Thursday, February 02, 2017

Three things we should insist on from Trump

1) Insisting on complete financial transparency and accountability, including the release of at least the last 5 years of tax forms.
2) Demanding complete divestment form all Trump business enterprises, to avoid possible conflicts of interest.
3) Full and complete cooperation with the effort to investigate any Trump complicity with Russian crimes against the United States such as the hacking of the DNC e-mails, which represent an ongoing threat to our national security.
All three of these things should be done with the threat of impeachment if he does not cooperate. So there are intermediate steps before impeachment, but these have to be insisted upon using the threat of impeachment if there is non-cooperation.

51 comments:

SteveK said...

I've heard that 1 & 2 are not a legal requirement so you would be recommending this on personal grounds. Not that it's illegal to do that. Heck let's impeach everyone we disagree with.

B. Prokop said...

There's a bill about to be passed here in Maryland requiring anyone appearing on a state ballot to release 5 years of tax returns, which would keep Trump off the MD ballot in 2020 (assuming he's still in office) unless he decides to release his.

About a week ago, I read in The Baltimore Sun that there are similar bills in other states, but I can't remember which ones.

Joe Hinman said...

I agree with the post completely. but add an understanding that truth exits with the inclusion of facts, with nit "alternate facts."

Joe Hinman said...

teveK said...
I've heard that 1 & 2 are not a legal requirement so you would be recommending this on personal grounds. Not that it's illegal to do that. Heck let's impeach everyone we disagree with.

in debate e would call that should/would argument.This is what should be done not that it would be done

Victor Reppert said...

No, the mere presence or absence of law against it is not sufficient. If someone were to be President and line their pockets at the expense of the people, but always keeping just barely inside the law, the President would be impeachable nonetheless. We are talking here about making sure that our President is not under foreign influence in a way that compromises our national security. This is more than just, say, being afraid he might repeal Obamacare. His constant state of denial about the source and significance of the hacking of the DNC is troubling in the extreme. (Imagine what would have happened to Trump if the RNC e-mails had been revealed, since I am sure they would have been full of hand-wringing about Trump's craziness and the harm it might do to the Republican party). Shoot, his own running mate warns about the Russian bear, and then Trump contradicts him in his final debate. Trump makes comparisons between Putin and Obama in terms of strength of leadership, as if you could compare the strength of leadership in a Russian dictator with that of a democratically elected President. And he starts talking about reneging on our treaty obligations to former Soviet states. For all his talk of putting America first and making America great again, he kisses up to a foreign leader who does not have American interests at heart, and we have to wonder why.

Joe Hinman said...

Trump's Coup d'etat

Joe Hinman said...

Dr Reppert your summary of the situation is acute

Ilíon said...

You sad, pathetic, hypocritical leftists.

Legion of Logic said...

"For all his talk of putting America first and making America great again, he kisses up to a foreign leader who does not have American interests at heart..."

Aaaaaaand...Obama didn't? Did you wonder why when he did it, or did you rationalize it away when it was your side doing it?

That's the biggest problem with politics these days. The hypocrisy from both sides is absolutely sickening.

B. Prokop said...

"Aaaaaaand...Obama didn't?"

Genuinely curious here. By asking this, do you mean that since Obama did something you disapprove of, it's OK if your guy also does the same thing? Or am I missing something here? I never do get these political tu quoque arguments.

If Victor has a beef with the current president, how is something the previous one did even relevant?

SteveK said...

"at the expense of the people"
"not under foreign influence in a way that compromises our national security"
"is troubling in the extreme"

Yep, you want to impeach because you disagree with them.

Joe Hinman said...

Ilíon said...
You sad, pathetic, hypocritical leftists.

Hey we are just giving the alternative facts! we are so much more pathetic tahn the Trumpies who make up massacres that ever happened then blame then on helpless voictiomsvof Issis.

SteveK said...

Everyone loves an energizing 3rd rail

Joe Hinman said...

