Questions that Moderators Should Ask Trump in the Presidential Election Debates

September 19, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Enemies of Planet Earth, Enemies of Freedom, Conceited, Presidential election | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Presidential Election Debate on September 26 will be moderated by Lester Holt,

Lester Holt, Sept. 25, 2012, before departing Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

Lester Holt, Sept. 25, 2012, before departing Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

that on October 9 will be moderated by Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper,

Martha Raddatz interviews John W. Miller, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces, 24 September 2014.

Martha Raddatz interviews John W. Miller, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces, 24 September 2014.

Anderson Cooper at Tulane University, 14 May 2010 . By Tulane Public Relations (Anderson Cooper & Tim Clinton) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Anderson Cooper at Tulane University, 14 May 2010 . By Tulane Public Relations (Anderson Cooper & Tim Clinton) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

and that on October 19 will be moderated by Chris Wallace.

Chris Wallace in Washington, D.C., February 23, 2010. Photo by Jim Greenhill from Arlington and Durango, USA - 100223-A-3715G-168 .

Chris Wallace in Washington, D.C., February 23, 2010
Photo by Jim Greenhill from Arlington and Durango, USA – 100223-A-3715G-168 .

Here are three questions that every moderator of a Presidential Debate should ask Trump.

Why hasn’t Trump released those of his tax forms that are not being audited?
If they will be released, when?


Trump admires Putin.
Putin supports Assad, the dictator of Syria.
Does Trump support Assad?

Trump admires Putin’s way of controlling Russia, and of suppressing dissent.
Putin’s techniques are completely contrary to the US Consititution.
Which of Putin’s techniques would Trump adopt, and which would he reject?

A moderator who does not ask these questions is not exercising due diligence.

An addendum to this post:

Mr. Trump, you have expressed your approval of the forcefulness of so many dictators:
– Putin;
– the Chinese Communist Party, for its brutal suppression in June 1989 of the demonstrating students in Beijing and in other cities;
– Kim Jong Un .
Please name the dictators – present (such as Assad) or historical (such as Saddam Hussein) – whose forcefulness you don’t approve. How do the dictators you do approve differ from those you don’t approve?

Mr. Trump, an op-ed by defense and intelligence experts Michael Morell and Mike Vickers says that “At the Comander-in-Chief Forum on Sept. 7, you [Trump] said that as long as Putin says nice things about you, you will say nice things about him.” If we were back in the 1930s, would you have said “As long as Hitler says nice things about me, I’ll say nice things about him”? After all, Hitler would have liked your isolationism, so he would indeed have said nice things about you.

Fact: Of all of the dictators, past and present, Trump most resembles Mussolini.

 

If you want to comment on this post, or just want to add your name as endorsing or disputing its assertions, go here. To avoid cluttering the ‘latest postings’ page, WordPress includes the mechanism for commenting only on the page for the individual posting, never on the page that shows all of the recent postings. So click here, scroll to the bottom of the post, and submit your comment.

 

Putin => Wikileaks => Trump

July 24, 2016 at 5:16 pm | Posted in Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Trump Approves of Putin. Image created by thepoliblog.WordPress.com.

Trump Approves of Putin. Image created by thepoliblog.WordPress.com.

 

(After writing this posting, I searched for URLs to cite as evidence for what is asserted in it. It immediately became evident that others had come to the same realizations: see the articles by Abby Phillip and by Amber Phillips in the Washington Post. But since different aspects are emphasized in what follows, it seemed non-redundant to go ahead and post it.)

 

Putin is the Tyrant of Putinia (which has replaced Russia).

Putin ordered his minions to hack into the computer files of the Democratic National Committee to steal the emails and plans of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Putin wanted to use that information to boost Trump’s chances in the US Presidential election in November.

Putin wants Trump to win.

Trump and Putin like each other’s philosophy and style. Both are authoritorian and greedy. Each hides his insecurity by projecting brazen self-confidence. Neither of them gives a hoot about the constraints imposed by laws, or even Constitutions.

Trump also drools over the potential for business opportunities in Putinia.  So he is careful to always ‘make nice’ to Putin, and never challenges what Putin does.
Some leader of the free world Trump would be! He has a built-in conflict of interest.

Putin cannot legally afford to admit that he is responsible for the hacking.

Also, if it were known that the release of the information was intended to aid Trump, then the impact of the released information would be diminished.

So Putin had the stolen information forwarded to Wikileaks. Having Wikileaks release the information gave Putin deniability.

