Can Obama sue Trump?

Trump is usually the one randomly suing everyone, but lately people have been asking if Obama can sue Trump for the lies he’s been telling about him.

The short answer is “No.”

The long answer is “Noooooooooooooooooo.”

Defamation includes libel (written) and slander (spoken). In order to win a case, you have to prove three things:

First, that the statement was false. This is usually the easiest thing to prove, but sometimes the thing being said is merely an opinion. trump-liar“Joe is a jerk” is not true or false. “Joe is a pedophile” is a lie.

But there’s even more to it than that — you have to show that the person who made the statement knew that it was false or said it with reckless disregard as to whether it was true. (If it actually was true, then we stop there. Truth is always a defense against libel and slander).

In this case, the argument would be that no matter how much Trump believes it to be true, it just isn’t. Just like his belief that Obama wasn’t born in America, or that millions of people voted illegally, or practically anything else that pops into his brain that he tweets out that have no correlation to reality. Trump has a reckless disregard for the truth, and that means that he can’t use as a defense that he reasonably thought it was true.

And to make it even more difficult, the standard for celebrities and politicians is even higher than it is for a private citizen. You have to show that not only was the statement false and that the person knew it was false, but that they said it with malicious intent — they wanted to harm the other person, and weren’t just repeating some rumor or something. (Since almost everything Trump says has malicious intent, this requirement may be meant.)

So if you can show that the statement was a lie, you still have a ways to go.

The second thing is to show that other people believed it. If someone calls you a martian, then that’s clearly a lie. But if no one believes them, then what’s the point? The lie has to be believed by others, and by lots of others. The fact that a bunch of idiots who watch Fox News believe a lie doesn’t mean much — those people believe anything.

Finally, you have to show that you were seriously harmed in some way and not just insulted. You need to show that because of the lie, you lost your job and people are throwing bricks at your house and spitting on you as you walk down the street. You have to prove damage.

So if someone says “Joe is gay” and it’s not true and the person who said it knows that it’s not true, you’ve met the first burden. If everyone believes it, then you’ve met the second burden. But if no one cares and you aren’t harmed in the slightest other than perhaps being upset or embarrassed or insulted, then you have no case.

I don’t think Obama was harmed in the slightest by the latest Trump lie. The people who hate Obama still do, and those of us who have a brain still don’t believe anything Trump says.

So let me clarify:  Can Obama sue trump? Sure, anyone can sue anyone. Does he have a chance of winning?  Nah.



Clock blocked

by Guest Blogger Gail Z. Martin

I know there are good public school teachers and good principals. My kids have had some great teachers over the years, and I have friends whom I know are fantastic teachers.


Do you think the fact that this was a Muslim boy named Ahmed instead of a freckle-faced blonde kid named “Skippy” might have made a difference?

And then there are the paranoid idiots. We’ve had some of those through the years, too. My two oldest daughters, both straight-A, Advanced Placement students, were so excited that when they went to college, they no longer had to have an armed guard assigned to them in order to use the bathroom.

Yeah. We call it ‘partner peeing’. Even the guards seemed to be embarrassed about it, but it was school policy because…..bathrooms.

As a parent, you have to protect your kids by anticipating how idiots think. I warned my kids not to turn in any creative writing assignments that might be interpreted as violent or depressed because there’d be a teacher out there speed-dialing DSS unable to believe someone could have imagined something not real (see definition of ‘imagined’). My son wanted to wear his trench coat one day when it rained and he had to wear a suit for a presentation. I didn’t let him because I didn’t want to run into some teacher who thinks trench coats are evil (google ‘trench coat mafia’ if you don’t remember). Ditto doodling. When I was in high school, the boys used to doodle all kinds of weapons, explosives, and …ahem…anatomically correct elements on the covers of their notebooks. Now that would be a fast-track to the front office, with a paddywagon waiting.

