Destroying Democracy to Save It: Wisconsin Governor Applauded for Unilaterally Changing Law for 400 Years

One of the greatest contradictions in politics today are those who declare themselves “pro-democracy” while seeking to gerrymander election districts, support FBI crackdowns on speech, attack reporters and whistleblowers, and defend censorship. One of the most vocal in expressing his pride in “being pro-democracy” is Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, who just used a partial veto power to negate legislative authority in his state.

Evers was given a bill that increased funding for the 2024-25 school years. Using his partial veto authority, Evers crossed out the “20” and the hyphen. In doing so, he changed the law to allow K-12 schools to raise their revenue per student by $325 a year until 2425. It was never intended nor contemplated by the Republican-controlled legislature.

No one is seriously arguing that this was an intended use of the partial veto authority. Indeed, after prior governors used the partial veto to create new words in legislation, it was barred in 2008. However, Evers is now doing the same thing by eliminating digits and punctuation to create new numbers.

Evers has been a recidivist in such manipulation of legislation, issued 51 partial vetos, including three struck down by the state Supreme Court.

Yet, this is arguably the most offensive to anyone who values the democratic process. Evers is completely ignoring the language and intent of the legislature and committing the state to increases in funding for hundreds of years. It guts the defining power of the purse exercised by state and federal legislatures.

Evers has long put the hype into hypocrisy as a politician who continually portrays himself as a “defender of democracy” while routinely engaging in executive overreach. His favorite tagline is “I’m not going to back down when it comes to defending our democracy.”

Evers clearly approaches saving democracy like the generals approached saving villages in Vietnam when they insisted that they had to “destroy the village in order to save it.”

According to Evers, defending democracy means undoing democratically enacted legislation and unilaterally imposing his own agenda.

Notably, the state school superintendent, Jill Underly reportedly expressed gratitude for the sleight of hand but immediately asked for more money.

This should not be a difficult question legally. No reasonable interpretation of a partial veto power would include the ability to change numbers anymore than changing words. However, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has long been a political battleground in the sharply divided state. The result are elected justices who are regularly accused of partisan agendas.

This case could prove a test of the court’s integrity. To support Evers is to dispense with any pretense of democratic process.

Of course, Evers can insist that the legislature can always override his partial veto if it can muster the two-thirds vote in the divided legislature. However, that misses the point. Regardless of any override, the governor’s actions are still anti-democratic in changing the meaning of a law in this way.

Evers is not the first to use what is called the Vanna White veto of flipping around words or numbers. Republicans governors like Scott Walker and Tommy Thompson also took such liberties. They were equally wrong.

Yet, there is no hue and cry from those who have cloaked themselves in the democratic cause when convenient.  Instead there were celebrations. Former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle said “everybody will shout and scream but he’s got ’em.”

He also “got” democracy.

It is true that Wisconsin has the broadest — and most ridiculous — veto power in the country. However, it was reduced to avoid this type of manipulation of the meaning of laws. Moreover, this is not a change within the confines of the law. The law was designed to appropriate funds for a one year period and Evers turned it into a four century appropriation.

Just as the Washington Post proclaims that “democracy dies in darkness,” it can also die in the daylight. The test of principle is to stand faithful to it when it is not to one’s own advantage. Evers clearly failed that test. However, judging from the gleeful celebrations, he is not the only one.



179 thoughts on “Destroying Democracy to Save It: Wisconsin Governor Applauded for Unilaterally Changing Law for 400 Years”

  1. Anonymous,

    Still will not let go.
    Still digging yourself in deeper.

    You really are clueless.

    Guesses, even incredibly educated guesses are NOT FACTS.

    Many many many people speculated about thew F117 before Reagan reveled it at a press conference.
    It was STiLL until that moment.

    As to Biden – Biden was not speaking as some politician regarding the speculation of others regarding 155mm ammunition.
    He was doing exactly what the National Guardsman in MA did, which is making public the Actual FACTS – not speculation.
    Not even really really really good speculation.

    Lets put the Biden story into a different context.

    I*f I am a government contractor, with a TX Security clearance, and I am privy to the classified CURRENT state of US 155mm ammunition. I am absolutgely totally free to comment on or even repeat the publicly available claims regarding that.

    But if I CONFIRM the speculation – I have violated the espionage act.

    There is probably nothing the MA NG man made public that was not already available from a public source.
    He will be going to jail, because what he provided was NOT that public and in many instances very accurate speculation.
    But the actual FACT.

    But like all left wing nuts – you are never capable of more than first order thinking.

    We live in a very large and complex world. There are pretty much no government secrets that are not publicly available from some source as speculation often highly accurate speculation.

    More recently we have seen that PRIVATE military analysts have done a much better job of assessing North Korea’s ICBM program than The US intelligence and military service.

    That does not change the fact that the analysis of the government is classified, and that of private parties is not.

    There are many things that CAN declassify classified information – aside from the formal process.
    But public speculation – no matter how good – does not.

    If it did there would be no such thing as classified information.

  2. Anonymous – you have a very odd idea of what constitutes proof.

    AGAIN, virtually everything about the military that is classified – if also intensely scritinized by foreign actors, by the press by outside analysts.

    All of whom CONSTANTLY analyse what public data there is and them based on that data, their analysis and judgement reach conclusions that they make public.

