THE ABSURD TIMES — STILL

RASHAMAN

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on April 6, 2020

That’s not it, really.
Thing is, none of the actors in any of this will remember it the same way to at all. Anyway, the first one is a Creole/Cajun version of the cajun national anthem, Jole Blon. Now, I use to be able to sing that very well, yes, in the original, but only after 20 to 15 beers. Otherwise, I can barely say a line or two, but I can translate it for you — but I won’t. It started on a long trip down to Houston and Texas City, included Denten, on the way, and lots of other things I got involved in that I don’t remember by was told about. Started with a bar fight, No, I wasn’t in the bar fight, but picked up a guitar and picked out "Your Cheating Heart" in the middle of it and everyone stopped. Damn, it was like I had started to sing the National Anthem at a world Series game. Heads were bowed. (Obviously, Hank was Jesus down there). Then someone sang Jole Blon and then I joined in (or so I’m told).

Ok, the second was written by a guy I knew fairly well at that time, John Goodman who I thought died in the early 80s of cancer. Anyway, one day, John Prine opened for Arlo at Johns’ coffee shop. John asked Arlo if he could sing a song for him. Arlo said "You buy me a beer, and I’ll sit and listen to anything your wanna sing until the beer is finished." Well, the song was CITY OF NEW ORLEANS and made everyone a fortune. Thing is, I never knew anything about this Cole Guy — not the sort I hung around with and probably lived down in the confederacy and, at that time, things were tense. Anway, I just found out he wrote this goddamn song, so here it is — the perfect country song.

Wow

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on April 5, 2020

This is desirable and worth ravishing.
https://youtu.be/r44Ach4mXE4

New post The History of Literature #200 – The Magic Mountain

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on April 5, 2020

hank

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on April 4, 2020

Every time I see a movie about Hank, there is no mention of how bitchy his Audrey was. Hank set up a recording studio in his own garage and, when he needed to escape, he’d go out there and sing, alone, with his guitar. Some of you already heard a version of this after Hank Jr. found the tapes some 30 years later, but he could release it unless he had his fat face in the middle of it. Anyway, here are two of the songs done, alone, by the second greatest Country Singer ever!

OUR VIRUS

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on April 1, 2020

THE ABSURD TIMES

Some very strange developments or events transpired in what’s left of my mind after maintaining an indoor status for longer than Nathaniel Hawthorn and his mother ever did. Now, that’s a long time, but nobody ever wrote down the dates. I just assume it’s right, that I am right, for there is no evidence to contradict me.

There really has been no point in writing or posting any absurd news as it is plainly visible every day. Donald of Orange is now “giving” press conferences daily, because this disease is preventing him from getting his “fix” at a rally every so often. It is an opportunity to assemble respected reporters and call them “irresponsible,” “snarky,” (where did he hear that one, I wonder?), “stupid” and whatever else. He also keeps active visiting with Sean Hannity who worships him over at Faux News.

So, we have a lot of B.S. (I save Bullshit for more important things) going on about this virus. One of them was that we had the same thing back in the 16th Century. No, that was the Bubonic plague, carried by rats, and people went out with Boccaccio to tell each other stories. Not the same thing.

Anyone heard that testerone plagued Folson Prison Concert of the late 60s? Cocaine Blues was a big hit. A substitute line now is “I coughed on a man in Reno, just to watch him die.”

It also occurred to me that there was no longer a need for the NRA. Self-Defense? “Come one step closer and I’ll sneeze.”

The reason a quarter of a million people are going to die as a result of Trump’s late start is that the evil Democrats took up his time with impeachment. This is from no less a source than the Senate Majority Leader. You realize, of course, what this reduces our entire nation to? One of the major players in the running of this country is Mitch McConnell. That what we are now. We can’t even look down on Tony Blair or Maggie Thatcher. It is like we are a punchline for a Rodney Dangerfield joke.

There has been a great deal of talk about people feeling depression as a result of isolation. Well, somehow, Oscar Levant has been popping up on the TV screen lately and it reminded me of a conversation he had once after being in the mental hospital for depression:

Q “Well, Oscar, I see you are out of confinement so you have recovered from your depression, right?”

A “Not exactly.”

Q “Well, you are out, so you must be better?”

A “No, I was kicked out because I was depressing the other patients.”

Ok, ok, so much for that. I was reminded of it when I saw that TMC was putting of something called “Romance on the High Seas,” or whatever. In the list of actors, Doris Day and Oscar Levant’s photos were right next to one another. Hardly appropriate, but people don’t think. It reminded me, however, of the origin of his remark about her: “I knew Doris Day before she becane a virgin.” That’s enough.

Ever heard of the guy who was President for one day? One note not mentioned, he was asleep during his entire term as he drank himself to sleep and didn’t recover until the next day:

President for a Day

Let’s Call it a Day

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on February 20, 2020

THE ABSURD TIMES

Carlos sees this as racism. Maybe. For me, the real purpose is to occupy people with something other than what is really going on. (The number of deaths from the regular flue is 20 to 40 thousand. This virus has caused about 4K.

Let’s call it a day.

By

Czar Donic

With our media going for the cheap, all news cable companies cover the primaries and nothing but. As if there is nothing else going on? No, it’s cheaper. Also, our population isn’t able to comprehend much more. It is so bad that even that bastion of democracy, MSNBC, has fat Chris shouting out, as usual, but this time that Bernie, like Castro, will introduce firing squads for dissenters. It is the fist time I understood that segregationist Republican Senator who years back challenged him to a duel. That is a Republican point of view, except they compare him to Pol Pot. Not to get into a long discussion on this it was Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger who were responsible for Pol Pot and the Dulles Brothers for Castro.

I also looked up where Carter attacked Castro for holding “Political Prisoners”. Castro said they were criminally insane, sex-traffickers, and criminals. We insisted that he release the prisoners. So Castro did. Then we complained that Castro exported criminals, sex-traffickers, and the criminally insane. So, who was happy with that?

All of this comes from Bernie Sanders calling himself a “Democratic Socialist”. All that really is a shift in focus from corporate socialim to people socialism. And in case you wonder, are not traffic signals communist? They are owned in common, everyone pays taxes for them, and they will not allow anyone else to build one and charge for passage though in the good ol’ capitalist way.

Probably, a better public relations term would be an FDR Democrat. Less to go after, although corporate interests are, in fact, going after any and all of FDRs programs that got us out of a great Depression. FDR was hardly a Socialist. In fact, the reason he gave for running the first time was “Well, I’ve got to go and save my friends from themselves.” A lesson forgotten these days until we have to re-learn it.

A problem, of course, is that there may not be a next time what with the climate and all. We have never really mentioned it as it is already too late. All that remains, now, is to point out that regressive and reactionary forces try to treat science as if it were just another ideology. The law of gravity is not an opinion, but today it would be considered one.

So, I had contemplated in talking abuot what is wrong with the world, but that seemed overwhelming. And, there is interest overseas about what is going on in this very strange American election process. So this is an attempt to break it down. Still, it will not seem that clear, but at least it can be summarized as a feud between corporate interests and the needs of the people, most of whom are so confused that they are unaware of it.

Our election process right now is a contest to maintain corporate interests against Bernie Sanders and, perhaps, Elizabeth Warren. To put it a more rememberable way: think of Kris Kristoferson’s song “Me and Bobby Mgee”. Take the most famous line in it, remember the tune, and elid the fist word to two syllables: “Mod’rate’s just another word for corporate interests.” Remember that, and you have the primary process firmly in mind.

So now, Trump got elected because the country was finally fed up with things as usual, the corporate interests, although many did not phrase it that way. They more or less wanted to throw a monkey wrench into the whole mess and Trump certainly did not remind them of “business as usual”. Well, against whom did he run, finally? Hillary Clinton, ex-Goldwater girl, member of the Board of directors of Wal-Mart. She had done a few good things, mainly in healthcare, non-disclosure, and so forth. None of it affected me professionally at the time as I was in drug rehab (as a therapist) and the rules already applied, but it did stir things up quite a bit. She was not what people wanted. His bigoted and moronic rally attendees at first seemed to come for the entertainment, but soon he grew into a cult figure. Eventually, people in his own party came to fear him. So here we are.

Now even the corporate interests are becoming tired of Trump. Only Romney was able to oppose him in the impeachment proceedings, but he is now from Utah. Remember, Utah! They no longer practice bigamy and such, but Trump is not moral enough for them, oh no! Romney has nothing to fear from the likes of Trump, or anything like him. Utah HATES Trump. Sometimes Puritanism has its uses.

So now, we get down to the entire process. Ever since our money magnates caused the great depression, and FDR saved the country from it, these same interests have been trying to dismantle every program he put into place. There have been a few impediments along the way, but there is no way this establishment is going to allow Sanders to become President. First they talk about the culinary workers union that has a great health plan, true, but it should not be needed and if one of them looses a job, the health plan goes away. In other words, power remains in the hands of the wealthy. The workers themselves realize this and will support Sanders, but the union heads will not.

What is Bloomberg doing there? In the last poll I’m aware of, he finished second, next to Sanders. He makes Trump look like a pauper, and that will give you an idea.

What needs to happen, the strategy now is, that we have a ‘brokered’ convention. In other words, nobody gets enough delegates to secure the nomination on the first ballot. That will release the old “Super Delegates” to enter and then nominate whomever the party wants, and it will not be Bernie. There is no doubt that Trump has to go, but to replace him with Sanders would be too beneficial to ‘working people’ and that simply will not be allowed. Word is also being spread that Sanders would win too few states, despite the fact that he won the primaries in all of the closer states that did give Trump a winning edge over the DNC.

