More Trumpish anti-science: The Donald reportedly asked anti-vaxxer to head panel on vaccine safety

I’m not quite sure what these articles from the Washington Post and Scientific American mean, but they augur yet more anti-scientific attitudes from the incoming Trump administration, which will take over in (horrors!) only nine days. (The words “President Trump” still stick in my craw.) From Sci Am we hear about a position reportedly offered to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., son of Bobby Kennedy and thus the nephew of JFK. RFK Jr. is an environmental activist but has some wonky ideas about vaccines:

WASHINGTON—Outspoken vaccine critic Robert Kennedy Jr. has accepted a position within Donald Trump’s administration as chair of a panel on vaccine safety and scientific integrity—the clearest sign yet of the president-elect’s suspicions about vaccines.

The offer, which came in a Wednesday meeting between Trump and the scion of America’s most prominent Democratic family, is likely to concern scientists and public health experts who fear the incoming administration could give legitimacy to skeptics of childhood immunizations, despite a huge body of scientific research demonstrating that vaccines are safe.

“President-elect Trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policies and he has questions about it,” Kennedy told reporters after the meeting. “His opinion doesn’t matter but the science does matter and we ought to be reading the science and we ought to be debating the science. And that everybody ought to be able to be assured that the vaccines that we have—he’s very pro-vaccine, as am I—but they’re as safe as they possibly can be.”

Kennedy has repeatedly questioned the safety of vaccines and advanced arguments that there is a link between the immunizations and autism. He has suggested that thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used in vaccines, can be harmful to children, a notion that has been widely debunked.

Public health agencies did suggest manufacturers eliminate or reduce the amount of thimerosal in vaccines and many have done so. But a number of studies have also discredited the idea of thimerosal is a cause of autism.

Kennedy’s work on autism has created controversy over the years. In 2005 he wrote an expose, co-published by Salon and Rolling Stone, contending that scientists were hiding the link between thimerosal and autism. Years later, Salon retracted the story, noting its basic thesis was inaccurate. Rolling Stone deleted it.

But Kennedy was not finished with the subject. He edited a 2014 book called “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: The Evidence Supporting the Immediate Removal of Mercury—a Known Neurotoxin—from Vaccines.” The volume makes the case that thimerosal is still causing autism and other neurological problems, and should be eliminated worldwide.

There’s no credible evidence that thimerosal causes autism, although it could cause minor side effects like redness and swelling around an injection site. It’s time to put the thimerosal canard to rest.

Both of the sources above, while noting that RFK, Jr. was asked to head that commission, also add, as did CNN, that Trump hasn’t really decided whether to set up a commission on autism.

But the Trump transition says no decision has been made on setting up a commission on autism, despite Robert Kennedy Jr. telling reporters he was asked by Trump to chair a committee on vaccination safety.
“The President-elect enjoyed his discussion with Robert Kennedy Jr. on a range of issues and appreciates his thoughts and ideas. The President-elect is exploring the possibility of forming a commission on Autism, which affects so many families; however no decisions have been made at this time. The President-elect looks forward to continuing the discussion about all aspects of Autism with many groups and individuals,” said Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks in statement.

My question is whether the commission on autism is the same as the commission on “vaccine safety and scientific integrity” for which RFK, Jr. was vetted. If they are, then this report is dubious. It still shows, however, that Trump has no fricking idea how to appoint good people, something we already know from the Cabinet nominations. Let’s hope that this commission doesn’t materialize, or else gets a scientifically-minded chair.

But we ain’t seen nothing yet. What scares me the most (besides Trump) is his upcoming Supreme Court nominee to replace Antonin Scalia.

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-1-18-56-pm

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

84 Comments

  1. Mark R.
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    But we ain’t seen nothing yet. What scares me the most (besides Trump) is his upcoming Supreme Court nominee to replace Antonin Scalia.

    Stand strong Dems. Block him for 4 years if (when) he picks his extremist(s). Or Ceiling Cat forbid, block him for 8 years if it comes to that.

