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I read Matthew Yglesias at Vox, Elizabeth Warren has a plan to save capitalism.

  • The subject is Elizabeth Warren's proposal to change corporate governance
  • All corporations with more than 1 billion in revenues would have to get a federal charter
  • The charter would expand the kinds of stakeholders that corporations consider in their decisions, from just shareholders to also employees, and even customers and surrounding communities. 
    • To that end, companies would have to allow employees to elect 40% of the boards of directors.
  • Also, if companies pay with shares, the shares can't be sold until five years after they were issued and three years after the last company stock buyback
  • Any political activity would have to be approved by 75% of both shareholders and board members (and again, some of those would be employee-elected)
    • I'm not sure this would pass a 1st amendment challenge?
  • This is meant partly to counter Freidman's directive to maximize shareholder profits (within the limits of the law)
    • Of course, that means corporations lobby heavily to change what "limits of the law" are. See the line about requirements for approving political activity.
  • It is hoped this will help encourage reinvestment, reduce executive compensation, and improve corporate behavior, using Capitalist methods, not socialist redistributive ones.

Then, I found a couple of responses at National Review, with Samuel Hammond's Elizabeth Warren’s Corporate Catastrophe

  • Don't do that; it will turn the corporate unicorns into glitter glue (his imagery, not mine)
  • Yes, Germany has similar requirements, and they manage to be the economic powerhouse of Europe, but they haven't produced as many unicorns as the US has
  • the labor share problem is best explained with real estate prices
  • Wage stagnation is best explained as resulting from a decline in productivity
    • (I was under the impression that productivity was up?)
  • Fiduciary Duty is not really the primary driver it is claimed to be.
  • Volkswagen had board members partly chosen by employees, and they still managed to be an old-boy network doing naughty favors. Employees helping choose board members didn't fix the problem. 

and Kevin Williamson's Elizabeth Warren’s Batty Plan to Nationalize . . . Everything

This one is batty itself. and doesn't seem accurate. The main argument was that if we put annoying restrictions on our big corporations, they'll go away and take their moneymaking with them.

 

I'm still working through Reason Magazine's response:

https://reason.com/blog/2018/08/20/elizabeth-warrens-corporate-buttinskyism

 

 

Sorry about the long post. Doing little summaries sometimes helps me understand complex proposals.

 

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So I am curious what people think it will take to have a serious national discussion about the big "I" word for the current president. I have been of the opinion that the current investigation needed to be concluded before that was had, but now I'm not so sure. Today the president's personal lawyer pled guilty and in doing so said he committed crimes with full knowledge and approval from the president. Should we still wait for the final report from the Mueller investigation? Again I'm on the fence.

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IMHO that discussion can only start if the Democrats recapture control of one or both chambers of Congress. The Republicans as a party have shown no willingness to even acknowledge the possibility. The Dems have a good chance of winning a majority in the House of Representatives, but the Senate looks less certain. If they only take the House, they'll have the authority to impeach the President with only a simple majority vote; but the Senate would conduct the actual trial, and vote to convict or acquit, requiring a two-thirds supermajority. I shudder to think of what would happen to an already-divided American society if such a high-profile issue pits the upper and lower chambers of Congress against each other along party lines. :angst:

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It's telling of the times we live in, when one of Donald Trump's tweets can bring an all but forgotten figure back into the public eye.

 

John Dean Helped Expose Nixon's Role in a Conspiracy. He Says Michael Cohen Just Did the Same to Trump

 

Actually a pretty interesting and thoughtful analysis from a man with a uniquely relevant perspective. And with only a small obvious amount of self-service. ;)

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Meanwhile, today Michael Cohen testified under oath that he was directed by “the candidate” to pay off two women for purposes of not affecting the election by revealing their scandals. 

 

Paul Manafort also became the sixth felon convicted in Mueller’s “witch hunt”. 

 

There’s already far more than enough to justify impeachment and removal, but it can’t happen without 67 votes in the senate, which means it can’t happen.  We’re going to have to hang on until 2020. 

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32 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

OTOH the Republicans losing dominance of Congress in the midterms would undoubtedly severely hamstring Trump's agenda going forward, much as Barack Obama's was after his first two years.

 

One can only hope for that future. I think Trump would come completely unhinged if he faced the opposition in Congress that Obama did.

