Harvard Professor: Hillary Clinton Could Still Be President

Hillary_Clinton_Testimony_to_House_Select_Committee_on_BenghaziLawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman professor of law and leadership at Harvard Law School, offered hope recently for those still in denial over the 2017 presidential election.  Lessig, seriously, argued in Newsweek that it is not too late.  Hillary Clinton could still be president if things break in the right way. It would only require the removal of both Trump and Pence as well as a cooperation and resignation of a President Speaker Paul Ryan.  That is all it would take to make for those who believe that there is no price too great to get the Clintons back into power.  Even Lessig’s Rube Goldberg machine of presidential succession.

The scenario laid out by Lessig is that (1) Trump is impeached or takes a Nixonian dive; (2) then Pence is implicated and either resigns or is impeached; (3) then Ryan is made president and appoints Clinton as Vice President; and finally (4) Ryan resigns because it is the only decent thing to do.  That would take as many as two additional presidencies (President Pence and President Ryan would leave office) to bring about a President Clinton.

Lessig insists that “This is one way that it could happen.” Presumably, the other way is that everyone but Clinton dies in an apocalyptic meteor strike.

Under these circumstances, Lessig insists “The answer seems unavoidable: Ryan should nominate the person defeated by the treason of his own party, and then step aside, and let her become the President.”

In fairness to Lessig, law professors love to play out fanciful or fun scenarios. However, Newsweek advanced this suggestion as a serious possibility.

What is curious is the Lessig would view Clinton as the Democrat to be elevated given the recent disclosures of how the DNC and Democratic establishment effectively rigged the primary against her opponents. Shouldn’t Lessig add an extra step for Clinton to step side for “the person defeated by the treason of his own party” and bring in the Administration of President Bernie Sanders?

There are a couple problems here. First, there is absolutely no evidence of treason and the allegations against Trump are well removed from any responsible definition of that crime.  Second, Lessig ignores that the election appears to turn more on people voting against Clinton than for Trump.  Both Clinton and Trump were the most unpopular candidates in the history of American politics.  The DNC and establishment lost this election by pushing through a candidate who had record lows for trustworthiness.  Even after all of the Trump controversies and Clinton’s post-election speaking tour campaign , he remains more popular than Clinton.

We have previously noted that polls have shown Trump would still beat Clinton in a head-to-head election (and here).  While Trump is also facing declining polls, he is at the same level or even higher than Clinton. Clinton posted the lowest polling numbers yet with only 36% popularity and an unfavorable rating of 61%. Polls are showing Trump at 38 percent.  While a new poll shows that half of people feel Trump should resign, it is clear that they want Clinton even less — the very same position held by many in the campaign.  Before the establishment all but anointed Clinton as their candidate in the primary, polls clearly showed that the voters did not want an establishment figure so the DNC worked to guarantee the nomination to the ultimate establishment figure. However, it clearly goes deeper than that.  Even against one of the most unpopular figures in history (Trump was even worse at 63 percent unfavorable), Clinton could not even maintain a majority of women with favorability ratings. Against a candidate who was intensely opposed by many, Clinton could not even get above 50 percent and finished 48 to 46 percent — with the electoral votes going to Trump. Had the DNC and establishment not engineered the nomination, another Democrat would likely have had a walk away victory.

Finally, there would be no compelling reason for either Pence or Ryan to resign.  If Trump were to resign or be removed, there is no expectation of mass resignations to facilitate the swearing in of the losing candidate from the last election.  That has certainly not been the case with past controversies like the Nixon resignation (despite the role of the “dirty tricks” team operating out of the White House).

The suggested path to a Clinton presidency through this chain impeachments and resignations smacks of a certain denial bordering on delusion.

 

399 thoughts on “Harvard Professor: Hillary Clinton Could Still Be President”

  1. I think the delusional Professor Lessig shows how much damage Harvard and the other Ivy-League universities have done to the United States over the years.

    To quote William F Buckley (another Ivy-Leaguer, but from Yale): “I would rather be governed by 400 people picked randomly from the Boston phone book than the faculty at Harvard.”

  2. L4D,…
    You mentioned that the Social Security surplus was at $5 Trillion…..I don’t remember it ever being that high.
    I don’t have the time or the bandwith left to plow through a bunch of .gov PDF
    statistics to nail down what the SS surplus was at the peak…if you have a citation for the $5 Trillion number, please provide it.
    I thought the peak surplus was in the $3-3.5 Trillion range in c.2010
    The Pew Research link that you posted stated that “..since 2010, Social Security cash expenses have exceeded cash receipts”
    It also states that the SS trust fund was $2.83 Trillion as of July 15, 2015.
    2010 likely saw the peak of the SS surplus, since the SS receipts had exceeded outlays for over 25 years.
    If the trust fund was $5 Trillion in 2010, it seems unlikely that it would have dwindled to $2.83 Trillion by 2015; the annual gap between receipts and outlays between 2010 and 2015 probably averaged about $70-80 Billion per year, so at that rate, the trust fund could not have gone from $5 Trillion to under $3 Trillion in 5 years.
    My last reply to you filled in some of the details of the SS history, and the direction the SS program is going.
    You stated that the same people borrowing SS funds were forecasting depletion of the trust fund by 2034… I think my last comment explained why that was not an inconsistency.
    The Treasury Department’s borrowing and repayment of of the SS surplus is not a factor in the depletion rate of that surplus.
    Once the annual surplus received by SS turned into an annual deficit by 2010, that surplus will be depleted over time.
    You asked about Trump’s statement re the effect of the gvt. shutdown on the military…..it’s unlikely that the shutdown will impact the military, at least in the short term.
    CNN noted that “the troops will potentially not be paid during a shutdown. The military is currently paid through February 1st”. – ( From CNN ‘s article “You’ll get your mail, but not your passport”, JAN.20, 2018)
    It’s likely that Congress would make special provisions to assure that military salaries are paid.
    That’s what happened about 5 years ago during the last shutdown, and if this shutdown continues for an extended period, Congress would likely make stopgap provisions to continue paying salaries for military personnel.