    • Posted January 11, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Yes, they will need to be exercising those “personal holds” to the hilt, among other things.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 11, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      At 8 years, he’ll have his daughter lined up to … do … somehing … oh yeah, “take over”. Sorry, I was just Trumpeting there.
      His campaign will be to break the 22nd amendment for his children. In this, George Bush (I) will be supporting him to get Jed into the White House before making an attempt with George (II). Trumps (Donald Smallhands and Ivanka Big.trump.attractors) will be more than willing to cooperate on the dynasty-ification of the Presidency.
      I never watched the soap – is “Dynasty-fication” appropriate, or would the suborning of the Replublic into the Imperium along the methods of the Julian gens need a different word?

  2. Posted January 11, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Strange bedfellows make strange politics.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 11, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Hey, I’m the one delving “The Twelve Caesars” for predictions here!
      FFPL? Bunch of splitters. He’s over there.

  3. Posted January 11, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Trump promised to bring in outsiders.

    Yep, people from outside the area of expertise required for their positions. Perfect.

    Well, if you have a fraudulent, orange clown at the top, why not at other levels as well?

  4. Kevin
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I suspect this will do little to prevent US citizens from getting vaccinated. The majority of democrats and republicans both support vaccinations for children.

    I think Trump likes to choose battles to divert interest from his main tactics which are a mystery to me. Or he has no idea what he is doing 24/7, so he just goes with gut feelings about what will cause the most emotional chasm in America. He really has no interest to be liked by most Americans.

    • Posted January 11, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      He’s shuffling his loans amongst the Russian oligarchs …

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 11, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        And there I was suspecting hardsports.

    • Posted January 11, 2017 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      I agree with the part about creating diversions. I don’t think he does it to cover up his main tactics because nobody, including him, knows what those are. The diversions are to turn attention away from the fact that he’s completely clueless on most topics, including how to do this job. I personally still think there’s a high chance he never wanted to win. He wanted some PR and attention, but his massive ego won’t let him back down. I saw an article I believe in the New Yorker recently that summarizes his impending Presidency as the proverbial dog who actually caught the car. Now what? Nobody, including the dog knows.

      • rickflick
        Posted January 11, 2017 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

        The image I see is that of a little boy wearing his father’s cloths. But more pathetic.

      • Diane G.
        Posted January 13, 2017 at 1:16 am | Permalink

        I read that, early on in the primaries, Trump & Cristie made a pact that whomever was forced to withdraw from running first would then endorse the other. Neither apparently actually expected to get very far.

    • Larry Cook
      Posted January 12, 2017 at 2:40 am | Permalink

      Kevin, it has died down now, but over the past 10-15 years there have been outbreaks, serious outbreaks, of measles and mumps because so many parents believed the anti-vaxxers. There have even been a couple of cases of polio, which had been totally wiped out in the U.S. Self-promoting, bombastic talk show hosts who crave controversy for ratings sake, like Oprah and Dr Oz, gave so much time to Jenny McCarthy and her ilk that many parents became alarmed enough to withhold vaccines from their own children. In some generally upper-middle class areas at one time more than 40% of kids were unvaccinated. Oprah and others presented the issue as if there were a debate when the science was clear and overwhelming. And aside from the fact that thimerosal and mercury do not cause autism, there hasn’t been any of either in any vaccine in the U.S. since 2001. Most vaccines stopped using thimerosal long before that. The tests have been done and the evidence is overwhelming yet some people like RFK Jr still talk as if we had a controversy going on. What a jerk he is, editing an alarmist book about removing thimerosal from vaccines 13 years after it had been removed.

      • Posted January 12, 2017 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Jenny McCarthy and her ilk is right. Celebrities who assume having an audience means they have accurate information on their pet topics. Now, we’ve elected one of her ilk for President.

  5. Carl
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I hope when it comes to dealing with court nominees, that lessons were learned from the process surrounding the nomination of Clarence Thomas. To this day, I don’t know whether Anita Hill’s accusations were true, made up, or greatly exaggerated. What I do know, is the judicial philosophy of Thomas is and was flawed, and it should have been the point of attack against his confirmation. The case of Robert Bork is instructive in the opposite way.

