People or Profits?

Trump wants people to go back to work, now.

Texas’ Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is willing to risk getting sick and dying for the sake of the economy…”for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren”.

Here’s what will happen if we end “shelter in place”:

https://covidactnow.org/state/CA?fbclid=IwAR2LsASB2Xn0WgnOrCFr9unH06zWn-ts1930gXahG6Rlw2ZQVFpVvCHXxIY

In Italy, where the healthcare system is already overwhelmed, people over 60 are taken off ventilators and left to die. California would hit that point in about 2 weeks if we end “shelter in place.” With a projected infection rate of >70%, within 2 months the population of citizens over age 60 could virtually disappear. Some 70 million U.S. citizens. Dead. 70 million. Sacrificed. To keep the wheels of commerce turning. To further the economic interests of some 120,000 – the richest 1/10th of 1%.

On the other hand, the economic shutdown due to the coronavirus is just what the planet needs to prevent catastrophic climate change that could lead to the extinction of all humans.

The choice is clear. The math undeniable.

People, or profits?

GUEST ARTICLE: The First American Dictator

The First American Dictator

by

Kenneth R. Mackie

            The people of the United States of America, the first democratic republic the modern world has ever known, have ceded rule to a dictator for the first time in its 200+ year history.

            A dictator is “one holding complete autocratic control: a person with unlimited governmental power” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary); “a person exercising absolute power, especially a ruler who has absolute, unrestricted control in a government without hereditary succession” (Dictionary.com).

            A dictatorship is, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, a

form of government in which one person or a small group possesses absolute power without effective constitutional limitations. The term dictatorship comes from the Latin title dictator, which in the Roman Republic designated a temporary magistrate who was granted extraordinary powers in order to deal with state crises. Modern dictators, however, resemble ancient tyrants rather than ancient dictators. … Dictators usually resort to force or fraud to gain despotic political power, which they maintain through the use of intimidation, terror, and the suppression of basic civil liberties. They may also employ techniques of mass propaganda in order to sustain their public support.

            No one becomes a dictator without help. A cadre of loyalists is essential to grab and keep power. And support amongst a sizeable portion of the populace, even a sizable minority, can propel a would-be demagogue into power.

THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE

            Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President, is attributed with saying, “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” This has been taken to heart by Republicans since the days of the “Christian Coalition”, who found that they only needed to fool enough of the people at the proper times (elections). And faith-based voters belong to the ‘some of the people all of the time’ group. The conservative “Evangelical Christian” block can be counted on to vote Republican for the foreseeable future. Throughout 2109, Republicans approval of the First American Dictator ranges in the upper 80s to low 90s percent[i]. The approval rating among highly religious, white and Protestant Republicans is 92% over the past two years[ii]. This translates into millions of faith-based voters who support the First American Dictator.

            Among these is a growing cadre of white nationalists, encouraged to take up arms against all enemies of the current Administration. When “God’s Chosen[iii]” encourages violence, it is a statistical certainty that some will take up arms. Hence the mass murders of Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, etc.

            The First American Dictator enjoyed sufficient support among a mobilized and armed minority to be propelled into power.

THE POWER OF LOYALISTS IN GOVERNMENT

            In the unique structure of the United States government, all one party needs is 51 Senators to control the Senate (or just 50 Senators, plus the Vice President as a tie-breaker), hence the entire legislative branch, and give carte blanche to a dictator to ignore the Constitution. A bare majority of Senators allows a party to block all legislation, or ram-rod bills through regardless of any opposition. Even a minority of only 41 Senators is all it takes to prevent an override of a presidential veto.

            While the Constitution was designed to establish a legislative branch with the power to check a renegade President, it was not drafted to prevent a political party from obtaining enough power to allow the Constitution to be ignored.

            The First American Dictator enjoys the support of a majority in the Senate. As a result, the legislative branch is incapable of forcing him to act within the powers granted to him by the Constitution.