    1. Funny how Congress’s paychecks keep coming in but the military’s don’t during the Schumer Shutdown. Military paychecks for February 1 will only cover the period 16 January to 20 January.

    2. Meanwhile…after the tax scam bill was passed, the Koch’s wrote a $500,000 political campaign check (5 other billionaires each wrote $100,000 checks to the same Republican, at about the same time). Guess who the recipient of the $1 mil. was?
      Americans screwed by the oligarchs. Everything the Koch’s touch is tainted.

      1. Sad!😩 The Koch’s $500,000 donation could have been used to feed almost 2 people at one of George Clooney’s $350,000 a plate fundraising dinner for Hillary.

          1. You tell me what Hillary delivered.
            That $1.2 Billion that her campaign raised probably forced her to run a scaled-down campaign.
            The $500,000 campaign contribution also could have paid for the half million dollar speech Bill Clinton gave in Moscow.
            I’ve never been to Russia, so ask Bill about Moscow weather.

  3. “The scenario laid out by Lessig is that (1) Trump is impeached or takes a Nixonian dive; (2) then Pence is implicated and either resigns or is impeached; (3) then Ryan is made president and appoints Clinton as Vice President; and finally (4) Ryan resigns because it is the only decent thing to do. That would take as many as two additional presidencies (President Pence and President Ryan would leave office) to bring about a President Clinton.”

    I needed a good laugh today

  4. The government shutdown seems to have turned off most of the ‘bots which regularly comment here…

  5. Hillary had emails deleted, the “NSA deleted surveillance data it pledged to preserve.”

    Whoopsie.

    “the NSA told U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White in a filing on Thursday night and another little-noticed submission last year that the agency did not preserve the content of internet communications intercepted between 2001 and 2007 under the program Bush ordered. To make matters worse, backup tapes that might have mitigated the failure were erased in 2009, 2011 and 2016, the NSA said.”

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/19/nsa-deletes-surveillance-data-351730

    1. Hillary didn’t just have emails deleted. Remember BleachBit? And the smashing of cellphones with hammers. And that even though emails were deleted some were found on a computer belonging to Abedin?

      1. Andrewworkshop,
        Yes, indeed. I was trying to establish parallelism with the headline.

        Wouldn’t surprise me at all if the NSA did the exact same thing with their deleted data.

        Time for an investigation methinks.

  6. SIDEBAR

    Did Professor Turley say his ancestry was Italian? He’d better book an Italian vacation while it’s still Italy. He’d better visit his kin because the 1.34 Italian fertility rate means they are vanishing as we speak.

    To wit,

    ITALIANS TO BE MINORITY IN ITALY

    “The Incredible Shrinking Population: By 2080, Italians Will Be A Minority In Their Own Nation”

    Though the official data shows that Italy’s population was growing until 2015 and according to a Eurostat projection it will stabilize within the next decades, the number of indigenous citizens is shrinking with an astonishing pace: every year by a quarter of a million, and this decline will accelerate. That means that the projected demographic growth can only be achieved by mass migration from Africa and Central Asia. Currently most migrants in Italy are from Romania but that number is declining rapidly. There will be less and less migration from other European countries because all European nations are in a dramatic demographic decline and because due to the prolonged Italian economic crisis the country is not a prime destination for people from other European states.

    If the official Eurostat forecast is correct, then within 60 years or, taking into consideration the current pace of migration even sooner, 50% of Italy’s inhabitants will be of African or Asian descent. The figures found by our demographic-research team are by far not unique and government statisticians have the same numbers. Not only are the Italian and European authorities fully aware of this, but they seem to be executing a re-population program on such a monumental scale that will dwarf the Swedish mass migration experiment.

    The Italian fertility rate (of indigenous and naturalized female citizens), i.e. the number of children per woman, is 1.34, which is far below the replacement level of 2.1.

    1. The response of people living in developed nations, when they have less money as a result of wealth concentration, is to have zero, or only, one or two children. We can thank Bill Gates among others for the situation. In the U.S., six heirs to the Walton fortune have wealth equivalent to 40% of Americans combined.
      Recognizing the problem they’ve created, the top 0.1% plot to force women to have children they can’t afford, which explains the pro-birth Republican agenda.

      1. Americans stopped increasing the population in 1968 with the concept of zero population growth (ZPG). America was sufficiently populated and increasing its population was unnecessary. Treasonous officials sold America out in a deal with the Devil. They imported “immigrants” and diluted the population. They increased their personal wealth but destroyed their country – their very souls. Now they have no home and no nation. Soon they will have no race. Have you noticed the ubiquitous television promotions of interracial marriage and mixed-race childbirth? The indoctrination continues apace. Presumably, the perpetrators hope Americans never discover the truth, but like the recommended procedure for boiling a frog, they will be cooked before can jump out.

        Beware the “whitelash”.

        “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

        – Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

      1. I agree. Also, with the deficit the government runs hopefully the shutdown will last a month or more. During that time the public can learn a little self-sufficiency and wean itself from the federal teat.

        It’s preferable to have pols fighting each other than legislating their anger against the population.

        1. Darren,

          There are whole groups of people for whom the idea of self-sufficiency just doesn’t work. In fact, I would say there are very few people alive who are truly self sufficient. Even those boot straps were made by somebody!

          People who are ill cannot necessarily do the actions of people who are healthy. Care takers, some of the most self sufficient people going (mothers, of the sick etc.) are already at their breaking point. They need help and because they are doing vital work on behalf of the whole society, they deserve that help.

          This is a huge problem with libertarians. They don’t seem to understand that people aren’t completely healthy, that the economy really is rigged against ordinary workers (so that 3 people apply for each 1 job), that caretaking, being young, old or disabled are a vital part of human existence. A society needs to take care of the people in it. Ours only takes care of the most wealthy. It is why we are a shithole nation.

          The worst parts of the govt. don’t shutdown during a shutdown. The most corrupt part stays humming along while leaving the vulnerable to suffer. If you told me that the oligarchy had to start being self sufficient, I’d agree with you. But that’s not what happens in a shutdown. If they did, if they couldn’t rig things in their favor, these weak, evil individuals who prey on the rest of us would be gone in a moment.

          1. “People who are ill cannot necessarily do the actions of people who are healthy.”