One year, the school district banned the wearing of plain white t-shirts because….gangs. (Apparently gangs with absolutely no fashion sense.) Last year they sent home threatening letters promising to suspend any kid who didn’t wear his/her school photo ID to school (and then didn’t actually issue the photo IDs for two months, and dropped the whole thing by January). There’s plenty of crazy to go around.

The White House response

So here we have it, a smart kid who will probably end up founding the next Apple or Microsoft or inventing a break-through artificial organ or building some kind of amazing new technology, not only arrested for building a clock, but facing a police chief who made this statement: “Chief Larry Boyd said that the teen should have been ‘forthcoming’ by going beyond the description that what he made was a clock.” (CNN). HOW, exactly, can you be forthcoming about saying a clock is a clock? Perhaps a thesaurus listing of synonyms?

We need not only more money to hire better teachers and retain good teachers, but also a shift in our culture to value smart people instead of seeing them as someone to be mocked or frightened of.

I hope this kid and his parents sue the school and the cops and win a big enough settlement to send him to the best engineering schools in the country. And they’d better get that ‘arrest’ expunged from his record while they’re at it.

Gail Z. Martin is a novelist who writes thrilling fantasy and science fiction adventures. Her latest novel is the steampunk adventure “Iron Blood.” Read my recent interview with her here!

Iran (so far away)

By wanting to know what I was talking about, I have disqualified myself from ever being considered a Republican.

I guess that’s a good thing, really.

You see, when Obama announced the deal with Iran, I started reading articles about it to see exactly what it said. I went on my Facebook page and asked for advice from those who follow these things closer, and otherwise tried to educate myself before making an opinion.reagan

Not so the Republican party, whose motto is “If Obama is for it, we’re against it.” As soon as the 100-page treaty was announced, Marco Rubio had a commercial denouncing it for “allowing Iran to build a nuclear bomb.” From what I have read, it does the exact opposite, but hey, when have facts ever stood in the way of a good Republican rant?

Before the treaty, there was a policy of cutting Iran off from all trade. We had a lot of other countries working with us as well. The policy worked, because it got them to the negotiating table. The new treaty reinstates trade (good for business) and allows us to investigate and make sure they’re not building bombs (something we didn’t have the power to do before).

Now, did we get everything we wanted? No, of course not. That’s how negotiations work. That’s how treaties with other countries work. You get as much as you can, and it’s better to get 50% of what you want than 0% any day.

But that’s not how the GOP sees it: In their mind, it’s far better to go to war. (It’s also more profitable to the industries that bankroll the GOP.) And whatever is in the treaty doesn’t matter, because they’re against it, especially because they haven’t read it and think it does things it doesn’t do (“Don’t confuse my opinion with facts!”).

Keep in mind that the real reason they’re against it is because it was a treaty from Obama, who may have finally earned his Nobel Peace Prize. Had a Republican President made the exact same treaty, he’d be a great hero, like Nixon opening relationships with China.

Obama: Always wrong

While I agree with the criticism of Obama that says he should have gone to France, it’s not because Fox News is telling me I should be thinking that way.

As anyone with a brain should realize, Fox News would be criticizing Obama no matter what he did.  This meme I found this morning says it best.10292546_345735465618252_1548211399035240147_n

As we know by the way they are criticizing Obama because gas prices are too low, it doesn’t matter what Obama does — Fox News will find a way to make it look bad. (His wife once said we should all drink more water to be healthy and they attacked her for saying that. I am not making this up.)

Lower gas prices? Thanks, Obama!

Not really.

Seriously, the President has very little power over gas prices. When gas prices were high, Obama was criticized for it, and his reply was something along the lines of “Don’t you think if I could do something about this, I would? Why would I be happy gas prices are high?”

Those are the facts.

"Our plan is simple. We lower gas prices, which will lead to Americans dying.  Muhahahahaha!"

“Our plan is simple. We lower gas prices, which will lead to Americans dying. Muhahahahaha!”

