Friday, July 21, 2017

Pardon Me!

Ok, sorry for that title.  And, the obvious caveat is that I am not a lawyer, so I don't know what I am talking about (remember, this is the Semi-Spew). But here's my various thoughts on the pardon news and the likelihood of firing Mueller:
  • My only surprise that it is has taken this long for Trump to get curious about pardons except he is the most incurious person I have ever seen in government or anywhere else.
  • Seems pretty clear that Trump can pardon damned near anybody but he can't block impeachment via pardon.  
  • Pardons are more complicated than people think:
    • Those who are pardoned lose their 5th amendment rights as they can't incriminate themselves anymore on the issue for which they were pardoned.  So, pardoning too soon might mean Manafort/Don Jr/Kusher/whoever can't invoke 5th.  Oh, and if they then lie, well, that is a new crime and that would require a new pardon.... Oy.
    • Presidents can only pardon federal crimes, so New York (which much of the shenanigans happened) could go to town on crimes that passed through there, I believe.  
    • Pardons will affect voters and not in good ways.  Maybe not a lot, but might tilt stuff and make a wave election in 2018 more likely.  It will also make it harder for Trump to get stuff through the Senate, especially appointing the next Attorney General and other Justice folks.
  •  But, yes, impeachment is not going to happen.  Paul Ryan will simply not surrender agenda control of the house, so it does not even matter if one could scrounge some GOP reps who would be willing to vote that way.  Same for Senate--McConnell would not let it happen.  Agenda control is a thing.  
  • Firing Mueller would energize the other investigations even if it stops the special prosecutor within DOJ.  Oh, and who fires him?  Yeah, a constitutional crisis if Trump tries to do it himself.  If he asks Sessions, will Sessions do it?  Maybe despite being recused.  Will Rosenstein?  Probably not.
  • Of course, all of this thought about how to stop the investigation might make one think that Trump is guilty as hell.  But, of course, guilt has nothing to do with it.  It is about the GOP and what they think they need to do to get their stuff passed (not looking good), to avoid being investigated themselves (Russians interfered with House/Senate races), avoid being primaried, and all that. 
So, six months of Trump Presidency, and this is where we are:
  1. Arsonists burning down damn near every agency (Tillerson, Sessions, Price, etc)
  2. Civilian control of the military is shaky since DoD is still understaffed and helmed by a very recently retired general who still seems to think like one
  3. Escalations in most wars
  4. A major dispute among our "allies" in the war against ISIS
  5. Turkey competing hard to be a worse ally than Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.
  6. Voter suppression efforts at the federal level.
  7. Sessions reversing a ton of stuff at DoJ so that we are doing incredibly dumb stuff
  8. Tourism industry is getting beaten up as folks are going elsewhere
  9. US has given up leadership in the world.
  10. Trade disputes with damn near every country.
  11. No hope for climate change policies or any environmental regulation.
I could go on, but this is why I have not posted for the past two days--too damned depressing.

Anyhow, I am sorry. Pardon me.

1 comment:

Erik Bruvold said...

Don't disagree with 99.9% of this. However while this ( shows that tourism is down lets not forget that in late 16 you had a BIG rally of the dollar vs. the Yen - and some of the biggest declines in tourism correspond to a fall off in CA. Moreover, and that is the one thing about looking at CA tourism (which is so important for understanding Asia-US travel) is that 2017 corresponds to summer were the major CA draws (aka the Mouse) are in a slack period. 2018 and especailly the 2019 opening of Starwars land is going to drive incremental international travel to CA through the roof (especially if the current trend of $ to yen continues).