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Trump to Kneeling NFL Players: Tell Me Who I Should Pardon

The president has discovered the power of the pardon. Could that make this a moment for criminal justice reform?

Chris Kleponis/picture alliance / Consolidated/NewscomChris Kleponis/picture alliance / Consolidated/NewscomPresident Donald Trump appears to have heard the applause he received for pardoning Alice Johnson, the 63-year-old who served more than two decades in prison for a nonviolent drug offense before Trump commuted her life sentence this week.

Now Trump says he wants to issue more pardons—not just for politically aligned celebrities but for real people who have been unfairly imprisoned. And he says he wants input from players in the National Football League who have been protesting the national anthem. Yes, really.

"I am going to ask them to recommend to me people that were unfairly treated" by the justice system, Trump said to reporters outside the White House this morning. "And I am going to take a look at those applications."

If those people have been unfairly treated by the system, Trump said, his administration would seek to "pardon them, or at least let them out." He said the offer was an opportunity for the national anthem protests to be more than just talk.

It's worth noting that the anthem protests began two years ago as a way to raise public awareness about innocent African Americans killed by cops. That's something that even the mighty power of the presidential pardon can't fix.

Whether Trump's offer helps reduce tensions between the president and professional football players has yet to be seen. It's also somewhat beside the point. If it opens a dialogue, great. The more important development here is Trump's apparent willingness to embrace the presidential pardon as the ultimate check on America's runaway incarceration problem (even though the president has, at other times, embraced ideas that cut the other way).

Even without input from NFL players, Trump will likely be issuing more pardons in the near future. The administration has prepared the pardoning paperwork for at least 30 people, CNN reported Wednesday.

"There will be more pardons," Trump said Friday morning. Specifically, Trump said he was considering a pardon for the late boxer Muhammad Ali—who already had his conviction for draft evasion overturned by the Supreme Court—along with "some others, some folks who have sentences that are unfair."

"We hope the president acts boldly here," says Kevin Ring, president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums.

Ring praised Trump for doing the right thing by commuting Johnson's sentence. "There are thousands of others who received excessive sentences, who pose no threat to public safety any longer, and deserve the same chance to rejoin their families and resume their lives," he tells Reason.

Trump has spent most of his first year and a half in office being frustrated by the limits of presidential power. Even though the modern presidency is far more powerful than the Constitution appears to allow, Trump has learned repeatedly that his word isn't always law. Executive orders can be held up in court, repealing Obamacare or overhauling the tax code requires congressional assent, and shifting trade policy requires investigations, reports, and hearings. For all the ink that has been spilled about Trump upending the rule of law, the systems designed to check presidential ambitions (at least the ones that Congress hasn't deliberately kneecapped over the years) still work pretty well.

But the power of the pardon is different. It's a virtually unchecked—and completely constitutional—tool of the presidency. Trump can wield it pretty much however he chooses, as he seems to be figuring out. (For now, let's set aside the question of whether Trump has the authority to pardon himself, something he reiterated this morning that he thinks he has the authority to do.)

"The pardons are a very positive things for a president," Trump said Friday. "The power to pardon is a beautiful thing."

Already, the media is thick with conspiracy theories about Trump's sudden interest in the power of the pardon. Maybe Trump is doing this to create a better case for pardoning anyone caught up in Robert Mueller's investigation. Maybe he's doing this to impress Kim Kardashian. Maybe he's doing it to piss off Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

I don't know. And I'm willing to bet that if the name of one of your loved ones was on the list Trump says he's reviewing, you wouldn't care.

Photo Credit: Chris Kleponis/picture alliance / Consolidated/Newscom

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  • Cy||

    I'm sure the butt will spin this as another racial transgression from the guy who literally received awards for being not racial.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    White Savior

  • Quixote||

    The "liberal"-minded action pertaining to Ms. Johnson was clearly an unfortunate, if well-intended and politically necessary, lapse of our great national leader, but let's remember that his powers are limited to the federal sphere. So there is no danger, at least for the moment, that the progress we have made criminalizing inappropriately deadpan "parody" in New York will be halted by any kind of erroneous pardon. See the documentation of America's leading criminal "satire" case at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Sevo||

    Ya know, you show up with this stuff and expect the readers to click your link. Hint: you haven't made a case such as I will waste my time doing so.
    Either make the case such that you have something, or please STFU.

  • Quixote||

    Sevo, thanks for joining my anti-Troll campaign. You are free to educate yourself or not; you are free to unlearn the "First Amendment" hypocrisies of Eugene Volokh and his acolytes, or not; you are free to read my occasional comments, or not; and you are free to ignore a link to publicly available information—or not. I have no expectations whatsoever about your freedom, nor is it actually relevant any longer in the great, Troll-free nation we are all building together. As for the final word in your comment, I hope you will join me in my effort to silence those who distribute insidious "liberal commentary" such as that contained in articles like the following:

    https://forward.com/opinion/385050/

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The president has discovered the power of the pardon. Could that make this a moment for criminal justice reform?"

    No. This is an opportunity for journalists to get sucked into writing silly things.

    This is an opportunity for Trump to capitalize on a winning issue ahead of the midterms in November.

    If Trump succeeds in turning the upcoming midterm into a referendum on the national anthem, then the Republicans may keep the House--in spite of everything else.

    That's all that's going on here.

  • TW||

    I agree, it's like making Democrats and their allies defend MS-13 because President Trump called them "animals." It's a dumb hill to die on they seem to be charging up it full tilt.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    They just can't help themselves. FYI I tuned into Bill Maher for about a minute. He was bitching that the democrats should be more aggressive about Russia collusion. No wonder they're doing so poorly.

