Trumpkin Chumpkin for Halloween

September 16, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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A Trumpkin, a President Chumpkin, full of lies, cruelty, arrogance and ignorance. By thepoliblog .

A Trumpkin, a President Chumpkin, full of lies, cruelty, arrogance and ignorance. By thepoliblog .

Note the Trumpkin Chumpkin’s realistic features:
Lies issuing from both sides of his mouth.
Cruel teeth. This abominable person separates children from their parents, and then locks them up in a pantry, for later consumption.
Demented eyes, each looking anywhere except at the facts.
A nose for what his “base” wants to hear, regardless of its falsity.

President Chump tried to pin the label of treason on the anonymous White House official who wrote the OpEd in the New York Times.

Chump, it might be treason to your brand, but it is not treason to the United States.

Chump, treason is what occurred when you talked with Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak in what had formerly been the Oval Office of the White House, in May 2017. You pollute every person and every organization you touch. As long as your presence continues to pollute the White House, the Oval Office is transformed into the Offal Office, the Awful Office.
From President Chump’s mouth to Putin’s ear, via Lavrov and Kislyak.

Treason is Donald Jr’s “I love it!” in anticipation of the June 9, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in 2016, where he expected to obtain damaging information that Russia had obtained about Hillary Clinton. Given Don’s expectations, his participation was treasonous, because he his statement indicates that he would have been willing to broadcast information obtained by Russian Intelligence Services: information whose broadcast was desired by Russian Intelligence Services, and whose broadcast would have constituted Russian interference in an American election. Don was therefore hoping to collude with a foreign power.

Treason is also Trump fabricating a cover-up story for Donald Jr about that meeting: Trump had Don Jr. claim that the discussion in Trump Tower was about American adoptions of Russian children, not about Don Jr. expected the meeting to discuss, nor about what it actually did discuss.

Treason is Presudent Chump attempting to abort and otherwise impede an investigation of Putin’s interference in the US Presidential election in 2016.

Treason is candidate Trump calling out, “Russia, if you’re listening …” In that July 27, 2016 statement, Trump begged for collusion by Russia, to help Trump win the Presidential election.

An instructive article by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post chronicles the remarkably many people who President Chump has accused of treason. Recall the story of the Emperor with no clothes, who had been flattered into believing that he was stunningly dressed. If that Emperor had been President Chump, he would have charged with treason the person who yelled out the truth.

President Chump often screams “Fake News!”, to devalue unfavorable news.
What a hypocrite!
He deliberately generates fake news. Pretending to sometimes be John Miller, sometimes be John Barron, and sometimes to be John Baron, he told lies about himself to the news media.

President Chump accused President Obama of spending to much time playing golf!
What a hypocrite!

Candidate Chump and President Chump tries to pin the label lyin’ on Hillary Clinton and on everyone else who opposes him.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who is the biggest liar of them all?

Lets return to President Chump’s inability to distinguish between loyalty to himself and loyalty to the country.

This inability is due in part to Chump’s fragile ego. To preserve his self-esteme, Chump hides the fragility of his ego from himself by being an ego-maniac, who sees the world as revolving about himself.

But Chump’s inability to distinguish between loyalty to himself and loyalty to the country also because President Chump is the President who would be King.

Chump thought that being the President meant being a non-hereditary King – not a constitutional monarch, but like Henry VIII. Henry VIII didn’t have to to distinguish between loyalty to himself and loyalty to his country.

Chump boasts that while a student he didn’t read the assigned texts. He is proud of having gotten through by guessing, and takes that to be proof of a superior intelligence. So Chump didn’t know that the US President is not a King.

Chump’s desire to be an old-school King is why he admires authoritarian leaders like Putin, Duterte, and Xi. It is also why Chump thinks that Obama, Merkel, and May are weak.

Chump’s preference for authoritarian leaders is one reason for Chump having become Putin’s chihuahua.

Another reason is that Russian investors close to Putin bailed Trump out of his company’s latest bankrupcy. Putin bought Trump, and Trump knows it.

President Chump’s preference for authoritarian leaders is why he – unlike previous Presidents – is not the leader of the free world. The present leaders of the free world are Merkel, Macron, and Trudeau.

Disloyal Americans in Congress

August 19, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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Jim Jordan (R-OH) in the 114th Congress.

Jim Jordan (R-OH) in the 114th Congress.