Facts, however, have never stood in the way of Fox News, which has to spin every story to make Obama look bad, no matter how good the news really is. When gas prices were high, they were ruining the economy and it was Obama’s fault. Now that they’re low, they’re going to cost human lives and it’s Obama’s fault.

I am not making this up.  Fox is warning its paranoid idiotic viewers that Obama is going to kill you because gas prices are low. Why? Well, that’s harder to figure out. Apparently this will lead to war over gas when Russia and Iran attack us for our oil or something. It’s not very clear. The only understandable message is “Obama wants to kill you.”

Despite every single prediction Fox News made about Obama, the United States economy is stronger than it has been in many, many years. Unemployment is at  its lowest, growth is higher than it was under Reagan, the Dow is at an all-time record high, and consumer confidence is at a peak.

If a Republican were in office now, they would be naming airports after him and trying to put him on Mount Rushmore.


Obama worst President since WW2?

Conservatives are jumping with joy over a recent poll wherein people said Obama was the “worst President since WW II.”

Let’s put this into perspective:

1.  Whoever is President at the time wins this.  When this poll was done in 2006.  George W. Bush won it.  It’s kind of expected and comes with the territory; the current President is always the worst, and then the longer they are away from office, the better they get.  We Americans have short memories.  worst

2.  33% said Obama was the worst, which is certainly not a majority.  George W. Bush was second, followed by Nixon.  (If the question had been “Worst President since the 70s, GWB would have won readily…)

3.  Many of the respondents who took the poll were not even alive when some of these guys were President.  Nixon?  That’s ancient history to them.

4.  Obama was rated 4th best President in the exact same poll, after Reagan, Clinton and Kennedy.  (Hey, remember when this poll was done in the 90s and Clinton was the worst President ever?)  So Obama is not only the worst President since FDR, but he’s also better than eight others.  Go figure.

5.  64% of Republicans named Obama in this poll.  Democrats and independents were more varied, and their numbers were not even half of the Republican number combined for Obama.  The Republican hatred of Obama skewed the poll.

6.  The respondents are not a true random sampling.  It has more people from the South than any other region (and not proportionate to the population), and more white respondents than are represented in America overall.

7.  According to Gallup (a more reliable pollster), Obama is doing better than George W. Bush was at this same point in his Presidency.  And Obama is doing way better in the polls than Congress, and better than most of the possible 2016 Republican  candidates.  No one likes any politician right now.

Now, does that mean Obama is sitting pretty?  No, of course not.  His poll numbers are not good.  But worst since WWII?


How much is a POW worth?

You’d think everyone would be celebrating the return of a POW from captivity.  Certainly the Republicans (who always claim to “support our troops”) would be in favor of this, right?   POW

And at first they were.  They even urged Obama to do it.

Then reality set in:  If we celebrate this, that means Obama wins!  Republicans have now deleted tweets and comments made in support of this, and have gone full force into attack mode.  And some of it has gotten rather ridiculous.

They’ve attacked the reputation of Bergdahl at every opportunity, using innuendo and speculation and ignoring real facts.

They’ve accused Obama of negotiating with terrorists (when actually the deal was made by Qatar, not us) while conveniently forgetting how their hero Ronald Reagan did the same thing (which caused the “Iran/Contra scandal where people actually went to jail).  Bush officials have said that they would have done the same thing.

Fox News said that Bergdahl’s father looks like a terrorist because he grew a beard.  For some reason, they never said that about their heroes in Duck Dynasty…

The alleged terrorists had been sitting in Gitmo for years without ever being charged with anything, despite court orders to do so, and will be released to Qatar where their travel will be severely limited.

Critics are now saying that the release of Berdahl wasn’t worth it.  Really?  What price do we put on a POW’s life?

So what’s the truth?  I don’t know;  I don’t have access to the information the President has, and neither do any of his critics.  Will this turn out to be a bad thing in the long run?  Maybe.

