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  1. Not troublesome to me at all. I agree with the acquittal. The kid was attacked. The fact that you feel the need to call me caddieboy……………well there ya go!
  2. Oh if you could let Trump know too, that would be great!🤣
  3. An Exit Survey of Trump’s Constitutional Misdeeds With Donald Trump out of the White House, pundits are trying to find coherent ways of summarizing what was, to say the least, an unconventional presidency. I had long planned to do an exit survey of the Trump administration’s constitutional record, as I did four years ago in cataloguing President Obama’s top ten constitutional violations. But there are two problems with applying that approach to Trump. Trump broke norms and coarsened American political culture, but the bulk of his constitutional abuses involved pen‐and‐phone policymaking of a familiar sort. First, in many cases, when people claim that Trump’s actions violated the Constitution, they’re really pointing to a move with which they disagree, or a move that broke norms but not laws, or even just outrageous rhetoric. For example, Trump’s “travel ban,” which placed restrictions on nationals of half a dozen predominantly Muslim nations seeking to enter the U.S. — or at least the properly conceived and drafted third version of it — was correctly upheld by the Supreme Court even if it didn’t do anything to protect national security. And Trump’s claim that Article II gave him “the right to do whatever I want as president,” while accompanied by regular attacks on officials and institutions, rarely resulted in executive action that broke the law. As Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith write in After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency, “the argument for reform of the presidency does not rest primarily on Trump’s defiance of the law. Trump’s law‐breaking bark … has often been worse than his bite.” Second, Trump’s post‐election behavior, culminating in the January 6 sacking of the Capitol, has largely overshadowed everything that came before. Who cares about expansive regulatory policy when the president spent two months inflaming his supporters with conspiracy theories that undermine our electoral legitimacy? Indeed, it’s unclear that anything he did in this period, save perhaps the infamous call to Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, violated any laws. That is, whatever you think of the actions for which he was impeached — I think he committed impeachable offenses but the Democrats made a politicized hash of it — he can’t be criminally convicted for incitement of violence. I guess we can all just be glad that the judges Trump appointed were better than the election lawyers he hired. With all that said, and trying to take a step back even as the ink on the first draft of history has yet to dry, here are eight of Trump’s worst constitutional violations, plus a couple of other worrying developments from his term. * * * 1. Acting Officials The Constitution’s appointments clause gives the president power to appoint federal officers, with the Senate’s advice and consent. There are often delays in the confirmation process, however, so Congress enacted the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA) to allow the president to appoint “acting” officers, people already holding certain positions within the federal government who can serve in a vacant office for a maximum of 210 days after it becomes vacant. Keeping an officer in such an “acting” position past the statutory limit violates the appointments clause. Although past presidents have employed a handful of unlawfully serving officers, Trump made the creative use of “actings” into an art. Take the Department of Homeland Security, where until his recent resignation, Chad Wolf had served as acting secretary since November 2019 — well more than 210 days since the last permanent secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, resigned. Several courts have ruled that Wolf's actions as acting secretary are void because he wasn't eligible for the role, without even broaching the timing issue. The authority of the man serving as acting deputy secretary, Ken Cuccinelli, was even more clouded. With little chance of confirmation as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Cuccinelli was instead appointed by Trump to the newly created position of principal deputy director, which would supposedly allow him to then be named acting director, which in turn would allow him eventually to be named acting deputy secretary. Cuccinelli's directives have likewise run into legal trouble. 2. Steel Tariffs The Trump administration also violated the separation of powers in March 2018, when it issued a 25 percent steel tariff under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act (TEA). The purpose of the TEA is to grow foreign commerce by opening trade up, but it effectively allows the president to unilaterally restrict imports in the name of national security. The president's security justification was undermined by the fact that military requirements for steel represent only 3 percent of the commodity's domestic production. It's also unclear how the round 25 percent figure was calculated or how it relates to national security. Courts were unwilling to question executive discretion, or congressional delegation of the power to regulate international commerce, though one judge asked and failed to receive an answer to the question of whether the president's authority would extend to tariffs on peanut butter. 3. Border-Wall Funding Trump once again violated the separation of powers when in February 2019 he repurposed funds from the military budget to build his border wall without congressional approval. The Constitution's appropriations clause states that no money may be drawn from the treasury unless appropriated by law, which means that the executive can't spend money that Congress hasn't authorized it to spend. When Congress appropriated some but not all of the money Trump wanted for his border wall, the president found what he thought was a workaround: he declared a national emergency, which in part gave him the power to shift Defense Department funds appropriated for drug-war activities and military-construction projects. The Supreme Court is hearing a challenge to this executive reappropriation next month (Full Disclosure: I filed a brief supporting the challenge), and even if the justices rule in Trump's favor, there's a serious constitutional problem with Congress's delegation of such plainly legislative authority. In early 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he would be punishing states and local governments for refusing to help the federal government enforce its immigration laws. This denial of a slew of federal law-enforcement grants to so-called sanctuary cities violated the “anti-commandeering doctrine,” among other principles of federalism. That is, states are independent sovereigns that can’t be forced to assist the federal government, and although they can be enticed to help willingly with the promise of federal funds, the federal government can’t place additional strings on those enticements without congressional approval. Numerous courts around the country have blocked Sessions’s plan, which has gone unenforced. 