Trump's Presidency: Is this the next domino to fall?

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Gee, who would have thought that former congressional counsel would oppose Trump trying to seize powers duly delegated to Congress in the Constitution?

 

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Eight former top lawyers for the House of Representatives are backing a House lawsuit seeking to block President Donald Trump from spending billions of dollars of federal funds on a border wall without any specific authorization from Congress.

 

Attorneys who served a bipartisan set of speakers over the past four decades filed a brief Monday urging U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden to rule that the House has standing to pursue the border wall suit and that the dispute is a proper one for the courts despite the reluctance of many judges to weigh in on fights between Congress and the president.

 

“Congress has voted not to provide $8 billion for a border wall, doing so after a drawn-out standoff with the executive branch that led to the longest government shutdown in history. Congress has used all of the political tools in its box, the amicus brief says. “Congress has used all of the political tools in its box.”

 

The suit was filed last month by the House in federal court in Washington after Trump announced plans to tap $8.1 billion in drug interdiction and military construction funds to build the wall despite Congress only appropriating $1.375 billion for border fencing projects in the current fiscal year. Administration officials have argued that much of the funding was unlocked by declaration Trump signed declaring a national emergency due to prospective migrants trying to stream across the border.

 

Justice Department lawyers’ first substantive response to the House suit is due Wednesday. Those attorneys are expected to argue that the courts should essentially butt out of the case and leave the Congress and the administration to battle out the issue in other ways.

 

However, the former House lawyers seek to preempt those arguments by saying Trump’s actions in announcing his plans to proceed with the border wall are such an egregious rebuff of Congress’s appropriations power under the Constitution that adjudicating the suit doesn’t risk courts being drawn into every funding dispute between Congress and the White House or federal agencies.

 

“If there is any slippery slope to fear here, it is what would happen if the House lacked standing to enforce the Appropriations Clause: In such circumstances, the Executive would have an open invitation to flout Congress’s appropriations decisions and to spend funds as it pleases without fear of consequences (save, perhaps, in extreme cases, that of impeachment),” the brief from the former general counsels says, adding that the suit will “restore, not upset, the intended separation of powers between the three branches of government.”

 

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WalterA2 hours ago
Remember all the stories about former prosecutors who would have arrested Hillary? Me neither.

 

 
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In a clear message from the rank and file at the IRS, Trump's tax returns from 1985-1994 are passed onto the NYT. The picture is about what I expected. He's a fairly large failure and, as one billionaire said, "not a billionaire...he's a broke guy who lives on loans." It'll be very difficult for Trump to find the leaker when he has shit all over all of the federal law enforcement community, nu?

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Here's your "BOOM!" of the day (for people who run around talking about booms)

 

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House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) sent letters Tuesday calling for eight current and former Trump administration officials to provide information for two of the panel’s investigations, cautioning that officials who block the interviews from taking place could see their salaries withheld.

"Please be advised that any official at the Department who 'prohibits or prevents' or 'attempts or threatens to prohibit or prevent' any officer or employee of the Federal Government from speaking with the Committee could have his or her salary withheld pursuant to section 713 of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act," Cummings wrote in the letters.

The move is the latest in an escalating power struggle between the Trump administration and House Democrats over investigations. Tensions between the White House and congressional Democrats have amplified in recent weeks, with President Trump telling reporters last month that he plans to fight "all the subpoenas."

The White House has directed multiple officials to ignore requests by House Democrats to turn over documents to the committee.

The committee noted seven of the eight interview requests recently made related to the panel’s probes were either denied or remain unanswered.

One interview request related to the addition of a question on citizenship to the 2020 census, and another was on whether Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and his staff complied with federal record-keeping laws.

In a letter sent to Director of Congressional and Legislative Affairs Cole Rojewski, Cummings noted the Department of Interior has not made Catherine Gulac, the administrative assistant to the deputy secretary; Gareth Rees, the executive assistant to the Office of the Deputy Secretary and Todd Willens, the acting chief of staff and associate deputy secretary — the four officials the committee asked to interview for the Interior probe — available, nor has the department provided documents requested by the committee despite receiving the request in March.

 

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27 minutes ago, jeremytwo said:

 

 

 

 

Hoops, you're fu'in' nicked my son! I got you banged to rights! Copy pastin' on TT! ha!

 

 

Is there a difference between our two posts?

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President Donald Trump on Sunday threatened to raise tariffseven higher on some Chinese products as he repeated the lie that China pays tariffs directly to the U.S. Treasury.

He claimed the “payments” have led to the improvement in the U.S. economy.

In fact, American consumers absorb the cost of tariffs on imported Chinese goods by paying higher prices for the products. The added costs are essentially a regressive tax on consumers because they’re not linked to income levels.

Trump tweeted his intention to hike tariffs to 25% on Friday and threatened to add tariffs to more products. The announcement sent global markets swooning as investors worried Trump’s threat could scuttle trade talks with China and deal a  blow to both economies. The Wall Street Journal reported that China is considering canceling the trade talks in light of Trump’s threats. 