Wikileaks – having no sense of privacy and decency, and deserving none – eagerly made the stolen information public.

Releasing the stolen information can have had only one possible purpose: to embarrass and hamper Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Trump is guilty of many things, but he had no knowledge of this.

If you want to comment on this post, or just want to add your name as endorsing or disputing its assertions, go here. To avoid cluttering the ‘latest postings’ page, WordPress includes the mechanism for commenting only on the page for the individual posting, never on the page that shows all of the recent postings. So click here, scroll to the bottom of the post, and submit your comment.

 

Trump’s Tax Forms

July 1, 2016 at 9:26 am | Posted in Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , ,
Upside-down version of Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Upside-down version of Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Trump has repeatedly promised to release his tax forms for the past several years, but has always delayed doing so. He is stone-walling.

Prior candidates for the Presidency have released theirs.

Trump claims that his tax forms contain nothing interesting.

But a recent article in the Washington Post shows that Trump is a hypocrite.

The article, by Robert Costa and Karen Tumulty, is about Trump’s vetting of possible running mates.

The article says
“The contenders under the most serious consideration … have been asked … to answer more than 100 questions and to provide reams of personal and professional files that include tax records and any articles or books they have published.”

So Trump knows that tax forms reveal important information about a person’s character and actions.

He refuses to release his tax forms. What is he hiding?

Either his income is much less than he boasts,
or his contributions to charity are much less than he boasts,
or both.

Those are the only possibilities.

One of those three must be true.

No matter which of them is the truth, any of those statement proves that
—————————-Trump is a liar,——————————————
———————————-and—————————————————
—————–Trump doesn’t believe what he says.

But we knew that already. This is just additional proof.


For previous posts about The Trump, see here, here, here, here, and here.

If you want to comment on this post, or just want to add your name as endorsing or disputing its assertions, go here. To avoid cluttering the ‘latest postings’ page, WordPress includes the mechanism for commenting only on the page for the individual posting, never on the page that shows all of the recent postings. So click here, scroll to the bottom of the post, and submit your comment.

Two Monsters

June 5, 2016 at 11:34 am | Posted in Crime and punishment | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Photo in 1887 of the actor Richard Mansfield, by Henry Van der Weyde (1838-1924; London,

Photo in 1887 of the actor Richard Mansfield, by Henry Van der Weyde (1838-1924; London,

A previous posting on this blog tried to make sense of the murderer of a sweet, trusting, in-love teen age girl by a high-achieving college student, who was both a good student and an althlete.

The only picture that seemed plausible at the the time was that the murderer was ordinarily a decent human being, but had been scared into becoming a murderer. His accomplice was hardly discussed in that posting, because she seemed to be a cipher. But it was implicitly assumed that she, too, was ordinarily a decent person, who had been driven by friendship to commit evil.

I was wrong.

A recent article by T. Rees Shapiro, Moriah Balangit in the Washington Post shows that David Eisenhauer and Natalie Keeper were pysochopathic monsters. They each really are both Jekyll and Hyde.

Indeed, the incident that begins the plot line in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel bears an eerie resemblance to the sequence of events that unfolded from Nicole Lovell’s natural search for romantic love, a search whose natural strength would have been intensified by the self-doubt and desire for vindication that resulted from the ‘mean girl’ bullying she had endured at her middle school.

David Eisenhauer and Natalie Keeper constitute potentially instructive examples of how two people, well-raised in presumably loving families, could become like the SS troopers in Nazi concentration camps, and like the ‘guards’ in the present day concentration camps in North Korea.

We need a detailed understanding of how that happens.

June 4 = Tianenmen Square Day

June 4, 2016 at 10:54 am | Posted in Abuse of Office, Enemies of Freedom, Fairness, Judicial Misjudgment | 2 Comments
Tags:
A Chinese Type 59 tank at the Beijing Military Museum. A Type 59 main battle tank on display at the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution in western Beijing. On June 3, 1989, People's Liberation Army soldiers on Type 59 tanks began firing on civilian demonstrators at Muxidi near the military museum. (Wikipedia) Photo by Max Smith.

A Chinese Type 59 tank at the Beijing Military Museum. A Type 59 main battle tank on display at the Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution in western Beijing. On June 3, 1989, People’s Liberation Army soldiers on Type 59 tanks began firing on civilian demonstrators at Muxidi near the military museum.
(Wikipedia) Photo by Max Smith.

Today is June 4 – Tiananmen Square Day.

