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Tuesday, July 2, 2024

The Republic Is Dead, Long Live The Republic

 

 

Poor man wanna be rich
Rich man wanna be king
And a king ain't satisfied
'till he rules everything
-- Bruce SpringsteenBadlands


Thus ends The Republic.

Hail! Mr. President.


It should never have come to this, 

But, hey, at least democracy was fun while it lasted.

I made a pithy comment. 

A couple of them actually, as is my wont. 

Well, maybe not so much pithy as bitterly sardonic observations on yesterday's Supreme Court Ruling. 

Here's one:

I'm not a lawyer, so I'm not sure how this works, but basically Biden is President For Life now, right? So, does Biden just "officially" cancel the election or do we have to break some windows and beat up cops first?

Sarcasm, right? 

Obviously a reference to January 6th, 2021 and the violent actions of the then president and his howling rabble. A reference to that president's impeachment and the legal troubles he finds himself in (for now). 

Right? Obviously. 

Meta, the platform behind Facebook, Instagram, and Threads, removed it. 


"It looks like you shared or sent something that could encourage violence and lead to risk of physical harm, or a direct threat to public safety."

I beg your pardon? I did what now? 

"This goes against our Community Guidelines on violence and incitement."

Community guidelines on violence and incitement, you say? 

I literally laughed out loud. 

Literally laughed loud enough to scare the dog out of a sound sleep. 

Hilarious. 

Absolutely fucking hilarious.

Meta removed a number of similar posts from my various timelines. And it just kept getting funnier to me. 

Funny ha ha, but also funny ironic. 

You see, Mark Zuckerberg has higher standards against incitement of violence and threats to the public safety than the Supreme Court

Mark Zuckerberg. That Mark Zuckerberg. That Facebook. That Meta. 

Hilarious.

And what's even funnier is that I've now faced more consequences for allegedly inciting violence against the Republic than Donald Trump has or ever will -- because he's now officially immune from the consequences of his own actions and I as a mere plebe of the Imperium am most assuredly not

Quod Erat Demonstrandum and Hail! Caesar. 

Somewhere right now, up there in Republican heaven, Richard Milhous Nixon is swearing bitterly and staring down in utter disbelief at those who called John Roberts a "moderate conservative."

And, yeah, while that's probably hyperbole, the truth of the matter is the Roberts Court would have let Tricky Dick get away with it. 

And the really ironic part here is that this Republican Supreme Court hasn't just sounded the death knell of The Republic by making the president Caesar, immune from the law and from the consequences of his own actions, but the Court has effectively killed itself

I mean, what's the point of a Legislative or Judicial Branch when the Executive has unlimited power and absolute immunity?

The checks and balances of the American government are now effectively null and void, because with absolute executive immunity comes absolute immunity from both the Court and from Congress. 

And that's exactly what this ruling does. 


But then again, what would you expect from a Court that has no enforceable ethical code of conduct and refuses to even consider one? 


The majority opinion, penned by Roberts himself alleges the founders of this country, the Framers of the Constitution, those men who'd just fought a bloody war of rebellion to free themselves from a monarch utterly immune from accountability and the law, actually envisioned an Executive who would likewise be immune from the law and accountability but is also somehow not a king. 

Ur?

Never mind, he's rollin'

The opinion uses words like “vigorous,” “energetic," "decisive," and "speedy execution” of the president's duty to "faithfully execute" the law -- something the president has been able to do for 248 years, through multiple wars and myriad national emergencies, somehow without having absolute immunity. 

But today in this new age, apparently the law cannot be executed vigorously, energetically, decisively, or in a speedy fashion if the president actually has to obey the law he's "faithfully" executing. 

Explain to me how the guy charged with enforcing the law should be immune from it. 

Explain it to me like I'm not a lawyer. Go ahead. 

Why does this only apply to Presidents? Why shouldn't attorney generals be likewise immune from the law, or the police, or Supreme Court Justices ... okay, those are bad examples but I think I've made my point here. 

The President must have “absolute immunity” for any “official act within his exclusive sphere of constitutional authority," reasons the Chief Justice.

Now, again, I'm not a lawyer, but I noticed that the Chief Justice and his conservative Trump-appointed coconspirators on the Court didn't bother to define "official acts." That seems a strange omission, doesn't it? If they didn't define official acts, who does? The president? And Republicans don't see this as problematic?