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History: On September 3rd, 1998 the Starr Report citing 11 impeachable offenses (including perjury and obstruction of justice) that President Clinton was potentially liable for was given to the Judiciary Committee. On October 3rd the committee confirmed Sonya Sotomeyer for SCOTUS.  Two days later, on October 5th, that same committee voted to recommend the House open an impeachment inquiry into the president. On October 8th the House opened said inquiry and on December 19th they voted to impeach him. On January 7th, 1999 the trial in the Senate began the trial. On February 12th the Senate held a vote with 45-55 on the perjury charge and 50-50 on the obstruction charge. The president, ultimately, was not removed from office and went back to work. The point of all this, aside from my being a fan of due process and waiting for the facts to settle? If you think the Senate should put a hold on a SCOTUS confirmation because a president may be found to be an unindicted co-conspirator you are likely to be sadly disappointed. If that were the norm/rule, Sotomeyer would not be a Supreme Court Justice today.

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If recent American politics has demonstrated anything, it's that the sure thing isn't sure until the votes are counted. The pollsters, politicos and pundits have missed the mark of the actual election results time and again.

 

In the case of the 2016 presidential election, that may be because the election results were tampered with.  Exit polls are rarely as inaccurate as they were that November, in districts that used trivially hackable electronic voting machines

 

Near as I can tell nothing has been done about the security of any of these machines since.

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I was promised treason and collusion.

 

What I've been given is a campaign finance reporting violation and the shocking revelation* that Donald Trump cheats on his wives.

 

Its the political equivalent of kissing your sister. A total let down.

 

We may yet get to collusion, or an actual crime stemming from said collusion, but so far all we have are some very reasonable suspicions

 

To quote Robert Mueller "I only know what I can prove in court." Reasonable suspicions are legal bupkis.

 

We need more. We may yet get more. But, at present all I have is a lot of hyperbole and speculation and premature excitement. 

 

A garden variety financial reporting violation and a politician who once appeared on Playboy stupidly covering up a dalliance no one is surprised about?

 

Is that what were calling "high crimes and misdemeanors" these days?

 

Warren G Harding, who is a much better analog for Trump than Nixon, paid his mistress $5,000.00 a month to keep quiet while he was president.

 

It was the Tea Pot Dome scandal that mattered. Not Nan Britton or Carrie Phillips. Where's my bloody tea pot?

 

Obama was fined "bigly" for reporting violations, the FEC has an open case into Clinton's campaign, and Edwards was acquitted for paying off a mistress with campaign funds.

 

Does all of this sound banally familiar?

 

Don't get me wrong. I would love to see Trump go down in a great big blazing ball of flames, but... talk about the legal equivalent of a box office dud. 

 

Its like the remake of a sequel to a remake.

 

If we want to impeach the man for his manners and his morals, let's be honest about what we are on about and get busy.

 

Otherwise... I'm still waiting to get me some tasty treason.

 

*Irony intended.

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Just now, Old Man said:

 

Shouldn't we?

 

Perhaps so!

 

Quote

The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct particular to officials, such as perjury of oath, abuse of authority, bribery, intimidation, misuse of assets, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty, unbecoming conduct, and refusal to obey a lawful order."

 

But if we do, then its time to own that several prominent officials in previous administrations have been given a pass and should have been indicted or impeached as well. 

 

We have not traditionally uttered the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" or sought impeachment over what is presently on the table. Its premature.

 

Bill Clinton's impeachment was for obstruction and perjury because he lied about a blowjob, not because he got one. And he remained in office because it was overreaching nonsense.

 

No one sought to impeach Clinton over his pre-1992-election hush-money agreement with Gennifer Flowers. It wasn't a "high crime" or even a "misdemeanor." 

 

If all of that was overreaching nonsense then, its overreaching nonsense now. What does that leave us with?

 

A quite probable campaign finance violation. For that I give you Barack Obama (fined), Hillary Clinton (still under investigation), Bob Dole (fined), John Edwards (acquitted).

 

Only John Edwards faced criminal charges and his career only ended because he resigned. Obama and Dole both remained in office and won subsequent elections. And Hillary seems to think she should run again.

 

I sat down and read every single page of that AG report on her conduct front to back and the difference in treatment between the two candidates' malfeasance astounds the mind.

 

"Misuse of assets, failure to supervise, and dereliction of duty" could easily be applied to her tenure at State and her campaign is still being investigated. Are you willing to give me "high crimes and misdemeanors" for it?

 

I'm not saying the Cohen-Mantafort revelations aren't sordid, unseemly, unacceptable, potentially criminal, and totally unbecoming.  Or that its not potential grounds for impeachment.