  • trutherator||

    My wife is from Honduras, my ex from the Dominican Republic, I live in Miami, spent 15 years down yonder, and I can tell you something. Hispanics call these "animals" by much worse names than animals. Many of those names are not repeatable here.

    The Dems showed they have no clue about Hispanics, and they don't even care to stop and consider a minute about what they might think about it.

  • MoreFreedom||

    I see this as Trump reaching out to his critics, and teaching those who simply disrespect the flag/nation, the right way to address their grievances with the government. The ball is in the players' court, to show what their grievances are, assuming their grievance isn't simply that Clinton didn't win and they dislike Trump. What they do will now reveal who they are. Good move on Trump's part. He's shown more heart towards those abused by government, than his predecessors.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    and teaching those who simply disrespect the flag/nation, the right way to address their grievances with the government.

    Obviously Kaepernick's way is the right way. Never in the nation's history has a brighter spotlight been placed on the issue of state brutality against minorities. Mission fucking accomplished, I'd say.

  • A Thinking Mind||

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    I'd argue this will go down in history as bigger and less incremental. The movement has already directly engaged the president to a greater extent than previous movements did. Granted, that may not be the best metric...

  • Michael S. Langston||

    If this is sarc, my fault... If not..

    To think history will write about this over ISIS, NK nukes, spying on citizens, Healthcare, or any number of the thousands of other things which are both more interesting and impact the long term more, is to do nothing more than prove you haven't yet learned much from history.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    is to do nothing more than prove you haven't yet learned much from history.

    To draw this conclusion is to do nothing more than prove you haven't yet learned much about reading. You'll note above that I was referring specifically to "the issue of state brutality against minorities", which has nothing to do with ISIS and nuclear war.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    No, that's not all that's going on here.

    Trump sees an opportunity to bust a portion of the black vote loose from the Democratic party. Kanye West, historically low unemployment among blacks; The time is right, cracks are starting to show in the chains that bind blacks to the Democratic party.

    Pardoning people many blacks think unjustly punished, who no prior President, (Even a black President!) was willing to lift a finger for, is a wedge that he's hammering into that crack.

    He's got no chance at all of winning over the majority of blacks, that would be the work of generations. But if he can even win over 10 or 20 percent of black voters, the Democratic party is in mortal trouble.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    And...so what? The President is doing something just and right in the hope that it will convince people to vote for him. That's the very point of having elections, unless i missed something.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Oh, I'm sorry, did I give the impression I disapproved of what he was doing? No, I'm fine with it both as strategy, and so long as he sticks to deserving pardons, on its own merits.

    God knows there's no shortage of people who deserve pardons.

  • damikesc||

    It's also putting the ball in the protestors' court.

    You say this is a problem? Then tell me what you want me to do"

    We will see if they have ideas or just petty bitching.

  • Nige||

    'in the chains that bind blacks to'

    Yeah, some cynical and obviously hucksterish car-salesman posturing and gurning probably aren't going to have much luck against stuff that's actually bone-deep reflexive amongst the white right..

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    I don't care what his ulterior motives are. If fewer people rot in federal prisons for things that the federal government has no legitimate jurisdiction over the better. He also just endorsed a marijuana federalism bill which functions as criminal justice reform in my book. Yeah I know he's still a cop sucker, opiod drug warrior, immigration idiot, and trade warrior (jury still out on that one in my view, largely thanks to your comments Ken) but he's a helluva lot better than the alternative or his predecessor. Add in Gorsuch, deregulation and the Paris agreement and I'm beginning to regret that I didn't vote for this clown. But Gary needed me and I was there for him.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    If Trump succeeds in turning the upcoming midterm into a referendum on the national anthem . . .

    . . . he'll be solid in Utah, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alabama, and West Virginia, but still disrespected and disfavored wherever educated, accomplished, tolerant, modern citizens reside.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    So, nowhere in the Democrat-voting inner cities?

  • Michael S. Langston||

    You're just too precious. A little child who still believes in their own infallibility, while simultaneously knowing everyone else is not just fallable, but worthless.

    Just wow. If performance art, I have to say: Bravo!

    Keep it up. As compared to what you write, nothing I can or will ever write will be as effective as you are in proving you're an uneducated intolerant racist bigot whose ideas are on par with petty despots and tyrants everywhere.

    Actually... Now that I think about it... Are you any relation to Mugabe? Is that you Robert?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Arty is kind of fun to bust on.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Sorta like word bukkake

  • Just Say'n||

    "Already, the media is thick with conspiracy theories about Trump's sudden interest in the power of the pardon"

    The Russians invented the pardon power or something totally not insane, but clearly insane.

    The only difference between CNN, WaPo, and the NYT versus Alex Jones is a byline at this point.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    It's a wicked conspiracy. Don't you see, Trump is pardoning a bunch of black people in order to trick them into voting for him instead of the woman who called them super-predators and supported policies to lock them a while.

    Nice try, Trump. We all see through this charade!

  • Nige||

    Didn't Brett Bellmore say this exact same thing a few comments above, except it was to praise it as a strategy?

    In fairness, I think everyone sees through the charade.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Well, the players have only two real options: (1) dismiss Trump's call as a charade and don't put any names forward (an obvious political ploy of their own), or (2) take Trump at his word and put forward some deserving names (and no, not all black people in prison are innocent or deserving of pardons). Trump wins either way. If I were with the NFLPA I'd be starting a list of names right now

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Actually, they have a third option, which I'm generally expecting: (3) Put forward some undeserving names, so that Trump looks bad by refusing to pardon them.

