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Member since: Mon Apr 22, 2019, 03:26 PM
Number of posts: 18,054

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Several legal pundits are saying former presidents can't invoke executive privilege. That's not true

The Supreme Court has explicitly held that former presidents can indeed exert executive privilege.

"t is argued, such claims may be asserted only by incumbents who are presently responsible to the American people for their action. We reject the argument that only an incumbent President may assert such claims, and hold that appellant, as a former President, may also be heard to assert them." Justice Brennan, writing for the majority in Nixon v. Administrator of General Services, 433 U.S. 425 (1977) https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/433/425/#tab-opinion-1952361

It doesn't get any clearer than that.

Executive privilege can be invoked either by a current president for communications between him and his aides or for communications by former presidents during their tenure in office. Former presidents can invoke the privilege for communications during their time as president.

The current president's declination to invoke the privilege would surely carry great weight with the courts because they are responsible for the country. But a former president has a right to invoke the privilege, even if the court doesn't accept it. And it's not necessarily a sure thing that the privilege doesn't exist if the current president chooses not to invoke it.

For example, imagine if Trump and his henchmen, including various U.S. Attorneys, Republican Senators and Members of Congress had decided to really go after President Obama and subpoenaed his Chief of Staff, Cabinet Secretaries (including Hillary Clinton) and other staffers, demanding that they testify about all of their deliberations on various matters.

Surely, former President Obama could have invoked executive privilege, while the Trump White House probably would have declined to do so. I doubt any court in that situation would rule that Obama could not invoke the privilege or that those communications weren't privileged and forced Obama's staff and appointees to testify because Trump's views controlled.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Fri Sep 24, 2021, 04:47 PM (16 replies)

Assuming all the subpoenaed witnesses show up and testify...

What new information do you think the committee will learn from them?
Posted by StarfishSaver | Thu Sep 23, 2021, 11:30 PM (37 replies)

Tim Wise: Race-Talk is a Language White Folks Need to Learn

I’ve been white long enough to know there are different reasons why so many of my group have a hard time discussing race and racism in America.

For some, it’s about their own biases, which they seek to deny or at least keep from view, lest people conclude they’re not as open-minded as they profess. For others, it’s defensiveness at the mention of ongoing inequality and unfairness still faced by persons of color. After all, acknowledging those might call into question the legitimacy of their own social status. A third group would rather talk about class, gender, or sexuality — areas where, because of their relationship to those identities, they can focus on where they got hurt, rather than where they were advantaged (even as both things can be true, and often are).

What white people hear when Black folks say “white people”

If you’re not from the South or didn’t grow up in a large city with a significant number of Black folks, you likely don’t speak the language of race.

As a result, when Black people start talking about race and racism, you think they’re talking about you.

When they talk about white people, you think they mean all 200 million white Americans, all the time, including those that were just delivered and haven’t even gotten their Apgar scores yet.

You believe their indictment of whiteness is personal because you don’t understand the broad and symbolic way Black Americans use language.

When Black people say “white people” or “white folks,” 9 times out of 10, they are not referring to 200 million individuals called white. For lack of a better way to put it, they are speaking of “Whiteness, Inc.” As in, the corporate entity registered in Delaware for tax purposes but with branch offices all over the country.
When Black people talk shit about white folks or whiteness, they are typically talking about whiteness as a state of mind. In fact, that’s what the late, great comedian, Dick Gregory, said whiteness was — and all it was.

Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed Sep 22, 2021, 11:19 PM (47 replies)

CNN: Democrats quietly limit House GOP effort to press for probes into Biden administration

House Democrats have quietly moved to restrict the GOP's ability to use its limited power in the minority to press for investigations, an effort that has Republicans crying foul as they seek to pressure their foes over the Biden administration's handling of Afghanistan.

According to publicly available documents reviewed by CNN, Democrats in March began slipping language into House rules that essentially blocks Republicans from using a "resolution of inquiry." That tool allows a lawmaker to formally request information from the executive branch. Once the inquiry is introduced, the relevant committee is required to act within 14 days or else it can be brought up as a privileged resolution on the House floor.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed Sep 22, 2021, 05:15 PM (10 replies)

A mother's plea: "Do You Not See My Son?'"

'Do You Not See My Son?' The Mother of Jelani Day Says Case is Not Getting The Attention It Deserves

The mother of missing Illinois State University graduate student Jelani Day said the discovery of an unidentified body on Sept. 4 seems to have brought her son’s case to a standstill.

“Since they found that unidentified body, it doesn’t seem to me that they are pushing to continue to look for my son,” Carmen Bolden Day said of authorities.

Day was last seen in Bloomington on Aug. 24. He is still considered a missing person and the case is being handled by the Bloomington Police Department. Bolden Day said BPD seems to lack the manpower to devote more than one detective to the investigation.
Bolden Day has drawn attention on social media to the disparity she perceives between her son’s case and that of missing Florida woman Gabby Petito. Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11 after her boyfriend returned to Florida from a road trip without her. The case has garnered national media attention and is being investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies including the FBI.