But of course they wouldn't, would they? 

But wait, there's more. 

The opinion also offers up something called “presumptive immunity.” 

Now, you'd think "absolute immunity" would cover it. If you have absolute immunity, how much more immunity do you need? That's pretty much what "absolute" means, isn't it?

Ha ha. No. 

According to John Roberts, the President also gets "presumptive immunity" for any action that falls outside his "official" duties, but within “the outer perimeter of his official responsibility.” 

So there's official official and then there's also some other sort of official that's less official but also still official. 

See? That's why I'm not a lawyer. 

Anyway, this presidenting gig sounds like good work if you can get it. 

As in the above decision regarding absolute immunity for official acts, the court doesn't provide any definition of "outer perimeter of official responsibility" or what non-official official duties might fall into it. 

Confused? 

It gets better, because Roberts goes on to say that this presumptive immunity for acts taken in the outer perimeter of officialdom might actually be absolute immunity after all, but “we need not decide that question today.” 

So, we've determined there are official acts that get absolute immunity and there are less official acts that get presumptive immunity, but those less official acts might actually be official acts and entitled to absolute immunity instead of presumptive immunity but we don't have to actually spell out what any of those acts actually are today because something something gazpacho and the lower courts will just figure it out. Probably.


I'll pause for a minute so you can wipe at the blood which is no doubt running from you ear about now. 


Unofficial acts, says Roberts, are not entitled to immunity, presumptive or absolute. 

Oh, well, that's good. 

We can hold the President accountable for unofficial acts. 

Unofficial acts.

Unofficial. 

The president can be held accountable for unofficial acts.

Heh heh. Riiiight

When the president does it, that means it is not illegal!
-- Richard Nixon, 1977

Guess what? Turns out, Nixon was right. 

If absolute immunity is only for official acts, then immunity is always going to be absolute because you can bet that when the president does it, whatever it is, it's always -- always -- going to be "official."

Bet on it. 

You know why? Because the same court who made this decision, will make that one too. 

And thus, the president can't be indicted and he can't be impeached. 

There is no longer any Constitutional or governmental method of restraining a president. 

And there is now no accountability to the American people whatsoever, not even voting if a president choses to "officially" ignore an unfavorable election and order his VP to change the results. That is exactly what the Supreme Court just said. This is quite literally the crux of this entire argument. That's what started all of this, a president who refused to accept the results of the election and who attempted to nullify those results through violence in order to seize power. Those are now official acts and immune from the law. 

Up above I said I'd made a number of comments on social media that were later removed. 

Here's another one:

When they line us up in front of that ditch they made us dig in the field outside the concentration camp gates, just before one of Supreme General Mike Flynn's Hauptsturmführers gives the order to fire, I'll be the guy who smacks you in the back of the head and snarls "I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO."

The post got several hundred responses.

-- You won't get the chance, I won't be there. I'm going for their throats with my bare teeth when they show up to "detain me for reeducation". They're going to have to shoot in the street in front of my own house in front of everybody.

-- I won't get there. I will take a few with me first.

-- Before that happens, I'm going to take out as many of those single helix mutant pieces of shit neckbeards as possible. You're welcome to join me. I will not go quietly.

-- Im not going down without taking a few of them with me.. jfs

-- I’ll be the girl who turns around and storms the bad guys. They may kill me, but I’ll go down fighting.

There were many, many more in the same spirit, I was in the process of recording them when Threads took the post down and I lost access to the feed. 

We'll go down fighting! 

Yeah. Great. Cool. I admire your spirit. War is fun. You're gonna love it. But the thing is, we wouldn't have to die fighting -- if you all showed the same grit at the ballot box. 

Now, I'm not saying that those who shouted defiance up above didn't themselves vote. They follow me, they likely did. 

But a lot of Americans didn't. 

And they won't this time either -- despite their promise to go down fighting. 

It should never have come to this and where does that leave us? 

If the president does it, it's official. And if it's official then the president can't be impeached and he can't be indicted and he can't be convicted and he can't be held accountable to the people. He is, de facto, Caesar. 

Or Vladimir Putin. Pick you poison. 

That is literally Trump's entire argument. 

Everything he did in office is official. He can't be impeached for it, he can't be prosecuted for it, and he fully intends to do it again, until he really is Caesar, or Putin. 

