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Martin68's Journal
Martin68's Journal
December 4, 2020

It might not be so simple for Trump to pardon his children and Giuliani

Good article on the presidential pardon power in the Washington Post. While both Nixon and Reagan administration officials were given blanket pardon, neither was challenged in court. There is good reason to believe the Supreme Court might no allow Trump blanket pardons if they are challenged in court.

"...based on the Framers’ original understanding of the pardon authority, the better reading is that, while the pardon power grants the president expansive authority, that power is not unlimited. Most importantly, the Framers would have understood that pardons must be issued for specific crimes. They were not intended to be broad grants of immunity, get-out-of-jail-free cards bestowed by presidential grace.

In the case of his family and personal lawyer, such a list might prove embarrassing to the president — and edifying to the public. In this way, specificity raises the political costs of issuing such pardons. It also reduces the pardon’s effectiveness. Should a relevant offense be left off the list, the pardon’s recipient would be vulnerable to prosecution.

The Supreme Court has never ruled on the specificity requirement, and the question of the validity of any blanket pardon by Trump would come up only if a federal prosecutor seeks to indict a pardon recipient who raises the pardon as a barrier to prosecution.
But if the issue were to arise, there is a significant possibility that a court, dominated by self-identified originalists, would invalidate the use of blanket pardons. This possibility should make Trump pause before offering such pardons to friends and family. But it also leaves him in a bind. Should he attempt to specify each and every federal crime committed by his children or lawyer? Or is that a gift too costly even for Trump to consider?"


November 30, 2020

The US didn't reform Germany. Germany reformed Germany. Japan is a completely different culture.

After suffering a humiliating defeat, they put their heads down, their shoulders to the wheel, and started rebuilding. They have never accepted any blame for WWI and the atrocities they committed in other Asian countries. The Japanese still claim they were the victims of the war, and point to the atomic bombing as proof. China and South Korea regularly complain about Japanese school textbooks that downplay the country's role in the war. Multiple nations still criticize Japan for never taking full blame for forcing women in the countries they invaded into prostitution to service their troops. Germany, on the other hand, has taken full blame for the Holocaust, integrated a full account of their crimes in textbooks at every grade level in their schools, and the legal system forbids Holocaust denial and Nazi glorification.

November 30, 2020

Marco Rubio is already suiting up for the politics of destruction

Great column by Fred Hiatt in the Washington Post this morning about what he terms Rubio's "profile in cowardice." Some excerpts:

Let’s say you’re a Republican senator who claims to support democracy and U.S. leadership in the world.

Let’s imagine, too, that you’ve spent four years excusing and supporting a president who fawned over North Korea’s odious dictator, encouraged China’s ruling tyrant to build his concentration camps, took the word of Russia’s strongman over U.S. intelligence agencies and celebrated the Saudi despot who orchestrated the dismemberment of a dissident journalist. And let’s posit that, on top of all that, you’ve been a profile in cowardice as your president tried to nullify a democratic election here at home.

Now the president-elect appoints a team of seasoned, moderate foreign policy experts who support democracy and American leadership in the world.
How do you respond?

Here is the way Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) actually greeted the new team: “Biden’s cabinet picks went to Ivy League schools, have strong resumes, attend all the right conferences & will be polite & orderly caretakers of America’s decline.”

I suppose this sour, graceless tweet shouldn’t surprise us...But there is something particularly galling about this instant pivot to attack mode from senators who couldn’t even bring themselves to acknowledge the results of the election — who have stood by or cheered as President Trump has attempted to overturn those results.

...If Trump’s coup attempt has failed, it is because his defeat was so decisive — and because those state and local officials had the integrity and courage to resist Trump’s pressure.

But here’s the essential point: Almost no Republicans on the national stage had the integrity or courage to offer backup for these local officials. Almost none of them gave the public any reason to hope that if Trump’s effort to steal the election state by state had gained traction, they would have stood against it.


October 3, 2020

I've corrected all the "errors" in Trump's most recent letter to me asking for my vote.

Mr. Johnson, because we won the last election, my administration and our Self-Serving Republicans1 were given the opportunity to take a wrecking ball to all of Obama's2 accomplishments and put in place a Fascist3 agenda of soaring deficits4, lawlessness and authoritarian rule5, the repeal of life-saving6 regulations, a weakened military, and a failed foreign policy...Under my continued Presidency our nation can once again look forward to a rapidly degrading7 economy, record job losses8, fewer federal regulations, implementing draconian and racist immigration policies9, putting more conservative judges on the federal bench, and keeping our military the most over-stretched10 and dysfunctional11 in the world.