  6. colnago80
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Thimerosal was removed from all but the flu vaccines in 2002 so the issue of its safety is moot. This is not surprising as dummkopf Donald met a week or two ago with Andrew Wakefield, the discredited vaccine skeptic whose paper was removed from the Lancet and whose license to practice medicine was revoked by the BMA.

    • ploubere
      Posted January 11, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Exactly.

    • rickflick
      Posted January 11, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      I was going to say, wasn’t thermosal removed from most vaccines already? Yes, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Well, now they will have to come up with another “cause” for autism. Injection room Feng Shui? Mickey Mouse bandaids?

      • Posted January 11, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        The anti-vax people (I forget the organization) recently got results from an animal study (monkeys) on vax vs. vax + thimerosal vs. no-vax and it showed no effects for anything for brain development. The results were extensively peer reviewed for method, stats, results.

        The org. that paid for it (anti-vaxers) then came out and said that they needed to look at subgroups of data where they think an effect was shown.

        In other words: They want to — publicly! — cherry pick the data to try and show an effect.

        Tells you all you need to know about these clowns.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted January 11, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          Sadly, many people won’t see what is wrong with this.

        • Leigh Jackson
          Posted January 12, 2017 at 5:28 am | Permalink

          Animal testing has pre-clinical value, only. Not post-clinical value. But for what it’s worth it’s more evidence against the anti-vaxxers. They are now into torturing the data to confess the truth. Evidence obtained under torture is inherently suspect.

    • eric
      Posted January 11, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      But sadly that didn’t make it moot. Kennedy has given a public lecture blaming autism on vaccine thimersol and likening vaccination to the holocaust (!!) as recently as 2015. The anti-vaxx movement appears to have as much regard for historical fact as the folks who make up stories about Clinton’s pizza-dungeons.

  7. GBJames
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    sub

  8. angelaevans773
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    What’s next? A committee to study whether or not Earth is flat?

    • Posted January 11, 2017 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps a commission on finally finding Noah’s Ark, or maybe the Lost City of Atlantis.

  9. Posted January 11, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Two things stick out and cause me great worry. FIrst is that tRump seems bent on nominating people to spots where they have publicly stated their wish to destroy the very agency they are appointed to run, or they are against the mission of that agency. The second is the retreat from proven science by any means possible. Heard it on talk radio, ok it must be the trained and educated doctors and scientist got it wrong and a radio host is correct. I recently watched a video where two teenagers who couldn’t have been older than 15 tried to show how Stephen Hawking was totally wrong, because their Pastor told them so. They thought they knew more than a man who had given his life to learning science and had the degrees. But they felt their couple hours on the internet should let them totally disprove the works of a lifetime. I feel the same about climate change deniers who again get their information off the internet and figure they know more than people who have spent their lives in the field learning and studying the subject. The kids are being taught to disrupt science classes. I watched several grown adults claim the earth really was flat and they were not faking it. This doesn’t bode well for our country going forward. The fact is other countries are going to continue to push science and education while we get proud of being dumb. I wish I had a solution, but I don’t. It is up to people like you to step up and keep pushing the facts and truth out in clear view. Hugs

    • Posted January 11, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. Nov 8, 2016 should prove that beyond all doubt.

      • Posted January 11, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Thank you. I am still so upset and worried. Will this nightmare end or simply get worse? Hugs

        • Posted January 11, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

          Worse, I think, I’m afraid! 😦

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Wow, worst performance by a Kennedy since Maria Shriver hooked up with Ahnold and Teddy took his nephews to Au Bar.

  11. Frank Wagner
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Having just listened to his press conference, I despair for the country for the next four years. I suggest that we call Jan. 20 Trumpageddon. A friend of mine responded to the challenge of a three-word sad story with:
    “President Donald Trump.” So true. The only thing more sickening than him is the cadre of his defenders. E.g., Santorum on CNN.

  12. Heather Hastie
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps Trump is just setting up a well known Democrat to divert media attention away from himself at critical times. Kennedy will become a focus for pro-science and Trump can jettison him if necessary as a sacrifice without getting rid of any Republicans or damaging his own agenda.