And the Court said, Okay. 

I'm not a lawyer, don't take my word for it. Instead listen to what Justice Sotomayor said:

The Court effectively creates a law-free zone around the President, upsetting the status quo that has existed since the Founding. … When he uses his official powers in any way, under the majority’s reasoning, he now will be insulated from criminal prosecution. Orders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.

Let the President violate the law, let him exploit the trappings of his office for personal gain, let him use his official power for evil ends. Because if he knew that he may one day face liability for breaking the law, he might not be as bold and fearless as we would like him to be.

That is the majority’s message today. 

Even if these nightmare scenarios never play out, and I pray they never do, the damage has been done. The relationship between the President and the people he serves has shifted irrevocably. In every use of official power, the President is now a king above the law.

We probably could have avoided a lot of trouble and been much further ahead if we'd just paid our taxes, drank our tea, and knuckled under to King George III. 

If nothing else, at least we'd have universal healthcare today. 

So, where does that leave us? 

Beyond guillotines and the Second Amendment, I mean.  

November. 

That's where it leaves us. 

We have one chance to fix this without bloody war and revolution, and even that is a dicey proposition. 

I lied up above. War isn't fun. Killing people is terrible. It's dirty and it's ugly and it's fucking horrifying and if you survive you'll never ever get the smell of death out of your brain. Ever. We're out of options. You don't get the luxury of sitting this one out or throwing away your vote because you don't like the choices. And bluntly, if you don't have what it takes to show up and vote, you probably don't have what it takes to pick up a gun and fight tyranny on the battlefield either. 

It should never have come to this. 

You want want a better nation, you're going to have to be better citizens. 


With fear for our democracy, I dissent.
-- Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor








92 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. While I concur (in fear and trembling) about our political peril, I also concur with Meta's removal of your posts. Respectfully. Anyone can hide behind the defense of "just kidding." It may be true for you but false for the Proud Boy who posts the same language. If we support the idea of everyone's being subject to the same rules, then it follows that some comments might be too much even if you didn't really mean them.

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    2. But… they leave those ones UP.

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    3. I took an oath and fought on foreign soil for this country once. I told myself I'd never use a gun again except in defense of my home and family.

      However, if it comes down to it, I will reluctantly dust off my BDU's and step forward to fulfill that oath once again. Because this time I will honestly be fighting for my home, family, and the CONSTITUTION that defines our way of life.

      "All enemies, foreign and domestic"...

      PLEASE, VOTE!

      I really don't want to have to kill my fellow countrymen. because make no mistake, that is the timeline we are currently marching toward.

      “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,”

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  2. I was hoping you would have another essay today, but I am royally pissed off that your posts were removed. What the actual hell? Any sentient being could determine what you were saying was not invoking violence. But then what do I know? I am a senior citizen who remembers Watergate and Nixon well. I thought Nixon had the most perverted view on presidential powers, but I guess I just lacked imagination. Now, my promise to you. I have voted in every single election, but although I have knocked on doors (even for Dukakis for God's sake), I can't say I've ever taken the time to get someone else to the voting booth. I promise to get at least two other citizens to vote. Minimum. I really am trying to be a better citizen. I am with Justice Sotomayor: With fear for our democracy, I dissent.

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  3. This might be a dumb question, but isn’t the SCOTUS ruling effective as of today, and wouldn’t everything that Trump did during his presidency before today’s judgment NOT fall under that ruling?

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    1. SCOTUS will decide what’s “official” & what isn’t. Pretty sure it won’t apply to a Democratic president in any way. 🤷‍♀️

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    2. The special thing about SCOTUS rulings is that when they define a new understanding of the Constitution, in the eyes of the law things were always that way and it just hadn't been properly understood until then. So a previous case can be re-litigated with this new understanding in place, since the previous decision is now considered to have been based on a misunderstanding.

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    3. That is a good question, actually. However, in this case I think it IS retroactive, because it is not a new law, but an "interpretation of the Constitution", so it was always there from the beginning, but the Court had to "decode" it properly.

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    4. I think they need a new decoder ring; there's seems to be broken or stuck or something.

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  4. I remember years ago when I started reading your thoughts, and ALWAYS found them well reasoned and straightforward realistic.