THE POWER OF LOYALTY OATHS

            It has been widely reported that Trump demands a “loyalty oath”[iv] from subordinates[v].

            The 25th Amendment provides that the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet can declare the President unfit for office, at which time the Vice President becomes the Acting President. A “loyalty oath” to Trump, and not to uphold the Constitution, ensures that Trump is protected by loyalists to him. Trump has surrounded himself with loyalists that put loyalty to a dictator above loyalty to the Constitution, or to the country. The First American Dictator enjoys the support of an inner circle of loyalists.

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

            Fox News and the network’s opinion shows are widely seen as the propaganda arm of the Trump administration[vi]. One Fox newscaster in particular, Sean Hannity, is seen as an unofficial advisor to Trump[vii]. While Trump lambasts CNN as “fake news”[viii] it is Fox which has the worst track record for making false or misleading statements, whereas CNN ranks the best[ix].

            A majority of Republicans for whom Fox News is their primary news source solidly support the First American Dictator and there is nothing he could do that would make them lose their approval[x].

            When it comes to faith-based voters, nearly all who identify as white evangelical Protestants for whom Fox News is their primary news source oppose Trump being impeached and removed from office[xi].

            The First American Dictator has a propaganda machine spouting falsehoods to help keep him in power.

UNCHECKED POWER

THE POWER TO PROFIT FROM HIS OFFICE

            Trump has the unchecked power to profit from his office, in disregard of the Constitution.

THE POWER TO PROFIT AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE

“The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased (sic) nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.[xii]

            Any profit arising from the possession of a public office is an emolument.[xiii] Trump profits off his office in many ways. He still owns numerous hotels and resort properties. He has taken numerous trips to his resorts, billing taxpayers millions of dollars[xiv]. He has directed members of the armed forces to stay at his property in Scotland, at taxpayers’ expense[xv]. His Vice President and members of his administration stay at his properties[xvi], again lining Trump’s pockets.

In using taxpayer funds to pay for golfing trips and hotel lodging at his properties, Trump is causing the United States to pay him over and above his compensation as set for his office by Congress.

THE POWER TO PROFIT FROM FOREIGN STATES

No person “holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.[xvii]” Foreign governments that make use of Trump’s properties are putting their money into Trump’s pockets. In addition, China has granted Trump or his companies about 40 trademarks since he became President. Congress has not given its consent to foreign money flowing to Trump either directly or through his corporations’ profits. Members of Congress filed a lawsuit in June of 2017 seeking an injunction to bar Trump from further accepting emoluments from foreign governments without first seeking Congress’ approval[xviii]. Trump is currently appealing the finding that members of Congress have standing to seek a court order compelling Trump to comply with the Constitution. Meanwhile Trump does not have to produce any documents showing which foreign governments have paid to stay at which of Trump’s properties, nor how much they paid, nor how much of that has gone into Trump’s pockets while he is in office.

Trump has the unchecked power to profit from his office, billing taxpayers for his vacations at his resort and collecting payments from foreign governments for their rents of his properties.

THE POWER TO DIVERT FEDERAL FUNDING AT WILL

            Congress has the “power of the purse”, that is, to pass legislation to raise revenues, and to appropriate funding[xix]. Trump wanted money for a wall between the United States and Mexico. Congress considered, but did not fund Trump’s request. So the First American Dictator declared an “emergency” that didn’t exist, and diverted funds from congressionally approved projects to his border wall[xx]. Congress responded by passing a bill rejecting Trump’s emergency declaration, which Trump vetoed[xxi]. Thirty-six Republican Senators supported Trump and his veto was not overridden. Trump has the power to divert federal funds at will.

THE POWER TO IGNORE INTERNATIONAL LAW

            The First American Dictator inherited the power to ignore international law prohibiting torture, “secret rendition” aka kidnapping, holding prisoners in undisclosed prisons indefinitely without charges, and invading a country for the purpose of regime change.

