US Constitution Article II Section 4: Impeachment

Section. 4. The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

US Constitution Article III Section 3

Section. 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Owning A Gun Is Not A Right

There is literally not one reason americans should have unfettered access to guns.

1. You don’t need an AR-15 to hunt.
2. You don’t need an AR-15 for personal protection.
3. You don’t need an AR-15 because you think you’ll use it to overthrow our government – the People’s government.

Lots of people think three is THE REASON to have a right to own machine guns. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Let’s talk about hunting and personal protection. Surely the framers of the constitution thought about those activities when they where writing the Bill of Rights.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Yep, nothing in there about shooting deer or chopping a marauder in half with an AR-15 on full auto. It does however say “well regulated Militia.”

If the right to “keep and bear Arms” is not about hunting or personal protection than it must so that we can violently overthrow the government.

But that doesn’t make sense either.

To understand how ridiculous this “idea” is, think about what was happening in 1787. We had whooped Britain’s ass, but there were lots of these Shaw’s Rebellion sort of things happening pretty regularly.

The elite were getting nervous, and as a response, they wrote the Constitution. While it’s true that much of the Constitution is about constraining the federal government, but make no mistake, the framers knew they were creating a strong federal government and that’s what they wanted.

Before the Constitution, there was the Articles of Confederation. Under the Articles, the federal government was weak and unable to deal with potential civil unrest.

So this notion that while the framers were creating a strong federal government they would also put in-place a mechanism to violently overthrow that very government is absurd. No one would create system like that. And if we voted on it today, it’s safe to say that the vast majority of people don’t believe in a violent revolution as part of our political life.

The second amendment exists for the very specific reason stated in the text – a “well regulated Militia.” We have that, it’s called Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines.

We should repeal the second amendment, it’s been twisted into a right for domestic terrorists to kill us on a large scale.

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Trump AG Barr Releases Redacted Mueller Report

Today the cover-up of the Donald Trump criminal conspiracy continued with Attorney General William Barr’s release of a heavily redacted Mueller Report.

You can read it here.

Next, we should expect subpoenas by House Democrats and public testimony from Mueller.

Weiner Released

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) has been released from prison. Weiner couldn’t stop sending dick pics. He loved it so much, he sent some to a 15-year-old girl. That landed him in federal prison with a 21-month sentence.

Setting aside, Weiner destroying his entire life with dick pics, in the Huffington Post story, this last sentence was the most interesting one.

Once Weiner started sending his dick pics to underage children, in 2016, a federal investigation was opened.

That investigation led to authorities searching his personal computer and finding work emails from Abedin, leading then-FBI Director James Comey to reopen the investigation into Clinton’s private email server in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign.

What has always pissed me off about this is that this “discovery” should NEVER have resulted in the reopening of Clinton email investigation. Abedin worked for Clinton. Her having email messages from that work on her computer was expected. It was also expected that these message were the same emails turned over to investigators previously.

There was not one bit of evidence that these email messages weren’t already turned over to investigators. But instead of taking a few hours to look over the messages to determine if the FBI already had them, Comey restarted the Clinton email investigation and gave a strange press conference announcing that days before the 2016 election.

Comey should have immediately been fired for doing this because once the FBI looked at the email messages, there was nothing there.

State of the Union: Trump Era Tipping Point

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

It was a threat. Donald Trump threatened House Democrats on Monday in his State of the Union speech. In a nutshell, Trump said that there will be no legislation or peace while there are investigations of his administration.

“If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation,” Trump told a joint session of Congress on Monday evening.

I’m loathe to make predictions, but this feels like a Trump era turning point. What he’s saying is, “That’s a nice country you’ve got there, it would be a shame if something were to happen to it.”

Trump is specifically, publicly and adamantly threatening House Democrats to either back off or he’s going to punish the entire nation.

Richard Nixon did something similar in his State of the Union speech in January 1974. Nixon didn’t threaten anyone, but he called for the Watergate investigation to be ended. Nixon resigned in August that same year.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will handle Trump’s threat with skill and class.

Leave Bernie Sanders Alone

Bernie Sanders 2016

Democrats need to calm the fuck down about Bernie Sanders.

I voted for Sanders in the Maryland primary in 2016. I guess that makes me a “Bernie bro.” It’s a term I find deeply offensive. I also volunteered for the Hillary Clinton campaign. So I guess that make me what? It makes me a Democrat.

I’m a Democrat, but I’m a liberal first.

Here’s why I voted for Sanders. First of all, there was no chance Clinton wasn’t going to win Maryland. Secondly, I’m a lifelong, frustrated Democrat. The Democratic Party has been pretty shitty for a long, long time.

People now gush over the Bill Clinton years, but the Democrats of that era were endlessly annoying to liberals like myself. The crime bill was awful. They stuck by the war on drugs with vigor. They happily pranced down the road to deregulate banking and other industries. Yes, Bill Clinton Democrats did some good stuff, but it was painful incrementalism.

Democrats like Bill Clinton, and to lesser degree, Hillary Clinton, are conservative Democrats. They firmly believe that the best course of action is to play along with Republicans while slowly making progress on issues of social justice, equality and peace.

This is pragmatism and I hate that shit. That’s why I voted for Bernie Sanders. I wanted to show the Democratic Party that there are millions of us who want to see a Democratic Party that is far more liberal and one that embraces collective action with gusto and is clearly not conservative.