    That you are saying this puts you and Ms Clinton in that tragic group of "they were right the whole time" and both of you are human enough not to take any satisfaction in it should scare the chocolate pudding out of us all.

    I don't know where we go from here, but gravity says down. God help us all, and to quote another writer I admire "if you aren't armed, you should be".

    I hate the idea of taking up arms against my fellow Americans, and my family is researching expatriation with an eye to go if November proves your fears correct so that hopefully it doesn't come to that, at least for us. Without joy I have purchased weapons that I hate but have been in training to use in defense of my family if needed.

    I am past sick of living in interesting times.



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    1. If you are thinking of leaving, I'll leave you with this anecdote from Afghanistan.

      When one of my friends there started fearing for himself and his family because he was supporting Americans, he got his family out, but he stayed. I asked him why he didn't also just leave, and he told me he was not going to just give up his country to the Taliban.

      His courage has always given me strength, and I will not just leave and give up our country to the American Taliban.

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  5. I have been wounded to my deepest core by the actions of this conglomeration of ChristoFascists, and social media seems bound and determined to amplify anything destructive to democracy and suppress anything they perceive as resistance. I'm terrified for the world my grandchildren will inherit.

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  6. Oh lord, I dread what's coming! I truly fear for our country now.

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  7. Vote! To save our Democracy

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  8. You've been spot on in foretelling how, in previous essays, this democracy has been crumbling and this one is the scariest to date because you can't be wrong with this warning, but I wish you were. I am afraid for the lives of my children and grand-children and all of those who remain clueless.

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  9. As usual, I agree with you wholeheartedly. First time ever, earlier today, I wrote a letter to the President. I asked him to send our Military to arrest the so-called Conservative Justices as enemies of the Constitution. I am sure that I will think of more to write to him if I can manage to calm down enough and quit crying over the loss of our Democracy.

    I have NOT bought a gun .. yet .. but if Trump manages to get re-elected .. We are all screwed!!! I DISSENT!!!

    https://barbaraburns.blogspot.com/2024/07/the-american-people-need-bold-decisive.html

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  10. I'm 72. When I was growing up with a father who served in ww11 and a mom that worked for Boeing during the war we were taught patriotic behavior was community centered. And this was brought home yesterday with a piece from heather cox richardson who said that our best chance of being able to weather this was community centered....I grew up with stories about grandmothers rolling bandages to be sent to the front. And ration books that insured soldiers getting enough. I think you and Heather are right. We need to be invested in our country in a way we haven't been . So I pledge to volunteer to help kids read. My own personal commitment may be small but we can't have a country without literacy. And as for this election I will vote for my country. I don't care who is the democratic candidate is. I will vote blue. This is bigger than a president who serves for 4 or 8 years. This is about my country

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    1. We have two Supreme that proudly wear their asshats to every decision, two who handle theirs with the thought of donning them and one who at least admires hers from afar. It would not be the first time the SCOTUS was expanded in order to achieve balance. Biden should appoint 4 associate justices immediately. Better yet... he should have done that 2+ years ago.

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  11. You are correct as usual Jim.

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  12. Can we please stop referring to this as the Roberts Court and use the correct name? This is the Dr. Ernst Jannings Court. (If you don't get the reference, see Judgment at Nuremberg, the movie). Remember everything Hitler did was LEGAL because the Courts at the time said so. Isn't this where we are now? Nixon was right and George Washington is turning over in his grave.

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    1. This scares the crap our of me. I cry when I think of George Washington refusing further public service, retiring with grace, and the monster we may be dealing with come November. Damn right I'm voting.

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  13. Sign me up. I’m ready to do battle…starting with getting out the vote. Then..voting. Then….defending our vote when MAGA comes calling at Congress again. I’m so tired of this fucking shit.

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  14. FB and I have been going round and round for over a month now. Removal of posts with official court documents, youtube videos of official proceedings on the hill ....even a white house briefing. I contest each and every thing they remove. Win some, lose some. On the plus side my 3 grandchildren are now watching/reading everything on current events as they become 'official adults' . We are having wonderful discussions abt the course of current events. I couldn't be more pleased that I'll be leaving 3 rebels when the day comes that I get tired of the fight or leave this earth. At the present, I'm with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer ...... I dissent

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  15. Tom Parks retired police sergeantJuly 2, 2024 at 1:16 PM

    Not nearly to your level, but I saw enough needless deaths in my career to make me a pacifist… until now.
    A democratic victory only buys 4 years, but it’s a start. Unfortunately this is a plot and a coup occurring before our eyes.
    It will not be settled peacefully.

