Category: Uncategorized

The Ethics Suit Against Trump – A Helpful Reader Pointed Me to More Info:

A helpful reader pointed me to recent debates between Professor Teachout and Professor Seth Tillman on whether the Foreign Emoluments Clause even applies to Presidents, a point I briefly said was an “open question” in my analysis of the ethics suit against Trump 10 days ago. Very interesting stuff:

Seth Barrett Tillman, Room for Debate, Constitutional Restrictions on Foreign Gifts Don’t Apply to Presidents, The NY Times, Nov. 18, 2016, 10:41 AM,

Zephyr Teachout & Seth Barrett Tillman, Common Interpretation—The Foreign Emoluments Clause: Article I, Section 9, Clause 8, in The Interactive Constitution (National Constitution Center 2016),

Zephyr Teachout, Matters of Debate—The Foreign Emoluments Clause, in The Interactive Constitution (National Constitution Center 2016),

Seth Barrett Tillman, Matters of Debate—The Foreign Emoluments Clause Reached Only Appointed Officers, in The Interactive Constitution (National Constitution Center 2016),

Professor Tillman recently appeared on:

Prime Time: A Segment on Trump, RTÉ (Jan. 12, 2017, 9:00 PM), (at 5:50ff) (also with Eric Walker for DNC);

Cormac Ó hEadhra, The Late Debate: U.S. Election Night, RTÉ Radio 1 (Nov. 8, 2016, 9:00 PM),; and,

The Pat Kenny Tonight Show, TV3 (Nov. 9, 2016, 9:30 PM),; and,

Prime Time, RTÉ (Nov. 10, 2016, 9:00 PM),





CNN: “Trump Just Got Checked and Balanced.” Me: “Y’all Got Trumped.”

CNN gloats  “Trump just got checked and balanced,” but it should say, “Y’all Got Trumped!”

A”so-called judge” has overturned President Trump’s immigration order  (actual text – what media give you that?) blocking entry to immigrants and travelers from certain countries (Iran, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Libya), because those countries (Iran, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Libya) are said to have lots of radical Islamic terrorists.

To put it another way:  Liberals got a federal judge to overturn it.

Or another way: Now people from these seven countries can come into our country.

Or another: And destroy it.

Or another: Or just loaf around.  But mostly destroy it.

I don’t think President Trump is all that sad (Sad!) about this overturn of events.  If any one of these immigrants or tourists commits a terrorist act, or even just a crime or leaves a bad tip, President Trump gets to say I told you so, with a dash of liberals and so-called judges are just all going to get us all killed.

I swear, I came up with that idea on my own about how Trump made this move. Then I decided to get the link to the Trump Tweet I referenced above  (“so-called judge”), and I saw this Tweet by Trump:

Actually, I was trying to post the Tweet that says:

“The judge opens up our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart. Bad people are very happy!”

But it wouldn’t copy! The other one is what copied. People who don’t like accuracy in links are very happy!  So I got 2 for 1. A great deal. The Art of the Deal.

Liberals will not enjoy trying to argue their way out of this one – the one where someone from one of these seven countries comes in today or anytime after and commits a terrorist act or even a crime in our country.  A parking violation will be enough for many Americans to throw up their hands and say, “This wouldn’t have happened if that so-called judge had just let President Trump protect us!”

Backlash against liberals and rule of law coming soon?

Open Letter to DNC – Blame Yourselves, not Sanders, in November

Dear DNC:

You know NOW that Sanders is actually very likely more electable than Clinton, and that he’d be polling even better without your and Big Media’s thumbs on the scale for Clinton. You know NOW that thousands of Sanders supporters have pledged NOT to vote for Clinton if she’s nominated (here and here). Yet you persist in promoting Clinton. You persist in not letting the primaries play out so that voters may decide. If Clinton loses in November, don’t blame Sanders’ supporters (the way you blamed Nader supporters in 2000), who have made clear that they are opposed to Big Money in politics (for which Clinton is the poster child) and have demonstrated that a candidate can get widespread funding, from small donors, without selling out. Your conduct is the definition of “reckless.”

If Clinton loses in November, you will have only yourselves to blame. 


Brian J. Foley

Dealing With Dictators – Payoffs vs. Punishment – Spare the Rod, Spare the Children

(FROM 2011, discussed recently on This Is Hell!)

As the U.S. and others quickly moved to bomb Libya, I wondered why we just didn’t offer to “buy out” Qaddafi. Offer him a billion dollars and asylum and immunity from prosecution for war crimes (the sort of immunity our own leaders enjoy, de facto) if he would just get out.

If Qaddafi refuses the offer that no reasonable person could refuse, well, then, perhaps, there could be limited but escalating uses of force against him, with the offer remaining open.

This sort of deal would avoid the killing and maiming of soldiers and innocent civilians. It would also save hardworking taxpayer dollars.  It would avoid all the other disorders and destruction that military action brings. It would foster a peaceful transition to a better government.

I’m not the first person to make such a suggestion. Here’s a link to a blog that discussed, in 2007, the idea of buying out Saddam Hussein.

So, why not play Let’s Make a Deal?

Some people would object, saying that we need to “punish” Qaddafi.  My response is that we can’t punish everyone we would like to punish. “Punishing Qaddafi” means killing innocent people, including, of course, children. Who wants that?

So rather than hold our nose and make the “tough decision” to order airstrikes that will kill innocents, why not instead hold our nose and forego punishing Qaddafi? I’d rather see him walk free than see a little girl get her legs blown off.

Another objection is that this would “incentivize” other leaders to treat their people terribly, to win this “payday.” My response is that this is fatuous.  The leader who embarks on a program of oppression risks being killed by his or her own people. And such a leader might not even get approached by U.S. officials  if such a deal isn’t in the U.S. interest (read: the country has no oil).  Moreover, the sad fact is that the U.S. already has a history of “incentivizing” despots … to repress their own people.  Here, we’d be paying them not to.

Some of the objections would have the benefit of revealing the ugly nature of modern, U.S. warmaking. One would be that the various private, corporate contractors such as Halliburton and Lockheed Martin, who profit wildly from war, would not get their expected windfall (blood money).  We would see their lobbyists and bought-and-paid-for think tank mouthpieces and the craven U.S. officials who are in their pockets try to squash any deal that would promote peaceful resolution.

We’d also see mainstream, corporate media pooh-pooh talk of such a buyout as “unrealistic” — because war is much more exciting. It brings in bigger audiences and advertising dollars.

But what’s more realistic? The belief that we can bomb despots out of their own countries – and without killing innocent people, without creating disorder, without losing our own troops, and without spending a fortune? Or the belief that sleazy tyrants such as Qaddafi have their price?