I know this sounds pessimistic and I hope we are wrong. All evidence right now leads to more of the same. It is no reason to give up, of course, or else they have no idea of where we stand. Many Trump voters voted that way simply because he was not like the “typical” politician and it is clear that Sander’s would have beaten him. That is why the field is now so stacked. Even though Hillary won by 3 million votes, this is hardly a democracy in the literal sense. We still have the Electoral College.

Super Delegates? Where did they come from? Well, it has been told enough, but one more time: John Kennedy was angry at the way things were being run, so he was killed. His brother was against Vietnam by the time he ran and showed a good chance of winning, so he was killed. Martin Luther King gave an ill-fated speech against the same war, so he was killed. People were angry and they nominated George McGovern who lost almost every state. A great deal went on, but mainly, he was nominated because of the people and defeated because of the Ayatollah. That’s right, Iran was promised many missles and bombs if only he held the prisoners until the election was over. Both kept their words and Ronald Raygun became President, and he even looks like a flaming liberal in contrast to what is going on today. Who’s next to die? Probably the next public figure who mentions that this is still black history month. (When was the last time you heard that?)

I am holding this back until the debate is over, but interesting things are happening all over again. First of all, Trump actually commuted the sentence of Blagojevich. So many people were surprised that there was corruption in Illinois politics? Really. How many can name an Illinois governor that did not wind up prosecuted? I can think of a couple, but then I grew up there so I’d have an unfair advantage. I had ending this publication over all of the stupidity involved, especially as it was Republican motivated and driven to that action out of sheer lack of interest in any further activity. I tried to stop when Donald got elected, but then things became even more insane. I actually thought everyone would realize how absurd things were and that there was no point in my pointing them out. Well, here we are again.

Still on debate night, Blago walked out of prison. In true Chicago spirit, he could not bring himself to use the word (pardon the expression) Republican, but he did have to thank the guy who freed him. He announced he was a Trumpocrat, and that was the end of it. He went on to quote Martin Luther King and the truth set free, and a crusade to free those who have been prosecuted wrongly and non-violent offenders who “might have made a mistake" and were over-sentenced (remember this tough on crime crap). He was of the same spirit and ready to fight already. Go Blago! I’ve said this before, but he was a political prisoner and now he is free to rub it in, and he will. We have not heard the last of Blago, that’s for sure. Trump may regret this, I don’t know. But Blago has had eight years to think about this. I’ve already said this, but it bears repeating, I find myself in very strange company!

I have to finish this up and upload it tomorrow, but future editions will be quite different. I’ve found myself covering the scum and the swamp too much and am tired of it. It is time for some new directions and I’m going to take them. I don’t know where yet, but there is time to think about it.

Meanwhile, as Bloomberg has bought himself into second place, we might as well take a look into him. He has met nobody, did no campaigning, and is on no ballot, yet is is beaten only by Bernie Sanders who leads him by double digits in polling. This was presented on Democracy Now, a few days before the last poll was published and Bloomberg qualified for the debate. (Before that, all those commercials you see with Obama praising him were done years before now, not this year at all. That is a scam. Barack has had nothing to do with this race, but we are used to commercials that lie. (Why should Bloomberg be any different than a soap or insurance agency?)

Amy:

With the Nevada caucuses less than a week away, many Democratic candidates are courting voters in state and increasingly targeting their attacks on a new challenger — billionaire Michael Bloomberg — whom they are accusing of buying his way into the election. In the lead-up to Super Tuesday on March 3, when voters in 14 states go to the polls, Bloomberg has spent an unprecedented $417 million of his own $60 billion fortune on advertising. He’s also paid meme influencers to share sponsored content on Instagram, and hired thousands of on-the-ground political operatives to work in more than 125 offices around the country. The Washington Post reports several lawsuits have been filed over the years alleging that women were discriminated against at Bloomberg’s business-information company, including one case filed by a former employee who blamed Bloomberg for creating a culture of sexual harassment and degradation. But a major investigation in Sunday’s New York Times, headlined “In Bloomberg, Liberals See a Wallet Too Big to Offend,” lays out how Bloomberg established a foundation for potential critics to stay silent during his presidential bid by making major donations to progressive causes and advocacy groups in dozens of states and cities. The Times estimates Bloomberg has spent at least $10 billion on his charitable and political pursuits related to his political ambitions. We speak with Blake Zeff, a journalist and documentary filmmaker who has covered New York politics and Michael Bloomberg’s terms as mayor.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: With the Nevada caucuses less than a week away, many Democratic candidates are courting voters and increasingly targeting their attacks on billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who they’re accusing of buying his way into the election. This is leading Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaking Sunday at a rally in Carson City, Nevada.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: We will not create the energy and excitement we need to defeat Donald Trump, if that candidate pursued, advocated for and enacted racist policies like stop-and-frisk, which caused communities of color in his city to live in fear.

AMY GOODMAN: In the lead-up to Super Tuesday on March 3rd, when voters in 14 states go to the polls, Bloomberg has spent an unprecedented $417 million of his own $60 billion fortune on advertising. He’s also paid meme influencers to share sponsored content on Instagram, hired thousands of on-the-ground political operatives to work in more than 125 offices around the country.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports multiple lawsuits have been filed over the years alleging that women were discriminated against at Bloomberg’s business-information company, including one case filed by a former worker who blamed Bloomberg for creating a culture of sexual harassment and degradation. Bloomberg and his organizations have been defendants in almost 40 sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits.

But a major investigation in Sunday’s New York Times, headlined “In Bloomberg, Liberals See a Wallet Too Big to Offend,” lays out how Bloomberg established a foundation to silence potential critics during his presidential bid by making major donations to progressive causes and advocacy groups around the country. The Times estimates Bloomberg has spent at least $10 billion on charitable pursuits related to his political ambitions. In 2019 alone, the year he declared his presidential candidacy, The New York Times reports “Bloomberg’s charitable giving soared to $3.3 billion — more than in the previous five years combined.”

Well, for more, we’re joined in Philadelphia by Blake Zeff, a journalist and documentary filmmaker who has covered New York politics and Michael Bloomberg’s terms, three terms, as mayor.

Blake Zeff, welcome to Democracy Now! Can you — last week, you had a fascinating kind of Twitter thread about what Bloomberg’s strategy is. And it’s not just the unprecedented massive amount of money that he is spending, but it’s also how he spends that money. And this has been going on for many years. Can you lay out Bloomberg’s strategy?

BLAKE ZEFF: Absolutely. I think there’s this kind of idea that he’s spending so much money on ads and that that enables him to get his message out a little bit more than other candidates, and that’s kind of where the big advantage lies. And yes, he’s doing that, but there is a lot more to it than that.

You talked a little bit about how much he’s spent in recent years supporting causes and leaders and things like that, but let’s talk about that a bit more. I think a lot of people might be surprised to see how many endorsements Michael Bloomberg has been racking up in his presidential campaign as kind of a former local mayor. He’s got congressmembers throughout the country. He’s got mayors throughout the country. Well, he spent about $110 million last year — sorry, last cycle alone, in 2018, supporting House candidates, 24 of whom won. So you’ve got 24 members of Congress getting $110 million. That’s, you know, some of them are getting $2 million, some of them are getting $4 million. And then you have that person come to you a year later and say, “Boy, I’d really love it if you could help me out.” It’s hard for them to say no, right? Then you’ve got mayors. You might be surprised to see how many mayors he’s getting throughout the country. Well, he’s got a philanthropy that gives out grants for urban programs. If you’re a city that’s struggling and you want to get some sort of big grant from Bloomberg philanthropies, that puts you in a tough spot.

Then he’s got nonprofits and charities. When Bloomberg ran for mayor in New York City, he tried to get himself a third term, which was, at that time, not really allowed in New York, because the voters had had a term limits referendum. Well, Bloomberg engineered a backroom deal, and, amazingly, a lot of the big nonprofits in the city supported him on that. Why? We later found out that he had given them millions of dollars. So, that money goes to lots of different places beyond just merely TV commercials.

AMY GOODMAN: And explain what you mean. For example, for people outside of New York City, for people to understand, I mean, it was Mayor Mike Bloomberg himself who also supported term limits. Explain what the policy was in the city and how he ended up flipping it and going for a third term, with, as you said, these good government groups who were absolutely opposed to a third term. It’s not that he thought he could get them to say, “We support this,” but his strategy of neutralizing critics, using money.

BLAKE ZEFF: Right. So, two points. On term limits, in particular, this was fascinating. The voters of New York had said, “We don’t want more than — we don’t want our mayors to have more than two terms or be able to even run for it.” There was a voter referendum. This was on the books. Bloomberg decides, towards the very end of his second term, that he’d like to be mayor again. They come up with a rationale, which is that, you know, the city has been recovering from hard times. You know, this was right around the time of the Great Recession, if you will, kind of the housing crash, 2009. And they come up with this rationale that we need his economic expertise so badly that he needs to run again. Of course, later it’s revealed by some of his allies, years later, that this was just an excuse to come up with some way for him to stay in office because he really wanted to do the job.

So, what does Bloomberg do? It’s not just that he gave money to groups to kind of not make a big fuss, although he did. He also was able to use his status as a billionaire to go to the billionaire publishers of the big newspapers in New York City. So, you got the Daily News, you got the New York Post, you’ve got The New York Times, all run by these very wealthy families. They rarely agree on anything, these newspapers, these editorial pages in particular. But they all met with Bloomberg, decided to sign on to this plan for him to go for a third term. All put out editorials, kind of in unison, in lockstep, saying this is a great idea for the city. And that was a big part of that, you know, developing and sort of laying the groundwork for the support for Bloomberg to do that.