SteveK said...
"at the expense of the people"
"not under foreign influence in a way that compromises our national security"
"is troubling in the extreme"

Yep, you want to impeach because you disagree with them.

That's just part the pathetic superficial rationalization that Trumpets use to dismiss the resistance to your anti-Christs evil.I don't refuse to follow satan because I disagree with him. I don't refuse the mark of the beast because I disagree with it, IO do't resist Trumps fascism because I disagree with it.

His world views that of satan it utter evil it's power and me at all cost and nothing else, that is evil, that is not juist somethint with whcih I disagree.

*theytried to cauction off publi land

* they are seeking to overtuen teh ban on dumpimg coal slag in roivers,

*they are trying to eliminate Dodd Frank which wassplit in place so we don't have an other economic collapse that was brought by the greed in the housing market 2008.
*they have faomented an attituide that its ok to allow children to drawon on the ociean swo we will be safe frpm terrorosm when doikmng so does not make us any safer, they qre willing to play iwth peple's loves toget rkicher

*that;s not evne gettng sarted

Joe Hinman said...

SteveK said...
Everyone loves an energizing 3rd rail

No one loves a senile idiot who is the position of being a power mad dictator and the tool k or a foreign power,

btw remember way back begging of the priories i said is the Rich stag burning? everyone said so that;s wrong to compare him to Hitler. o yes.I have a friend who received a prophesy that said he is evil.It said he would be President and it would be a disaster that was even before he announced! So I've been looking for the fulfillment of that all along,I think we are seeing it now,

SteveK said...

Personal political opinions and preferences noted. Impeach! Impeach!

Legion of Logic said...

"Genuinely curious here. By asking this, do you mean that since Obama did something you disapprove of, it's OK if your guy also does the same thing? Or am I missing something here? I never do get these political tu quoque arguments.

If Victor has a beef with the current president, how is something the previous one did even relevant?"

Two points. One, I can't stand Trump and voted for neither him nor Hillary Clinton.

Two, if a person expresses outrage when the other side does action X, and does not care when their own side does action x, then we can either conclude that the person is either lying about their outrage and is only using it as an excuse to attack the other side, or that they are a hypocrite and hold the other side to different standards. Both are real and widespread in politics today.

I remember this study that was done a few years ago (will link when I find it) about the views of voters on increased government surveillance during the Bush and Obama administrations, based on polls taken at the time. During the Bush years, I think it was around 70 percent Republican voters approved, around 70 percent Democrat voters disapproved. During the Obama years, those numbers completely flipped. It was ridiculous, but also shows how people rationalize away bad aspects of their own side, amplify negative things on the other side instead of being charitable, and use anything they can to attack the other side.

Joe Hinman said...

what are yu talking about the travel ban?

B. Prokop said...

"people rationalize away bad aspects of their own side, [and] amplify negative things on the other side instead of being charitable"

Agreed. But that still doesn't explain how saying Obama did something you disagree with excuses Trump from doing the same thing. Your argument appears to justify Trump's behavior by saying Obama wasn't any different. But what's sauce for the goose...

Am I misinterpreting you? Are you also condemning Trump's actions, or are you excusing them? I can't tell which.

tearfang said...

Calls for impeachment? Ok your self identification with crazy fringe political views has been noted.

Legion of Logic said...

"But that still doesn't explain how saying Obama did something you disagree with excuses Trump from doing the same thing."

The only excusing I'm wondering about would be from VR. I'm wondering why I'm seeing a post about Trump's behavior toward unfriendly foreign leaders, which is fine, but I never saw a similar post about Obama doing the same thing. So I'm left wondering is that because it's only a bad thing when the other side does it? Does it not actually bother him in deed, but since it was Trump then it's useful as an attack?

Which ties hack to my previous point - why are actions only objectionable when the other side does it?

Legion of Logic said...

I should clarify when I said "which is fine" that I'm talking about questioning Trump's behavior being valid. It reads like I said that I found Trump's behavior to be fine, and that's not my intent.

