ChrisWeigant.com

Constitutional History Being Made

[ Posted Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 – 18:31 UTC ]

Some constitutional history was made this week -- and it had nothing to do with President Donald Trump, because presidents have absolutely no role in amending the Constitution itself. That power is reserved to Congress and the legislatures of the states. And Virginia's state legislature just officially ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. In doing so, they became the 38th state to ratify, which seems to meet the constitutional requirement that three-fourths of the states ratify an amendment in order for it to be adopted as part of the Constitution. This is a fairly momentous occasion, which coincides with the other constitutional history being made in the Senate this week, as only the third-ever presidential impeachment trial continues.

The United States Constitution has essentially been amended only 18 times. I say "essentially" because while we actually currently have 27 amendments, the first ten were adopted at the same time, as the Bill of Rights. Only 17 times since then have amendments been approved by Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures. This week, perhaps, will go down in history as the nineteenth time an amendment succeeded in become part of our government's foundational document.

Again, there's a "perhaps" in there that needs explaining. Because while 38 states have indeed now ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, there are two legal arguments still standing in the way of it being declared valid and part of the Constitution. So far, the government's official stance is that at least one of these arguments precludes such recognition. The whole matter will undoubtedly wind up before the Supreme Court before the E.R.A. becomes the law of the land.

The first argument against recognizing the ratification is that it took too long. But it's an open question whether this argument is constitutional or not. Let's look at some relevant text. First, the entire text of the Equal Rights Amendment, as adopted by Congress in 1972:

Section 1: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Section 2: The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

Next, here is what the Congress slapped onto the amendment's actual text as a preface when it passed:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission by the Congress:

This requirement was not met in the time provided. So Congress extended the deadline to 1982. This requirement was also not met, and Congress hasn't acted upon it since. But the question remains of whether such deadlines are constitutional in and of themselves. Here is the entirety of Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which deals with amendments (emphasis added to the relevant phrases):

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

This, like much of the Constitution, is pretty vague. There is absolutely nothing in there about time limits one way or the other, with the exception of the final clauses (which begin with: "....provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight..."), which were written to preserve slavery in the Southern states until at least 1808. We're now long past not only 1808 but also slavery, meaning these clauses are now meaningless.

The first legal question, properly put is: Does the Constitution allow Congress to set arbitrary time limits for amendments to be ratified by the states, or is this an encroachment on their constitutional power to ratify amendments as they see fit? That question has never been ruled upon either way, but it is what the opponents of the Equal Rights Amendment are arguing.

The question of amendments being ratified long after they were proposed and sent to the states by Congress does have one rather pertinent precedent, which was set when the last amendment to the Constitution was adopted. The story of the Twenty-Seventh Amendment is an entertaining one which shows American moxie and determination, in fact, in a way seldom seen in our democracy. A college student wrote a paper pointing out that when the Bill of Rights was proposed, there were actually twelve amendments in the package. Only ten were eventually adopted. The other two fell short of the three-fourths ratification bar in the states. So, the student concluded, one of them might be voted on in enough state legislatures today to then become part of the Constitution. The student's reasoning was not initially given much weight, as the paper only got a "C" grade.

The student thought he deserved better, and he set out to prove his professor wrong. Which he then did, by doing precisely what his paper suggested was possible -- convincing enough state legislatures to ratify the amendment so that it became part of the Constitution. This was over two hundred and two years after it had been proposed and sent to the states by Congress. Of course, the case isn't entirely parallel for two relevant reasons: (1) the amendment as sent to the states never had a congressional time limit imposed upon it, and (2) the student got enough states in modern times to surpass the three-fourths necessary (he didn't rely on the seven states which had ratified it back in the 1790s, in other words, he convinced enough states in the 1980s and 1990s to ratify it just so there wouldn't be any questions).

Four years ago, the university officially retroactively gave the student an A-plus for the course. This is a bit unusual since an "A" is normally the highest grade a student can get, but an exception was granted -- giving the student the only A-plus grade in the university's entire history. The professor signed off on this grade change, remarking: "Goodness, he certainly proved he knew how to work the Constitution and what it meant and how to be politically active."

This amusing story shows that there is no built-in timeline for ratification, although it does not directly address the separation of powers between the Congress and the state legislatures when it comes to whether a timeline is even permissible or not. But there is a second legal issue that is still outstanding, even if the first one were to disappear (more on that in a moment).

When the E.R.A. was initially passed by Congress, it rapidly got very close to the three-fourths threshold (35 states ratified it within the first timeline set). But then there was a concerted effort by conservatives, led by Phyllis Schlafly, to defeat it. In the midst of this fight, several conservative states had second thoughts, and their state legislatures tried to "unratify" it. They had already previously ratified it, but then they voted to undo this ratification. This legal question has also never been ruled upon by the courts -- can a state go back and "untouch second base" in such a fashion? Or is ratification permanent once it happens, and cannot be undone? Currently, five states have attempted to unratify the Equal Rights Amendment, four by actively voting on it (Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Tennessee) and one (South Dakota) by including a deadline within their original ratification. Which would leave it with only 33 states having signed on, which would still be five short of the goal.

So even if the courts ruled that timelines not contained within the text of the proposed amendment were unconstitutional and invalid, if the courts also ruled that states do have the power of unratification, the Equal Rights Amendment would still be short five states. Both issues will be argued, and a win is necessary in both of them for the amendment to be declared now part of the Constitution. Because these are weighty constitutional questions, the Supreme Court will likely be the final arbiter, which could take a minimum of a year before it happens.

However, in the meantime, there is absolutely nothing stopping Democrats from making this a honking big political issue. They could do so both directly and indirectly, in fact. The House is now being urged to pass a bill which rescinds the original timelines set by Congress back in the 1970s. After all, if Congress has the power to institute such timelines then it also would assumably have the power to abolish previous ones. If such a bill were signed into law, the entire timeline issue would disappear. And such a measure should be a pretty easy lift for Nancy Pelosi's House to pass. By passing the bill and sending it over to Mitch McConnell's Senate, it would prove very clearly which party wanted the E.R.A. to pass and which was fighting against it (as if there were any doubt). Democrats in the states where the amendment has not been ratified -- or in the states which are trying to untouch second base -- could also make a push for their state legislatures to ratify the E.R.A., showing once again that Republicans were the ones standing in the way.

Either way, Democrats could then indirectly use the issue out on the campaign trail. Think women deserve constitutional equal rights? Then elect us, and we'll get it done -- both in our state's legislature and at the national level! That is an absurdly easy argument to make.

And it could be a potent and crucial one, politically. Women voters could indeed be the key to the 2020 election. They certainly were in the 2018 and 2019 elections, especially suburban women. Think suburban women can be convinced today -- as indeed they were back into 1970s by Phyllis Schlafly -- that the Equal Rights Amendment would be some sort of dangerous radical notion? That is pretty doubtful in this day and age. Most women would likely overwhelmingly support being guaranteed equal rights by the U.S. Constitution -- for themselves, for their daughters, and for their granddaughters to come. It could be a real rallying issue for suburban women, in fact. As such, it could be yet another potent reason for them to vote Democratic this November.

Democrats need to explicitly make this case from now on. Why isn't the E.R.A. the law of the land? Republicans. Why can't the Senate follow the House in removing the timeline so the E.R.A. can be adopted? Republicans. Why can't women's rights be enshrined in our founding document? Republicans. Who is arguing for equality? Democrats. Who is fighting against equality? Republicans.