    In SOME instances a private actor reaching conclusions that prove to be true declassifies the actual classified records.
    Though that is NOT the norm.

    I would suggest that you think of this like “insider trading”.

    It is not illegal to gather all the publicly available information you can and from that accurately determine what a public company is going to do int he future and make stockmarket trades based on that knowledge and analysis.
    It is however illegal to make the same trades based on the same information – EXCEPT from a source inside the public company.

    Or a different example. Is it illegal to report on the departure from port of ships during a war ?
    The departures are actions that are easily observable by the public.

    At the same time do you think that the planned departure, the actual departure, the cargo – which can again be observed, the destination of military ships or ships transporting military supplies during a war is classified ?

    Even now – The US is delivering Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The entire world knows that. Yet I will bet you that nearly everything about those Abrams tanks and how they will get to Ukraine is classified.

    you do not know what you are talking about.

    And you are incapable of anything but the shallowest of thinking.

  3. Anonymous

    Please identify – what “predictions” I am wrong about ?

    I have asserted many things – most of which are established facts.

    Is there there an assertion of fact I have made that you can demonstrate is in error ?

    With respect to ACTUAL predictions. The nature of a prediction involves some possibility of error.

    My ability to look into the future is imperfect.
    At the same time – I have a reasonably good track record, given the difficulties in foreseeing the future.

    What of YOUR record at peering into the crystal board ?

    Are YOU any better than a Ouija board ?

    Where you right about the collusion delusion _ though I would note there was LITTLE actual prediction there, grasping how stupid those claims were merely required a basic understanding of probability.

    What of the corruption of the Biden Family ? The Laptop from Hell ? did you assess that correctly from the start ?
    Or did you sheepishly go along with the Russian Disinformation nonsense or the Right wing conspiracy theories garbage.

    Have you apologized to Donald Trump for impeaching him for seeking a legitimate inquiry into the misconduct of the Biden Crime syndicate ?

    What of Covid ? Is there anything you got right about Covid ?

    Again Covid was not mostly about crystal balls. The majority of covid has been basic math.

    What of consequence have you been right about ? Be specific.

    What of consequence is it that you beleive I am wrong about – again be specific ?

    anyone can lob vague and unsupported claims and scurry off and hide.

    Can you support your arguments, your assertions, your claims ?

  4. Anonymous;

    Please support ANY claim you have made ?

    There is no reason to Trust an anonymous speaker, yet your arguments constatnly boil down to “I am right, trust me”.

    Yet, time and again it is proven we can not.

    There is no law regarding the declassification process.
    Navy V. Eagan removes issues regarding classification and security clearances from the domain of the courts.
    These are the exclusive domain of the EXECUTIVE, not the courts, not congress, and the constitution makes crystal clear ALL executive power is Presidential Power.

    I understand that A implied B, B implies C, A therefore C is a compound logical construction beyond your comprehension.
    It is just a recursive application of the most fundamental law of formal logic – Modus Ponens – consecutively.

    Which is more damaging to national security – letting the world – and our enemies know with absolute certainty that we are running short on 155mm shells.

    Or whether it was President Trump or General Miley that concocted plans to invade Iran in late 2020 – Plans that were never put into effect.

    Or some NG officer showing off to his Gamer friends regarding the US involvement in Ukraine.

    Can you name anything that NG gamer exposed that was more significant than a shortage of the most common artilery shell ?

    You have addressed nothing.

    Nor do you have a clue about the real processes, law, and procedures regarding classified information.

    You know nothing – and you do not bother to gain any knowledge before you pontificate with faux claims of authority.

    Have you ever seen a classified document ? Held one ? Had a clearance ? Created a classified document ?

    You know nothing about what you are talking about – but worst of all – you do not bother to learn.

    No one should expect you to be expert on anything.

    And you are free to spray the world with your actual opinions.

    But everything is NOT an opinion, many things are demonstrable facts.
    And of those things that are opinions – all are not equal.

    And finally – we do not convict people of crimes based on mere opinion.

  5. “There should be a limit on the length of a comment.”

    Why ?

    You are very good at concocting different ways to control others.
    Work on your own conduct.

    My posts would be shorter if your errors were less numerous.

  6. I would have liked to see specific examples in your article exactly how Walker or Thompson did something similar to what Evers is doing.

    1. Walker was easily the greatest governor in US history… he took a state that was on the brink of bolshevism and coupled with a republican senate and legislature turned us around inside of 1 year. Then by some strange quirk the idiots turned on him and elected Evers.

  7. Scum union stooge Evers is using what is known as the ” Frankenstein veto”… the Governor can carve up a bill to say almost anything. This really has to be done away with. The public schools in Wisconsin run the show, they are drowning in money and constantly cry poverty.
    It would be better simply to outlaw public unions and eliminate the DPI in Wisconsin

  8. Anonymous

    You are constantly spraying nonsense that you know nothing about and do not bother to check.

    Wow, A defense publicans repeats information that is in a report to congress mandated by law.
    Atleast one of your sources SPECIFICALLY said that – do you read your own sources ?

    Start imposed duties on the US and the USSR regarding monitoring nukes.
    Separate agreements by Obama imposed even greater duties.

    Further it is NOT like any of this is secret.

