Saturday, July 06, 2024

If Joe Biden does not step aside, his legacy will be a second Donald Trump presidency

The Tennessean, July 5, 2024:  If Joe Biden does not step aside, his legacy will be a second Donald Trump presidency

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Friday, July 05, 2024

Even in the Small Things, Trump cannot be Bothered with Facts.

 by Rod Williams, June 5, 2024 - Look at what Donald Trump posted today on his Truth Social: 

The first thing I thought when reading this, is I don't believe him. I know what Project 2025 is; how does not Donald Trump know? Project 2025 is a list of policy proposals from the Heritage Foundation to move America in a populist and conservative direction. Project 2025 is also called the Presidential Transition Project. 

Heritage used to be a mainstream conservative think-tank with scholars developing conservative policy proposals and provided the intellectual arguments and factual data to support those policy proposals. With the rise of Trump, they are less the wonkish, thoughtful, analytical conservative organization they once were. They have become Trumpian populist. Also, until a few years ago, they were exclusively an educational organization that did policy and did not do politics.  Now they do both and have a political wing called Heritage Action with active chapters across the country promoting Trumpian policies. While Heritage has moved in a more populist direction, it is not the equivalent of Steve Bannon's War Room or some of the nuttier Trumpian organizations and personalities. The organization still produces some meaningful policy proposals and contributes to the debate of ideas, but their populism and activism overshadows their more thoughtful analysis. Also, sometimes it seems as if the activist wing and the policy analysis wing are from two organizations and don't even talk to each other.

That Trump does not know of Project 2025 is hard to believe. Several publications have reported on the project. Heritage has several former Trump cabinet members on its board. Heritage was a major force is staffing Trump's 2016 administration. The New York Times reports that following the 2016 Trump victory, Ed Corrigan, the then vice president for policy promotion at the Heritage Foundation, was summoned to Trump Tower to join the senior leadership team of the Trump transition. Corrigan oversaw the staffing of 10 different domestic agencies. The influence of Heritage in this role has been reported in publications across the political spectrum. 

Project 2025 is now in the process of preparing the next Trump administration with conservative policy recommendations and with vetted and trained personnel to implement those policies. While Project 2025 is a project of Heritage, other conservative organizations are on the board of the project. Among these other organizations are American Enterprize Institute and American Legislative Exchange Council. These are organizations that may provide staffers who can provide sensible advice to the new president and implement his policies in a normal, rational, orderly, and legally permissible manner.  

It is inconceivable that Trump's team is not working with Project 2025. It is possible that Trumps knows what is going on and knows a group of people are working on policy proposals and staffing for his next administration and maybe he knows it "as those guys at Heritage," but simply does not know it as "Project 2025."  If so, then in less time than it took Trump to tweet the above, he could have selected "Project 2025," hit "search" and he would have known. 

Even in little things like the above Trump acts first and things later or thinks never. Staffers who served Trump, after leaving his employee have said that Trump seldom read policy and briefing papers. They say he would not even prepare before meeting world leaders. They found it frustrating. 

My impressions of Trump are that he lies a lot, is emotional, hold a grudge, expects absolute loyalty from those subordinate to him, does not understand the constitution or have a devotion to it, does not have a grasp of issues, is ignorant of history and economics and basic civics, not very smart, has authoritarian tendencies, and is crude, rude, insensitive, and has no shame. I do not think he is bigot or a racist or antisemite as the left sometimes says of him. 

Another impression is that he is arrogant, self-assured to a fault, is impulsive, and one of those people whose mind is made up and not to be confused with facts. He operates on gut instinct rather than data. I have known people like that. I think that is dangerous in a president. 


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 From GOP Nashville:


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Brentwood's Tractor Supply ends DEI initiatives, pride funding

By Jon Styf, The Center Square, Jul 3, 2024 - Brentwood-based Tractor Supply announced it is eliminating all diversity, equity and inclusion roles and goals along with discontinuing sending data to the Human Rights Campaign in response to conservative complaints related to its policies.

Former Fifth Congressional District candidate Robby Starbuck brought the complaints to light in a June 6 social media post on the topic.

Starbuck said that Tractor Supply had a DEI Council, it funded sex change operations and it funded pride and drag events, climate change activism and hosted LGBTQIA events at the office.

