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Old 2020-12-26, 16:29   #1354
Dr Sardonicus
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xyzzy View Post
Always good to have the details. At France 24 we find 'Cheaper than water': Iraqis angry but unsurprised over Blackwater pardons:
Quote:
All but one of the victims' families accepted compensation from Blackwater, a lawyer wounded in the attack told AFP previously.

Those hurt received up to $50,000, while the relatives of those killed were offered $100,000.

Haitham al-Rubaie, who lost his son Ahmad and wife Mahasin, was the only one to turn down the offers.

Ahmad was a 20-year-old medical student, a former classmate said on Wednesday.

"All of us at school were devastated and heartbroken," said the classmate, who asked for her name to be withheld so she could speak freely.

"Times were really tough... and to hear that he and his mom were both murdered added to our sense of desperation."

She said she expected Ahmad would have been a successful physician -- like his mother -- had he lived.

"It is an utter outrage, but it is also not surprising by any means. The Americans have never approached us Iraqis as equals," the former classmate said.

"As far as they are concerned, our blood is cheaper than water and our demands for justice and accountability are merely a nuisance."
Alas, there is no way to undo this disannulment of justice under law wrought by the lame duck in the White House.

I have been ashamed from time to time of American policies and decisions, but I was sickened when I heard about the Nisour Square Massacre. This pardon is a more direct and personal affront than policy decisions. It is an absolute disavowal of the American ideal of "equal justice under law." Four men who slaughtered unarmed civilians with automatic weapons and explosives, who are utterly unrepentant, have been allowed to walk free, the law blinded to their crimes. Betsy DeVos, Destroyer Secretary of Education thanks to Mike Pence, is sister to Erik Prince, who founded Blackwater. [W.C. Fields voice]It must be a coincidence...[/W.C. Fields voice]

"Make America Great Again?" We have our work cut out for us...
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Old 2020-12-26, 19:56   #1355
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A December 22 article in The Bulwark said:
Quote:
In the unlikely scenario that Trump were to issue an order to use the military to prevent the transfer of power, the order would go to the secretary of defense. In the unlikely scenario that the secretary were to decide to enforce the order (which, it should go without saying, would be illegal), he would relay the order to commander of the Northern Command, Gen. Glen VanHerck. There, VanHerck would consult with his team of legal advisers, who would inform him that the order was a grotesque violation of the Constitution, and VenHerck would refuse the order and send it back to the secretary of defense. Because, as Gen. Milley said, VenHeck's loyalty lies with the Constitution, not a king or queen, and certainly not Donald Trump.
The very next day, the Lame-Duck-in-Chief vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act. So now, I reckon things would go more like this if he sent the order to Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller: Miller would reply, "You want the military to keep you in power? After you just vetoed everybody's paychecks for all of next year? You can take a flying at the moon. Sir."

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2020-12-26 at 19:57 Reason: xigfin posty
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Old 2020-12-28, 01:37   #1356
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The threat of a "pocket veto" of the COVID relief bill described in this post (which would also have led to a "government shut-down" at 12:01AM EST Tuesday) will not be fulfilled:

Trump signs massive measure funding government, COVID relief
Quote:
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump has signed a $900 billion pandemic relief package that will deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals. It also averts a government shutdown.

Trump announced the signing in a statement Sunday night.

The massive bill includes $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies through September and contains other end-of-session priorities such as money for cash-starved transit systems and an increase in food stamp benefits.
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Old 2020-12-28, 07:00   #1357
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Default Trump just took the wrong hostage, proving he never actually learnt how Washington works

From 11 December:
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices...-b1769627.html
Quote:
Aggrieved and acting even more impulsively than normal since Biden was projected as his replacement and as every state he lost has certified its election results, the president wanted payback on Facebook, Twitter and other social media firms.

A hostage he needed.

There were just two options: the NDAA, considered a must-pass policy measure, and a year-end spending measure.

