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The - A

Switch Blayde

For those who don't believe grammar is important or that choosing the right word is important (after all, it's only the story that counts), skip this.


I just heard someone on the news say: "But, then, I wouldn't take on the president as a client."

They were talking about the Mueller investigation and how Trump, with his loose mouth, could say something really bad if interviewed under oath. The person I quoted was a former White House (not under Trump) ethics czar. So I was wondering if he was referring to Trump or any president as a client.

I believe the answer is "the" vs "a".

When he said "the president," I believe it's Trump (the current president).

If he had said "a president," I believe it would be any president.

Replies:   Jim S
Jim S

@Switch Blayde

If he had said "a president," I believe it would be any president.

You're correct; whats your point?

Kidding. It, of course, makes a difference. Same with sentence construction. Case in point is the sentence above. Believe it or not,

You're correct; whats your point?

is different from

You're correct. Whats your point?


Its subtle, but its there.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Jim S

You're correct; whats your point?
is different from

You're correct. Whats your point?


Why are those different? The semicolon simply shows a tie between the two sentences. But both cases mean the same.

Replies:   Jim S
Jim S

@Switch Blayde

Why are those different?

It gives a different tenor. IMHO.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

he may have been referring to the president her served, as he didn't say current president.

edit to add: the former presidents are usually called president as well so there's good grounds to worry which he means.

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

he may have been referring to the president her served, as he didn't say current president.


He didn't mention his past role. The commentator mentioned it when introducing him (or it displayed on the bottom of the screen). So using "the" would not have applied to "that" president.

Switch Blayde

The bottom line is, "the" is specific while "a" is not.

Give me the book.

Give me a book.

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@Switch Blayde

Give me the book.

Give me a book.


Context is important. If this were said by a grammar teacher in school, I would agree with you as to the meaning. But if were said by a reader in front of a pile of books, I wouldn't know what was meant - just like I don't know what the former ethics guy meant in your original example. Was this a story about President Trump's lawyer resigning because the president would not follow his advice?

Switch Blayde

@PotomacBob

Was this a story about President Trump's lawyer resigning because the president would not follow his advice?


No, it was about Mueller telling Trump's lawyer that Trump was not a target, but a subject, not a witness. This guy said going from a subject of interest to a target could happen in a heartbeat. That's why he would be worried about Trump being interviewed under oath. He has a tendency to lie and that would be a criminal offense. He could also say something he shouldn't.

I think context would only matter in Ernest's example because it's speaking about a specific president, thus "the."

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

He has a tendency to lie and that would be a criminal offense.


Assuming the lying is referenced to Trump, there's no evidence Trump lies about anything. He is outspoken and says his mind. However, to those with opposing views they regard anyone not agreeing with them as lying.

As to lying being a criminal offence, that would only apply a few limited situations which then requires they have to prove it's a lie to make it an offence.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

there's no evidence Trump lies about anything.


The Washington Post just published an article listing 2,000 Trump lies in his first year in office.

He does lie, not that other presidents didn't. But he tells stupid lies. When he said his inauguration had the largest crowd in history, it was a stupid lie.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

he may have been referring to the president her served, as he didn't say current president.


No. The President is always the current president. Former presidents are always referred to as President (name).

awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Jim S

I'll have a nibble ;)

"You're correct; what's your point?" infers that although what you stated was correct, it appeared to be irrelevant to the discussion.

"You're correct. What's your point?" has no direct connection between the two sentences so although acknowledging you are right, the question is more existential in tone and could mean 'for what purpose do you exist?' or 'what role are you supposed to be fulfilling?'

AJ

Replies:   Jim S
Dominions Son

@PotomacBob

But if were said by a reader in front of a pile of books, I wouldn't know what was meant


Even if you don't know exactly which book he's referring to, even in this case, it would be clear that the reader is referring to a specific book when he says "the book".

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


He has a tendency to lie and that would be a criminal offense.