“We must make our voices heard,” Starbuck wrote. “(CEO) Hal Lawton needs to understand that we don’t want our hard earned money spent on these woke priorities. If he supports this stuff then he should spend some of his $11M salary or tens of millions in stock on it instead of using the money we spend at Tractor Supply.”

In response, Tractor Supply said it was discontinuing the DEI efforts, is withdrawing its carbon emission goals and focus on both land and water conservation efforts and it would further focus on “rural America priorities” such as ag education, animal welfare, veterans causes and being a good neighbor.

The company said it would stop being involved in pride festivals and voting campaigns.

“This monumental change is thanks to all of you who supported my work exposing this, to the whistleblowers in Tractor Supply and my fellow farm owners who respectfully spoke up,” Starbuck wrote about Tractor Supply’s statement. “I’m working to get more information about these changes but this is a fantastic moment for the fight to banish wokeness, DEI and ESG from the workplace.”

In response to the changes at Tractor Supply, National Black Farmers Association President John Boyd called for Lawton’s resignation.


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Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Mark Green: "The things we do for the Orange Jesus."

- Liz Cheney, Oath and Honor, p 85.

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Monday, July 01, 2024

Supreme Court: President has 'absolute immunity' when performing Core Constitutional Duties

 By Casey Harper, The Center Square, July 1, 2024- The president of the United States has "absolute immunity" when acting in his core constitutional duties, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a landmark decision Monday.

"President's exercise of his core constitutional powers, this immunity must be absolute," the ruling said. "As for his remaining official actions, he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity."

The 6-3 ruling made clear that the president has no immunity for unofficial conduct.

"As for a President's unofficial acts, there is no immunity," the ruling said. "Although Presidential immunity is required for official actions to ensure that the President's decision making is not distorted by the threat of future litigation stemming from those actions, that concern does not support immunity for unofficial conduct."

The ruling comes in response to former President Donald Trump's claim that he has presidential immunity against the charges brought against him over actions he took as president. He is the first former president to face criminal charges.

Most relevant to this ruling specifically, Trump faces charges for his role in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, namely that he allegedly lied and stirred up the crowd that eventually entered the Capitol. Trump's defenders point out he did release a video calling for peaceful protests on the day of the riot.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, saying that because this case was expedited the court did not have time to lay out the detailed differences between official and unofficial. The court also did not rule definitively on the Jan. 6 case, but sent it back to the lower courts with the new guidance laid out in the ruling.

"Certain allegations – such as those involving Trump's discussions with the Acting Attorney General – are readily categorized in light of the nature of the President's official relationship to the office held by that individual," the ruling said. "Other allegations – such as those involving Trump's interactions with the Vice President, state officials, and certain private parties, and his comments to the general public – present more difficult questions."

The ruling also said that "whenever the President and Vice President discuss their official responsibilities, they engage in official conduct. The indictment's allegations that Trump attempted to pressure the Vice President to take particular acts in connection with his role at the certification proceeding thus involve official conduct, and Trump is at least presumptively immune from prosecution for such conduct." 

The ruling also said that it is the government's burden to rebut the presumption of immunity. 

Supreme Court Justice Kentaji Brown Jackson and Justice Sonia Sotomayor both filed dissents to the majority opinion. 

"Once self regulating, the Rule of Law now becomes the rule of judges, with courts pronouncing which crimes committed by a President have to be let go and which can be redressed as impermissible," Jackson said in her dissent. "So, ultimately, this Court itself will decide whether the law will be any barrier to whatever course of criminality emanates from the Oval Office in the future.

"The potential for great harm to American institutions and Americans themselves is obvious."

The court's ruling has broad and even historic implications for future presidencies. It also means that much of the future grappling in Trump's cases will be over whether his alleged crimes were committed in an official, and therefore protected, capacity or an unofficial one. That poses a new legal question that could itself return to the Supreme Court.

"The President enjoys no immunity for his unofficial acts, and not everything the President does is official," the ruling said. "The President is not above the law. But under our system of separated powers, the President may not be prosecuted for exercising his core constitutional powers, and he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for his official acts."

Trump faces an array of legal woes, including his May conviction on 34 accounts related to his hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Trump also faces charges in Georgia, Florida and Washington, D.C. for his handling of classified documents, the Jan. 6 issue and more.