Right now, this issue is not making much of a media splash, with everything else that is going on. In Virginia itself it was big news, but beyond the commonwealth's borders it still hasn't become a major talking point. Democrats everywhere would be committing political malpractice if they don't immediately move this to the center of their 2020 election campaigns, because it could wind up being instrumental in a big victory this November.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

81 Comments on “Constitutional History Being Made”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    just because donald had nothing to do with ERA passing, doesn't mean he won't try to take credit for it. best women's rights president ever!

  2. [2] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    I can't wait until sometime after 2067 when we can have the same celebration about the progress of the amendment to overturn Citizens United.

    Perhaps we should consider more immediate action we can take now without having to wait for amendments or legislation to be enacted.

  3. [3] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    precisely! vote pie right now!

  4. [4] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Can we safely assume, as a matter of practical politics, that the conservative majority of the Supreme Court will, if asked, rule that the states can indeed 'unratify' an amendment and that a Congressional time limitation on ratification is likewise constitutional?

    In other words, do the conservative Justices take the point of view that Conservatism does not want an easy and open amendment process? That an amendment favoring, say, a balanced budget, or an abortion ban, or an end to birthright citizenship - all favored in recent times by conservatives - should be made more difficult if the Congress or state legislatures decide to make it more difficult?

    This seems to come back to the problem we've seen repeatedly in the impeachment debates. Is what's good for the goose, also good for the gander? Do Republicans favor changes in constitutional practice and convention that, if wielded by the Democrats, they'd be horrified by?

    I really can't tell. I've read critiques that suggest the Republicans take positions that defy constitutional precedent (like blocking a Supreme Court nominee in an election year, or saying a president can use his power to blackmail foreign countries into helping his re-election campaign) because they trust that the Democrats are too conscience-stricken or 'honest' to do the same in return when the time comes! As the critiques put it, the Dems always bring a knife to a gun fight, and the Repubs have begun to count on that to consolidate their power even as their electoral base becomes more and more a permanent national minority.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Some senators were asking about when, precisely, the President put the hold on Ukraine aid and when he began to be interested at all in Ukraine.

    The president's legal team didn't have an answer.

    But, if senators want a serious answer to this they could just ask a simple question:

    When did the president's personal lawyer first talk with Ukrainians or visit Ukraine.

    Or, they could just watch previous episodes of Prime Time with Chris Cuomo when the guest was none other than Rudy Giuliani when the president's personal lawyer bragged about asking (corrupt) Ukrainians about the Bidens. I think it goes back to March of 2019, or thereabouts.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    I hate to think that this is really where we are in our world today, but conservatives prejudices might just be too powerful for them to accept anything more than their own mirror images.

    There's another hearty belly laugh.

    "conservatives prejudices"

    Considering the hate and intolerance and bigotry of liberals, me thinks the pot is calling thy kettle black..

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is a fairly momentous occasion, which coincides with the other constitutional history being made in the Senate this week, as only the third-ever presidential impeachment trial continues.

    Oh would you get off that kick... How many times did you utter or talk about "Only the second president to be impeached" during the Clinton impeachment??

    I bet none at all because Clinton has a -D after his name..

    :eyeroll:

    If it's third, it's no longer history...

    Now, if you REALLY want to talk about history being made.

    We can talk about NAFTA being history..

    We can talk about President Trump acquitted on Friday..

    But if you REALLY want to talk about FIRSTS in history??

    Democrats are the FIRST to impeach a POTUS **SOLELY** based on partisan politics and the FIRST to impeach a POTUS for absolutely NO CRIMES WHATSOEVER..

    THERE is yer "FIRST" in history...

    Enough with the bias, eh??? How about some REALITY....

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trump could be acquitted in impeachment trial as early as Friday-U.S. Senator

    WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - A Democratic push to force Republicans to accept witnesses at Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate appeared to be flagging on Wednesday, raising the possibility the president could be acquitted as early as Friday.

    As senators spent the day posing questions to both the Trump legal team and the Democratic managers of the trial, the White House objected to the planned publication of a book by former national security adviser John Bolton in which he is said to have depicted Trump as playing a central role in pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden.

    U.S. Senator John Barrasso, the No. 3 Republican in seniority, said it was possible the trial could end on Friday without Democrats achieving their goal of having witnesses called to testify.

    "The momentum is clearly in the direction of moving to final judgment on Friday. That vote will be Friday. We still have a couple members who said they want to listen to the answers to questions, but that's where the momentum is," Barrasso said.
    http://news.trust.org/item/20200129221314-zxcyl

    Yer gonna lose, people..

    And this country, the American People and PRESIDENT Trump are gonna win.. :D

    Get used to the idea... Cause winning is going to keep on happening..

    And do you know why??

    Because the Good Guys *ALWAYS* win..

    The Bad Guys *ALWAYS* go down in flames..

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    And such a measure should be a pretty easy lift for Nancy Pelosi's House to pass. By passing the bill and sending it over to Mitch McConnell's Senate, it would prove very clearly which party wanted the E.R.A. to pass and which was fighting against it (as if there were any doubt). Democrats in the states where the amendment has not been ratified -- or in the states which are trying to untouch second base -- could also make a push for their state legislatures to ratify the E.R.A., showing once again that Republicans were the ones standing in the way.

    That might even go a long way towards lifting the historical STAIN on the Democrat Party for fighting against the Civil Rights Amendment..

    Don'tcha think?? :D

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    just because donald had nothing to do with ERA passing, doesn't mean he won't try to take credit for it. best women's rights president ever!

    If it past on his watch, why wouldn't he take credit for it??

    You have to know a DEMOCRAT President surely would take credit for it if there was one..

    It's called politics.. Perhaps you have heard of it? :D

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM from CT,

    Can we safely assume, as a matter of practical politics, that the conservative majority of the Supreme Court will, if asked, rule that the states can indeed 'unratify' an amendment and that a Congressional time limitation on ratification is likewise constitutional?

    Haven't you heard?? There are no "conservative" judges or "liberal" judges..

    There are only judges.. :eyeroll:

    It's funny how you people hysterically enshrine concepts that suit ya'all's agenda..

    Then discard them like day old trash when they no longer can be used.. :eyeroll:

    . I've read critiques that suggest the Republicans take positions that defy constitutional precedent (like blocking a Supreme Court nominee in an election year, or saying a president can use his power to blackmail foreign countries into helping his re-election campaign) because they trust that the Democrats are too conscience-stricken or 'honest' to do the same in return when the time comes!

    Boy, do Republicans have Democrats all wrong!!!

    It's funny to hear "conscience" and "Democrats" in the same sentence.. Those terms are mutually exclusive and should never appear together..

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Some senators were asking about when, precisely, the President put the hold on Ukraine aid and when he began to be interested at all in Ukraine.

    It's not relevant to anything.

    It comes under the heading of Foreign Policy and Foreign Policy is the ***SOLE*** purview of the President...

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Responding to a question by top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, lead House prosecutor Adam Schiff said there would be no way to have a fair trial without witnesses.

    Then I guess the House did not have a fair trial..

    That's on House Dems.. They have no right to ask the Senate to do the work that Dems were too lazy or too stoopid to do as they should have..

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    "And when you have a witness as plainly relevant as John Bolton who goes to the heart of the most serious and most egregious of the president's misconduct, who has volunteered to come and testify - to turn him away, to look the other way, I think is deeply at odds with being an impartial juror"
    -Adam Shiff-head

    And yet... That is ***EXACTLY*** what Schiff-head did.. Schiff-head turned Bolton away...

    What a complete and utter moron..

    Once again, the facts are these..