B. Prokop said...

Legion,

I would assume (but maybe we ought to let Victor speak for himself) that he's focused on the present, and is not looking in the rear view mirror. Blasting Obama for any shortcomings at this point would be like a pilot worrying about the length of runway behind him.

Attribution: Traditional pilot's riddle.
Q: What are the three most useless bits of information to a pilot?
A: 1) The length of runway behind you
2) How much sky is above you
3) How much fuel is on the ground.

Victor Reppert said...

No. I didn't call for impeachment. Trump can comply on all three of these concerns. Even people who voted for him should expect these things from a President. My argument is just that if he remains connected to his businesses, this raises the specter of a conflict of interest. Dick Cheney knew that, that is why he divested from Halliburton when he became vice-President. Even then his actions with respect to Halliburton were considered suspect, so how much harder will it be a President who is still connected to active businesses to do things that look very suspect. It may not be impeachable to keep businesses while President, but in my view it should be impeachable if one's actions as President put the interests of one's business over the interests of the country, and I don't see how you can avoid doing that without total divestment. We need to be sure that his people didn't solicit the criminal activities of the Russian government in order to help him get elected, and he needs to cooperate fully with the investigations in order to assure us that this is so. Also his tax returns will tell us what business interests he has in which foreign countries, which will also tell us whether his interests are going to make it difficult for him to act in the best interests of America.

He isn't just kissing up to a foreign dictator, his is kissing up to one whose people performed criminal acts which helped him get elected. Obama never did anything like that.

Ilíon said...

^ And you're a lying hypocrite.

B. Prokop said...

Ilion,

Those are serious charges, and ought not to be made without being able to back them up. Now hypocrisy is hard to prove, since you need to know what is going inside a person's mind, and must be able to prove it. But lying ought to be easy to verify (or at least easier). What is Victor lying about, and can you point out where he did so?

If you cannot do so, then you really need to retract the accusations.

Ilíon said...

Same for you.

Chad Handley said...

The only excusing I'm wondering about would be from VR. I'm wondering why I'm seeing a post about Trump's behavior toward unfriendly foreign leaders, which is fine, but I never saw a similar post about Obama doing the same thing.

Pardon me for asking, but exactly when did Obama openly praise a murderous, kleptocratic dictator with whom we have good reason to believe he has extensive, undisclosed financial ties?

Our definition of "the same thing" varies wildly.

Ilíon said...

VR, just one more lying leftist hypocrite: "He isn't just kissing up to a foreign dictator, his is kissing up to one whose people performed criminal acts which helped him get elected. Obama never did anything like that."

There is no evidence, or even a shadow of evidence that Putin's "people performed criminal acts which helped him get elected". Rather, this accusation is a Leftist lie for the purpose of
1) keeping their useful idiots riled up;
2) attempting to distract attention from the plain fact that Shillary was not going to win, even without the revelations of Democratic Party corruption that those "criminal acts" made public, for the Party had already alienated its hard-core useful idiots. Everyone *knew* that the Democratic Party is corrupt to the core and that it thrives on corruption; the "criminal acts" merely provided massive confirmation.

VR, just one more lying leftist hypocrite: "... Obama never did anything like that."

Everything Obama did was calculated to work against the interests of the United States and of the American citizens.

Just to scratch the surface --

* Obama is not a natural born US citizen -- and you people don't care that he isn't -- and thus the US Constitution *forbids* the office of US president to him; thus he never was lawfully US president; thus *every* act he performed while occupying that office was unlawful;

* Obama's election campaign not only accepted foreign money -- which is already massively illegal -- but indeed made it easier for foreign monies to flow into the mix -- and you people just don't care

* Obama, while pretending to be President of (the Republic of) the United States, *bowed* to foreign kings, and the moreso as they were un-friendlies -- and you people don't care;

* Obama "kissed up to" the murderous leftist dictator of Cuba -- and you people don't care;

* Obama "kissed up to" the murderous leftist dictator of Venezuela -- and you people don't care;

* Obama consistently insulted and alienated our allies and those friendly toward us -- and you people don't care;

* Obama consistently "kissed up to" our enemies and those hostile toward us -- and you people don't care;

* Obama amped up hostility between Russia and the USA -- and you people don't care; YET, now that it appears that Trump is attempting to dial back that hostility, you accuse him of "kissing up to a foreign dictator".