It is a day to honor the love of freedom, the desire for the rule of law, the insistence on fairness, and the true patriotism of the students and others who demonstrated in Tianenmen Square in Beijing, and in other cities, throughout May and early June of 1989.

It is a day to honor the bravery and patriotism of Tank Man.

They were not a threat to China. But China’s self-appointed rulers felt the student’s ideas to be a threat to their rule. So the self-appointed rulers crushed the demonstrations, and sometimes literally crushed demonstrators, with ostentatious cruelty.

For more background, see these previous posts on this blog: here, here, and here.

The student’s chose black as the color to symbolize agreement with their goals.

To honor them and their goals, wear something black today.

If you want to comment on this post, or just want to add your name as endorsing or disputing its assertions, go here. To avoid cluttering the ‘latest postings’ page, WordPress includes the mechanism for commenting only on the page for the individual posting, never on the page that shows all of the recent postings. So click here, scroll to the bottom of the post, and submit your comment.

 

Trump’s Selective Isolationism Would Endanger US Support For Israel

April 3, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Posted in Dysfunctional Politics, Presidential election, Terrorism | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , ,
Flipped version of Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Flipped version of Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

As long as the US remains fully engaged with the rest of the world, actively promoting open stable societies and allies, it makes perfect sense for the US to aid Israel. Israel is an open society, socially and technologically advanced (apart from its short-sighted ‘lebens-raum’ policy of settlements, and is a steadfast ally.

But Trump wants to drastically reduce US involvement with the rest of the world – to save money!

Does Trump know what pennywise and pound foolish means?

If we pulled back fron NATO, does he think that we would still have international partners for embargoes, sanctions, and for cooperation in fighting terrorism?

Does he think that we would have diplomatic and military allies when we suddenly needed them?

Trump’s policy would unleash unintended, undesireable consequences.

Here is just one that he hasn’t thought of.

If the US became isolationist, as Trump favors, then US aid to Israel would become an anomaly. It would become an exception. It would stick out like a sore thumb. It would soon cease.

If you want to comment on this post, or just want to add your name as endorsing or disputing its assertions, go here. To avoid cluttering the ‘latest postings’ page, WordPress includes the mechanism for commenting only on the page for the individual posting, never on the page that shows all of the recent postings. So click here, scroll to the bottom of the post, and submit your comment.

What Trump DOESN’T Know About Business

April 1, 2016 at 11:18 am | Posted in Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Upside-down version of Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Upside-down version of Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Trump understands: real estate (especially hotels and entertainment), entertainment, self-promotion (a type of advertising), and selling the use of his name.

Trump doesn’t understand: international trade, the effect of international trade upon jobs, manufacturing, transportation, treaties, international law.

Most of the areas of business that Trump does understand are not relevant to the tasks of a President. The only exception is self-promotion. Even in the business areas that Trump understands, his record of success has been spotty.

The areas of business that Trump doesn’t understand are critical to the tasks of a President.

But Trump will never learn to understand those areas, because he doesn’t care about facts, and he doesn’t admit to mistakes (his insecurity forbids him to admit to them, especially to himself). So he will never be able to map out what he needs to learn. Learning involves forming provisional pictures, testing them, and correcting them. His refusal to admit to errors means that he cannot do that. By his own admission, Trump habitually relies on his gut guesses rather than on knowledgeable advisors. That habit does not promote learning.

In disputes, Trump is quick to sue. He does that to intimidate, harass and threaten those who disagree with him. He learned that trick from the practices that were common in the real estate business when and where he started out.

That won’t work in domestic politics, and it won’t work in international politics.

As a side note, given Trump’s well known proclivity to sue, it is surprising that anyone would sign a contract with him, without at least insisting that the contract require that disputes be resolved by arbitration, with the arbitrator being pre-specified in the contract.

If you want to comment on this post, or just want to add your name as endorsing or disputing its assertions, go here. To avoid cluttering the ‘latest postings’ page, WordPress includes the mechanism for commenting only on the page for the individual posting, never on the page that shows all of the recent postings. So click here, scroll to the bottom of the post, and submit your comment.

Bernie Sanders As Commander in Chief?

March 14, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Conceited, Fairness, Presidential election, Terrorism | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , ,
Flag of the Islamic State. This flag is also used by al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and Boko Haram. Graphic by Yo.

Flag of the Islamic State.
This flag is also used by al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and Boko Haram. Graphic by Yo.

Here are some questions about Bernie Sander’s fitness to be the Commander in Chief.

Does Bernie Sanders agree that we need a capable – hence adequately funded – Department of Defence?