To your other point about him getting typical critics or potential critics to be silent on stuff, he changes his Republican voter registration to being an independent in the middle of his mayoralty. And you would think at that point, “OK, the state Republican Party is now free to attack him for the rest of his term, because he’s not a Republican anymore.” But they never did. And people were curious: Why is that? Well, then we learned that he gave a record $1 million to the Republican state Senate fund to kind of, you know, not say too much. So, the money works in all these different ways.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to break and then come back to our conversation. We’re talking to Blake Zeff, journalist, documentary filmmaker, covered New York politics and Michael Bloomberg’s term as mayors — terms as mayor. His forthcoming film is Loan Wolves, investigating the origins and effects of the student debt crisis in America. We’ll be back with him and more in a moment.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. I’m Amy Goodman, as we continue to look at how billionaire Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg wields the power of his money in different ways. There was a major front-page story in Sunday’s New York Times headlined “In Bloomberg, Liberals See a Wallet Too Big to Offend.” The piece lays out how Bloomberg has kept potential critics quiet by making major donations to progressive causes and advocacy groups around the country. The Times reports, quote, “That chilling effect was apparent in 2015 to researchers at the Center for American Progress, a liberal policy group, when they turned in a report on anti-Muslim bias in the United States. Their draft included a chapter of more than 4,000 words about New York City police surveillance of Muslim communities; Mr. Bloomberg was mentioned by name eight times in the chapter, which was reviewed by The Times. … When the report was published a few weeks later, the chapter was gone. So was any mention of Mr. Bloomberg’s name.”

Well, for more, we go to Washington, D.C., where we’re joined by Yasmine Taeb, one of the authors of the report. She says they were told to make major changes to the chapter or remove it. Other officials told The New York Times they revised the report to make it focus on right-wing groups targeting Muslims. When the report came out, Bloomberg had already given the Center for American Progress three grants worth nearly $1.5 million and contributed $400,000 more in 2017. Yasmine Taeb no longer works at the Center for American Progress, but she is now a member of the Democratic National Committee. And still with us in Philadelphia, journalist Blake Zeff, who covered New York politics and Mayor Bloomberg’s three terms.

Thank you so much, both, for joining us. Yasmine Taeb, tell us what took place when you worked for the Center for American Progress. Tell us about this report.

YASMINE TAEB: Sure. So, as you likely know, Amy, “Fear, Inc. 2.0,” which was released actually exactly five years ago today, and I was on your show five years ago talking about the findings, it was a follow-up to Center for American Progress’s blockbuster “Fear, Inc.” first report, which was released in 2011. And the report was simply a follow-up to discuss the tightly knit network of anti-Muslim activists, politicians, organizations and funders who are, you know, fanning anti-Muslim sentiment. And the report additionally was to chronicle and detail anti-Muslim policies that were being promoted. And in particular, this is racial and religious profiling by law enforcement across the country.

AMY GOODMAN: And so, talk about your chapter on surveillance of the Muslim community during the Bloomberg administration by the NYPD police and bias against the Muslim community. What did you say there? And what happened to this chapter? Why didn’t we see it?

YASMINE TAEB: So, there was a very detailed chapter about the NYPD’s Demographics Unit. So, the Demographics Unit was established shortly after 9/11, and it was operating for more than 10 years or so. And the Demographics Unit was tasked with mapping the Muslim community in New York City. And that entailed, you know, following, monitoring, surveilling Muslims, of where they prayed, shopped and ate. The program was later ruled unconstitutional. Mayor Bloomberg and his administration, throughout the entire period, defended this program. This program, as you likely know, resulted actually in zero terror leads. This program was unconstitutional. It had a chilling effect on the local Muslim community there.

And my colleagues and I, the co-authors, which included Ken Gude, Ken Sofer and Matt Duss and I, we simply detailed exactly what happened, and purpose and impact of this discriminatory program. And, you know, while we were in the final stages of this report being released — and this is literally within a week of the program, the project being launched — we had to get approval from senior officials at the Center for American Progress. And that’s when the chapter was flagged by a member of the executive committee who actually previously had worked for Mayor Bloomberg. And he said that there would be a strong reaction by Bloomberg World if this report was released as it was. And so, you know, we went back and forth multiple times with the executive committee, defending the importance of the inclusion of this chapter. And unfortunately, the executive committee ultimately decided to remove it, because — in my view and my colleagues’ views, because of how it was going to be perceived by Mayor Bloomberg.

AMY GOODMAN: And so, talk about the significance of this. And I want to bring Blake Zeff in here to talk about the pattern here that you see. That was a report by the Center for American Progress. We didn’t see that particular chapter. In The New York Times, the Center for American Progress responds and says that they had focused on — that they disputed the account, arguing there had been substantive reasons to revise or remove a section on police surveillance. Why did you, Yasmine Taeb, decide to remove it entirely rather than revise it?

YASMINE TAEB: So, because it was so clear that they wanted us to produce an inaccurate portrayal of the Demographics Unit’s egregious actions, we absolutely did not want to whitewash what the NYPD did. And, I mean, again, this is a program that was later ruled unconstitutional. This is a program that infringed on the First Amendment rights of Muslims in the local community. This is a program that, again, was disbanded by Mayor de Blasio because it was a complete failure. Not only was it unconstitutional, a complete failure and led to zero terror leads, it — for me, it was incredibly frustrating, it was incredibly disconcerting, because of the amount of work that we had put into this report and project. This was an ongoing report that we had worked for more than a year. And within days of launching the project and the interactive, being told by senior officials, unfortunately, at the Center for American Progress to remove it.

AMY GOODMAN: Blake Zeff, the issue of the pattern and practice here?

BLAKE ZEFF: Yeah, look, if you see that New York Times article that you were referring to, Amy, there’s a really interesting quote in there, where former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe, who was really one of the most prodigious fundraisers for the Democratic Party over the last couple of decades, you know, first for the Clintons, then for the Democratic Party, then, later, for his own races, he basically says that Michael Bloomberg was one of, if not the most, important fundraisers for the Democratic Party during that time. And as a result of that, I mean, he really has been — Bloomberg — a towering, a prodigious, towering figure in Democratic circles because of his pocketbook and the fact that he has been bankrolling a lot of these groups, a lot of these causes. And as a result, that enables him to wield a tremendous amount of influence.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go to the beginning of this blockbuster New York Times piece, starts on the front page, goes to two other pages. This is the opening paragraphs. The New York Times writes, “In the fall of 2018, Emily’s List had a dilemma. With congressional elections approaching and the Supreme Court confirmation battle over Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh underway, the Democratic women’s group was hosting a major fund-raising luncheon in New York. Among the scheduled headline speakers was Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor, who had donated nearly $6 million to Emily’s List over the years.

“Days before the event, Mr. Bloomberg made blunt comments in an interview with The New York Times, expressing skepticism about the #MeToo movement and questioning sexual misconduct allegations against Charlie Rose, the disgraced news anchor. Senior Emily’s List officials seriously debated withdrawing Mr. Bloomberg’s invitation, according to three people familiar with the deliberations, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“In the end, the group concluded it could not risk alienating Mr. Bloomberg. And when he addressed the luncheon on Sept. 24 — before an audience dotted with women clad in black, to show solidarity with Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Judge Kavanaugh of sexual assault — Mr. Bloomberg demonstrated why.”

He said, “’I will be putting more money into supporting women candidates this cycle than any individual ever has before,’ he declared

“It was not an idle pledge: Mr. Bloomberg spent more than $100 million helping Democrats take control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections. Of the 21 newly elected lawmakers he supported with his personal super PAC, all but six were women.”

Blake Zeff?

BLAKE ZEFF: Yeah, I mean, that’s a perfect example of this larger pattern and trend that we’ve been talking about. Also in the story, you know, just to come back to this Terry McAuliffe quote that I just mentioned, what’s interesting about that is, when Bloomberg first ran in 2001 and McAuliffe was the head of the DNC, he railed against anyone who had been part of the Democratic Party but was helping Bloomberg, whether that was consultants, endorsers, groups and whatnot. And then it shows that, 20 years later, McAuliffe is talking about him almost with a sparkle in his eyes about what a great donor he’s been and how important he’s been and how he helped fund some gun control work that he had done.

And this is something that you see, as you just mentioned, with Emily’s List, you see with McAuliffe, you see with all these groups who face these big dilemmas, just like the mayors I was mentioning before, just like the members of Congress that I was mentioning before, the charities, the nonprofits. All these groups that we’ve just been talking about all face the same dilemma, where they’re either underfunded or they need money for a good cause. Bloomberg comes in and offers it to them. But then, as a result, they’re put in this position where it’s very, very difficult to criticize him. In many cases, they’re being told that they need to support him. That’s a really, really difficult and, frankly, unprecedented situation in American democracy.

AMY GOODMAN: Several prominent African-American lawmakers have endorsed Bloomberg in recent weeks. This is New York Democratic Congressmember Gregory Meeks on MSNBC.

REP. GREGORY MEEKS: Look, I’m from New York. Michael Bloomberg ran three times. I didn’t support him three times, primarily because of stop-and-frisk. It was a bad policy. At the same time, I also understand that Michael Bloomberg wanted to get guns out of the community so that innocent people did not get killed. … African-American voters are always — they are very sophisticated voters. You know, they vote their interests. They know that their interest is making sure that Donald Trump is defeated. That’s absolutely their interest. And so they’re going to move in the direction that they think, “Who is the best person to defeat Donald Trump?” And then, who is also going to talk about their agenda?

