Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

POTUS as Internet Troll


Trump today, on the internet.  Trump yesterday, in a room with Sen. Feinstein:

Senator, would you like to say something?

SENATOR FEINSTEIN:  I would.  As you know, we tried for comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate.  It was on the floor, there were a number of amendments, it got a lot of attention in the judiciary committee, and then the House didn’t take it up.

I think there needs to be a willingness on both sides.  And I think — and I don’t know how you would feel about this, but I’d like to ask the question:  What about a clean DACA bill now, with a commitment that we go into a comprehensive immigration reform procedure?  Like we did back — oh, I remember when Kennedy was here and it was really a major, major effort, and it was a great disappointment that it went nowhere.

THE PRESIDENT:  I remember that.  I have no problem.  I think that’s basically what Dick is saying.  We’re going to come up with DACA.  We’re going to do DACA, and then we can start immediately on the phase two, which would be comprehensive.

SENATOR FEINSTEIN:  Would you be agreeable to that?

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, I would like — I would like to do that.  Go ahead. I think a lot of people would like to see that, but I think we have to do DACA first.

REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTHY:  Mr. President, you need to be clear though.  I think what Senator Feinstein is asking here: When we talk about just DACA, we don’t want to be back here two years later.  We have to have security, as the Secretary would tell you.

REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTHY:  But I think that’s what she’s saying.

SENATOR FEINSTEIN:  What do you think I’m saying?

REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTHY:  I’m thinking you’re saying DACA is not secure.  Are you talking about security as well?

SENATOR FEINSTEIN:  Well, I think if we have some meaningful comprehensive immigration reform, that’s really where the security goes.  And if we can get the DACA bill, because March is coming and people are losing their status every day —

REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTHY:  But, let’s be honest.  Security was voted on just a few years ago, and, no disrespect, there’s people in the room on the other side of the aisle who voted for it.  If I recall, Senator Clinton voted for it.  So I don’t think that’s comprehensive; I think that’s dealing with DACA at the same time.  I think that’s really what the President is making.

It’s kind of like three pillars: DACA, because we’re all in the room want to do it; border security, so we’re not back out here; and chain migration.  It’s just three items, and then everything else that’s comprehensive is kind of moved to the side.

So I believe when the (inaudible) —

THE PRESIDENT:  And the lottery.

REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTHY:  And the lottery.

THE PRESIDENT:  And I think you should add merit.  I mean, if you can, add merit-based.  (Laughter.)  I don’t think — I don’t know who is going to argue with merit-based?  Who can argue with merit-based?

Dianne, go ahead.

SENATOR FEINSTEIN:  Can I ask a question?  Do you really think that there can be agreement on all of that, quickly, to get DACA passed in time?  I wanted to ask Mr. McCarthy a question.  Do you really think there can be agreement on those three difficult subjects you raised in time to get DACA passed and effective?

REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTHY:  Yes, because you have heard from Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan, who said they will put the bill onto the floor if the President agrees to it.  And us getting to the room, I haven’t seen us be this close and having this discussion in quite a few years — or the whole last four years.

So I think, yes, we can make this happen.  We all know it.  We’ve done it before.  You and I spent a long time — we did probably one of the most difficult things to do in California — water.  And I believe we can get there and we can just keep working each day on this.

THE PRESIDENT:  I think what we’re all saying is we’ll do DACA and we can certainly start comprehensive immigration reform the following afternoon.  Okay?  We’ll take an hour off and then we’ll start.

SENATOR FEINSTEIN: Okay.

THE PRESIDENT:  I do believe that.  Because once we get DACA done — if it’s done properly — with, you know, security, and everything else —

SENATOR FEINSTEIN:  That’s the point.

THE PRESIDENT:  If it’s done properly, we have taken a big chunk of comprehensive out of the negotiation, and I don’t think it’s going to be that complicated.

Funny, she's just "Senator" and "Dianne," there; not "Sneaky Dianne."  And, of course, he gives us his legal opinion that she "illegally" released transcripts of Congressional testimony, a legal opinion about as sound as this one:

“We are going to take a strong look at our country’s libel laws so that when somebody says something that is false and defamatory about someone, that person will have meaningful recourse in our courts,” he said.

....

“If somebody says something that’s totally false and knowingly false, that the person that has been abused, defamed, libeled, will have meaningful recourse,” he said. “Our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace and do not represent American values or American fairness.”

“You can’t say things that are false, knowingly false, and be able to smile as money pours into your bank account,” Trump added.

Yes, he's threatening to examine the definition of "libel" in U.S. law in order to be sure the current definition of libel in U.S. law is the definition of "libel."   After all, he needs to be sure he's free to call Ms. Clinton "Crooked Hillary" and Steve Bannon "Sloppy Steve" and Sen. Feinstein "Sneaky Dianne." Not, of course, to their faces!

And I'm not even going to touch on his treating a Cabinet meeting like a reality TV show because he liked the ratings he thinks he got yesterday.

The President of the United States is an internet bully, braver on-line than he is in person; and he's a buffoon no more qualified for his job than a 5 year old would be.  We didn't need Michael Wolff to tell us that, but apparently we needed him to allow us to openly talk about that.

5 Comments:

Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

If it were possible to sue for libel on his terms he'd have been sued into the flames of hell long ago, never to emerge.

3:12 PM  
Blogger ntodd said...

She is sneaksy and FALSE! We hates her!

4:41 PM  
Blogger Rmj said...

"If it were possible to sue for libel on his terms he'd have been sued into the flames of hell long ago, never to emerge."

To put on my pedantic lawyer's cap (threadbare though it is): Trump is protected by the same law on libel that shields him from libel suits.

His problem, aside from NYT v. Sullivan, is that he'd either have to prove libel per se (such as being accused of being a felon, or having committed a felony), or he'd have to prove damages due to the libel. Since Trump makes his money, and his reputation, from his notoriety, it would be almost impossible for him to claim a lie had damaged his reputation and prove monetary losses from the lie (libel per se doesn't require a showing of damages, but it also doesn't guarantee a jackpot. The tort is probably still more alive in England, where it originated, than it is in America, where the 1st Amendment culture has rendered it almost toothless. Trump might win a libel per se case, even after NYT v. Sullivan, but he wouldn't necessary win more than $1.00 in damages. Literally.).

He doesn't understand the law at all, and he's not going to get the Supremes to overturn Sullivan, mostly because he's never going to prosecute a case that far, and get that big a break.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Rmj said...

And yes, she is tricksy, precioussssss!

6:21 PM  
Blogger June Butler said...

"Diane" was sneaky there. Kevin McCarthy was in a panic because he did not want Sen Feinstein to be the last person to speak to Trump. The meeting was a hilarious slice of government by reality show, with Trump agreeing with everyone who spoke up, no matter the conflicting policies. Just put something, anything, on my desk, and I'll sign it to have a "win".

1:56 PM  

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