Oddly, Trump chose the former. In so doing, he was trying to essentially kidnap and block a bill that is considered sacred by the conservative lawmakers that have mostly stood by his demands and falsehoods for a half-decade.
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Old 2020-12-28, 12:49   #1358
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Quote:
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Quote:
There were just two options: the NDAA, considered a must-pass policy measure, and a year-end spending measure.

Oddly, Trump chose the former.
Actually, he took the latter (government funding/COVID relief bill) hostage, not the former (NDAA). He finally caved and signed the relief bill, probably because his Congressional enablers pointed out that, if the bill died, the voters would likely punish them for the unpleasant consequences that would have ensued.

[aside]The commentaries to the effect that it is shocking - shocking - that this or that enabler, in this case poor poor pitiful Treasury Secretary Steve "The Foreclosure King" Mnuchin, find their misbegotten loyalty to a narcissist repayed with betrayal, make my eyes roll so far back I can see the gears and levers between my ears. What did they expect?[/aside]

The Tantrum-thrower-in-Chief vetoed the NDAA, as mentioned in this post. When he did that, he knocked his would-be hostage o' the head and threw it on the ground, but the hostage was alive and free of his clutches. Congress can (and IMO almost certainly will) override his veto.

Now, he's reduced to inciting his cult followers to riot, as IMO he has in effect, already done - calling for them to gather in DC on January 6, saying it "will be wild." Gee, wouldn't it be a shame if they didn't get a permit...
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Old 2020-12-29, 00:56   #1359
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The US House of Representatives originally passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, 335-78. After the US Senate passed the bill 84-13, the president vetoed it.

The House has now voted to override the president's veto, 322-87. That's four fewer total votes, 13 fewer yeas, and 9 more nays than the vote for initial passage. Still comfortably over a 2/3 majority of those present.

Now the bill goes to the Senate, which will vote tomorrow. Again, it takes more than 2/3 of those present voting in favor, to override the veto. Some R's who voted to pass the bill will almost certainly now vote to sustain the veto. I would be very surprised if the veto is actually sustained, but it is possible.
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Old 2020-12-29, 19:07   #1360
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
That's ... 9 more nays than the vote for initial passage.
Profiles in cowardice.
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Old 2020-12-29, 19:23   #1361
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masser View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
That's ... 9 more nays than the vote for initial passage.
Profiles in cowardice.
Oh, yeah.

And there are hidden depths of poltroonery. When the leadership wants to insure a specific outcome (in this case a veto override) and has a reliable vote count before the matter comes to the floor, and the margin is big enough, they can count how many members who voted Yea on passage they can allow to vote Nay on overriding the veto, in the name of political expediency.
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Old 2020-12-29, 19:25   #1362
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It's worse than I thought:

26 Republicans switched their votes.

16 Democrats switched their votes.

Spinelessness writ large.
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Old 2020-12-29, 19:49   #1363
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It's worse than I thought:

26 Republicans switched their votes.

16 Democrats switched their votes.

Spinelessness writ large.
I would imagine most of the R switches were from Yeas on passage to Nays on overriding the veto. And most of the D switches were from voting Nay on passage to voting Yea on overriding the veto.

With the R's, IMO fear of crossing, or being seen to be crossing the Lame-Duck-in-Chief reigns supreme. With the D's, IMO the desire to stick it to the Lame-Duck-in-Chief reigns supreme.
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Old 2021-01-01, 20:33   #1364
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In an unusual New Year's Day session, the US Senate has voted 81-13 to override the president's veto of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2021. The bill now becomes law.

This is the only override of a president's veto by the 116th Congress. (There were none during the 115th Congress. The 117th Congress begins on Monday, January 3.)

One of the lunatic attempts to keep the incumbent in office is a filing in US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler division, Gohmert v. Pence, which asks the Court to declare sections of the 1887 Electoral Count Act unconstitutional, and to grant the VP exclusive authority to decide which electoral votes to count. A Defendant's Response on VP Pence's behalf has been filed seeking to have the case dismissed. The US Department of Justice, in the persons of some of its higher-ups, is acting as Attorney for the Defendant. The well-written brief claims that plaintiffs are suing the wrong person, and indicates a number of legal reasons the case should be dismissed without further ado.
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