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View Poll Results: The raid was...
Absolutely a good thing - no question 126 77.30%
An outrage, a travesty - what about Magna Carta? Did she die in vain? 4 2.45%
I'll wait before I make a judgement thank you. 27 16.56%
Mar-X-Lago! 6 3.68%
Voters: 163. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 24th September 2022, 02:40 PM   #2961
smartcooky
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Originally Posted by Paul2 View Post
The way you do that is to foster in the institutions the values of professionalism and service to the country, which is just what Trump can not even imagine.
Half your problem is that you still allow the Executive to appoint judges and to hire and fire heads of departments (such as the DoJ, DHS etc) who have the power of checks and balances. These are things that kings are allowed to do. It has worked well for about 200 years because your Executives followed the law and for the most part were decent people (with a few exceptions; Richard Nixon, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Warren Harding). However, such a system relies heavily on presidential candidates who have honesty and integrity, and a strong sense of duty to the country. The Fat Orange Turd has none of these qualities - he is a self-serving narcissist, a habitual and practiced liar, and crime boss who does nothing unless it benefits him personally. He has zero integrity, his moral compass lacks a needle, and he was always totally unfit to be a political leader of any kind, let alone the president of the most powerful and influential country on the planet.

If you want a system that is truly unable to be corrupted by a corrupt president, then you need to make the Department of Justice an independent body that is not beholden to the executive. For example

- The Attorney General and all those who serve below him, should advance to the position by merit from within the DoJ (subject to approval by a 3/4 majority in the Senate) and not be appointed from outside by the Executive.

- The Executive should not have the power to fire the AG or any other department head without cause. Any Executive wishing to remove a department head must justify his/her recommendation to Congress where he could only be removed by a 3/4 majority in the Senate (with the Nuclear Option specifically excluded).

- No temporary Executive appointments to department head. If a Department head dies, retires or is removed by the Senate, deputy automatically becomes temporary department head until he or another person in the department is approved.

- Judges should also advance by merit from within the Judiciary and not be nominated by the Executive - and there are several ways this might be achieved. One way might be to have all federal judicial recommendations overseen by the Chief Justices of the 12 Federal Circuit Courts plus the Chief Justice of SCOTUS. Again, such recommendations should have to be approved by a 3/4 majority in the Senate (again, with the Nuclear Option specifically excluded).

As long as you have a system that allows the Executive to hire and fire those who can hold him to account, you will always risk having one who will corrupt the system for his own benefit. Removing the Executive's right to hire and fire, and having a system where department heads and judges rising from within their own respective ranks with a 3/4 Senate majority to approve them will help prevent people from both the radical left, and the radical right, away from positions of power where they can abuse it.

I know this would be very difficult to achieve, but that doesn't mean you should not try. You have to do something. The Fat Orange Turd came within less than an hour, and one or two crucial decisions of succeeding in overturning your election and staying in power by fiat. He failed only because he was stupid. The next one like him will not be - if it is someone like DeSantis, or Cruz or Josh Hawley, they will WILL start removing the guard rails on January 21st, they will begin to surround themselves ONLY with people who will follow his orders regardless of the law. They will have seen where The Fat Orange Turd failed, and will learn from it - they won't make the same mistakes he did.
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Old 24th September 2022, 11:03 PM   #2962
arayder
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Originally Posted by arayder View Post
The other side of the coin is that we want a political system in which the purely political prosecution of a political candidate or a sitting officer holder is nearly impossible.
Originally Posted by Paul2 View Post
The way you do that is to foster in the institutions the values of professionalism and service to the country, which is just what Trump can not even imagine.
In that same vein principled politicians go out of their way to build a wall (MAGA pun intended) between their office and their business interests..

The folks left running the family business are told to be straight shooters and not to work any sweet heart deals with the government agencies.

These politicians want honesty for honesty's sake. But they also don't want to be distracted in D.C. by stories from back hone about Junior magically getting the Easton Road contract.
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Old Yesterday, 09:16 AM   #2963
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
If a President can declassify documents with the magic of his mind, cannot an actual sitting President classify documents using the same technique. Binden can then surely reclassify the document that T has or classify any documents in the USA including your last weeks shopping list? That's some slippery slope!

Here's a bit of history that's tangentially relevant to this thread inasmuch as there have been serious attempts to argue that some things can be classified without any effort of mind.

Originally Posted by Martin E. Hellman
I didn't have a good answer to my colleagues' second concern, about my work possibly being suppressed by the government, and figured I would cross that bridge when I came to it. But I also have come to see that my counter-arguments were less logical than I thought at the time....My colleagues arguments were based on valid concerns, both of which reared their heads.

As Whit Diffie, Ralph Merkle and I, followed by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Len Adleman (RSA) at MIT, and then others began to publish papers that NSA would have classified top secret, various forces within the government, and especially the intelligence community, agitated for such papers to be "born classified", even though we had developed our ideas without any benefit of the classified literature. There was even a threat that we could be prosecuted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), since technical literature on cryptography was considered an implement of war by the ITAR.
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Old Yesterday, 09:59 AM   #2964
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Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
Here's a bit of history that's tangentially relevant to this thread inasmuch as there have been serious attempts to argue that some things can be classified without any effort of mind.
Interesting.