    All Trump/America haters have is nothing but hearsay and bullshit to prove any quid pro quo..

    Even if Trump/America haters **HAD** bona fide FACTS to prove quid pro quo, it doesn't matter..

    It's not illegal and it certain is not impeachable..

    So, even if Democrats HAVE a case, they have no case..

    Which is why there is NO CRIME in the Articles Of Impeachment..

    Abuse Of Power... NOT a crime..

    Obstruction Of Congress... NOT a crime..

    Case dismissed. As it will be tomorrow! :D

    THEN what will Trump/America haters do??? :D

    What IS it about Trump/America haters that they ALWAYS lose???

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Dershowitz takes on Nadler, Schiff

    Wednesday's lengthy question-and-answer session contained other notable moments, including another spirited constitutional argument by liberal Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz.

    Multiple media outlets, including CNN, mischaracterized Dershowitz throughout the day as saying that presidents can do "anything" as long as they can argue it's in the "public interest." In fact, Dershowitz maintained that criminal or criminal-like conduct is impeachable, regardless of its motivation.

    Instead, Dershowitz asserted the Senate should not be in the business of removing presidents based on nebulous and unconstitutional "abuse of power" charges that the framers expressly rejected. It would be a standard Democrats would not want applied to their own presidents, he argued.

    To demonstrate that point, Dershowitz made thinly veiled references to President Obama's refusal to send lethal military aid to Ukraine, as well as his failed, unenforced "red line" warning for Syria not to use chemical weapons. Obama was also caught on a hot microphone promising Russia's president he would have "more flexibility" on missile defense issues after the 2012 election.

    "Let's consider a hypothetical," Dershowitz said. "Let's assume that President Obama had been told by his advisors that it really is important to send lethal weapons to the Ukraine. But then he gets a call from his pollster and his political adviser, who says we know it's in the national interest to send lethal weapons to the Ukraine, but we're telling you that the left-wing of your party is really going to give you a hard time if you start selling lethal weapons and potentially get into a lethal war with Russia. Would anybody here suggest that is impeachable?"

    He continued: "Or let's assume President Obama said, 'I promise to bomb Syria if they had chemical weapons. But I'm now told by my pollster that bombing Syria would hurt my electoral chances.' Simply not impeachable at all."
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/justice-roberts-blocks-sen-paul-from-naming-whistleblower-source-says-and-paul-may-force-the-issue

    Conduct by Odumbo was as bad or even WORSE than President Trumps when you considered the Odumbo (what he thought was)secret confession to Putin stooge where Odumbo promised fealty to Putin in exchange for help to win his (Odumbo's) election..

    But Democrats were PERFECTLY OK with that because Odumbo had a -D after his name..

    Hypocrisy at it's finest..

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trump declares 'GAME OVER'

    A string of newly resurfaced video clips of former national security adviser John Bolton spurred Trump and his supporters Wednesday to highlight what they described as Bolton's serious credibility questions amid the Senate impeachment trial, as the president tweeted, "GAME OVER!"

    In his tweet, Trump linked to an interview of Bolton in August 2019 where he discusses Ukraine policy. In the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty interview clip, Bolton made no mention of any illicit quid pro quo, and acknowledged, as Republicans have claimed, that combating "corruption" in Ukraine was a "high priority" for the Trump administration.

    Bolton also called Trump's communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "warm and cordial," without mentioning any misconduct. It seemingly contradicted reported assertions in Bolton's forthcoming book that Trump explicitly told him he wanted to tie military aid to Ukraine to an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden. (Zelensky has said his communications with Trump involved no pressure for any investigation.)

    Fox News later identified clips of Schiff, D-Calif., now the lead House impeachment manager, in which he says Bolton had a distinct "lack of credibility" and was prone to "conspiracy theories." This week, Schiff said Bolton needed to testify in the impeachment trial as an important and believable witness.

    BBBBWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Once again, Schiff-head's past words come back to bite him on his scrawny cowardly little ass!!! :D

    Funny how ya'all CLAIM to be against lying, but are perfectly OK when Schiff-head LIED about the transcript of the call, LIED about not having previous contact with the whistleblower and now LIES about Bolton's credibility..

    I guess it simply proves what I have been saying all along.

    Ya'all don't mind liars.. As long as they are liars that say what you want to hear.. :smirk: :D

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    "{Bolton} is someone who's likely to exaggerate the dangerous impulses of the president toward belligerence, his proclivity to act without thinking, and his love of conspiracy theories."
    -Adam Schiff-Head, Mar 2019

    "Bolton needs to testify in the impeachment trial as an important and believable witness."
    -Adam Schiff-Head, Jan 2020

    Typical Democrat.. Talking out both sides of his ass, depending on the political winds..

    And THIS is a MIDOTW recipient???

    Boggles the mind...

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yep, the faux impeachment coup of President Trump is over..

    And the Democrat Trump/America hater post-coital let down sets in.... :D

    The rest of this week and all of next weeks Forecast???

    Sunny, some rain and a big chance of gloating each and every day.... :D

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    How Alex P. Keaton Predicted The New Conservative Movement

    Alex P. Keaton, the countercultural conservative from the 1980s sitcom 'Family Ties,' tells us a lot about the new conservative movement.
    https://thefederalist.com/2020/01/28/how-alex-p-keaton-predicted-the-new-conservative-movement/

    Interesting article..

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Over the weekend, Washington Post columnist Max Boot had a novel take on President Trump’s impeachment. According to Boot, what Trump said on the phone call with Ukraine’s president was in some ways worse than Andrew Jackson’s forced relocation of Native Americans or FDR’s internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

    “Other presidents — from Andrew Jackson with the Trail of Tears during the 1830s, to Franklin D. Roosevelt with the internment of U.S. citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent during World War II — have trampled our values, but they always had a public purpose and usually had congressional support,” Boot wrote.

    Either Boot or someone at the Post came to their senses, because the sentence was later stealth-edited to clarify that Native American genocide and racist imprisonment were “far worse things” than Donald Trump’s alleged misdeeds. But by then, Boot was already being roasted on social media.

    There are many more examples of open mouth, insert Boot. Back in October, after the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Trump said the terrorist was “whimpering and crying” at the end of his life. Boot couldn’t let stand this defaming of the world’s most prominent practitioner of sex slavery and beheadings. He retorted in his column, “The assertion that Baghdadi died as a coward was contradicted by the fact that rather than be captured, he blew himself up.” (For what it’s worth, Baghdadi killed three children when he detonated his suicide vest, and once again, Boot’s column was edited ex Post facto.) Trump supporters scouring Boot’s Twitter feed will find a riches of embarrassment, e.g., his contentions that “The Steele Dossier is way more credible than the Nunes memo” and that Nixon was impeached.
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/01/29/medias_nevertrump_voices_drown_out_republican_perspective.html

    The hysteria and ignorance of Trump/America haters..

    Another example of a hysterical ignorant Democrat siding with terrorists against their own country..

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Since the faux impeachment coup is over, let's turn to more current events.. :D

    The Israeli–Palestinian Peace Plan Is a Much-Needed Dose of Reality

    Trump’s plan may be no likelier to lead to a deal than its predecessors, but it dispels with poisonous fictions that have held back negotiations for decades.

    It’s worth noting that some of the harshest critics of Donald Trump’s new Israeli–Palestinian peace plan — many of them Middle East “experts” who’ve worked in the Clinton and Obama administrations — are the same people behind catastrophic efforts that resulted in more hopelessness, intifadas, and extremism. These professional peace-processors have managed to harden the Israeli public against even the most abstract negotiations because, inevitably, all of them end in violence.

