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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:56 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
You can't make this stuff up.


I think the problem is we used to make this stuff up, now it's actually happening and satirists and parodies are at a loss how to one-up it.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:00 pm 
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I know. :(

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:11 pm 
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The wheels have come off and the sparks are a-flying. I doubt that the DoJ and DoC released fake news, as that would imply that they knew they were making untrue statements. Either they were acting on the best information they had at the time and Trump is being his usual capricious self or they were going behind his back or Trump can't remember what orders he gave who and when. In any event, it's all FUBAR now.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:16 am 
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It just gets more and more surreal.

https://amp.axios.com/justice-departmen ... 75959.html

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:54 am 
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A quote from the judge overseeing one of the census cases:

Quote:
I’ve been told different things, and it’s becoming increasingly frustrating. If you were Facebook and an attorney for Facebook told me one thing, and then I read a press release from Mark Zuckerberg telling me something else, I would be demanding that Mark Zuckerberg appear in court with you the next time because I would be saying I don’t think you speak for your client anymore.


Somehow I don't think he's going to be demanding that Mr. Trump appear in his court, but wouldn't that be fun?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:42 am 
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:doh: :nono: :bang: :rage: :help: :scratch:

Some are saying he's pulling this sort of thing as a 'dare' to begin impeachment proceedings because he thinks it will help energize his base for his reelection.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:28 am 
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So.....am I understanding this correctly? Did a federal court just tell Trump "you can't do that" and his response was "I'm going to do that"? Like, that actually happened?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:38 am 
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It's a little more complicated than that, but no less ridiculous. To recap, the administration decided to add to the 2020 census form a question about whether the person was a citizen, a question that has not been asked since 1950. There were numerous challenges to this question by various different groups, including in New York, Maryland and California. All of the District Court judges ruled preliminarily against the administration. The New York case reached the Supreme Court. In the extraordinarily complex decision that I referred to a few days ago, the court ruled that while it was not unconstitutional for the administration to add the decision, they did violate the law by basically lying about the reason why they added the question (they claimed it was in order to help enforce the Voting Rights Act, which was patently untrue, as Chief Justice Roberts pointed out). The court did not rule that they could not add the question, if they could show that they had a valid real reason to do it. But there are few problems with that. First of all, any reason that they give other than the real reason would just as clearly be a lie as the first one they gave. And if they admit to the real reason - that they wanted to suppress the count of certain groups, particularly Hispanics, in order to help Republicans in future elections, that would be patently unconstitutional. Secondly, the administration itself said that they needed to print the forms by June 30 of this year in order to get the census done, so there isn't any time for them to go through the process of making up a new reason and somehow getting it approved. So in a hearing in the Maryland case, the Justice Department lawyer specifically stated that they were not going to include the question. And the Commerce Secretary also announced that they would not include the question. And they started printing the forms without the question. But then Mr. Trump tweeted that that was all fake news (even though it is all true) and that they were going to include the question because they "had to." After seeing that tween the Maryland judge called another hearing and the Justice Department lawyer basically said he had no idea how they were going to proceed, and the judge stated what I quoted above.

Hope that makes it a little clearer.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:06 pm 
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Ah, thanks for the recap. So it sounds like instead of saying he would blatantly defy a court order, he's just blatantly lying about doing something he knows he can't do. I'll assume for the benefit of his followers who believe anything that he says. What a bizarre world we're living in.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:52 pm 
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Except the lawyers for the government don't seem to be in on the plan, so they're left twisting in front of judges. I'm sure federal judges are aware of nightmare clients, but I'm not sure how sympathetic they'll be.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:03 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
So it sounds like instead of saying he would blatantly defy a court order, he's just blatantly lying about doing something he knows he can't do.

They conceivably could include the question if they came up with a reasoning that passed muster. I don't think Trump knows he can't do it, I think he's determined to do it but doesn't understand the obstacles that everyone else involved does understand.

I thought the census didn't start happening until 2020, so I wonder what that June 30 deadline was related to. Perhaps it is flexible.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:49 pm 
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The administration repeatedly stated in filings in court after court, up to and including the Supreme Court, that it was a drop-dead deadline. So if it really was flexible, they lied.

As for Mr. Trump, he doesn't care. He has two audiences. One is his base, who he needs to show he is 'tough'. The other is the community targeted by the question, some of whom are likely to a avoid answering the census just from the President tweeting.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:24 pm 
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Cerin wrote:
I thought the census didn't start happening until 2020, so I wonder what that June 30 deadline was related to. Perhaps it is flexible.

The deadline is for getting forms submitted to the printer. It's a massive undertaking. The decennial census starts no later than June 2020 and they have to get things proofed, printed, and delivered to millions of households. I'm sure the current shenanigans are causing the logistics people to reach for their ulcer meds.

As for flexibility in the deadline, it is and isn't. The DoC told the courts they have to start printing July 1. They've also said they have some room for extraordinary measures until October 31. But, now that they've stood up in court and said their drop-dead date to get things going is July 1, they'll look like liars and fools if they start saying otherwise. Not that that would necessarily stop them.

I think an aggressive public education campaign mounted by some NGOs could help with the fear and uncertainty factor for recipients of the surveys. I would be surprised if that's not already being planned. Of course, that doesn't change the utter chaos and confusion spewing forth from the White House. If they were my employer, I'd quit. If they were a business, I'd avoid any excuse to deal with them. Unfortunately, they are the upper echelon of my government, so all I can do is try to get them fired.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:41 pm 
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The latest is that Mr. Trump is considering issuing an executive order to add the citizenship question. If he does, and gets away with it, our system of government is over.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:50 pm 
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Why wouldn't he get away with it?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:55 pm 
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Because it would mean any time the Supreme Court ruled against the executive branch the president could just overrule them. It would throw our system of checks and balances out the window.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:46 pm 
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Yes, I understand the problem. I mean, what's to stop him?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:50 pm 
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The courts.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:24 pm 
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And who will enforce that? Congress? Mitch McConnell?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:51 pm 
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Congress does not enforce the law.

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