Bob Schwartz

Ship of Fools: Mnuchin, Santorum Aboard

This post was originally only about Treasury Secretary Steve Munchkin on a Sunday morning news show. Then former Republican Senator Rick Santorum spoke up, just begging for recognition.

Washington Post :

Mnuchin pitches line-item veto: ‘Congress could pass a rule’

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has urged lawmakers to give President Trump a line-item veto, saying on “Fox News Sunday” that it might prevent Democrats from stacking more nondefense discretionary spending into the next must-past budget bill.

But Mnuchin’s short exchange with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace also underlined the problem with the idea — a 20-year-old Supreme Court ruling that struck down the line-item veto, finding “no provision in the Constitution that authorizes the president to enact, to amend or to repeal statutes,” after President Bill Clinton used it 82 times.

“I think they should give the president a line-item veto,” said Mnuchin, echoing Trump’s comments after he signed last week’s omnibus budget bill.

“That’s been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court,” Wallace said.

“Well, again, Congress could pass a rule, okay, that allows them to do it,” Mnuchin said.

“It would be a constitutional amendment,” Wallace said.

“Chris, we don’t need to get into a debate,” the treasury secretary said. “There’s different ways of doing this.”

New York Times :

Rick Santorum: Students Should Learn CPR, Not Seek Gun Laws

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said Sunday that students who have rallied for gun control should instead learn CPR or find their own way to prevent a school shooting.

“How about kids instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violent shooter that you can actually respond to that,” the Republican said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The 2012 and 2016 presidential candidate said students could work to stop bullying in their communities or respond themselves to a shooter instead of asking lawmakers to approve legislation to protect them.

Santorum’s comments prompted outrage on social media a day after hundreds of thousands of teenagers and their supporters rallied across the U.S. to push for tougher laws to fight gun violence.

The demonstrations Saturday were led by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed last month.

Santorum said that if the rallies are about more than politics, then the country needs to have a broader discussion that doesn’t revolve around “phony gun laws” that don’t work.

“They took action to ask someone to pass a law,” he said of the demonstrators. “They didn’t take action to say, ‘How do I, as an individual, deal with this problem?

We Now Know What Trump Really Thinks of Lawyers

Ever wonder what kind of a lawyer Trump would be—assuming he could get into law school, graduate and pass the bar exam (questionable)? Today he tweeted about why any lawyer would be thrilled to join his dwindling legal team:

New York Times:

Earlier on Sunday, Mr. Trump took to Twitter from his Florida resort to insist that he faced no problems finding lawyers to represent him in the Russia investigation.

Fame & fortune will never be turned down by a lawyer, though some are conflicted,” Mr. Trump said in a tweet.

That is, except for conflicts, any lawyer will come if you dangle fame and fortune in front of them. Particularly if Trump beckons.

It is true that plenty of lawyers are interested in clients and cases that promise fame and fortune. No one should mistake lawyers for saints.

On the other hand, many more also have a passing interest in justice and professional responsibility, in addition to the other rewards. That is something that never crosses Trump’s mind. In fact, Trump has described exactly the sort of lawyer he would be—again, if that were possible.

A couple of other things Trump misses, things that explain why he is unable to add many lawyers of quality and stature at this point.

First, Trump is accustomed to people around him putting up with anything just for the privilege of working for him. He would be astonished to learn that lawyers, even the most ambitious ones, have a limit to what they will put up with.

Second, Trump still does not recognize the difference between fame and notoriety—never has, never will. Lawyers may have no problem being famous. Notorious? Not so much.