    As with the plans that came before it, it’s unlikely that Trump’s plan will succeed. But it is the best of any recent offerings because it doesn’t make any false promises. “Trump Outlines Mideast Peace Plan That Strongly Favors Israel,” read the New York Times headline, reflecting the general tone of media coverage. That’s wrong. The plan favors reality, laying out the only plausible path to a new Palestinian state.

    It’s been a dangerous waste of time basing negotiations on delusions. And the reality is that there will never be a Palestinian “right of return” to Israel, since such a policy would destroy the Jewish character of the state. The refugee situation is a 70-plus-year scandal of the Arab world’s making in which thousands of Palestinians are condemned to poverty so they can be used as a cudgel in the propaganda fight against Israel.
    https://tinyurl.com/uke3juq

    President Trump's MidEast Peace Plan has the best chance of success because it deals with REALITY...

    Not the koom-bi-ya, politically correct, false equivalency delusions that have permeated so many previous plans..

    As long as Palestinians either, by commission or omission, resort to terrorism, Israel will *ALWAYS* have the moral, ethical and legal high ground.. Israel will *ALWAYS* have carte blanche in dealing with the Palestinians up to, but not including, terrorism itself..

    ALWAYS...

    President Trump's peace plan acknowledges this one basic FACT of reality...

    Palestinians could live in peace, side by side with Israel as long as they are willing to live in peace, side by side with Israel...

    It's really THAT simple...

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Palestinians are not getting their great-granddad’s house in Jaffa back any more than the hundreds of thousands of Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Muslim lands after Israel’s 1948 war of independence are reclaiming their property. The difference is that one of these groups accepted reality long ago.

    Nor will Palestinians ever take control of Jerusalem proper. Any Israeli politician who broaches the notion of handing over the fulcrum of Jewish cultural, religious, and political identity to Fatah is engaging in an act of political suicide. Palestinians have never administered Jerusalem, and they have no legitimate claim over Jerusalem. The current state of affairs is the status quo, whether Palestinians decide they want a state or not.

    Supporting the bogus "Right Of Return" is akin to saying that Native Americans have the right of the land they once owned in the past?

    That's a ridiculous, un-weildy, sentimental and politically correct position in today's world..

    The Palestinians are a CONQUERED people.. Just like the Native Americans were in their day..

    To the victor, go the spoils.. Such a concept is as old as conflict itself..

    The idea that some mis-guided concept such and "fair" MUST be retroactively imposed from all of recorded history???

    Ridiculous...

    The time to impose "fair" was at the time of the incident.. Not a hundred years later..

    If it can't be done at the time??? Too bad, so sad.. Life ain't fair... Deal with it..

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Trump deal would simply codify these realities while allowing Palestinians to finally have a startup state. Trump’s plan is the first to offer a map laying out what the final borders of the Palestinian nation might look like. In it, Israel cedes around 70 percent of the disputed territory in the West Bank to Palestinians, but doubles its existing territory overall. “The sovereign capital of the State of Palestine,” the plan states, would be the city of “East Jerusalem.”

    In return Palestinians would recognize the existence of Israel, agree to solve their refugee problem through integration in their new state and in host Arab counties, and renounce terrorism. In other words, Palestinians would be asked to conduct themselves as does any normal, functioning state. The U.S. would also infuse $50 billion into the new Palestinian state.

    Stateless peoples yearning for self-determination around the world — ethnic groups that Western elites don’t care a whit about — would, no doubt, be ecstatic for such an opportunity. Palestinians, however, happen to have chosen the right enemies.

    It's a good plan..

    Palestinians should take it..

    The alternative is to continue to see their fathers and brothers and sons and mothers and sisters and daughters die at the hands of the Israeli Defense Force...

    There can only be peace in the region when Palestinians love their family more than they hate Israel.

    I served a couple training rotations with the IDF in the early 80s... They are committed to the survival of the state of Israel.. It's where my unflagging support for Israel was formed..

    As long as Israel does not resort to terrorism (go ahead! Bring up the King David Hotel.. I DARE you!!!) Israel will always be morally, ethically and legally justified in whatever action it takes..

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    And while that is his own fault, Abbas and his deputies will no doubt decide to sit in their U.N.-funded mansions while the Palestinian people suffer, and to wait out Trump for more advantageous terms from a friendlier president such as Joe Biden — or Bernie Sanders, who could put Linda Sarsour in his administration.

    But they won’t be able to wait out Israel. A nation with an open and vibrant economy has no reason enter into a deal that upends its security. Most Israelis — I hate to break this to everyone — aren’t obsessed with the Palestinians. Hamas is largely contained. Fatah is contained. Israel’s existence isn’t contingent on the creation of a Palestinian state, only on security.

    This is a very good point.

    Israel doesn't NEED this plan... Despite an uprising or two (always undesirable) Israel's existence is not based on this plan.. If she has proven nothing else, Israel has proven she can hold her own when Arabs rise up against her...

    Israel simply wants the terrorism to stop.. If this peace plan achieves that goal, then great.. Awesome.. Peachy keen.. But that is the ONLY motivation Israel has..

    In addition to the law, ethics and morality... TIME is also on Israel's side..

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    In addition to the law, ethics, morality AND TIME...

    Israel, in fact, probably feels less external pressure than ever to enter into a deal. Anyone who’s followed this issue understands the historic significance of Bahrain, UAE, and Oman sending envoys to White House unveiling of Trump’s peace deal. Arab nations are coming to terms with the reality of the Jewish State in ways that Americans progressives have not.

    Nor is there more internal political pressure to enter into a bad deal. Benny Gantz, the Kahol Lavan leader and chief rival to Benjamin Netanyahu, “hailed” the Trump plan because, despite the effort of the American Left to cast Netanyahu as the sole impediment to peace, no major Israeli party on either the right or the left is going to agree to a right of return, a return to pre-1967 lines, or a surrender of Jerusalem.

    In the past, Palestinian negotiators, who have never once crafted a peace plan of their own — or any deal that wasn’t contingent on the complete capitulation of Israel — sat back and rejected one concession after the next. They offered ever-growing lists of grievances while American leaders tried to pacify them. It’s about time someone injected a dose of this reality into this situation. Trump’s plan allows Palestinians to have a state in the world that exists. Or not.

    The majority of the Arab states in the region are ALSO on Israel's side...

    They would LOVE to slough off this drain on their resources that is the Palestinian people...

    So, everyone is on the same page...

    EXCEPT for the Palestinian terrorists and their die-hard sponsors...

    President Trump just might have the Perfect Storm of support to bring this peace plan home..

    Wouldn't THAT be a hoot, eh?? :D Wonder if anyone here would give President Trump credit for it..

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL,

    Of all the issues we face here, I think this one issue, Israel, is where you and I most closely align.. Not perfectly, to be sure.. But this is probably the one issue where you and I see most eye to eye..

    What's your take on President Trump's plan?

    Do you think acknowledging the reality on the ground is the best first step in ANY peace plan??

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Personally, the best MidEast peace plan is mine..

    Rip the Sinai away from Egypt... Force Egypt, Syria & Jordan to terraform and construct towns. Create Red Sea resorts that will be a boon to Palestine terrorism.. er.. sorry.. Force of habit... TOURISM... and self-sufficiency..

    Funding would be from all the Arab states who now fund the Palestinians plus Israel would chip in...

    Military Security would be guaranteed by the United States and the EU....

    BOOM

    Problem solved.. Palestinians get a nice state with built-in infrastructure and a ready-to-go tourism industry... Palestine would become another Las Vegas of the Middle East...