You people are liars and hypocrites. And you are just furious that the Democratic Party miscalculated the amount of vote fraud they needed to commit to "win" this past election.

Ilíon said...

"... whose people performed criminal acts which helped him get elected."

A deliberate agitprop lie ...

... meanwhile -- Ted Kennedy really did try to get the Soviet government to "intervene" in the 1984 elections -- and you people don't care.

Joe Hinman said...

A deliberate agitprop lie ...

... meanwhile -- Ted Kennedy really did try to get the Soviet government to "intervene" in the 1984 elections -- and you people don't care.

yes that was during the bowling green masacre

Joe Hinman said...

the right wing mentality is diametrically opposed to the teachings of Jesus and the nature of the gospel. The notion that one's political alignment determines one;s rightness with God or one's salvation is anathema. it;s the teaching of another gospel. The right winger worships money and power--idolatry. That does not mean that there are no saved right wingers, but it does mean that if you follow that road very fa you find up compromising your faith,

One might argue the left wing winds up in atheism. The problem with politics is taught it grounds all solutions i they wielding of temporal power. As St. Augustine tells us The project based upon temporal power can never claim to be the city of God.

There is a social dimension to the Gospel. Paul]s rebuke of Peter for rejecting fellowship with the gentiles implies a social dimension, Paul equates that iwth the Gospel itself. He expresses the value system of the gospel in that book, freedom,and accepted of others,
God's Grace and the rejection of social boundaries and barrios upon the individual. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female in Christ Jesus. The abrogation of cultural and social boundaries upon the value of the individual. Here gender functions as a social barrier.

These are the values i see spelled out n Galatians that define and focus my political affiliations. I do recognize that these values can be affirmed by and embodied in some version by conservatives and people to the right on the political spectrum. Unlike right wingers I don't accept existentialism. There is no essence of right or left but there are ideologies that warp peoples thinking. Politics is grounded in temporal power and the ultimate pragmatism that taints all good and all value and enters all thinking and feeling around the pragmatic. Of course I accept many conservatives and even right wingers as brothers and sisters in Christ if they know Jesus,We have to remain aloof from politics commitments and we have to ground those commitments in the love of Jesus.

I recommend Reinhold Niebuhr, especially Christian Ethics,Nature and Destiny of man (I and(I and II) and Moral Man and Immoral Society. I think those will help ground one in an understanding of the proper values for Christian in politicos. Niebuhr founded a philosophy called "Christian realism." He was a Debsian socialist he rejected Marxist socialism wrote about the eviils ofcounisn while running on socialist ticket.

Joe Hinman said...

he only excusing I'm wondering about would be from VR. I'm wondering why I'm seeing a post about Trump's behavior toward unfriendly foreign leaders, which is fine, but I never saw a similar post about Obama doing the same thing.

Obama never did the same thing

Joe Hinman said...

Ilíon said...
^ And you're a lying hypocrite.

February 03, 2017 4:50 PM

case in point

Ilíon said...

Just another leftist hyprocrite: "Three things we should insist on from Trump ..."

You hyprocrites are in no position to insist upon anything. After all, 'I won'

Joe Hinman said...


You hyprocrites are in no position to insist upon anything. After all, 'I won'

I'm doing it anyway little bully boy, put on your little hood that fits so well over your pointed head and come stop me

B. Prokop said...

"The notion that one's political alignment determines one's rightness with God or one's salvation is anathema. it's the teaching of another gospel."