5. Bump-Stock Ban I’ll let my Cato colleagues Trevor Burrus and James Knight explain this one: Litigation in the matter is ongoing. 6. Bombing Syria Another instance of Trump’s ignoring the separation-of-powers doctrine to do what he pleases is his air strikes in Syria. In April 2017, the Trump administration ordered the bombing of a Syrian military base to “save” Syrians from the Assad regime. Regardless of the humanitarian justification, Trump did not inform Congress of this bombing mission, much less ask for authorization. He then ordered another air strike in Syria without congressional approval in 2018. A bipartisan group of members of Congress questioned its constitutionality. 7. Blocking Twitter Users Although Twitter’s ban of @realDonaldTrump is currently in the news, the legal and policy issues raised by that decision are different than those raised by the president’s blocking of users who criticized him. While I was initially skeptical of the lawsuit filed in the first year of his presidency challenging such blockings, it subsequently became apparent that Trump had turned his Twitter feed into a public forum by announcing executive actions and policies there, from the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria to the selection of Christopher Waller for the Federal Reserve Board to the goal of returning a citizenship question to the 2020 census to West Wing personnel decisions and so on and so forth. The White House also designated Trump’s tweets as official statements to be maintained by the National Archives, making his account far from a personal one. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that Trump’s blocking of unfriendly followers thus constituted viewpoint discrimination, in violation of the First Amendment, but the Supreme Court had since October been postponing a decision on whether to take the case, which now it won’t have to. 8. COVID-19 Executive Orders Trump built on Obama’s pen-and-phone governance to bypass the constitutional structure when he short-circuited congressional negotiations over COVID relief in August 2020 by issuing four pandemic-related executive orders. These orders extended unemployment benefits and placed the onus on states to top them up, suspended the payroll tax for many workers, facilitated an eviction moratorium later declared by the Centers for Disease Control (the extension of which President Biden is now pursuing), and suspended student-loan repayments. While these may or may not be sensible policies to provide relief to low-income people economically hurt by the global pandemic, even leading progressive legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky found them unconstitutional. Dishonorable Mentions There are two other types of constitutional dubiousness indulged by Trump that merit a dishonorable mention: corruption and unethical behavior, and the abuses that would’ve been perpetrated had his aides not disregarded his instructions. The first category encompasses both official actions such as undermining and pushing out federal inspectors general to unofficial actions such as calling his political opponents “human scum” and journalists “the enemy of the people” (even if it’s true that the mainstream media is biased against Republicans and conservatives). The two actions for which he was impeached — pressuring a foreign leader to investigate a political rival and fomenting an assault on the Capitol — can also be included here. And although neither the foreign-emoluments clause nor the domestic-emoluments clause quite covers the benefits Trump got from owning a hotel in central Washington or China’s fast-tracking his daughter’s trademark applications, the Constitution’s framers did mean to preclude that sort of personal corruption and influence-peddling. As to the would-be violations, although it was fun to read about Gary Cohn’s snatching away an executive order that would’ve started a trade war with South Korea or Don McGahn’s acting like a “real lawyer” and refusing to fire Bob Mueller, it was also unsettling. Nobody elected Cohn or McGahn, but it turns out we all depended on them to avoid disasters, including constitutional crises, many of which we won’t ever know about. * * * The Trump Administration is not unique in having violated the Constitution. Presidents of both parties have betrayed the document they swore to protect, from Barack Obama’s unilateral rewriting of immigration law to George W. Bush’s expansive interpretation of antiterrorism powers. Trump’s norm-breaking and his coarsening of American political culture have been extreme, but from a constitutional standpoint, the bulk of his abuses involved phone-and-pen policymaking of a sort we’ve come to expect from the imperial presidency. And we shouldn’t forget that his administration did certain things to help rebalance our constitutional order, such as putting greater constraints on regulatory actions — including one this week — adding due-process protections to campus-disciplinary investigations, and, of course, appointing three superb Supreme Court justices and 231 other federal judges committed to interpreting constitutional text according to its original public meaning. Those positives will get overshadowed by the chaos he’s created, but they are substantial. Trump could’ve been truly dangerous if he’d had a greater understanding of the law and the powers of his office. It’s frightening to think of a world in which he’d enforced half the notions behind his tweets and used the levers of government rather than just lashing out. But he didn’t, and now he’s been succeeded by a president whose constitutional violations and policy errors both will likely fall within more “normal” parameters. That’s not exactly a cause for celebration — but then, those are few and far between for we who seek to preserve the Constitution and hold government officials responsible for adhering to it.