    And Palestine would be one of the large MidEast states. Responsible for it's own destiny, able to meet then needs of it's people and answerable to no one save those people...

    The good thing about my plan is that the countries MOST RESPONSIBLE for the crisis (Egypt, Jordan & Syria) would have the most responsibility in addressing and fixing the crisis... Cleaning up their own mess, as it were..

    "It's a good deal.. You should take it. How's your blouse?"
    -Gary Oldman, AIR FORCE ONE

  28. [28] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i think some aspects of the trump/kushner israel plan are necessary tonic for the left to swallow, and would in theory move the process forward in a way that it yet hasn't. the trouble with it at the moment is that it comes off as a bit insincere. for starters, both bibi and donald are under indictment for corruption in their respective countries, and could both easily be accused of using the proposal to distract from their domestic problems. if gantz wins the upcoming israeli parliament, that would put donald on stronger footing with it since his israeli partner would be untainted by the same allegations.

    for a more general overview of the conflict and potential solutions, see:

    https://israelipalestinian.procon.org/

  29. [29] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    also netanyahu is so hated by the collective arab world, it would be hard for even those countries amenable to a negotiation to gain the necessary cover to negotiate in good faith if he were still in charge.

  30. [30] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    basically a lot of the plan's potential hinges on internal israeli politics.

  31. [31] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    for those who are not fans of clicking links, here's in my view the most important quote to take from the procon website.

    "The one-state/two-state debate is highly fraught not least because of proximity. Too much history, too little land. This is not India and Pakistan; the map of Ireland is a veritable continent compared with Israel and the Palestinian territories. Gaza is about as close to Herzliya as Concord is to Hanover; the West Bank, as Israelis are quick to point out, is seven miles from Ben Gurion Airport. Any two-state solution with a chance of working would have to include federal arrangements not only about security but also about water, cell-phone coverage, sewage, and countless other details of a common infrastructure. Talk of a one-state solution, limited as it is, will never be serious if it is an attempt to mask annexation, expulsion, or population transfer, on one side, or the eradication of an existing nation, on the other. Israel exists; the Palestinian people exist. Neither is provisional. Within these territorial confines, two nationally distinct groups, who are divided by language, culture, and history, cannot live wholly apart or wholly together."
    ~david remnick

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL,

    precisely! vote pie right now!

    Don't you mean "PIE-cisely"??? :D

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Even though I know the faux impeachment coup thing is over, I heard something funny on the way to work..

    On a news report, it was reported that Dem Senator Gardner said, "We have heard from 17 witnesses.. I don't need to hear from 18. I am a NO on witnesses"

    Then the report goes on to quote Democrats as saying they know it's likely that Dems will not prevail on the WITNESSES question..

    Then the newscaster said "Democrats acknowledge that the chances of prevailing on witnesses is slim and none and None just started the car..." :D

    I usually say "Slim and none and Slim just left the room" but this new take was pretty funny.. :D

    Yep, this should all be over tomorrow..

    It's funny.. Democrats are HOPING that there won't be any witnesses called.

    Think about it..

    If Witnesses are called and Democrats STILL lose, which is all but assured..??? Or if the vote to call witnesses fails because Democrats don't WANT certain witnesses???

    Democrats won't have anyone to blame but themselves..

    If the vote to call ANYONE witnesses goes the GOP way??

    Democrats can base their entire response on a fictional cover-up..

    It will be a lame response because the invariable response would be, "Why didn't Democrats call witnesses in the House???"

    But it would give Democrats a somewhat slightly reasonable response..

    Don't let the hysterical theater fool you..

    Democrats don't WANT witnesses.. Maybe even more so than the GOP...

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL,

    i think some aspects of the trump/kushner israel plan are necessary tonic for the left to swallow, and would in theory move the process forward in a way that it yet hasn't.

    Agreed..

    It's ground-breaking.. Maybe not "earth shattering" but ground-breaking..

    for starters, both bibi and donald are under indictment for corruption in their respective countries, and could both easily be accused of using the proposal to distract from their domestic problems

    Yes.. For the cynical completely political animals, such cynicism would be the natural result..

    I completely agree..

    for a more general overview of the conflict and potential solutions, see:

    https://israelipalestinian.procon.org/

    Having been there, done that and seen it up close, I really don't need an overview..

    ANY overview that doesn't acknowledge the moral, ethical and legal high ground of Israel is not factually accurate..

    If you tell me that your link DOES acknowledge that, I'll be happy to read it... If it doesn't, it's not worth the photons that created it..

    also netanyahu is so hated by the collective arab world, it would be hard for even those countries amenable to a negotiation to gain the necessary cover to negotiate in good faith if he were still in charge.

    So, their hate is stronger than their love for family and countrymen.

    That's on them, NOT on Bibi..

    for those who are not fans of clicking links, here's in my view the most important quote to take from the procon website.

    That is pretty insightful..

    Yes, there are a LOT of factors that go into the peace plan beyond the concept of Palestinians will have to stop killing Israelis and acknowledge Israel's right to exist..

    But I maintain if that ONE stumbling block can be eliminated.. If the ONE sentiment of basic human rights and respect can be addressed..

    Then the rest is easy by comparison..

    "There are a lot of facets of the Khitomer Accords. But the one overriding concept is that it demands that Klingons stop killing humans. We, of course, would stop killing Klingons in return"
    Dr Leonard McCoy

  35. [35] 
    dsws wrote:

    Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission by the Congress

    Wow. I was sure that it said, as part of the proposed amendment itself, "This amendment shall be inoperative unless ratified ... ." That clause would neither curtail the slave trade before 1808, nor deprive any state of its representation in the Senate. Therefore it is not prohibited by the entrenchment clause. But I was remembering the text of other amendments: the 18th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd.

    Congress has the power to propose whatever amendment it wants, including those that, if ratified too late, would simply declare themselves inoperative. But it did not do so in this case. It strains the necessary and proper clause to say that Congress has the power to limit the states' ability to ratify amendments, other than specifying the mode. It may be proper or not, but it clearly is not necessary: they could simply have done it the way they did for the other amendments, which unambiguously is proper.

    Congress screwed up, and proposed the amendment without a valid deadline. Or maybe Congress didn't screw up, and intentionally proposed it without a deadline, but included a pseudo-deadline for reasons that would be revealed by a close examination of the legislative history. Doesn't matter.

    --

    The un-ratification question is more interesting. In isolation, it would make sense to read "when ratified by the Legislatures ..." either as a passive-voice construction, or as using a past participle as an adjective.

    The former, the passive voice, has exactly the same truth-conditions as if it had been stated in the active voice. "The amendment was ratified by the legislature", or "the legislature ratified the amendment": they mean the same. They describe an event. Once an event has happened, it has happened no matter what happens later. Its effects may be reversed by a later event, but that doesn't change the fact that it happened. Passage of the amendment, on this interpretation, would be determined by whether ratification happened or not. It might be changed by a later event, but that event wouldn't be un-ratification. It would be ratification of a new amendment repealing the previous one, as with the 18th by 21st.

    By contrast, the latter interpretation, using a participle as an adjective, would describe a status. Such a status would be subject to change. The status of some machine may be that it's broken. But then it may be completely fixed, in which case it's no longer broken. Likewise, ratification could be rescinded, and a proposed amendment would no longer be ratified.