    This has been discussed on this blog before.
    Links have been provided to NYT and WaPo stories covering Obama declassifying Nuclear information to comply with agreements he reached with Russia.

    Again this is not secret. Yopur ignorance of it reflects badly.
    But it is typical of your arguments.

    Magic laws that do not exist.
    Complete misunderstanding of not only the plain language of the constitution – but 250 years of constitutional case law.

  9. Anonymous.
    “No. It’s essentially censorship by proxy. Making it an excuse that a third party is responsible is no different than his argument that Twitter or Facebook censor on behalf of the government.”
    Is the govenrment trying to Censor ?

    I vigorously oppose that.

    “It’s clear someone is required to delete the anonymous posts.”
    It would be nice if you could state what you beleive to be true clearly.

    My assumption – which is probably correct, but MIGHT not be,
    is that Darren has set a WP option that quarantines anonymous posts for review.
    I do not have a problem with that. Anonymous posts are the most likely to contain spam, even spam that gets past WP’s spam filters.

    Blocking Spam is a form of censorship – do you think Turley should allow SPAM ?
    Regardless, it ALSO appears that anonymous posts ARE automatically sent out vial WP’s email notifications.
    That means I get to see anonymous posts in my email before they are approved and therefore I can not reply to them in thread.

    Anyway that is my guess.

    I have no problem with requiring all anonymous posts to be reviewed.

    I have seen no evidence that Darren is “censoring” anonymous or other posts outside the publicly stated rules of which are quite broad.

    But that does not mean that some posts get more scrutiny. Use foul language and it could be days before your posts shows.
    Put more than 2 links in a post and it may never show up.

    Those are neutral ruiles and I am fine with them.

    ” Because certain anonymous posts are still left alone and others who do not violate the civility rule are. It’s not a technical glitch. It happens whenever the moderator or admin comes in later in the morning.”
    Again you are not very clear in what you are claiming.

    I Strongly suspect that anonymous posts are delayed. You chose to post anonymously – and that actually DOES come with consequences. One of those is that your posts are more likely to require filtering to sort out the SPAM.

    You have claimed political censorship by Darren – I have seen no evidence of that.
    Darren certainly allows an enormous number of stupid posts – left and right.

    I see no evidence of viewpoint discrimination.

    “Turley’s blog is run by WP. It still requires someone personally engage the “filter” every day. It’s not automatic.”
    Again you have problems writing clearly.

    I am sure that WP AUTOMATICALLY quaranties lots of posts based on criteria like links, likely spam, foul language
    Soemone – Darren must periodically review the quarantied posts and release those that are NOT a problem.

    The rules regarding what gets “censored” are will know and viewpoint neutral.

    There is a right to speak anonymously.
    There is NOT a right to speak anonymously with the same credibility and convenience as those would do not.

    If you use a name and constantly post spam – or child porn or personal attacks, or copyrighted material or fould language – you will get blocked. I am OK with that, I suspect most everyone else is.

    If you post as anonymous – you can not be blocked so each post must be quarantied and reviewed.

    That is ONE of the prices you pay for anonymity.

    My problem is that I must now pay an extra cost to respond to you.

    You did not earn that.
    In fact by posting anonymously you disowned earning anything.

  10. “Defense publications as far back as last year note there will be a ramp up of 155mm shells due to lower inventories because of Ukraine. Information about where they are made, who makes them, and what specific types is not a closely guarded secret.” Correct – though some of that actually is classified. And absolutely it is possible to make very accurate educated guesses based on publicly available information.

    That does not alter the fact that this is still an area of classified information.

    You do not seem to understand what national defense information means. Nor why things are classified.

    What is it that you think the Guardman in Massachusetts is going to jail for ?
    Simple – providing internal – rather than public sourced information regarding Ukraines capabilitries and the resources the the US is providing. Pretty much exactly what Biden blurted out.

    “Just as knowing how many tanks we have and their basic capabilities, range, and possible vulnerabilities is well known information. None of it is classified.”
    Much of what you “KNOW” about those is based on what the government choses to let you know, and that is NOT inherently accurate. I can assure you that anything you recived from the US govenrmenjt on that information is carefully currated before release. And alot of it is WRONG – though in the general ball park and capable analysts can figure out what parts are innaccurate.

    Just to be clear – the US releases LOTS of information about our military capabilities – and private sources deduce far more.
    All of that is normal. It does not change the fact that very similar – though more accurate information is NOT released and is STILL Classified.

    I would further note you can play games all you want but it is far more dangerous to allow the Russians and Chinese to KNOW that we are short on 155mm shells – as this impacts BOTH Ukraine and the risk that the Chinese try to invade Taiwan – which is close to a now or never thing. China has the most agressive leader since Mao. Has massive internal problems that it needs to distract people from and has the best balance of powers situation they have ever had.
    China is as close to parity as they are ever getting. US energyu weapons are very early in deployment and as they come on line over the next few years it will become increasingly impossible for China to have a chance. DOD War Games have the US loosing every engagement with China – for one and only one reason – We can not deliver replacement munitions quickly enough. Every war game with China goes horribly for China – until the US runs out of ammunition, after which whatever forces we have in range of China all die. Energy Weapons end that problem. Nearly all current US aircraft carriers and a significant percent of US warships have Dual Nuclear power plants. One for the Ship and one for the Energy Weapons that we are just starting to deploy. That is a near infinite source of “ammunition”. At the bare minimum it means that our fleets will continue to be able to defend themselves even after they run out of missiles.