            This power has been expanded to include separating children from their parents[xxii], and ignoring international law regarding refugees seeking asylum[xxiii].

THE POWER TO OBSTRUCT JUSTICE

            The First American Dictator used the power of his office to obstruct investigations into allegations of misuse of power, first in the Mueller probe looking into potential collusion between his campaign for the office of President[xxiv], then by refusing to let former and present members of his administration testify before Congress as the House investigated possible acts giving rise to an impeachment proceeding[xxv].

            Acting under the First American Dictator’s orders, and without a claim of privilege, Trump’s present and former subordinates have refused to comply with a subpoena to testify before Congress[xxvi]. The First American Dictator has been seen to dangle a potential pardon to influence testimony[xxvii].

Trump’s messages on social media are seen as attempts to intimidate witnesses[xxviii]. He is so bold as to disparage a witness even as the witness testifies before Congress[xxix]. Likewise his administration uses an official social media account to disparage a witness while testifying[xxx].

            Ordering percipient witness to refuse to comply with a Congressional subpoena without a claim of privilege, dangling the possibility of a pardon for witnesses accused of providing false testimony, and disparaging witnesses while they are testifying all point to obstruction of justice.

THE POWER TO BRIBE JURORS

            Republican Senators will make up the majority of the jurors in an impeachment trial of the First American Dictator. “President Donald Trump—who is facing a formal impeachment inquiry in the House—has leveraged his fundraising network to boost the campaigns of struggling Republican senators who have signed a resolution condemning impeachment proceedings.” [xxxi]

            Thus members of the jury who have already come out in support of the First American Dictator are being rewarded with campaign cash to help them keep their jobs. The First American Dictator will not be facing an impartial jury in his impending impeachment trial.

THE POWER TO USE CONGRESSIONALLY APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR PERSONAL POLITICAL GAIN

            The First American Dictator leveraged hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to coerce a foreign government to announce an investigation against a political rival[xxxii]. The ramifications of this unchecked power cannot be understated. With foreign aid tied to political favors, foreign governments will be highly motivated to comply. Indeed, it does not take too much of an imagination to see federal dollars allocated to the various States withheld unless the State agrees to investigate political opponents. This power, the power to generate countless investigations into political opponents, combined with the power of the propaganda machine and the power of loyalists, is the power to destroy all opposition.

THE FIRST AMERICAN DICTATOR

            President Donald Trump is the First American Dictator. By all indications, he won’t be the last. If, and it appears likely, the Republicans in the Senate refuse to remove him from office, his successors will enjoy the same powers – as long as they have enough loyalists in the Senate[xxxiii]. The courts won’t be able to constrain these powers, as the courts have no power to enforce their rulings[xxxiv]. If Trump is allowed to remain in office because the Republican Senate acquits him of “high crimes and misdemeanors” the above enumerated powers will be ceded to the office of President. The crowning achievement of the Republican Party will be to turn a constitutional republic into a dictatorship, with them in control.

Trump will be known as the first of a long line of American Dictators.

Kenneth R. Mackie is a former educator turned attorney. He studied Constitutional Law under Professor John Cary Sims at University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and “Fundamental Rights in Europe and the United States” under Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and Sionaidh Douglas-Scott at the Salzburg Institute in Salzburg, Austria.


[i] https://news.gallup.com/poll/203198/presidential-approval-ratings-donald-trump.aspx

[ii] https://news.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/248384/highly-religious-white-protestants-firm-support-trump.aspx

[iii] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/11/25/why-evangelicals-like-rick-perry-believe-that-trump-is-gods-chosen-one/

[iv] https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-demands-loyalty-oath-from-job-seekers-who-criticized-him-during-election

[v] https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/donald-trumps-grip-on-the-republican-party-just-got-even-tighter

[vi] http://hillmanfoundation.org/sidney-awards/jane-mayer-wins-april-sidney-elucidating-how-fox-news-became-propaganda-arm-trump

