Pick Wayne's Brain

November 26, 2016

Have You Read The 25th Amendment?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 7:31 PM

In his series “The Resistance” (formerly known as “The Closer” until the election of Donald J. Trump), Keith Olbermann spells out how Republicans in Congress can remove Trump from office without going through the process of an impeachment. And it’s all perfectly legal and constitutional, because the procedure is spelled out in Article of Amendment 25, Section 4,of the US Constitution. It reads as follows:

4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

So how would this work? Well, upon returning from the swearing-in ceremony, Vice President Pence and a majority of the heads of the cabinet departments (and it could be the ones still in office on January 20, or even the ones who act as heads of the departments should the heads all have resigned effective at noon that day) could write a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan and President Pro Tempore of the Senate Orrin Hatch (the President Pro Tem is the oldest serving member, not the Majority Leader) simply stating the Donald is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. They don’t have to give a reason. They don’t have to prove anything. No hearings. No nothing. Just a letter.

Now, of course, the Donald could fire back a letter within minutes (and I’d bet he’ll have such a letter pre-written, ready to go) saying no such inability exists. Within four days (in case there’s a holiday weekend in there), Pence and his department heads could fire back another letter (again, they should have this one written along with the first because it would be needed) saying the inability does still exist. Then the matter would go to the Congress. It would require a two-thirds vote of both the House of Representatives and the Senate to remove Trump from power permanently.

I can only hope the Republicans in Congress recognize the danger of having Trump be POTUS and take the legal, constitutional path to remove him from being able to do damage. He could keep the title, since I’m sure that’s all he really wanted out of it, but he wouldn’t have the authority to do anything. Not that I would be much happier in a Pence administration. Unlike Pence, I actually like women and want to see them have the autonomy over their bodies that men take for granted. That’s even less likely to happen under Pence than under Trump, but at least Pence knows something about governing. Trump does not. In fact, based on his comments on the campaign trail, I’m convinced Trump doesn’t understand how government works at all. He talked as if the POTUS had powers he doesn’t really have. In fact, at times it sounded like he thought a POTUS was a dictator, possibly because a lot of Republican citizens think he is. That’s just projection on their part.

And while it is perfectly constitutional to remove Trump from power (if not office) in this matter, it’s actually harder than impeaching him. Invoking Article 25, Section 4, requires two-thirds of both Houses to remove him. But to impeach him (for Treason, Bribery or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors) would require only a simple majority of votes in the House of Representatives. It would still require a two-thirds vote in the Senate to remove him. But you’d have to produce actual charges and conduct an actual trial for that process to work. And while Trump will be in violation of the Constitution at 12:01 PM EST on January 20, 2017, it will not be because of a crime. Instead, and possibly among other reasons, it will be because he had a group of foreign dignitaries come to his hotel in Washington, DC, and encouraged them to stay there when they visited the United States. In other words, he would personally profit from his job beyond what the Congress provides as compensation. (It’s called an Emolument, and its definition depends on what the Framers took the word to mean, not what it may have come to mean since.) Unless, of course, he lets them and their entire staffs stay there completely free of charge, including meals. Then he might argue that he’s not receiving any emoluments. But does anyone believe a man driven by the lust for money, who campaigned on a bigoted platform designed to make white people feel good about themselves, would let foreigners stay at his hotel completely free of charge? I don’t. And I wouldn’t believe a word Trump said about whether or not he was making any money on it. He’s a billionaire because he says he is. He’s the one deciding how much his properties are worth, not an independent auditor. There is very little that Trump says that can be taken at face value. And that’s one of many reasons why he should never be allowed to be POTUS. Also, he’s a bit of an asshole, but there’s no law against that. Otherwise I’d be in a lot of trouble, too. 🙂

March 2, 2013

Bull Hannity

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 9:45 AM

By now, you’ve probably heard about the heated exchange between Fox “News” Channel host Sean Hannity and Rep. Keith Ellison (D, MN-5) on Tuesday night last. Hannity’s inner bully was on display that night, from his arrogant way of asking the congressman to repeat what he said (in an attempt to intimidate him into not repeating it), to his condescending tone of voice, and then to his talking over his guest in an effort to silence him. In case you missed it, here’s as full a clip of the segment as I can find. What’s important to note is the context in which the interview took place. You’ve probably heard all about the things Ellison said to him, but what you probably didn’t hear is (more…)

July 27, 2009

Good News Olbermann

Now we find out that Dick Cheney was fighting hard to have the military go into an American city (in this case, Buffalo, NY) and arrest the group later known as the Lackawanna Six. Luckily for us he lost that fight. But one question remains: Why is Dick Cheney still walking free?

Good News Olbermann
Original words and music “Sunshine Superman” by Donovan
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider, 2009

Good news came slowly a-through my
a-inbox today
Could’ve skipped it easy a-but it
It changed my day
It’s a big crime, I know it
but in a while
You’re gonna do time, I know it,
Despite your denial

‘Cause I made my mind up you’re going to do time
I’ll tell you right now
(more…)

July 25, 2009

Silly Petty Man

Filed under: Parody — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 11:11 PM

And now, another song about Bill O’Reilly, who really is a silly, petty man.

Silly Petty Man
Words and music “Solitary Man” by Neil Diamond, 1966 Tallyrand Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider, 2009

Andrea was fine
‘Til the time
That I phoned her
Talking porn,
What was worn

Then Keith came along,
Said I’m wrong,
That’s what he thought
Keith and you,
But he lied, too

Don’t know if I’ll kill,
(more…)

Lying Man

I decided to move all my old song parodies from my original blog to this one. (Don’t bother going there to look, most of them are not visible now.) This was the very first one I posted. Since I also have a new Bill O’Reilly parody which will post a few minutes after I post this, I thought I’d post them together.

I dislike Bill O’Reilly a lot. I mean a whole lot. I believe the psychiatric measure of my dislike for him would be classified as “shitloads.” Why? Because he’s a liar. Plain and simple. He’s a liar, and not only is he a liar, he lies about his lying. I’m not the only one who feels that way. There are other websites devoted to a hatred of him and others devoted to pointing out all his lies. So it’s not just me. Instead, I show my dislike of him with this song parody, based on the song “Piano Man”, original words and music by Billy Joel. I hope you enjoy it.

UPDATE: I have a confession to make. There’s a line I wrote way back when that I was never really satisfied with. So I’ve finally decided to change it. Actually it’s just three little words, but it takes away a slight innacuracy that, for me, made the whole thing just a little less truthful than it otherwise would be. I have decided to change “best-selling novelist” to “real insane columnist”. Obviously, the line was referring to “Ann” who, if you’re trying to equate this to real life, was never really a novelist at all, but a columnist. And a crazy one at that. So, I hope that you’ll agree that this minor change, at the very least, does not take away from the song as a the whole, and maybe, just a little, makes it better. Thank you for your understanding, and please continue to enjoy “Lying Man”.

“Lying Man”
Original words and music “Piano man” by Billy Joel
New lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider 2006

It’s eight o’clock on a weekday
The regular viewers tune in
There’s a young man sitting next to me
Saying, “No war in Afghanistan.”

He said, “My father died nine-eleven,
But I don’t think that’s reason for war.
Yes, I’d rather have peace so let’s let the police
Be the ones who will settle the score.”

La-la-da-dee-dee-da
La-la-dee-dee-da-da-dumb

Spin us a lie, you’re the Lying Man
Spin us a lie tonight
Well we’re all in the mood for mendacity
And we know you work for the right

Now Paul at the Times is no friend of mine
(more…)

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