AMY GOODMAN: Now, Mayor Bloomberg has also formed Mike for Black America. Meanwhile, New York Times columnist Charles Blow wrote a new opinion piece, quote, “Let me plant the stake now: No black person — or Hispanic person or ally of people of color — should ever even consider voting for Michael Bloomberg in the primary. His expansion of the notoriously racist stop-and-frisk program in New York, which swept up millions of innocent New Yorkers, primarily young black and Hispanic men, is a complete and nonnegotiable deal killer.” Blake Zeff, what has just happened in these last few weeks?

BLAKE ZEFF: Yeah, there’s been a bit of a rewriting of the stop-and-frisk legacy by Michael Bloomberg and some of his supporters. I mean, what we’ve seen Bloomberg do lately is say, “Look, I inherited this policy. I apologized for its excesses, and I reduced it 95%.” In fact, let’s go through each one of those claims one by one.

Yes, the policy did exist initially under Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and we all know who that is. But a new mayor can come in and decide whether they want to continue that or not. Not only did Bloomberg continue it, but he expanded it to record levels. When he first came in, the number of stops per year was under 100,000. It then rose steadily under Bloomberg until 2011, when it reached its apex, and almost 700,000 stops were made that year. So, to say he inherited it factually is true, but he also greatly, greatly expanded it.

In terms of reducing it 95%, well, as I just mentioned, it just kept expanding, until, eventually, in 2013, it does get rolled back considerably. But that’s the year that a federal judge rules the policy unconstitutional. And Bloomberg was the subject of a lawsuit, a class-action lawsuit. And so, that clearly had something to do with that.

And in terms of the apology, this is really egregious, because there were so many groups that were up in arms about this policy for many, many years, and Bloomberg and his defenders remained defiant, constantly saying, “We need this in order for crime to go down,” and sort of suggesting that if you opposed it, that you were basically opening the doors to the bad old days of crime, terrible crime, coming back. Well, after the policy was really, really curtailed after Bloomberg left, New York continued to see these reductions in crime, and he was really proven wrong on that, again did not apologize. Years go by. The Daily News, one of his big editorial supporters, in general and also on stop-and-frisk, issued a big apology a couple years after Bloomberg left, saying, “We were wrong on stop-and-frisk.” Bloomberg did not do that. Then let’s go to 2019. January 2019, he’s at a big event for the U.S. Naval Academy. He continues to defend the policy. Finally, in November of 2019, he talks to an audience in Brooklyn and says — it was a black audience, and he says, “I’m sorry. I was actually wrong about that.” Seven days later, he declares his candidacy for president of the United States.

AMY GOODMAN: And, of course, he had said a year before, if he did run for president on the Democratic ticket, he would have to do a long apology tour. Yasmine Taeb, I wanted to go back to you. You’re no longer with the Center for American Progress, but you are on the Democratic National Committee. You recently received a phone call from Mike Bloomberg. Can you tell us what that was about?

YASMINE TAEB: Sure. So, this was at the end of December of 2019. This was, I think, shortly after he launched his presidential campaign. And he said he was calling as a courtesy, to sit down with me to introduce himself, to tell me why he’s running, why he’s able to win, and what he’s done for the Democratic Party. I did not call him back, simply because I wanted to kind of avoid an uncomfortable conversation where I assumed he wanted to ask me to support him. As you noted, I am a DNC — an elected DNC member, which means, during a brokered convention, on a second ballot, I will have a vote, you know, to decide our next nominee. And I identify as a progressive activist. And I hope that whoever our nominee is is able to excite the grassroots and increase voter turnout and fight for a progressive platform.

AMY GOODMAN: So, why wouldn’t you want to talk to Michael Bloomberg?

YASMINE TAEB: I mean, if they reach out to me now, I’m happy to offer him the courtesy and sit down with him. At that time, honestly, because of what happened at CAP, because of the policies he supported, because of the way he kind of entered the race and is now essentially bankrolling his campaign and buying an election, I felt very uncomfortable. And, you know, if he or a member of his team reached out to me now, I’m happy to kind of offer them that courtesy and sit down with them, but at the time I just — I didn’t feel comfortable doing that.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, let’s talk about what could happen in the future, this whole idea of a brokered convention, and then the role you would play, Yasmine Taeb, as a member of the DNC. Explain what this would look like.

YASMINE TAEB: Sure. So, as you may know, we passed reforms in the DNC that eliminated the vote of superdelegates on the first ballot. So, at the time when we passed these reforms — and these were the most progressive reforms the DNC had passed, from my understanding, and the grassroots was incredibly excited. These were reforms that I advocated for and lobbied for all across the commonwealth of Virginia, talking to Democrats and telling them why these reforms are needed. At the time, unfortunately, when they passed, we were incredibly ecstatic, thinking that now the process in 2020 will become more fair and impartial, and the grassroots would be more kind of excited about this and less inclined to attack the DNC and kind of leaders in the party.

Unfortunately, because of how I do believe this nomination fight is going to move forward, I believe we’re still going to have at least four to five candidates that are viable heading into the convention. I don’t believe we’ll have a single candidate that’s able to receive a majority of delegates. So, in order to avoid heading into a second ballot, we need to have at least one candidate that has at least — I believe the number is about 1,990 delegates. And honestly, I don’t think that’s going to happen. And this is particularly important and why candidates like Mayor Bloomberg are doing their homework. I mean, the fact that he reached out to me — this is in the very initial part, the first couple weeks that he entered the race — shows that he knows it will likely be a brokered convention, and he’s probably been reaching out to DNC members, trying to ensure that he has as many supporters on the DNC as possible.

AMY GOODMAN: And, Blake Zeff, this issue of superdelegates weighing in on the second vote, what do you foresee here? And the significance of this?

YASMINE TAEB: Sure. So, unfortunately, if —

AMY GOODMAN: Let me put that question to Blake.

BLAKE ZEFF: Oh, I was going to say, I think this really speaks to another key point about Bloomberg that’s worth getting into, because if it was just that he had billions of dollars and a ton of money — you know, Tom Steyer has a lot of money. Howard Schultz had a lot of money, right? That alone is not really the entire story here. For me, it’s the — the story about Bloomberg and what makes his candidacy potentially very potent is that it’s a combination of endless resources, but also an extremely smart team that he has. They’re very canny and clever, and also what I would call their Machiavellian approach to winning. And the fact that they’re calling all these members to try to see if they can get that support this early on really speaks to that. They are going to understand — and, look, Mike Bloomberg made his fortune. He didn’t inherit a fortune from like an oil family, right? It was from data, analytics, communications, media. He really understands these areas. And they are looking at the numbers, and they know what they need to do. And they are starting that this far out. That doesn’t surprise me at all.

AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly, Blake Zeff, the role of President Obama? He is in so many of these national ads that are blanketing the networks across the country for Bloomberg, though he doesn’t specifically endorse him. Clearly, it seems like Bloomberg must have said, “Can I use you talking about me in these ads?” What do you think Obama’s role is here?

BLAKE ZEFF: I’m not so sure that they got permission. You know, look, very quickly, the history between Bloomberg and Obama is not that they’re some great friends at all. As everyone knows, Bloomberg was a Republican for a long time, endorsed George W. Bush in 2004, when Obama was giving his classic speech for John Kerry that year for the Democrats. Then, in ’08, Bloomberg does not endorse Obama. In 2012, he endorses Obama at the very second in an op-ed, almost halfheartedly, in which he criticizes Obama as being divisive and partisan and overly populist. So, they worked together on some issues, like gun safety reform, the environment, things like that. And I’m sure that Obama, like others that we’ve talked about, is appreciative of the fact that Michael Bloomberg gave a lot of money for Democratic causes. But they were not best buds who have worked together on a lot of things, so that the ad gives a little bit of a misleading impression. And I’m not so sure that Obama is secretly behind the scenes pulling for Bloomberg and gave him permission to do that.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, I wanted to go to a clip of seeing Michael Bloomberg at the U.N. climate summit in Madrid. We caught up with him after, well, what we thought, he was holding a news conference at the U.S. Climate Action Center, which he funds, where journalists would go to ask politicians questions. He even shocked the people who worked at this “We’re still in” conference room, when he, after speaking, wrapping up his comments, after he called all the press — and there are pictures of, you know, him standing at the U.N. climate summit sign — he was surrounded by his officials and security, and walked out. So I tried to follow him to get my question to him.

AMY GOODMAN: Mayor Bloomberg, will you be taking questions from the press? … If you could just answer a question? We all packed in there to ask you questions.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Careful. You’re going to trip.

AMY GOODMAN: But the U.N. has said that economic and climate inequality is driving protests around the world. You’re a billionaire running for president. You’ve spent tens of millions more dollars than the other presidential candidates. Will that be your strategy to win the presidency?

KEVIN SHEEKEY: We’re here to talk about climate this week.

AMY GOODMAN: That was his campaign manager saying, “We’re only talking about climate.” Of course, that night, he had a long interview with Christiane Amanpour, and he was talking all about the election. But calling a news conference and then walking out before the journalists got to ask the question, but having that photo op of hundreds of journalists around him. Blake Zeff, your last 20 seconds?

BLAKE ZEFF: Look, that’s just another example of their strategy, which is to try to control every aspect of the campaign they can. And that’s what the commercials enable him to do. If you run so many commercials and that’s how you get your message out, you don’t have to submit to interviews, you don’t have to submit to scrutiny, because you’re already getting all the media coverage that you want. And that’s a perfect example of their desire to really control every single aspect of this. And the money enables them, in large part, to do that.

AMY GOODMAN: Blake Zeff, I want to thank you for being with us, journalist and documentary filmmaker, and Yasmine Taeb, a civil rights lawyer, elected member of the Democratic National Committee.