  • Cranedoc||

    Too bad you didn't see through Derp's sarcasm!
    Leftist is a mental handicap though and we all feel bad for you. Get well soon!

  • VinniUSMC||

    Nowhere is that more obvious than in the textual vomit that is Artie Kirkland.

  • Sevo||

    "Already, the media is thick with conspiracy theories about Trump's sudden interest in the power of the pardon. Maybe Trump is doing this to create a better case for pardoning anyone caught up in Robert Mueller's investigation. Maybe he's doing this to impress Kim Kardashian. Maybe he's doing it to piss off Attorney General Jeff Sessions."

    The effects of TDS are magnificent to behold!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It is fun to watch indeed.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Not as much fun as watching Trump voters lose their jobs consequent to tariffs and the decline of backwater industries such as coal, though.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Not as much fun as watching Trump voters lose their jobs consequent to tariffs

    Or as fun as watching hippies get beaten and shot by government agents.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Can we show that one again, please?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "Not as much fun as watching Trump voters lose their jobs consequent to tariffs and the decline of backwater industries such as coal, though."

    Funny, the unemployment numbers say something different. It must suck for you. The only thing you can do is root for failure. As you have no plan, no alternative.

    You're a punchline to a bad joke Arty.

  • Sevo||

    "Not as much fun as watching Trump voters lose their jobs consequent to tariffs and the decline of backwater industries such as coal, though."

    Hey, arrogant lefty imbecile!
    "In May 2018, the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent. The last time unemployment was this low was in April 2000."
    https://www.thebalance.com/current-u-s-
    unemployment-rate-statistics-
    and-news-3305733
    But fucking arrogant lefties don't care about facts; they get in the way of the imbecilic narratives! Right, fucking arrogant lefty?

  • J-free||

    Idiots on the right, the fact you seem to miss is the tariffs have not taken effect yet.

  • Cranedoc||

    what are you going to do when all your brothers have jobs and self respect and don't need you to do their thinking for them anymore?

  • Nige||

    The bar on what a conspiracy theory is is getting pretty flippin' low if it's down to 'wondering what thoughts are passing like clouds across the empty sky in Trump's mind.'

  • Eidde||

    "But the power of the pardon is different. It's a virtually unchecked—and completely constitutional—tool of the presidency. Trump can wield it pretty much however he chooses, as he seems to be figuring out."

    He's got the power

  • Cy||

    When everyone is a felon, it's one hell of a powerful tool.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    At this rate, the Democrats will have nothing to run against him with.

  • Cyto||

    That's funny! And yet they will run against him with made-up stuff and vast overreaches based on one phrase taken out of context.

    I really can't figure political types out. Trump hands them the keys to the kingdom, and they slap them out of his hand and try to lift his wallet instead.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    As you say, Trump has plenty of things he is doing wrong and the press can hammer him on those things.

    The press could also just disagree on how he is doing things and discuss those things.

    They have gone another way completely and it will cost them many seats on Congress.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Yep. Calling every Trump utterance the most evil thing ever and every R a Nazi has its consequences.

    Apparently know one knows the old story about the boy crying wolf.

    Like all reality though, even if they don't know, they'll be shown it. Whether they learn from it is up to them.

    Given the last 20 years, my guess is they'll still require several more teaching moments before they do.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    LOL. The #BlueWave is going to happen. The Democratic Party is a well-oiled machine doing everything right. Drumpf has given them more than enough for a savvy opposition party to work with:

    The terrible economy
    #GOPTaxScam
    His "shithole countries" and "animals" comments
    Draconian anti-immigration enforcement
    Refusal to pursue meaningful gun safety legislation
    Turning the US into The Handmaid's Tale
    Backing out of the Iran deal

    And don't forget the most important factor: #TrumpRussia. Any day now, Robert Mueller will produce the definitive evidence of Russian collusion that will nullify the results of the hacked 2016 election.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Hey, the economy is doing great now.

    When Obama was around UE was 10.7% and the Dow was only 6000.

    (I hear Trump retards say this)

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Obama's economy was amazing. Drumpf's economy is terrible, as you proved when you shared a link about Sam's Club closing stores. Voters are smart enough to understand Paul Krugman's prediction of economic ruin was essentially correct, and that will contribute to the #BlueWave.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Are you having a fake conversation with yourself? Makes sense. People generally wear two socks.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Although Mr. Buttplug and I are both left-libertarians who hate Drumpf and support Democrats, we're not the same person. For one thing, Buttplug is a "he" and I'm a "they" (non-binary). I believe he's also much older than I am too. And we live in different states.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    I think you should change your handle to "Asshole Prog" because it would be more accurate in regard to what you really seem to be.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    The "too" is also redundant.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Are you sure you amd PB aren't just different personalities in his differential identity disorder? You both appear to spring from the same well of bullshit.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    "For one thing, Buttplug is a "he" and I'm a "they" (non-binary)."

    So you are ... The Borg?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    They are part of the same hive mind.

  • JWatts||

    "Are you having a fake conversation with yourself?"

    OBL, is a parody account. He's making fun of the mindless Lefty commentary by spewing talking points rhetoric. And frankly, he's a master at it.

  • Bubba Jones||

    He is getting better.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Black American's employment is at the highest levels of all time.

    It will hurt Democrats bad on election days in 2018, 2020, 2024....

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Do you even have any African American friends? All my friends of color despise the Drumpf regime just as much as I do. You're crazy if you think marginalized communities will vote for a white supremacist party just because of unemployment stats.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You live in a bubble, so all your friends of all colors hate Trump.

    I live in Georgia. Black Americans are right behind white Americans in number.