Leading up to this ruling, Trump has repeatedly and publicly made his argument that a president should not be afraid of criminal prosecution from his political rivals for making tough decisions while in office. He argues his prosecution will start a vicious cycle of presidents facing prosecution from political opponents after leaving office.

"Without Presidential Immunity, a President of the United States literally could not function! It should be a STRONG IMMUNITY, where proper decisions can be made, where our Country can be POWERFUL and THRIVE, and where Opponents cannot hold up and extort a Future President for Political Gain," Trump said in a statement Sunday. "It is a BIG decision, an important decision, a decision which can affect the Success or Failure of our Country for decades to come. We want a GREAT Country, not a weak, withering, and ineffective one. STRONG PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY IS A MUST!"

During oral arguments, Trump's lawyer made a similar claim, asking whether former President Barack Obama could be prosecuted for drone strikes overseas that killed Americans or President Joe Biden for refusing to enforce border laws.

"Without presidential immunity from criminal prosecution, there can be no presidency as we know it," Trump's attorney D. John Sauer told the justices in April, as The Center Square previously reported. "For 234 years of American history, no president was ever prosecuted for his official acts."

Trump's staunchest allies echoed that argument.

"If there's no presidential immunity for President Trump: There's none for Joe Biden," Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Fla., wrote on X ahead of the ruling. "None for Barack Obama. None for George Bush. None for Bill Clinton. And every single one of those have committed actual crimes as president."

Download the PDF

Rod's Comment: I think the Court got it right. It is a nuanced ruling as it should be. While I would not be displeased if Trump was jailed, we must think beyond the particular effect of any ruling and consider a rulings impact on our constitutional system of governance.  The result of this ruling may be that Trump's pressuring of Pence to not count electoral votes is immune from prosecution. I don't like that outcome, if that is the outcome; however, it does seem reasonable that a president should be immune from prosecution for arguing policy with his vice president. As ruled, presidents must have some level of immunity. 

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Sunday, June 30, 2024

Chip Roy Introduces House Resolution to Remove Biden from Office via 25th Amendment

 Chip Roy Introduces House Resolution to Remove Biden from Office via 25th Amendment

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Our nation can survive bad policy. We cannot survive a president willing to torch the Constitution.

Rod,

This year’s election isn’t about inflation, budget deficits, national security, or any critical issues Americans usually face. 

In fact, I don’t think this is a policy election at all. 

Think about it.  What President Trump did on January 6th was an assault on the foundations of our constitutional republic. 

Our nation can survive bad policy. We cannot survive a president willing to torch the Constitution.

Donald Trump has said he is willing to “terminate” the Constitution. He has shown he has no respect for the rule of law.  He is the first president in history to refuse to guarantee the peaceful transfer of power. Defending the rule of law and the peaceful transfer of power are not partisan issues—they are fundamental to our republic.

So that is the choice we have this November. The 2024 election will determine whether we continue to be a nation of laws. It is not about partisan differences but preserving our democratic institutions. 

We must prioritize our love of country over partisanship, and that’s why I’m writing to ask for your support today. 

I launched Our Great Task to stop Donald Trump, protect our democratic institutions, and preserve the rule of law. Today, I’m asking you to do your part to ensure we have the resources to power our efforts in the critical months ahead.

Thank you,

Liz Cheney

DONATE 

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The Biden Debate Debacle

By THE EDITORS, National Review, June 28, 2024 - Democrats cannot say they weren’t warned. Joe Biden’s age has never been a secret. He shows it every time he appears in public. We warned them ourselves. Back in February, we wrote that Biden should have withdrawn from the race last year — and still owed it to the country to do so. ...

... It was an unspinnably bad performance. The people who claim that Biden is consistently sharp and vigorous behind the scenes always strained credulity. They should now be ignored or mocked. ...If Biden’s performance had not been so halting and weak, Trump’s own ramblings and flights from reality — on tariffs, on January 6, on deficit spending — might have cost him. But Trump was himself more disciplined than he had been during the 2020 debates, making relatively focused defenses of his record and attacks on Biden’s. ... Democrats can scarcely hide their sense of panic and dread. They have only themselves to blame. (link)

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