            The shut down will not affect these people or essential services. The shutdown was felt by people under Obama because he was nasty to the regular folk and closed down Washington Monuments so that school children scheduled to visit had to be disappointed. They were outdoor monuments so his actions were directed at school children to affect policy.

          2. Jill, wait; what?

            “There are whole groups of people for whom the idea of self-sufficiency just doesn’t work.”

            You mean like people who need “Affirmative Action Privilege” because they can’t compete?

            You mean like people who willfully accept the “assistance” of unconstitutional, artificial constructs just to function in life?

            You mean like the caterwauling losers and parasites who beg the government for other people’s money in the form of “free stuff”, “free matriculation” and “free jobs” rather than compete through merit on a truly “level playing field”, not one tilted in their favor?

            I see what you mean.

        2. Now yer talkin’. We can surreptitiously walk it back to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 and immutably limit the power of Congress to tax not for any form of individual welfare but solely for “general Welfare” – all, well, get along. That wipes out every form of central planning, redistribution of wealth and social engineering. It’s back to the Constitution, boys!

          To wit,

          “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;…”

          1. The first phrase of your quote defeats your argument, George.

            Why don’t you give us some more Hamilton quotes, that way your cement your ignorance.

            1. Thanks for reading. If enough people read the actual words of the Founders in the Constitution, the Supreme Court will finally be compelled to “…declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void” and abrogate the entire welfare state. Central planning, redistribution and social engineering will be vaporized overnight.

              Whatever will parasites do then?

              Ever heard of Al Hamilton? Ever heard of the MANIFEST TENOR or the actual meaning of the words by definition?
              _____

              Alexander Hamilton –

              “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”
              _____

              Oh no. As far as comprehending the Constitution, you communists just make it up as you go along, huh?

              Better hope Americans never wake up to the truth of their constitutional freedoms and rights.

            2. The first phrase of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 omits and, thereby, excludes individual welfare.

      2. Veterans hospitals, national parks (Trump’s entourage going to pull a Christie?), the CDC, U.S. food inspections, border patrol, federal prisons, medical research, national defense, anti-monopoly law enforcement, OSHA, foreign intelligence, prevention of mine disasters and corporate toxic dumps…

        Federal government- we support it because we like living in a civilized nation. You don’t agree, move to the Philippines.

        1. “You don’t agree, move to the Philippines.”

          Linda, you should move to North Korea as that government is likely the closest government to your dreamworld.

            1. “I think your hobnailed boots are laced up too tight, Allan.”

              WWAS, it looks like you are trying to find a cause for your arguments. Look into your underwear and perhaps you will recognize a reason.

              1. It’s curious to me how your fallback is always scatological. You might want to consider this in a context of your arguments being taken seriously.

                Are you related to Nick Spinelli, the other great scatological commentator here?

                1. “It’s curious to me how your fallback is always scatological. You might want to consider this in a context of your arguments being taken seriously.”

                  Firstly my reference wasn’t to anything on the rear side of your body nor a reference to excrement of any nature. I was referring to your ego and how you think of yourself. I am trying to talk on a level you might understand. I am quickly recognizing that your wit is a little below the standards I set for you. Perhaps in the future, you want me to use single syllable words that are designed for a concrete mind?

                  1. “Look into your underwear and perhaps you will recognize a reason.” — Allan

                    “Firstly my reference wasn’t to anything on the rear side of your body nor a reference to excrement of any nature. I was referring to your ego and how you think of yourself. I am trying to talk on a level you might understand. I am quickly recognizing that your wit is a little below the standards I set for you. Perhaps in the future, you want me to use single syllable words that are designed for a concrete mind?” — Allan

                    Keep going, Allan. I think you protest to much.

                  2. In my experience, when someone expends more words explaining what they said, as opposed to what they said, it is a sure sign of backtracking and a realization that what they originally stated was dubious.

                    1. “when someone expends more words explaining ”

                      WWAS, Sometimes someone is being nice by expending additional words to make things clear for one that is having trouble understanding. You have done nothing but attack well-respected ideas about the origins of war (book exists by the same name by Donald Kagan) and other items that I discussed with others. Your understanding of what was said was pitiful yet you persevered not to get a better understanding but merely to attack like a rabid dog. That seems to be the type of person you are.

                  3. “”Keep going, Allan. I think you protest to much.”

                    Again, all you have to do to prove your point is to copy a portion of what I said and then state what is wrong with my reasoning. Look at your last several posts. Frustrated trash.

        2. Have you ever been to the Philippines Linda? I have. Would you refer to it as a ****hole because that’s what your comment implies.

          Unlike 2013, the Trump administration has authorized agencies to use contingency funds to continue operating during the shutdown. Can you show me right now today a singluar example of anything that isn’t happening because of the shutdown?

          What’s ochlocracy?

    1. Okay, Dr. Benson, since you asked for it; here it is:

      Today, January 20th, 2018, is the 365th consecutive day of The Shithole Administration. On this date last year we did not yet know the proper name for The Shithole Administration. But that situation has been recently rectified by The Shithole Administration, itself.

      For, beginning today, The Shithole Administration will fund the military operations of the armed forces of The United States of America exclusively by means of withdrawing funds from the surpluses generated by the payroll taxes for the trust funds for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Compensation and the like, so that The Shithole Adminstration can puff up its chest and crow like a rooster at unwanted immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and various African nations.

      The Shithole Adminstration can do that because there is, and has been for some time now–indeed, ever since the last time the government was shutdown–an emergency slush fund for military operations that draws money directly from the trust fund surpluses generated by payroll taxes and does not–I repeat, does not–replace those withdrawn funds with IOUs the way the rest of the on-budget spending for the military does. Remember: This is being done so that The Shithole Administration can strut and fret and posture and preen like a rooster puffing up its chest at unwanted immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and various African nations. And that is the revealed meaning of The Shithole Adminstration’s campaign slogan:

      Make America Shitholish Again (MASHA).

          1. Thanks for the correction. I thought your words were just a rambling form of rhetorical petulance. It seems I was mistaken.

            1. You’re welcome, Mr. Smith. FTR, anytime anyone paraphrases Trump, the results will resemble rambling rhetorical petulance.