    Black people had Trump signs on their lawns. This is another clue that led me to predict Trump winning in 2016.

    The Democrats started the KKK, Jim Crowe laws and segregation. Republican Lincoln freed the slaves. Which party is a racist party?

  • Citizen X||

    Do you really still not understand that OBL is a spoof?

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    He's spoofing you and all your fellow JournoList here at Reason and the rest of the "mainstream" media, dumbass!

  • Citizen X||

    You think i'm a journalist, Mikey?

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    You work for Reason or for some other D.C-based media outlet in some capacity. Don't waste your time lying to me. You should realize by now it won't work.

  • Citizen X||

    I was not expecting such a hilariously demented response. Mikey, if i was going to lie to you, i'd tell you that anybody will miss you when you die.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    Do those friends know that you refer to them as colored?

    But hey you're just looking out for them because you know what's best for them huh

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Black American's employment is at the highest levels of all time.

    As is butchery of the language by half-educated right-wing rubes.

    Standard English is for elites!

  • damikesc||

    How much of Obama's "good economy" was based on a false comparison to numbers in Dec. 2008?

  • MoreFreedom||

    It's funny you're laughing. Seems to me, most people like the tax rate reductions (especially taxpayers), the economy is doing well, what Trump says really doesn't matter and distracts liberals from the policy changes he makes that do matter, and few seem to like the Iran deal (leaving US citizens in Iranian prisons, while returning the Shah of Iran's money to the Muslims that overthrew him and even Carter chose not to send to them). Obama didn't even ask the Senate to vote on the Iran deal, ensuring any president could back out of it, obviously because he knew it wouldn't pass.

    Your thinking Mueller will produce any evidence of collusion with Russia (which by the way, isn't illegal) shows your TDS. All the evidence he's found, shows Clinton/Obama illegally trying to setup Trump to lose the election, and then to get him impeached for an obstruction of justice charge for a non-crime that didn't happen anyway. LOL And FWIW, I voted for Johnson, but have found Trump far better than I expected.

  • gormadoc||

    You make this sound good. Trump isn't doing this because it's the right thing; he's doing this for votes. It's nice that he pardoned Johnson but I'm not expecting many pardons in the future; his virtue-signaling is enough for those votes.

    It's funny. When Democrats run on pure populism and virtue-signaling you whine. When Trump does it it's apparently something to celebrate.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump is a populist and wants to do things for Americans that get on the side of America.

    That's what you lefties will never understand. He can do both.

    He is actually patriotic and campaigns for votes.

    Trump can drive lefties crazy and rollback government.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    He can be a floor wax and a dessert topping.

  • Frank White||

    Aren't they all?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    How about dessert topping and floor wax?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    He already parodied quite a few people. But it's good to know that you can read his mind.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    " Trump isn't doing this because it's the right thing; he's doing this for votes"

    " I'm willing to bet that if the name of one of your loved ones was on the list Trump says he's reviewing, you wouldn't care."

  • MoreFreedom||

    "Trump isn't doing this because it's the right thing; he's doing this for votes."

    At least you admit "it's the right thing". Isn't doing the right thing what voters want to see? And who cares what the motivation is, provided he's doing "the right thing"? I recently read a fund raising letter, from those who're trying to change the system to assure that the wrong people do "the right thing". Seems like a good thing to me.

  • damikesc||

    You make this sound good. Trump isn't doing this because it's the right thing; he's doing this for votes. It's nice that he pardoned Johnson but I'm not expecting many pardons in the future; his virtue-signaling is enough for those votes.

    Am I supposed to give a shit about INTENTIONS?

    Intentions don't mean a thing.

    Results are what counts.

    The War on Drugs was "well intentioned". Most of our wars are "well intentioned". Does that make all of them good ideas?

    If something good is done for "bad" reasons...all that matters is that something good was done.

  • Brandybuck||

    2020 will be the Democrat's election to lose, and they will do their damnedest to lose it! Losing shoe-in elections used to be a Republican monopoly, but the Democrats are now masters of it.

  • Citizen X||

    Trump can wield it pretty much however he chooses

    Even if his sole motivation for going nuts with pardons is the fact that nobody can stop him, that's still pretty neat.

  • Cy||

    It would almost be offensive if we didn't already have the worlds largest prison population.

  • Juice||

    Maybe he's doing it to piss off Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    You know what he could do that would REALLY piss off Jeff Sessions?

  • Citizen X||

    Take a single Percocet? Embrace federalism? Shake hands with Snoop Dogg? Say something disparaging about asset forfeiture? Try to break up one of his shindigs?

  • Citizen X||

    This?

  • MoreFreedom||

    Libertarians should give Trump credit for allowing states to decriminalize or legalize marijuana (which was legal in the US for almost 150 years). Democrat Obama chose to act otherwise, showing he's not for personal liberty. Instead, it was Trump who identifies as a Republican. Sessions can't really do anything about it.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Admitted dope smoker Obama spent 8 years prosecuting medical marijuana users in federal kangaroo courts convincing juries that they were drug kingpins while excluding the evidence that their actions were legal under state law. But all of the legalization advocates have the tingle for this guy. Trump says, meh why not?, but he's got ulterior motives. Go figure.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Yeah. Remember when Nazis were funny? Good times.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    "You know what he could do that would REALLY piss off Jeff Sessions?"

    HITLER!!!!

    The answer is always Hitler.

  • lap83||

    NFL players: Umm, yes, we have totally thought about that and have an answer for you. Is... that my agent calling?? BRB

  • Cyto||

    I think we can predict that the answer is "Trump is racist". That seems to be a go-to for all occasions.