    Regardless, it is very close to now or never for China. While I think the oddsa of China going after Taiwan are LOW.
    They are still the highest they have ever been.
    They have the US preoccupied in Ukraine, they have the best possibility we can not supply two engagements concurrently,
    They have the closest to military parity in the region they will ever come. They have internal justifications to distract their population, They have the most nationalist population in 7 decades. And they have a weak US president and the weakest US military we have seen in decades.

    And to top that off our idiot President announces to the world we have a shortage of 155mm shells.
    While that has ZERO impact on our Naval forces – that is a HUGE deal for the Taiwanese Army as that is precisely what they would be using to counter PRC forces that lended, that were trying to land or that were as much as 15+km out from land.

    And this of course also strengthens Putins hand.

    Separately while the US likely can ratchet up 155mm production – that should have occured LONG ago.
    It was no secret that the Ukrainians planned an offensive – that has now been repeatedly delayed this spring – I wonder Why.
    It does not take a military genius to know that Ukraine need MASSIVE amounts of 155mm shells for that offensive.

    If US military leaders allowed Ukraine to plan for an offensive without being able to deliver 155mm shells – then we have complete incompetents at the pentagon

    The claim this will be fixed quickly – has a very low possibility of being true. If it could be fixed quickly it would have been in February or march.

    I would further note all 155mm shells are NOT the same. Modern Shells have ranges from 15km to 60+km. The long range shells more closely resemble rockets and are much harder to produce, more expensive and much harder to ramp up production.
    It takes quitre different skills to make a normal shell and a rocket shell.
    And Quality matters a great deal on a shell that is going to travel 60KM and hope to nail exactly what it is being aimed for.

    Over a sufficient time frame – with a true free market – which we do not today have in military equipment there is zero doubt the US can meet any possible demand. There is no economy in the world that is as productive and as technologically capable on the scale that our economy is. That is very important as it is ultimatley what saves us from the idiocy of the left.

    Progressivism is a stupid luxury good that only highly productive economies can afford.

    “I “know” as well as anyone who is a ‘fan’ of anything military all that information that what Biden stated is NOT classified.”
    So your qualifications – besides inability to think logically are military Fan Boy.
    If we are getting into a battle of qualifactions – I worked on advanced military contracts for over a decade. I held a TS/SCI clearance for several years. I worked on AEGIS, Preditor, JTIDS, and projects I was not allowed to know what they were for.

    But in truth none of that matters. The information Biden devulged was not only classified, it was important and harmful to divulge. He did far more damage than the National Guardsman from MA or Trump’s alleged disclosure that Miley sought a war with Iran in the last months of the Trump administration.

    “It’s not that hard to figure out why. Just type in anything you want to know about the ammunition and the information you say is classified is readily available. It has been for decades.”
    You STILL do not seem to grasp that is Irrelevant.

    Just about everything about the US military is publicly available somewhere. Just as massive information on Russia and China are also available. What is available through speculation. or even through US government information produced by people without clearances and without access to actual classified information is irrelevant.

    It is probable that public source information on the capabilities of North Korea is BETTER than that of CIA – the CIA information is STILL classified.

    Since you are a military fan boy – go read Clancy Books. He gives a pretty good explanation of the differences.
    As Clancies characters often state – there is frequently very good information available on CNN.
    But the Classified information available to the top eschelons of government is Supposed to come from more reliabile sources. That is often not True – but the information is still classified.

    I would further note that there is actually a giant gulf between a National Guardsman in MA making claims about US readiness. And the President of the United States doing so.

    It is a FACT that Biden made classified information public.
    It is a FACT that just like Trump he is fre to do so. That no protocol must be followed. Theat he can do so on whim.
    The only remedy against a presidents disclosure of harmful information is impeachment.

    That is both the FACT and the LAW.

    “You haven’t shown why you think what Biden stated is classified.”
    Of course I have. In what world do you thinkl that US military readiness and vulnerabilities and shortfalls are not among the most highly classified information ?

    What is it that you think Classified information means ?

    “The very fact that information about the munitions and it’s current stockpile has always been publicly available is not a good sign that it’s classified information.”
    Everything that is classified is also available publicly. The difference is that it is not available form sources that are unimpeachably correct, or that it is not available from clandestine government sources.

    There is someone somewhere – often many who correctly assess the state of pretty much everything.

    Do you think there were not brits during the battle for boston that concluded that Washington was incredibly low on gunpower ? They suspected it, Many were sure of it, but they did not know it.

    “”False. The case you’re referring to is not about the president.”
    Correct it is about executive power and the courts ability to weigh in and the courts CORRECTLY decided that the decisions of the executive concerning everything associated with classification are outside of judicial review. Which BTW means thay are also outside of congresses power to legislate. And which B y virtue of the fvery first line of article II of the constitution as well as 200 years of supreme court precident are PRESIDENTIAL powers.

