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Comey and Trump


Off-Topic Discussions

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CBDunkerson wrote:


Basically, they had just barely enough time to pass one major initiative... Obamacare. I'd probably have gone with something different, but the point is that the idea that they could have passed anything and everything they wanted is not true.

i am interested in knowing why this argument isn't being used now against the Republican majority.


Probably because they seem like they are willing to remove the filibuster - after using it for themselves for years - in order to do what they want.

That, and they're apparently trying to pass the AHCA through reconciliation, which doesn't allow for filibusters. So, for the big stuff, it hasn't actually come up yet.


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Rednal wrote:
Grey_Mage wrote:
In 2009 Democrats held both houses and the Presidency
...But they did not hold a filibuster-proof majority for more than about four months, not counting the time they weren't in session, and of those four months many days were lost because of illnesses. And, as history afterwards has shown, the Republican party was very much willing to filibuster whatever they could.

It's also that neither party is uniform in belief on policy. With the razor thin filibuster proof majority, even in those 4 months, a single senator could block anything.

The answer for why we didn't get "student loan reform or socializing secondary education" could be as simple as Joe Lieberman didn't want to.


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CBDunkerson wrote:
Grey_Mage wrote:
In 2009 Democrats held both houses and the Presidency, They could have passed ANYTHING including student loan reform or socializing secondary education.

Only if they had 'gone nuclear' to remove the filibuster. Failing that, they needed 60 votes in the Senate to pass anything... which they only had in theory for a few months and in practice only on a few specific days when Kennedy and Byrd were healthy enough to come in for a vote.

Basically, they had just barely enough time to pass one major initiative... Obamacare. I'd probably have gone with something different, but the point is that the idea that they could have passed anything and everything they wanted is not true.

And to get Obamacare, they needed every one of those Senators on board, some of whom were not actually Democrats. We can tell from the debates at the time who was blocking what changes in the ACA. Lieberman and Nelson killed the Medicare buy in plan, for example.

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thejeff wrote:
Rednal wrote:
Grey_Mage wrote:
In 2009 Democrats held both houses and the Presidency
...But they did not hold a filibuster-proof majority for more than about four months, not counting the time they weren't in session, and of those four months many days were lost because of illnesses. And, as history afterwards has shown, the Republican party was very much willing to filibuster whatever they could.

It's also that neither party is uniform in belief on policy. With the razor thin filibuster proof majority, even in those 4 months, a single senator could block anything.

The answer for why we didn't get "student loan reform or socializing secondary education" could be as simple as Joe Lieberman didn't want to.

Or, alternatively, they wanted to do *more* but the vast majority said 'nahhhhh' and they went "Well, this isn't going to work, I'm out"

Back to Comey and Trump: Sitcom coming soon to a theatre near you? Or is it going to be part of ABC's autumn lineup?


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Rednal wrote:
Grey_Mage wrote:
In 2009 Democrats held both houses and the Presidency
...But they did not hold a filibuster-proof majority for more than about four months, not counting the time they weren't in session, and of those four months many days were lost because of illnesses. And, as history afterwards has shown, the Republican party was very much willing to filibuster whatever they could.

It's also that neither party is uniform in belief on policy. With the razor thin filibuster proof majority, even in those 4 months, a single senator could block anything.

The answer for why we didn't get "student loan reform or socializing secondary education" could be as simple as Joe Lieberman didn't want to.

Or, alternatively, they wanted to do *more* but the vast majority said 'nahhhhh' and they went "Well, this isn't going to work, I'm out"

Possibly, though I'd suspect that was someone other than Lieberman. :)

The point is that it didn't take a vast majority opposing something to block it. Even with the largest majorities in the last few decades. You were at best limited to what the most conservative Democrats wanted.


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CBDunkerson wrote:
Grey_Mage wrote:
In 2009 Democrats held both houses and the Presidency, They could have passed ANYTHING including student loan reform or socializing secondary education.