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  16. The tiniest of quibbles: we've had presidents for 235 years, not 248.

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    1. Actually, we had quite a few presidents under the Articles of Confederation. I think that is what Jim used for counting the years.
      https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-articles-of-confederation/john-hanson-story/#:~:text=In%20November%201781%2C%20John%20Hanson,this%20is%20not%20quite%20true.

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  17. You're last paragraph and sentences made me think of Werner Herzog's line about Germany under the Nazis as 1/3 of the population stood by while 1/3 of it murdered the other 1/3. I'm still optimistic, slightly, going forward but fear it's still going to be a close run thing. Thanks.

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  18. What is the end game here?

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    Replies
    1. Read Project 2025 for the blueprint.

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    2. You think it ever ends? It doesn't. I do hope it gets better - but we have to work to make it so.

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  19. Frankly, I am worried about the future for my Grandchildren; I am scared to death for our country. I do not understand why there isn't an uproar from Democratic Americans? The Press has foresaken us, censorship is becoming the norm and I don't see anyone in our legislative leadership doing one damn thing to stop Trump from becoming a dictatorship
    Yes, I will vote but the reality is I don't believe that will be sufficient to save our Democracy.

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    Replies
    1. It won't be sufficient. I will be helping others register and driving them to the polls. I will be talking to my neighbors, my family, my friends and colleagues.
      I will be volunteering and donating where possible.

      I will do everything in my power to elect Democratic Senators, Reps, President, but also judges, governors, attorney generals and dog catchers.

      This country has been good to me. It's the least I can give back.

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  20. Yesterday told me several things.
    1. The speed with which Trump's team sent the request to Merchan means the decision had been leaked to them.
    2. They're not concerned about the possibility of Biden taking advantage of this invented immunity. First, because Biden is an honorable and ethical man (or, as they would say, "weak"). Second, because SCOTUS will be the final arbiter, any action by Biden will be found to be "unofficial."
    3. Because all this is is being done openly and brazenly, they've already gamed out how they will reinstall Trump as president, regardless of the will of the voters.

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    Replies
    1. THIS: "Because all this is is being done openly and brazenly, they've already gamed out how they will reinstall Trump as president, regardless of the will of the voters."

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    2. Good points about a very disturbing reality.

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  21. Do I have this right that by the President merely defining an act to be official, then it is? Without question? I read some things about not being able to question motive or state of mind. Not question others who it may have been discussed or who enacted it for the President. That gives king-like powers.

    But the SCOTUS has the power, too. If a President doesn't define an act as official, then there's the wiggle room for a judge to define an act as official or not. Of course, every challenge will ultimately end up at SCOTUS so they reserved a little of that king-like power for themselves. All they need to do is go visit a friend at their vacation resort island for tea, cookies, and a fat tip and decide an (R) is official and a (D) isn't.

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  22. The Ruling reads like Rummy describing the situation in Iraq:

    "There are Known Knowns, there are Known Unknowns, and there are Unknown Unknowns."

    But Roberts, apparently, and his his Doughty Band of Brothers (and a Sister Wife), will Know 'em when they see 'em. You know?

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  23. This is totally Game Over - enjoy the ride, consummate consumers!

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  24. I agree that november is the one chance we have to prevent this mess from getting worse, but it's gonna be the same crap again in four years, and maybe the Republicans will have a leader that doesn't have sh*t for brains to champion the fascist agenda, and what will happen then? who knows. We are playing Russian roulette with democracy right now.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly! We are always working toward the future we want. Complacency or any version of thinking we are done is not possible.

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  25. THANK YOU!!!! I am sharing this, on FB, and wherever I can link it. Maybe I can get the idiots yelling that we have to go "fight unfair" by getting POTUS to order Trumo taken out now that all presidents are immune to actually listen to YOU. They aren't listening to me while I try to get it through their heads that Trump is not the sole problem, that Project 25 will go on with any GOP, and that their way just means the killing never stops.

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  26. Showing up in Nov. would be a great start, but it's only a start until the court's f'ing ideology is smouldering in the dust heap of history.

