Totally Tuesday Reads: Curbing Presidential Powers

Good Morning Sky Dancers!

BB’s had a bad week or so with her pain issues so I’m sitting in for her today.  She’s going to be talking to her doctor so hopefully, she’ll get some relief sometime today!  It’s the last day of summer also. I hope we can get some relief from the heat.

Charlie Savage has written this piece in the New York Times today: “Democrats Begin Effort to Curb Post-Trump Presidential Powers ut to appeal to Republicans, a bill being introduced in the House to impose checks on executive authority may be broken into pieces in the Senate.”

House Democrats are planning to introduce a package of proposed new limits on executive power on Tuesday, beginning a post-Trump push to strengthen checks on the presidency that they hope will compare to the overhauls that followed the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War.

Democrats have spent months negotiating with the Biden White House to refine a broad set of proposals that amount to a point-by-point rebuke of the ways that Donald J. Trump shattered norms over the course of his presidency. The Democrats have compiled numerous bills into a package they call the Protecting Our Democracy Act.

The legislation would make it harder for presidents to offer or bestow pardons in situations that raise suspicion of corruption, refuse to respond to oversight subpoenas, spend or secretly freeze funds contrary to congressional appropriations, and fire inspectors general or retaliate against whistle-blowers, among many other changes.

The legislation’s lead sponsor, Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, said he hoped it would receive a floor vote “this fall.”

Here’s another example of things that should not happen.  Thank goodness for courts and prosecutors!

“Tongue Fashion”, from the “Annunciation” series (1969) Wilfredo Lam

Yeah, right “Russian Hoax” Blah. Blah. Blah.  This is from the AXIOS link cited above.

The big picture: The Justice Department alleges that Jesse Benton, 43, the husband of Paul’s niece and a veteran Republican staffer, orchestrated a scheme to conceal the illegal foreign donation with another GOP operative, Doug Wead.

The details: The indictment, unsealed on Monday, outlines allegations of a convoluted money trail from the unnamed Russian national through a consulting firm run by Benton and to a Trump joint fundraising committee.

  • The Russian national was determined to underwrite a Trump fundraising event in order to get a photo with the former president, according to communications between Benton and Weed cited in the indictment.
  • The indictment alleges that Benton received $100,000 from the Russian national and passed on $25,000 to the joint fundraising committee, allegedly pocketing the remaining $75,000.
  • Wead and Benton each face six criminal charges, including conspiracy and abetting illegal foreign political contributions.

For the record: Efforts to reach Wead were not immediately successful. Benton did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

  • Benton was previously convicted of filing false statements in connection with a scheme to funnel money from Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign to an influential Iowa politician who backed Paul in the state’s presidential caucus.
  • Trump pardoned Benton in December, shortly before leaving office.

Rebecca Shabad of NBC news provides these details: “Many of the bill’s provisions are a response to the way Donald Trump operated as president.”  So this is the type of behavior the bill addresses.

The measure would limit a president’s pardon power, require presidential candidates to be transparent with their tax records, and extend a deadline for prosecuting former presidents and vice presidents for federal crimes committed before or during their time in office, according to the group Protect Democracy, which is advocating for the measure.

It would also ensure that incoming presidents have access to resources for the transition period following an election, and would require the disclosure of contacts between the White House and the Justice Department.

“The proposals respond to longstanding vulnerabilities in our democracy that have allowed for the aggrandizement of presidential power, many of which have been exploited over decades by presidents of both parties, and some of which reached new heights through the actions of the Trump administration,” the group says on its website.

Donald Trump, for example, has refused since his campaign for president to release his tax records, repeatedly claiming that he couldn’t do so because the IRS was conducting an audit of his documents.

Before Trump left office, he pardoned hundreds of people including his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, his former adviser Roger Stone, his other former campaign manager, Steve Bannon, and his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.