              1. Diane, I just listened to a speech by Trump to a corporation and its workers. Both the speech and the ad lib discussion sounded pretty good to me though he wasn’t pretentious like you. That is the difference he cares about regular people. You only wish to be around the elite, but you aren’t one of them.

                1. The difference is that Trump doesn’t question why we need more American voters from shithole countries. Wait. I typed that wrong. Reboot: Trump doesn’t ask American voters why we need more immigrants (temporary status workers) from shithole countries. Wait again. That’s still not quite right. Trump didn’t say anything about shithole countries when speaking to American corporations and their workers since they already heard and read all about it. Yeah. That reads about right.

                  1. Diane, Trump was speaking to a growing company where employees were going to end up with a lot more money in their pockets. He wasn’t speaking about immigration. His focus was on making life for Americans better while your focus seems to want to screw Americans for the benefit of illegals.

                    Whether the word shithole was used or not is inconsequential except to the brainless since such language is used all the time by Congressmen. Let’s say the word shithole was used by someone. Would someone living in the US want to move to a shithole country or would someone from a shithole country want to move here? The latter seems to be true and if you ask that person why he wants to come to the US his answer will reveal, perhaps with different words, that he wants to come here because his country is a shithole. Shithole countries are shitholes because of people like you. Those that want to leave shithole countries aren’t shitholes themselves rather they are smart to recognize where the better life lies.

          1. From the article linked above on the page titled Borrowing and The Debt:

            “When trust fund accounts run a surplus, the Treasury takes some of that surplus and uses it to pay for other kinds of federal spending. But that means the Treasury must pay that borrowed money back to the trust fund at a later date. That borrowed money is called “debt held by federal accounts;” that’s the money the Treasury effectively lends between different federal government accounts. Almost one-third of the federal debt is held by federal accounts, while the remaining two-thirds of the federal debt is held by the public.”

            The Treasury accomplishes the above-mentioned task at first by investing the trust fund surpluses in Treasury bills that cannot be publically traded, then second by transferring the funds to other federal spending accounts, such as OCO and others besides.

            1. In 2014 the federal accounts held 28.2% of the $18.1 trillion federal debt, or $5.21 trillion in debt were held in federal accounts. Since the debt figures are cumulative, there’s no way to tell from the article cited how much of the debt held in federal accounts was transferred to federal spending accounts in that or any other given year. But the process for such transfers of funds is abundantly clear from the article.

            2. That is what the Democrats do with or without a shutdown. They steal the money people were forced to place into social security (etc.) and then they blame everyone else for the shortfalls they themselves have created.

        1. From the article linked above:

          “The Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund – sometimes referred to as war funds – is a separate pot of funding operated by the Department of Defense and the State Department, in addition to their “base” budgets (i.e., their regular peacetime budgets). Originally used to finance the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the OCO continues to be a source of funding for the Pentagon, with a fraction of the funds going to the State Department.

          Since the OCO fund has very little oversight and is not subject to the sequestration cuts that slashed every other part of the budget in 2013, many experts consider it a “slush fund” for the Pentagon. For example, Todd Harrison, senior fellow for defense studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, found that the Pentagon was stashing an estimated extra $20 billion worth of non-war funding in the “operation and maintenance” accounts of its proposed 2014 war budget.”

          At $64 billion, OCO was 11% of defense spending in the year that the article was published. There are no spending limits for OCO. In theory, the entire defense budget could be funded from surpluses generated by payroll taxes for the trust funds for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Compensation and the like–at least until those surpluses were depleted. Further OCO withdrawals from the trust funds after the surpluses were depleted would constitute piracy.

          1. From the Pew Research article linked above:

            “For nearly three decades, the system took in far more revenue than it paid out in benefits; the surplus was invested in special non-tradeable Treasury bonds, with interest credited to the system’s two trust funds (one for old-age and survivors’ benefits, the other for disability payments). As of July 31, [2015], those trust funds together held $2.83 trillion in Treasuries. (Some people characterize that as the government “borrowing from” or “raiding” Social Security, but the system is in essentially the same position as any other investor who buys Treasuries.)”

            Except for one thing, OCO withdraws funds from the trust fund surpluses and there are other expenditures withdrawing from the trust fund surpluses. Also, the two Social Security trust funds are not the only trust funds generating surpluses; they’re just the biggest trust funds generating surpluses. Remember: The people currently spending the trust fund surpluses just so happen to be the same people who say that the benefits have to be slashed to keep the trust funds solvent beyond the year 2034.

            1. The last major overhaul of Social Security was in 1983, I think.
              Its main feature was an increase in the SS payroll tax.
              And the retirement age for full benefits was pushed back from age 65 to age 67 ( in stages).
              Those tax hikes allowed SS to take in far more than it paid out on benefits….that’s why SS built up a c. $3 Trillion suplus.
              Much of that surplus remains, but the SS system quit taking in more than it was paying out several years ago.
              So that surplus is a source, a dwindling source, that is estimated to enable SS to pay the full amount of promised benefits for another c. 16 years.
              ( Hence the mention of the year 2034 about benefit cuts).
              If a system paying out more than it is taking in with payroll taxes, it will at some point have to cut benefits or increase payroll taxes.
              The surplus in the trust fund makes up for the gap between benefits paid and taxes collected, but only as long as the suplus lasts ( estimated to be 2034).
              So, IF NOTHING IS DONE between now and 2034, the payroll taxes will not cover full SS benefits.
              Without a new round of payroll tax increases, the money SS takes in will fall short of what it pays out.
              Those retiring after the year 2034 may find that SS can only pay out, say, 70% of the benefits paid when tgw surplus was still around.
              The path of least resistance to avoid that shortfall in 2034 is another round of payroll tax increases.
              And maybe tge full retirement age will be gradually be pushed out to age 70.
              There is one other proposal that may be incorporated into any future SS overall; means testing.
              If an SS recipients income is at or above certain levels, that recipient might see his/ her benefits additionally reduced, or even cut off completely.
              So an individual who has paid an SS tax based on an average working lifetime income of $150,000 could receive less in benefits than the individual whose working lifetime income of $50,000.
              The $150,000individual has paid in 3 times as much into the SS system as the $50,000 individual, but may receive less in benefits.
              That’s normally not how insurance works; for example, one who has paid life insurance premiums set for a $300,000 policy benefit would normally expect to receive ( or their beneficiaries receive) more than the person who has paid the lower premiums for a $100,000 policy.
              The 2034 estimated depletion date and the other factors I’ve mentioned are not new issues; these issues have been reported on extensively by the media for many years.
              The treasury borrowing of the SS surplus funds isn’t recent news either….and as L4D points out, the U.S. Treasury is as obligated to pay interest and principle on the treasury securities the SS fund holds.
              I don’t think that the OCO is exceptional in its use of borrowed SS funds.
              If, say, $300 Billion is borrowed from the SS fund in a given year, that borrowed money is not used exclusively for OCO, or ANY specific federal,program.
              As far as I know, that borrowed SS money added to tax revenues to run the government, not earmarked for this or that particular program.