Only if they had 'gone nuclear' to remove the filibuster. Failing that, they needed 60 votes in the Senate to pass anything... which they only had in theory for a few months and in practice only on a few specific days when Kennedy and Byrd were healthy enough to come in for a vote.

Basically, they had just barely enough time to pass one major initiative... Obamacare. I'd probably have gone with something different, but the point is that the idea that they could have passed anything and everything they wanted is not true.

Criminal Justice reform could have gotten several Republicans on board. I consider the lack of any meaningful change to the War on Drugs the greatest failure of the previous administration.


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American politics is a great spectator sport for non-Americans. Not sure how popular it is in the USA though.

Liberty's Edge

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avr wrote:
American politics is a great spectator sport for non-Americans. Not sure how popular it is in the USA though.

It's something like this


GM Niles wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
Grey_Mage wrote:
In 2009 Democrats held both houses and the Presidency, They could have passed ANYTHING including student loan reform or socializing secondary education.

Only if they had 'gone nuclear' to remove the filibuster. Failing that, they needed 60 votes in the Senate to pass anything... which they only had in theory for a few months and in practice only on a few specific days when Kennedy and Byrd were healthy enough to come in for a vote.

Basically, they had just barely enough time to pass one major initiative... Obamacare. I'd probably have gone with something different, but the point is that the idea that they could have passed anything and everything they wanted is not true.

Criminal Justice reform could have gotten several Republicans on board. I consider the lack of any meaningful change to the War on Drugs the greatest failure of the previous administration.

What Reform?

Which Republicans would have bucked their party on it?


Dropping Marijuana from a schedule 1 drug comes to mind, wouldn't have even taken congress...


GM Niles wrote:
Dropping Marijuana from a schedule 1 drug comes to mind, wouldn't have even taken congress...

Yeah, we discussed that earlier.

Shadow Lodge

CrusaderWolf wrote:


So...the system has never been changed for the better?

It has changed but usually very, very slowly and it's always at risk of sliding backwards.

The system has only changed rapidly when it's been broken and it had to change. The civil war, the great depression, world war 2.

Quote:
If it has, what made it possible then but not now?

The information age, gerrymandering, fox news, and the rise of corporations as a political entity. When you combine those, you have corporations that can effectively pick their voters and decide who gets elected. It doesn't give them total control of the system but it lets them use the systems own massive inertia plus a little bit of breaking to make it VERY hard to move.

Since the government has picked their voters, they don't need to compromise with a non existant middle majority,their voters or with the other party. The only need to be picked by the people voting for them in their primary.

And fox news keeps half the population focused on Obama's birth certificate.

That is brontosaurus levels of ossification

[quoteAnd why are well-meaning amateurs the way forward as opposed to coordinated political experts with a shared ideal?

The selective process to be a coordinated political expert is not absolute, but it tends towards someone who won't go around the system.

Quote:
You views on the Presidency are, I think, very very wrong. But I think the rest of your argument makes sense given that foundational assumption, we just disagree on that root idea. The idea of running the country by desperate catch-up googling as a matter of principle freaks me out.

Think on how many areas a president has to make decisions about (or have them made for him) Agriculture, economics, legal wordings, law enforcement, healthcare, , physics, chemistry, forestry, wildlife biology, pollution, telecommunications, privacy, military, highway infrastrcuture...

There is absolutely no way to be reasonably competent at all of them. So i don't see what the big deal is if the guy making decisions about corn subsidies has a degree in constitutional law or not. He's going to be for or against the subsidies and pick someone who is an expert on them that agrees with him to implement it.

BNW wrote:
Or because it was a good lie to tell the base. Hard to tell.
Not remotely hard, it fits the Trump pattern perfectly. And it's not a pattern I want to emulate. "Nobody knew reforming the political system could be so hard," eh?

It fits other patterns too, like simply criticizing and insulting people no matter what, whether you are for that thing or not. Trump for example didn't switch his positions on presidents playing golf, he simply didn't care and used it as a talking point.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:


A nice idea in theory, but probably less realistic in practice than Plato's enlightened despot.