    As I understand it, states have their own vaccination policies, and they will just ignore or bypass any anti-vax stuff Kennedy comes up with. That will be another bonus – a Democrat left looking an ineffectual fool chasing after airy-fairy theories that have no scientific support.

    • tomh
      Posted January 11, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      “states have their own vaccination policies, and they will just ignore or bypass any anti-vax stuff Kennedy comes up with.”

      It’s true that states set their own vaccine policies, which is why there are probably no two alike, but the federal government has a big influence on vaccinations. The CDC reviews studies and safety data, and makes recommendations, and all vaccines must be licensed by the FDA. Look for Trump to fill his administration with anti-vax staffers who will steer these agencies in new directions. It’s also true that the 47 states that grant religious exemptions only do so through a federal law allowing it.

      The biggest threat, though, is the bully pulpit that Trump commands. By sowing doubt about vaccines, many anti-vax parents will be emboldened to refuse vaccines, and since it’s state legislators that hold the final say-so on vaccine policy this could have a big effect on policies. So, it all adds up to one more grave danger that Trump poses.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted January 11, 2017 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for info tomh 🙂 Very interesting.

      • Posted January 12, 2017 at 12:03 am | Permalink

        Isn’t there also some lawsuit protections given to the companies that make them because a very small percentage results in some harm to the person vaccinated? The federal government could withdraw that protection which would stop manufacturers from creating the vaccine.

        • Diane G.
          Posted January 13, 2017 at 1:33 am | Permalink

          My husband was a research scientist with Big Pharma and he always said that pharmaceutical companies are generally adverse to producing vaccines. See

          http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/24/3/622.full

          …esp. the part about product liability.

          Indeed, the federal government needs to do all it can to encourage vaccine development and manufacturing!

  13. dabertini
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Oh yeah!!? I got my flu vaccine and shingles vaccine last year. Take that rfk weenie.

  14. Posted January 11, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  15. GBJames
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Trump likes Russian ideas. Like Lysenkoism.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 11, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      That’s 1950s Russian ideas. Don’t waste effort trying to pin a half-century-dead idea on today’s Russia. You’d be playing Donald Smallhand’s small hand for him.

      • Posted January 11, 2017 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        Well I think the Dumpster has the 1950s in mind when he tweets “I’m gonna make ‘merika great again (folks)”, so the Lysenko reference is probably appropriate. (Not that the guy with the dead orange gerbil on his head would have a clue who Lysenko was).

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted January 11, 2017 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          “Lysenko? Wasn’t he the Great ‘Merkin who invented Lysterine?”
          I wonder if Donald Smallhands Hardsports would even notice if EN_GB journalists were to ask him leading questions to get him to talk about Great Merkins?

  16. eric
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m not quite sure what these articles from the Washington Post and Scientific American mean…

    My personal take is that Kennedy flattered Trump in their personal meeting, Trump responded with some grandiose promises, Kennedy took those promises seriously and reported them in the press, and then Trump’s staff heard about it and went into clean-up-after-the-bosses-bad-PR-mistake routine.

  17. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Noticed during the very embarrassing press conference today, tRump blacklisted CNN and would not let their reporter even ask a question. This is because he falsely accuses them of reporting unverified stories about the uncovered connections to soviet land. A complete lie as stated by CNN but there you are. Instant disregard for free speech or freedom of the press. He already thinks he is Putin junior. Let the insanity begin, you are now entering tRump land. Do not try to adjust your television.

  18. veroxitatis
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    I read the BBC’s transcript of Trump’s Press Conference. This is the first full length Donald I have had to endure, before that it was basically regurgitated tweets. However, if one skips all the bigs and beautifuls it’s about half the length. So don’t be too discouraged. Whilst reading through its boastful drivel it suddenly hit me what was its nearest equivalent. It’s the Just William series by Richmal Crompton, a set of novels set mostly in the 30s, 40s and early 50s in suburban England. US leaders may not be familiar with the works. William is leader of a gang of four schoolboys who in the fantasy land of their gang hut take on the adult World with bombastic, vainglorious schemes invariably doomed to failure. Sometimes a motley collection of other kids of various ages can be assembled to hear him speak (usually on payment of a penny admission with the promise of some wonderful event which somehow never materialises) The only difference is that William’s grammar is far superior to Trump’s,

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 11, 2017 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Very quickly we will all be assured that this comedy called tRump will turn to tragedy. What we saw today is a guy who is not going to play by any rules and it will bite him on the ass. He thinks he can get by with the sons running his company. He thinks he does not even need to put anything outside of his management. He is going to break the constitution. If he does not change his ways in about 9 days regarding his company we are headed for a disaster.