This has evolved since the PGP code was published as a "book" to get around the ITAR regulations as the First Amendment protects free speech.

Funny how public key encryption became the essential incredient in internet security.

Now there are issues with controlling code that 3D printers can be used to produce darn near anything like components of guns.

And now we have social media exacerbating polarization as people more easily group with others of like mind. Which is how 30% of americans can believe Trump had no classified stuff at Mar a Lago.
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Old Yesterday, 05:36 PM   #2965
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The conversation has understandably focused on the classified documents. But I wonder if there are other laws that Trump broke by taking 1000's of documents home with him. For example, it is my understanding that it would be illegal for a private citizen to possess govt. documents that contain personal information (other than their own), corporate trade secrets, or documents related to ongoing criminal justice investigations.
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Old Yesterday, 06:05 PM   #2966
Roger Ramjets
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
Interesting.

This has evolved since the PGP code was published as a "book" to get around the ITAR regulations as the First Amendment protects free speech.

Funny how public key encryption became the essential incredient in internet security.

Now there are issues with controlling code that 3D printers can be used to produce darn near anything like components of guns.

And now we have social media exacerbating polarization as people more easily group with others of like mind. Which is how 30% of americans can believe Trump had no classified stuff at Mar a Lago.
A tangent off a tangent? How does this have anything to do with Trump stealing government records, classified or not?
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Old Today, 04:00 AM   #2967
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
And to consider how extraordinary that a few pissweak weak-ass libtards can cause so much havoc for the greatest, most powerful American hero the world has ever known and his top-of-the-line legal superheroes.
The "enemies" of far-right regimes are always simultaneously the most powerful, the most intelligent, the most devious and the most ruthless people out there, and yet the most weak, inept, snivelling and cowardly people out there.
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Old Today, 04:14 AM   #2968
Norman Alexander
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Originally Posted by Gulliver Foyle View Post
The "enemies" of far-right regimes are always simultaneously the most powerful, the most intelligent, the most devious and the most ruthless people out there, and yet the most weak, inept, snivelling and cowardly people out there.
...like the world has ever seen!
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Old Today, 04:18 AM   #2969
Gulliver Foyle
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Half your problem is that you still allow the Executive to appoint judges and to hire and fire heads of departments (such as the DoJ, DHS etc) who have the power of checks and balances. These are things that kings are allowed to do. It has worked well for about 200 years because your Executives followed the law and for the most part were decent people (with a few exceptions; Richard Nixon, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Warren Harding). However, such a system relies heavily on presidential candidates who have honesty and integrity, and a strong sense of duty to the country. The Fat Orange Turd has none of these qualities - he is a self-serving narcissist, a habitual and practiced liar, and crime boss who does nothing unless it benefits him personally. He has zero integrity, his moral compass lacks a needle, and he was always totally unfit to be a political leader of any kind, let alone the president of the most powerful and influential country on the planet.

If you want a system that is truly unable to be corrupted by a corrupt president, then you need to make the Department of Justice an independent body that is not beholden to the executive. For example

- The Attorney General and all those who serve below him, should advance to the position by merit from within the DoJ (subject to approval by a 3/4 majority in the Senate) and not be appointed from outside by the Executive.

- The Executive should not have the power to fire the AG or any other department head without cause. Any Executive wishing to remove a department head must justify his/her recommendation to Congress where he could only be removed by a 3/4 majority in the Senate (with the Nuclear Option specifically excluded).

- No temporary Executive appointments to department head. If a Department head dies, retires or is removed by the Senate, deputy automatically becomes temporary department head until he or another person in the department is approved.

- Judges should also advance by merit from within the Judiciary and not be nominated by the Executive - and there are several ways this might be achieved. One way might be to have all federal judicial recommendations overseen by the Chief Justices of the 12 Federal Circuit Courts plus the Chief Justice of SCOTUS. Again, such recommendations should have to be approved by a 3/4 majority in the Senate (again, with the Nuclear Option specifically excluded).

As long as you have a system that allows the Executive to hire and fire those who can hold him to account, you will always risk having one who will corrupt the system for his own benefit. Removing the Executive's right to hire and fire, and having a system where department heads and judges rising from within their own respective ranks with a 3/4 Senate majority to approve them will help prevent people from both the radical left, and the radical right, away from positions of power where they can abuse it.

I know this would be very difficult to achieve, but that doesn't mean you should not try. You have to do something. The Fat Orange Turd came within less than an hour, and one or two crucial decisions of succeeding in overturning your election and staying in power by fiat. He failed only because he was stupid. The next one like him will not be - if it is someone like DeSantis, or Cruz or Josh Hawley, they will WILL start removing the guard rails on January 21st, they will begin to surround themselves ONLY with people who will follow his orders regardless of the law. They will have seen where The Fat Orange Turd failed, and will learn from it - they won't make the same mistakes he did.
I'd add a few extra bits to that, separate out the Attorney General's office from the head of the DoJ, return them to being the government's lawyer, the person who advises the government on the constitutionality or otherwise of proposed laws, the one who heads the legal team that defends government actions and leads government actions.