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  27. I thought I was crazy, to be reading this and then it disappeared. DAMN!! You mean to tell me that farcebook has more conviction than the damn court?!? I'm NOT going quietly! I'm old, but I will kick, punch, bite until the bitter end. No, I DON'T dissent! What term is stronger that shows my COMPLETE disagreement and TOTAL noncompliance? That's where I am. Thanks, Jim!

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  28. DON'T PANIC, yet. Well, two observations. Firstly, as observed by some of the justices. The courts now have to determine what constitutes an official act. So, Jack Smith and others are now on the spot and need to do their jobs...immediately! The other observation is that the SCOTUS decision now gives Biden the theoretical power to simply say "I believe that Trump (and others) are a direct threat to the country and the justice system is incapable of addressing the issue. Therefore, as President, it is my duty to order the termination of this threat." It would be Homeland Securities job to implement the Presidential order. He could then be impeached because impeachment is a legislative power outside of the justice system. And, if found guilty, removed from office. So, I remain hopeful that our country can yet be saved. But, meanwhile, keeping the 6 P's in mind.

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  29. I have voted in every election since Iwas 18. I have cast absentee ballots when I knew I would be in the hospital, and carried four people along with me. If Trump gets in again, or if we find no way to undo this atrocious ruling in the next few years, I will run for as long as I can, carrying my disabled family members with me, and, when I can't run anymore, I will push the youngest and oldest family members behind me, set as many booby traps between them and me as I can, and I will fight them until I am dead. War doesn't sound like fun; but I have done everything to prevent it that I could.

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  30. Vote blue all the way down. Do not vote third party, do not write in. voting D all the way is the only way.

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  31. Just so. I fear or our country, and am more than tired of those who “just don’t like him.”

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  32. Roberts goes on to say that this presumptive immunity for acts taken in the outer perimeter of officialdom might actually be absolute immunity after all, but “we need not decide that question today.”

    Being a lover of design specifications, I have to say: This sounds an awful lot like "scope creep."

    So, Monday morning, we have this group of "Official Acts" right here that are granted absolute immunity, and bunch of grey-area perimeter acts that are given presumptive immunity. By Monday afternoon, those presumptive immunity actions are now absolute immunity actions, and there will be a NEW bunch of grey-area perimeter acts surrounding those actions that are given presumptive immunity. Then it's Tuesday morning. Then Wednesday morning...

    That circle of actions that get granted absolute immunity keeps growing and growing every time you look at it.

    Just great. Just freakin' great.

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  33. Really scary that we literally and figuratively have presidents that do not have to obey the rule of law anymore. Biden needs to immediately expand the supreme court and do away with this blatantly disgusting ultraconservative majority that is doing exactly what the ultraconservative right wants. We desperately need balance in the supreme court. This is the most shook I have been since Dub and Dick took us to war with Iraq. This decision by the court has such far reaching ramifications. I'm scared for our country and the rule of law.

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  34. Since we're gonna have a king, we might as well get started on his titles. May I offer:

    His Majesty Donald Trump. Worst of his name, King of the Assholes, the Whiners, and the Cursed Men, Lord of the Seven Deadly Sins and Betrayer of the Realm.

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  35. Two problems with November.
    The first is that Trump has already declared that he's going to win the election. So he will sue, it WILL eventually get to the Supreme Court. Now do you really think these assholes are going to say he didn't win?
    The second is that, a day earlier, the SCOTUS declared the judicial branch superior to the other two. That they can override decision made by departments of the government. A massive power grab the SCOTUS, followed by declaring Presidents are Kings.
    I'd bet that the SCOTUS thinks the power they granted themselves will protect them from Trump after they install him in power. They're in for a nasty surprise.

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  36. I guess this is more of an observation than a question, but what power does the SC have to enforce any ruling? The old saw about Andrew Jackson supposed quote of "John Marshal made the rule, let him enforce it" or something like that about the removal of the Cherokee. Congress has the power of impeachment and removal, not the SC.

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  37. I guess this is more of an observation than a question, but what power does the SC have to enforce any ruling? The old saw about Andrew Jackson supposed quote of "John Marshal made the rule, let him enforce it" or something like that about the removal of the Cherokee. Congress has the power of impeachment and removal, not the SC.