I could not agree more, Joe. A good Christian can be a Democrat, a Republican, a libertarian, a socialist, a monarchist, a feudalist, a capitalist, a distributionist, a communalist... heck, even a fascist (but not a Capital "C" Communist or an anarchist).

Legion of Logic said...

"the right wing mentality is diametrically opposed to the teachings of Jesus and the nature of the gospel. The notion that one's political alignment determines one;s rightness with God or one's salvation is anathema."

Correct me if I misunderstood you here, but these two sentences seem contradictory. Unless you're saying that one's rightness with God being based on political affiliation is purely a right wing notion?

B. Prokop said...

I think Joe's two sentences read better if you reverse their order (and re-word them a bit).

1. One's political leanings have no bearing on whether or not one is a good Christian.
2. Some people on the right are prone to disagree with this.

Joe Hinman said...

Legion of Logic said...

"the right wing mentality is diametrically opposed to the teachings of Jesus and the nature of the gospel. The notion that one's political alignment determines one;s rightness with God or one's salvation is anathema."

Correct me if I misunderstood you here, but these two sentences seem contradictory. Unless you're saying that one's rightness with God being based on political affiliation is purely a right wing notion?

yes those are the endencies. there are excepts but right tneds to be fundie and left tneds to be athiests in tyier extrmees

Joe Hinman said...

. Prokop said...
"The notion that one's political alignment determines one's rightness with God or one's salvation is anathema. it's the teaching of another gospel."

I could not agree more, Joe. A good Christian can be a Democrat, a Republican, a libertarian, a socialist, a monarchist, a feudalist, a capitalist, a distributionist, a communalist... heck, even a fascist (but not a Capital "C" Communist or an anarchist).

two thumbs up Prokop

B. Prokop said...

I must be doing something right! Most of the time I'm in agreement with Ilion (with a few notable exceptions), while every now and then (like now) I think he's gone off the deep end. I'm not often in outright disagreement with Joe, but I do wish he'd phrase his opinions differently at times. David and I quite often come to a consensus, and even Stardusty says something brilliant now and then... but Cal, never.

As for everybody else, I get you all confused, and can never remember who stands where on what.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Victor Reppert said...

" No. I didn't call for impeachment. Trump can comply on all three of these concerns."
Under the "threat of impeachment", meaning you do call for impeachment in the case of none compliance.


" Even people who voted for him should expect these things from a President."
Clearly, however, they don't, or at least such things are relatively minor concerns, certainly not cause for removal since in the minds of a large minority they were not cause to withhold their votes.


" My argument is just that if he remains connected to his businesses, this raises the specter of a conflict of interest."
Which may or may not be an impeachable offense. Violation of the emoluments clause certainly is an impeachable offense. Other sorts of conflict must be shown to violate the law, not merely our personal sensibilities.

" Dick Cheney knew that, that is why he divested from Halliburton when he became vice-President. Even then his actions with respect to Halliburton were considered suspect,"
But Cheney was not impeached.

" in my view it should be impeachable if one's actions as President put the interests of one's business over the interests of the country,"
We would need stronger laws to cover that relatively low bar.


"We need to be sure that his people didn't solicit the criminal activities of the Russian government"
Soliciting a crime is a crime, and impeachable, hence Watergate.

" Also his tax returns will tell us"
Failing to publicly disclose returns is not a crime, however, tax returns might be investigated in confidence if a probable cause can support a subpoena of those documents.

Victor, I basically agree with you in spirit but I think your language could be a little tighter in some respects. To pull this off we will need to convince 218 representatives and 67 senators that there is or was a violation of law sufficient to warrant impeachment and conviction.


February 03, 2017 4:10 PM

SteveK said...

Crap, I agree with Dusty!
I feel so dirty

B. Prokop said...

Like I said, every now and again... the monkey hits a word. :)

I agree that Trump runs a terrible risk of being eventually impeached if he does not totally divest himself of all his business interests. For those of you old enough to remember, recall that President Carter was compelled to sell off his family peanut business. And even then, there was a lengthy congressional investigation to make sure that he had truly done so, that there was zero residual control by the Carter family, and that not one cent of revenue continued in his direction.

