WRT lying - thought that the pres had to be above reproach and if caught lying could be impeached?

Yes and no. If you google "High Crimes and Misdemeanors", you get a variety of "crimes" like "conduct unbecoming" and "abuse of authority", "bad faith". It's ambiguous, subjective, vague, and malleable, and intentionally so. The founders could have required that an impeachment required a specific "crime", identified by a specific criminal code, be proved to a legal standard in order to qualify for impeachment, just like it is for a criminal conviction. They chose not to.

Impeachment is a political, not criminal process. It's a check by Congress on the Presidency. If enough of them think that Trump's lies are just getting too embarrassing to tolerate, they need not wait for him to actually commit a crime, be able to collect evidence, etc. It's the American version of a "No Confidence" vote, just like firing someone because everyone thinks they suck at their job as opposed to firing them "for cause" where you'd have to document embezzlement, drunkenness, tardiness, etc.

They can impeach him for his lies or his attitudes towards women or not liking his tie or his combover whatever the hell they want.

Conversely, they can choose to overlook any bad conduct that they want to. They don't HAVE to impeach him if they decide he's doing a good job.

Frankly this is the way it should be. You can't legislate stupid. Barring them proving that actual electoral fraud put him in office, he is President Trump by the will of the American people, who were fully aware of all his lies and stuck him in there anyway, so impeaching him for lying seems like a hard sell. Lots of folks love him in spite of or even because of his lying. Their votes count too.

We're a democracy. We get the leaders we deserve.

They can impeach him for his lies or his attitudes towards women or not liking his tie or his combover whatever the hell they want.

If that were the case then you would have seen impeachment proceedings against Obama long ago.

You can't legislate stupid.

Yes. But you can legislate competency. If Congress can show that either psychologically or physically the president is incapable of performing his duties they can remove him from office. According to David Frum

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

This scenario was actually discussed toward the end of Reagan's last term when he was in the early stages of dementia.

They could also possibly make a case that because he refuses to divest, he is financially incapable of executing his duties. Foreign holdings aside, if he were to repeal the ACA he would personally benefit to the tune of $6-$7 million.

Trump invaded my dreams last night. Over the decades I've done a lot of work on electronic designs and he showed up to a design review and said this about relay connections:

There will be no connections to common terminals.

I woke up feeling like Lloyd Bridges/Steve McCroskey in Airplane!. I must cut back on the Trump inputs.

I woke up feeling like Lloyd Bridges/Steve McCroskey in Airplane!

Your movie reference of a leader waltzing in knowing absolutely nothing about engineering and handing out impossible-to-achieve instructions reminded me of this beauty from The Dictator.


commented: Later the pointy tip design prevailed. Good clip. +0

At least the only thing he will be grabbing for a while is headlines.

If that were the case then you would have seen impeachment proceedings against Obama long ago.

No, they couldn't. Impeachment requires a majority in the House and a 2/3 majority of the Senate (hence why no President has ever been successfully impeached). Which the Republicans didn't have during Obama's administration. Plus Obama had a lot of popular support (as does the concept of democracy if not it's realization) so impeaching him for minor issues would have caused massive protests. Plus impeachment would lead to a full-blown trial in the Senate which would have garnered much media attention so without reasonable cause the Republicans would be subjected to months of mockery & embarassment just for Obama to be aquited. So while legally they could have begun impeachment proceedings against Obama it probably would have been politically disastrous for them.

They could also possibly make a case that because he refuses to divest, he is financially incapable of executing his duties.

I think bribery, misuse of public funds, and/or conflicts of interest are the best chance of Trump being removed from office. But proving such things beyond reasonable doubt is going to be hard, I hope there are still journalists in the US up for the challenge.

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KC defence - "you're just quoting alternative facts." What a total arsehole. She's as stupid as Trump. Endorsing a product when she knows she mustn't when serving in public office. She thinks she's untouchable? She thinks she's like Trump?

Trump was heard shouting (repetitively): "You're nothing but a lot of talk and a badge." Hmm... where's Kevin Costner when you need him?

Someone (anonymously) suggested the following as a replacement for the inscription on the Statue of Liberty...

I send back your tired, your poor,
Your wretched, huddled masses.
Au revoir, don't let the door
Hit you in the asses.

Did the tired or the wretched masses ever do well in the US? The "yearning to be free", well that's what America was all about, Land Of Opportunity and all. Poor? Sure. Having a strong back, hard work, etcetera, etcetera, you had a better shot at owning your own land eventually than you would have if you had stayed in the London slums or wherever. Not a lot of excess land or upward mobility when you were working for the king, who owned all the land, or in the slums where there was no unowned or cheap land to purchase. We had endless land and resources and not enough people to work back then. Not sure that's still the case now.