[vii] https://political.com/is-sean-hannity-one-of-trumps-unofficial-advisor/

[viii] https://fortune.com/2018/06/09/donald-trump-cnn-fake-news-g7/

[ix] https://www.politifact.com/punditfact/article/2015/jan/27/msnbc-fox-cnn-move-needle-our-truth-o-meter-scorec/

[x] https://www.prri.org/research/fractured-nation-widening-partisan-polarization-and-key-issues-in-2020-presidential-elections/

[xi] https://www.prri.org/research/fractured-nation-widening-partisan-polarization-and-key-issues-in-2020-presidential-elections/

[xii] United States Constitution, Article 2, section 1.)

[xiii] https://thelawdictionary.org/emolument/

[xiv] https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2019/07/10/trumps-golf-trips-could-cost-taxpayers-over-340-million/

[xv] https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/18/military-trumps-scottish-resort-1501877

[xvi] https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/9/3/20847247/mike-pence-ireland-doonbeg-trip-180-miles-away-trump-hotel

[xvii] United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 9.

[xviii] https://www.theusconstitution.org/litigation/trump-and-foreign-emoluments-clause/

[xix] https://history.house.gov/Institution/Origins-Development/Power-of-the-Purse/

[xx] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/09/04/trump-diverts-3-6-billion-military-projects-build-more-border-wall/2208166001/

[xxi] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-congress-emergency/trump-vetoes-measure-to-end-his-emergency-declaration-on-border-wall-idUSKBN1WV06P

[xxii] https://ilg2.org/2018/06/10/trump-administrations-family-separation-policy-violates-international-law/

[xxiii] https://time.com/5626498/trump-asylum-rule-international-law/

[xxiv] https://www.cbsnews.com/news/obstruction-of-justice-10-times-trump-may-have-obstructed-justice-mueller-report/

[xxv] https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/12/impeachment-report-trump-obstruct/602938/

[xxvi] https://www.lawfareblog.com/revisiting-criminal-obstruction-justice-impeachment-inquiry

[xxvii] https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-pardon-paul-manafort-obstruction-justice-1237150

[xxviii] https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/11/20/20970572/impeachment-hearing-judiciary-committee-trump-obstruction

[xxix] https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2019-11-15/trump-tweets-on-impeachment-witness-yovanovitch-during-testimony

[xxx] https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/19/white-house-twitter-attacks-vindman-during-trump-impeachment-testimony.html

[xxxi] https://www.forbes.com/sites/isabeltogoh/2019/10/31/trump-accused-of-bribery-after-urging-donors-to-support-senators-defending-him-against-impeachment/#21b769013eb5

[xxxii] https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-house-impeachment-report-highlights-trumps-ongoing-abuse-of-presidential-power

[xxxiii] https://origins.osu.edu/review/imperial-presidency-pushes-back

[xxxiv] https://sustainatlanta.com/2015/04/02/remembering-the-time-andrew-jackson-decided-to-ignore-the-supreme-court-in-the-name-of-georgias-right-to-cherokee-land/

Trump in hot…. lukewarm…. tepid water over calls to Vatican, Boris.

Not only is President For Life Donald Trump in hot water for his call to the Ukraine “allegedly” seeking foreign assistance in the 2020 election, he has recently come under scrutiny for calls placed to the Vatican and Boris (Brexit) Johnson.

Trump “allegedly” asked Pope Francis to make him a Saint. In return, Trump would build a hotel/casino project in Vatican City. Trump felt the Catholic Church owed him the position of Sainthood, given He is The Chosen One. Pope Francis, it is said, was not impressed. He asked Trump to give an example of a miracle he performed. “Hey,” Trump is said to have said, “I haven’t been impeached!” The Pope was forced to agree that rose to miracle status, however, the Pope mused, it could be because Satan has possessed a majority of the American Senate. Pope Francis hinted that many of Trump’s supporters may have already sold their souls to the devil. Trump ended the conversation abruptly, threatening to cut off the Vatican’s supply of nuclear missiles.