    Still, there are at least a couple of players who seem to be interested in the topic from a principled angle, so maybe someone will have contacts at a real criminal justice reform advocacy group who can feed them some good names.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    I think they'll have plenty of suggestions. The letters will come rolling in. If Trump is being genuine, the players will wield more political power than they EVER have. In other words, their protests fucking worked.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Worked?

    Citation needed...

    As no player has advised anything yet and given the time and energy commitment (and genetics) to be able to play in the NFL, they're unlikely policy scholars with nuanced understandings of the issues.

    So while some players might have causes close to them that they're very passionate about, I doubt they have any more useful policy advise above the typical freshman high school civics paper.

    It may start a conversation, but lasting change? Unlikely.

    And this assumes a number of them earnestly try to take the President up on his offer, which hasn't yet happened. And given the players' earlier childish tantrums, I wouldn't say the chance of them forgoing this opportunity to prove how cool they are is not insignificant.

  • damikesc||

    The protests worked for the PLAYERS.

    The NFL got fucked over royally by them.

    But, the NFL seems fine with it. Serves them right. Let the players hurt your business model to improve their feelz.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    You've obviously not been listening to what the players are actually saying. They were trying to raise awareness. Please give me an example where a single person has been able to raise awareness of this issue more than Colin Kaepernick. I can think of two examples, and I'd argue that given the current environment, Kaepernick was more successful. Creating a national dialog is a very, very important first step toward achieving the sorts of things you're talking about. We're way too early in the process right now, but it's looking positive for that movement. There's certainly been more activity in the area of fixing police brutality than any libertarian has achieved in the 40+ years we've been yelling about it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Trump said Friday. "The power to pardon is a beautiful thing."

    Translation - Trump wants to be dictator and all this shit about "checks and balances" is for pussies.

  • Freedom Frog||

    Oh the irony.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    HAHAHA. Lefties are now calling Trump a dictator for pardoning people!!!!! Hahaha

    You lefties have lost your minds!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    TDS is truly breathtaking to behold.

  • MoreFreedom||

    TDS is both funny and sad. It's sad to see liberals against pardons for those abused by government. It's funny to see liberals contradict themselves, be against peace with North Korea, be against deporting MS-13 members, and generally show their hypocrisy and double standard (which seems to be their only standard).

    Just being anti-Trump is no way to win elections. You have to be for something positive, and going against Trump's positive policies, is just a voter turnoff (except for those with TDS).

  • Robert||

    The trouble is, Republicans have to be for something positive too. They do have a lot of incumbents around the country at all levels, so they're doing something right, but they may have gotten as far as the rope can swing in the swing states, & bite stone in a lot of jurisdictions where they'll elect dog turds w the Dem nomination. But what are Republicans running for either house of Congress saying they're for?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The way to win elections in America (outside the can't-keep-up precincts) is to favor progress, science, tolerance, education, reason, and the like. Betting on intolerance and ignorance doesn't work over the medium to long term in America. Can women vote? Are Italians and the Irish still ostracized? Can white bigots terrorize blacks with burning crosses? Is being gay a crime?

    The bigoted and backward will lose, as always, in America. We're better than that, and better than them.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    The way to win elections in America (outside the can't-keep-up precincts) is to favor progress, science, tolerance, education, reason, and the like.

    So that's why the Democrats have been getting their asses kicked for the last 7.5 years?

  • Nardz||

    Pretty much.
    Looks like the Ds are...
    (Puts on sunglasses)
    Done.

    Did I do that right? It was my first time and I was very excited!

  • Nardz||

    It's often hard for me to fit in

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    I'll give you a "Golf Clap."

  • ||

    Yes. Democrats 'fucking like science'.

    One day people far more advanced will look back on North America's progressives and try and figure out where they went astray and will ultimately conclude they were no better than witch hunters and alchemists.

    Any side that houses or tolerates SJW science (Bill Nye, gender is fluid, race and feminism are social construct, climate change, anti-nuclear, focused on insignificant issues like plastic straws etc.), deserves the black mark it will inevitably guess.

    Just a hunch. I could be wrong.

  • ||

    that should be 'fucking love science'.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Nothing says progress more than following the ideas of an uneducated intolerant racist bigot such as yourself.

    Since your temperament and ideas match so closely to other despots, as a comparison, ask Zimbabwe citizens if Mugabe meant progress.

    The Rev Mugabe strikes again.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    At this point I think video could surface of Trump helping and old lady across the street, rescuing a kitten from a tree, and rescuing people from a burning building and people like Shriek would somehow find a way to have a problem with it.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    I'll try...

    Well, everyone knows Trump hates cats and cat lovers hate Trump. Besides, it was all setup - a "friend" of the adminstration purposefully endangered a cat, just to allow Trump to save it.

    Nothing more than fake news used to generate votes.

    Russia would be proud.

    /prog

  • Elias Fakaname||

    The dictator left the WH back in January 2017.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    I know you are but what am I

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    You are Phone and Pen(R), I am Constitution.

    Which will outlast the other?

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    I for one hope he dictates the fuck out of the prison system with his pardon power.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Who the fuck associated with the NFL needs a pardon?

  • Cy||

    You're right. All of those entitled post prep-school football players and their upscale mansions. How could they have any clue about gangs, drugs, poverty or true social justice.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its who the "protesting" football players are whining about that Trump will consider pardoning. Trump is asking for names of people who football players think were wrongly convicted to consider for pardons.

    In other words, put up or shut up.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Did you actually expect honest, thoughtful analysis from a creature like PB?