    In isolation, either interpretation makes sense. But the phrase doesn't exist in isolation. It exists as part of the Constitution. In context, if we take it as an adjective, there's nothing to stop it from applying to amendments that have been in effect for years. This is untenable, on two grounds. First, it unreasonably destabilizes the Constitution. States could go back and un-ratify earlier amendments, thereby changing the significance of later amendments. Second, it would make sense only if the Constitution specified three-fourths of which states: those that exist at the time of ratification? Those that exist at the time of un-ratification, counting only those that overtly ratified? Those that exist at the time of un-ratification, taking statehood to include ratification of the Constitution, including all amendments currently in force?

    It certainly makes no sense to say that the Bill of Rights was repealed when the number of states reached 18, but neither does it seem reasonable to say that statehood have anything to do with ratification. No, the context is that an amendment becomes part of the Constitution, not a separate entity that can be un-ratified; and there's no mention of distinguishing valid un-ratification from invalid.

    I'm surprised. As I say, I thought Congress had included a normal, valid time limit. But it looks to me as though the only reasonable interpretation is that the ERA is now part of the Constitution.

  36. [36] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    So, their hate is stronger than their love for family and countrymen.
    That's on them, NOT on Bibi..

    he's done plenty to earn it. but even if he hadn't, what we're talking about is not whose fault it is, but what can realistically be achieved. without him it can. with him, it can't.

    JL

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bill Murray reliving 'Groundhog Day' for Jeep Super Bowl LIV ad, report says

    The Chicago area suburb stood in as the town of Punxsutawney, Pa., during the making of the comedy, which depicted a local TV meteorologist reliving the same day over and over again. According to the newspaper, Brian Doyle-Murray, who played the mayor of Punxsutawney, and “Needlenose Ned” actor Stephen Tobolowsky were also present.
    https://www.foxnews.com/auto/bill-murray-groundhog-day-jeep-super-bowl-liv

    Can't wait..

    Since the JAGS aren't in the Super Bowl, the only reason to watch it is for the commercials.. :D

    Chris Evans (Captain America) and John Kasinski (Jack Ryan) did a hilarious commercial for another car company... That one they aired on the Internet.. :D

  38. [38] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Funny stuff on Washington Journal this morning with a clip from Biden speaking about the Rick Scott ads.

    Biden speculated about why a rich Republican from Florida would run attack ads against Biden in Iowa.

    Biden seemed to think the explanation was simple- Scott and the Republicans don't want Biden to win in Iowa because they are afraid to run against him in November.

    Not likely. More likely just the opposite.

    They want to run against Biden because he is Hillary without the dress and if it's Biden against Trump then the big money interests win.

    They don't want to run against Bernie or even Warren.

    The Republicans know if they attack a Democrat it will galvanize support for that candidate among Democrats.

    So the CORRECT simple explanation is that they are attacking Biden because they want to run in the general against him.

    I don't know which is sadder, that these politicians take advantage of people and manipulate them in this manner or that people are that easily fooled and manipulated.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    he's done plenty to earn it.

    Perhaps.. But ALL the basis of what BiBi has "done" is the Palestinian terrorism that has killed THOUSANDS of innocents..

    So, once again, the fault is all on the Palestinians..

    but even if he hadn't, what we're talking about is not whose fault it is, but what can realistically be achieved.

    That's why all previous plans have failed. Because the ignored the REALITY and WHO is at fault is a big part of that reality...

    without him it can. with him, it can't.

    That's not certain..

    It will be up to the Palestinians to decide whether they love their families and countrymen more so than they hate BiBi....

    "We hate BiBi so we're going to continue the terrorism and continue to murder innocent Israelis"

    If that's the attitude of the Palestinians, then peace is impossible..

    And the FAULT is all on their side..

    Which is not to say that the Palestinians do not have legitimate grievances.

    But those grievances are 1000% irrelevant and inapplicable until Palestinians agree to, in word AND in deed, stop the terrorism..

  40. [40] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @m,

    you're looking at it the wrong way. assigning blame doesn't help achieve peace. it might make you feel better about your failure to correctly assert that it's the other guy's fault, but it would still be a failure.

    JL

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    you're looking at it the wrong way. assigning blame doesn't help achieve peace.

    I disagree..

    In ANY conflict resolution, the VERY FIRST step is to address the basis for the conflict..

    But hay.. OK.. Let's forget the past.. Even though it means it will be doomed to be relived..

    Let's look to the future..

    Will Palestinians renounce terrorism and acknowledge Israel's right to exist??

    No, they won't..

    So, no matter which way you want to look, it's the Palestinians fault..

    it might make you feel better about your failure to correctly assert that it's the other guy's fault, but it would still be a failure.

    What you call a "failure" is nothing more than FACTS and reality..

    The "failure" is in ignoring those in favor of more politically correct and agenda pleasing "solutions"..

    If one can't acknowledge the facts and reality, there is no chance of building a lasting peace..

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Basically, the ONLY thing Israel is guilty of is defending itself robustly..

    First against the onslaught of Egypt, Syria and Jordan and later against the vicious terrorism of Palestinians..

    I get it.. You want a political process where each side are given something to make them feel good.

    I want a PEACE process.. One that acknowledges the guilt on one side in starting the crisis..

    Once Palestinians come to grips with their responsibility in the issue and their willingness to STOP the terrorism and acknowledge Israel's right to exist..

    Then.... And ONLY then... Will peace have a chance..

    Why is there such a push to have Turkey acknowledge the Armenian genocide??

    Because only after such an acknowledgement of responsibility can the parties move past that...

    Let's say you have a hated adversary that is a Holocaust denier.. For business or other reasons, you NEED to make this guy into a friend...

    But such a "peace" is impossible unless he acknowledges the FACTS and REALITY of the Holocaust..

    I know, it's not the best example... But it does (I hope) make the point..

    Until such time as Palestinians acknowledge their guilt and acknowledge that Israel DOES have a right to exist??

    There will be no peace..

  43. [43] 
    dsws wrote:

    On Israel/Palestine, the only just and sustainable solution would be a radical solution.

    There's no real solution to problems like Israel/Palestine, so long as the global order is to have the world's land surface covered with nation-states.

    Every government should confine itself to the rightful roles of government. Those roles are large, as I understand it: larger in the economic sphere, in particular, than most of the right is willing to admit (even as they simultaneously support monopoly lobbying, total economic mobilization for militarism, and increases to the national debt that, barring some resurgence of liberalism, will soon have the flow of money from taxpayers to bondholders exceed GDP).

    The rightful roles of government are large, but they are not limitless.

    In particular, no one has the right to use government power to impose a religious or cultural identity on anyone else. If you want to learn about your heritage, real or imaginary; if you want to preserve or restore the crafts, cuisine, and costume, the language, literature, and liturgy of your literal or metaphorical ancestors, that's fine. I wish you success and fulfillment in your efforts -- so long as they're purely voluntary. Government, by right, must remain neutral on such matters.

    There should be no Jewish state. But there should also be no Christian countries, and no Muslim countries. There should be no Palestinian state. But there should also be no French state, no German state, and no American ethnicity that characterizes our government. To the contrary, one of the responsibilities of government is to protect everyone's liberty to engage in restoring or creating whatever cultural, ethnic, or religious identity they choose -- the liberty not only of citizens but of all persons subject to that government's jurisdiction.

  44. [44] 
    dsws wrote:

    that Israel DOES have a right to exist

    Right to exist. There's the phrase that I usually include in the foregoing screed. The United States does not have the right to exist. It exists by the will, and at the sufferance, of the people. The people have the right to alter or abolish it. Same for Israel.

    You can say that people have rights, sometimes exercised through government. Or you can say that states have rights. When push comes to shove, you can't have it both ways.