Actually, he wouldn't even need to lie. Here's why you never ever talk to the FBI without a lawyer.

It doesn't have to be an intentional lie. If the FBI has evidence of what you had for breakfast on 3/12/1988 and they ask you about it while questioning you about any criminal matter, and you answer wrong, just because you don't remember, you have committed the criminal offense of ling to the FBI.

Never, ever talk to the FBI about anything without a lawyer, it's a Trap.

One of the guys from the Trump campaign / transition team who plead guilty to lying to the FBI, made a misstatement about something that was arguably legal (contacts with foreign diplomats after the election as part of the transition team, something almost every President's transition team has done).

richardshagrin

@Switch Blayde

the largest crowd

Maybe they weighed more or were taller than other audiences. They don't have to be more numerous to be larger.

BlacKnight

@Switch Blayde

He does lie, not that other presidents didn't. But he tells stupid lies. When he said his inauguration had the largest crowd in history, it was a stupid lie.

I dunno... is it actually a lie when crazy shit that has no resemblance to the truth falls out of your mouth, but you're so disconnected from objective reality that you believe what you're saying?

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

According to the socialist media like the Washington Post Trump saying we shouldn't let illegal migrants into the USA is a lie. They need some evidence not just allegations.

PotomacBob

@Ernest Bywater

According to the socialist media like the Washington Post


Just curious. By what definition of "socialist" makes it applicable to the Washington Post. I was taught that socialism means the government owns or controls all means of production.

Ernest Bywater

@PotomacBob

Just curious. By what definition of "socialist" makes it applicable to the Washington Post. I was taught that socialism means the government owns or controls all means of production.


A socialist is a person who believes in the socialist political agenda where they want collective or government ownership of everything with just the one governing body. Socialism is where they have some of those aspects within the society. Those who promote a socialist agenda or socialist policies or socialist actions are socialists.

Replies:   PotomacBob
Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

Just curious. By what definition of "socialist" makes it applicable to the Washington Post. I was taught that socialism means the government owns or controls all means of production.

Sorry, but that's the definition of Communism, not Socialism.

PotomacBob
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

The Oxford Dictionary:

Socialism - "A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole."
Communism - "A political theory derived from Karl Marx advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs."

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
PotomacBob
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

And you've seen the Washington Post advocate that? If your answer is yes, please provide specifics - what date? what editorial?

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

According to the socialist media like the Washington Post Trump saying we shouldn't let illegal migrants into the USA is a lie.


Don't get me wrong. The news lies (or at least sensationalizes to mislead) all the time. But just today Trump said he's the toughest president of all time on being tough on Russia. Simply not true. He's a braggart. That's one of his bad traits.

But I don't want to get into politics. It may drive someone else away from the forum.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Sorry, but that's the definition of Communism, not Socialism.


Communism is a form of socialism whose only difference is the way the government leaders are organised. Thus making it a sub-group of it.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Communism is a form of socialism whose only difference is the way the government leaders are organised. Thus making it a sub-group of it.


Yep, the official name of Communist Russia in English was the United Soviet Socialist Republics

Replies:   awnlee_jawking
Jim S
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I'll have a nibble ;)


:)

Precise wording, along with talent, is what makes good authors great authors, IMHO.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee_jawking

@Dominions Son

United


Union of - CCCP

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

The Oxford Dictionary:

Socialism - "A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole."
Communism - "A political theory derived from Karl Marx advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs."

Note: Under socialism, it says "owned and regulated by the community as a whole". That does NOT say, controlled by the government. In fact, in the vast majority of quazi-Socialist governments, there are strict regulations imposed to prevent the GOVERNMENT from abusing the programs.

It's also interesting that the definition for socialism is based on a type of government, while that for communism is based an the initial proposal first put forth by a single writer, which was then routinely refuted by every single Communist government. Under Communist Governments everything is controlled by the government, with few, if any, restrictions on what they can do.

