Friday, 8/4/17, Public Square



by | August 4, 2017 · 8:27 am

9 responses to “Friday, 8/4/17, Public Square

  1. Sally Yates: Protect the Justice Department From President Trump
    By SALLY Q. YATES JULY 28, 2017

    The spectacle of President Trump’s efforts to humiliate the attorney general into resigning has transfixed the country. But while we are busy staring at the wreckage of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ relationship with the man he supported for the presidency, there is something more insidious happening.

    The president is attempting to dismantle the rule of law, destroy the time-honored independence of the Justice Department, and undermine the career men and women who are devoted to seeking justice day in and day out, regardless of which political party is in power.

    If we are not careful, when we wake up from the Trump presidency, our justice system may be broken beyond recognition.

    Over the past few days, many people from both parties have rightly expressed their dismay at how President Trump has publicly lambasted the attorney general, noting the president’s lack of loyalty to a man who has been consistently loyal to him.

    And while this is indeed true, it misses the larger and more dangerous consequences of the president’s actions.

    President Trump claims that it is very “unfair” that Mr. Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, a recusal indisputably necessary given Mr. Sessions’ role in the campaign that is now under investigation. At its core, the president’s complaint is that he doesn’t have a political ally at the Justice Department to protect him from the Russia investigation. And he is apparently trying to bully Mr. Sessions into resigning so that he can put someone in place who will.

    The president hasn’t stopped there. He has also tried to goad Mr. Sessions into re-initiating a closed investigation of the president’s former political rival. And all of this takes place in the wake of the president’s attempts to persuade the former F.B.I. director James Comey to back off the Michael Flynn investigation, and then firing Mr. Comey when he didn’t.

    President Trump’s actions appear aimed at destroying the fundamental independence of the Justice Department. All the while, he’s ripping the blindfold off Lady Justice and attempting to turn the department into a sword to seek vengeance against his perceived enemies and a shield to protect himself and his allies.

    It’s almost impossible to take all of this in. And while we risk becoming numb to the daily barrage of alarming news, we can’t lose sight of the fact that this is beyond abnormal. It’s dangerous.

    The Justice Department is not just another federal agency. It is charged with fulfilling our country’s promise of equal and impartial justice for all. As an agency with the authority to deprive citizens of their liberty, its investigations and prosecutions must be conducted free from any political interference or influence, and decisions must be made based solely on the facts and the law.

    To fulfill this weighty responsibility, past administrations, both Democratic and Republican, have jealously guarded a strict separation between the Justice Department and the White House when it comes to investigations and prosecutions. While there may be interaction on broad policies, any White House involvement in cases or investigations, including whom or what to investigate, has been flatly forbidden.

    This independence is essential for the career men and women to be able to do their jobs. I served in the Justice Department for over 27 years, the vast majority as a career prosecutor in both Democratic and Republican administrations. I know from firsthand experience how seriously the career prosecutors and agents take their responsibility to make fair and impartial decisions based solely on the facts and the law and nothing else.

    And the outcome of that analysis does not vary based on who occupies the White House. While some in the public may disagree with particular decisions, the Justice Department prosecutors and agents must have the independence to call it like they see it.

    The strict separation between the Justice Department and the White House applies to even the most mundane of criminal investigations, and nowhere does it matter more than when the investigation reaches into the White House itself. In short, no one at the White House should have anything to do with any decisions about whom or what to investigate or prosecute. Period.

    We must do more than rubberneck as we drive past this car crash. We all have a responsibility to protect our Justice Department’s ability to do its job free from interference. The very foundation of our justice system — the rule of law — depends on it.

    Sally Q. Yates was a deputy attorney general in the Obama administration.

    • Let’s not forget something very important – Trump’s core supporters are those Evangelical Christians who also believe that there is no separation of Church and State.

      IMHO – this mindset is what has brought us Trump. These FAKE Christians use their cloak of Godliness as their justification for mixing religion and politics.

      Basic Civics and Government education should be mandated for every single person living in America.

      How many people do not know the basics of how our government is structured and the reason for the separation of the Executive, Congessional and Judicial branches?

      Hell – just look at how many people truly believe the President has ALL the power to do what he wants? In reality – the President has very limited powers – because the Congressional is there controlling the purse strings.

      Trump is just an example of what happens when basic education has not been taught – and the average American is too busy – lazy – or just doesn’t give a damn (?) to look up and ask questions?

      Perhaps people don’t ask questions because they don’t know the reason they should be asking questions?

      Trump and Gang are treating the White House like a damn reality t.v. show.

      I truly fear for the future of America – not just for me – but I’ve got grandkids.

      And I am not only fearful – I am saddened to think we are at this point in history.

      Last – but not least – I am ANGRY that we are at this point in history and I see all these Evangelical Christians the ones who are pushing this destruction – and all in the name of God?