One of the main issues with any "non career politician" is that politics requires a very unusual skill set. Trump, and any other high profile CEO, is used to being The Boss, and in fact, that's one of his major problems. He runs -- or ran -- a reasonably tight ship where everyone was supposed to do what he wanted and display personal loyalty to him, at risk, famously of getting fired.

Trump is actually known for running very sloppy businesses. The Trump Organization is a LLC, which is primarily an entity created for tax purposes. Unlike a publicly traded company, there are no laws or regulations about governing a LLC, you aren't required to review/report on whether ventures were profitable. There is no inherent transparency or accountability in a LLC.

Trump did try running a publicly traded company once: Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts. It filed for bankruptcy on five separate occasions and investors lost millions of dollars. This failure happened during an era when casinos were doing extremely well and arguably saw their most profitable period ever.

Trump owned businesses are constantly involved in lawsuits for not paying contractors. This is not standard industry practice in any industry and mostly likely costs the Trump Organization more than it would to just pay the contractor. It's hard to know for sure though, since the company isn't publicly traded, and that allows them to keep such data private.

In 1985, Trump acquired the rights to a piece of land in Manhattan, the largest privately held area of undeveloped land in the city. He had actually previously held those rights, but let them lapse and had to pay another $115 million to reacquire them. He was able to put together a financing package for a $4.5 billion development. His version of the deal was set and ready to go by 1986 and would be the biggest development in NYC since Rockefeller center.

The problem he had to navigate was the mayor, Ed Koch, various community leaders and celebrities who wanted different things. If ever there was a time for a deal maker, this was it. Instead, Trump got into a public war of insults with Koch. They traded insults for months and no progress was made.

In 1989, with a new mayor in office, Trump still couldn't get his development approved. Another real estate developer offered Trump $550 million. It cost Trump $23 million to carry the land every year, but with that money he could have still net almost $300 million on the deal. The $550 million just sitting in a bank would have been worth over $1 billion by now in cash, more if it had been invested. Trump refused and held onto the land.

In 1994, still bleeding millions every year, he sold the rights to a Hong Kong firm, but included in the deal were minority stakeholder rights and he would be hired on as a manager and contractor for construction. His name would also appear on some buildings. In 2005, the Hong Kong company sold their holding for $1.8 billion, the largest real estate deal in NYC ever, at that time. Trump would have been entitled to a share of those profits, but sued because he said he could have gotten a better deal. In the end he got ownership of two office buildings valued around $640 million compared to the $1 billion cash he could have had if he had sold in 1989.


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Interesting how a thread about Trump and Comey ended up being about the Democrats.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

Think on how many areas a president has to make decisions about (or have them made for him) Agriculture, economics, legal wordings, law enforcement, healthcare, , physics, chemistry, forestry, wildlife biology, pollution, telecommunications, privacy, military, highway infrastrcuture...

There is absolutely no way to be reasonably competent at all of them. So i don't see what the big deal is if the guy making decisions about corn subsidies has a degree in constitutional law or not. He's going to be for or against the subsidies and pick someone who is an expert on them that agrees with him to implement it.

You don't have to be reasonably competent at all of them. You do have to be good at the political process of getting those things your experts advise you to do done.

You have to know how government really works on that level or you'll flounder.


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thejeff wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Think on how many areas a president has to make decisions about (or have them made for him) Agriculture, economics, legal wordings, law enforcement, healthcare, , physics, chemistry, forestry, wildlife biology, pollution, telecommunications, privacy, military, highway infrastrcuture...

There is absolutely no way to be reasonably competent at all of them. So i don't see what the big deal is if the guy making decisions about corn subsidies has a degree in constitutional law or not. He's going to be for or against the subsidies and pick someone who is an expert on them that agrees with him to implement it.

You don't have to be reasonably competent at all of them. You do have to be good at the political process of getting those things your experts advise you to do done.