‘Apologia for Authoritarianism’: Trump Lawyer Argues President Can Do Whatever He Wants to Boost Reelection Chances

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on February 1, 2020

Palestine Stolen

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on January 29, 2020

THE ABSURD TIMES

Illustration: How far right can you get? Netanyahu needed help.

Triumph of Idiocy

By

Czar Donic

I thought we had outgrown this crap. Now comes Adolf Trump and Bormann Netanyahu to present what he calls a “peace plan”. It is actually no more than a smoke screen to cover up, or even worse endorse, the actual wet dreams of Zionists for the last century, the so-called climax of their dream. They are trying to eliminate the very concept of not only a Palestinian State, but a Palestinian human being.

Can anyone actually take seriously the lie that this is a “peace plan”? Can Adolf Trump actually bring off this con job of the century, this apex of the past 100 years? Discourse in this country limits the discussion here in the United States, but the United Nations is free to speak the truth until the matter gets to the so-called “Security Council” where it is vetoed by the United States. Perhaps soon we will be able to discuss this further soon, but right now less irritated discourse may suffice.

As far as the impeachment hearings go, he is impeached and now is the time for delay, obfuscation, and pardon.

PALESTINE STOLEN

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced plans to annex about 30% of the occupied West Bank, after Israel was given the green light to do so by the United States. On Tuesday, President Trump — with Netanyahu by his side — unveiled a so-called Middle East peace plan that was drafted by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner without any input from Palestinians. Under the plan, Israel will gain sovereignty over large areas of the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem would be under total Israeli control, and all Jewish settlers in the occupied territory will be allowed to remain in their homes. The plan also calls for a four-year settlement freeze and the possible creation of a truncated Palestinian state, but only if a number of conditions are met. Palestinians responded to the U.S. plan with protests in the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the deal. Only hours before the plan was announced, Netanyahu was indicted for corruption, marking the first time in Israel’s history that a sitting prime minister will face criminal charges. We speak with Mehdi Hasan, senior columnist at The Intercept, and Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University. Khalidi’s latest book is titled “The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine.”

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced plans to move ahead with annexing about 30% of the occupied West Bank, after Israel was given the green light to do so by the United States. On Tuesday, President Trump stood by Netanyahu to unveil the Middle East “peace” plan that was drafted by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner without any input from Palestinian leaders. The plan was introduced just hours after Netanyahu was indicted for corruption and in the middle of Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate.

Under the plan, Israel will gain sovereignty over large areas of the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem would be under total Israeli control, and all Jewish settlers in the occupied territory would be allowed to remain in their homes. The plan also calls for a four-year settlement freeze and the possible creation of a truncated Palestinian state, but only if a number of conditions are met.

This is President Trump.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security. Today, Israel has taken a giant step toward peace. Yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu informed me that he is willing to endorse the vision as the basis for direct negotiations — and, I will say, the general also endorsed, and very strongly — with the Palestinians. A historic breakthrough.

AMY GOODMAN: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the U.S. deal.

PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: For too long, far too long, the very heart of the land of Israel, where our patriarchs prayed, our prophets preached and our kings ruled, has been outrageously branded as illegally occupied territory. Well, today, Mr. President, you are puncturing this big lie. You are recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over all the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, large and small alike.

AMY GOODMAN: Palestinians responded to the U.S. plan with protests in the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the deal.

PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS: [translated] I say to the partners Trump and Netanyahu: Jerusalem is not for sale. All our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain. And your deal, the conspiracy, will not pass.

AMY GOODMAN: For more, we’re joined in New York by Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University, the author of several books. His latest is just out. It’s called The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Professor Khalidi. Can you start off by responding to this plan? The scene yesterday at the White House: President Trump, in the midst of the Senate impeachment trial nearby in the Capitol, standing next to the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who had just been indicted yesterday for corruption.

RASHID KHALIDI: Right. Well, what these two miscreants have done, one of them impeached and the other indicted, is to roll out an Israeli peace plan, a peace plan that was dictated to young Jared Kushner by his Israeli mentors, and who have fulfilled the wish list of the extreme Israeli right ever since they conquered the West Bank in 1967 — and I would even say going back even further. This is meant to end the Palestine question. This is meant to expand “Greater Israel” from the river to the sea. There’s no state in this for the Palestinians. Sovereignty will reside solely in Israel. Control will reside solely in Israel. And in fact what it means is not just annexation and so on and so forth; it means that the United States and Israel are going to dictate the terms, or try to dictate the terms, of a settlement.

We will never see this thing come to pass. It is so unrealistic. It is so at odds with not only international law, but everything everybody has put forth, except the extreme Israeli right and their friends in Washington, since the beginning of this conflict. It is, in my view, yet another declaration of war on the Palestinians, in this 100 years’ war that’s been going on since the beginning of the 20th century.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Trump’s plan a “conspiracy.” And the prime minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, said, in advance of its release, it’s “nothing but a plan to liquidate the Palestinian issue.” If you can say more how this plan came into being? I want to turn, though, first, to the voices of some Palestinians who took to the streets on Tuesday to protest the U.S. deal.

FARID ALBERIM: [translated] Regarding the plan of the century, we say to Trump and the American administration that our people are united behind our Palestinian leadership, represented by President Abbas. We reject this plan, the plan of shame that has nothing to offer Palestinians.

MOHAMMED ALBAKRI: [translated] I think that this speech came to support Benjamin Netanyahu, to help him to pass his internal crisis. It is also part of the election campaign for Donald Trump in the coming election. It is nothing more than an election campaign for both.

JIHAD ALQAWASMEH: [translated] This plan is a gift from a big thief to a small thief.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Khalidi, those are voices of Palestinians, from Gaza to Hebron. So, what exactly does it mean when the U.S. stands with Israel at the White House and puts this forward, developed by the young developer Jared Kushner?

RASHID KHALIDI: Yeah. Well, I don’t think Jared Kushner has an idea in his head about anything to do with Palestine or Israel. He knows what he’s told. And this is dictated to him by his Israeli mentors, and it is meant to be an Israeli diktat to the Palestinians, telling them, “You will not have Jerusalem. You will not have sovereignty. You will not have any of your national rights. And you will get what we choose to give you, when we choose to give it to you.”

And the United States has now endorsed that position. In so doing, the United States actually separates itself from every country in the world, except a few client states in the Arab Gulf. It puts itself in a position completely at odds not only with past American positions, but every aspect of international law. We heard Netanyahu call — the description of the Occupied Territories as “illegally occupied,” we heard him call that a lie. The liar here is Netanyahu. International law is not determined by an indicted — an impeached president and an indicted Israeli prime minister. It’s determined by others. And others have long since determined that those territories are illegally occupied, that what Israel does in Jerusalem — everything it does in Jerusalem — is illegal.

And so, this is a — I wouldn’t call it a conspiracy. This is something cooked up by two political leaders trying to escape the plight that they’re both in, in order to increase their chances at the next election. There’s one in Israel in a little more than a month and a bit, and there’s one in our country in November. And both of them think that this will help them in that regard.

It won’t see the light of day. But the things that it includes, such as annexation and so forth, will go ahead — and they were going to go ahead in any case. So, I don’t think this is a momentous plan, in any way, shape or form. It simply represents, as I said, the wish list of the extreme Israeli right, which has now been endorsed by the American president. It has actually no valence beyond that.

AMY GOODMAN: This is President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner speaking on CNN.

JARED KUSHNER: I come from a real estate background. It was very, very difficult to draw these lines and to get a map where you could have contiguity to a Palestinian state. And again, this isn’t because of something that we — that we developed. This is something that we inherited, the situation where Israel continues to grow and grow. And what the president secured today was Israel agreeing to stop, for four years, more settlements, to give the Palestinians their last chance to finally have a state.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Khalidi, your response? And then, put it in the context of history.

RASHID KHALIDI: Right. I mean, one actually has to look at this ludicrous plan, the 181 pages, and look at the map and see that either Jared Kushner is blind or he’s a liar. There is no contiguity for the Palestinian — so-called Palestinian state. There are five or six chunks, separated by swaths of Israeli territory, which is part of a plan that goes back to almost the beginning of the occupation: to chop up the West Bank so there can be no Palestinian state, so there can be no contiguity. If he can’t see that, or is lying to the people on CNN, that’s his problem. We should not be taken in. I suggest everybody have a quick look at that plan, because what is clear is that this is something that — I mean, you can talk about it in terms of Bantustans, you can talk about it in terms of any other kind of humiliating imposition on the rights of the indigenous population by a settler colonial regime, which is what we are seeing here. And Mr. Kushner is aiding and abetting this in his ignorance and in his passion for the extreme Israeli right’s positions.

AMY GOODMAN: So, your book, which talks about the hundred years’ war on Palestine, this is yet just another moment in history.

RASHID KHALIDI: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: Put this into context of that century.

RASHID KHALIDI: Well, and one of the things that I point out is that this is not a war waged just by Israel or by the Zionist movement on the Palestinians. This is a war that was aided, abetted, endorsed and made possible at every stage by the greatest power of the age, whether that was Great Britain at one stage or the United States and the Soviet Union in 1947 or, today, President Trump. Israel could not do this without external support. The Zionist movement could not have established itself as it did without Great Britain.