 

I am saying, however, that defining what we have at this juncture as "high crimes and misdemeanors" would be highly inconsistent, largely unprecedented, and very likely improvident. 

 

The GOP is meaner, more disciplined, and better funded than the DNC. They will remember and they will say turnabout is fair play. They will vow and get their revenge. 

 

If we are going to define this as "high crimes and misdemeanors" then a good many officials from the past several administrations should barred from ever holding office again.

 

I'm much more patient and circumspect when it comes to serious matters of state. I'd rather wait for some real meat and not waste my time pouncing on scraps.

 

This nonsense is just an apertif. It whets the appetite, but it doesn't satisfy. I'm waiting for something more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Vondy said:

 

Perhaps so!

 

 

But if we do, then its time to own that several prominent officials in previous administrations have been given a pass and should have been indicted or impeached as well. 

 

Consider it owned.

 

1 hour ago, Vondy said:

 

We have not traditionally uttered the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" or sought impeachment over what is presently on the table. Its premature.

 

Bill Clinton's impeachment was for obstruction and perjury because he lied about a blowjob, not because he got one. And he remained in office because it was overreaching nonsense.

 

No one sought to impeach Clinton over his pre-1992-election hush-money agreement with Gennifer Flowers. It wasn't a "high crime" or even a "misdemeanor." 

 

Sorry, what hush money agreement was this?  Flowers sure spent a lot of time in the media for someone who was hushed.

 

1 hour ago, Vondy said:

 

If all of that was overreaching nonsense then, its overreaching nonsense now. What does that leave us with?

 

A quite probable campaign finance violation.

 

And bragging about sexual assault, on tape.

And boasting about obstruction of justice, on twitter.

And blatant, ongoing violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution.

 

Any of these, as well as bribing two women and a newspaper to influence the outcome of an election, are impeachable offenses that far exceed the established benchmark of blowjob perjury.   He doesn't have to murder white sixth graders in the Oval Office for it to constitute a High Crime®.

 

We can't fall victim to the Fox News tactic of moving the goalposts to normalize obviously criminal behavior.  Hero gamers are smarter than that.

 

 

1 hour ago, Vondy said:

 

 

 

The GOP is meaner, more disciplined, and better funded than the DNC. They will remember and they will say turnabout is fair play. They will vow and get their revenge. 

 

How is this different from the status quo?  McConnell stole a SCOTUS seat FFS.  He and Ryan knew the Russians were trying to get Trump elected; Ryan demanded the GOP keep it "in the family".  The GOP is already as dirty as it gets short of tommy guns in the street.

 

1 hour ago, Vondy said:

 

If we are going to define this as "high crimes and misdemeanors" then a good many officials from the past several administrations should barred from ever holding office again.

 

Good.

 

1 hour ago, Vondy said:

 

 

This nonsense is just an apertif. It whets the appetite, but it doesn't satisfy. I'm waiting for something more.

 

Patience, grasshopper.

 

 

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I could offer comments on the politics of impeachment, I think I'd prefer to offer a book I just read that -- mirabile dictu -- offers some political hope. Not for national politics: The authors agree that's toxic. But national politics is not the only politics, and the Federal government is not the only American government. Thank God. There is a whole other USA out there that the mass media doesn't see.

 

Our Towns, by James and Deborah Fallowes.

 

This book is excellent, and at least a mild palliative for political despair. The Fallowes’, both authors, spent four years flying in their small plane to visit smaller cities and towns across the US – the sort of places sometimes dismissed as “flyover country.” These range in size from cities such as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Columbus, Ohio that are good-size cities (but not in the league of mega-cities such as Los Angeles) to tiny towns such as Eastport, Maine or Ajo, Arizona They find many towns that are doing very well, or working hard to renew themselves. In contrast to national politics, these local communities work. Some are in red states; some are in blue states; and many of them run counter to the sweeping narratives of both the doctrinaire Right and Left. At the end, they distill what they found into 10 ½ lessons for how to build a successful town. Here they are, in brief:

 

1) People work together on specific local problems and possibilities, rather than allowing bitter disagreements about national politics to keep them apart. That is, they concentrate on practical things like, “How do we rebuild our downtown?” And the practical solutions are a lot alike whether it’s nominally conservative Greenville, SC or nominally liberal Burlington, VT. And they solve their own problems, without looking for Federal help.