You have to know how government really works on that level or you'll flounder.

Consider:

President Barack Obama wrote:
I always felt that a president is accountable for making the best decisions, but that there are going to be a lot of unexpected twists and turns along the way. And as I said recently, this is still a human enterprise and these are big, tough, complicated problems. Somebody noted to me that by the time something reaches my desk, that means it’s really hard. Because if it were easy, somebody else would have made the decision and somebody else would have solved it.

vs.

President Donald Trump wrote:
I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.


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Irontruth wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:


A nice idea in theory, but probably less realistic in practice than Plato's enlightened despot.

One of the main issues with any "non career politician" is that politics requires a very unusual skill set. Trump, and any other high profile CEO, is used to being The Boss, and in fact, that's one of his major problems. He runs -- or ran -- a reasonably tight ship where everyone was supposed to do what he wanted and display personal loyalty to him, at risk, famously of getting fired.

Trump is actually known for running very sloppy businesses. The Trump Organization is a LLC, which is primarily an entity created for tax purposes. Unlike a publicly traded company, there are no laws or regulations about governing a LLC, you aren't required to review/report on whether ventures were profitable. There is no inherent transparency or accountability in a LLC.

Trump did try running a publicly traded company once: Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts. It filed for bankruptcy on five separate occasions and investors lost millions of dollars. This failure happened during an era when casinos were doing extremely well and arguably saw their most profitable period ever.

Trump owned businesses are constantly involved in lawsuits for not paying contractors. This is not standard industry practice in any industry and mostly likely costs the Trump Organization more than it would to just pay the contractor. It's hard to know for sure though, since the company isn't publicly traded, and that allows them to keep such data private.

In 1985, Trump acquired the rights to a piece of land in Manhattan, the largest privately held area of undeveloped land in the city. He had actually previously held those rights, but let them lapse and had to pay another $115 million to reacquire them. He was able to put together a financing package for a $4.5 billion development. His version of the deal was set and ready to go by 1986 and would be the biggest development in NYC since Rockefeller center....

these were my formative years growing up in Brooklyn. I remember the arguments quite well. Both were lampooned in the press and in political cartoons, but Trump came out far worse. I have vague memories of the political cartoon themselves, they always made fun of the fact that Koch was bald and Trump was not.


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Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation


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And because our PotUS prefers two scoops at once:

WaPo: "Russia probe reaches current White House official, people familiar with the case say"

Liberty's Edge

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Knight who says Meh wrote:
Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation

That's another brick weighing down the 'intent' side of the scales.

At this point, pretty much the only thing team Trump hasn't (that we know of) provided prosecutors is evidence of secret collusion... though a case could be made for OPEN collusion.

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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

And because our PotUS prefers two scoops at once:

WaPo: "Russia probe reaches current White House official, people familiar with the case say"

Quick! Let's take 'bets' before the name inevitably leaks (cf. 'unnamed country' whose spy Trump burned identified as Israel about 24 hours later).

I'm gonna say Jared. For some reason he was pushing to fire Comey and he seemed to be involved in a lot of the meetings with Russians... for no (stated) reason.

Though, that being said...
* Please let it be Bannon. Please let it be Bannon *


CBDunkerson wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

And because our PotUS prefers two scoops at once:

WaPo: "Russia probe reaches current White House official, people familiar with the case say"

Quick! Let's take 'bets' before the name inevitably leaks (cf. 'unnamed country' whose spy Trump burned identified as Israel about 24 hours later).

I'm gonna say Jared. For some reason he was pushing to fire Comey and he seemed to be involved in a lot of the meetings with Russians... for no (stated) reason.

You're not the only one thinking Kushner (insert own "They went to Jared" joke here)

Edit:

CBDunkerson wrote:

Though, that being said...

* Please let it be Bannon. Please let it be Bannon *

Bannon's Breitbart is already under investigation, so hopefully that trail will also lead back to him.


