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The Velveteen Ocelot

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Hometown: Minnesota
Member since: Sun Oct 26, 2003, 11:54 PM
Number of posts: 76,405

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On January 20, 2021, he becomes a private citizen.

No matter how much he whines and threatens to sue, on that date he becomes a trespasser on government property, and the federal marshals can haul his ugly orange ass right out of the WH.
Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Fri Jun 21, 2019, 12:47 PM (1 replies)

The OLC opinions aren't stupid, despite the claims of some, but even so it seems to me

that while there's weight to the separation of powers argument, there's a YUGE practical concern with the conclusion that presidents are prosecution-proof:

Suppose the president actually kills someone, and the evidence is incontrovertible. Suppose, for example, Trump shoots much-loathed reporter Jim Acosta on live television during a press conference. The OLC opinion says he can't be investigated, arrested or prosecuted for it; he just gets to carry on as president as if nothing had happened. How would the country be able to tolerate that? How can it be said that we just have to wait until the House impeaches him and the Senate convicts him? Of course, the process would probably be expedited - maybe it would take weeks instead of months - but in the meantime, what damage could the president do, knowing that he'll eventually be turfed out of the WH and prosecuted? Could he hide the body in the Rose Garden and dispose of the weapon and claim that it was an imposter that did it? Take off for a country with no extradition treaty (Russia?) before he can be impeached or prosecuted? Kill more people? Set fire to the White House?

Of course, this is an extreme example of a hypothetical that's not likely to happen (Trump would never do his own wet work), but it does make the point that a blanket holding that presidents are immune from prosecution could lead to a result the framers of the Constitution never would have intended.
Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Mon Jun 3, 2019, 10:17 PM (0 replies)

I hope he's feeling a lot of stress. He deserves it.

And once again we have somebody who was happy to roll in Trump's shit and is now surprised to discover that he stinks. It's kind of like when your dog finds a pile of something rotten like a dead fish and he rolls around in it because he likes the smell, and then he comes home and can't figure out why he isn't allowed back in the house and everybody's yelling at him.



Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Wed May 1, 2019, 09:40 AM (0 replies)

Trump's fear that the Russians' involvement in getting him elected would become known

is at the core of all of his behavior relative to the investigation. Putin wanted him to be elected, and whether or not there was a prosecutable conspiracy between Russians and the Trump campaign, there's no question that the Russians made the effort and Trump accepted it. This, of course, leads to the question of why Putin wanted Trump to win. We know he hated Hillary because of her adversarial position as SoS, but it's more than that. Putin has Trump by the short hairs for financial reasons. Whether Trump's financial involvement in Russia was or is criminal is not yet known, but maybe this is the subject of some of the redacted case referrals. In any event, we do know that Trump wanted very much to build a hotel in Moscow (the tallest building in Europe!), and his son Beavis (or was it Butthead?) bragged about how much money was coming in from Russia. Putin's fundamental goal was and is to disrupt and weaken the U.S. and NATO, which he could do by installing a president who was motivated by money to do pretty much anything Putin wanted. So he did what he could to make that happen.

But as much as he wants to give Putin what he wants so he can keep riding the oligarchs' money train, Trump hates it that he is being accused of winning the presidency with the help of the Russians and not solely on his own merits. His monstrous black hole of an ego can't stand that, even though it now appears to be indisputable. The Mueller report contains many references to his fear that his presidency would be considered illegitimate because of the Russians' involvement. That is precisely why he tried so hard to kill the investigation. That's why his mantra is "No collusion!" But "collusion" was never even necessary. The Russians wanted him to be president and he knew it. He just didn't want anyone to find out.
Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Sun Apr 21, 2019, 01:01 PM (0 replies)

Here's why I now think Barr pulled the plug before Mueller was finished with the investigation:

Prosecutors investigating a scheme involving multiple potential defendants almost start with the small fish first and work their way up to the capo. So far, Mueller has bagged a bunch of Russians (who will never be prosecuted here), small fish Papadopulous, van der Zwaan and Pinedo, larger fish Butina, Flynn, Gates, Manafort and Cohen; and Roger Stone will be tried for charges arising from his alleged involvement with Wilkileaks in November if he doesn't plead first. Witnesses who have spoken with investigators include Alan Weisselberg, who probably knows even more than Cohen. When Stone was busted, the FBI seized an enormous amount of data from his home and devices, and Flynn, Gates and Cohen are still cooperating.