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  38. Thank you, Jim. As always, religion has poisoned everything.

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  39. Thank you for the work you do to keep us informed (and sane) in this uninformed and insane world. Today’s essay is brilliant as always!

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  40. And now (of course), Trumplethinskin wants to apply his ill-gotten gain of immunity to l'affaire Stormy Daniels, as if paying off a porn star and illegally covering it up were somehow "official actions". Riiiiiight...

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    1. The funny thing about that is the fact that the presiding judge anticipated this during the trial and is on record saying that since the event happened prior to Trumpypoo (sorry official record says Trump) being "President" it is not covered under any subsequent Presidential immunity findings. Just like the whole documents thing happening after his presidency. Not that it matters much, idiot Dumbocrats are effectively handing the election to Trump by whining like a bunch of pathetic losers because Biden had a bad day during a so called "debate". We live in the beginnings of an idiocracy.

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  41. “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”

    I haven't seen nearly enough - meaning none except from me - discussion about this key point. If Trump, or Biden, were to actually order Seal Team 6 to assassinate their rival, those people would have to decide to actually do it. Presidential power isn't limited just by what the courts allow, but by what their subordinates agree to do.

    Unfortunately, while Biden doesn't have a ready crew of knuckle-dragging mouth breathers willing to break skulls on his orders, Trump does. And because most of them don't officially report to him, he's free to throw them under the bus and disclaim responsibility for their actions once they're caught.

    We're looking at the other side of the coin that says the rich man, like the poor man, is prohibited from sleeping under a bridge. Our side says the Democrat, like the Republican, is allowed to do anything his followers will support.

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  42. Maybe we should have got along with King George the third. Canadians are just as free, perhaps freer, than we are. And they have universal health care.

    The last election I missed was when my absentee ballot didn't catch up with my ship in military mail. 2000. Damn Shrub and the court St. Ronnie and his Daddy packed for him.

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    1. Reminds me of when I had a brain aneurysm, I was in the emergency room, and the doctors were trying to determine my level of competence. They asked me who the president was and I replied "Shrub." The doctors shook their heads but my wife burst out laughing. She told them that anybody from Texas who was to left of Adolph Eichman called him shrub 'cause he was the Bush that ain't grow'd up yet.

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  43. Thank you. And thank you for having multiple ways to talk to us.

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  44. "We probably could have avoided a lot of trouble and been much further ahead if we'd just paid our taxes, drank our tea, and knuckled under to King George III." Just a fun anecdote, Harry Turtledove and Richard Dreyfuss? (yes, that Richard Dreyfuss) wrote an alternate history with this setting: https://a.co/d/0584cQMD

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  45. I got to 204 words and realized I was ranting and nowhere near done, so I figured I could make a separate post if needed.

    Thank you, first and foremost. I hope to do what's reasonably within my realm of influence to help save our republic, but I'm genuinely anxious about the next four to six months. I'll do what I reasonably can - and gods willing none of you will ever know what that is - but for fuck's sake please vote like this may be the last time you're allowed to.

    Becuase it very well could be.

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  46. As the lyrics in Todd Rundgren song Fair Warning says it's up to you and me to fix this You know, wishing won't make it so
    Hoping won't do it, praying won't do it
    Religion won't do it, philosophy won't do it
    The supreme court won't do it,
    The president and the congress won't do it
    The un won't do it, the h-bomb won't do it,
    The sun and the moon won't do it
    And god won't do it,
    And i certainly won't do it
    That leaves you, you'll have to do it

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  47. It seems that SCOTUS in this ruling has usurped the power of Congress as a check on the power of the Executive Branch and vested that power in themselves. (They alone determine what is and isnt an “official act”) What impact does this have if We The People decide that this SCOTUS overstepped their constitutional authority? Clearly I am not a lawyer. But I definitely am among We the People and I am not willing to abdicate my Democracy to an illegitimate decision.

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  48. Have no fear, Stony, for I added several of your post SCOTUS putsch remarks in my new ish of Hot Air '24, page 135 ("You mad?", etc) alongside Katie Phang, Keith Edwards, George Conway, et al. Let freedom ring...

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  49. ExPat who still votesJuly 3, 2024 at 12:12 PM

    It would seem that 6 Supreme Court justices, by themselves, have effectively created a new law. A very bad law indeed. And now New York is delaying the sentencing of convicted felon DJT to consider wether this immunity is effective retroactively for crimes committed before he became president? This is beyond horrible.