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CBDunkerson wrote:
Knight who says Meh wrote:
Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation

That's another brick weighing down the 'intent' side of the scales.

At this point, pretty much the only thing team Trump hasn't (that we know of) provided prosecutors is evidence of secret collusion... though a case could be made for OPEN collusion.

I have no legal training whatsoever, and I'm well aware that things that look simple to the layman are often actually very complex. I'm not naive enough to think that I'm smarter than the entire US justice system. That said, every time I've heard various media outlets mention proving collusion, I've thought of the footage you linked and wondered what's left to prove.

Liberty's Edge

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It has gotten so bad that people are dropping out to 'spend more time with their family' even before joining the Trump administration


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CBDunkerson wrote:
It has gotten so bad that people are dropping out to 'spend more time with their family' even before joining the Trump administration

I'd just like to inform you all that I'll be turning down any positions with the Trump administration to spend more time with my cat.

Or possibly more time posting on Paizo :)


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I, on the other hand, will accept any position the Trump administration feels fit to offer me. I've always wanted to have a job where I'd feel good about sitting on my arse doing nothing while on the clock.


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Oh, you won't be sitting on your ass. This is someone who makes sure everyone at dinner gets less ice cream then he does.

No, he'll work you to death, congratulate himself for doing so and fire you the first time you f@*% up in the most miniscule of ways.

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captain yesterday wrote:

Oh, you won't be sitting on your ass. This is someone who makes sure everyone at dinner gets less ice cream then he does.

No, he'll work you to death, congratulate himself for doing so and fire you the first time you f!~@ up in the most miniscule of ways.

Oh, and libel and slander you via Twitter if you try to do anything about it to bring it back into line with the original topic


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thejeff wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
It has gotten so bad that people are dropping out to 'spend more time with their family' even before joining the Trump administration

I'd just like to inform you all that I'll be turning down any positions with the Trump administration to spend more time with my cat.

Or possibly more time posting on Paizo :)

Uh, I've read Sandman's "A Dream of a Thousand Cats", so I know what cats are plotting. {adds thejeff to "Potential Catpurrian Candidates" list}


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captain yesterday wrote:

Oh, you won't be sitting on your ass. This is someone who makes sure everyone at dinner gets less ice cream then he does.

No, he'll work you to death, congratulate himself for doing so and fire you the first time you f+#+ up in the most miniscule of ways.

There's an interesting quirk about Trump who is famous for his "You're fired!" catch phrase, he is conflict adverse in person, and rarely ever fires someone face to face. Combined with his propensity to make decisions based on whatever information he was given most recently, staff are actually quite loathe to leave his presence: as long as you're in the room he won't fire you.

Trump talks a big game and is a firm believer in "fake it till you make it." In truth he's a coward. He relies on displays of power (the red tie, the ridiculous hand shake, ordering for people). It's all superficial though, his confidence isn't even skin deep.

I would take a WH job if offered right now. I'd probably get fired for yelling at the president, but my gofundme campaign afterwards would be baller.


The old grab and pull em to you... that is how you get headbutted right there.


What is with presidents and handshakes? I guess GWB was rumored to have a limp handshake and there was even a King of the Hill episode about it. I know Comey wanted to keep space between him and Trump I wonder if the grab and pull had anything to do with it?

Shadow Lodge

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Vidmaster7 wrote:
The old grab and pull em to you... that is how you get headbutted right there.

How to defend against the trump handshake

Shadow Lodge

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I am trump


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I completely diagree with the notion that wanting more non-politicans in office is naive.... it is aspirational....

Thinking Sierra Leone can win the World Cup is naive

Thinking England can win the World Cup is aspirational

A significant difference....

Politicans like to make out that being a politican and politics in general is this mystical, unfathomable idea that us poor saps wont ever understand....

They're talking complete rubbish.... its because sooooo many people buy into this idea that we keep on going round and round in circles.

Politicans know that by portraying what they do as something magical, that hopefully the general public wont ask too many questions and they can keep milking the system. The EU is a classic case of this.

