Friday, April 19, 2019

The Mueller Report Is Out--And Even The Redacted Version Is A Lot More Damning Than Trump Wants You To Believe

Well, the much anticipated Mueller Report is out now, and even the redacted version is a LOT more damning than Trump or Barr want anyone to believe.  Seriously.  While it is ostensibly inconclusive about Trump's personal participation in the Russian hacking and interference, the three most important words in the entire 400+ page report are "does NOT exonerate", particularly in relation to the high crime of obstruction of justice. And even the inconclusiveness was largely due 1) important evidence apparently being deleted/destroyed by some of the major players in the Russiagate scandal, and 2) apparent duress, however subtle, to one degree or another, from the Justice Department under Trump.

I mean, this is the very same Donald Trump who unceremoniously fired FBI Director James Comey, then forced Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign, and even tried to fire Robert Mueller himself--all because he wanted the ever-growing Russiagate investigation to just go away already.  Ipse dixit--he himself said it, after all.  If that is not a textbook example of obstruction of justice, and one that would make even Tricky Dick Nixon himself blush, in fact, I really don't know what is anymore.

And that is just the redacted version!  In other words, Trump is NOT out of the woods yet, if ever.  His fate now rests in the hands of Congress, as well as the Southern District of New York, who is now led by Attorney General Letitia James.  So Donald, if I were you, I would do us all a YUUUGE favor and RESIGN, yesterday.  Then pray that you don't ultimately end up behind bars, because I doubt they would take very kindly to the likes of you in the big house.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Here's A Novel Idea: Just Abolish It Already!

Now that a federal judge recently struck down as unconstitutional the longstanding requirement that only men, and not women, have to register for Selective Service (aka the draft), its legal status is in limbo until the Supreme Court sorts it out.  Some believe that the best solution is to expand it to include women, and that does indeed make sense from a gender equality perspective.  But here is an even better solution:  just abolish it already, period.

The United States has not had an active draft since it was officially abolished in 1973, at the end of the Vietnam War, and for good reason:  it no longer made any sense.  Following that, the requirement to register for Selective Service was subsequently ended in 1975, pushing the Selective Service System into "deep standby", which was essentially complete hibernation.  After all, it makes no sense to have registration if there is no active draft or chance for one in the near future, right?  Such hibernation lasted until 1980, when President Carter reactivated the registration requirement--but not the draft itself--in order to, in his own words, "send a signal to the Russians" since the Cold War looked like it was (briefly) heating up a bit once again.  Fair enough.

But here we are now in 2019, and the largely symbolic registration requirement still remains in effect, and for what, exactly?  It is basically an antiquated relic from a time when given the technology (or lack thereof) of the day, it may have been perhaps a bit more difficult to quickly reactivate a draft even if truly necessary.  But even in 1980, and with relatively puny enforcement, the registration system was back up and running within a matter of months despite being idle for five years.  And today if they really wanted to, even without registration, the government could literally find anyone they wanted to draft from all of the many other databases that already exist.  That method may have a bit more friction to it, of course, but a little bit of friction for something with that much gravitas is really not a bad thing.

And the odds of an active draft ever being reinstated in the foreseeable future are almost nil given today's technology and the increasingly professional nature of the US Armed Forces.  Even if we run very short of troops, we can simply pay them more and we will be thus able to meet our recruiting goals.  And if we still can't meet our goals, we should really question the wisdom of whatever war(s) we happen to be fighting at that time, and exactly whose interests are really being served.  To put it bluntly, a country that needs a draft to defend itself deserves to lose, and in a truly just war, conscription would be unnecessary since volunteers would surely be plentiful.

(Some would note exceptions, of course, but those very rare exceptions only prove the rule.)

Therefore, the TSAP believes that registration requirement be abolished at once and the Selective Service System be put back into the hibernation of "deep standby" just like it was in 1975-1980.  And if they like, they can also update the law currently on the books to include women in the event it is ever reactivated in the future.  But make no mistake, the TSAP has never, and will never, support a draft--unless of course you mean the "consensual conscription" idea that we have floated before in which all wars longer than 90 days are put up to a popular vote, and only "yes" voters (and perhaps followed by abstainers) would get drafted.  That's about as fair as it gets.  Otherwise, we unequivocally say, as they famously said back in the day:


and, as the late Major General Smedley Butler famously said,