Take a look at the European models of Socialism before you try to feed us what terrors liberal socialism offers. Sweden has the highest voter satisfaction numbers of any country. Clearly, they're doing something correctly, while you won't get those same results from Cuba or the Soviet Union.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Jim S

I'll have a nibble ;)

Precise wording, along with talent, is what makes good authors great authors, IMHO.

I've have a nibble of the nipple.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Under socialism, it says "owned and regulated by the community as a whole". That does NOT say, controlled by the government.


How can that be implement in anyway other than by whatever passes for a government in the relevant community?

In fact, in the vast majority of quazi-Socialist governments


That you call them quazi implies that they are incomplete implementations of socialism.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

That you call them quazi implies that they are incomplete implementations of socialism.

The ONLY 'socialist' controls are in the form of social safety nets (i.e. medical care, feeding the poor and disabled, but none of the many, many things every conservative has been warning is inevitable as soon as you concede a single inch to actually benefit people rather than corporations). Thus 'socialism' is merely a limited aspect of communism (the people DON'T own the means of production, but only have access to what they require to live reasonable lives).

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

The ONLY 'socialist' controls are in the form of social safety nets


Don't forget the increases in taxation to pay for those things, and many others like education which has huge funding from taxation. This is especially when the services are given away to non-citizens of the country.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

You are at best partially correct. The idea of socialism in terms of state control of the means of production predates Marx and the ideas behind communism, which adds the idea of class struggle to socialism.

You are partially correct, because the communists are the only ones who ever took it to the full extreme of complete government control of the entire economy.

You are however, partly wrong, because most of those quazi-socialist states in Europe have histories nationalizing entire industries, even if they never took complete control of the entire economy.

Many of them still have a few state run companies outside the social services and central banks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalization

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-war_consensus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalization

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_socialism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_government-owned_companies

PotomacBob

@Switch Blayde

My advice would be for any sitting president to testify voluntarily under oath - for political reasons. Especially after repeatedly saying loudly and often that the Mueller investigation is a "witch hunt," it could hurt him politically if he is seen as dodging it. If he refuses to volunteer, he could be subpoenaed. The President is not likely to face criminal charges. The Justice Department in 1973 and again in early 2000s issued an opinion that a sitting president cannot be charged with a criminal offense. And even if he could, he could pardon himself. The only charge he might face would be impeachment, a highly unlikely event. Even if he were impeached (as Clinton was), the Senate would never come up with the 2/3 vote (or is it 3/5?) necessary to convict.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
REP

@PotomacBob

If there is sufficient evidence of "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" the House of Representatives can impeach the president. The Senate can then try him for the crimes and if the impeachment is confirmed, the president can then be charged and tried for the crimes.

The charge in the impeachment bill would undoubtedly be made public and if the evidence is adequate I don't think the Senate would overturn the impeachment.

I have always been curious how a person can be pardoned for a crime if they haven't been charged with the crime. I know it has happened but it just seems wrong.

Ross at Play
Updated:

The title of the thread reminded of a former Australian politician, George Brandis, who was the federal Attorney-General for some years and has just become Australia's High Commissioner in London.

While still a lowly backbencher, Brandis was accused by a member of his party of calling John Howard (the then Prime Minister and in his party) "a lying rodent". He denied it, and even signed a Statutory Declaration (same as an American affidavit) stating he had never said those words.

Later on, he clarified things to a journalist who reported (here) this:

He would only ever call Howard the rodent; never a rodent, because the former is a nickname, whereas the latter would be a pejorative term.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Dominions Son

@REP

The Senate can then try him for the crimes and if the impeachment is confirmed, the president can then be charged and tried for the crimes.


Conviction on the bill of impeachment removes the president from office so he would no longer be president when he was charged and tried for the crimes.

The charge in the impeachment bill would undoubtedly be made public and if the evidence is adequate


At the earliest, the evidence would become public during the Senate trial on the bill of impeachment.

I don't think the Senate would overturn the impeachment.