  • Sevo||

    Absolutely not! When turd isn't lying or otherwise attempting to mislead, he's made a mistake.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    I've noticed you often refer to PB as "turd", which made me wonder if that was based on a sort of urban legend about SP using an actual turd as a BP. Back when I was a teenager (before the explosion of disturbing and bizarre porn on the internet) I'd heard rumours from older kids about all kinds of weird things with names like "space docking", "mexican avalanche", and "eskimoing". As I understand it, these are now commonplace practices among millenials, with ritual humiliatilon delivered swiftly upon those who fail to produce on demand the evidence (via snapchat) of them partaking in such activities.

    Other acts include:

    "Bovine intestinal inversion"
    "Autoerotic base jumping"
    "Centrifugal follicular tensile challenge"
    "The Catherine Wheel"
    "Germing"
    "The Human Centipede"
    "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmare"
    "Temple of the Golden Dawn"
    "The Play-Doh Factory"
    "Afghan Surprize"
    "Swatting"

    "Germing" actually involves weaponizing oneself as a vector of the AIDS virus. It's a popular requirement in some gang initiations. Many teenage girls feel the weight of peer pressure coercing them into performing the "Catherine wheel" (or "Catherine wheeling") for "bae" (pimp), which involves lighting their hair on fire and rotating about an axis Y somewhere around their midriff at close to 2000rpm, often while performing other sex acts simultaneously.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    In other words, Trump is letting everyone know that he's an idiot that doesn't know what he's talking about. The protests have nothing to do with what Trump is discussing. Like you get your car back from the mechanic and the engine is still won't run but he thinks you should be grateful that he fixed your flat tire. It's not useless, but it's completely unrelated and doesn't make anything better long term. Trump is such an idiot he just sees a grab bag of "stuff black people care about" and thinks because he stuck his hand in the bag he's good. No one except the willfully obtuse are falling for this crap.

  • damikesc||

    I'm glad Democrats don't fall for this.

    "Oh, you're thinking 'evolved' on gay marriage last year? Well, that is grand"

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    On December 14, 2011, Hurd was arrested in Chicago for allegedly attempting to purchase and distribute large quantities of cocaine and marijuana, and faced federal drug charges in the Dallas Division of the Northern District of Texas. The case was investigated by the ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement).[4] The investigation started in July 2011, during the NFL lockout, and while Hurd was a member of the Cowboys. The complaint alleged Hurd had negotiated to pay $25,000 per kilogram of cocaine, and another $450 per pound of marijuana. Police believed Hurd was connected to a group of dealers arrested in California in August 2011, because a phone number traced to Hurd was found in the caller ID of one of the dealers. On January 24, after finding a new attorney, Hurd entered a plea of not guilty for setting up a drug-dealing network.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    On August 9, 2012, Hurd was arrested again for violating his bond by failing two drug tests. The report stated Hurd failed his first drug test in May and a second on July 12, testing positive for marijuana and admitting to drug use both times. His attorney, Jay Ethington, said Hurd was going through a difficult time and succumbed to pressure, according to the report.[5] A federal judge later ordered Hurd to be jailed indefinitely.[6] On April 10, 2013, Hurd announced he would change his plea to guilty the following day.[7] He faced a sentence of 10 years to life.[8]

    On November 13, 2013, Hurd was sentenced to 15 years in prison.[9] Hurd is incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Bastrop, Texas.[10]

  • Dillinger||

    Alex Karras and Paul Hornung.

  • Nardz||

    Nate Newton

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Stick it to those prosecutors, Mr. President!

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Even though the modern presidency is far more powerful than the Constitution appears to allow

    Understatement of the century.

  • Rhywun||

    Kim Kardashian Meeting Donald Trump in the Oval Office Is a Nightmare We Can't Wake Up From

    LOL stay classy, The New Yorker.

  • John||

    She got a women who was unjustly imprisoned out of prison and Progs think it is a nightmare.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    A-Yup.

    So much for the Blue Wave ...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The left is mad because their blue wave is circling the toilet drain.

  • Sevo||

    Tonight on Rachael Maddow: "Trump to release serial murderers!"

  • ||

    All kidding aside, this is one of Trump's more politically astute moves. He's offering direct access to a tool that he actually has in his toolkit and that has almost (?) no downside for using. And he's offering it to a group that he's been publicly critical of as a way to appear magnanimous.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Good for Trump. Glad to see he's also reaching out to satisfy (or even pacify) his political enemies instead of making everything combative 24/7. It will be interesting to see how the democrats spin this.

    The one fear I have is that he will begin using it as a bargaining chip for other things. Like "If you all agree on this bill to create harsher penalties for drug dealers, I'll pardon certain other drug users over here."

  • Brandybuck||

    Obama had eight years to pardon non-violent drug offenders of color. Did he? FUCK NO!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    He did kind of rev up the pardon machine at the end, when there was no political cost or, I guess, gain.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    It's not his fault that they couldn't recognize their innate gender.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Don't forget Bill Clinton pardoning all those communist terrorists.

  • damikesc||

    Well, he was more for pardoning violent protestors against the US.

  • xosallyoh||

    YES!!! The FDA has imprisoned my neighbor, KY Amish farmer Sam Girod, for 6 years for a labeling infraction!!!

    Story and all details here: http://bit.ly/freeamishsam

    Oh, heavens, this would be a miracle to see Sam go free!

  • Citizen X||

    Quick, alert the NFL! Or Kim Kardashian.

  • ||

    "The power to pardon is a beautiful thing."

    This guy is priceless.

    He also ingeniously through the ball back in the court of the NFL players. Just like how Lebron can use his popularity and be useful by requesting a meeting with Trump just like Kardashian did for a cause he cares about.