              1. Tom Nash said, “The last major overhaul of Social Security was in 1983, I think.”

                That’s correct, Tom. 1983 is when the total assessed rate for FICA taxes went up to 7.65% for employees as well as for the matching contribution from employers. So that’s also when the trust fund surpluses started. Some observers claim that the trust fund surpluses ended in 2010. However, that argument requires ignoring the transfer of trust fund surpluses to debt held by federal accounts. Which, I remind you, was over $5 trillion in 2014. That’s a awful lot of borrowing from the trust funds, Tom. Which, oddly enough, brings me back to my main, but as yet unstated, point about such accounting gimmickry as the OCO fund.

                You see, Tom, Trump has claimed in at least two Tweets, thus far, that the government shutdown will force the brave men and women of the armed forces of The United States of America to risk their lives in mortal combat defending our liberty overseas WITHOUT PAY. Were that true, which it isn’t of course, but supposing otherwise, one would have to wonder out loud in public what the blazes the Overseas Contingency Operations fund is being used for besides paying our military service personnel deployed on Overseas Contingency Operations. Any thoughts on that question, Tom???

                Perhaps there’s some sort of Byzantine bookkeeping procedure that prevents our frontline combat troops deployed overseas from being paid with the emergency war funding that OCO was intended to provide. Or maybe it’s just another schoolyard playground taunt from the Bronx-Cheerleader-in-Chief. You know, the old classic one: Trump’s rubber; Schumer’s glue. Everything Schumer says bounces off of Trump and sticks it to The Blue.

          2. Diane prefers our young men and women serving this nation be killed or mutilated to promote her type of Stalinist World. She approves of that even for those police officers that protect us at home while she supports those that say, “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon”.

            1. It seems more that you accept, “our young men and women serving this nation be killed or mutilated,” for reasons you can’t quite verbalize, beyond the fact that the occurrence is real and your acquiescence is nothing but a display of jingoism that suits your own ends.

              1. WWAS, I have every reason to believe that FUBARbara Allan knows not what he says; he’s just saying it in much the same way that his dementor, Trump, says things like, “shithole countries,” without having a clue as to what that means beyond “I used tough language at the DACA meeting . . . but that was not the language used.” It only took fifteen hours and who knows how many wet fingers held up in the wind for Trump to figure out that he had used tough language . . . but not that language.

              2. “It seems more that you accept, “our young men and women serving this nation be killed or mutilated,””

                That is Diane, maybe you as well. I certainly didn’t support “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” and I look for ways to avoid war which was what my discussion that included the Punic wars was all about. You just didn’t get that point that a smart public school student would understand right away

                Let’s get to the facts WWAS

                Who supported the groups that said: “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon”?
                I didn’t.
                Diane showed support for them
                What did WWAS support?

      1. “immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador ”

        Most of those you are talking about are not immigrants rather “temporary” residents that should have returned home years ago.

        “Make America Shitholish Again (MASHA”

        To make us Shitholish Again all we have to do is return to the likes of an Obama administration.

        Then we could have what you like best. More people on unemployment, more on food stamps, more racial disharmony, a sluggish economy and North Korea and Iran with nuclear weapons. Your world sounds like ShitLand where the elites along with the accepted corporations run the country. You would be placed in some ghetto or eliminated because when you opened your mouth your choice of leader would immediately shove something back in to close it.

        1. “Then we could have what you like best. …” — Allan

          Nice strawman, Allan, with absolutely no bearing to L4D’s discussion of OCO.

          Doesn’t the OCO scam sound like a place, “where the elites along with the accepted corporations run the country,” where, “when you opened your mouth your choice of leader would immediately shove something back in to close it.”

          Of course the DoD budget is too small as it is — this is common knowledge, right — so it follows that the DoD needs unfettered access to billions of dollars more. After all, the monkey must be fed.

          1. My comment was directed at this comment of Diane’s and a portion was quoted so it would be obvious to most people.

            “and crow like a rooster at unwanted immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador ”

            WWAS were they immigrants or given temporary status? Maybe you aren’t as bright as you think you are.

            1. Then why your fifth pararaph, Allan; quoted here in full for the leisure of other charlatans:

              “Then we could have what you like best. More people on unemployment, more on food stamps, more racial disharmony, a sluggish economy and North Korea and Iran with nuclear weapons. Your world sounds like ShitLand where the elites along with the accepted corporations run the country. You would be placed in some ghetto or eliminated because when you opened your mouth your choice of leader would immediately shove something back in to close it.”

              You backtrack an awful lot.

              1. WWAS, were FUBRbara Allan as smart as he would probably like to be, he would’ve read the Politico article to which I posted a link then parried and thrusted with rant about Obama’s expansion of OCO funding during the surge strategy in Afghanistan, then again after Russia annexed The Crimea, and perhaps even ended with a few off-hand remarks about of the 2013 government shutdown for good measure. Instead, “Shitland” was the best FUBARbara Allan could summon to the muster.

                (They say the animals of Shetland are dwarfed for some unknown reason. Curious.)

                1. “would’ve read the Politico article”

                  Why should I use Politico or Obama in my argument when your own words convict you of stupidity?