First, it's not a matter of overturning the impeachment. A bill of impeachment is not a verdict, it's an indictment. After the House issues a bill of impeachment, the president is tried by the Senate and if and only if he is convicted by the Senate he is removed from office.

In the entire history of the US, bills of impeachment have been issued against only 2 US Presidents. Neither was convicted by the Senate.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

At the earliest, the evidence would become public during the Senate trial on the bill of impeachment.


Today the charges listed in a bill of impeachment and much of the evidence supporting the charges is made public before the bill is introduced to the House.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

Today the charges listed in a bill of impeachment and much of the evidence supporting the charges is made public before the bill is introduced to the House.


Since only two bill of impeachment have ever been voted out in the House (Andrew Jackson, and Bill Clinton) in the entire history of the US, both of which resulted in acquittals in the Senate, I find your claim to not be credible.

Replies:   REP  pcbondsman
REP

@Dominions Son

I find your claim to not be credible.


Last year a bill of impeachment was introduced in the House to impeach Trump. Before that bill was introduced the media told all of us about the charges and the supporting evidence.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

the supporting evidence.


Except there wasn't any.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son


Except there wasn't any.


Depends on which media source you believe. The evidence just wasn't sufficient to warrant impeachment.

But my point was the information was made public before the bill was introduced, which is what you claimed as not credible.

I suspect there will be further bills of impeachment against Trump. Perhaps the evidence will be stronger.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

He would only ever call Howard the rodent; never a rodent, because the former is a nickname, whereas the latter would be a pejorative term.


Another good example of why choosing the right word is important.

pcbondsman

@Dominions Son

Wrong Andrew, and wrong "J". Actually it was Andrew Johnson, who assumed the presidency after Lincoln's assassination.

Since only two bill of impeachment have ever been voted out in the House (Andrew Jackson, and Bill Clinton) in the entire history of the US, both of which resulted in acquittals in the Senate, I find your claim to not be credible.

Dominions Son

@REP

The evidence just wasn't sufficient to warrant impeachment.


Then either the proposed bill was nothing more than a political stunt or they had to have more that wasn't made public (the real evidence wouldn't have come out until the Senate trial). Either way, I stand by my original point.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

The President is not likely to face criminal charges. The Justice Department in 1973 and again in early 2000s issued an opinion that a sitting president cannot be charged with a criminal offense.

Alas, that interpretation has largely changed, as that interpretation was based on the President needing to keep certain 'wartime' secrets close to his chest. Since we're not in a declared war, and are supposedly only 'aiding' other countries in defending themselves, those objections no longer apply, and even if they did, the current President keeps Tweeting any military secrets we have while sitting on the can anyway.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

I have always been curious how a person can be pardoned for a crime if they haven't been charged with the crime. I know it has happened but it just seems wrong.

That's always been the assumption, but Trump threw that idea out with is first pardon, demonstrating to anyone testifying against him that he could save them from prosecution if they refused to testify—though he's never followed through with anyone who's actually working with Mueller yet.

However, that's more a technicality, as it would have to be determined by a court, which would take years and would require a 'damaged party', which might be hard to prove in court.

Replies:   Dominions Son  REP
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


That's always been the assumption, but Trump threw that idea out with is first pardon,


No, that hasn't been a valid assumption for over 100 years. SCOTUS upheld pre-charge pardons all the way back in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War.

In 1866, the Supreme Court ruled in Ex parte Garland that the pardon power "extends to every offence known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken, or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment." (In that case, a former Confederate senator successfully petitioned the court to uphold a pardon that prevented him from being disbarred.) Generally speaking, once an act has been committed, the president can issue a pardon at any time—regardless of whether charges have even been filed.


http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2008/07/preemptive_presidential_pardons.html

The only limits on the Presidential pardon power are:

1. He can only issue pardons for federal offenses. He can not pardon someone against State charges.
2. He can't pardon someone for something they haven't done yet.