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    The only reason I could fathom that you don't want the Palestinians to acknowledge their fault is that you don't believe the Palestinians (and their Arabs before them) are solely at fault..

    Would that be an accurate assessment??

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    On Israel/Palestine, the only just and sustainable solution would be a radical solution.

    IE #27 :D

    Right to exist. There's the phrase that I usually include in the foregoing screed. The United States does not have the right to exist. It exists by the will, and at the sufferance, of the people. The people have the right to alter or abolish it. Same for Israel.

    Yes, but the RIGHT TO EXIST is applied externally, not internally..

    If it makes it easier to understand, a nation has a RIGHT to exist and NO EXTERNAL NATION/GROUP/PARTY has the moral authority to pass judgement on that right to exist...

    Most people understand that the right to exist is valid only so long as the people decide that right FOR THEMSELVES..

    In other words, the RIGHT TO EXIST usually refers to EXTERNAL transgressions of that right..

  47. [47] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I get it.. You want a political process where each side are given something to make them feel good.

    no, you don't get it. it matters 0% whether either side likes whatever arrangement there is, but it matters 1000% whether they'll accept it and live with it. peace is partly about borders and logistics, but it's also partly about winning the common people to a shared point of view.

    "I Think i get the point!"
    "I don't think you do."
    ~joe pesci/fred gwynne, my cousin vinny

  48. [48] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @m[45],

    no, not accurate.

  49. [49] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    the reason i don't believe in publicly assigning blame is that it isn't productive toward the goal of peace.

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    I probably didn't say it properly in the above..

    Insofar as other nations or groups are concerned.

    *EVERY* nation has the RIGHT TO EXIST...

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    the reason i don't believe in publicly assigning blame is that it isn't productive toward the goal of peace.

    We'll just have to agree to disagree on that point.

    By acknowledging the root causes of the current conflict, I believe it's the ONLY way to be productive toward the goal of peace..

    Apparently, President Trump and Jared Kushner believe the same..

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    no, you don't get it. it matters 0% whether either side likes whatever arrangement there is, but it matters 1000% whether they'll accept it and live with it.

    How do you expect the Israeli's to live with it when their concerns are not addressed??

    When they are swept under the rug in the interests of expediency...

    Put it into a different context..

    Suppose Justice Roberts has the power and decides to end the impeachment right now..

    "In the interests of peace and national amity, I declare peace between Democrats and Republicans.. This trial is at an end. All responsibilities for the cause of this impeachment on the part of President Trump are hereby ignored.. In the interests of peace.."

    Is that fair to the Democrats??

    In your opinion, would that be fair to the 10s of millions of Americans who hate and despise President Trump??

    Are you willing to say to those 10s of millions, "In the pursuit of national peace and amity, the responsibility for the cause is no longer relevant and should be ignored.."

    I don't think you would want to do that..

    I don't think those 10s of millions of Americas would accept that..

    You are asking the Israelis to simply write off and ignore THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of murders of innocent people??

    I think that is too big of an ask, even for a shot at peace..

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    @m[45],

    no, not accurate.

    Glad to hear it..

    Because NOTHING justifies terrorism..

    Those who employ terrorism give up ALL legitimacy and consideration...

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    You are asking the Israelis to simply write off and ignore THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of murders of innocent people??

    I think that is too big of an ask, even for a shot at peace..

    ANd I can also guarantee that there WILL BE NO peace unless it includes an acknowledgement from the Palestinians on their responsibility of this crisis.. At the VERY least, an acknowledgement that Israel has the RIGHT to exist...

    As I said, it's like getting Turkey to admit the Armenian genocide..

    Why force Turkey to accept their responsibility??

    Because to NOT do so would disallow all parties the ability to move past it..

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    And in the SINCE I KNOW YA'ALL LOVE POLLS department.. :D

    AP-NORC poll: GOP more fired up for 2020, Democrats anxious
    https://apnews.com/4daf1b154eeff75b97b886e2fe8c1d29

    Democrats are looking at many MANY sleepless nights between now and Nov.. :D

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrats are gonna be demoralized come Nov..

    There really isn't any realistic bright spot on the horizon for them...

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    Even though I know the faux impeachment coup thing is over, I heard something funny on the way to work..

    On a news report, it was reported that Dem Senator Gardner said, "We have heard from 17 witnesses.. I don't need to hear from 18. I am a NO on witnesses"

    Then the report goes on to quote Democrats as saying they know it's likely that Dems will not prevail on the WITNESSES question..

    My mistake.. Senator Gardner is a Republican, not a Democrat...

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I Think i get the point!"
    "I don't think you do."
    ~joe pesci/fred gwynne, my cousin vinny

    HOW did I miss that before!! :D

    Good one.. :D

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    The very definition of irony...

    The two angriest people on TV are named Whoopi and Joy...

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    As Chief Justice John Roberts fielded queries, Texas Republican Ted Cruz asked if it mattered whether there was a quid pro quo?

    Simply, no, declared Dershowitz, who said many politicians equate their reelection with the public good. “That’s why it’s so dangerous to try to psychoanalyze a president,” he said.

    Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democrat leading the House prosecutors, appeared stunned.

    “All quid pro quos are not the same,” he retorted. Some might be acceptable, some not. “And you don’t need to be a mind reader to figure out which is which. For one thing, you can ask John Bolton.”
    https://apnews.com/34f8a36cfc3a15ffeede3a74cd0c123a

    So, Schiff-head said we can ask John Bolton..

    Wait a tic..

    Is that the SAME "John Bolton" whom Schiff-head said "lacked credibility" and was "prone to conspiracy theories" and "John Bolton's politicization of the intelligence he got on Cuba and other issues, why we would want someone with that lack of credibility, I can't understand,"...

    But NOW....

    NOW Schiff-head wants us to "ask John Bolton" and treat John Bolton's word as gospel!??

    And YA'ALL are just following along, nodding yer heads like good little Democrat sheeple???

    BOGGLES the mind..

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine tried to give fresh momentum to a one-for-one witness deal, saying it’s “very important that there be fairness, that each side be able to select a witness or two.” But Democrats dismissed those offers.

    “It’s irrelevant. It’s a distraction,” said Schumer.

    So much for Democrat claims they want witnesses..

    THEIR witnesses are vital..

    But the GOP's witnesses are a "distraction"???

    Allow ALL the witnesses and let the American people decide, dickweed!!!

  62. [62] 
    Kick wrote:

    Mike
    33

    On a news report, it was reported that Dem Senator Gardner said, "We have heard from 17 witnesses.. I don't need to hear from 18. I am a NO on witnesses"

    So on what planet is Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado a Democrat? They only talk about him 50 times a day and 100 times on Sunday. He's not a Democrat, and he likely won't be a Senator for much longer either.

    Don't let the hysterical theater fool you..

    Democrats don't WANT witnesses.. Maybe even more so than the GOP...

    Incorrect. Democrats want a fair trial with witnesses, and anyone who believes otherwise... can't be helped.

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    Victoria,

    So on what planet is Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado a Democrat? They only talk about him 50 times a day and 100 times on Sunday. He's not a Democrat, and he likely won't be a Senator for much longer either.

    Nice try. But, as usual, yer about 5 comments too late.. :D

    But hay.. Thanx for playing.. :D

    It was a valiant.. er.. decent.. er... It was an effort... You tried...

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    Incorrect. Democrats want a fair trial with witnesses, and anyone who believes otherwise... can't be helped.

    Not factually accurate..

    Democrats want a fair trial with ONLY *THEIR* witnesses and no one else's witnesses..