But "tired" and "wretched"? Not sure we ever really welcomed them, and it was a hard life in the US if you were sick or old and poor or weak with no social network or family to take care of you. You were expected to cut down a tree with an ax and build your house the second you got off the ship. The idea of a safety net and taking care of the tired, sick, and wretched came later.

But yeah, if Trump could change that inscription, I imagine he would. It would be a cool contest to see who could come up with the most Trump-like phrase to replace it. Somehow I'm guessing that if we were to pick and choose who got to come in, Donald Trump's criteria and my criteria of what constitutes "the best" might be a tad different.

Not sure that's still the case now.

Last time I checked the USA was last or second to last (just above the UK) for social mobility among developped nations depending on what statistic you looked at.

It would be a cool contest to see who could come up with the most Trump-like phrase to replace it.

I get them out, all of them.
So fast, it's tremendous.
And everyone who disagrees,
are lying, ugly, scum.

commented: Nice. Can you do it in a haiku? +0

Trump today held a press conference that was noteworthy even by Trump standards as far as hostility and bizarreness. A Black reporter asked him whether he would meet with the Congressional Black Caucus, to which he asked her if she knew any of them and could she set up the meeting because he had tried to meet with a Black Congressman (Rep. Cummings) and couldn't, so I guess because she's Black too, she must have some sway with him? Cummings of course says Trump made up the part about him refusing to meet with Trump and that Trump needs no help from the Black reporter to set up such a meeting.

He also, in response to a Jewish reporter, said he was the "least anti-Semitic person" and the "least racist person" on Earth. Combine that with him "caring more about women than anyone else" and you have a real bastion of tolerance. The least racist, least sexist, least anti-Semitic person in the world is the same guy! I've never heard anyone but him describe himself as the "least racist" person in the world. Most people just say "I'm not racist". Trump seems to want to one-up all the other non-racists. If you analyze the sentence a little, it seems to say that everyone, including him, is racist to some extent, and that he, more than anyone else, manages to keep a lid on his racism. I've heard people say that they are racist and that they struggle with it, but he's the first one I've ever heard brag about it. It's weird man.

My guess is that if you actually found the least racist person in the world, he wouldn't bother to point out his non-racism, and if a Black reporter asked him a question about the Congressional Black Caucus, he would answer the question the same way as if a White reporter had asked, and I seriously doubt he'd ask the White reporter whether she was friends with the Congressional Black Caucus and could she help him set up a meeting.

He's also the most humble. There isn't anyone more humble than he is.

He's also the most humble. There isn't anyone more humble than he is.

I'm trying to remember if he's actually said this or not. Wouldn't be surprised if he did. Keeping track of his outrageous comments can be difficult. I find myself blending separate incidents. I think you'd actually have to start a lies database to keep it all straight. Hopefully someone actually IS doing that.

I just wonder what the mindset is when someone brags about being humble. What is going through his mind when he says these things? Does he see the irony? Does he ever want to be believed or trusted? We know he never takes responsibility outward, but at night when he's all alone and looks in the mirror, does he ever say "I screwed up" or "This is actually getting out of control"?

My gut feeling is that at some point in order to do this, he must have lost touch with reality. He doesn't know what's real or what he wants or what is true or why he's doing any of this. He can't trust anyone, he can't ever let his guard down with anyone, he can't open up to anyone, he can't let anyone help him because he can't allow himself to be vulnerable because he simply cannot relate to not exploiting vulnerability. He will never know the joy of helping someone in need or true trust or true love or true friendship. Similarly, he intentionally sets things up where everyone is scared for his/her job and is competing against everyone else all the time. They'll eventually be faced with a challenge that requires teamwork, respect, and honesty. I don't know how that could ever happen given how he runs things, and no one can do that job without help and teamwork. He wants us to believe he's had the best life imaginable, but it seems like a miserable existence.

He probably had a very bad childhood.

Well, there's this database but I don't think they've updated it since the election. Probably ran out of space.

The thing about the lies is it's not important that the lies get disproved. For example, take the Bowling Green Massacre. It doesn't matter that it never happened. Apparently 51% of his supporters still think he was right in using it to justify his Muslim ban. In any case, all Trump has to do is to continue to assert that the media is lying.

I just wonder what the mindset is when someone brags about being humble. What is going through his mind when he says these things? Does he see the irony? Does he ever want to be believed or trusted? We know he never takes responsibility outward, but at night when he's all alone and looks in the mirror, does he ever say "I screwed up" or "This is actually getting out of control"?

Three days ago Trump had a press conference with Justin Trudeau and Trump looked so uncomfortable I have to wonder if he was afraid or embarassed of his own ineptitude compared to Trudeau. It was really the first time I thought I saw some semblence of self-awareness in him.

Did you see the clip of Trump shaking the hand of the Japanese PM? The PM's eye roll and look said volumes.