    Please read the constitution – there is absolutely positively no power of the executive branch – either a power enumerated in the constitution such as the power to make foreign policy and the power of commander in chief of the military that is not VESTED in the president. There are typically several supreme court cases regarding this is every single presidential term.
    And the supreme court has NEVER found that any executive branch power, either enumerated or delegated bypasses the president. There is no one in the executive the president can not fire. There is no one in the executive the president can not give orders to. There is no actual independence from the direction of the president of any department in the executive.
    There is no power that anyone in the executive holds that the president does not also hold. There is no person within the executive that can ever overrule the president.

    This is not about Trump or Biden it is about the constitutional powers of the president – whoever that is.
    The power to classifiy and declassify is the power of the president – not NARA or various departments.
    Ther President can tell Everyone else in the executive the rules they much follow, but the president themselves is not bound to follow those rules. BTW that is true of ALL Executive power – not just classification and declassification.
    Congress the ability to constrain the powers it delegates by law to the president. It also has the power to control the money available to the president to perform tasks that are his enumerated powers that congress can not interfere with.

    This is why the rulings on the Presidential records act by the courts seem at odds with the text of the law. Because several provisions of the PRA are unconstitutional infringements on the powers of the president and the courts have rather than declare the entire law unconstitutional chosen to ignore them.

    You are free to disagree that this is the law and constitution. But it is the very plain language of the constitution and it is one of few portions of the constitution the courts have consistently for 250 years actually folllowed as written.

    If you do not like this – change the constitution.

    To provide a reference – the president has the power to pardon – just as he has the power to declassify.
    Congress can not pass laws constraining the presidents power to pardon – it is absolute.

    The only thing that congress can do if a president issues pardons that are corrupt, or heinous is they can impeach and remove him. Congress can nto pass a law that says the President can not pardon people who are relatives.
    It can not pass a law that says the president can not pardon themselves.

    Nor can Obama issue an executive order constraining the presidents power to pardon and subject other presidents – or even himself to those restrictions.

    Again if you do not like this – change the constitution.

    Of course beyond the constitution itself there is the more practical problem that it is not likely you can have functional government any other way.

    “It’s about an agent being denied a security clearance. The footnote regarding the president’s powers is not saying what you think it says.”
    I do not care about the footnote. It is the holding that is relevant. The power to classify and declassify, the power to decide who can access classified materials and who can not is executive power and it is NOT reviewable by the courts – which also means that it is not regulatable by congress.

    You do not need a footnote to KNOW that all executive power is presidential power – because the constitution says that LITERALLY, and because the courts have held that hundreds of times.

    This is not a gray area of the law. But beyond the constitutional problem itself, you have the practical problem that the founders wrote the constitution as it is not on a whim, but because they understood that governemnt could not work any other way.

    You are free to change the constitution and try. We tried to do something stupid with prohibition. How well did that work ?

    How well is the war on Drugs working ?

    “The constitution only mentions a president’s general powers.”
    It mentions many very specific powers. Including foreign policy and commander in chief of the military.
    Those are “general powers” they are also broad and include national security. And they are PRESIDENTIAL powers.

    “It’s not a blanket authorization to do whatever he wants.”
    Correct. But it is a blanket authorization to do whatever the constitution delegatges exclusively to the president.

    “He still has to follow the law which requires a process to declassify defense information.”
    There is no such law – go look for it. Smith did not cite any law on the process of declassification – because there is none.
    It is likely he will argue that there exists standard practices – which is correct. There also exist executive orders – but that thoroughly undermines Smith. Executive orders are the directions of the president to the rest of the executive. They have the power of law But ONLY with respect to the conduct of those within the executive in performing executive powers.

    And they Can not apply to the president. You are driving headlong into the age old logic problem – “can god make a rock so heavy he can not lift it ?” A president can not bind himself or future president by his executive orders.

    This too is a long resolve constitutional issue.

    Regardless there is absolutely no law passed by congress covering the process of classification.

    I would note that is also what Navy V. Eagan says – that you miss.

    When the Courts conclude that something is not reviewable by the courts. They are also concluding that it is not legislatable by congress. If Congress passed a law creating a process for classifying documents, how would that law be enforced ?
    The courts have already said that classification is a purely executive issue and they can not get involved.
    If the courts have no power over classified processes – which is exactly what Navy V Eagan held,
    Then the courts have no power to order the enforcement of laws passed by congress in that domain.

    Which is why there are none.

    ” That’s always been the case.”
    Then you would be able to cite the law that defines the process to declassify things.
    There is no such law. Everything about classifying and declassifying is by executive order. IE at the direction of the president.

    “Taking classified material out of secure installations does not automatically declassify documents.”
    It does if you are president. BTW this is also long ago decided. As well as more recently.
    Trump gave classified information tot he russian ambassador.
    There are only two possibilities – that automatically declassified it – Or Trump violated the espionage act.
    And if the latter is true so has every single president in my lifetime – From Johnson publicly announcing the SR-71 through Reagan revealing the F117 to Obama unilaterally declassifying the location of US nuclear arsenal to negotiate a treaty with Russia.

    Government secrets are considered part of foreign policy, national security and the military – these are all either exclusively or near exclusively presidential powers.

    “It’s simply not true.”
    And yet it is, and it has been forever, and this is not knew.

    “Show exactly what law or military regulations say what you claim.”
    There are no laws at all regarding classification and declassification – that is the POINT.
    There can not be. Those are presidential powers not congressional powers.