Will Trump be willing to do the same thing? I'm not so sure...

Victor Reppert said...

It is true that the first of these two things are not supported by law as it now stands, but they should be. If Hillary had been elected, would you want Hillary to turn the Clinton Foundation over to people outside her family, and to relinquish control of it completely? I voted for her, and yes, I would want her to do exactly that. And Republicans, who have always been the first to investigate every hint of possible corruption on the part of the Clintons, should be the first to insist on transparency and openness on the part of the incoming Republican administration. The only reason Republicans might be afraid of this is that they fear that Trump will refuse to cooperate. But if so, and Trump is impeached for it, the Presidency will fall to Pence, not Hillary, and Pence is far more reliably conservative, as I see it, than is Trump.

SteveK said...

The quotes from Maxine Waters in this article sound identical to what Victor is saying here

http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/02/06/dem-rep-waters-trump-investigation-underway-evidence-not-required-for-impeachment/

B. Prokop said...

People like Rep. Maxine Waters are vital for our healthy democracy. We need to have the full spectrum of opinion openly asserted without fear of censorship or reprisal. Whether or not you agree with her, every American ought to be grateful that we don't have a system where everyone must kowtow to the Supreme Leader, and where dissent is not only "tolerated", it is celebrated.

I predicted a Republican victory in 2016 more than 2 years ago, because Americans don't like one party government - we never have. The Republicans overreached under George W. Bush and were slapped down in 2006-2008. Obama immediately overreached, and was "shellacked" in the midterms. Trump appears to be on the road to a Republican overreach, and will once again be reined in as a consequence.

I still have faith in the ability of our system to right itself, even though we often resemble a drunken man trying to get on a horse.

Robert Brown said...

I could care less whether Trump releases his returns. Most professional politicians plan for it for many years, so they have had help from tax pros to make their returns look clean.

Does anyone think that Obama didn't sell more books bease he was President?

Some time before the DNC hacking was made public, Obama said his policies had made us safer. After the hacking was known, he said that they had known about it for sometime. So much for his claim to have made safer.

BTW, I'm not convince that the hacking didn't come from US agencies, like NSA.

Crude said...

There's one thing I insist from Trump.

That he use every means at his disposal to use the government to hurt the left. Deport illegal immigrants, smash universities, use executive orders, imprison violent protesters... everything. I don't mean 'upset the left'. I mean hurt them. So bad that they actually feel kind of scared, that they're afraid to riot, because it may mean their life or their health.

For 4-8 years.

Until they reach a point where they're so collectively afraid, that they're willing to either secede, or so chain the government down out of fear of what may happen if someone else who isn't them gets control of it again.

Maybe then we'll have some ****ing peace.

Victor Reppert said...

Hurt the left??? Despite the short-term setback it imposes, Trump is, for the left, the gift the keeps on giving. Liberals may want impeachment, conservatives are going to need it, and soon.

Trump isn't a credible defender of the unborn and traditional marriage. To oppose abortion and gay marriage you have to push back against the sexual revolution. To do that, he has to repudiate the Playboy mentality that runs through all of his comments about women up to now, and he hasn't even tried to do that. After all, the kind of sexual conduct he described in the Access Hollywood tape is exactly the kind of behavior that causes women to have unwanted pregnancies. The idea that I can have sex with anything that moves so long is it is of the opposite sex, but I can't marry someone of the same sex is hypocritical and leaves you wide open to the charge of being a bigot. A traditional Christian who opposes gay marriage can say, "No, I'm not prejudiced against gay people, it is just that same-sex sexual conduct is proscribed, but lots of heterosexual sexual conduct is also proscribed, and you may or may not get the chance to enter a marriage." Trump can't say that, without fully repenting of the attitudes he has expressed over and over again.