    Anyone who believes otherwise... Can't be helped..

    It's a moot point..

    The Democrat faux impeachment coup ends tomorrow..

    President Trump will be fully and utterly vindicated and exonerated and nothing you can do or say will change that outcome..

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrats want a fair trial with ONLY *THEIR* witnesses and no one else's witnesses..

    Forgot the punctuation..

    Democrats want a {sic} "fair" trial with ONLY *THEIR* witnesses and no one else's witnesses..

    The kingdom of Weigantia for an edit feature... :D

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    Far from voiding the last election, Schiff said, impeachment is protecting the next one, in 2020, from any future Trump efforts to ask foreign governments to intervene.

    Absolutely, positively 1000% NOT factually accurate..

    IE Bullshit..

    NOTHING... I repeat... NOTHING stops President Trump from being impeached, STILL being the GOP candidate and STILL wiping the floor with the Democrat sacrificial lamb..

    **NOTHING**

    It's almost WORTH it to see the utter incredulous and complete dumbfounded-ness of Trump/America hater to successfully impeach President Trump...

    And then WIN RE-ELECTION!!! :D

    That's almost worth the price of admission.. :D

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    ABCNEWS: IMPEACHMENT OVER BY WEEKEND...
    MAG: DEMS NEVER FOUND THEIR HERO...

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/witnesses-trump-impeachment-trial-end-quickly-gop-sources/story?id=68639038&cid=social_twitter_abcn

    Who could have predicted that Democrats would LOSE and lose so spectacularly!!???

    Oh... Wait.. :D

    The gloating will soon commence.. :D

  68. [68] 
    Kick wrote:

    Mike
    56

    Democrats are gonna be demoralized come Nov..

    Starting with that dumb ass "Democrat" Senator Cory Gardner.

    There really isn't any realistic bright spot on the horizon for them...

    It'll be 2018 all over again. Oh, woe is Democrats. :)

    Say it with me: Senator John Hickenlooper.

  69. [69] 
    Kick wrote:

    Mike
    57

    My mistake.. Senator Gardner is a Republican, not a Democrat...

    FACT CHECK: True

    https://tinyurl.com/sq322f2

  70. [70] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    That's what happens when you make the mistake of giving 'em the right to vote - then they think they need "equal protection"! What's next, men soon be forced to have half of the babies?!!

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    My mistake.. Senator Gardner is a Republican, not a Democrat...

    Yea.. That's what I said..

    But hay.. Thanx for agreeing with me.. :D

    It warms the cockles of my heart.. Damaged though it may be.. :D

    It'll be 2018 all over again. Oh, woe is Democrats. :)

    Whatever you have to think to make it thru your sad day.. :D

    You willing to put a wager on your prediction???

    No?? Of course not.. Cause u don't believe it yerself. :D

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean, let's face reality..

    Russ was SURE that Democrats and Republicans would join together and throw President Trump out of office..

    Looks like that AIN'T happening..

    But take heart..

    Ya'all's streak of luserism and failed/false predictions continues.. :D

  73. [73] 
    dsws wrote:

    the RIGHT TO EXIST is applied externally, not internally.
    ...
    NO EXTERNAL NATION/GROUP/PARTY has the moral authority to pass judgement on that right to exist.

    Every person has not merely the authority but a positive obligation to judge their own actions -- which involves forming judgments on all morally significant issues whose outcomes are affected by their actions. As enfranchised citizens of a powerful country, we should make a reasonable effort to keep informed about world affairs, and to have morally defensible views on how our country involves itself in geopolitics.

    People have rights; countries and ethnicities and religions don't. Or maybe I'm mistaken, and it's the other way 'round. But trying to have it both ways is just untenable.

    It's imprudent to go trying to overthrow one's government for light and transient causes, and inadvisable for foreigners to aid anyone who's trying to do so. But I say it has to be about people's rights, and when it's acceptable for an outsider to get involved in defending the rights of others -- not about the putative rights of countries, religions, or ethnicities.

    It may seem odd for me to say this while a president I dislike is being impeached for abusing his power to unlawfully solicit foreign involvement in a US election, but I don't believe in any absolute principle of hands-off for foreigners. To take what seems like a clear-cut example, I think it was entirely appropriate for British abolitionists to support abolition in the US between 1787 (when the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was formed in Britain) and 1928 (when the last US state to do so stopped practicing slavery "as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted", the exception allowed when the 13th amendment abolished chattel slavery here).

  74. [74] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    What makes Republicans think that delaying the truth about Trump’s reasoning behind extorting the Ukrainians until AFTER they acquit him is going to change the public’s outrage against him? How will Trump hope to convince even the most loyal cultist that rushing to force an acquittal that the new information — the truth of the matter — is not important or relevant?

    Trump will crow that he was exonerated, which will make his guilt even more obvious to the world. The Republican Party will doom itself if it allows for Trump to bully his way into an acquittal...and they will deserve it.

  75. [75] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Russ was SURE that Democrats and Republicans would join together and throw President Trump out of office..

    Looks like that AIN'T happening..

    Well, if my belief that the president has been determined to be the counterintelligence threat that our intelligence agencies never believed possible is true... then no one would dare be made to believe that the Republicans were about to remove Trump from office prior to the Senate voting on the Articles of Impeachment. To do otherwise would give Trump the opportunity to use his presidential authority to do some serious damage in a fit of anger.

  76. [76] 
    Kick wrote:

    MEANWHILE

    Newly released today is a video showing the indicted associates of Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump yucking it up with The Don and Ronna McDaniel, Head of the RNC... who is "so glad" to see them... hugs, kisses.

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this video is worth a few million. The RNC and Trump cannot now claim they didn't know the guys indicted for funneling foreign dollars into the RNC. #Illegal

    https://politi.co/2Oeiblt

    Looks like we might be getting to part of that graft I keep talking about. #SDNY

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    What makes Republicans think that delaying the truth about Trump’s reasoning behind extorting the Ukrainians until AFTER they acquit him is going to change the public’s outrage against him? How will Trump hope to convince even the most loyal cultist that rushing to force an acquittal that the new information — the truth of the matter — is not important or relevant?

    Trump will crow that he was exonerated, which will make his guilt even more obvious to the world. The Republican Party will doom itself if it allows for Trump to bully his way into an acquittal...and they will deserve it.

    That's luserism talking..

    SORE luserism... Which is the worst kind of luserism.

    Ya'all lost..

    Take it like a man..

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yunno what's gonna be REALLY fun and exciting??

    When, gods forbid, a Democrat is elected POTUS in our lifetimes and a Republican House and the GOP engineers the Revenge Impeachment to bring the DIMS down!!??

    THAT's gonna be a wild time!! :D

  79. [79] 
    Kick wrote:

    You willing to put a wager on your prediction???

    No?? Of course not.. Cause u don't believe it yerself.

    Meh. From past experience, it appears the majority here are under no nonsensical notion that they're political news, and as for me, I cannot fathom why anyone would. I possess no peevish neediness in search of constant attention from every conceivable dimension. Let's talk political issues; I'm not one.

    So to recap: Meh. I'm neither political news nor in constant search of a medal nor a chest to pin it on.

    Honey badger don't give a shit. :)

  80. [80] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other words, you really don't believe your own shit, so you lack courage to back it up..

    Yea.. That's what I figgered... :D

  81. [81] 
    Kick wrote:

    Mike
    80

    In other words: Eat shit... which is conveniently located up the Orange Ass wherein your empty head resides, and tell Sean Hannity that Weigantia says hello. :)

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