REP

@Dominions Son

You don't just list the charges in a bill of impeachment. You have to provide a reasonable amount of information to support the charges. Yes evidence would be presented in the Senate, but evidence is also needed to get the bill through the House.

The originator of the bill to remove Trump stated before he presented it that he doubted that it would be passed, but he would submit it anyway to make the American public aware of the threats that Trump represented to the nation.

In the weeks prior to the bills submission there was a lot of media coverage. The media reported on why the bill was being introduced and substantiated the whys with evidence. In today's world, everything is leaked to the media, and the media reports all of it to us citizens. We don't have to wait for the Senate to reconstitute itself into a court to hear the evidence. Granted the evidence may not be official before it is presented to the Senate, but we hear about it before then.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

If you check, there have been a number of preemptive pardons before Trump took office.

One of the nice things about a preemptive pardon is if the pardoned person is called to a witness stand regarding their offense, they can't refuse to answer based on the 5th Amendment.

Dominions Son

@REP

If they weren't withholding their best evidence from the public, it was nothing more than a political stunt, not a serious attempt to impeach Trump.

Replies:   Jim S  StarFleet Carl
Jim S

@Dominions Son

If they weren't withholding their best evidence from the public, it was nothing more than a political stunt, not a serious attempt to impeach Trump.

I thought the evidence is, well, self evident :>), i.e. Trump is a Republican, and, therefore, an illegitimate President. Only DemLibProgs can be President, dontchaknow. Its right there in the Constitution.

richardshagrin

@REP

bill of impeachment

I agree Bill Clinton received one. For Donald Trump, wouldn't it be a Don of impeachment?

Replies:   REP
REP

@richardshagrin

wouldn't it be a Don of impeachment?


Hopefully it is the Dawn of Impeachment.

StarFleet Carl

@Dominions Son

it was nothing more than a political stunt


What you just said seems to pretty much be the truth.

At least, based upon the minor detail there simply has been NO evidence presented otherwise. Seems they have to do something to try to gin up support and money from their base, because nothing else has been working right for them.

Maybe it's just karma that Chappaquidick was able to be made and released. And from the liberal side of things, he notes that effectively, liberals only have themselves to blame for the Trump election.

"Yet maybe what the dark truth of "Chappaquiddick" suggests is that liberal culture, going forward, needs to think more about cleaning its own house, and about who it chooses as its representatives. Can't we just say — out loud — that with these primal sins of entitlement in our closet, we liberals haven't had a strong enough leg to stand on to make the case against Donald Trump? That's a major part of what the last election was about. It's part of why the arguments against Trump's personal behavior were neutralized, reduced to the political equivalent of white noise."

Replies:   PotomacBob  PotomacBob
PotomacBob
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl

IIRC, the resolution to impeach Trump was introduced by a single Democrat from Texas, Rep. Al Green. Representatives, before any hearings or evidence could be introduced, voted to "table" the resolution - barring further consideration. The resolution was voted down by an overwhelming majority by the full House - the vast majority of both Democrats and Republicans voting not to proceed. The minority leader in the House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, was one of those who voted against the measure.

Replies:   REP
PotomacBob

@StarFleet Carl

And from the liberal side of things, he notes that effectively, liberals only have themselves to blame


I have not seen the movie. When you say "he notes," who are you talking about?

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
REP

@PotomacBob

the vast majority of both Democrats and Republicans voting not to proceed.


You may want to read the following. It addresses why Green introduce his bill of impeachment.
https://www.houstoniamag.com/articles/2017/5/17/rep-al-green-officially-calls-on-congress-to-impeach-president-trump

Why did the Democrats vote to defer it? Basically, they didn't think the evidence was strong enough and they wanted to wait for Mueller to uncover additional evidence before calling for impeachment.

StarFleet Carl

@PotomacBob

Sorry about that.

It was an article in 'Variety' by a liberal writer. I didn't realize I'd deleted the source link.

http://variety.com/2018/film/columns/every-liberal-should-see-chappaquiddick-1202746616/

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