              2. “Then why your fifth pararaph”

                WWAS here is the entire response.

                “immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador ”

                Most of those you are talking about are not immigrants rather “temporary” residents that should have returned home years ago.

                “Make America Shitholish Again (MASHA”

                To make us Shitholish Again all we have to do is return to the likes of an Obama administration.

                Then we could have what you like best. More people on unemployment, more on food stamps, more racial disharmony, a sluggish economy and North Korea and Iran with nuclear weapons. Your world sounds like ShitLand where the elites along with the accepted corporations run the country. You would be placed in some ghetto or eliminated because when you opened your mouth your choice of leader would immediately shove something back in to close it.

                The final paragraph was responding to Diane’s comment starting with “Make America”. Seems like a logical reply, but then logic may not pertain to your type of thinking.

      2. Enough incoherence and hysteria.
        ___________________________

        Repeal the “injurious” 19th Amendment.

        James Madison

        Proposed Amendments to the Constitution, June 8, 1789

        ” And if there are amendments desired, of such a nature as will not injure the constitution, and they can be ingrafted so as to give satisfaction to the doubting part of our fellow citizens; the friends of the federal government will evince that spirit of deference and concession for which they have hitherto been distinguished.”
        ___________

        The First Ten were sufficient.

  7. Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
    In this post Prof Turley debunks the proposition that somehow, through a miracle, Hillary Clinton might become President., if Trump steps down. He points out that although Trump is deeply flawed and disliked, Clinton is probably equally if not more so.
    The GOP and the Democrats need to take a hard look at themselves and seek to run principled, competent candidates focused on viable policies for America rather than self enrichment and ludicrous culture wars.

    1. Communists have a motto: “The ends justify the means.”

      Conservative, actual Americans who believe in the Constitution are obliged to fight fire with fire.

      The Ten Commandments were etched in stone to stand in perpetuity.

      The “end” of preserving the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights of 1789 must be achieved above all else.

      1. A corollary I’ve often used to explain the difference between left and right is this:

        – For the right, ideas inform their ideology

        – For the left, ideology informs their ideas

  8. Please take that Hillary photo off the blog. We printed a copy and put it under the sink where the rats used to come out. The rats fled.

  9. Bad news for the Koch’s and colonialists- Signatures exceed the number required to put a state constitutional amendment on Florida’s ballot. The amendment would restore voting rights to 1.5 mil. voters. Hillary lost by less than 200,000 votes. We all remember how democracy was thwarted by the state’s judges in the Gore decision.
    So, with cosmic justice, the signatures will be validated and there will be a majority of voters who believe in democracy and will allow their fellow citizens to vote.

    1. It’s clear the Democrats go after the convicted felons vote and the illegal alien vote. These are the people that the Democrats feel are most suited to promote honesty, integrity and the hope of the future, our children.

      1. Not undocumented workers just U.S. citizens who were charged and convicted of offenses so that private prisons could profit and so that the colonialists could keep power by denying them the vote.

        If NRA executives are charged and convicted, they can line up to make their case for the right to continue voting.

        1. “convicted of offenses so that private prisons could profit ”

          Linda, I’m glad you informed us that these criminals are such philanthropists. They rape, rob, steal and kill just to make sure the private prisons are profitable. Next step for Democrats, voting machines in the jails and instead of just the last meal for those being executed, the last vote as well.

          1. The U.S. has the most incarcerated population in the world. How convenient-seven year sentences for Black Atlanta teachers who filled in circles on a bubble sheet.
            But, keep on lying, Allan.

            1. Not even close to the truth. The state of GA offered to do plea bargains with the 10 educators who conspired for almost 10 YEARS to cheat the system because better scores meant BONUSES!!!! Fraud is fraud is fraud, but I guess not where you live. Only 2 teachers pled out, and only 3 educators (two women, one man) got 7 years because the women were administrators and the man was a schools executive and thus they were in a position of power. Thirty-five educators were originally charged with gaming the system, so this is 1/4 of the total group who actually got prison sentences and most were for 1 year. Plus, Judge Baxter, who heard the case, reduced the prison terms from 7 years to 3 years because he had a change of heart.

              You give other Dems a bad name, Linda, when you misrepresent the facts to suit your postmodern view of the world. As far as your other claim, most of the incarcerated in the US are due to drug offenses, which has nothing to do with racketeering in the field of public education, but good try attempting to conflate the two.

              1. The average amount teachers gained in the “bonuses” was less than $4000. Bubbles were changed so that the individuals could keep their jobs. The overarching travesty was that the whole “accountability” process was devised to create demand for tech industry products- aligning standards, curriculum and testing so that digital products could be sold.
                One state, Ohio, ruled by the bought-and-sold Republican politicians, passed a law mandating computerized testing, in site of the fact that students performed better with paper and pencil.
                Nothing about the richest 0.1%’s attacks on teachers has anything to do with subsequent increased productivity in the labor force. If the wealthy schemers cared about American productivity they would stop the 2% economic drag by the financial sector. Bill Gates, the major jerk funding computerized education ($1 bil.) sends his kids to schools that reject his scheme. He’s an investor in the largest for-profit seller of schools-in-a-box, an investment projected to return 20%.
                I hope that if charges are filed against NRA executives and they are convicted, good ole boy, Judge Baxter, weighs in on how lenient their sentences should be.

                1. Who cares how much they got in bonuses, that just shows how little incentive it took for them to break the law. If they feared for losing their jobs, they could have alerted the press, the cops, someone in education outside their chain of command. They could have organized a meeting with parents to tell them what was going on; they could have appealed to the governor. Lots of options besides cheating and breaking the law.

                  Again, you move the goal posts. If you want to talk about how bad the commodification of public education has been, you will not get any argument from me. However, I remind you that NCLB (which put that commodification into hyperdrive) was passed with more Dem votes in the House and Senate than Republican votes. Further, the owner of College Board, David Coleman, the architect of Common Core, is a Democrat, and a postmodernist. The guy is an idiot, but then that’s expected; he got a Philosophy degree from Yale, WTH would he know about how to think or how to teach others how to think? And you need to lay some serious blame at the feet of your beloved Obama and his Sec Ed Arne Duncan for that donkey-turd Race to the Top idea, which put even more emphasis on standardized testing. And Duncan’s dunce of a replacement John B. King, who brought Common Core to the clamoring masses. Brilliant, I tell ya!

                  http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/12/common-core-collegeboardeducation.html

                  1. If your point is that the U.S. is an oligarchy, that’s already been documented (Princeton Prof. Gilens’ research). The latest evidence on record is the tax scam bill the billionaires paid GOP politicians to deliver.