 

2) You can pick out the local patriots. It doesn’t matter who makes a town “go,” whether it’s the mayor, a local business magnate, a university professor, a community activist, or just somebody who seems to know everybody. There are local boosters who enunciate visions and bring people together to make them happen.

 

3) The phrase “public-private partnership” means something real. Local business chips in, whether it’s sending engineers to help schools with their STEM curriculum or hiring ex-convicts from the state prison. They don’t just treat the community as a source of tax breaks and disposable labor-units.

 

4) People know the civic story. Because there is a civic story. Sometimes it’s about being just the right size, or about rebuilding from the bad times. A lot of times, it includes a sense of being scorned or dismissed by the big city coastal opinion-makers, and having something to prove.

5) They have downtowns. And people live there; downtown isn’t just a strip mall or a wasteland of office towers.

 

6) They are near a research university. These institutions bring in money through students and professors, spin off new businesses or whole new industries, and attract skilled people from around the world.

 

7) They have, and care about, a community college. You can’t build a research university quickly, but just about everyone has a community college nearby. These are tremendously important in helping young people of lower income to break into the middle class.

 

? They have distinct, innovative schools. Greenville is worth citing again, for its engineering-emphasis elementary school in a low-income part of town.

 

9) They make themselves open. Immigrants? Refugees, even? Yes, please, send more. They work incredibly hard, especially in jobs Anglos won’t do for any wage. (Dodge City, Kansas, is paradigmatic. As local boosters explained, Dodge City lives or dies by the meat-packing industry. And the meat-packing industry lives or dies by immigrant labor… documented or not. And Dodge City is as red as it gets.) As the Fallowes’ put it, the only Americans who seem scared of immigrants are the Americans who never meet any.

 

10) They have big plans. They can show you their 20-year plan to redevelop downtown, or the magnet school they hope to build, or the businesses they seek to attract (or create from scratch). As the Fallowes’ note, it’s absurd to imagine the Federal government attempting anything on the scale of the interstate highway system or the Apollo program, at least in the foreseeable future. But towns are doing things of comparable scale for their size.

 

10½) They have craft breweries. The Fallowes’ are not sure if they are serious or facetious here, which is why it’s #10½ instead of going to 11. But these happening, optimistic towns seem to have a lot of brewpubs. Draw your own conclusions whether it’s cause or effect.

 

As it happens, one of my gaming buddies and some of his other friends recently opened a craft brewery. So, free plug here. If you’re in Seattle, stop by the Burke-Gilman Brewing Company. Ask for Corey and tell him Dean sent you. I can’t promise you free beer, but it’s a chance to meet a fellow Hero gamer.

 

Dean Shomshak

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On conspiracy - the facts we have is that 3 high ranking members of the campaign knowingly met with someone who represented a foreign government for the purpose of gaining assistance from said government. The Trump Jr. emails show quite clearly that is the original purpose of the meeting. We also know that the campaign, including the President himself, has consistently lied about the meeting taking place, the purpose of the meeting and when they had knowledge of the meeting.  

 

We know that a 4th member of the campaign also had contact with an agent with  known connections to a foreign government for the same purpose and lied to FBI agents about it. George Papadopoulos  in his plea admitted that a person he knew to be tied to the Russian government discussed information about the other candidate AFTER he was part of the campaign.  He sent emails to several high ranking officials in the campaign to discuss a meeting between Trump and Putin and later between high ranking members of the campaign and Russian officials. He also lied about having contacts directly to people he believed were Russian officials.

 

Again none of this is conjecture but just facts currently in evidence. We still do not know what other evidence Mueller's investigation has.

 

While one may be able to say there is no smoking gun evidence of collusion, this is without a doubt against the law. The campaign knowingly solicited something of value from a foreign agent. They met with the express intent of gaining something of value from a foreign agent. The law is pretty clear that just setting up a method to get something of value from a foreign agent is illegal. As soon as the campaign set up a time and place to meet at Trump plaza, and went to the meeting, they broke the law.

 

And for a charge in court the bar for conviction is  reasonable doubt. I do not find it reasonable to believe that somehow  several high ranking members of a campaign that was a much smaller group than most presidential campaigns, knew about these illegal activities but somehow the candidate did not know.  That his son and son in law would do these things without knowledge and consent from the candidate in the candidate's building. A candidate who prided himself on being involved in every aspect of his campaign. YMMV but for me no it is not a reasonable conclusion.

 

Of course Congress doesn't even need to be that certain (although I agree it should be) to begin impeachment hearings. No convictions or even charges are needed.

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