    Show me ANY law regarding the procedures to classify and declassify.
    You can not. There are none.

    “You have not shown anything to support your claim.”
    I do not need to. The laws you claim exist regarding the process to classify and declassify DO NOT EXIST.
    They do not exist because classificaiton and declassification is an aexecutive and therefore presidential power.
    Not a legislative one.

    But addressing your claim regarding whether UNIVERSALLU removing something from a secure fascility declassifies it
    UNIVERSALLY it does not. No one bu the president can declassify something – WITHOUT BREAKING THE LAW, by removing it from government control. That is true because there is an EXECUTIVE ORDER on that.
    And executive orders can not bind the president or future presidents only the rest of the exeuctive.
    Again a long established issue.

    While Removing something Classified from govenrment control does not ALWAYS declassifiy it – it quite often does.
    Making it public ALWAYS does.

    Daniel Elsberg violated the espionage act and but for the misconduct of the Plumbers would have been convicted and sent to jail for a very long time.

    But WaPo and NYT did NOT violate the law in publishing the material Elsberg provided them.

    FURTHER The government was BARRED from retreiving what had NOT yet been published and preventing that from being published.

    You have cited numerous instances in which information that is obviously classified is also available publicly.

    Generally a person who improperly handles material that is classified but also has somehow become public – especially though independent discovery can not be convicted.

    If you carefully review satellite photos and uncover the exact location of every ICBM in the US you have not violated the espionage act – even though you have made public classified information. Because you did not work for the government, have a security clearance and a duty to protect.

    I would further note that if you ARE a govenrment employee with a security clearance you can Try and some have successfully argued that the information they made public came from non classified – even non-governmental sources.

    Which is what you are trying to do regarding Biden.

    You are incorrect in claiming that information is not classified.
    Depending on details you MAY be correct that someone in government other that the president could make that available – if they can demonstrate that authoratiative sources exposed that material to the public previously.

    But Biden need not make that argument – he is president – he can make anything he wants public. He can declassify andything he wants.

    I would further note that the courts have already rules that the president can declassify information by press conference, or even by Tweet.

    Your there is a procedure dictated by law argument is completely false.

    There is no such law. If there was it would be unconstitutional.

  11. It seems a lot of posts have been deleted along with everyone else’s post. It could be a foul-up by WP, Bug or another banned anonymous poster or ATS, so I will redisplay my response to the question below. Maybe ATS has resumed his habits of using a banned address to take down all succeeding posts.

    “S. Meyer, who is ATS? I’ve never seen this “ATS” poster.”

    Assuming you are ATS hiding behind an anonymous name (perhaps not because good posters sometimes forget to label themselves), I will respond in the first person.

    Your original name was Anonymous the Stupid renamed ATS by another to shorten the name. You were shown to be a liar and deceiver using multiple accounts, sea-lionizing, pretend friends, and banned accounts you used spitefully against others. Your lies and deception had a syntax that permitted one to assume, most of the time, you were the same person. I like to respond to the person directly, so I named that individual Anonymous the Stupid. Since then, you lied, saying I was wrong, but repeatedly I proved what you said to be a lie and that mostly I correctly identified you. If occasionally, in my haste, I misnamed you, and it was Bug or someone else, it doesn’t matter because one should not have to take time to figure out who you are. Carry a name if you feel the criticism against you is in error. Occasionally you did create a name for specific purposes, but when linked to ATS, you dropped that name and remained anonymous.

    A well-oiled machine breaks down when the ball bearings face too much dirt. Suggestion: Ban all persons without a unique icon and name. That prevents the claim of censorship and stops ATS and others from playing their games.

  12. In addition to former Wisconsin Governor Thompson and his writing instrument, it would appear that Evers’ “…Pen is a Sword” too.

  13. Anonymous
    “It’s not a report mandated to congress by law. ”
    Of course it is YOUR cite said exactly that.
    You do read what you link to correct ?

    “President Biden’s mention of a shortage of 155mm shells is not classified because information about the munitions and how many there are is easily accessible in defense and military websites. They were available long before Biden made the announcement.”
    Then you would be able to link to Government sites prior to Biden’s remarks that list the numbers of 155mm shells available.

    You can’t While there are NON govenrment sources that Guestimate – often quite accurately that information.
    There is a entirely private company that provides CIA like analysis of foreign countries using publicly available information – like satelite photos that has an incredible reputation for accuracy. They are far better than any other publicly available source regarding North Korea’s capabilities. They accurately evaulated the size range, and state of development of NK Nuclear ICBMs long before any other public source. It is even likely they were ahead of CIA.

    Everything they do would be Top Secret – Except that they do not work for the government. And therefore they can sell or give away their work. But The CIA or DOD doing the same thing is HIGHLY classified. And it would remain classified even if Public sources produce the same results so long as those public sources are providing Analysis NOT proven FACTS.
    If NK as an example publishes the data on its ICBM’s = then everything from CIA that is the same information would be declassified by default – even if it is still marked classified. But if a private analyst “guesses” the same as CIA,
    That does not declassify the CIA’s work – even if the private analyst is right.

    Lots and lots of sources make very accurate guesses about US military resources and capabilities.
    Alot can be determined by smart people from our budgets.