      • Carl
        Posted January 11, 2017 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        There isn’t a constitutional restriction on a President running his own private business, nor any statute. Past Presidents divested voluntarily. The anti conflict of interest laws apply to other offices, but not President.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 11, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Just William is prepubescent. Have you uncovered the reason for Donald Smallhands sensitivity to being reminded about how small his “hands” are?
      We don’t get much TV news from America (less that I record and watch) ; does Donald still have a really big car to compensate for his BCSD syndrome?

      • eric
        Posted January 12, 2017 at 6:33 am | Permalink

        I’m sure he used to. Now, being president-elect, I’m sure he’s driven around in the same sort of secret-service-approved vehicle every president is driven around in.

  19. Posted January 11, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    The onslaught against science and science-based policies is so heavy that opposition may move to the sphere of counter-culture. I am offering some ideas about short videos:

    (1) A young man looking like a gangsta rapper sings a song about evolution.

    (2) In a landscape fitting the stereotype image of the Mexican border, two Mexican men with heavy backpacks come out of a hut. Stormy wind blows through their hair and clothes.
    “Boss, this weather is awful! Let’s postpone for tomorrow!” the younger one says.
    “Stop whining! The stuff must be delivered in time, and it will be!”
    “We cannot deliver it if we remain in the middle of the road.”
    “I’ve traveled this path in a far worse weather. Gringo moms are waiting of these vaccines for their babies. Off we go!”

    (3), somewhat related to (2): Pale anxious young people, coming from different directions, gather in a dimly lit garage. They whisper whether the cops have spotted anyone. Someone asks where Jane is, and another one answers that Jane could not come because her parents have found a used syringe and are now spying on her. Then, a confident older person whom they call “Doc” distributes syringes. The gathering turns out to be of young parents wishing to vaccinate their children.

    (Sorry for the poor taste.)

    • Carl
      Posted January 11, 2017 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      We shouldn’t lose our reason based on the odd example. California recently eliminated loopholes to skip vaccination for children in schools. Recent court cases have gone against the creation science, intelligent design crowd. Some other group has moved into a tie with atheists as the most despised. If we strive to be objective in science, we can do the same in the face of lunacy. Things are getting better, not worse.

      Consider this an inoculation against Trump Derangement Syndrome. You may need boosters.

      • Posted January 11, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        I believe that there are only four states that have eliminated the religious loopholes (two of the others, oddly enough, are Mississippi and West Virginia, as I recall). There are 46 states, then, that allow religious exemptions for vaccinations, and about 20 that allow philosophical exemptions. That shows you how privileged faith is over even philosophy!

        • Carl
          Posted January 11, 2017 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          The problem is that people, even good atheists, believe religious thought exists in some special constitutional or moral category of its own. That is where the battle should be fought. No religious belief or action deserves any special consideration because of it’s status as “religious.” We should make that clear in all our writing and conversation.

          • Diane G.
            Posted January 13, 2017 at 1:41 am | Permalink

            Yeah, someone should write a book about faith versus fact…

    • rickflick
      Posted January 11, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Clever scenarios. All I need is a cast and crew.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 11, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      (Sorry for the poor taste.)

      [Gets out microscope]
      [Searches]
      [Re-searches on E-W typewriter pattern.][Re-searches on N-S typewriter pattern.]
      Sorry, but this is not my first microscopic search for data. Where do you think the poor taste is? I don’t thin it’s in your comment, but in the outside world.

  20. Posted January 11, 2017 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    One can’t help but notice that Trump cabinet members seem to have bene selected for their incompetence for the office they’re elected for.