In a recent Congressional hearing, Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) shouted at Rod Rosenstein, “Why are you keeping information from Congress?”. This question referred to Robert Mueller’s special investigation of Putin’s interference in the Presidential election in 2016. Mueller’s investigation had been approved by Rod Rosenstein.

Jim Jordan’s question was loaded, like “When did you stop beating your wife?”

A question is loaded if it is being used as a vehicle for making an un-proven assertion, usually a derogatory assertion. The question is being used in a sneaky attempt to implant the assertion into the minds of those who hear the question.

Jim Jordan’s question was dishonorable. Indeed, Jim Jordan is both dishonorable and disloyal.

Jim Jordan is posturing at due diligence in Congress, in part to deflect attention to the fact that he either did not exercise sufficient due diligence to learn about Richard Strauss’ widely known sexual abuse of wrestlers at Ohio State University , or else that he knew about it but chose not to do anything about it.

Here are some legitimate questions. They are not loaded questions, because they assert about Jim Jordan only what his actions have proved about him.

– Jim Jordan, why are you opposed to the investigation of the well-established fact that Putin interfered in the Presidential election in 2016?

– Jim Jordan, why are you opposed to the United States and it allies learning from Mueller’s investigation how we and our allies can combat Putin’s future attempts at manipulating public opinion and elections in our country?

Your opposition amounts to obstruction of justice, and delays the improvement of our cyber-defenses.

– Jim Jordan, why are you obstructing justice?

– Jim Jordan, since you are obstructing justice, and are delaying the US’s defense against Putin’s manipulations, why should anyone believe your claim that you didn’t know about Richard Strauss’ sexual abuse of wrestlers at Ohio State University?

– Jim Jordan, when did you cease to be a patriotic American?

As an institution, Congress is worthy of respect. But not all Congressional Representatives are worthy of respect.

Jim Jordan is not worthy of respect.

The same is true of the notorious Devin Nunes, and of Bob Goodlatte, Mark Meadows and Matt Gaetz, who collude with Jim Jordan.

Each of these disloyal Americans in Congress proritizes partisan advantage over justice, and also proritizes partisan advantage over the election-based legitimacy of the United States Government.

This has been eloquently stated by Kathie Sowell and by Beth Kreydatus in their letters to the Editor of the Washington Post.

These disloyal Americans in Congress are opposed to investigating attacks on our electoral integrity, and therefore on the legitimacy of our government.

They are opposed to obtaining the information that is needed for developing defenses of our electoral integrity, and therefore of the legitimacy of our government.

Their loyalty is to their party, in its current degenerate form. Their loyalty is not to their country.

They are colluding in a Trump-Putin disinformation campaign.

None of them merit security clearances.

None of them deserve to be re-elected next November.

They should be impeached, or at least censured.

A “Freedom Caucus”? They are the exact opposite.

Disloyal Americans in government are also found outside of the House of Representatives: Rand Paul in the Senate, by President Chump, Rudi Giuliani (formerly a hero, now a heel), and their cronies in the Administration.

The headline of a Washington Post article by Max Boot: “Trump is ignoring the worst attack on America since 9/11 … we are at war without a commander in chief.

An astute and careful commentator, E.J. Dionne Jr., notes “And Republicans should bear in mind that disrupting Robert S. Mueller III’s probe serves Putin’s interests, not just Trump’s.

In an insightful article about the attempt by Jim Jordan and cronies to impeach Rod Rosenstein, Jennifer Rubin quotes Norman Eisen (a former White House ethics counsel ) and Fred Wertheimer (founder of Democracy 21): “Key House Republicans are abusing their offices and the public trust to blindly provide protection for [President] Trump. They are doing so instead of working to get to the bottom of the worst foreign attack on American elections in our history.

In an update that is included in the online article, Jennifer Rubin then noted: “In case it wasn’t clear that this is all about Jordan’s political aspirations, he [Jim Jordan] indicated today that he is running for speaker[of the House of Representatives].”

You may remember Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who uncovered crucial information about the break-in at the Watergate by Nixon’s team. Margaret Sullivan, of the Washington Post, reports that “Earlier this month, Bernstein said on CNN that he had never seen anything like the political reaction to Trump’s kowtowing to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a news conference following their Helsinki meeting: “We’ve never had a moment in our history like this where serious people of both parties are questioning the loyalty of the president of the United States. Unprecedented.””

The GOP, AWOL as the U.S. is attacked“. That is the headline of an important article by Joe Scarborough in the Washington Post. Scarborough’s article is well worth looking at. It is a masterful concise summary that includes all of the most important facts.

