Video Tutorial: How to Remove The President With The 25th Amendment

Sunday night Madam Secretary produced an 42 minute long dramatic tutorial on how to remove the President using the 25th Amendment.

The episode started with an unexpected ‘sonic’ attack on an American embassy from an unspecified source. President Dalton used aggressive language on TV to threaten Russia. He then secretly ordered an attack on Russian satellites.  Dalton’s staff questioned his decision and the Secretary of Defense refused to launch an attack. The President fired him and replaced him with an underling.

The Secretary of State and Chief of Staff knew something wasn’t right with the President’s aggressive behavior. They worried it could lead to war. They started looking for the reasons he was acting strangely, then they looked at their options to prevent him from acting.  In a meeting of cabinet members to discuss the options, the replacement for the Secretary of Defense reminded the Chief of Staff, National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State that the President is their Commander-in-Chief and refusing an order isn’t something you do lightly, even if the President’s order could lead to a global war.

As I watched President Dalton’s cabinet debate enacting the 25th Amendment, I mentally put the names and faces of Trumps’ cabinet onto the actors playing the corresponding roles in the show and wondered how they would act. Are these the faces of people who would say no to Trump?

Trump reminds Rex Tillerson who’s the boss REUTERS/Carlos Barria –

President Trump Talking Down to Sessions Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Madam Secretary writers used a serious physical medical problem to explain the behavior change in President Dalton in order to sell the story. However, in our universe Trump’s behavior is NOT an aberration from his earlier behavior.

President Trump’s behavior in office is like his behavior before he took office. The bullying, lying, flattery, bribes, threats and legal tricks he used in his “deals” won’t necessarily work when dealing with an unpredictable leader of a nation-state with nuclear weapons.  Trump’s business failures didn’t lead to the death of millions, just his multiple bankruptcies.  What would it take to  convince Trump appointees that his twitter strategy against Kim Jong Un in North Korea won’t work? An ACTUAL nuclear attack? We already know it has increased tensions.


The show focused on getting a doctor to evaluate the physical and mental health of the president because his behavior was out of character. On the show finding a physical reason for the behavior gave the President’s staff an excuse to stop him from acting on his out of character behavior.

Tuesday’s announcement from White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson said, “President Donald Trump’s overall health ‘‘is excellent’’ and he did ‘‘exceedingly well’’ on cognitive screening.”  This report will be used by the White House as proof to the public Trump is fine. But remember, this is an incomplete snapshot in time.  It might also be inaccurate. I’m hoping Trump takes the Gunn Challenge and he is weighted and his height measured publicly. Think of it as asking for a long form girth certificate.

The show ends with President Dalton realizing he was acting like a madman who could have started World War III over a misunderstanding.  He then praised the people in his Cabinet who voted to remove him for the good of the country.  This episode reminds us that the constitution gives us a framework to deal with a President who has become mentally or physically incapacitated.  It also gives us the option of impeachment if the conditions for 25th Amendment aren’t met at this time and the President is seen as unfit.

The Time To Act Is Now

Speaking of time, for 38 minutes hundreds of thousands of people in Hawaii thought that their time was up. Their world might have end Saturday and there was nothing they could do. They felt powerless. So what can they do now? Madam Secretary showed us one process.  It needs to get started now, because as we learned last Saturday in Hawaii, we can’t be debating someone’s fitness to command 7,000 nuclear warheads during a 15 minute response window. Here are some actions we can take now:

First: Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard should become a cosponsor of  H.R.1987 – Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act introduced by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) in April. The 25th Amendment might still be needed, especially since health changes in a 71 year-old with a bad diet and serious stress can happen rapidly.

Second: Reintroduce H.R. 6535, The Nuclear Sanity Act  It was put forth by former Rep. Alan Grayson in December 2016.

Nuclear Sanity Act
This bill requires the President to obtain the approval of the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of State prior to the use of nuclear weapons, except: (1) in the case of a foreign military attack on U.S. territory, or (2) if it is impossible for the President to communicate with DOD and the State Department for a 24-hour period.

The bill requires: (1) the U.S. military to disregard all orders from the President in violation of this bill, and (2) any violation or attempted violation of this bill to be deemed a high crime or misdemeanor under the Constitution.

Third: Create multiple opportunities to put elected officials on the record with their support for Trump. This can be useful after indictments come down. We need “What did he know and when did he know it?” markers.

Politicians are slippery, and the press gives politicians multiple chances to “walk back” a comment. This is where regular people can help. Get your politician on the record at Town Halls supporting Trump and his actions. Those comments will be very useful this November.

This episode was written by David Grae and the creator of the show, my friend Barbara Hall. (Okay, friend might be a bit much, she liked one of my tweets months ago, so I’m totally counting her as a friend.)  I thought the show was helpful because it shows the 25th Amendment process as a story.But I know some people don’t like fictional characters on TV shows explaining serious things.  So if you want to know more about why Trump is the sole authority for launching a nuclear weapon I recommend you read this article by Alex Wellertein

If you watch TV and are interested in who would launch (or not) if Trump wants to push “The Button,” you should know about Air Force Gen John Hyten. Wellerstein points out in this CSPAN interview that Hyten and his legal staff would be the ones to tell Trump about the legality of a nuclear strike. Hyten is also the one that would launch the weapons.

Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of the United States Strategic Command. The one who pushes, “The Button”  at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska Nov. 3, 2016 photo. Nati Harnik / AP

Wellerstein notes that it is dangerous to only use legality as a reason when using nuclear weapons, since the US has not made using nuclear weapons illegal. White House lawyers can create an argument to justify a nuclear attack.

