Archive for supreme court

11/22/16The beginning (end?) of Trump

(NOTE: it has been four months since I posted here. I am truly concerned for our country and my children’s and grandchildren’s future. We just finished a very contentious election and it will not be over until December 19th when the electoral votes are talleyed. In the meantime I am going to point out my concerns about our new president’s qualifications.)

This is not meant to be mean-spirited, it is about whether this man is qualified (mentally) to be the President of the United States. It is all the more imperative since he will have both houses of Congress, most governorships, and soon the Supreme Court all aligned. This is not, and never has been good for the people and the country.

It is not over…yet. First, the electoral count is 290 to 232 for Trump. In 2008, Obama had 330 and in 2012 303. Yet, the Trump team, Speaker Ryan, and others believe they have a mandate. The last ‘mandate’ was Obama in 2008 when he won by over 5 million votes, but by declaring a mandate, the Democrats set themselves up for failure and just two short years later, thanks to the Tea Party, the House turned Republican, where it has remained ever since. So Mr. Trump and the GOP: you DO NOT have a mandate, not when Clinton is leading in the popular vote by 1.7 million, and Michigan and Florida are up for grabs.

Did you know that since 2000, the average margin of victory, in either direction, in Florida is less than 11,500 votes? I am not a spoiler but I have written to the Office of the Federal Registry which every four years becomes the electoral college. While they are committed in most cases to vote with the popular vote in their state, the college exists to keep the people from making a grave mistake. Only once has the vote swung the other way and the candidate was still elected by the House of Representatives. That year, an entire state, Virginia voted against its citizen for all 25 votes. This year it would only take 21 electors to revolt and turn the election (although I am not advocating it or even believe it will happen, but it could). With 1.7 million voters disagreeing with the state tallies, why not?

The way it works is this:

“The Certificates of Ascertainment, which contain the names of the appointed Electors and the vote counts for each political party on the state’s ballot, are signed by the Governor and contain the state seal.  These are prepared before the meeting of the Electors, which is December 19 this year.  At the meeting of the Electors, the Electors each vote and that vote is recorded, so both the identity of the Electors and how they voted is public record.  Each Elector signs the Certificate of Vote.  We will post both Certificates on our website once we receive them from the states, but we currently haven’t begun to receive the Certificates of Ascertainment yet.” (Source: Office of the Federal Registry)

A further question is the all or none method in some states and proportionate in others. The Constitution set no rules on how votes were to be apportioned. The Office of the Federal Registrar informed me that it would require a Constitutional Amendment.

As you know, Donald J. Trump is the first candidate in recent history to refuse to release his tax returns (during the campaign he said he was not allowed to during an audit – denied by the IRS – but would release them as soon as it was completed – not yet!). Now he is refusing with his staff saying that his financial statement supplied was enough. It is not! Especially for a man with so many interests globally to avoid (multiple) conflicts of interest. Now we have learned from the IRS that his foundation has engaged in self-dealing, which they have admitted to. These issues include paying fines levied against Trump and I am sure when it is looked into there will be many more.

Ah, but what about the Clinton Foundation? They are accused of using her office as Secretary of State to obtain foreign donations. So long as it only increases accessibility and no value was received (same goes for Congress), that is not illegal. It has been reported in the past that one thing the Clinton’s are scrupulous about it their taxes. Obviously, they saw the risks and from what accountants have said they have been very conservative, to the point of not taking deductions when they were advised they could – could you do that?

I just sent the following message to my representative, both Minnesota U.S senators, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell. Feel free to use it if you agree with me on this subject:

Congressman/Senator, you have a duty to demand that Donald Trump release his tax returns. it is unthinkable with his conflicts of interest that he do so. This is now imperative in light of the IRS release on the Trump Foundation’s self-dealing.
The GOP blundered in even letting this man run as a Republican, and Mr. Priebus has been amply rewarded for it.
Respectfully,

That is enough for today. Think about it. This could be a big turning point for our nation and its future. Based on his cabinet selections so far, I am very concerned about where we are headed.

Thanks for reading,

Trader Bjll

 

 

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2/15/16…You picked a fine time to leave us, Scalia…and to roil the markets further!

(UPDATE: My prediction yesterday that the stock market would tank due to the inability to get anything done with an even number of  Supreme Court justices half one way and half another…was in a word: WRONG!…does that mean that Wall Street is welcoming more gridlock? Could be…after all they have everything to gain.)

…with apologies to Kenny Rogers, and the late Justice Scalia. Of course, he had no way of knowing he was going to die…especially after two scathing dissents just last week. Was he upset enough about them that he endangered himself?
I mean no disrespect to this jurist, even though I disagreed with many of his rulings and his ‘strict constructionist’ approach to Constitutional Law. Sadly, the GOP saw it differently, even though he was on ‘their’ (read extreme conservative) side, the candidates and the unstoppable Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, just couldn’t help themselves.

It is for this reason that I believe the markets will suffer badly tomorrow (Tuesday), as it adds to the uncertainties that are already shaking its foundations. What about a bounce? We are in danger of going into a secular bear market following a secular bull market within a bear market. Despite the magnitude of the financial crisis, this is the fastest recovery eve…and that should concern you because it usually takes 7-10 years to do that and we started the recovery a year later! Think about it…we are on borrowed time.