The active disloyalty of Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, Bob Goodlatte, Mark Meadows and Matt Gaetz, and their ilk must be distinguished from the passive disloyalty of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. The passively disloyal deliberately refuse to legislatively forestall Trump’s likely attempt to fire Mueller, much as he fired Comey over “the Russian thing”, and removed Brennan’s security clearance to silence a voice that was pointing out Trump’s errors.

Posters and Chants Against Depravity

June 21, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Climate change, Conceited, Crime and punishment, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Enemies of Planet Earth, Fairness, Global warming, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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President Trump = President Chump

Dump President Chump

No More Concentration Camps for Kids

                 Trump
Made America Ashamed Again

Trump the Chump
Toxic for America

Fox News
Fux News

Murdoch of Mordor
Murders the News

Fox and Fiends
Font of Fake News

Hannity Is Insanity

              Disloyal Donald
Putin’s point-man in the White House

    Trump is Cruel and Unusual
Punishment for the United States

Trump is Evil

President Chump Undermines America

                  President Chump
Inadvertent Agent of a Hostile Government

The Soviets had a name for people like Chump:
                     Useful Idiot!

            Rupert Murdoch
America’s Most Toxic Immigrant

 

These slogans were all created by thepoliblog.WordPress.com,
who hereby declares them to be in the public domain.

Trump Is Guilty

May 4, 2018 at 7:38 am | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Crime and punishment, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | 1 Comment
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Old gavel and court minutes displayed at the Minnesota Judicial Center, photographed by Jonathunder, 2008-04-17.

Old gavel and court minutes displayed at the Minnesota Judicial Center, photographed by Jonathunder, 2008-04-17.

Trump is guilty of something that causes him to frantically impede the investigation of Putin’s interference in the American election in 2016.

Trump is so guilty, that he opposes an investigation that every patriotic American would want to succeed, because the legitimacy of elections underlies the legitimacy of the American government.

Trump is so guilty, that he seeks to terminate the only activity that would exonererate him if he wasn’t guilty.

Trump is so guilty, that he seeks to terminate the only activity that would remove the cloud on his legitimacy.

For a summary of the issues, see the New York Times article on Robert Mueller’s questions to Trump.

Robert S. Mueller, III, director of the FBI from 2001 to 2013

Robert S. Mueller, III, director of the FBI from 2001 to 2013

A Fallacy About Guns

March 2, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Posted in Dysfunctional Politics | Leave a comment
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In a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post, Marc A. Thiessen recounted an incident in which a private citizen, Stephen Willeford, used his own AR-15 to interrupt Devin Patrick Kelley from continuing a mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland, Texas, on November 15, 2017.

The AR-15 is the same type of assault rifle that Nikolas Cruz used to massacre students and teachers at the at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018.

Thiessen uses the incident in Sutherland to argue that it would be perverse to conclude from the incident in Parkland – and from the many other incidents – that access to assault weapons should be restricted.

Thiessen’s argument rests upon a fallacy of omission. He does not mention that Willeford’s gun-assisted intervention would not have been necessary if Kelley had not had access to an assault weapon.

In fact, that would have been a better solution, because it would not have relied on the rare circumstance that a neighbor had an assault weapon, and was at home at the time, and was willing to engage the shooter.

Looking for the best solution to a problem is mathematically equivalent to trying to identify the tallest peak in a region that hosts many hills and mountains.

A mathematician, a scientist, or an engineer would say that Thiessen identified what was merely a local maximum, but didn’t notice the global maximum nearby.

Thiessen spotted the crest of one of several foothills, but failed to notice the mountain that towered in their midst.

To see more clearly why Thiessen’s argument is incorrect, imagine his argument being applied to cars. Someone in a car can pursue a criminal who used a car to commit a crime. Applied to cars, Thiessen’s logic would imply that driving a car should be unrestricted, and shouldn’t require a license.

In fact, the issues in gun control are closely analogous to those in automotive and aeronautical control:

As was noted in a previous blog, and as has recently been noted by others, the argument for restricting acess to assault weapons is the same as the argument for requiring a license for driving an automobile, and for requiring a more restrictive licence for driving 18-wheelers, and for requiring a still more restrictive license for piloting an aircraft.

Freedom to travel within the United States does not mean unrestricted freedom to travel by driving a car, nor by driving a truck, nor by piloting an aircraft. It also does not mean that access to particular locations cannot be restricted to only particular people.

Analogous statements should apply to guns.