What capabilities of the Department of Defence does Bernie Sanders want to enhance?

How does Bernie Sanders plan to respond to the non-traditional military sitiations posed by terrorism and by countries (Syria, Russia, China, North Korea) that sneer at international law?

What policies does Bernie Sanders think should govern the use of drones?
What are his thoughts on collateral damage?

What areas of defense R&D does Bernie Sanders think needs to be pursued? What new weapons and tactical capabilities are needed?

What is Bernie Sander’s rough estimate of the proper level of funding for the Department of Defense next year? How many Divisions and how many aircraft carriers should we have?

A Syrian soldier aims an AK-47 assault rifle wearing a Soviet-made, model ShMS nuclear–biological–chemical warfare mask. Unknown author - http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/0JoLDPpw5WbYCMAmPsXL1g

A Syrian soldier aims an AK-47 assault rifle wearing a Soviet-made, model ShMS nuclear–biological–chemical warfare mask.
Unknown author – http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/0JoLDPpw5WbYCMAmPsXL1g

When Assad used chemical weapons against peaceful Syrians, did Bernie Sanders support the idea of US participation in setting up a no-fly zone to protect Syrian civilians from attack by Assad’s military? (A no-fly zone was not set up after Asaad’s use of chemical weapons, despite our prior hollow talk of a ‘red line’. That created a vacuum. That vacuum helped catpult ISIS into becoming a priminent player. Our lack of follow-through, and the hollowness of our threat, bears a major responsibility for the flourishing of ISIS.)

What would Bernie Sanders do to protect the non-extremist anti-Assad groups in Syria from Assad, and from Putin?

What would Bernie Sanders do to protect the very effective Kurdish fighters against attacks by Erdogan’s authoritarian Turkey?

Yazidi refugees and American aid workers on Mount Sinjar in August 2014" USAID U.S. Agency for International Development - https://www.flickr.com/photos/usaid_images/14783000490

Yazidi refugees and American aid workers on Mount Sinjar in August 2014″
USAID U.S. Agency for International Development – https://www.flickr.com/photos/usaid_images/14783000490

What would Bernie Sanders do about the desparate refugees who have fled ISIS?

Any candidate who cannot come up with thoughful, practical answers to these questions is utterly unfit to be commander and chief.

Any candidate who has not already pondered these questions is utterly unfit to be commander and chief.


During the Presidential election, that will be obvious to anyone who values practical effects over wishful thinking.

Being good-hearted is not enough.

Economic fairness is important, but do not underestimate the importance that most voters assign to:
– adequate defense
– our role in supporting international fairness
– and to being respected internationally, and effective internationally.

Some of those latter urgeswere a major factor in the ability of Mussolini and Hitler to replace open political systems by authoritarian ones.

Those same aspects drive Putin’s high popularity in the face of the economic disaster he has brought to Russia.

The importance of same aspects are why China follows an aggressive, nationalistic policies in south-east Asia, despite the political and economic backlash from neighboring countries, and because of China’s falling rate of economic growth.

In the Presidential election, a candidate that lives in dream-land will lose to a candidate who at least cares about what is achievable, no matter how ill-considered are that candidate’s specific goals and paths to those goals.

So a vote in the primary for a well-intentioned candidate who does not care about defense and about foreign policy will inadvertantly aid the victory of the candidate of the opposite party, as long as that competing candidate does have strong opinions (however stupid) about defense and foreign policy.

Remember how votes for the egotist Ralph Nader first made George Bush president instead of Al Gore, and then four years later help George Bush win a second term. (Recall also Nader’s hypocritical claim that there would be no difference between Gore and Bush presidencies.)

If you want to comment on this post, or just want to add your name as endorsing or disputing its assertions, go here. To avoid cluttering the ‘latest postings’ page, WordPress includes the mechanism for commenting only on the page for the individual posting, never on the page that shows all of the recent postings. So click here, scroll to the bottom of the post, and submit your comment.

Was David Eisenhauer a Jekyll-Hyde-like psychopath?

February 11, 2016 at 8:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Torrential rain on Thassos island, Greece, photo by Edal Anton Lefterov, 6 July 2011.

Torrential rain on Thassos island, Greece, photo by Edal Anton Lefterov, 6 July 2011.

You probably have heard the horrifying story.  (If not, you can read about its various aspects here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

A sweet, cheerful, friendly, affectionate young girl, Nicole Lovell, in Blacksburg, Virginia, had overcome challenges that most of us will never face. She overcame lymphoma (a type of cancer), had a liver transplant, and a trachoetomy. The tracheotomy left a scar on Nicole’s throat.