    But, I have concerns also about the estimated $300+ to $600+ million dollar indebtedness of
    Trump’s organizations. Think it loans from wealthy from other countries could have some influence on the presidency?

    And, according to the BBC and other sources, Russia has been hacking elections, etc. in other countries, not just us. One that claims to have already been hacked is Germany, and they fear the impact on elections in 2017.

    Are we having fun yet?!

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 11, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      The ethics advisers for Obama and for Bush were on PBS news tonight and they both said that tRump is in big trouble if he does not get a Trustee or professional agent to take over his company in total and begin selling it off and completely removing Trump from it he will be in violation of the Constitution and all the rules that past presidents have followed. They both say, he does not have a choice. He must either be president or get rid of the company. He cannot do both.

      • Posted January 11, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        We can only hope some one pushes it. tRump will not divest himself from his company, even the Presidency doesn’t mean as much to him as his brand does. He has no interest in the good of the USA but only the good for the tRump brand. Hugs

      • tomh
        Posted January 11, 2017 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        ” if he does not get a Trustee or professional agent to take over his company in total and begin selling it off and completely removing Trump from it he will be in violation of the Constitution and all the rules that past presidents have followed.”

        I’m not sure what they said, or meant, but there is a big difference between the Constitution and the what past presidents have done. Most past presidents have used vehicles like blind trusts to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, but there is nothing in the Constitution that requires it. As conflict-of-interest laws were passed, the President and the Vice-President were specifically exempted because of the Constitution. The Constitution spells out the eligibility requirements for presidents, age 35, etc., and it was felt that installing more requirements on the office would be contrary to the Constitution. In this single instance, Trump is correct. He could keep control of his companies, even running them day to day, and not be violating any laws.

        • Posted January 11, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          tRump and his cabinet may run foul of this:

          Emolument Clause Law and Legal Definition
          Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the U.S Constitution is popularly known as the emolument clause. It prohibits titles of nobility and the acceptance of a gift, title, or other benefit from a foreign power. The clause reads as follows: “No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”

          tRump is already getting income in violation of this clause, so on the day he takes the oath of office he is impeachable. Lets see how the oh so must be morally upright tea party guys feel about this violation. Hugs

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted January 11, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

            I agree that you are correct on this. Same part of the constitution was covered by the two experts I saw on the tube on PBS. One of these fellows, who are experts on this business said, he really has a choice to make. Either he gets rid of his company or he is president but he cannot do both. What he seems to be saying today at that so-called news conference is pure crap. The women he has hired to stand up there and state the things she did is also wrong. His so-called ethics adviser does not know what she is talking about. The corruption and conflict of interest will bury him.

            • Posted January 11, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

              He seems to think if he says it, it is the reality. If he says it , it is the law. If he denies it then it is as he says. We all know this is false but how to make him and his supporters live under this and understand it? Hugs

          • tomh
            Posted January 11, 2017 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were you. The so-called Emoluments Clause is a pretty thin reed to stand on. It was put in to prevent gifts from foreign governments, and, since it’s never been litigated, it’s unclear whether merely profiting in foreign countries would violate it. Since his tax forms aren’t known, it’s difficult to know what, if anything, he’s actually he’s actually receiving from foreign governments. Simply profiting may not qualify as gifts. All this and many more questions would have to be decided in court, probably the SC, though it’s unclear who would have standing to bring an action. His own justice department, led by Sessions?

            Another problem is that the only remedy for violation is impeachment. Does anyone really think that’s a realistic possibility with this Congress?

            • Posted January 11, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

              I agree yet I still think his big hang is the “dc post office building” It has already been recorded on the news that foreign diplomats and leaders feel pressured to stay there rather than other places. In fact the Kuwaiti delegation changed their party from the hotel they had it in for years to the one tRump had a stake in as soon as he got the president elect position. This is going to be such a corrupt administration I can’t even think how it will end. Hugs

              • tomh
                Posted January 11, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

                “This is going to be such a corrupt administration”

                Of course, there’s no doubt about that.