  4. When I step back to look at the legacy of President Donald Trump, a surprising conclusion emerges: He has substantially altered the Constitution. His changes aren’t formal, of course. But his informal amendments are important. If left to stand, they threaten to make Congress an advisory body and give carte blanche to rogue presidents. The surprising aspect of this conclusion is not that the Constitution can be informally amended. That has been the usual way of making revisions. In 1803, the Supreme Court granted itself the power to review laws and overturn them. In 1824, the states tied the electoral vote to the popular vote. Neither of those changes was inscribed on parchment or envisioned by the Founders, but today we can’t imagine our constitutional system without them. Presidents have been the authors of many informal amendments. George Washington set enduring precedents such as the two-term limit on presidential service (a norm so embedded that after Franklin D. Roosevelt broke it, it was written into the formal Constitution). Andrew Jackson reimagined the president as the direct representative of the people. Abraham Lincoln ruled out secession. But Trump has been broadly reckoned to be a more ephemeral figure. His bark, many said, was worse than his bite. Sure, he broke a lot of norms and probably also some laws; but his oafishness and short attention span made his constitutional incursions easy to repel. Although his political footprint was deep, his constitutional footprint was faint. Such, at least, has been the conventional wisdom. I don’t think that’s true at all. Though he was no Washington or Lincoln, Trump amended the informal Constitution in at least five significant ways. No one of them is epochal or entirely unprecedented, but together they add up to something new, large, and dangerous. This amendment would have alarmed the Founders profoundly. They provided for only one way to remove a malfeasant president—impeachment by a majority of the House and conviction by two-thirds of the Senate. (The Twenty-fifth Amendment is designed for an incapacitated president, not a corrupt one.) Until Trump came along, the process had been used only twice, in 1868 and 1998, for Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Neither was convicted by the Senate, but the potency of the threat was enough to constrain presidential behavior—a norm that was strengthened in 1974, when President Richard Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment. Trump was not the first president to be impeached, the first to be acquitted, or the first to be protected by his party. In 1998, Senate Democrats protected Clinton. But the charge against Clinton (perjuring himself to cover up a sexual affair) didn’t seem very serious to the public, and after his acquittal it was still possible to assume that a truly high crime or misdemeanor would result in conviction. Trump and his Republican enablers comprehensively demolished that assumption. Trump’s first impeachment, in 2020, was for trying to use federal aid dollars to extort political help from a foreign country. That seemed as serious as the Watergate shenanigans that forced Nixon from office. His second impeachment, in 2021, was for sending a seditious mob into the streets to overturn an election—a misdeed that exceeded any prior presidential offense. As the House managers rightly asked in Trump’s second trial, if the Senate did not convict a president for fomenting a violent insurrection, what in the world would it convict him for? The particulars, though, turned out not to matter. In both cases, the outcome—acquittal—was a foregone conclusion, because all Trump needed was 34 pliable and protective Senate votes. The impeachment mechanism was intended to be a check on presidential misbehavior; instead, post-Trump, it is now more like a partisan permission slip, allowing presidents to do as they please provided they keep their party in line. In other words, from now on, presidents should assume that the way to hold on to power is to stay not on the right side of the law but on the right side of their party. To put it mildly, that is not what the Founders intended. Since the earliest days of the republic, Congress’s authority to oversee and investigate the executive branch, though unwritten, has been one of the Constitution’s most important avenues of presidential accountability. Anyone who doubts this need only recall the impact of the Watergate hearings. As teenagers, my brother and I got up and watched them early each morning before school, riveted by the daily revelations. Because congressional investigations can be so embarrassing, presidents have, to one degree or another, slow-walked them since the Washington administration. No news there. Usually, though, both sides reached negotiated solutions. Congress got much but not all of what it wanted while presidents preserved carve-outs. Presidents recognized the legitimacy of congressional oversight and Congress recognized the legitimacy of executive privilege. But in recent years, cooperation deteriorated as partisanship increased. And then came Trump. In April 2019 he declared, “We’re fighting all the subpoenas.” Then, during his first impeachment, he shifted from fighting congressional subpoenas to flatly disregarding them. “Nine administration officials refused to