1)Democrats 2)our 3)Big Government Socialist 4)tax rates 5)mob rule in cities across the country 6)job-killing 7)booming 8)creation 9)reigning in illegal immigration 10)strongest 11)most prepared

June 22, 2020

The COVID Tour continues! Fans are flocking to meet their maker.

Republicans will soon be dropping like flies! Talk about the End Times. We Who Are Left Behind salute you! We thank you for your sacrifice!

June 22, 2020

I'm curious. Are Trump supporters really totally ignorant about the way votes (absentee or

otherwise) are checked against a voter registration database? If there are two or more votes in the name of any voter in the database, do they think they will all be counted?

June 8, 2020

This is an issue that concerns me, and I like this take on how to deal with it. I hope Democrats

will not give all these criminals a pass as we have in the past with Nixon, Reagan, Bush/Cheney et al. We need a thorough house cleaning following the rule of law.

April 8, 2020

This pandemic is Trump's Vietnam. He has earned his bone spurs.

Dana Milbank wrote a very well-reasoned comparison of Trump's reaction to the epidemic, and the Johnson administration's handling of the Vietnam War in today's Washington Post. Some excerpts:

In his ambivalent battle against the pandemic, President Trump has managed to repeat, in just a few months, the same mistakes that took three administrations more than a decade to make in Vietnam: ignoring experts’ warnings, running a confused war effort, spreading disinformation, silencing truth-tellers and squandering the prestige of the most powerful nation on Earth.

During the Vietnam War, as the New Yorker’s Susan Glasser pointed out, the U.S. military’s daily briefings from Saigon, full of false claims about progress, were dubbed the Five O’Clock Follies. Trump seems unaware of this ignominy when he holds daily briefings full of false claims and dubious medical advice — typically scheduled for 5 p.m.

In the Vietnam era, civilian leaders ignored the military and intelligence warnings that the war would end in stalemate or worse. Trump in January and February failed to take action on intelligence showing the threat posed to the United States by the pandemic. Likewise, he didn’t heed alarms sounded by White House official Peter Navarro, who pleaded in January and February for a massive response, and accurately warned that the virus could put millions of lives in jeopardy and cost trillions of dollars.

The Nixon administration moved forcefully to punish and to discredit those who revealed the grim truth about the war, even trying to steal psychiatric records of Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg. Trump has sidelined inspectors general for the Pentagon and the CIA, and his acting Navy secretary (who has since been forced out) dismissed as “too naive or too stupid” the commander of an aircraft carrier. The commander’s offense: revealing dire conditions aboard his ship, where more than 170 have the virus.

H.R. McMaster, before becoming one of the four people to serve (so far) as Trump’s national security adviser, argued that Johnson’s mistake was to view Vietnam as a danger to his “domestic, political goals.” Johnson resisted calls to use overwhelming force in favor of “gradualism” because he didn’t want antiwar opposition to ruin his domestic agenda. Trump, similarly, has chafed at attempts to mitigate the virus, saying “the cure is worse than the problem,” and for a time attempting to “reopen” the economy by Easter. He still resists a national stay-at-home policy because of political and economic consequences, giving sanctuary to the virus.

March 30, 2020

My letter to the editor was published this morning in the Washington Post:

I strongly disagreed with the sub-headline on the March 27 editorial “Congress to the rescue — for now”: “A unanimous vote reflects the no-fault nature of the crisis.” As early as January, our intelligence agencies warned the Trump administration of the possibility that a virus outbreak in China could develop into a dangerous worldwide pandemic. President Trump had already dismantled key elements of the nation’s disease control apparatus and failed to implement guidance from experts who had recommended steps to take in the wake of the Ebola virus scare. When it became clear that a pandemic was on its way, Mr. Trump and his supporters in the right-wing media loudly pooh-poohed the danger and wasted precious time that was needed to prepare for a possible outbreak in the United States. The vote in the House, contrary to the editorial, was made despite egregious inaction and misleading statements by the administration. The vote reflected a willingness by Democrats to temporarily look past obvious mistakes and incompetence in the interest of the greater good. The obvious faults of this administration will be addressed in the voting booth in November.

Martin Johnson, Charlottesville


Profile Information

Name: Martin Johnson
Gender: Male
Hometown: Virginia
Home country: U.S.A.
Current location: Charlottesville, VA
Member since: Tue Jun 8, 2010, 02:30 PM
Number of posts: 22,776

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Martin Johnson Charlottesville, VA
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