A recent very enlightening article by Mike Spies in the New Yorker magazine describes how we started from a reasonable, rational approach to gun laws, that had lasted for at least a century, and how the discussion was perverted into the present frenzied, dysfunctional tug-of-war.

Gun laws today

Gun laws today

Unpatriotic Devin Nunes, Unpatriotic Donald Trump

February 28, 2018 at 9:41 am | Posted in Abuse of Office, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom | Leave a comment
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Devin Nunes, U.S. Representative from California

Devin Nunes, U.S. Representative from California

Every loyal American would want the investigation of Putin’s interference in the 1916 election to get to the bottom of what Putin’s minions did, and how they did it. Every loyal American would want to refute Putin’s lies, and would want America to have the information it needs to craft defenses against Putin’s future attempts, both on this country and on its allies.

It is iron-clad logic, a simple syllogism: if every loyal American would want those things, then any American who obstructs those investigations and defenses is not a loyal American.

Devin Nunes is not a loyal American.

Donald Trump is not a loyal American.

Devin Nunes is not a patriotic American.

Donald Trump is not a patrotic American.

Devin Nunes is inadvertantly an agent of Vladimir Putin.

Donald Trump is inadvertantly an agent of Vladimir Putin.

Neither should ever have had access to classified information.

Neither should have future access to classified information.

Trump’s primary loyalty is to himself and to his “brand” – not to America, not to freedom, not to fairness, not to honest elections.

There are indications that the same is true of Devin Nunes.

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution begins, “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, …”

The writers of the Constitution never anticipated a President who favored an opponent of the United States.

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump meet at the 2017 G-20 Hamburg Summit.  Photo by www.kremlin.ru.

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump meet at the 2017 G-20 Hamburg Summit. Photo by http://www.kremlin.ru.

What about Paul Ryan?

Donald Trump shaking hands with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan at his February 28, 2017 address to a joint session of Congress.

Donald Trump shaking hands with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan at his February 28, 2017 address to a joint session of Congress.

Surely Paul Ryan had some sense of Devin Nunes’ personality and character before appointing him to the House Intelligence Committee.

Why then did Paul Ryan appoint Nunes as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee?

Why did Paul Ryan even allow Nunes to be on that Committee?

Paul, please explain to the American people why you appointed Nunes as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Paul, now that you cannot miss seeing that you introduced a worm into the apple, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to re-assign Nunes?

Paul, are you, too, not a loyal American?

Paul, are you, too, inadvertantly an agent of Putin?

Paul, where are your primary loyalties? They seem to be to the Republican Party in its current debased form, not to America, not to freedom, not to fairness, not to honest elections.

As noted by Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post:

“Real patriotism would be not to denounce the “Russia hoax” but to insist that Congress — and for that matter, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III — get to the bottom of what happened in the 2016 election and, even more imperative, that the United States strengthen its defenses to prevent future meddling.”

Dishonorable Devin Nunes: What Are His Loyalties?

March 29, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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Illustration of the Devil in the Codex Gigas, folio 270 recto, early 13th century, by Herman the Recluse of the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice.

Illustration of the Devil in the Codex Gigas, folio 270 recto, early 13th century, by Herman the Recluse of the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice.

To what Is Devil Nunes loyal?

The one who is better known as Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)

Based on his stonewalling of investigations into Russia’s role, and his frantic attempts to divert the focus of the investigation away from Russia and away from Trump’s campaign, and toward the patriots who alerted the country, and his secret nightime trip to confer with the White House, it appears that Devin Nunes’ loyalties, in their order of importance to him, are

  • First, Devin Nunes himself, followed – possibly closely – by his family.
  • Second, Trump, followed – possibly closely – by the Republican Party in its present grotesquely deformed version.
  • Third, possibly the United States, possibly including the district that he supposedly represents.

Given that order of priorities, it is not fitting that Nunes should be a member of the House Intelligence Committee, much less that he should chair it.

Nunes was in Trump’s transition team. Yet he claims that there is no conflict of interest for him to lead the investigation of contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

The conflict of interest is clear. Nunes cannot be objective about this issue.

In attempting to deflect attention away from the real danger – Putin’s mafia – Devin Nunes betrayed his country.

He doesn’t belong in Congress.

For his future, his best career option is to apply to become a caddy at one of Trump’s golf courses.

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Putin => Wikileaks => Trump

July 24, 2016 at 5:16 pm | Posted in Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | 2 Comments
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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.

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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
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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.

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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
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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.


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