                    1. My point was that Atlanta teachers were cheaply bought and Obama and his minions contributed to the crapification of American education; do you even read responses, or do you just trot out your canned talking points from Ezra Klein and Markos Moulitsos? You continue to show yourself as an Obama apologist. Try to wean yourself off of the kool-aid.

                    2. The fact that Russians are so desperate to keep selling Trump (“Top Trending Hashtag promoted by Russian bots and trolls” (Huffpo), signifies that I don’t have defend Democrats.
                      Americans must get rid of all GOP in government. Republicans are compromised, all of the way from Rohrbacher to the current minimizers and defenders of Russian influence.
                      A candidate is not compared to God Almighty, he is compared to his opponent. In this case, the opponent is being charged with treason against the U.S.

                    3. ” signifies that I don’t have defend Democrats.”

                      That is why 5 months of emails are now missing from FBI computers. That is a wakeup call for the zombies. The justice department along with the FBI has been compromised by the former Democratic administration. Listen to the news.

                    4. Isn’t it funny how the left to date hasn’t offerend up the quid pro quo that would support their Russia delusion. Think about it. If Russia acted to put Trump in office then they wanted to get something out of it as a result. Yet…they’ve gotten nothing other than the toughest sanctions slapped on them in a generation.

                2. The teachers union cares about teachers, not about our children. Education across America is failing because the left has taken control of our schools.

                    1. “Your right, Allan. It would be much better to throw more money at charter schools:”

                      WWAS, if you wish to use motherjones as a source of fact that is your choice because we all know it is a spin machine. However, if you find fact there that can be applied to what your point was, then copy it and we can see how true it actually is.

                      What we do know is that our education system is not working. We also have studies that contradict one another. I don’t think we have solid proof that one system has worked better than the other so I think we should let the parents choose rather than have you choose for the parents.

                      One thing that I believe would help the schools is competition and charter schools, vouchers and other ideas inject competition. If you wish to be educated by sources such as motherjones go ahead, but we have already seen what that type of education has provided you in terms of your retorts to what other people say.

                      I think you are smarter than some of the others so I hold out hope that you can do a better job in discussion than you have to date.

                    2. It is a well sourced story, Allan. I read well sourced stories from any political spectrum.

                      The debacle of charter schools has been well documented in the last five-to-ten years due to essentially little or no oversight by anyone of the funds given to them.

                      I’m sure you can find other articles stating much the same from ‘sources’ you trust.

                      The simple fact is, charter schools have been a gravy train for persons such as DeVos.

                      While I agree that education in this country is at a nadir, schemes such as presented in the linked article are not the solution.

                    3. “It is a well sourced story, Allan. I read well-sourced stories from any political spectrum.”

                      That may be true, but then you have to read the source to understand the full picture. Though I don’t have the information available and have already stated that the data is controversial I have seen well-sourced sources taking either side.

                      I’ve listened to and read a lot of evidence and no one has made a convincing proof that one side is correct and the other is wrong. In the first place, it is a very difficult subject to study scientifically. There have been charter schools that have done and there are those that have done poorly.

                      Based on the lack of evidence I say again: I don’t think we have solid proof that one system has worked better than the other so I think we should let the parents choose rather than have you choose for the parents.

                    4. “…but then you have to read the source to understand the full picture.”

                      Oh, jeez, more obtuseness.

                      What most people don’t realize about charter schools is that they can, and do, refuse students for any reason. Public schools are bound by law to accept any student.

                      This cherry-picking of charter schools’ student body reflects in their “success rate” which is highly skewed due to this.

                      There is a lot of information on this particular issue, Allan. Find your own sources and get back.

                    5. Allan: ““…but then you have to read the source to understand the full picture.”

                      WWAS: “Oh, jeez, more obtuseness.”

                      What is obtuse about recognizing that a spin piece can take statistics and spin them. You sound lazy.

                      “What most people don’t realize about charter schools is that they can, and do, refuse students for any reason. Public schools are bound by law to accept any student.”

                      Not true in either case though Public schools can place students in other institutions. It depends upon the state. There are charter schools that use a lottery system.

                      “There is a lot of information on this particular issue, Allan. Find your own sources and get back.”

                      There is a lot of information available but you don’t even know the basic facts.

                    6. WWAS – you are dead wrong about charter schools. Unless the charter specifically allows them to deny entry to students, charter schools are required to take first come first served.

                    7. PCS,

                      I would love to live in your dream world:

                      “Students may be asked to submit a 15-page typed research paper, an original short story, or a handwritten essay on the historical figure they would most like to meet. There are interviews. Exams. And pages of questions for parents to answer, including: How do you intend to help this school if we admit your son or daughter?

                      These aren’t college applications. They’re applications for seats at charter schools.”

                      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-charters-admissions/special-report-class-struggle-how-charter-schools-get-students-they-want-idUSBRE91E0HF20130216

                      One of many articles that show the distinction between public school admittance and charter school admittance.

                    8. WWAS – I spent my life teaching in charter schools and only two I knew of had qualifications, one was an art school and one was a STEM. The rest took everybody in order.

                      Every state is different in how they set up their charter schools, so one size does not fit all states. My guess is that you have never visited a charter school, gotten a tour, seen their set up, you have just read some article about them.

                    9. Paul, if you recall I told WWAS there was conflicting data regarding charter schools so what does he do? He takes one side of the data and reproduces it in his own language. Many schools use lotteries without testing or grades. He can’t see the conflict. He is like a bull in the ring and can only see red.

                    10. PCS,

                      Forgot to quote this paragraph from the same article, doing so because it’s three paragraphs down and I know you’ll never get there:

                      “Charters are public schools, funded by taxpayers and widely promoted as open to all. But Reuters has found that across the United States, charters aggressively screen student applicants, assessing their academic records, parental support, disciplinary history, motivation, special needs and even their citizenship, sometimes in violation of state and federal law.”