    That does not change the FACT that nearly everything about military readiness and capability is actually classified
    Even if it is not hard to find an independent assessment that is actually correct.

  14. Jonathan: Here is an update on “US vs Donald J. Trump and Waltine Nauta” down in the court of Judge Cannon in south Florida. As predicted by court watchers Trump/Nauta filed papers on Monday requesting a trial in the case be postponed until after the 2024 election. They attorneys for the defendants claim they are too busy with other trials, the case presents some unique issues (e.g., Trump is a former president), they can’t possible go through the hundreds of thousands of docs for an earlier trial, etc., etc.,etc. Typical Trump. Delay, delay, delay–and delay some more.

    A look at the court docket indicates Judge Cannon has set July 18 for a hearing to decide a trial date. If Cannon, a Trump appointee, agrees with the defendants and sets a trial date after the election, she will have tipped her hand. She will probably rule for the defendants on important issues–as she did when Trump sued to prevent the FBI from using the classified material recovered at Mar-a-Lago in their investigation. In that case the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals slapped down Cannon.

    But to avoid delays in appealing adverse rulings by Judge Cannon there is speculation that Jack Smith may want to go around Cannon and file new indictments in another jurisdiction–perhaps in New Jersey where Trump’s Bedminster gold club is located. So July 18 is a drop dead date for Judge Cannon to show her cards. Will she try to be a fair and impartial judge or will her political allegiance to Trump prevail? I am taking bets on the outcome of the July 18 hearing. Any takers?

    1. “Will [Smith] try to be a fair and impartial [prosecutor] or will” he, *yet again*, prove himself corrupt by using the “law” to target conservatives?

    2. “There is speculation that Jack Smith may want to go around Cannon and file new indictments in another jurisdiction–perhaps in New Jersey[.]” And this is your idea of “the rule of law”?

      1. edwardmahl: Yep, that is my idea of the “rule of law”. Under the Special Counsel Act Jack Smith is empowered to file indictments in any jurisdiction where there is a nexus between violations of federal laws and the conduct of the defendants. There is ample evidence Trump took classified material to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey and showed it to persons not authorized to see it. So if Jack Smith decides to file indictments in that jurisdiction how is that a violation of the “rule of law”?

        1. The President has the ability to declare declassified at any time and put forth redacted or otherwise any document he wishes. Just ask sock drawer Bill Clinton. The repeated one sided infringement of applying law will only lead to one conclusion and that outcome will lead to trouble no matter what side of the aisle you choose. Kind of like black-face or woman-face. Why demand truth in a court of law? A Supreme Court Justice admitted under questioning they don’t know what a”woman” is. Appropriating Justice using the color of law is not Justice and is usually met with extreme prejudice because it is pushed on those who don’t want it. Just ask England.

        2. From the NY Post:

          In a CNN interview Thursday night, James Trusty claimed prosecutor Jay Bratt had threatened to sink Nauta attorney Stanley Woodward’s application for a federal judgeship.

          “He apparently, along with five other people in his presence from DOJ, extorted a very well-respected, very intelligent lawyer from Washington, DC, saying essentially, ‘If you want this judgeship that’s on Joe Biden’s desk, you have to flip your guy to cooperate against the President of the United States,’” Trusty charged.

          Bratt said Woodward wasn’t a “Trump guy” and was going to do “the right thing” with respect to Nauta, a source familiar with the meeting told The Post Friday.

          But this accusation is being sent in a sealed letter to….Judge Boasberg the supervising judge in DC who let Kevin Clinesmith go after he forged a CIA document to start the initial coup attempt vs. Trump (the one before Crossfire Hurricane). Interesting web seach is the “Pilgrims Society” Boasberg apparently in it. They have a web site; so does Aim4Truth where they are argue that tihs is the “conspiracy” JFK infamously referred to in his speech (viewable there). Of course all the Official Accounts insist he was talking about communism…but then why didn’t he say that?

        3. @Dennis McIntyre: As proof that your notion about the rule of law is correct, you could’ve cited the deep and independent investigation, multiple charges in multiple jurisdictions, and by-the-book sentencing of Hunter. Oh, wait: your “rule of law” by necessity starts with the R-or-D filter. While there are cases that dodge the expected bias, a measly $400k+ difference in reported income and intentionally lying on a federal form is not one of them.

          Meanwhile, a President who exercised the absolute plenary power to declassify any document without asking for permission or needing to tell anyone is being criminally indicted for *not* violating a civil law that has no penalties. Ask Mr. Smith to root around in Mr. Clinton’s sock drawer.

          Speaking of filters, Mr. Turley’s would probably block any comments I made about my opinion of your “rule of law,” and would definitely reject my advice as to where to shove it.

  15. One of the greatest brainwashing coups of the 19th & 20th centuries was convincing the population that we live in a “democracy” (“Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%.” Thomas Jefferson) instead of a constitutional republic where the people are equally represented.

    1. @Ragnor: “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote”

      – Generally attributed to Benjamin Franklin

  16. Anonymous
    I have seen know evidence todate that any “censorship” that has been done on this blog goes beyond problems with Word Press, censoring spam, censoring speech that is illegal, censoring specific foul language.