    If you do not vote for whomever the Democratic candidate is, YOU are responsible for the destruction that would result from a second, and perhaps indefinite, DJT presidency.

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    1. The NY delay is dumb, but it’s revolving around SCOTUS’s wholly invented notion that “official communications” can’t be used as evidence. I hope Judge Merchan has the stones to order an immediate imprisonment.

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  50. 'Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.'- H.L. Menckin

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  51. Overnight, SCOTUS turns us into a banana republic. SCOTUS, legislating from the bench, grabbing power for themselves, creating the Imperial Court and Imperial Presidency. Corruption in the pay of their wealthy benefactors. Now that he is immune, maybe Biden needs to take a look at Traitor Trump's playbook. Biden's much too principled for that, but if Traitor Trump assumes office, this may very well be our last election.

    SCOTUS needs restructuring to provide staggered, limited terms, with each President getting two appointments each. No more ideological courts.

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  52. Congratulations. Once again you have entered the realm of Banana Republics. May you get out of here in November.

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  53. You are special because they actually removed a comment, albeit one that clearly didn't violate any of their guidelines.

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  54. So yeah, I thought these "conservative" justices were originalists. I'm pretty sure this is not what the framers were thinking when they created the Constitution.

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  55. yep. When the Melon Felon shreds the Constitution, neither the Supreme Court nor Congress will exist except as useful stooges.

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  56. So we have a President right now, with a lot of power (says SCOTUS) can he just cancel the next election and stay in office? Can, or should he, first appoint some "better" Justices to the SC? (maybe Hillary and Michelle, for a start?) I don't know, if JB doesn't want to stay in office, can he appoint his successor? Why not, if his power is absolute? Yes, I and mine will all be voting Blue in November if there is an election.

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  57. Though I fully agree with your stance, it's pretty silly to feign surprise when an AI removes a post that says "beat up cops".

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  58. The whole of the intelligent world is really worried about the SCOTUS decision on immunity and also about the result of the US election. The consequences if these could be disastrous for us all. Thank you for your work.

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  59. I've been concerned, I've been worried, I've been outraged, but I've never truly been fearful until now. If P01135809 gets back into office, I don't think we'll ever have a genuine presidential election again, and I don't think the fascists will quietly accept any other result this time (not that they were all that "quiet" before).
    Every vote, every down ballot vote, every local position and every referendum - vote, goddamn it.

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  60. Well if it weren't before it is certainly plain now that everyone must vote Democratic up and down the entire ballot. While it is always to some degree dangerous to trust the words of politicians in this case you can ABSOLUTELY trust those of the MAGA republicons (sic) and the plans they have to turn the U.S. into an authoritarian hell. Trump is simply the vehicle they are using to achieve their goal of the rule (not the governing) of the rich and powerful, by the rich and powerful, for the rich and powerful Whether it takes the form of inverted fascism where the corporations control the government or some other free-form oligarchy or christo-fascism the result will be the same for the overwhelming majority of us.

    We need the Democrats to not only win, but to then act more like the gop when in power and immediately bring the Supremes to heel with an expansion and term limits and an enforceable code of ethics. To that they will need to end the filibuster after which they can restore Roe in some form, END Citizens United to remove corporate money and make ALL forms of donations tie to the names of people so everyone knows just who is advocating what. If your local Dem doesn't have the stones for that find one who does because this battle is the last chance to prevent to paraphrase "politics by other means".

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  61. Awesome essay. On the war point, I read something a Ukrainian said at the very beginning of the invasion that has really stuck with me. It was something to the effect of “I can’t even begin to tell you what it’s like to go from playing Call of Duty one day to living it the next”. I just don’t know that many of us have thought about how we’ve only really experienced that kind of violence at a distance, via only two senses - which means we are both overly confident we know what to expect but actually utterly unprepared for what it’s going to be like (alongside losing your family/home/town/whatever). We don’t want to live Call of Duty.

    May we hold the line this November.

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  62. If Trump is to become the King, then the SCOTUS will become the Hand of the King. The King will have to power to proclaim and declare, but the SCOTUS will have the job of making sure those decisions and declarations stick, and punish those who argue against the King.

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