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Shaun Orwell
"Boot it up, there's only, like, a 70% chance it'll explode I'm sure we'll be fine."
"Boot it up, there's only, like, a 70% chance it'll explode I'm sure we'll be fine."

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Let it die

Only thing is I hope there's some work done to save old classic flash games. Aether, the lenny loosejocks games, that kind of thing. 

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Ain't it fucking beautiful?

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heheh, this image is ironic

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All of this is part of why I fucking hate having to go back to Windows to play a game. 

The LAD Bible article on the Rick and Morty creators getting a jug of Szechuan sauce is just fucking embarrassing, they referred to Rick's grandson Monty, and said that sauce was a running theme in the show. They've obviously never actually watched it.

disclaimer: I didn't realise it was LAD Bible until I finished it

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Animated Photo

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TIL new OS, possibly all android 7, can force non-multiwindow apps to work with multi widow

That synopsis really doesn't seem like it should go with a G rating

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Via +Cindy Brown
"...except in Cases of Impeachment:" How the Republic ends.

Article Two, Clause I of the Constitution:

"The President... shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment."

It's a sign of the extraordinariness of the times that the phrase "constitutional crisis" has been thrown around a bit carelessly lately. Let's be clear: violation of norms is not, in itself, a constitutional crisis. (It may be a "presidential crisis" or "national crisis", but it's not a constitutional crisis.) Neither is partisan gridlock, even to the point of absolutely nothing of consequence ever getting done. (This may be a "crisis of governance", or a "political crisis", but, again, it's not a constitutional crisis.) And in fact, the president attempting to do something extralegal or even patently illegal by the plain text of the constitution, by itself, is not a constitutional crisis.

No; a true constitutional crisis is when the constitution ceases operability because it contradicts itself or has no answer to the current state of affairs. When one cannot look to the Constitution to figure out what happens next, or when one can look to the Constitution and see that things described as checks and balances have already failed and have no backup plan—that is a constitutional crisis.

By no rational grounds can one argue we are already in the midst of a constitutional crisis or that one has already occurred. Let me be crystal clear, I am not excusing or making apologies for the administration. Even if the Trump campaign worked directly and constantly with the Kremlin to defeat Clinton and did so with Trump's own knowledge and blessing and pre-approval, that would not put us into a constitutional crisis—yet. Not by itself.

(If proof arose that vote tallies were changed in a way that could have flipped the election, that would be a constitutional crisis, because the Constitution has no provision for invalidating or redoing an illegitimate election. But except for a few similarly unlikely facts that might turn up, for the most part, there is no evidence that might arise about things that have already happened up till now that would provoke a constitutional crisis or tell us one was already happening.)

With that background out of the way, if a true constitutional crisis erupts in the next year (or sooner), it would come from one of two places:

1. Refusal of the custodians of constitutional power to exercise it against party interest.

If Trump fired Robert Mueller or gave blanket pardons to his family, his campaign, or himself, the Congress would be constitutionally required to respond.

They could respond by initiating the impeachment process, of course, and failing to do so in the face of blanket pardons would unquestionably be a constitutional crisis (and, in my opinion, is the most likely scenario), but it's not the only way such a crisis could erupt.

Congress could (and hypothetically, should) respond to the firing of Mueller by passing a bill re-appointing Mueller in a special prosecutorial role that the president would not have the power to interfere with. Trump would undoubtedly veto such a bill. Once Trump fired Mueller, if Congress did not take up or pass such a bill or did not override a veto—any of these would represent a constitutional crisis, as Congress failed to serve its appointed role in the Constitution as a check on a despotic president as described by James Madison.

Even if the bill did not initially pass with a veto-proof majority, the framework (if not the plain text) of the Constitution would arguably require Congress to override the veto, unless the veto provoked even stronger action such as impeachment. Even those who voted no on the bill would have a duty to vote yes on override in order to maintain Congress's standing as a coequal branch. Otherwise, Congress will have ceded its own place in government and will choose to become a rubber-stamp.

The Supreme Court's role in such a crisis could come about in the case of a blanket presidential pardon. Such a pardon of Trump's family, campaign, or himself would surely be on matters related to the Russia investigation, either directly or indirectly, such as proof of bribery, corruption, violations of the Constitution's prohibition of emolument, and so on. These matters would all be potentially probative in a "Case of Impeachment".

The federal courts and, ultimately, the Supreme Court would have to rule on whether the pardons were valid or not. The Court has never before ruled a presidential pardon as invalid—this is why the power of pardon is frequently called one of the president's only "absolute" constitutional powers. So this would be their constitutional crisis, and were they to split 5–4 on party lines — especially in a nakedly partisan way such as in Bush v. Gore, when the Court felt it necessary to explicitly rule their own decision as being without legal precedent — they would fail their own test of whether they were still a custodian of their coequal branch. The independent judiciary will have died.

2. The president's exercise of extralegal power to impede and obstruct not just justice, but the framework of the Constitution itself.

This is harder to get one's head around in concrete terms, but is chilling if not terrifying in the abstract. Listening to Trump's own thinking—exposed, oddly enough, not through secret tapes or leaks, but on Twitter and in interviews with NBC and The New York Times — show the man is remarkably unaware of the expanse of and limits to the power of his office, but has an apparently unshakeable belief that the government should be, essentially, in his employ. And not just the executive branch, but the United States government in its entirety. "L'état, C'est moi" seems to be the beginning and end of his thinking on the subject.