You only have to look at some of the complete idiots that get elected into government to realise that its not half as hard as they make out....

Here in the UK we're dreadful.... its the same old story.... "I went to School X so I must be good at being an MP."

Silver Crusade

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*head* *desk*

Not knowing what you're doing does not make you more qualified than someone who does on that merit alone.


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He has a point though.

It isn't rocket science.

The problem is, our president is a moldy pumpkin wearing an expensive suit being controlled by Don Bluthian mice bent on destroying cats and humanity with them.


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Listen, the only elected office I ever held was Vice President of the Student Body my senior year of high school, but are we sure it isn't rocket science? 'Cause governing a nation actually seems pretty complex to me.


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doc roc wrote:
I completely diagree with the notion that wanting more non-politicans in office is naive....

Yes, I'm sure you do.


Hitdice wrote:
Listen, the only elected office I ever held was Vice President of the Student Body my senior year of high school, but are we sure it isn't rocket science?

Yes, I'm sure. I'm qualified to do rocket science, so I can speak with some degree of authority that governing is not it.....


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In other news, it seems Comey is going to testify before the Senate in an open, public session. That should be... illuminating.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
doc roc wrote:
I completely diagree with the notion that wanting more non-politicans in office is naive....
Yes, I'm sure you do.

If I need emergency medical treatment, I don't want someone who isn't medically educated/trained.

If I need a manned rocket built, I don't want someone who isn't an engineer.

And if I want the Federal government to be run competently with sane policies, I don't want someone with absolutely no government experience running it all. The Federal government absolutely isn't a corporation; every decision shouldn't be made to maximize short-term profit for the richest members who all get golden parachutes while the poorest employees work for unlivable wages in dead-end jobs, lose their sick time & medical benefits, and have their hard-earned pensions looted. And Trump hasn't even demonstrated basic competency as a businessman; without significant help, the man would bankrupt his own lemonade stand.

If you are using the CEO/corporate model, then it should be reversed. We, the People of the United States, are the board of directors. The President is an employee hired by us. We should select the best, most intelligent, most competent employee. And if they are unsuitable for the job, we should fire them.


D*mn straight, Ambi! Well said! Too bad the office of the President doesn't allow for recall votes like they do for Governors.

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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:


If you are using the CEO/corporate model, then it should be reversed. We, the People of the United States, are the board of directors. The President is an employee hired by us. We should select the best, most intelligent, most competent employee. And if they are unsuitable for the job, we should fire them.

[u]With *NO* 'Golden Parachute'[/u]

Honestly, half the rot in the world comes because it's a freaking game to these CEOs... show improvement for a year or two, get a huge raise, then 'move on to other interests' and then the next quarter or two after they leave the company goes pffffffffffffffffftttttt...

Back to Comey v. Trump: Can the President legally give an Executive Order to someone to not testify before Congress? Would it be binding?


Wouldn't that be obstruction of an Investigation? People do time in prison for that. And Congress can put them there, if I recall correctly.


That would probably count as obstruction, yes. You might be able to make a case for stopping testimony for national security reasons - the President gets a lot of leeway on that - but not for any testimony not directly related to that sort of subject.

Scarab Sages

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John Napier 698 wrote:
D*mn straight, Ambi! Well said! Too bad the office of the President doesn't allow for recall votes like they do for Governors.

What we need is the ability to vote 'no confidence' - not to mention an inclusive voting system (I forget what it's called, exactly) where you aren't forced to keep supporting 'the lesser of two Evils.'


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Preferential Voting?

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John Napier 698 wrote:
Wouldn't that be obstruction of an Investigation? People do time in prison for that. And Congress can put them there, if I recall correctly.

Except that it could be argued that the Chief Executive is exercising the privilege of the separation of the branches of the government, and that it is an Executive issue, not a legislative one.

Enter the Supremes, who would probably go 'Yeah, y'all sort this out, we're not holding your beer for you..'

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