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appal_jack

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Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 3,813

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Unlike Harry Reid, alas.

Remember when Reid would wring his hands and explain that there was nothing he could do without a blue slip from some Repub Senator?

Funny how McConnell's and Reid's range of powers were so different as Majority Leaders.

Heck, McConnell was more powerful as Minority Leader than Reid was as Majority.



-app

She still swore an oath to the Constitution.

"We'll never know," is not an excuse to break a sworn oath of office.

We can have a friendly debate about the best course of action in 2007, but it would be purely academic at this point. Debating the best course of action of 2019 is considerably higher stakes. Congress has the explicit responsibility to conduct oversight and (via powers of the purse and legislation) even control of the Executive Branch which, if you had not noticed, has been completely rogue, corrupt, and autocratic since 1/2017. Trump is ignoring subpoenas and defying oversight right now. Pelosi needs to have a better plan at hand than she did in 2007, because matters are much more urgent now than then.

-app

Such a strategy is doomed to failure.

Democrats must exercise the power they have thanks to their present House majority.

Democrats must discharge the Constitutional responsibilities they swore to uphold and defend in their oaths of office.

Pelosi is wrong about impeachment and future election prospects.

She was unfortunately wrong about impeachment over the Iraq war lies in 2006. Had Bush/Cheney been brought to justice, would we have had the housing crash? Would we be saddled with Justice Alito had inquiries into impeachment begun in January 2006? Would mainstream media in 2019 be talking about Bush/Cheney with a tinge of "good old days?" We'll never know.

[ON-EDIT - My timeline is mistaken in the paragraph immediately above, as Alito was confirmed in January '06, while Pelosi did not retake the Speaker's gavel until January '07 {thanks to Trumpocalypse for pointing this out just below}. My postulate that robust House push back against Bush/Cheney could have prevented other problems stemming from the late Bush/Cheney years stands.]

What I know right now, is that elections have been manipulated, and the Trump lust for power and secrecy is insatiable. Conducting business as usual like the days of Tip O'Neill is a grievous mistake (heck, it was a bad idea when O'Neill was doing it).

The House is all that Democrats have right now. If Pelosi shrinks from her own responsibilities again, I fear for our country.

-app

Right now the House is in Democratic hands.

We can either use the power we have to do what is right, or not.

We can begin impeachment hearings such that every non-classified fact of conspiracy, obstruction, money laundering, emoluments, and much more are laid-out in excruciating detail, or we can squander the chance to save the Republic.

I know which choice I want.

-app

Why "virtually" and not "entirely disqualified"?

C'mon, Durbin, the moment is much too late for this pussyfooting politesse.

Barr is in no way shape or form even remotely qualified as an arbiter or steward of justice, full stop.

k&r nonetheless,

-app

Not exactly, but you're still on the right track

Apparently, the NRA President term is just one year (North is concluding his first term as NRA President), but North has been part of the NRA Board for more than two decades:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/04/27/nra-president-oliver-north-convention-indianapolis-speech-power-struggle/3598606002/

I'm quite sure that North was more than elbow deep in all the willful violations of campaign finance law and money laundering uindertaken by the NRA throughout the 2016 campaign though. Criminals like North do not stop their crime as long as they walk free.

This should be a key data point in the "Impeach in 2019 vs. Focus exclusively on the 2020 election" debate. If Democrats fail to enforce subpoenas, hold hearings, and then bring Impeachment charges, they will lose. How do I know? Because Republicans like North (and Nunes, and McConnell, and...) will continue to play dirty unless they are caught, prosecuted, and imprisoned.

Bill Clinton & co. made this mistake when refusing to investigate Iran Contra after his inauguration. Obama, Biden, and Holder made this mistake when refusing to investigate the lies of of the Iraq War or prosecute Bankster fraud. Will a Democratic House make this same mistake about collusion, cover up, and the 2016 campaign? I sure hope not!

-app

Clear-cut obstruction to me.

I like this analysis overall, with one major disagreement:

Some might ask why any of this still matters. Mueller considered himself to be bound by Justice Department policy against the indictment of sitting presidents, so the special counsel would not have charged Trump anyway. But as Mueller’s report notes, no Justice Department policy precludes the indictment of a former president after he leaves office. The federal statute of limitations on obstruction of justice is five years, so even if the current attorney general believes that Trump has been exonerated, his successor in a subsequent administration may reach a contrary conclusion.


This rationale is both specious and dangerous. For one, no Democratic AG, no matter whom among the declared candidates is our nominee, will ever go after a former President. Look at the evidence: Democrats have let the thefts of the 2000 (and very possibly 2004) elections pass without any prosecutions. They have let the false rationale for the Iraq War being disproved without any prosecutions. They have let the financial crash of 2008 pass without any prosecutions. Others besides a former President could have been charged for their roles in these crimes, but no Democratic Administration brought a single charge against any one for any of these despite two terms in the White House and some Congressional majorities also during parts of the 21st Century.

And I'm not even pointing this out to particularly criticize past Democratic political strategies. Instead, I'm saying that Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives RIGHT NOW, and this majority was elected in large part to provide oversight of and a counterbalance as well to the Trump misadministration. Any strategy that hinges upon "we'll prosecute Trump after the 2020 election is doomed to failure. Delaying impeachment investigations and hearings at this point in time invites Republican victories next November, and I DON'T want that. What we need is to use the power we have now, which means IMPEACHMENT.