    If he opts not to and continues to yap on from afar, he's part of the problem.

  • Echospinner||

    LeBraun James does have something he cares about. Defeating Golden State again. We all know he is leaving the Cavs.

    Politics not so much.

    He is not part of the problem nor the solution unless we are talking basketball. In that there is no question.

    Kyrie Irving thinks the earth is flat. Who cares.

  • Echospinner||

    Typo. Lebron James.

  • ||

    Except he's always going on about Trump.

  • Sevo||

    And as a classy example, we have Steve Kerr:
    "Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr on Thursday called the NFL's decision to implement a rule against players kneeling during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before games "idiotic," criticizing the league's owners and leadership for "pandering to [its] fan base" with a display of "fake patriotism" that's intended to divide rather than unite."
    https://sports.yahoo.com/steve-kerr-

    Hmmm:
    "The NBA, meanwhile, has largely avoided criticism for its longstanding rule mandating that players and coaches "stand in a dignified posture" for the national anthems, and commissioner Adam Silver believes his league is in a "very different" situation than the NFL."
    https://www.msn.com/en-ca/sports/nfl/

    So, I ask you, has anyone ever seen Adam Silver and turd in the same room? I thought not. Do I have to connect the dots for you? Who else could spin such shit?

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Steve Kerr is a moron:

    criticizing the league's owners and leadership for "pandering to [its] fan base"..

    WTF? Who should the NFL pander to if not they're paying customers? And for what purpose? To expressly lose their investor's money?

    Either Steve is incredibly worthless at the business side of his industry (unlikely) or TDS strikes again... because that statement is beyond stupid.

  • Sevo||

    "criticizing the league's owners and leadership for "pandering to [its] fan base"..
    I didn't bother to mention that bit of idiocy; imagine appealing to your customers! The HORROR!
    I haven't seen any suggestion that he has the least bit of bizz sense, so it would not be surprising if his idiocy extended to that field.
    He is also an recognized master in 'signalling' to the locals: He has been acknowledged as an expert in gun violence, since his dad was shot! If your Mom died of cancer, well, step up to the top of the line!

  • damikesc||

    I'd ask if Kerr would allow his players to make an ass of themselves for an issue that he disagrees with or that his audience hates.

    I'm betting he would not.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    John and Tony had a fantastic tussle over this point the other day. There was tickling and hair-pulling.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    Eric, This didn't start with the "innocent African Americans killed by cops" that's the respinning of Kap's statements that he has no respect for the country and that America is a deeply racist country.

    This is just "hands up don't shoot" all over again where the media lies repeatedly until it's members don't even know they're lying, they're just parroting common knowledge.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Eric, This didn't start with the "innocent African Americans killed by cops" that's the respinning of Kap's statements that he has no respect for the country and that America is a deeply racist country.

    Obviously these are not mutually exclusive...

  • Robert||

    the anthem protests began two years ago as a way to raise public awareness about innocent African Americans killed by cops. That's something that even the mighty power of the presidential pardon can't fix.


    That's OK, 2 blogs above there's mention of Corpse Reviver #2. #1 must've flopped.

  • Dillinger||

    commute every possession-of-plant conviction is a good start.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    For now, let's set aside the question of whether Trump has the authority to pardon himself, something he reiterated this morning that he thinks he has the authority to do.

    Well, if you go by the letter of the Constitution, he does have the authority to pardon himself except in cases of impeachment. The Constitution doesn't make a distinction between what the President does and what others do in regards to pardons--that's why Ford could proactively pardon Nixon even though no charges had actually been brought against him. In the case of Trump, impeachment would have to take place before charges can be levied, which is why the #NeverTrump dead-enders are hoping that MUH BLU WAYV takes place.

    Whether he could actually get away with doing so is a political question, not a legal one.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    From Federalist 74, on the pardon power of the president:

    "The reflection that the fate of a fellow-creature depended on his [the President's] sole fiat, would naturally inspire scrupulousness and caution; the dread of being accused of weakness or connivance, would beget equal circumspection, though of a different kind."

    Of course this is one of the problems of electing a man who has no scruples or caution as president; he has no qualms with freely using powers that ought to require circumspection. If Trump goes ahead with this, and uses pardons as a means for generating votes, then there is no closing that Pandora's box. Those of you who are praising what Trump is saying now, come back in 10 years after a President Elizabeth Warren has had her turn with the pardon power, and let's revisit your opinions, shall we?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    And for the record, I am glad that he is considering pardoning people who should never have been locked up in the first place. But, we'll just see how this all works out though in the long run.

  • Eidde||

    It's a bit early to tell.

    What injustices would Trump or Warren wreak on the country by granting bad pardons, in comparison to the injustices of a President who is too timid to tackle the problem of the unjustly-convicted or those with excessive sentences, or reformed criminals who are still hounded for their past acts?

  • damikesc||

    Or Governors issuing MASS pardons to thousands of felons at a time to restore their voting rights.

    Trump is scary but Cuomo and what-the-fuck-his-name-in-Virginia are not?

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Where were you when Terry McAuliffe was pardoning every felon in Virginia to allow them to vote for Hillary?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    How about, it's a bad idea in both cases?

    You Trumpers really are too much sometimes. Is there nothing you won't defend of Trump by pointing to liberals or invoking some baloney 7th-dimensional chess rationale?

    Is "destroying the Left" really your highest and only raison d'etre?

  • Ecoli||

    To honor Anthony Bourdain and unusual culinary appetites Trump should pardon Jeffery Dahmer.

  • Sevo||

    Cold. That's COLD!

