Laura Cooper, the United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia.

This has to be a crime. Does anyone know what the possible penalties are? Can a majority of the House remove these members?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Morning Croaks

Monday, October 21, 2019

Short Croaks for This Morning

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Treason: The Clean Up

To begin with, we need to remove Trump from office. Vice President Pence is also implicated and perhaps should also be removed. The Republicans will scream “dictatorial conduct,” but, really, who cares? Perhaps the Trumpists will rise in revolt, but they are already almost there.
Beyond that, we have to assume there are more people whose behavior, while it may not be treasonous, is at least disloyal. We know that Trump has long-standing ties to Russia’s Putin’s and has betrayed us to Turkey’s Erdoğan. Trump’s conduct towards North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is disloyal. We know that Russia, and perhaps other countries have intervened in US elections. There is a dire need for a counter-intelligence investigation. How many Congresspeople are indebted to these and other foreign governments? Senator McConnell most likely. But who else? As much as is possible, these people must be prosecuted. Where it is not possible to prosecute, we must at least expose them.
How many of Trump’s judges are also disloyal and in the pay of foreign powers?
How many executive appointees have been placed to undermine the agencies they work for? How many of these saboteurs have promoted incompetents and saboteurs.
How far does the rot go?
And a big long loud raspberry to the Roberts Court, which, with its crack-brained Citizens United decision, opened the door to vast unchecked foreign donations to elections. That must be overturned, by Constitutional amendment if necessary. We need campaign finance reform: we must prevent wealthy hostile powers from buying the loyalty of candidates. We also need much more sunlight on the backgrounds and health of our candidates for office. We must see their finances and know that they are, at least, not demented as Trump appears.

A Congress of Cowards

Responding to Presidential Treason
So, Trump has gone and done it. On behalf of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the dictatorial President of Turkey, Trump unilaterally withdrew US troops from Syria, giving our allies, the Kurds, the terrible choice of surrendering to the brutal Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad or being slaughtered by the Turks. So far, reports are they are surrendering to al-Assad, and I hope he does not slaughter them. US troops, as they withdraw, are also at risk.

Monday, October 14, 2019

To my Democratic Congressional Delegation On the Withdrawal of US Troops from Kurdish-occupied Syria

So Trump has finally done it. All your patience, all your waiting, all your hoping has come to nothing. Trump has betrayed his oath of office in a way that fundamentally alters the balance of power in the Middle East, and not in a way favorable to the United States.
This was predicted. People who knew his career knew he was a loose cannon, rolling around on the deck of the ship of state, and that sooner or later he would run into something of value, and so he has. And yet you did nothing.
We are reeling. The world is reeling. People are dying in Syria. Please, do everything you can to remove this traitor from office.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Hunting Mythical Beasts

A few months ago, I wrote about student loan forgiveness, and I commented that let's not even talk about forgiveness; let's talk about a dignified bankruptcy, because if we can't get that – and we can't, those options were steadily taken away – we can't get loan forgiveness. So now I'm thinking about reducing carbon output. We have all these grandiose schemes, and we still have not been able to kill the huge tax breaks given to fossil fuel drillers. Yes, we need to do more. But if we can't do at least that, how can we even hope to do more?

There's something wrong with our whole policy-making process. We focus on complex ideas which are ever so difficult to do, and simple small ideas, yet if we can't pass the small ideas we don't even need to worry about the big ones – they've going nowhere. There's nothing complex about "allow graduates drowning in debt a dignified bankruptcy." There's nothing complex about "stop supporting fossil fuel extraction and refining, it's changing the climate." Yet we can't pass either of them.

Maybe if we can win on the small things, we can win on the big ones.

Are Bad Cops Serial Killers?

The wires are abuzz with a story about a Forth Worth police officer who shot a woman in her own home.

What's striking to me about this is how quick it was. The officer shot and killed the woman in less than four seconds of seeing her, showing that he had, at least, rehearsed the shooting. I wonder how many other people he has shot. Is this officer a serial killer? Is the same psychology at work? Have we ended up creating hiding places for serial killers in our police forces, the way some Christian churches have in their priesthood. Or…?

Anyone who actually knows anything about the psychological issue, I would appreciate comments.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Prosecuting High-Level Traitors

There have been numerous complaints that a whistleblower on Trump's conduct ought not to have been needed. Jim Wright (@Stonekettle) on Twitter:
Here's the thing, America: Whistleblowers are great and all, but in the case of Donald Trump they are unnecessary. Congress does NOT require a whistleblower. Trump's twitter for the last 3 years is more than enough. All Congress needs to do is their job.
Congress and the President have been winking at traitorous Republican leaders since Nixon, since President Johnson realized that Nixon and Kissinger had meddled in treaty negotiations with Vietnam to win the Presidency. Since that time we have had Iran-Contra, leaders pardoned by GHW Bush, the second Iraq war, conducted entirely on false premises, and now Trump, Russia, and the Ukraine.

Our whole foreign policy mechanism has failed.

Liberals and the further left have been screaming about this for 30 years, and in all that time we have been told to keep quiet, that the leaders knew what they were doing. And now we have President Trump.

Too much power has been ceded to the Executive, especially the President. We have become the nation our founders never wanted us to be.


Friday, October 4, 2019

On the Electability of Joe Biden

Anyway, I think Biden would beat Trump handily on an even playing field but he’s an awful candidate and he’d have the best chance of blowing it out of any of the top tier candidates.” – Joshua Holland, tweet.

I'm not even sure he would. If it's old rich white guy vs old rich white guy, would people vote for Biden?” – Me, tweet.