And so, as you suggest, this is yet another stage in a very long process whereby not just Israel and the Zionist movement, but a whole range of collaborators or people in collusion with Israel have enabled Israel to do what it has managed to do. And it is a war on Palestine. This is not a struggle between two equals. This is not simply a struggle between two national movements. There are two peoples involved, but one of them has enormous support from the outside, and the other, the Palestinians, are an indigenous people faced with this Moloch-like colonial settler movement, which is grinding up their country, taking as much of it as it can, and only able to do this because of support from great powers like the United States under President Trump.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to break, and we’re going to continue with professor Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University. His new book is just out, The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine. And Mehdi Hasan will also join us, of Al Jazeera and The Intercept. We’ll continue to talk about the — what President Trump calls the Middle East “peace” plan, but Palestinians call everything from a conspiracy to simply reject this plan about what will happen in the Middle East. Then we’ll talk about the impeachment trial, with Mehdi Hasan, that’s going on now in the Senate. And finally, what’s happening in South Dakota targeting trans youth? Stay with us.

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We continue our discussion of President Trump’s long-awaited Middle East plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which he has described as the “deal of the century.” The plan was drafted by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner without any input from Palestinians and would give Israel sovereignty over large areas of the occupied West Bank, control over all of Jerusalem, and keep all illegal settlements built in the occupied West Bank. We speak with Mehdi Hasan, senior columnist at The Intercept, and Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University. Khalidi’s latest book is titled “The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine.”

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren responded to President Trump’s so-called Middle East peace plan.

Sanders issued a statement saying, quote, “Any acceptable peace deal must be consistent with international law and multiple UN Security Council resolutions. It must end the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and enable Palestinian self-determination in an independent, democratic, economically viable state of their own alongside a secure and democratic state of Israel. Trump’s so-called ‘peace deal’ doesn’t come close, and will only perpetuate the conflict, and undermine the security interests of Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians. It is unacceptable,” Sanders tweeted.

Elizabeth Warren tweeted, “Trump’s ‘peace plan’ is a rubber stamp for annexation and offers no chance for a real Palestinian state. Releasing a plan without negotiating with Palestinians isn’t diplomacy, it’s a sham. I will oppose unilateral annexation in any form—and reverse any policy that supports it,” Senator Warren said.

Well, we go now to Washington, D.C., where we’re joined by Mehdi Hasan, senior columnist at The Intercept and host of the Deconstructed podcast. He’s also host of UpFront at Al Jazeera English. And still with us in New York, professor Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University. His new book, The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine.

Mehdi Hasan, if you can respond to the presidential candidates responding to the Middle East plan, and then how the media has covered it?

MEHDI HASAN: I’m glad that some of the presidential candidates, Amy, have come out strongly. Elizabeth Warren came out very quick, Bernie Sanders referring to it as “annexation.” Obviously, I would like them to go further, but I know the limits of U.S. political discourse when it comes to Israel-Palestine. It’s good at least that in this election cycle you have two candidates, Warren and Sanders, talking very explicitly about Netanyahu’s racism, about annexation, about this “peace plan,” quote-unquote “peace plan,” being a sham. In fact, I think anyone who describes this as a, quote-unquote, “peace plan” — and, there you go, I just fell into the trap, because we keep hearing this phrase all the time — it’s malpractice. This is not a peace plan. When you hear any political candidate for office, any journalist referring to it as a “peace plan,” you really need to stop and think twice about that, because this is a plan for apartheid, this is a plan for settler colonialism, as Professor Khalidi mentioned earlier, before the break. And I think we need to be clear about our terms.

And, of course, you know, The New York Times put out a tweet yesterday when the plan came out, a breaking news tweet, where they talked about the Palestinians being asked to make more concessions. Just that language that we have here in the U.S. about Israel-Palestine, the idea that an occupied people, who have had their land stolen from them, are expected to concede that land to the people who have occupied them and stolen their land, it’s madness. It’s not language we would use in any other walk of life or in any other conflict. We don’t use it in the context of Crimea, Ukraine and Russia. But we do use it, and we have used it for years, in the Middle East in relation to the Occupied Territories.

What’s so interesting about the current moment, of course, is that Donald Trump — there’s always a silver lining to Donald Trump’s awfulness. And that is that he takes any issue, and he’s so extreme on it — he’s so extreme even by American presidential standards — that he forces people off whatever fence they were sitting on. And I think what he’s done in the last 24 hours, with the help of his son-in-law, with the help of Netanyahu and MBS of Saudi Arabia, who has also endorsed this plan, is the he’s forced people to basically take off the blinkers and recognize this for what it is. The conflict now is no longer Israel versus Palestine, as it’s often set up — as Professor Khalidi pointed out, it’s not; it’s a one-sided war — but it’s apartheid. And Americans now have to decide: Do they support apartheid, or do they not support apartheid? There’s no more nonsense about two-state solutions and all of that rubbish. That’s gone. That’s finished, finally over. No one pretends it’s still there on the table. It’s: Do you support apartheid, or do you not support apartheid? That is what we should be asking Democratic presidential candidates, and that is what journalists should be discussing in the media, in their op-eds, in their cable news discussion panels.

AMY GOODMAN: And, Mehdi, talk about American opinion polls. They’re very interesting on the issue of Israel-Palestine.

MEHDI HASAN: Yes. So, we are often told by supporters of the Israeli occupation in Washington, D.C., especially Republicans, that the reason the United States backs Israel so blindly, gives it billions of dollars, turns a blind eye when it massacres children in Gaza, is because American public opinion is behind Israel, because Americans want to support the, quote, “only democracy in the Middle East,” as it’s often sold, which is not actually true. Going back many, many years, if you look at the polling on this subject, most Americans, the majority or plurality of Americans, say they don’t want the United States to take the side of Israel or the Palestinians. They want the United States to be what it claims to be, but of course is not, and that is an honest broker, an impartial outside force, which it’s never been, of course.

And what’s so interesting is, about — I think it was about a year ago, at the University of Maryland, Shibley Telhami, who’s a great academic and pollster, carried out some polling of Americans on the Middle East, which found that there was almost an even split between Americans on whether they support a two-state solution, as is framed by the establishment, 36%, I think, of Americans, versus a one-state solution, a democratic, binational, secular state in which Palestinians and Jews all have, you know, one vote — one person, one vote — equal rights, and that was around 35%. It was almost even. It was a third of Americans were two-state, a third of Americans were one-state. And here’s what’s so interesting, Amy. When you tell Americans that there is no two-state solution, that option is gone, the vast majority, two out of three Americans, say, “We support a one-state solution with equal rights for everyone,” because Americans — shock, horror — like the idea of one person, one vote. That’s what this country is supposed to be built on. And they don’t like the idea of saying, “You know what? We’re going to take a people and put them under occupation and disenfranchise them in perpetuity.”

And that’s what this Kushner plan does. It basically says, “You’re never getting anything else. This is what you get.” Israel gets to annex what it likes, takes over whatever part of the West Bank it likes. And the Palestinians know they don’t get any rights. What’s so astonishing about this plan — and, you know, Americans, I would argue, the average American, would not support this idea — that a Palestinian refugee not only loses their status as a refugee under this plan forever, but Israel gets to veto Palestinian refugees from returning even to a Palestinian state, not just to Israel. Forget the right of return to Israel. Under this plan, if you look at the small print, they can’t even return to a Palestinian state without an Israeli veto.

So, I think this is all a reminder once again that — you know, Edward Said said it best back in 1978. He said, here in the United States and in the West, amongst establishment types, the Palestinian person politically does not exist. They have been completely obliterated. And I think we saw that in the last 24 hours, where you have a White House press conference, at which no Palestinian spoke, a White House meeting with the Israeli leadership but not with any members of the Palestinian leadership, and a plan put forward by the White House which had no Palestinian input whatsoever. It’s the complete and utter erasure of the Palestinians by the U.S. political establishment, by the U.S. administration.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Mehdi Hasan, before we move on to the issue of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump that’s taking place at the same time — it seems to have motivated a great deal in President Trump, from January 3rd, the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, to his setting precedent last Friday speaking at a “right to life” march in Washington, D.C., the first sitting president ever to do this, and then suddenly announcing he’s releasing a Middle East “peace” plan — I wanted to turn back to Rashid Khalidi. You had talked about some Gulf states perhaps supporting the president. If you can talk about the significance of Saudi Arabia, perhaps one of the most closest allies with the United States, along with Israel?

RASHID KHALIDI: Well, I think this brings up something that people don’t think about very often. The only reason that Israel is able to maintain its regional superiority is because most Arab states are not democratic. The only countries that could or would buy into this are countries which can suppress their domestic public opinion. So, the absolute monarchies of the Gulf, including the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain, whose ambassadors were at this shameful ceremony yesterday in Washington, are countries, like a few others in the Arab world, Egypt and so forth, ruled in different ways, but in ways that completely exclude representation, democracy, parliaments, public opinion, a free press, and so on and so forth. In those Arab countries where those things do exist, countries like Lebanon or Kuwait or Tunisia, you have popular outrage at what is being done in Washington. The absence of democracy in the Arab world is a precondition for this kind of thing happening. Only regimes which completely — which are capable of completely suppressing their public opinion would support such an outrageous derogation of international law, Arab rights, Arab dignity, as, unfortunately, a few of these governments have and, I’m afraid, will.

But it’s vital to represent, and it’s vital to understand, these are not the Arabs. These are a group of kleptocrats who control their countries absolutely, against the will of their people, and who are able to get away with this partly because they’re protected by the United States. So, you have had a few Arab governments that have either squeaked their approval or failed to indicate their disapproval or shamefully sent their ambassadors to this sham ceremony. But it is vital to understand what they are and who they are and what they represent. They don’t represent anybody except the elites which dominate those countries.

AMY GOODMAN: Rashid Khalidi, we want to thank you for being with us, Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University. His latest book, just out, The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine.

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Aushwitz and Master Race.

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on January 25, 2020

After being subjected to his "celebration" of the fall of Aushwitz, and the announcement that Wolfgang Blitzkrieg will do a special on it, it is time for all to share.