      We never heard of FAKE News until Trump – did we? Well – Fake News + Fake Christians = Fake President?



    Remember the guy that resigned from the Government Office of Ethics a few months ago?

    Schaub is the man’s name – and from this article, it appears Mr. Schaub has joined the non profit that has filed a complaint about Steve Bannon.

    I watched Mr. Schaub on the National Public Television News Hour show awhile back and he made the statement that he resigned from his government office job so that he could do more on the outside.

    This man gives me hope that our current White House Reality t.v. show is about to get some very negative ratings – and with any luck, their show will get cancelled.

    I have to hang on to the hope there are many people – just like this Schaub – that are quietly going about the business of keeping our government on the right track?

    When Trump publicly tweeted and humiliated Jeff Sessions – did you notice the backlash Trump received from his own Republicans?

    I don’t think Trump expected that – but perhaps this was the very first crack in that Trump armor?

    The Bible talks about Pride goeth before the fall.

    Maybe the well-deserved fall is yet to come??

  3. Why Is Donald Trump Still So Horribly Witless About the World?

    (From the link): I asked top Republican and intelligence officials from eight Administrations what they thought was the one thing the President needs to grasp to succeed on the world stage. Their various replies: embrace the fact that the Russians are not America’s friends. Don’t further alienate the Europeans, who are our friends. Encourage human rights—a founding principle of American identity—and don’t make priority visits to governments that curtail them, such as Poland and Saudi Arabia. Understand that North Korea’s nuclear program can’t be outsourced to China, which can’t or won’t singlehandedly fix the problem anyway, and realize that military options are limited. Pulling out of innovative trade deals, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, will boost China’s economy and secure its global influence—to America’s disadvantage. Stop bullying his counterparts. And put the Russia case behind him by coöperating with the investigation rather than trying to discredit it.

  4. “Each time we return to this courtroom, I’m struck by the atmosphere, by the silence. Much like the Supreme Court chamber, it reminds me of being in a church. It isn’t easy, in my experience, to break that silence, to go into a church and raise one’s voice, as I’m doing now and as we did over two years ago. It flies totally in the face of one’s cultural conditioning to stand up and disrupt the service…

    If the court is like a church, the justices can too often seem cloistered. We tapped on the wall of the cloister to warn them about a crisis of faith occurring outside that, if ignored, is only preface to more urgent banging or even a breach.

    Citizens in a functioning democracy don’t require that the outcome favor them, only that the process be fair. And that, fundamentally, is why we disrupted the Supreme Court; to warn that the public was losing faith in the fairness and integrity of its government…we only stood in the courtroom and paraphrased, without anger or desire to intimidate, the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, ‘One person, one vote’…when money is speech and mere speaking, apparently, is criminal. My friends and I broke the law because we couldn’t afford to influence the government legally.

    …this is always the establishment’s response to civil disobedience: ‘We don’t object to what you say, but can you please do it where we can’t hear it? We support your right to protest, but can you do it in a manner that can be ignored completely?’

    ‘Protest the right way’ really means ‘We don’t want to be responsive to this.’
    When a protest is being organized that will probably result in prison time, you generally don’t raise your hand to participate unless you feel as if you’ve exhausted the other options. But the avenues for citizens of average wealth to play a role in their democracy have been systematically closed.
    Protest is not a disruption of a fair and functional system, but rather a symptom of a system which is unfair and dysfunctional. If protest is an annoyance, it’s an annoyance in the same sense that a fire alarm is…If it’s an inconvenience, it’s only inconvenient in the sense that an engine service light is. You can get a bad mechanic to unplug the wire and make the light go off, but you probably shouldn’t. Even the engine of our democracy will stop unless it’s serviced.

    The indifference of the establishment to the growing discontent in this country seems to presuppose that the public will remain forever passive and that they can go on abusing it and stealing from its dish indefinitely, as if the dog will not eventually bite…But instead of dismissing protest and prosecuting protesters, expending the public’s resources on its own muzzling, power should appreciate protest for what it is: a growl of warning.”

    • Bob White

      “Indifference” when continued is an assured basis for voter contempt and growing protest that becomes both non-verbal and destructive.


    Can political campaign donor legally sue the political party they donated to due to their lack of delivering on a promise to repeat Obamacare?

    So – if this lawsuit goes through – then why can’t any taxpayer sue Trump Administration and Congress for not delivering on their promises of job creation, balanced budget, no more illegal immigration – just to name a few promises?

    OH – and that damn Border Wall and Trump’s promise to help all solve the opioid crisis in our country?

    Hell – I don’t want my tax dollars being used to line the pockets of the Military Industrial Complex – so if this political donor can legally sue to get his money back – why can’t I get my tax dollars back from Trump giving it to causes I don’t agree with?