              • Posted January 11, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

                It’s already on it’s way to being the most corrupt administration in my life time and it hasn’t started.

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted January 11, 2017 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

              It did not sound thin to me listening to those folks on the show I mentioned. His ethics adviser said that hotel room payments were not gifts…no, no, just paying for rooms. But that is crap. Hotels are in business for profit, they don’t simply trade a room for money. They make money. So if you have a Hotel in whatever country and the people stay in it, you are receiving gifts. And this is just one example of the many, many problems he will have.

              His tax returns, all of them, should be turned over to U.S. security agencies and examined for all the connections and conflicts that he has with foreign countries and the businesses and governments overseas. There is likely to be many but we know nothing as of now. He is the most under investigated president of all and the one who most certainly should be.

              Having a republican majority congress will not save him. Who impeached Andrew Johnson and almost convicted him. A republican congress and a republican president. His love affair with Putin already had him a bag full of enemies in the republican congress.

              • tomh
                Posted January 11, 2017 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

                “Having a republican majority congress will not save him.”

                Well, if you were a betting man, like our esteemed host, you could make some money, because I would lay big odds that this will never happen.

              • jeremy pereira
                Posted January 12, 2017 at 4:06 am | Permalink

                Andrew Johnson was a Democrat.

            • Posted January 12, 2017 at 12:09 am | Permalink

              Yes and the end result of impeachment is President Pence. Not an improvement.

  21. merilee
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    (cat barf emoji)

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 11, 2017 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      Checking current UNICODE …. closest I can find is
      😾 Unicode 1F63e “POUTING CAT FACE ; intended to depict pouting rather than simply
      anger”

  22. Hempenstein
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    There are apparently many of the opinion that Boss Tweet’s son is autistic. Could that be the basis for his interest in vaccines?

    • Diane Rooney
      Posted January 12, 2017 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      I think you could be right. My son is autistic and you learn to recognise the signs. With Trump’s young son it’s the body language and odd facial expressions that are a give-away.

      I’ve read recently that sperm degradation associated with age might have an effect in the incidence of autism. Trump must’ve been 60 when the boy was conceived, so you have to wonder.

      However, having said this, Professor Temple Grandin, a world-leading animal behavioural expert, is herself autistic and makes the case that the world needs people on the spectrum. Likewise, the WW2 code-breaker Alan Turing was said to be autistic. We need these geniuses.

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 13, 2017 at 1:47 am | Permalink

      “Boss Tweet.” First time I’ve heard this. Love it! 😀

  23. zoolady
    Posted January 12, 2017 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    I’m with you, Jerry! I absolutely cannot say “President Xrump.” (Can’t write it, either.) And that’s why I call him the pumpkin plutocrat.

  24. Posted January 12, 2017 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Hang on. Wasn’t RFK Jr a big opponent of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is being championed by Donald Trump.

    “Donald Trump has millions invested directly in oil companies and stakeholders like Energy Transfer Partners, whose stock will rise significantly at the expense of Standing Rock’s health and rights,” says Kennedy. “It is not a question of if, but when. Oil pipelines leak and break and poison our waters.” – Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Speaks At Standing Rock Reservation in Protest of Pipeline

    Is this Trump buying off one of his critics, or am I being too cynical?

    • Posted January 12, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      It’s impossible to be too cynical with regard to the tRump.

  25. Posted January 12, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Nucella's Blog and commented:
    Those of us who feared the worst when Donald Trump was elected President of the USA are discovering just how bad the “worst” can be.

  26. ascanius
    Posted January 12, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    As far-left icon Chomsky has said, liberals too righteous to vote for Hillary have made a very, very bad mistake. They were too busy virtue- signalling by their absence or by their protest vote.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/307570-chomsky-liberals-who-didnt-vote-for-clinton-made-a-bad-mistake

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/noam-chomsky-supports-hillary-clinton-218192

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 13, 2017 at 1:49 am | Permalink

      I couldn’t agree more. Also, Dems who wasted votes on 3rd party candidates like Stein. (You there, Ben?)

  27. Posted January 12, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    “Bipartisan” nuttiness. Greeeeat.


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