Here are my objections:
1. First, McConnell opened his yap as soon as he heard of his death saying no nominee will be approved…or disapproved, meaning the old stalemate is still in play, in this term or until a new President is elected;
2. Unstoppable Senator and would-be presidential nominee, Ted Cruz, said that there is precedent for the President to not make an appointment in an election year, and if he did for the Senate to refuse to act…really? It has happened just ONCE before and that is not a precedent.
3. Senator Mark Rubio said that there is a ‘pattern’ of President’s not making appointments in their last ten months (is that a coincidence or did he just make it up); Rubio needs to read the Constitution on the rule of advise and consent.
It is insulting to use the death of a Supreme Court Justice for their own personal gain…and to say that ‘no matter’ who Obama nominates, there will be no up or down vote. Isn’t that like, I’m going to take my bike and go home? It is they who are denying the Constitutional right of the President to make appointments, but the key is in the language the GOP is using, and it is not good for America.
If the GOP has its way, and there is no reason they shouldn’t succeed, we will have a vacancy in the 2017 term for much of it, especially if a Democrat is in the Oval Office. A 4-4 decision is worthless, and think of all those extremists state governments (dare I say Texas?) that will pass all kinds of laws that won’t be able to be repealed until at least 2018! Well done, GOP, well done!
I, for one am frankly appalled at the near 40 attempts to destroy the ACA and the push by ALL GOP candidates for prohibiting ANY abortion. Of course, this will only apply to the poor who can’t afford another child (shades of the Catholic Church’s reasoning: to increase the number of Catholics…but at least they did some good). Rape or incest or anything else, including the health of the mother are not to be considered. But there is one thing…one major thing…these brilliant people who have no regard for science…have forgotten: you can make a woman have a baby…but you CANNOT make her take care of it. Therefore, it becomes the obligation of the government to do just that. So let’s do that and increase the number of people in poverty…already at least one in three children are living at the poverty level. Is this what you want for a legacy?
Think about this: we elect a president for four years…only in the first, and maybe the second (althought Obama didn’t even get that), they can get something done…as important as the ACA was, Obama used up all of his political capital on it and it is a flawed piece of legislation that could have been good and like many other countries if he hadn’t caved to the pHarma lobby for support and the GOP hadn’t insisted on preserving ‘states rights’ (sic) by insurers only being chartered by states. But even if flawed, don’t fall for the GOP trick of ‘repeal and replace’ because it will never get replaced…America loses.
This term for the Supreme Court has just about run out and now it is split 4-4, and if there is a swing vote it will be Chief Justice John Roberts, who Cruz admits he voted for but only to support his president? This man is sick and frankly reminds TB of ‘Tailgunner Joe’ McCarthy! He scares me almost as much as Trump. I say, almost as much because with Trump you don’t have a clue what he will do next: boots on the ground…banning Muslims from travel…perhaps banning the Muslim religion…telling lies and when confronted just keep repeating them till you wear them down. He still hasn’t backed down from his statement about Muslim’s cheering on 9/11. While I am not impressed with the Dems (I was a lifelong GOP’er until McCain chose Palin…and what did that get him?
The party likes to say that all are welcome to run as they have a ‘very wide tent.’ Really? Then why doesn’t anyone break ranks and give a damn about the American people they are sworn to serve.
Back to Cruz…he has played down that his wife is a Managing Director of Goldman Sachs…and has taken a leave to ‘help with his campaign’. He conveniently forgot two half million dollar loans, one from Goldman and the other from Morgan Stanley…a violation of campaign laws. But before we get too critical of him, what about Hillary’s $600,000 payment from Goldman for three speeches? First, she won’t release transcripts of the speeches (boring!), but more importantly she told Chuck Todd on MTP a week ago that while she has accepted donations from the big banks (after all they were in her state when she was a Senator and suffered terribly after 9/11,,,pullease!!!). She went on to say that “you have to be able to tell the good players from the bad players” – really??? Then how come you couldn’t even identify Goldman as a bad player….weren’t you there watching Sen. Carl Levin skewer Lloyd Blankfein (both graduated first in class at Harvard Law a year apart – but to watch Blankfein you had to wonder if he went to college anywhere?
Believe it or not, despite Bernie’s leftist views, he might be the best choice since some people who have been polled say they like EITHER Trump or Sanders??? But Bernie, unlike Obama, knows how to work his way around Congress…would he succeed? All I know is he is a true believer…
I have to admit a fondness of sorts for John Kasich…at least when he talks he makes sense…just wish he would stop with the theatrical gestures.
In closing, I will bring up a proposal I jumped on board with decades ago: a ONE TERM, SIX-YEAR PRESIDENCY…same as a Senator only no second chances and frankly that is what the founding fathers that the GOP loves to talk about wanted: Representatives who would come to Washington for two years and carry the message of their constituents, then go home and be back among them; and more importantly that six year term for Senators…staggered for continuity and thus no need for people to make a career in Washington. Would have loved to hear Justice Scalia tell me his views on this.

Don’t take any wooden nickles!

TB

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