This means there must be more evidence still being collected and evaluated that was not included in Mueller's report - because Barr stopped the OSC investigation. The reason the report didn't find evidence of "collusion" or a conspiracy with the Russian government (at least according to Barr's letter, which he probably wrote three weeks ago before he even saw what Mueller had discovered) was because Mueller was shut down before he could find enough of it to warrant more indictments, particularly those of Trump Jr. and Kushner. What he'd have done if he'd found evidence that Trump himself was involved still isn't clear.

The investigations are continuing with other prosecutors, and if there is prosecutable evidence of "collusion" (more accurately, conspiracy) on the part of any of the big fish, it will eventually be found, but it will not have the political impact of Mueller's report, and in the meantime Trump is free to twist and poison the media narrative - which is what he wanted all along.
Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Thu Mar 28, 2019, 03:00 PM (0 replies)

I care about whether he can beat Trump.

Trump is an existential threat and he has to be gotten rid of or we're screwed. Quibbling over whether a candidate checks all the proper progressive boxes is nothing but narcissistic ideological navel-gazing right now, and it will be useless if not downright destructive. I will support the candidate who can pants Trump, steal his lunch money and stuff him in his locker. If that's Beto, great. If it's Harris or Warren or Biden or Sanders or Booker or... or... that's great, too. Fuck ideology. We can worry about that after we reclaim the White House.
Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Thu Mar 14, 2019, 05:01 PM (4 replies)

So often these discussions of candidates' "faults" devolve into stupid arguments

about what somebody might have done or said or written forty years ago. Unless there's solid evidence that a candidate was the Zodiac Killer (allegedly Ted Cruz, lol), I don't give a rat's ass about what somebody might have done or said or written forty years ago. I want to know what they've done or said or written recently, relevant to currently important issues. I don't want to see thinly-veiled attempts at character assassination, backstabbing, or accusations without evidence that a candidate or their supporters are trolls, Republicans or Russian sympathizers. I do not want a replay of 2016 on DU. I want an understanding that all candidates have faults and none are perfect, but regardless of their imperfections they will be exponentially better than Trump, who is an existential threat and not just a bad president.

Most of all I want us to forgo the usual circular firing squad, evaluate the issues and candidates on their merits and not on their warts, and eventually unite behind someone who probably won't be ideologically pure enough for anybody but who can and will defeat Trump.
Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Tue Mar 12, 2019, 08:22 PM (0 replies)

So I've got this wild-ass idea about Barr, and it's probably completely insane, but

what would be the best way to take down Trump from the inside of his administration? By becoming his Attorney General, that's how, and then you allow the Mueller report to become public and then disregard the previous OLC opinion that a sitting president can't be indicted.

But how do you get to be Trump's attorney general - a job that's been nothing but trouble for those who've had it, and at this point no sane, reputable lawyer would want? Say you're an old-line conservative who's been AG before and has held other high-level government jobs, and more recently has been making top dollar at a white-shoe law firm. You have perfect professional credentials but there are probably a lot of other, more reliable Trump-loving Matthew Whittaker-type stooges who'd take the job in a heartbeat. So what do you do?

What you do is, you write and send Trump a long, detailed, and completely unsolicited letter setting out your opinion that the Mueller investigation is legally invalid and the president has almost unlimited power over the executive branch. Given your exemplary professional credentials as well, which will make your Senate confirmation inevitable, Trump sees you as the perfect candidate. When he interviews you, you assure him that you would not recuse yourself like Sessions, convincing him that you'll protect him. At your confirmation hearing you come up with enough vague platitudes about following the law that even many Democrats vote for you.

And then the Mueller report comes out and it's full of bad shit about Trump and his family and other GOPers. Trump expects you to protect him, but being an old-fashioned institutionalist you don't. Instead, you make the report, except for a few classified bits, public. And then you decide that the DoJ won't be following the old OLC opinions, allowing Mueller to take Trump's case to a grand jury, which indicts him. In the meantime the House proceeds with his impeachment...

Yes, I know it's totally mad. But wouldn't it be awesome?

Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Sat Mar 9, 2019, 02:35 PM (0 replies)
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