Trudeau is what Trump wishes he was and knows he isn't, never was, never will be, and never can be. All the money in the world can't turn Trump into Trudeau.

As far as handshakes go, yeah, the Japanese PM's eyes say it all. There was actually a freeze frame that shows the Japanese PM AND Trump's expressions. Trump looks a bit neanderthalic. Showing such blatant one-upsmanship to a Japanese PM, with the Japanese culture of greetings and appropriate versus inappropriate deference when greeting, is particularly bad. If he's truly a dealmaker who has worked with the Japanese, he knows that that kind of a handshake blows any deal.

Trudeau seems to have won the handshake game, physically positioning himself to counteract any Trump attempt to knock him off balance. Trudeau's look wasn't as good as the Japanese PM's look, but it was still pretty good: "I have to shake his hand. Damn. All right, let's get this over with". He held his own quite well, I thought. And of course there were those great photos of Trudeau with Ivanka.

As uncouth and pathetic those obvious Alpha-Male displays are as far as trying to dominate other world leaders, it's even worse when he does that to his own people, particularly the distinguished looking types brought in especially to polish his rough edges (i.e. Pence and Gorsuch). Seems counter-productive to try to make them look weak.

It's also interesting that prior to running for President, Donald Trump was famous for NOT shaking hands due to germs.

This will become a new hype, I guess.

On the one end of history you have "I cannot tell a lie" Washington, and on the other, "I cannot tell the truth" Trump. It shows you just how far the country has come as a people.

Apparently a large number of people are showing up at GOP town hall meetings to angrily protest their pending loss of ACA benefits. Trump's response? Anyone who protests is obviously a paid agitator. Many GOP reps were too chickenshit to show up. Pat Toomey's (Pennsylvania) constituents had to do with addressing their concerns to an empty suit on stage.

It would have been one thing if the GOP had been successful in blocking the ACA from ever being passed. The uninsured masses might have continued to support them. But taking their medical coverage away after they've had it for a couple of years? If they do that before the mid-terms it will be interesting to see the result.

It will indeed be interesting to see how this plays out. My guess? Mostly threat/bluff/red meat to his base. The rhetoric SOUNDS good to a lot of his base. In the abstract. Actually cutting people off cold turkey with no replacement? A huge part of his base are un/underemployed folks who can't afford health insurance and, whether they liked it or not in principle originally or blame Obama for not having jobs that provide healthcare, they now rely on Obamacare. There will be a lot of brinksmanship, but if they actually do it, there will be some serious protesting and people without insurance flooding the hospitals, etc., etc., and it's going to be tough to pretend all the irate people are all illegal immigrants, paid agitaters, liberals, and Chicago welfare cheats when the protests are happening in rural Alabama.

Tweets, threats, scapegoats, blame game, yeah, but let's see if they actually write up a law fully revoking Obamacare effective immediately. Can't see it happening, but then again I never thought I'd see hald the stuff that has happened already.

It gets better. After jacking up the prices on existing drugs like Epi-pens, the industry has apparently decided to prepare for the looming diabetes epidemic by raising the price of insulin. That's strike one.

Strike two is the pending loss of insurance when the ACA is repealed.

Strike three is the failure of a Bernie Sanders motion (backed by some Republicans, oddly enough) because it was voted against by 13 Democrats. The motion would have allowed for the imporation of cheaper drugs from Canada and other countries.

I guess it's OK for Walmart to import cheap-as-shit products for their own profit but not for others to import affordable drugs to, you know, stay alive.

The first thing the GOP tried to do was gut the ethics committee. Now Trump/Bannon have banned CNN, New York Times, Politico, etc. from the press room. It seems they don't want anyone looking over their shoulders.

But there's nothing going on (Monty Python reference).

"The Trump presidency is the first openly and unabashedly spectacle-driven administration in U.S. history. It depends on destroying the public’s ability to see the bigger picture and relies on substituting bluster for substance and glitz for reality. It becomes that shiny object we can’t stop watching. The longer we are mesmerized by it, the more our critical thinking suffers."

I see Oprah is talking about a possible run in 2020. While a giant step up from Trump, has anyone ever noticed that every good thing she does has to be about her? "Look at what I did for you!". She gives cars to her audience members then classifies them as prizes rather than gifts for (her) tax purposes (but the audience now has to claim the cars as income - and pay tax on them).

Maybe not such a giant step.

Personally I'd prefer to not replace one billionaire TV mogul with another (assuming Trump is an actual billionaire). I've also had enough dynasties. No more Kennedy's, Bush's, or Clinton's, and certainly let's not START a Trump dynasty.

How about a normal non-rich, non-celebrity, non-lawyer? Surely there are qualified people out there.

But frankly, what sane person would want the job?