I certainly can understand the view of my more pragmatic Democrats who disagree with me. Their belief that incrementalism is the best path forward is not inherently wrong. I just don’t agree with it and that’s OK. At least, it should be OK.

For many Democrats though is that the belief Sanders and I share that the Democratic Party should be more progressive is not only wrong in their minds, but Sanders and I are scum of the earth. We shouldn’t even be allowed to be Democrats. Our support of aggressive progressivism is not welcome in the Democratic Party.

If you ask Tom Perez, if Sanders and I are welcome in the Democratic Party, he will undoubtedly say yes. If you ask Hillary Clinton if Sanders and I are welcome in the Democratic Party, she will say yes. But online, particularly on Twitter, the vitriol directed at leftwing elements of the Democratic Party can be vicious.

But I’m not worried about my feelings or Sanders’ feelings, we can handle it. What concerns me is that millions of young voters out there who want to see the Democratic Party move to the left will get turned off. We could lose these voters permanently. Undoubtedly, many have already been lost. They’ll spend their lives pointlessly voting for third party candidates rather than support the Democrat running.

It’s what happened to millions in my generation – Generation X. Hell, my first election ever was 1992. I didn’t vote for Clinton. I voted for Ross Perot. Again, at the time, I made the calculation that Clinton was going to win, but I wanted to send a message to the Democratic Party, that I want to see something different.

We called Democratic politicians at the time – Republican Lite. They were so desperate to look and act like Ronald Reagan. It was a nightmare for liberals like myself who despised Reagan.

Sadly, many of the people alienated by the 1990s Democratic Party were easy prey for the Republican Party. As often happens, as people get older they get more conservative. I feel like I’m getting more liberal as I get older, but for many it goes the other way.

After awhile these disenchanted liberals stopped voting for losing candidates like Ralph Nader and they started voted Republican. They probably wanted to be part of a winning election while still opposing the Democratic Party. In the 1990s and early 2000s, it was easy to rationalize, “There’s little difference between the Democratic Party and Republican Party, so who cares?”

My counter argument to that would be, if you really are a liberal, the best course of action is to engage with the Democratic Party. I support pushing the Democratic Party to the left, rather than destroying it. There were times in my life when I wanted to destroy the Democratic Party. In 2000, the Al Gore campaign was awful. He should have never lost to George W. Bush.

I got over that and supported John Kerry in 2004. I was horribly depressed when he also lost to Bush. That was a low point in my political life. But I became reinvigorated when Obama ran and won in 2008. That win was the high point of my political life.

Then 2016 happened.

The Democratic Party wanted to coronate Hillary Clinton the nominee and when that didn’t happen, people freaked out. Sanders’ people attacked Clinton’s people. Clinton’s people attacked Sanders’ people. It went back and forth with people getting blocked and banned on Twitter.

Sanders did way better than anyone expected. I think he did better than Sanders expected. He tapped into that anger people like myself carry with us about the Democratic Party. I wanted to express that anger with my primary vote and I did. I also believe Sanders’ progressive agenda is the best way forward for the party and the country.

Do I agree with everything Sanders has ever done in his political career? No, but I understand why he did some of them. Take the gun issue for instance. It seems crazy that a progressive would vote against gun legislation. But that’s because you’ve never lived in Vermont. I lived in Vermont and worked there as a reporter. I even met Sanders several times while covering stories. Vermonters, as a whole, do not support gun regulations. When I lived there, there was literally no state gun laws. You could carry a concealed pistol. You can drive around with a gun in your car. As long as you weren’t violating federal law, there was nothing you couldn’t do with a gun in Vermont and vermonters like it that way.

Since I moved from Vermont in 2014, they have passed some gun regulation laws.

So for Sanders to not support gun regulations at the federal level, that’s Sanders representing his constituency. That’s what politicians are supposed to do. He wasn’t wrong to do it, even if I disagreed with him doing it.

My point of this rambling screed is that Democrats need to calm the fuck down. We need to treat each other with a modicum of respect. It’s OK if you think Sanders sucks. It’s OK to explain why you think Sanders sucks. But it’s not OK to try to invalidate another person because they don’t agree with you. People who voted for Sanders aren’t Russian bots. We’re not “Bernie bros.” We’re Democrats. We’re Democrats who want to see the party embrace aggressive progressivism.

In 2018, we saw that work too.

Many newly elected Democrats support real and immediate progressive policies and reject incrementalism masquerading as pragmatism.

But when it comes time to vote, we’re all Democrats and we should all vote accordingly.

Special Counsel has a Nude Selfie

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has a nude selfie of someone. We don’t know who that someone is, but it’s apparently real.

A court document filed on Thursday, December 27, 2018, lawyer, Eric A. Dubelier, representing Concord Management and Consulting LLC challenges Mueller’s argument to withhold information from Dubelier’s client.

I’m not a lawyer, but apparently, Mueller is claiming national security as a legal basis to deny Concord Management’s access to evidence in discovery.

At the end of what is an oddly worded court document, Dubelier writes, “Could the manner in which he collected a nude selfie really threaten the national security of the United States?”

The document doesn’t say who is the subject of the nude photo, but it’s pretty clear that no one hopes that it’s Donald Trump.

Michael Flynn Court Documents

Here’s a list of some of the more interesting United States of America v. Michael T. Flynn criminal case.