But we should not really be surprised by this reaction from the President’s enemies.  Half of them didn’t even want to give him credit for killing bin Laden, either.

Capitalists except when Obama does it

The Obama administration recently announced that the regulation of domain names for the internet, which has been controlled by the government, will soon be decided by the free market. dot-com-domain-seisure  So of course conservative groups who rail against government regulation cheered loudly, congratulating Obama for supporting capitalism.

Ha ha! Just kidding!

Just a few days ago we saw how conservatives love capitalism and the free market (except when government regulations help their Big Money contributors).   

And how the basic premise behind Fox News is “Whatever Obama does, we’re against it.”

So I don’t have to let you know how Fox reacted, do I?  

Helping criminals means you’re unfit

Despite the fact that our system of justice works when accused criminals are allowed to have at least one lawyer to fight against the full might of the government, we defense attorneys are still daily insulted by people who think that if we defend bad guys, we must be bad guys too.  This is despite the fact that defense attorneys are the ones who are making sure the government doesn’t just stop and search everyone all the time, ignore all your rights, and lock you up without reason.gavel

Not good enough for the US Congress.  They denied the appointment of one of our nation’s greatest defense attorneys today to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division because the guy had spent his career defending people’s civil rights.  Clearly, this makes him perfectly unsuitable for the position.  Worse yet, many Democrats (including my own Senator) voted against him.

Obama rightly criticized those who voted against him:  “The Senate’s failure to confirm Debo Adegbile to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice is a travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant. As a lawyer, Mr. Adgebile has played by the rules. And now, Washington politics have used the rules against him. The fact that his nomination was defeated solely based on his legal representation of a defendant runs contrary to a fundamental principle of our system of justice — and those who voted against his nomination denied the American people an outstanding public servant.”

Apparently the only person who should be eligible to head the Civil Rights division is someone who has absolutely no experience with it.  Because otherwise, he or she may actually take action to address problems or something, and we can’t have that.

All lawyers should be insulted by this.

Whatever Obama does, it will be wrong

If Obama tries to solve the Ukraine situation with diplomacy: He’s weak and ineffectual.

If Obama takes military action: He’s rash and careless with our troops’ lives.

Remember, if you are a Republican, the bottom line is this: No matter what Obama does, it’s always the wrong thing.Obama-Putin

This “Obama is always wrong” attitude must really hurt them, because in their hearts they can’t really believe it, can they?  I recall when bin Laden was killed, and you could see it in their faces.  They wanted so much to cheer and celebrate like the rest of us, but they had to find some fault with Obama.  It was just impossible for them to give him credit.  Then they had to deal with Gaddafi.  Had George W. Bush gotten rid of him, the praises would never end.  But Obama doing it?  It’s terrible.

They are now blaming Obama for the Ukraine/Russia situation because, of course, the world reacts to the United States and never does anything on its own.   In all seriousness, the situation in the Ukraine has nothing to do with Obama.  This protest would have happened no matter who was President, and Putin would have taken action no matter what.  You know that’s true.

But some conservatives are pointing to Sarah Palin and giving her credit (I am not making this up) for predicting that Putin would attack the Ukraine if Obama was President.  Why Putin waited six years until Ukraine rebelled against him with no encouragement or backing from Obama, she hasn’t explained yet.  (Palin also predicted that Obama would invade Pakistan, too.)

The Ukraine uprising is a good thing.  It is a move towards modernization and away from the repressive Russian government.  We should be encouraging this completely.

Ironically, many of the conservatives who are criticizing Putin had just months ago praised him and called him “The Leader of the Free World” for his cracking down on gays.  Seriously, because when you think of “free world” you immediately think of throwing people in jail because you’re a bigot.

So let’s revisit this post in a bit and see if I am correct.  No matter what decision Obama makes, the right will criticize it.  And I predict this as well:  Someone on the right will have said beforehand what they would do in his place — and then when Obama does that, they will back down and claim that it is a bad idea.  Wait and see.