Doing so took courage, fortitude, the strength of character to overcome fear, to endure physical pain. It entailed loneliness from being separated from her friends. It caused her unease about falling behind her classmates. What she did was nothing short of heroic. Her parents were subjected to staggering burdens, which they lovingly accepted.

The tracheotomy scar and Nicole’s medical absences from school made her the target of bullying and snubs at her middle school.

That, and her entry into adolescence, made her eager for a boyfriend. She sought one on social media. At 13 years old, in middle school, she thought she had found one, David Eisenhauer, 18 years old, an athlete and accomplished student at nearby Virginia Tech. She was proud and happy: she now had a handsome affectionate defender, and a living proof that she was lovable and attractive. For a girl in middle school, he was a trophy. She dreamt of starting a family with him. She spoke of running away with him.

At some point they had sex. At some point David Eisenhauer decided to kill her. He and a friend of his, Natalie M. Keepers, plotted for a month on where and how to do it. They bought a shovel. He had a knife. They selected a secluded spot on campus.

In November 2015, David arranged for Nichole to sneak out of her house to meet him in secret.

On the night of November 27, 2015, she climbed out of her bedroom window to meet him. She must have been happily excited and eager: she had even told a friend that she was going to run away with him (but not when). At some secluded location David stabbed Nicole to death. He and Natalie took Nicole’s body a little across the border of North Carolina and buried her.

Was David Eisenhauer a Jekyll-Hyde-like psychopath?

No, not according to what his roomate and others say.

Why then did he plot with a friend, for a month, to cold-bloodedly murder a sweet, trusting, affectionate young girl, Nicole Lovell, who adored and trusted him?

Here is a guess.

According to those who knew him, David Eisenhauer is intelligent, and is focused on the future.

He knew he had made a very serious mistake when, probably in a moment of weakness, he had earlier had sex with Nicole Lovell. Since she was a juvenile and he was not, if their sexual activities ever became known, he would be classed as a sex offender who took advantage of an under-age girl. For the rest of his life he would have to declare himself to the local police wherever he lived, and he would have to obey restrictions that barred him from proximity to schools and playgrounds, and even those used by his potential future children. If the sensible proposal to mark the passports of sex-offenders is eventually approved, some countries would thereafter deny him entry. He would be shamed in the eyes of his parents, friends, and classmates. Even his family would be disgusted by him, and would feel let down by him, and would even feel shame at having raised him.

Because of the bullying she had suffered, Nicole Lovell had a pattern of boasting about any evidence that she was lovable and attractive. In particular, she had boasted about him, on social media, and Nicole Lovell’s friends knew about him. David Eisenhauer knew that it was only a matter of time before Nicole boasted to her friends about having sex with him, and then that damning fact would quickly become widely known. All the bad consequences would ensue.

So David Eisenhauer felt that he had no choice but to silence Nicole Lovell by killing her.

He revealed his quandry and his plans to fellow student Natalie M. Keepers, a close and supportive friend, and enlisted her help.

We know what happened next. David Eisenhauer compounded his earlier serious crime of having sex with a minor by the far more serious crime of murder.

But suppose the plot had succeeded, and the murderers had never been identified?

After the murder, the only person who knew David Eisenhauer’s secret was Natalie Keepers. She herself had in the past been bullied, and was somewhat unstable – perhaps as a result of the bullying. So she was the only remaining threat. She was emotionally unstable. She might blurt out the secret during some therapy session in the future, or during some future dispute with David Eisenhauer.

Natalie Keepers was lucky that she and David Eisenhauer were caught.

Most likely, David Eisenhauer still had the knife and the shovel.

The scenario described above is just a guess. But it could explain what had seemed inexplicable.


If you want to comment on this post, go here. To avoid cluttering the ‘latest postings’ page, WordPress includes the mechanism for commenting only on the page for the individual posting, never on the page that shows all of the recent postings. So click here, scroll to the bottom of the post, and submit your comment.

The Koch Conspiracy to Subvert American Democracy

January 29, 2016 at 5:16 pm | Posted in Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Enemies of Planet Earth, Global warming, Judicial Misjudgment, Presidential election | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
David H. Koch in 2007, as cropped and rotated from a photo by freddthompson

David H. Koch in 2007, as cropped and rotated from a photo taken by freddthompson

The remarkable new book, ‘Dark Money’, by Jane Mayer, shows that a many-fingered long-lasting conspiracy by very wealthy, very greedy, very defensive individuals, underlies much of what has degraded and coarsened American political life over the past two and a half decades.