testify; executive departments such as the departments of Defense and State rejected all requests for the production of documents,” Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith wrote in their recent book, After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency. “So sue us,” said the administration, knowing that litigating would take years and run out the clock. To make matters worse for Congress, in 2020 a federal court ruled that the courts lack authority to enforce Congress’s subpoenas of the White House. By the time Trump left office, he had reset the balance in the president’s favor. From now on, if the president stonewalls Congress—well, too bad for Congress. In the Founders’ scheme, Congress’s most important and unchallenged authority is the power of the purse. Article I says, in no uncertain terms, “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.” Time and again, from Washington’s day to our own, Congress—especially the House, which initiates spending bills—has relied on its command of the budget to enforce its will. So central was this authority that in 1974, after Nixon impounded appropriated funds, refusing to spend them, Congress passed a law cutting him off at the knees. That was then. When Congress appropriated only about $1.4 billion to the Homeland Security Department for Trump’s border barrier, instead of the $5.7 billion Trump wanted, the administration simply declared a national emergency on the southern border and used it as a pretext to dip into Pentagon accounts. The White House cited a passel of statutes in its defense, and the usual suspects filed the usual lawsuits. The emergency was bogus and the president’s legal arguments were tenuous, but the money got spent, and Trump made his point: You can’t stop me. If control of spending is the House’s constitutional superpower, the authority to confirm or reject presidential nominees is the Senate’s. Here, too, growing partisan polarization has made the confirmation tug-of-war more contentious in recent decades. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama found ways around the impasses in the Senate. But, as ever, Trump took defiance to a new level. “One of Trump’s signature governmental initiatives has been to circumvent, or ignore, the Senate confirmation process for top executive branch appointments,” Bauer and Goldsmith wrote. “This conduct had precursors in prior administrations, but Trump took it to new extremes.” In 1998, Congress passed the Federal Vacancies Reform Act to constrain presidents’ use of supposedly temporary appointments to evade Senate confirmation. But the law’s cumbersome process lets temporary appointees serve, in theory, for more than two years. The law also left a loophole allowing the president to delegate the duties of a vacant office to an unconfirmed official. Bush and Obama exploited those loopholes, but not like Trump, who deliberately left positions empty, fired appointees, and parceled out their duties to unconfirmed and acting officials. “I like acting [appointees] because I can move so quickly,” Trump declared. “It gives me more flexibility.” He used many more acting officials than his predecessors—more than a quarter of all acting officials between 1977 and 2019 were in Trump’s administration, one study found—and they served for much longer stretches. “Trump’s manipulation of the vacancies system skirts the check of the constitutional appointments process and denigrates the values underlying that process,” Bauer and Goldsmith concluded. The president has his own superpower: unconstrained, unlimited authority to pardon and commute federal crimes. In recent years, presidents, fearing political blowback if a pardoned criminal were to commit another crime, have become more and more parsimonious in their use of pardons to correct even blatant injustices. That’s a loss for the justice system. Some presidents made fishy-looking pardons, but underuse of pardons became a much bigger problem than their overuse.
  5. Lol that is the worst picture I have ever seen. I’ve seen better pictures on Saturday morning cartoons!
  6. First I have developed film in a dark room. Put it through the three pans of chemicals. First one developed the film the next stops it from over exposure third is a rinse. Hang it until it dries. So yeah I have. So as far as the PS goes I said I know you are smarter than what you are acting like. I said I know you know what we are talking about. You just pretending you don’t for some reason!🤷‍♂️
  7. Like talking to a brick wall Minaj. Markinsa is smart enough to know what we are talking about. I think🤷‍♂️
  8. Lol and you guys say I agitate! Sun light is bouncing off the water clouds the land. That’s why you can see it. Water is actually dark blue so it absorbs more light than land or clouds that is much lighter in color
  9. Next full moon look at it. You won’t see any stars next to it either. The light drowns out the stars.
  10. So show me a picture from space where you can see New Zealand and Spain at the same time! Ain’t going to happen.
  11. sure when you look at the extreme radical right web sights! Now you want to talk about lying media………they are the King Queen and joker!😂
  12. I would say their smart. And care about their family, friends, and the community.
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