Trump has repeatedly claimed — despite multiple criticisms and corrections — that China pays tariffs directly to the U.S. But the tariffs are placed on goods imported from China. Importers. such as Costco, pay the fees to the U.S. and typically pass on some or all of the extra costs to American consumers in the form of higher prices.

The tariffs are a penalty on Chinese goods (including products made in China by American companies) that make them less competitive, not a tax on the Chinese government or Chinese companies, unless the companies have American operations that are importing goods to the U.S.

China in turn has placed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, hitting American farmers particularly hard. They are suffering record bankruptcies despite some $12 billion in new subsidies from American taxpayers earmarked to mitigate the impact of Trump’s trade war.

Economists have estimated that the trade war is costing the U.S. more than $3 billion a month.

A University of Chicago study found that consumers paid an extra $1.5 billion for washing machines last year because of a Trump tariff imposed at the behest of Whirpool Corp. that only added $82 million to U.S. coffers. That was because manufacturers got away with charging more for dryers along with washing machines, even though no tariffs were added to the cost of dryers.

People on Twitter again pointed out Trump’s stubborn insistence on mischaracterizing the tariffs

 

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Article and associated Tweets here

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1 hour ago, hooperski said:

Is there a difference between our two posts?

 

Why yes there is old chap. My links are clearly attributed back to the source - Twitter, Youtube et al. The section of text here to the left from "Why yes... to et al" is my own writing, attributable to me. 

 

Do you understand the difference now between quoting and copy-pasting?

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Still purloined material, not original. Just saying ...

( In future any jokes that my mates send me, I'll check that they are organic and locally sourced )

 

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1 hour ago, hooperski said:

Still purloined material, not original. Just saying ...

 

Best not mention the various threads about jokes that some of us so prolifically post to ;)  

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6 hours ago, AlexTr said:

In a clear message from the rank and file at the IRS, Trump's tax returns from 1985-1994 are passed onto the NYT. The picture is about what I expected. He's a fairly large failure and, as one billionaire said, "not a billionaire...he's a broke guy who lives on loans." It'll be very difficult for Trump to find the leaker when he has shit all over all of the federal law enforcement community, nu?

 

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Well, now, this is some next-level bed-shitting, isn't it?

 

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President Trump asserted executive privilege on Wednesday in an effort to shield hidden portions of Robert S. Mueller III’s unredacted report and the evidence he collected from Congress.

 

The assertion, Mr. Trump’s first use of the secrecy powers as president, came as the House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote Wednesday morning to recommend the House of Representatives hold Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena for the same material.

 

“This is to advise you that the president has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials,” a Justice Department official, Stephen E. Boyd, wrote Wednesday morning, referencing not only the Mueller report but the underlying evidence that House Democrats are seeking.

 

Mr. Barr released a redacted version of the special counsel’s 448-page report voluntarily last month. But Democrats say that is not good enough, and they have accused the attorney general of stonewalling a legitimate request for material they need to carry out an investigation into possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power by Mr. Trump.

 

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The hosts over at Fox & Friends have spent their morning gushing with praise for Donald Trump after The New York Timesrevealed records showing that he lost over $1 billion over a ten-year period.

The president’s most loyal newscasters tried very hard to find a way to put a positive spin on the numbers that showed that Trump lost a total of $1.17 billion from 1985 to 1994—so much that he was able to avoid paying income taxes for eight of the 10 years, according to the report.

“If anything, you read this and you’re like ‘Wow, it’s pretty impressive, all the things that he’s done in his life,’ said breathless host Ainsley Earhardt. “It’s beyond what most of us could ever achieve.”

In a way, she’s right that Trump’s efforts were unmatched at the time. In 1990 and 1991, Trump reported losses of more than $250 million—more than double that of any other high-income individual U.S. taxpayer for those years, according to calculations from the Times.

Co-host Brian Kilmeade chipped in: “He lost a lot of money over the course of 10 years, if you consider a billion dollars a lot of money.”

Kilmeade went on to argue that the numbers make sense when you consider that Trump is a “bold businessman,” and that the numbers simply were simply a “chronicle” of an adventurous risk-taker.

“It’s as if you buy something and it doesn’t pay out right away or ever you’re a loser,” he said. “No, you take shots, you have an opportunity to do things, that’s the way you live. The reason why we all knew Donald Trump’s name is because for 30 years that’s what he did... What do people not understand about he’s a little bit different from most people?”

In his own defense of his business record Wednesday morning, Trump insisted that his suffering of more than $1 billion in business losses was actually part of his plan all along. He argued that his losses created a “tax shelter,” which “almost all real estate developers did” at the time.

But, appearing as a pundit on Fox & Friends, Newt Gingrich made the most audacious defense of Trump, saying that the president’s dodgy dealings prove that he was right to bring in huge tax cuts for the wealthy.

“When you lower taxes, there is less reason to have shelters, and when you lower taxes there is less reason to create losses for tax purposes,” said the former House speaker. “So, in a very real way, the Trump tax cuts are vindicated by The New York Times story.”

Imagine what they would have said if Trump had actually been proven to have made a profit.

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

the president’s dodgy dealings

 

Dastardly Donny, the Dodgy Dealer...

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