The conspiracy was instigated by Charles and David Koch.

The conspiracy is driven by the self interest of Charles and David Koch and their co-conspirators. They all rationalize it to themselves as the defense of liberty – but only of those liberties that benefit themselves.

It is a conspiracy to subvert American democracy. Jane Mayer shows that it was started when Charles Koch concluded that he couldn’t achieve his goals via the open political process.

Prominent members of this group are (quoting from Mayer’s page 4) “Richard Mellon Scaife, an heir to the Mellon banking and Gulf oil fortunes; Harry and Lynde Bradley, midwesterners enriched by defense contracts; John M. Olin, a chemical and munitions company titan; the Coors brewing family of Colorado; and the DeVos family of Michigan, founders of the Amway marketing empire.”

Their convocations impose utmost secrecy: no mobile phones, no notes, no audio or video recording. The eleborate precautions are described on page 9 of Jane Mayer’s book.

That it is a conspiracy is proven by its secrecy.

Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas have been speakers at these meetings.

Were Scalia and Thomas paid to speak? How much?

Was their air travel and lodging reimbursed, or paid directly by the meeting’s sponsors? Almost certainly.

Scalia’s and Thomas’ attitudes on issues that were likely to come before the Supreme Court may have been influenced by those at the secret meetings at which they spoke. But more likely, they were invited to speak, and agreed to speak, because they were known to already favor plutocracy over democracy.

In turn, that almost certainly influenced how they voted when the Supreme Court was reaching its decision on Citizens United.

The Supreme Court’s majority decision on Citizens United enabled wealthy donors and the executives and board members of wealthy corporations to have much more influence – per person – on elections and on elected officials, than do ordinary citizens such as you and I. As a result, PACs became prominent. A PAC is not supposed to coordinate in any way with the candidate it supports, but news stories too numerous to count cite direct contacts and indirect signalling between candidates and ‘their’ PACs (yes, that is how some of the PACs are described in news stories), and there is much transfer of personnel between the campaign staff and the PAC and vice versa. PACs provide an effective way of influencing political outcomes, and are one of the Koch conspiracy’s major tools. No more ‘significant political say for each active citizen’. The political voice of a  director of a PAC, of a lobbyist or of a politician who has an affiliated PAC, or of a wealthy individual, a corporate executive, or a member of a corporate board that contributes importantly to a PAC, is much louder than the voice of any ordinary citizen. This has seriously corrupted American political life, and has greatly attenuated poltical democracy.

Because of – or as evidenced by – their participation in these secret meetings, Scalia and Thomas were biased, and should have recused themselves from the decision on Citizens United.

If asked, Scalia and Thomas might claim that they attended and spoke as private citizens, that they were merely speaking for themselves, exercising their Constitutional rights of freedom of assembly and of speech.

As private citizens? Hah! No one believes that for a moment.

By virtue of their special status, Justices of the Supreme Court are always seen – accurately or inaccurately – as reflecting upon the Supreme Court when they speak on any topic having political ramifications.

By virtue of their special status, Justices of the Supreme Court receive special treatment at airports. Unless their hosts proved travel in a private airplane, both Scalia and Thomas probably availed themselves of that special treatment in their flights to and from these Koch-sponsored events.  Private citizens do not receive this special treatment.

Doesn’t the Supreme Court issue guidelines on the out-of-court activities of its Justices?

Federal employees receive such guidelines, to reduce as much as possible both impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.

Common sense says:

Attendance and giving a speech at a public meeting is proper for a Supreme Court Justice, as long as that attendance is not subsidised nor paid for.

Attendance at secret meeting is proper for a Supreme Court Justice, as long as the meeting is within the premises of the Supreme Court, and includes all of the Justices.

It is not proper for a Justice of the Supreme Court to attend and speak at a secret meeting on political policy, outside of the Supreme Court, and probably without even the knowledge and assent of all of the other Justices.

Two Justices of the Supreme Court committed a serious breech of ethics, casting great doubt upon their impartiality.

You can thank the Koch conspiracy for that.


If you want to comment on this post, or just want to endorse or dispute its assertions, go here. To avoid cluttering the ‘latest postings’ page, WordPress includes the mechanism for commenting only on the page for the individual posting, never on the page that shows all of the recent postings. So click here, scroll to the bottom of the post, and submit your comment.

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.