    My guess is that Darren has enabled a WP option – or a WP upgrade enabled it automatically that sends anonymous posts to moderation for approval before they are posted.

    BUT they are still sent out via email. And if you hit the reply button in the email, when you try to post a reply to a not yet approved comment you are blocked.

    I do not find this to be evidence that Turley is hypocritical on Free speech.

    It is evidence that a particular combination of WP policies results in inconvenience to those WP is NOT targeting.

    I would further note – nothing is stopping you from posting anonymously.
    Though by doing so you ACTUALLY inconvenience others.

    And you start off with no credibility.

    But that is your choice and again there is no evidence Turley is taking that from you

  17. Anonymous – no you published a link to a report that congress mandated by law, that the government CHOSE to make public.

    Just as Obama CHOSE to make the number and location of US nuclear weapons public in order to secure a nuclear weapons monitoring agreement with the Russians that was in both nations interests.

    And in fact is proving very beneficial RIGHT now.

    Revealing information on Russias nuclear program could get you killed in the past.
    The Rosenbergs died for allegedly sharing US nuclear secrets with the Russians.

    But Obama made public the location and number of US Nukes in return for Russia making the Same information public.
    The Russians monitor US nukes via satellite and via agreed on inspections.

    The US monitors Russian nukes in the same way. And right now we KNOW if Putin moves a nuke and we will hopefully have significant advance warning before he attempts to use one in Ukraine.
    We also have atleast some ability to monitor potential terrorist efforts to gain access to Russian nukes.

    Regardless, Pres. Obama made this information publicly available because the nuclear deal he negotiated required it, and because that deal was in US interests – not because the information was not previously
    among the most classified information in the US.

    You really have no clue how Classified documents work.

  18. It is public because the president blurted it out.
    Because it has been made public it is no longer classified – at this moment.
    It will become classified again the moment the public information is stale.

    The espionage act defines the crime of espionage as revealing information that is “national defense information”
    It does not use the words classified.

    Information regarding US military capabilities. particularly US military weaknesses is “born classified”.
    That does not prevent it from being made public, and therefore declassified. Either by formal process, or by the president blurting it out.

    What is it that you think determines whether something is classified ?

    You seem to think that what is and is not classified is purely random – humans ARE involved so there IS some element of randomness. But as a generalization information that if known by hostile powers could lead to harm to the US or its interests is classified.

    1. Anyone who believes Obama ever worked for US national interests can try and explain how Tehran’s gaining nuclear weapons increases US security and is in US national issues. Such reasoning and logic is clearly demonstrated in your explanation of how classified documents work. Tell us about your vast experience in intel. Anyone who believes that the classification process is logical, systematic and intelligent clearly has gone to the same intelligence classes as AOC and Brandon. Your tortured definition of the espionage act further demonstrates the length you will go to mangle the truth. Baghdad Bob has little on you.

      1. RC;

        I think you are insulting the wrong person.

        I held a TS/SCI a decade ago. I have dealt with classified material.
        Many aspects of the classified documents system are handled reasonably.

        But all are not. Far too much is classified – by atleast an order of magnitude.
        Further POnce something is classified – even if the basis for that classificiation – though legitimate at the time is long past – often that remains classified.

        Nor is the rigor with which classified infoirmation is handled uniform.

        If you are in the military – – it is near certain that you will be court martialed and jailed for minor mishandling of classified documents.

        If you are a government employee – particularly a low ranking one, you MIGHT go to jail, especially if the release is politically damaging.

        If you are an employee of a government contract – absent a breach like that of Snowden that is politically damaging, maybe you will lose your job.

        If you are a civilian not holding a government job or security clearance – the norm is nothing will happen to you.

        There are exceptions of course – John Walker was no longer in the military or government and he was being paid by the Russians and the information he provided would have allowed the USSR to know where all Atlantic naval assets were in the event of war with the USSR.

        My assessment of Obama is little different from yours.
        Prior to Biden he may have been the worst US president ever.
        But his failures look small compared to those of Biden.

        That said I use Obama’s conduct as an example with left wing nuts because Pres. Obama actually did everything Trump gets accused of.

  19. Anonymous
    Again – a national guardsman in Massachusetts is headed to jail fo r avery long time for sharing informationt hat is no different from that Biden blurted out.

    You are free to beleive whatever you wish.

    But you have lost this argument badly.

    You are retreating to the ignorant claim that What Biden said was not classified – because you are unwilling to accept the obvious. whatever the president says publicly – is not classified. Any actions of a president that make information potentially publicly available declassifiy it.

    That MUST be the case – because you can not make a government or presidency work otherwise.

    But you are unwilling to cede the obvious – because that would interfere with your ability to “get Trump” who you hate with a unbelievable irrational passion.

    Thogh this is not really about Trum- it is about your irrational hatred of anyone who disagrees with you or stands in the way of those you are enthral to ascending to power over others.

    As an excellent rule of thumb information about military capability – particularly information that indicates current weakness is CLASSIFIED. For very obvious reasons.

    The national guardsmen in Massachusetts is going to jail for a very long time for providing gamers on discord information little different and probably less dangerous than Biden blurted out.

  20. It’s Machiavellian for anyone to applaud this measure, simply because they like the outcome. He simply rewrote the law to suit himself, like any totalitarian dictator.

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