Monday, May 27, 2024

Meanwhile, back at the trial...

 

Meanwhile, back in lower Manhattan, Judge Juan Merchan has apparently instructed the jury in the Felonious Lying Check Stubs Trial that they can effectively make up any excuse they want for finding Trump guilty.  It's now a virtual certainty that Trump will be a 'convicted felon' by the end of the week.

What then?  Immediately, Merchan will order Trump jailed, likely at Rikers Island.  That same evening, Biden will be awakened and hopped up on enough drugs to keep him cogent, and he will announce that, because a jailed ex-President is such a disgrace to the nation, Trump's Secret Service protection is revoked.  Who ever heard of a jailed felon having resident bodyguards? The announcement may already be 'in the can' and just waiting for the right moment to be played.

Overnight, some lifer at Rikers will slip a sharp piece of cutlery into Trump's kidneys, and the Democrats' distress over their lousy poll numbers will magically evaporate.  Before a higher court can overturn the guilty verdict (on any of the several dozen reversible errors Merchan has gleefully made), the issue will have become moot.

MSNBC and CNN anchors will put on their surprised faces.  Who could possibly have seen that coming?

Problem solved.

 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Sunk By Their Own Torpedo

 

Today is the last day a governor might replace a House Representative who resigns.  Coincidentally, one Republican Congressman has announced that he will resign on April 19th, tomorrow.  As of that point, the makeup of the House will be 217 Republicans and 213 Democrats.

Marjorie Taylor Greene has already threatened to introduce a motion to vacate the chair, and Thomas Massie has indicated that he will support a move to bump Mike Johnson out of the Speakership.  Let's assume the Republicans have a death-wish and will carry that plan through.

If Johnson is removed as Speaker, the Democrats will nominate Hakeem Jeffries as Speaker.  Only three never-Trump Republicans are needed to hand the gavel to Jeffries on a 216-214 split; all the Democrats will support Jeffries, and all three branches will then be controlled by a single party.

The first order of business for the new Speaker will be to pass a very short bill declaring that Donald Trump committed insurrection on January 6th, 2021.  The Democrat-controlled Senate will pass that bill the same day, and it will be rushed over to 1600 Pennsylvania where a Presidential aide will shake Biden awake and say "Joe, wake up; sign this."

Suddenly, as with the stroke of a pen, it will become a non-starter for the Republicans to nominate Trump as their Presidential candidate since he will be unable to assume that office even if elected.  By 2028, Trump will be too old to be a viable candidate.  His political career will be over.  Nikki Haley will be the Republican nominee, and it won't matter who wins because the end product is the same.

Yes, of course, such a move by the Democrats will be overturned by SCOTUS since it denied Trump the due process the Constitution demands, but by then it will be 'all over but the shouting'.

Are the Republicans stupid enough to score an own-goal?  Alas, it appears the answer is 'yes'.

 

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

 

Mike Vanderboegh, may his soul be at rest, often remarked that the Roman Empire fell, among other reasons, because they could not satisfactorily answer one critical question: (in Latin) Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?;  (in English) Who will guard the guards?  If the American Empire falls, it will be for the same reason.  It may, in fact, be true that every empire falls in the same way.

We are watching the installation of an undeniable two-tier justice system eerily reminiscent of countries we justifiably sneer at as "banana republics":  if you are allied with the right people, you will be punished lightly or not at all for any transgressions;  if you are allied with the wrong people, no sin is too slight to warrant draconian punishment even, or especially, if there was no identifiable 'sin' at all.  The latest example, only one of dozens or hundreds, is the imposition of a monumental fine for engaging in typical, normal business practices.  I refer, of course, to the $454 million fine (including interest) levied against Donald Trump for fraudulent business dealings — for which the State was unable to identify a single person who claimed to have been defrauded.

That fine is the largest fine imposed on an individual in all of recorded history.  Yes, corporations have been fined greater amounts, but they are corporations, often with assets that dwarf even the Trump organization, and certainly larger by orders of magnitude than anything Donald Trump ever claimed.  As a result, Trump is unable to find a bonding company that will issue a bond for it, and New York State law is that one may not appeal a verdict without posting a bond for the full amount of the judgement.  Trump will be forced to pay the judgement in cash and hope to have the fine reduced on appeal.

Anyone who hasn't already said to themselves "Wow, that sure doesn't sound like 'justice' is probably named Letitia James or Arthur Engoron.  NYS Governor Kathy Hochul has already made a public service announcement in which she assured all the movers-and-shakers doing business in New York that they have nothing to worry about unless they're named 'Trump'.

In fact, it appears Trump has acquired the proper amount of cash and is preparing to pay the fine preparatory to an appeal.  The outcome of that appeal is in doubt because it's the New York State Court of Appeals, after which the next stop is the New York State Supreme Court before a final appeal can be made to the United States Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Kevin O'Leary and several other investment brokers have all halted — full stop — all investment into anything in the state.  Unless a more rational court puts a stop to this embarrassment, Judge Arthur Engoron and NYS AG Letitia James have just strangled their employer.

 

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

What is an American?

 

On MSNBC recently, a Politico reporter named Heidi Przybyla, talking about "Christian Nationalists" said:

The thing that unites them as Christian nationalists... not Christians because Christian nationalists are very different... is that they believe that our rights as Americans and as all human beings do not come from any Earthly authority.  They don’t come from Congress, from the Supreme Court, they come from God.  The problem with that is that they are determining... men... are determining what God is telling them.