High Crimes

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on January 24, 2020

Friday, January 24, 2020

HAMILTON, FEDERALIST 65

THE ABSURD TIMES

Hamilton1%2529.jpg

Hamilton, Federalist 65
Reprinted by the Times

It has become rather ridiculous to hear repeatedly that an actual crime has to have been committed in order for it to fall under the category of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” There was actually no such concept whatsoever when the Constitution, written by us, “We the People,” was adopted.

When I was very young, in elementary school, grammar school, or whatever they want to call K-7 these days, I took a look at a copy of my Dad’s book titled simply the Federalist Papers. I found it not only very dull, but also difficult to read. Now it is not so dull.

It can be found online, but the most accurate version is reproduced in about 5 or 6 point type. For comparison, this is in 14 point, our usual size is 16, standard letters are in 12 point or, for longer letters, even 10. But 5 or 6 is almost impossible, even for those with extreme myopia. In addition, it is also presented end to end with no margins whatsoever and this means that almost what would be a standard paragraph these days would fit on one or two lines. That is another reason for reproducing it here, but in a more readable form. Nothing else is changed whatsoever.

It has become one of the most looked up items online but, again, it is not very readable. We reproduce it here so that you can have it available as the “Republican” servants and cult members in support of Orange leader will probably use that argument about actuall crimes and it will be handy for you to have it. Also, who knows, those of them that can or will actually read may find it of value. So, here it is, unexpurgated and uncensored the entire item, along with it’s suppliment.

FEDERALIST PAPERS

Federalist No. 65

The Powers of the Senate Continued
From the New York Packet.
Friday, March 7, 1788.

Author: Alexander Hamilton
To the People of the State of New York:
THE remaining powers which the plan of the convention allots to the Senate, in a distinct capacity, are comprised in their participation with the executive in the appointment to offices, and in their judicial character as a court for the trial of impeachments. As in the business of appointments the executive will be the principal agent, the provisions relating to it will most properly be discussed in the examination of that department. We will, therefore, conclude this head with a view of the judicial character of the Senate.
A well-constituted court for the trial of impeachments is an object not more to be desired than difficult to be obtained in a government wholly elective. The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself. The prosecution of them, for this reason, will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused. In many cases it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions, and will enlist all their animosities, partialities, influence, and interest on one side or on the other; and in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.
The delicacy and magnitude of a trust which so deeply concerns the political reputation and existence of every man engaged in the administration of public affairs, speak for themselves. The difficulty of placing it rightly, in a government resting entirely on the basis of periodical elections, will as readily be perceived, when it is considered that the most conspicuous characters in it will, from that circumstance, be too often the leaders or the tools of the most cunning or the most numerous faction, and on this account, can hardly be expected to possess the requisite neutrality towards those whose conduct may be the subject of scrutiny.
The convention, it appears, thought the Senate the most fit depositary of this important trust. Those who can best discern the intrinsic difficulty of the thing, will be least hasty in condemning that opinion, and will be most inclined to allow due weight to the arguments which may be supposed to have produced it.
What, it may be asked, is the true spirit of the institution itself? Is it not designed as a method of NATIONAL INQUEST into the conduct of public men? If this be the design of it, who can so properly be the inquisitors for the nation as the representatives of the nation themselves? It is not disputed that the power of originating the inquiry, or, in other words, of preferring the impeachment, ought to be lodged in the hands of one branch of the legislative body. Will not the reasons which indicate the propriety of this arrangement strongly plead for an admission of the other branch of that body to a share of the inquiry? The model from which the idea of this institution has been borrowed, pointed out that course to the convention. In Great Britain it is the province of the House of Commons to prefer the impeachment, and of the House of Lords to decide upon it. Several of the State constitutions have followed the example. As well the latter, as the former, seem to have regarded the practice of impeachments as a bridle in the hands of the legislative body upon the executive servants of the government. Is not this the true light in which it ought to be regarded?
Where else than in the Senate could have been found a tribunal sufficiently dignified, or sufficiently independent? What other body would be likely to feel CONFIDENCE ENOUGH IN ITS OWN SITUATION, to preserve, unawed and uninfluenced, the necessary impartiality between an INDIVIDUAL accused, and the REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE, HIS ACCUSERS?
Could the Supreme Court have been relied upon as answering this description? It is much to be doubted, whether the members of that tribunal would at all times be endowed with so eminent a portion of fortitude, as would be called for in the execution of so difficult a task; and it is still more to be doubted, whether they would possess the degree of credit and authority, which might, on certain occasions, be indispensable towards reconciling the people to a decision that should happen to clash with an accusation brought by their immediate representatives. A deficiency in the first, would be fatal to the accused; in the last, dangerous to the public tranquillity. The hazard in both these respects, could only be avoided, if at all, by rendering that tribunal more numerous than would consist with a reasonable attention to economy. The necessity of a numerous court for the trial of impeachments, is equally dictated by the nature of the proceeding. This can never be tied down by such strict rules, either in the delineation of the offense by the prosecutors, or in the construction of it by the judges, as in common cases serve to limit the discretion of courts in favor of personal security. There will be no jury to stand between the judges who are to pronounce the sentence of the law, and the party who is to receive or suffer it. The awful discretion which a court of impeachments must necessarily have, to doom to honor or to infamy the most confidential and the most distinguished characters of the community, forbids the commitment of the trust to a small number of persons.
These considerations seem alone sufficient to authorize a conclusion, that the Supreme Court would have been an improper substitute for the Senate, as a court of impeachments. There remains a further consideration, which will not a little strengthen this conclusion. It is this: The punishment which may be the consequence of conviction upon impeachment, is not to terminate the chastisement of the offender. After having been sentenced to a perpetual ostracism from the esteem and confidence, and honors and emoluments of his country, he will still be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law. Would it be proper that the persons who had disposed of his fame, and his most valuable rights as a citizen in one trial, should, in another trial, for the same offense, be also the disposers of his life and his fortune? Would there not be the greatest reason to apprehend, that error, in the first sentence, would be the parent of error in the second sentence? That the strong bias of one decision would be apt to overrule the influence of any new lights which might be brought to vary the complexion of another decision? Those who know anything of human nature, will not hesitate to answer these questions in the affirmative; and will be at no loss to perceive, that by making the same persons judges in both cases, those who might happen to be the objects of prosecution would, in a great measure, be deprived of the double security intended them by a double trial. The loss of life and estate would often be virtually included in a sentence which, in its terms, imported nothing more than dismission from a present, and disqualification for a future, office. It may be said, that the intervention of a jury, in the second instance, would obviate the danger. But juries are frequently influenced by the opinions of judges. They are sometimes induced to find special verdicts, which refer the main question to the decision of the court. Who would be willing to stake his life and his estate upon the verdict of a jury acting under the auspices of judges who had predetermined his guilt?
Would it have been an improvement of the plan, to have united the Supreme Court with the Senate, in the formation of the court of impeachments? This union would certainly have been attended with several advantages; but would they not have been overbalanced by the signal disadvantage, already stated, arising from the agency of the same judges in the double prosecution to which the offender would be liable? To a certain extent, the benefits of that union will be obtained from making the chief justice of the Supreme Court the president of the court of impeachments, as is proposed to be done in the plan of the convention; while the inconveniences of an entire incorporation of the former into the latter will be substantially avoided. This was perhaps the prudent mean. I forbear to remark upon the additional pretext for clamor against the judiciary, which so considerable an augmentation of its authority would have afforded.
Would it have been desirable to have composed the court for the trial of impeachments, of persons wholly distinct from the other departments of the government? There are weighty arguments, as well against, as in favor of, such a plan. To some minds it will not appear a trivial objection, that it could tend to increase the complexity of the political machine, and to add a new spring to the government, the utility of which would at best be questionable. But an objection which will not be thought by any unworthy of attention, is this: a court formed upon such a plan, would either be attended with a heavy expense, or might in practice be subject to a variety of casualties and inconveniences. It must either consist of permanent officers, stationary at the seat of government, and of course entitled to fixed and regular stipends, or of certain officers of the State governments to be called upon whenever an impeachment was actually depending. It will not be easy to imagine any third mode materially different, which could rationally be proposed. As the court, for reasons already given, ought to be numerous, the first scheme will be reprobated by every man who can compare the extent of the public wants with the means of supplying them. The second will be espoused with caution by those who will seriously consider the difficulty of collecting men dispersed over the whole Union; the injury to the innocent, from the procrastinated determination of the charges which might be brought against them; the advantage to the guilty, from the opportunities which delay would afford to intrigue and corruption; and in some cases the detriment to the State, from the prolonged inaction of men whose firm and faithful execution of their duty might have exposed them to the persecution of an intemperate or designing majority in the House of Representatives. Though this latter supposition may seem harsh, and might not be likely often to be verified, yet it ought not to be forgotten that the demon of faction will, at certain seasons, extend his sceptre over all numerous bodies of men.
But though one or the other of the substitutes which have been examined, or some other that might be devised, should be thought preferable to the plan in this respect, reported by the convention, it will not follow that the Constitution ought for this reason to be rejected. If mankind were to resolve to agree in no institution of government, until every part of it had been adjusted to the most exact standard of perfection, society would soon become a general scene of anarchy, and the world a desert. Where is the standard of perfection to be found? Who will undertake to unite the discordant opinions of a whole community, in the same judgment of it; and to prevail upon one conceited projector to renounce his INFALLIBLE criterion for the FALLIBLE criterion of his more CONCEITED NEIGHBOR? To answer the purpose of the adversaries of the Constitution, they ought to prove, not merely that particular provisions in it are not the best which might have been imagined, but that the plan upon the whole is bad and pernicious.
PUBLIUS.