President Biden addresses the United Nations today and is speaking–at this writing–on Climate Change in a quite colorful language.  Here’s that part of the speech.  I can speak directly to climate change.  I’m not sure how long it will take to take care of things after Ida down here in Southe East Louisiana.  There really are some towns that may not come back.  You may thank your rising gas prices to the hurricane’s destructive path that hit Port Fouchon

Twitter is full of horror over a whip being used by a Border patrol officer on people fleeing political chaos in Haiti border patrol.  This is reported in the New York Times. “Mayorkas says he was ‘horrified’ by images of horse-mounted Border Patrol agents confronting Haitian migrants.”

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday that he was “horrified” by images of horse-mounted Border Patrol agents attempting to grab Haitian migrants and use their animals to push them back toward Mexico and promised a “swift” investigation.

“I was horrified by what I saw,” Mayorkas said during an appearance on CNN. “I am going to let the investigation run its course, but the pictures that I observed troubled me profoundly.”

Mayorkas was responding to scenes captured by news cameras and photographers Sunday along the Rio Grande. In one instance, an agent is heard on video shouting an obscenity as a child jumps out of a horse’s path.

“One cannot weaponize a horse to aggressively attack a child,” Mayorkas said. “That is unacceptable. That is not what our policies and our training require. …Let me be quite clear: That is not acceptable.”

The stench of Trump and Steven Miller are all over the Border Patrol.  I personally feel they should all be fired and made to reapplyou.

It’s going to take a long time to deal with the aftermath of the Trump administration and its culture of grift and dismissal of the rule of law and expected protocol. I’m still amazed we’re still standing some days

So, I hope you feel better BB!  Take care of yourself!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


20 Comments on “Totally Tuesday Reads: Curbing Presidential Powers”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Take Care!! Be safe!! I still just feel wonder at how our community has stayed tight and around for so long!!! Be a long strange trip from Dubya to Biden but we’re hanging in here!

    Love you all !!!!

  2. dakinikat says:

    • quixote says:

      I missed some of this Haitian story: how did they wind up in Mexico? I gather many of them haven’t lived in Haiti since forever. When did they flee? When there were the problems with Aristide? After the terrible earthquake? All of the above? Was Mexico giving them shelter at that point? Or did they just happen to coalesce there? If anyone here knows the backstory, help me out :-}

      • dakinikat says:

        Joy Reid explained it in her show tonight and interviewed the homeland security secretary

        • quixote says:

          Erm, I don’t have a tv and I’m not signed up to any streaming service. Worse yet, I’m not on Facebook either 😛 . Is there somewhere I can find out what she said?

          • quixote says:

            Ah. Of course. :redface: Thanks!

          • NW Luna says:

            Don’t feel bad, Q, I don’t have a TV nor am I on Faceborg either!

          • dakinikat says:

            Mayorkas Concerned Haitians Receiving ‘False Information’ U.S. Border Is Open


            Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said officials are worried that Haitians are getting “false information” about migrating to the U.S.

            More than 10,000 people, predominantly from Haiti, have recently crossed the Rio Grande river and are camping out under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas. The size of the camp has grown tremendously over the past few days, overwhelming border officials and local communities.

            Mayorkas visited the bridge on Monday, calling the situation “heartbreaking” and “distinct” from the other large movements of migrants the administration has experienced.

            “We are very concerned the Haitians who are taking this irregular migration path are receiving false information that the border is open or that temporary protected status is available,” Mayorkas told reporters at a press conference. “I want to make sure that it is known that this is not the way to come to the U.S. That is false information.”

            The secretary also said it’s “tragic” that families are being deceived by smugglers for monetary gain.

            The Biden administration extended temporary protected status earlier this year for the tens of thousands of Haitians already living in the U.S. But since then, many more migrants have tried to enter the country despite not qualifying for the program.

  3. dakinikat says:

  4. quixote says:

    As for what we need to prevent a future Trump?

    Make the current perps pay a price.

    Any price. Some kind of price. A PRICE, fergawdsake.

    New laws aren’t worth the screen electrons they’re printed with if nobody ever enforces anything because, gee whiz, it’s all just too embarrassing / partisan / whatever-bullshit-excuse-they’re-using-today.

    Once they’re trying and convicting the current Dump for treason and his other high crimes, I’ll start believing they’re interested in stopping a repeat.

  5. NW Luna says:

    You’d think the Rethugs would be happy to cut some executive powers now that Biden’s in office.