Now, of course, Heidi is entitled to her own opinions, but as Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan(D-NY) correctly pointed out, she is not entitled to her own facts, and the plain fact of the matter is that the Declaration of Independence is the cornerstone document of our polity.  Without it, we Americans would not have a "founding philosophy", and America's founding philosophy is this:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,  that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,  that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men...

That is: our rights are ours from birth not by a grant from any earthly government, and that, in fact, government's sole purpose in life is to make sure those rights are 'secure'.  "But... from God?" you ask.  "What if I don't believe in God?"  Then your rights come to you from Nature or whichever metaphysical entity least offends your tender sensibilities... but they don't come from government.  Government is, by its language, presumed to come into existence after you have those rights.  It cannot, therefore, be the source of those rights.

I continue to hold the unshakeable belief that anyone who takes serious objection to the Declaration of Independence should not... in fact, cannot... call themselves "an American".

 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Section 5

 

Colorado has barred Trump from the Republican primary ballot because he is an insurrectionist, but the Colorado Supreme Court has stayed that order pending an expected appeal (which was done the next business day) to the U. S. Supreme Court.  The order thus remains stayed until SCOTUS rules on the issue.

Maine's Secretary of State has ruled, following an inquiry or inquest, that Trump is an insurrectionist and is thus barred from appearing on the ballot.  That order was also stayed pending an expected appeal to the Supreme Court, which appeal was timely filed.  That order, similarly, remains stayed until SCOTUS rules on the issue.

Both states took their respective actions because of a belief that "section 3 is self-enforcing".  Really? 

Well, really, no.  They should have kept reading.  Had they done so, they would have read down to section 5 where it says:

The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
That is: section 3 is not self-enforcing.  Enforcement is up to Congress, not States, and there is presently no appropriate legislation produced by Congress.

SCOTUS will, if they aren't fatally compromised, deliver a 9-0 ruling that neither Colorado nor Maine nor any other State may usurp power delegated to Congress and to none other.

A slam dunk, as Alina Habba opined.

—==+++==—

Update (3-4-24): The Supreme Court today ruled 9-0 that states do not have the power to enforce Section 3 absent action by Congress via Section 5.

 

Monday, October 30, 2023

Insurrection!

 

The Progressive Left is getting frantic.  Every time they indict Trump, his poll numbers go up.  The calls to prohibit Trump from the ballot because of his participation in the January 6th 'insurrection' have started anew, but they have a small problem.  Several of them, actually.

The first problem is proving — other than introducing New York Times editorials — that there was an insurrection.  The second is proving that some particular person (in this case: Trump) was a participant.

Since both those issues involve criminal behavior, the rules of criminal procedure apply, and that's the third problem.  My guess is that everyone who bleats about the 14th Amendment and permanently barring Trump from elective office under its provisions is too stupid to realize that it takes more than a simple accusation to prove that an insurrection actually happened, or that some person is/was an insurrectionist.  'Due process' is owed to any such defendant, even if the defendant is Donald Trump.

Either that, or they're hoping you're too stupid to ask the obvious question:

Why has no DA or AG actually charged Trump with the crime of insurrection?

And there does not exist any Secretary of State who is brave enough or foolhardy enough to actually order Trump to be excluded from the ballot without an actual conviction for insurrection, because that would be 'election interference' right out in the open where it couldn't be denied.  Something like that could end a career.

So if you happen to be one of those who has suggested Trump be barred from public office because he's an insurrectionist, it may be time to STFU.

 

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Target: General Aviation

 

The EPA has decided that leaded aviation fuel (avgas) is an environmental hazard.  In effect, the EPA has painted a huge target onto the sides of virtually all light aircraft used by the General Aviation community.  Spared from the ax will be anyone flush enough to own a jet-powered aircraft, and anyone who flies Part 103 (ultralights) because neither needs leaded fuel.

An article in the Orange County Register notes that "Lead isn’t in the jet fuel used by commercial aircraft", and that's true.  Jet fuel is — with all the lace around the edges stripped off — either kerosene or naphtha (cigarette lighter fluid), and neither are supplemented with tetraethyl lead, but avgas is because it improves performance in piston engines enough to allow them to actually... you know... fly.

So, what does the EPA want?  Probably, they are going to require that all engines that currently run on 100LL (100 octane low-lead) be converted to use unleaded fuel.  They will do this by interfering, legislatively or economically or both, with the production of 100LL.  The approximately quarter-million owners of such aircraft will be faced with replacing their existing power plants with ones that can run on unleaded avgas with an octane number well above 100.  Retrofitting existing engines will likely be cost-prohibitive.  General aviation, already quite expensive, is going to get even more so.  In fact, this may spell the end of most GA and the resulting closure of many small private and municipal airports.

So you typically commute in your Cessna 172 between Tallahassee and Sarasota?  Well, good thing for you that Delta flies SRQ-ATL-TLH (and return) and it only takes a little over five hours each way!  That 240 mile trip that your Cessna can do in about 90 minutes — starting whenever you wish — can now be done in just 312 minutes, but you have to get up at 4:30 to be at the airport by 5:30 for your 7:00am flight.  $450 dollars!  Cheap!  Not as cheap as flying yourself, and you can only do it twice a week because 'schedules', but you no longer need to rent a spot at the airport or have insurance on the airplane.  Think of all the money you'll save!  (Other trips by extension.)

Cherchez l'argent.  This is a giant pile of loot being redirected to the very small community of commercial aviation from the very large community of general aviation.