  • stuartl||

    " It's a virtually unchecked—and completely constitutional—tool of the presidency."

    Isn't the pardon designed to be a check on judicial power?

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Great point:

    The power of SCOTUS to declare laws unconstitutional is virtually unchecked.

    Oh the horror!

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Trump has spent most of his first year and a half in office being frustrated by the limits of presidential power. "

    Reason writers not only know Trump's feelings, they know *why* he has the feelings he has.

    Clown show.

  • J-free||

    Except that Trump has repeatedly made claims to that effect.

    https://tinyurl.com/yavxczft

    You must like wearing those big shoes and red nose.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    As you have been told. Pay attention to Trump's actions.

    Trump is offering to pardon people wrongly convicted if these 'advocates' just forward names of wrongly convicted persons.

  • J-free||

    Another bullshit Trumpian smokescreen. Individual pardons will still keep the jails full for the prison industry to profit from for a long time to come.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its why Trump is playing "n"th D Chess and some of you are still playing checkers.

    He flipped the issue of wrongly incarcerated persons around on sports figures. They need to name people wrongly convicted so Trump can pardon them or get off the pot.

  • Echospinner||

    Not that high level of chess.

    Basic bargaining. Say you are a worker in contract negotiations. You are essential to what the corporation sells. Could be anything auto parts, dentist, does not matter. The guy in the suit cannot produce a brake pad but you can. You can make those but the suit can sell them. Division of labor.

    Trump has big advantage because you cannot replace him like you could another brake pad engineer. Trump can not play pro football. He can screw over the NFL which is not his job but he gets political points.

    His tactic is diversion. He does that well. It is not brilliant at all. It is just a shoving match.

    Really the kneeling thing was easy. Fish in a barrel. You made the point and should have gone on and played football. There is no gain to be made in continuing this for the players.

  • Kazinski||

    Handled right this could be a win win for Trump. If he puts the ball in their court and they come up with one or two people that are deserving of clememcy, and dozens that are right where they belong, then he can point out that if this is what they are complaining about the system works.

    On the other hand if they come up with a good list, he can leverage the celebrity of the NFL players, and the thankful recipients of the pardons, and get a boost for the midterms.

    You can expect the most activity from states like Florida and Missouri, Indiana, Tennesee, which have close Senate races, NFL teams, and significant black populations.

  • Iheartskeet||

    Prediction: If they send a list at all, it will be 90% people who are unpardonable, yet who are progressive pet projects, such as Mumia Abu-Jamal (he's in state prison anyway, but this gives you a flavor of the type). Then Trump will have to turn down almost all of these, and the players will declare dome kind of vindication. See, told you so !

    Thats my cynical expectation, based on proggy behavior. I hope they come to their senses and send a truly worth list in.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Yeah, that's my expectation, too. You see BLM, continually picking the guilty people to make into their poster boys. Because they thrive on the perception of racism, and white people saying, "Yeah, you're right, that was an injustice. Let's do something about it!" wouldn't further the impression of racism.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Sounds like something we do all the time. I mean, the victims of the drug war ARE often guilty, after all. The victims of the drug war ARE disproportionately made up of marginalized groups, even if you control for the estimated higher incidence of drug usage among these groups. So your criticism is just as applicable to libertarians as it is to NFL players.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    There remains a possibility that they actually care about this issue, and it's not an attempt to discredit Trump. To my knowledge, Trump wasn't originally involved until he got himself involved. It was about the police from the beginning. Maybe I'm misremembering.

  • Eidde||

    Let's see what Scott Adams has to say...

  • Eidde||

    Don't want to listen to his podcasts, let's try his Twitter feed.

  • Eidde||

    Scott Adams

    Verified account

    @ScottAdamsSays
    Jun 8
    More
    It's a good start.

  • angka main togel||

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Well, as long as you're the main togel

  • MikeP2||

    Trump the master troller.

    Here he shames the nfl's pointless posturing after the example of Kim Kardashian personally funding the legal costs to fight and injustice, and taking it all the way to the potus to push a pardon.

    So what did kaepernick do again? Oh, yeh, mug for the camera and whine.

  • PaulTheBeav||

    Anyone who deserves a pardon should be pardoned. I don't care what the system is for making it happen. It just needs to happen more often and faster.

  • Used Septic Trucks||

    Wow, can women vote? Are Italians and the Irish still ostracized? Can white bigots terrorize blacks with burning crosses?

  • Dan S.||

    I wonder, is this a serious attempt to mend fences with the protesting NFL players, or a disingenuous ploy of offering to do something that he knows is not responsive to their protests. Is anyone in Federal prison as a result of one of those "driving [or walking or playing] while black" incidents that sparked the protests? I doubt it. Trump knows he can't pardon people imprisoned on State charges, right? And I don't know if there are relevant cases of those, anyway. The Federal action that might be appreciated is actually the opposite, pursuing federal charges against the officers who killed some unarmed blacks, such as Philando Castile and Tamir Rice.

  • trutherator||

    #1 After such bellicose talk, Trump sits down & talks peace with Kim Il Un. Exposes forked tongue of those who claim they want peace. And whether he wanted to, big mouth war mad neocons including John Bolton.

    #2. With The G6 demanding he support free trade and lower tariffs, he exposes their protectionism, all of them, by saying, Okay then, Let's eliminate ALL tariffs among us then, and abolish ALL subsidies.

    Showing that these "free trade" agreements are not that at all.

    #3. The same black sports kneelers who called him racist and protest police killings of blacks, how will they react now with Trump asking for names of people in prison who have been treated unjustly, with an eye to making corrections?

    Trump has already shown he will issue pardons and commutation for no-names.

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