A rigged election?

Donald Trump is re-emphasizing his claim that if he doesn’t get elected, that’s because the election is rigged.  Now 41% of voters are saying that this could happen.  Critics are saying that casting those kinds of doubts undermines the social compact that gives Democracy its legitimacy.

Most people seem to believe that the “establishment” will steal the election from Trump.  But what if Trump’s Russian friends hack into the computerized voting machines and rig the election in his favor? [Read more…]

“God punishes wicked subjects by wicked rulers”

Luther did not actually say the words attributed to him, that he would rather be ruled by a wise Turk than a foolish Christian (HT: Carl Vehse).  Though we might wish a wise Turk were running.  All we seem to be getting are foolish Turks.

But here is a political observation that Luther did say, from Treatise on the Ban (1520) paragraph 16:   “God punishes wicked subjects by wicked rulers.”

I quoted this in a previous post, but it’s worth thinking about and discussing for its own sake.  So, assuming that Luther is right and that both of the candidates have their own kind of “wickedness” (keeping in mind that maybe they don’t or will be changed), what did we do to deserve whichever candidate wins the presidency?

I’ll start with some reflections about how God punishes societies after the jump. [Read more…]

What we learn from John Podesta’s emails

The emails regarding Hillary Clinton being released by Wikileaks are not from her illegal secret server that she used as Secretary of State.  Rather, they are hacks of the emails of John Podesta, her campaign chairman and longtime henchman.

In them, Podesta and scores of campaign operatives and other correspondents discuss things like the inner workings of the Clinton Foundation, how to co-opt Bernie Sanders and his supporters, collusion with journalists, and other topics embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton and other Democrats.

After the jump is an account of a remarkable exchange in which Podesta writes about subverting Catholicism so as to make it accord with the Progressive cause. [Read more…]

Judge sees “absolutely no value” in studying the Constitution

Richard Posner is a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and a professor at the University of Chicago Law School.  In an op-ed for Slate, he said that he sees “absolutely no value” in judges devoting even seconds to studying the Constitution.  Even the Bill of Rights does “not speak to us today.”

Here is a link to what he said.  Cal Thomas dissects it after the jump.  Then I jump in on the topic, how could the United States cease to exist? [Read more…]

NY Times illegally published Trump’s tax returns

The New York Times published three pages from Donald Trump’s state tax returns for 1995.  They show a loss of $916 million, which “could have” allowed him to pay no federal taxes for 18 years.  (The story is here.)

That remains highly speculative until we can see the full returns. But the biggest problem is that publishing tax returns without permission is a crime. The Washington Post reports that the Executive Editor of the Times said that he would be willing to go to jail if he could publish Trump’s tax returns.

Read all about it after the jump.  Then consider:  Do you think these revelations will harm Trump’s election chances, as Clinton’s campaign is saying it will?  Do you think this will end up harming the reputation of prestige journalism more than it will Trump?  Won’t ordinary Americans appreciate Trump’s ability to avoid paying the IRS (if that, in fact, happened) while resenting the press’s illegal violation of his privacy? [Read more…]

Overriding Obama’s veto so victims can sue Saudi Arabia

Congress passed a bill allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for enabling some of its citizens to carry out the attacks.  But President Obama vetoed the measure, saying that it would violate the principle that sovereign nations are immune from foreign lawsuits by private citizens and will open the United States to similar suits.

Yesterday, in a rare show of bipartisan unity, Congress overrode the veto.  That requires 2/3 of the vote, but this override was 97-1 in the Senate and 348 to 77 in the Senate, as Democrats voted against their own president.

That’s satisfying emotionally, but is it wise for Congress to interfere in foreign relations, traditionally the domain of the Executive Branch?  And is it wise to throw out sovereign immunity?  Won’t this jeopardize American military, intelligence, and diplomatic operatives, as well as claims from foreign citizens who don’t like us against the nation as a whole?  Or is it worth the risk to get back at Saudi Arabia? [Read more…]