In addition to the above rationales, there is the fact that prosecuting the losing candidate or Party following an election is a BANANA REPUBLIC move. Donald Trump has gotten away with a whole lot of bullshit and even more violation of political norms and sacred traditions here in 2019 America, but even so, his demands to reopen yet more investigations into Hillary Clinton have been slow-walked at best, because they are EVEN WORSE bullshit than Trump slings on a daily basis. This is America. We don't lock-up losers of elections, full stop. Again, this points to the need for Congress to perform its Cpnstitutional role of oversight and IMPEACHMENT right now.

K&R for all the rest,

-app

Whether new or old materials are used, better stewardship is needed

I first heard the story of the Oxford Oaks from the ecological designer William McDonough, I believe, back in the late 1990's at one of the Bioneers Conferences. Charlotte Hajer writes it here:
http://blog.longnow.org/02014/12/31/humans-and-trees-in-long-term-partnership/

Here at Long Now, we often like to tell the story – or perhaps better said, legend – of the oak beams at New College in Oxford. First told to Stewart Brand by anthropologist Gregory Bateson, this short and simple story epitomizes the tremendous value we can reap from some long-term thinking.

Despite what the name may suggest, New College is one of Oxford’s oldest. Founded in 01379, at its heart lies a dining hall that features expansive oak beams across its ceiling. About a century ago, an entomologist discovered that the beams were infested with beetles and would need replacing. The College agonized over where they might find oaks of sufficient size and quality to make new beams. Then, as Stewart Brand recounts,

One of the Junior Fellows stuck his neck out and suggested that there might be some worthy oaks on the College lands. These colleges are endowed with pieces of land scattered across the country which are run by a college Forester. They called in the College Forester, who of course had not been near the college itself for some years, and asked him if there were any oaks for possible use.

He pulled his forelock and said, “Well sirs, we was wonderin’ when you’d be askin’.”

Upon further inquiry it was discovered that when the College was founded, a grove of oaks had been planted to replace the beams in the dining hall when they became beetly, because oak beams always become beetly in the end. This plan had been passed down from one Forester to the next for over five hundred years saying “You don’t cut them oaks. Them’s for the College Hall.”


The link goes into greater detail, separating likely myth from recorded history. It's worth a read in this day and age.

k&r,

-app

Standard Capacity magazines are clearly "in common use."

Article: "Gun groups: Million-plus extended magazines flood California"

Source: (AP newswire) https://www.chron.com/news/us/article/Gun-groups-Million-plus-extended-magazines-flood-13761047.php

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — More than a million high-capacity ammunition magazines flooded into California during a one-week window created when a federal judge temporarily threw out the state's ban, gun owners' groups estimated Thursday.

(snip)

The magazines aren't tracked. But there are plenty of anecdotal indications that the floodgates briefly opened when U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez overturned the state's nearly 20-year-old ban late last month.

The judge halted sales a week later, but ruled that those who bought the magazines can legally own them while the state appeals his ruling.

(snip)

"Everything was all sold out. I basically took whatever I could get," said Chris Puehse, who owns Foothill Ammo in Shingle Springs, east of Sacramento.

He fielded dozens of telephone calls while buyers stacked up 20 deep in his one-man store to buy the hundreds of magazines that arrived in two shipments last week. He had just six left by the time Benitez reinstated the ban last Friday.

"People loved it. It was like we were out of prison and were not treated like bastard stepchildren of the country anymore," he said.

Thirty-round magazines for military-style rifles, handgun magazines holding 17 to 20 bullets, all selling for less than $30 each — "they disappeared," Puehse said. "They wanted to grab more than I let them, otherwise they would have been gone even faster than a few hours."

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned hours before Benitez again halted sales that California was in danger of becoming "the wild, wild West for high-capacity magazines."

(snip)

Staff attorneys with the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco said they've seen no evidence to back up the million-magazine estimate, and said gun rights organizations have a vested interest in inflating the number of law-abiding owners.

"They have a very specific purpose and intent here to try to set up for the court that these are devices that are very commonly used and possessed" and therefore should not be banned again, said California legislative affairs director Ari Freilich.


app's take on this issue:
The Giffords Center attorneys of course have the exact opposite vested interest in deflating the number of law-abiding owners who purchase and peaceably or otherwise lawfully use standard capacity magazines in modern firearms. However, the facts of the matter are with firearms enthusiasts here. Nationwide, the majority of magazines sold for pistols and rifles do hold more than 10-rounds. Of the firearms with detachable magazines I own (i.e.- excluding revolvers and rifles with fixed mags), the only one designed to primarily be operated with 10-round magazines is a sub-compact carry pistol, and even that model can use larger capacity mags that project past the grip. Fifteen to thirty round magazines are certainly in "common use" and thus clearly fall within Second Amendment protections as defined by the Heller Supreme Court decision.

And the demand for such magazines is clear. I think that 1 million mags shipped to CA during that week was a reasonable to low estimate, based upon what I have heard from some vendors in the business even before this article was published. There can be no doubt that a plurality of gun owners in California and across the US desire to continue to exercise these RKBA freedoms. If shooting sports is not your thing, then fine. But I am tired of Democrats pretending that so-called "Assault Weapons" Bans and bans on certain magazines or ergonomic features are at all a popular ideas. Democrats pursue these ridiculous and unconstitutional bans at their electoral peril. I'm saying this not to oppose Democrats, but because many other issues I care about (reproductive freedom, environmental protection, progress on healthcare, etc.) are so jeopardized by Democratic candidates running against a reasonable interpretation of Second Amendment rights.

-app
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