I have no doubt that he believes the entire Russia investigation is unnecessary because there is nothing to investigate. My certainty about his belief has nothing whatsoever to do with what he and his campaign did or did not do, or what Trump did or did not know about. I think Trump could have personally come up with the idea, "I know, let's collude with the Russians!" long before he announced his candidacy, personally directed his son and son-in-law in their dealings with the Kremlin, and signed off on each and every move, and he would still believe "the entire Russia investigation is unnecessary, because there is nothing to investigate." Again, "l'état, C'est moi" — or, in the words of a more recent leader of a closer country, "well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal".

So, let's start there with that stipulation of Trump's mindset. Suppose that something — earth-shattering new "smoking gun" evidence, indictments from Robert Mueller, a public confession by one of Trump's family members or senior campaigners — forced Congress to begin impeachment hearings. (And I use the word "forced" here carefully; see point #1 above.) This is something that I believe is literally unthinkable for Trump, for the reasons I just described. Is it hard to imagine that the only possible conclusion he could draw was that the entire United States Congress was in conspiracy against him? And, by being in conspiracy against him, they were implicitly in conspiracy against the United States?

What might he do in response? In the past 24 hours, many legal scholars have weighed in on the questions surrounding Trump's hypothetical pardons—essentially, publicly asking themselves the same questions The Washington Post reports Trump has asked his own lawyers—and while their conclusions have varied somewhat (especially on the question of whether self-pardon is constitutional), they have frequently finished on the cautionary note that the president can only pardon federal crimes. And were he to pardon himself—whether or not he were impeached—one would assume that the attorneys general of at least some portion of the fifty states would take it upon themselves to find a state crime they could charge him with after his term in office ended.

But in trying to imagine normal law and order proceeding to that point, I don't see how Trump, the man, fits into such a scenario. In the course of his life he has regularly failed to pay bills he owes. When challenged about this, he doesn't deny it, he doesn't try to weasel away with legalisms or accounting minutiae. He proudly proclaims that he didn't pay for it because the work was shoddy, and maintains that he was in the right. He has repeatedly sought debt relief—even bankruptcy protection—only to brag later about how he, essentially, conned the lenders for his own benefit. "I'm greedy—greedy, greedy, greedy!" is something he has literally said at his campaign podium many times.

As we all know by now, even demonstrable facts have no power against what he "believes" is "right"—which is whatever advances his own interests in the moment. He is literally and utterly shameless and incorrigible. He uses any and all powers he has to achieve his own ends, with apparently no care for what happens to anyone else besides his own family. So what might he do if Congress began the process of impeaching him?

He fired Jim Comey to try to "stop this"; he rails against Jeff Sessions for recusing himself—not because he thinks it was the right decision or the wrong decision, simply that it was a decision that was "not fair" to him. He has apparently inquired on the mechanics of firing Robert Mueller and of pardoning himself. Is it too great a stretch to imagine he would use any and all powers in his immediate grasp to stop an impeachment, and that he would justify any such actions as "right" by the only yardstick that has ever mattered to him—how it benefits him and his family?

He has already attempted—with greater or lesser success—to use supposedly independent agencies including the FBI, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Secret Service to advance his own political goals and even his own avarice. (ProPublica and The Washington Post, among others, have done extensive reporting on the ways he has used his office to directly enrich the Trump Organization, including making decisions on affairs of security and of state whose only demonstrable benefit has been to divert Secret Service and Pentagon funds into rental fees at Trump resorts and Trump golf courses and Trump hotels. The Secret Service had already spent over $35,000 on Trump property golf-cart rental fees alone in the first two full months of his presidency.)

Here's where I skid off the road—because what comes next is simply unforeseeable without knowing exactly how we got to that point. But what, I ask, is unimaginable? He's already installed long-serving and loyal members of his private security into key White House positions, and used them for delicate work such as delivering James Comey's firing letter (to his office, when he was 2,500 miles away in California) before anyone in the formal notification chain was told it was happening.

Is it unimaginable that he might try to "stop" an "unnecessary" and "distracting" impeachment? Is it unimaginable he might do so by sending his own goons—with letters of pardon in hand indemnifying them—to arrest the committee chairman and ranking member so the hearing couldn't begin? Then what? Would Speaker of the House Paul Ryan react with anything more than a strongly-worded statement of dismay? We may have plenty of evidence that Paul Ryan is spineless against Trump, but consider—what more could he do? (As Stalin said, "The Pope? How many divisions has he got?")

This is the constitutional crisis that keeps me up at night. Not that the Congress will fail to live up to its constitutional duties—though, as I wrote, I think it's very likely they will fail to rise to the occasion given the history of the past six months. No, the crisis I worry about is the one that happens if they unexpectedly do end up doing the right thing.

Trump doesn't have a great history of dealing fairly with people who cross him, even when their slights are entirely in Trump's own head. He uses every power at his disposal to make sure they fail and he succeeds. And now, the "power at his disposal" for his petty ends is greater than that of any other person in history. What will he do with it? What won't he do with it?

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