The next thing I'd do is make all Department Secretaries answerable to the legislature, not the executive in terms of accountability. Let the President give the orders and set the tone, but make each Secretary have to go before the House to explain their actions, in public.

Thirdly, and most importantly, I'd radically change the US's election system. For any national elected position, have the elections be managed by a national independent body who sets boundaries, oversees electoral rolls and hires the staff that run the polling stations and counts the votes. Also change the method of election from FPTP to some form of PR (as a personal preference I'd advocate for single transferrable vote in multi seat constituencies, if some states have to pool together to have multiple seats, so be it). Make it so that one party cannot game the system in their favour so that 30% of the votes win 60% of the seats, and also allow for smaller parties to get a foothold in and get national recognition.

And finally, I'd remove political appointments/elections from posts that should be civil service or expert lead. This includes judgeships and senior LEOs, make all these posts fillable only by competitive processes based off internal promotions, external appointments or a hybrid system run by an independent body.
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Old Today, 04:26 AM   #2970
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Term limits for the Supreme Court and lower courts which currently have lifetime appointments. Strict term limits, set by constitutional amendment. No such thing as "lifetime appointments". The current crop have shown that, even among the most respected jurists in the country, they have forgone the right to a permanent comfy bench where they can be reactionary religio-fascist conservative saboteurs of the law.
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Old Today, 05:09 AM   #2971
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The term limits would be good, but candidates in their 40s and 50s do not want to go back to regular law. make term limits 30 years and a retirement age of 65. That should set up their income.

The Supreme Court is based on the same loose language of the entire constitution, so there are in fact no rules barring the setting up of retirement etc by law. It is kind of under the department of justice as far as paychecks go.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleiii
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Old Today, 06:23 AM   #2972
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Originally Posted by Tero View Post
The term limits would be good, but candidates in their 40s and 50s do not want to go back to regular law. make term limits 30 years and a retirement age of 65. That should set up their income.

The Supreme Court is based on the same loose language of the entire constitution, so there are in fact no rules barring the setting up of retirement etc by law. It is kind of under the department of justice as far as paychecks go.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleiii
I think there's a danger there. It opens a door to corruption -- a SC justice might rule in favor of future paydays from a wealthy litigant before them, knowing that at 65 they'll lose their position. Assuming that people --especially people in public, political life-- will be satisfied to retire at 65 and not rake in millions of dollars more if they are able to is naive.

Imagine if a total federal prohibition on tobacco came before the SC. You think the big tobacco companies wouldn't be delighted to hire nine consultants at a billion dollars each once they retire? Do the justices have moral qualms about bribery? Two billion. Three. And that's just tobacco. The pharmaceutical industry giants could offer even more.

I think it's safer to keep the justices glued to their chairs for life, don't give them room for plausible excuses for future payoffs.
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Old Today, 08:55 AM   #2973
TellyKNeasuss
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Originally Posted by Gulliver Foyle View Post
I'd add a few extra bits to that, separate out the Attorney General's office from the head of the DoJ, return them to being the government's lawyer, the person who advises the government on the constitutionality or otherwise of proposed laws, the one who heads the legal team that defends government actions and leads government actions.
The executive branch is tasked with enforcing laws. Who would be in charge of that?

Quote:
The next thing I'd do is make all Department Secretaries answerable to the legislature, not the executive in terms of accountability. Let the President give the orders and set the tone, but make each Secretary have to go before the House to explain their actions, in public.
Wouldn't that virtually make the president a symbolic position? In any event, Congress can subpoena cabinet secretaries to testify before Congress. Congress can impeach cabinet secretaries.
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Old Today, 09:00 AM   #2974
Tero
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I think there's a danger there. It opens a door to corruption -- a SC justice might rule in favor of future paydays from a wealthy litigant before them, knowing that at 65 they'll lose their position. Assuming that people --especially people in public, political life-- will be satisfied to retire at 65 and not rake in millions of dollars more if they are able to is naive.

Imagine if a total federal prohibition on tobacco came before the SC. You think the big tobacco companies wouldn't be delighted to hire nine consultants at a billion dollars each once they retire? Do the justices have moral qualms about bribery? Two billion. Three. And that's just tobacco. The pharmaceutical industry giants could offer even more.

I think it's safer to keep the justices glued to their chairs for life, don't give them room for plausible excuses for future payoffs.
Give them a nice retirement package. Contingent on the fact that they do not take consulting or legal jobs.
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Old Today, 11:16 AM   #2975
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Originally Posted by TellyKNeasuss View Post
The conversation has understandably focused on the classified documents. But I wonder if there are other laws that Trump broke by taking 1000's of documents home with him. For example, it is my understanding that it would be illegal for a private citizen to possess govt. documents that contain personal information (other than their own), corporate trade secrets, or documents related to ongoing criminal justice investigations.
The Presidential Records Act of 1978 says he has no right to ANY documents related to his Presidency and that all must be turned over to the National Archives. So taking home even the most mundane Presidential paperwork was a crime.
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