Bolden Day said in pointing out the differences between Day and Petito’s cases, she isn’t arguing that Petito deserves less, but that Day deserves more. As a mother, Bolden Day said, she understands what Petito’s family is going through and would never minimize their pain.

“But do you not see us? Do you not see me? Do you not see my son?”

Posted by StarfishSaver | Tue Sep 21, 2021, 10:55 PM (11 replies)

We see regular, often harsh criticism of the media for their decisions on what and who to cover

We see criticism of their editorial choices, whom they choose to cover (how tired are we of having to listen to Trump voters babbling in diners and Republican House Members babbling on talk shows, etc.?), how much coverage we give them, whom they are not covering, etc. With few exceptions, that criticism is accepted with complete agreement and very little, if any pushback by people defending their editorial choices or making excuses for them.

So it's been very surprising and odd that the recent criticism of the media's tendency to provide saturation coverage of young, attractive white women who go missing and/or are murdered while giving virtually no attention to Black and brown women who face the same tragic fate, has been met with such vigorous and sometimes hostile and accusatory defenses that we've seen in the past couple of days.

I think this is the first instance in which I've seen folks circle their wagons around the media against allies who are simply pointing out the obvious - that a media we all recognize as deeply flawed and biased in many different ways sometimes allows racial bias to affect its coverage, just as its other biases do.

Not sure why it's fine to go after the press for their other biases that affect what they cover and how they cover it, but discussing how racial bias impacts their coverage - or even mentioning that one of those biases is racial - triggers such a defensive reaction.

Something to think about.

New York state and city prosecutors have been investigating Trump's crimes for years

While investigations aren't normally discussed publicly, we know about these investigations because prosecutors had to go to court to obtain some of the evidence Trump was fighting. And even then, all we knew about the investigation is that they were seeking financial records to submit to the grand jury. Since those court cases were resolved, we have heard and know little else about what's going on with the investigations.

These investigations have been ongoing for years but have not yet resulted in a single indictment. And yet, we've seen very few, if any attacks against Cyrus Vance, Jr. or Letitia James, accusing them of being weak or ineffective or doing nothing because they're not giving us an inside view of what's going on with the investigations we are seeing or hearing nothing about.

But some Democrats are going after Merrick Garland, the man President Biden has entrusted to head the Justice Department, and accusing him of all manner of neglect and malfeasance because his team hasn't, in the 8 months since he took office, indicted a man who's also been under investigation in New York State for years, with no indictment yet forthcoming.

If the New York investigation should tell us anything, it should remind people that investigations like this are long, complicated, and confidential and don't result in instant indictments, regardless how impatient for instant gratification any of us may be.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Sat Sep 18, 2021, 02:28 PM (61 replies)

How would you react if on the morning of January 6th 2022, Merrick Garland announced

criminal indictments against several persons, including Donald J. Trump, for conspiracy, obstruction of justice, fraud, tax evasion, bribery, among other charges, as part of a massive RICO prosecution?
Posted by StarfishSaver | Fri Sep 17, 2021, 01:45 PM (43 replies)

"Here's a Simple but Powerful Way to Understand White Privilege"

Here's an excerpt but I urge you to read the entire essay.

Here’s a Simple but Powerful Way to Understand White Privilege

The difference between the presumption of belonging and the burden of representation

By Tim Wise

When white people hear the term “white privilege,” we often recoil, assuming we are being accused of having led a charmed life without difficulties — or of being rich and powerful, even though, like most, we have faced periods of financial insecurity. We may even be facing such now.

But no one who talks about the problem of racism and white privilege means it that way — literally, no one.

While there are occupational, income, housing availability, and wealth advantages for white people, relative to folks of color, tied to both multi-generational structures of inequity and ongoing bias, these are not the most important part of what we mean when discussing white privilege.

In many ways, white privilege is less about those material advantages per se than the psychological edge it provides to white people — an edge that can then translate into other forms of advantage, including material ones.

I’ve written about this previously as the privilege of having one less thing to sweat in any number of daily interactions. It’s knowing that no matter how stressful your work, loan application process, classroom experiences, or interactions with police, your race will not signal to the boss, banker, teacher, or cop something negative about your intelligence, work ethic, creditworthiness, or law-abidingness.
When it comes to having one less thing to worry about, perhaps the best example is being able to take for granted that others will likely see you as belonging in the spaces where you find yourself ... For the Black and brown, rather than a presumption of belonging, there is a burden of representation. By this, I mean a feeling that they must hold it down and prove themselves, not only as individuals — a pressure we all feel — but for their group as a whole, lest their failure or inadequacy reflect poorly on others like them.

Posted by StarfishSaver | Thu Sep 16, 2021, 10:20 PM (10 replies)

If this doesn't make you smile

I don't know what will:

Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed Sep 15, 2021, 02:12 PM (24 replies)
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