FEDERALIST PAPERS

Federalist No. 66

Objections to the Power of the Senate To Set as a Court for Impeachments Further Considered
From the New York Packet.
Tuesday, March 11, 1788.

Author: Alexander Hamilton
To the People of the State of New York:
A REVIEW of the principal objections that have appeared against the proposed court for the trial of impeachments, will not improbably eradicate the remains of any unfavorable impressions which may still exist in regard to this matter.
The FIRST of these objections is, that the provision in question confounds legislative and judiciary authorities in the same body, in violation of that important and well established maxim which requires a separation between the different departments of power. The true meaning of this maxim has been discussed and ascertained in another place, and has been shown to be entirely compatible with a partial intermixture of those departments for special purposes, preserving them, in the main, distinct and unconnected. This partial intermixture is even, in some cases, not only proper but necessary to the mutual defense of the several members of the government against each other. An absolute or qualified negative in the executive upon the acts of the legislative body, is admitted, by the ablest adepts in political science, to be an indispensable barrier against the encroachments of the latter upon the former. And it may, perhaps, with no less reason be contended, that the powers relating to impeachments are, as before intimated, an essential check in the hands of that body upon the encroachments of the executive. The division of them between the two branches of the legislature, assigning to one the right of accusing, to the other the right of judging, avoids the inconvenience of making the same persons both accusers and judges; and guards against the danger of persecution, from the prevalency of a factious spirit in either of those branches. As the concurrence of two thirds of the Senate will be requisite to a condemnation, the security to innocence, from this additional circumstance, will be as complete as itself can desire.
It is curious to observe, with what vehemence this part of the plan is assailed, on the principle here taken notice of, by men who profess to admire, without exception, the constitution of this State; while that constitution makes the Senate, together with the chancellor and judges of the Supreme Court, not only a court of impeachments, but the highest judicatory in the State, in all causes, civil and criminal. The proportion, in point of numbers, of the chancellor and judges to the senators, is so inconsiderable, that the judiciary authority of New York, in the last resort, may, with truth, be said to reside in its Senate. If the plan of the convention be, in this respect, chargeable with a departure from the celebrated maxim which has been so often mentioned, and seems to be so little understood, how much more culpable must be the constitution of New York? [1]
A SECOND objection to the Senate, as a court of impeachments, is, that it contributes to an undue accumulation of power in that body, tending to give to the government a countenance too aristocratic. The Senate, it is observed, is to have concurrent authority with the Executive in the formation of treaties and in the appointment to offices: if, say the objectors, to these prerogatives is added that of deciding in all cases of impeachment, it will give a decided predominancy to senatorial influence. To an objection so little precise in itself, it is not easy to find a very precise answer. Where is the measure or criterion to which we can appeal, for determining what will give the Senate too much, too little, or barely the proper degree of influence? Will it not be more safe, as well as more simple, to dismiss such vague and uncertain calculations, to examine each power by itself, and to decide, on general principles, where it may be deposited with most advantage and least inconvenience?
If we take this course, it will lead to a more intelligible, if not to a more certain result. The disposition of the power of making treaties, which has obtained in the plan of the convention, will, then, if I mistake not, appear to be fully justified by the considerations stated in a former number, and by others which will occur under the next head of our inquiries. The expediency of the junction of the Senate with the Executive, in the power of appointing to offices, will, I trust, be placed in a light not less satisfactory, in the disquisitions under the same head. And I flatter myself the observations in my last paper must have gone no inconsiderable way towards proving that it was not easy, if practicable, to find a more fit receptacle for the power of determining impeachments, than that which has been chosen. If this be truly the case, the hypothetical dread of the too great weight of the Senate ought to be discarded from our reasonings.
But this hypothesis, such as it is, has already been refuted in the remarks applied to the duration in office prescribed for the senators. It was by them shown, as well on the credit of historical examples, as from the reason of the thing, that the most POPULAR branch of every government, partaking of the republican genius, by being generally the favorite of the people, will be as generally a full match, if not an overmatch, for every other member of the Government.
But independent of this most active and operative principle, to secure the equilibrium of the national House of Representatives, the plan of the convention has provided in its favor several important counterpoises to the additional authorities to be conferred upon the Senate. The exclusive privilege of originating money bills will belong to the House of Representatives. The same house will possess the sole right of instituting impeachments: is not this a complete counterbalance to that of determining them? The same house will be the umpire in all elections of the President, which do not unite the suffrages of a majority of the whole number of electors; a case which it cannot be doubted will sometimes, if not frequently, happen. The constant possibility of the thing must be a fruitful source of influence to that body. The more it is contemplated, the more important will appear this ultimate though contingent power, of deciding the competitions of the most illustrious citizens of the Union, for the first office in it. It would not perhaps be rash to predict, that as a mean of influence it will be found to outweigh all the peculiar attributes of the Senate.
A THIRD objection to the Senate as a court of impeachments, is drawn from the agency they are to have in the appointments to office. It is imagined that they would be too indulgent judges of the conduct of men, in whose official creation they had participated. The principle of this objection would condemn a practice, which is to be seen in all the State governments, if not in all the governments with which we are acquainted: I mean that of rendering those who hold offices during pleasure, dependent on the pleasure of those who appoint them. With equal plausibility might it be alleged in this case, that the favoritism of the latter would always be an asylum for the misbehavior of the former. But that practice, in contradiction to this principle, proceeds upon the presumption, that the responsibility of those who appoint, for the fitness and competency of the persons on whom they bestow their choice, and the interest they will have in the respectable and prosperous administration of affairs, will inspire a sufficient disposition to dismiss from a share in it all such who, by their conduct, shall have proved themselves unworthy of the confidence reposed in them. Though facts may not always correspond with this presumption, yet if it be, in the main, just, it must destroy the supposition that the Senate, who will merely sanction the choice of the Executive, should feel a bias, towards the objects of that choice, strong enough to blind them to the evidences of guilt so extraordinary, as to have induced the representatives of the nation to become its accusers.
If any further arguments were necessary to evince the improbability of such a bias, it might be found in the nature of the agency of the Senate in the business of appointments.
It will be the office of the President to NOMINATE, and, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to APPOINT. There will, of course, be no exertion of CHOICE on the part of the Senate. They may defeat one choice of the Executive, and oblige him to make another; but they cannot themselves CHOOSE, they can only ratify or reject the choice of the President. They might even entertain a preference to some other person, at the very moment they were assenting to the one proposed, because there might be no positive ground of opposition to him; and they could not be sure, if they withheld their assent, that the subsequent nomination would fall upon their own favorite, or upon any other person in their estimation more meritorious than the one rejected. Thus it could hardly happen, that the majority of the Senate would feel any other complacency towards the object of an appointment than such as the appearances of merit might inspire, and the proofs of the want of it destroy.
A FOURTH objection to the Senate in the capacity of a court of impeachments, is derived from its union with the Executive in the power of making treaties. This, it has been said, would constitute the senators their own judges, in every case of a corrupt or perfidious execution of that trust. After having combined with the Executive in betraying the interests of the nation in a ruinous treaty, what prospect, it is asked, would there be of their being made to suffer the punishment they would deserve, when they were themselves to decide upon the accusation brought against them for the treachery of which they have been guilty?
This objection has been circulated with more earnestness and with greater show of reason than any other which has appeared against this part of the plan; and yet I am deceived if it does not rest upon an erroneous foundation.
The security essentially intended by the Constitution against corruption and treachery in the formation of treaties, is to be sought for in the numbers and characters of those who are to make them. The JOINT AGENCY of the Chief Magistrate of the Union, and of two thirds of the members of a body selected by the collective wisdom of the legislatures of the several States, is designed to be the pledge for the fidelity of the national councils in this particular. The convention might with propriety have meditated the punishment of the Executive, for a deviation from the instructions of the Senate, or a want of integrity in the conduct of the negotiations committed to him; they might also have had in view the punishment of a few leading individuals in the Senate, who should have prostituted their influence in that body as the mercenary instruments of foreign corruption: but they could not, with more or with equal propriety, have contemplated the impeachment and punishment of two thirds of the Senate, consenting to an improper treaty, than of a majority of that or of the other branch of the national legislature, consenting to a pernicious or unconstitutional law, a principle which, I believe, has never been admitted into any government. How, in fact, could a majority in the House of Representatives impeach themselves? Not better, it is evident, than two thirds of the Senate might try themselves. And yet what reason is there, that a majority of the House of Representatives, sacrificing the interests of the society by an unjust and tyrannical act of legislation, should escape with impunity, more than two thirds of the Senate, sacrificing the same interests in an injurious treaty with a foreign power? The truth is, that in all such cases it is essential to the freedom and to the necessary independence of the deliberations of the body, that the members of it should be exempt from punishment for acts done in a collective capacity; and the security to the society must depend on the care which is taken to confide the trust to proper hands, to make it their interest to execute it with fidelity, and to make it as difficult as possible for them to combine in any interest opposite to that of the public good.
So far as might concern the misbehavior of the Executive in perverting the instructions or contravening the views of the Senate, we need not be apprehensive of the want of a disposition in that body to punish the abuse of their confidence or to vindicate their own authority. We may thus far count upon their pride, if not upon their virtue. And so far even as might concern the corruption of leading members, by whose arts and influence the majority may have been inveigled into measures odious to the community, if the proofs of that corruption should be satisfactory, the usual propensity of human nature will warrant us in concluding that there would be commonly no defect of inclination in the body to divert the public resentment from themselves by a ready sacrifice of the authors of their mismanagement and disgrace.
PUBLIUS.

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