                    11. New Schools Venture Fund (financed by bill gates) stated the goal of charter schools in a Philanthropy Roundtable interview with NSVF’s founder, Kim Smith. It’s to develop “brands on a large scale”.

                    1. Take note Linda, how you don’t rebut anything I said. You can read any shithole article and according to you if it meets your ideological position it is true and therefore everything else must be false.

                      Linda is like the Church telling everyone that the world is flat. It doesn’t make a difference what contrary proof there is for her mind is set in concrete and all other proof is disgarded.

            2. We have a massive drug problem and are too permissive permitting too much criminality. Bad behavior stimulates more bad behavior something Democrats seem to promote. In NYC zero tolerance and smart area by area police work decreased murder rate to the lowest of any large city along with crime being reduced and the streets being cleaned up. There is a Democratic mayor again and the city is dirtier, traffic is worse, crime and the murder rate are increasing.

              If we look at the large cities with the most crime and the most murders we see Democratic control over the city. The correlation between Democratic control of large cities with crime, murder and dirt seems to be so high that one can say the Democratic way is causation.

                    1. It isn’t a rhetorical question. You refer to it as such to try and avoid it. So tell me, who provides the stats for opaque societies like China and North Korea? In addition, are political prisoners included in those stats?

                    2. “So tell me, who provides the stats for opaque societies like China and North Korea?”

                      You tell me, great rhetorical one, it is your argument — own it.

                    3. I didn’t post any ‘numbers’. I linked to to a BBC article, which has a high correlation to many other articles on the subject.

                      Let AWS prove his own argument.

                      I would be so proud if the U.S. beat China and Russia in incarceration rates.

                      Let AWS provide the numbers, it is his argument.

                    4. WWAS, Andrew is telling you that he doesn’t believe the numbers from the original source. This can happen for many reasons including lying, data entry, differences in the meaning of the operative words, etc. You apparently have not dealt with studies that deal in the multinational world.

                    5. “I can tell your an expert. Let AWS prove that Russia and China beat us in incarceration per capita — I would be so proud.”

                      WWAS, as usual, you are not listening. I am not taking a position one way or the other rather I am simply stating that cross-national comparisons of data can frequently be inaccurate due to differences of interpretation of how the numbers should be created, data entry, lying, etc. You seem more interested in winning a stupid argument than getting to the truth.

                      What does all this mean? We have a known crime problem and need to deal with the underlying reasons.

                    6. “You apparently have not dealt with studies that deal in the multinational world.”

                      I can tell your an expert. Let AWS prove that Russia and China beat us in incarceration per capita — I would be so proud.

                    7. The U.S. represents 4.4% of the world’s pop. It has 22% of the world’s prisoners. The U.S. is highest among countries, with 716 per 100,000. Koch’s ALEC (GOP) owns it.
                      Black people get sentences that are 20% longer than Whites, for the same crimes, the Republican Party owns it.

              1. “We have a massive drug problem and are too permissive permitting too much criminality.” — Allan

                You’re right again, Allan. Our political class has way too much criminality in it’s ranks, on both sides.

                1. WWAS, I won’t disagree with your statement about our political class on both sides for they have created a lot of the social problems we face.

                  An interesting article was written by Heather McDonald on this subject (she has more than one). It points a finger, but instead of looking at it racially we should be looking at the problem as to what we could do to improve the situation which is devastating and painful. All one has to do is look at Chicago and take note of the number of deaths who those deaths affect most. It affects mainly one population group, but that tells us we have done something wrong in how we have managed our problems.

                  Here is McDonald’s comment. Don’t focus on the racial component rather focus on what the real cause is.

                  “In the final analysis, America does not have an incarceration problem; it has a crime problem. And the only answer to that crime problem is to rebuild the family—above all, the black family. The media troll incessantly for an outlier case of a hapless bourgeois who got slammed in prison for a one-shot mistake. In fact, the core criminal-justice population is the black underclass. “Young black males between the ages of 17 and 26 drive the system,” says corrections expert Steve Martin. “Family is the solution—and the work ethic. You show me people with intact families and those folks work—their chances of ending up in prison are zero.””

                  https://www.city-journal.org/html/decriminalization-delusion-14037.html

                  1. “Don’t focus on the racial component rather focus on what the real cause is.”

                    How nice of you to tell me what to pay attention to. I would be lost without your insights.

                    1. “How nice of you to tell me what to pay attention to. I would be lost without your insights.”

                      That is because you are more interested in fighting than solving problems. You could have acted intelligently and either agreed with Heather’s thesis or disagreed with a reason. Instead, you provided us with the emotional response of a child.

    2. Ben Franklin –

      We gave you “a republic, if you can keep it.”
      _____

      republic –

      “a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote”
      _____

      Alexander Fraser Tytler –

      “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the canidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy–to be followed by a dictatorship.”
      _____

      In deleteriously “amended”, post-Constitutional America, Franklin’s “republic” is gone and America is subjugated by “Tytler’s Dictatorship”.

      The invaders can not and will never assimilate.

    3. Florida is a state already filled with freaks. With the restoration of voting rights no doubt more cretins like Debbie Wasserman schulz and Frederica Wilson will be elected…..

      That being said I do think that felons who have served their time and have no further violations should be able to vote.

  10. If they held another election today, with Hillary vs. Trump, then Trump would win in a landslide.

      1. All the Trumpsters would need to do is show the photo of Hillary used here by JT. They could put up a photo of The Donald next to that Hillary photo and post a statement: A Choice, Not An Echo.

  11. Perhaps instead the professor could teach Egyptian geography since he is an expert in denial.

  12. I’ve been saying it for a year now…the left thinks if Trump is impeached they get a 2016 re-do and second place becomes POTUS. Never mind Hillary is in no way eligible as she occupies neither the Speaker of the House or the comparable Senate position.

  13. Carl Higbie, spokesman for the Trump-aligned Great America PAC…just resigned- another one the “good people” Trump brought to D.C. (sarcasm)

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