Shortly after Trump hung up on the Pope, he speed-dialed Boris Johnson, who owed Trump a favor for his undying support for Brexit, and anything else that would give Putin an edge over Europe. Sources listening in to the conversation, including ham radio operators in Greenland, overheard Trump lobbying for a knighthood. “Sir Trump.” The President of the United States seemed to like the title. He encouraged Boris to sell the idea to the Queen. In return, Trump would give Boris lifetime membership in his golf course in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Boris, as fond as he is of number 45, is said to have balked. He is said to have told Trump that Trump has to be British to be called Sir Trump. Trump apparently retorted that his father was born in the British Sector of Berlin after the fall of the Third Reich and that had to count for something. Boris seemed to indicate he would try to make something up that the Queen would believe, and that maybe Trump would be Sir Trump once the “no-deal” Brexit became a reality, throwing the United Kingdom into economic and political turmoil for the foreseeable future.

Trump, it is said, fell asleep dreaming of tweeting under the #realSaintTrump and #realSirTrump hashtags.

Hump Day, 9/11/19: Trump Declares Victory over Hurricane Dorian

In a speech meant to commemorate the events of Nine-One-One, Trump veered off course and declared a “complete, total, victory” over Hurricane Dorian. He took full credit for “saving the good people of Alabama” from the effects of the hurricane.

“I could have nuked the hurricane” he said. “Could have. But didn’t. And that would have put an end to it while it was still over the Bahamas. But I didn’t.” Trump held up his “Magic Sharpie Map.”

Trump displays the highly classified NOAA Map showing Hurricane Dorian hitting Alabama.

Trump told the sparse audience at his rain-soaked Mar-a-Lago resort where he spent the week golfing and nominating club members for federal judicialships that he alone deflected Dorian’s path. “I drew other maps, maps that are highly classified. Highly classified. Because they worked. These other maps, drawn with my magic sharpie, which you can all buy a copy of, by the way. Won’t work as good as mine. Yours won’t have my magic in them, but they will bear my official signature, which is magical, by the way. Very magical.”

“I took my sharpie…magical sharpie….and I drew a line showing Hurricane Dorian curving away from Florida, away from this beautiful spot where you are now all standing, and up the coast. And guess what….the hurricane obeyed me. It followed my map.”

A polite round of applause ensued, whereupon Trump declared “I am the Chosen One.”

This, of course, was portrayed by CN”Fake News” Network as Trump talking about trade talks with China once more. The Liberal Left refuses to acknowledge that Trump has the power to change the weather.

However, when it comes to magic, and being the Chosen One, Trump has competition from the other side of the pond.

Pregnancies lasting longer as babies refuse to leave the womb

The average length of a pregnancy in the United States has seen a marked increase in the last two years, up from 40 weeks to 42 1/2 weeks. Health officials are at a loss to explain the trend, but Heimlich Schachzug, a heretofore unknown child psychologist, has developed a novel theory.

“Zees people are afraid to leaf der vomb” Dr. Schachzug stated in a recent lecture at the U.S. Conference of Ob/Gyns. “Unt zay haf every reason to be afraid.” The child psychologist went on to explain his theory. People, and unborn people are people, know that as long as they are in the womb, the current Administration will care for them and protect them. But once they are out, they are on their own. Lack of healthcare and “food insecurity” are the two most prevalent reasons people give for refusing to leave the womb.

The trend to remain in the womb is growing at an alarming rate. Dr. Schachzug predicts that by the end of Trump’s first term in office, average gestation times will approach 50 weeks. Other countries, however, do not seem to be experiencing this phenomena.

Preliminary findings in a cross-sectional study suggest a high correlation between pregnant women who watch Fox News and increased gestational times. “Apparently,” Dr. Schachzug concluded, “Fox News scares the sheisse out of zeese people. It is no vunder zay refuse to leaf der vomb.”