After Saturday’s false alarm I’m hoping @Wellerstein has been advising congress and is being booked on cable TV shows.  I’ve suggested him as a guest to friends doing podcasts and radio, but if you are in the  industry, check out the whole CSPAN clip, it has excellent information and analysis.

In a world where a reality TV host has become the most powerful man on the planet, it may seem strange to look to fiction and science fiction for answers, but the “What if” potential of these shows provide a truth we can’t always see.

Madam Secretary is set in a fictional universe and, like Star Trek’s universe, it is an aspirational one. Roddenberry envisioned a future where we can learn from our past and find a path forward where we don’t always use violence to solve our problems.  That is a future I want to live to see.

 “We’re human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands, but we can stop it. We can admit that we’re killers, but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes. Knowing that we won’t kill today.” — Captain James T. Kirk,  A Taste of Armageddon written by Robert Hamner and Gene L. Coon

No Laws Stopped Trump From Launching A Nuke Today

Did you know that Trump could have launched a nuke today? It would have been in response to a false alarm in Hawaii.

No law could have stopped him. Only “norms” — and as we know, he’s not good at following those.

On December 1, 2016  Alex Wellerstein, a historian of nuclear weapons at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.  wrote a piece for the Washington Post explaining how and why the whole system was set up so the president — and only the president — could decide when to launch.  No one can stop President Trump from using nuclear weapons. That’s by design. 

[Trump] will have sole authority over more than 7,000 warheads. There is no failsafe. The whole point of U.S. nuclear weapons control is to make sure that the president — and only the president — can use them if and whenever he decides to do so. The one sure way to keep President Trump from launching a nuclear attack, under the system we’ve had in place since the early Cold War, would have been to elect someone else.

I’ve been listening to the book Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and . . . → Read More: No Laws Stopped Trump From Launching A Nuke Today

Trump Is Like, TV Smart

I read a great article  5 Things TV Writers Apparently Believe About Smart People  by @cs_coville from Cracked in 2011. My favorite section was “It’s Okay To Be A Dick, As Long As You’re Smart” There are many examples of smart dicks, but at the time she used Dr. House.

“A further staple of the supergenius genre is the guy who treats other people like crap, and gets away with it because of his amazing talents. It’s actually hard to find a TV genius who isn’t a shithead. These people are unfriendly, antisocial, or generally messed up when it comes to communicating with other humans, but avoid getting sued or shot in the face only because it turns out they’re always, always right.”


“When Trump says he is “like, really smart.” he might mean a TV version of a smart person. Specifically someone who uses his “smarts” to win. The type of smarts Trump used to win isn’t your standard IQ smart.  Trump can look at the big picture and say, “The Apprentice ratings didn’t lie. I was a hit. The Electoral College numbers didn’t lie. I’m the President.” Both of those statements are true. Trump can ask “Would a . . . → Read More: Trump Is Like, TV Smart

I’m stressed out waiting for the nuclear tweet

Are you stressed out? I know I am. I’m sitting here, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Tomorrow might bring news of indictments from Mueller. That should be good news, but will it be the announcement that leads to horrible news–Trump’s nuclear tweet?

We know now how Trump responds to bad news. It reminds me of stories from people with rageaholic parents. They needed to walk on tiptoes so they won’t set off dad. They changed their behavior, because they have no control over the parent’s.

What should you do if you know something is coming that will trigger a dangerous, irrational act in someone? If you are a child there isn’t much you can do, you’re usually powerless. But what if you are part of a group of adults whose duty is to check the misuse of power?

Psychiatrists often need to make determinations about a patient’s mental state. They ask “Is this person a danger to themselves or others? ” If the answer is yes, the doctors are supposed to act in a way that protects both the patient and the people who might be harmed. It’s their duty.

If you know someone is going to lash out with a . . . → Read More: I’m stressed out waiting for the nuclear tweet

Bundling Student Loans Like Mortgages. What could go wrong?

GOLDMAN SACHS: There’s an attractive way to profit from the $1.3 trillion student-loan bubble

Goldman Sachs has a plan to bundle student loans into securities and sell them, just like they did home mortgages. What could possibly go wrong!?

We won’t know until my friend David Dayen​ writes a book on how it all fell apart in 2021 under a Democratic president.

This sounds like a great plan — for the financial industry. I’m no expert, but I can’t see the downside for the industry.

Students have to pay. They can’t get out of the loans via bankruptcy like with mortgages. Just like housing prices, tuitions always go up! Bigger loans are needed. The pipeline of students in debt will continue because free college isn’t coming anytime soon. Investors are looking for a new debt instrument to speculate with. They can’t use home mortgages like before, Millennials aren’t buying houses–because of their student debt–so it’s a winner for banks. The people who give out loans set the standards for worthiness or and credit. They have an incentive to give loans to people who may or may not be able to pay them back. The banks will be able to bundle . . . → Read More: Bundling Student Loans Like Mortgages. What could go wrong?

How the Right Weaponizes Accusations to Destroy People and Institutions

I was listening to Sam Seder and Digby on the Majority Report talking about the various political sexual harassment cases in the news last week.  Sam talked about the fear the GOP will weaponize them.  Of course they will, they have in the past.

I expect more allegations of misconduct on the left to pop up. Not because there are numerically more, but because the right will actively seek out cases on the left to balance the elephant grabbing the women in the room.

When I started this piece on Thanksgiving weekend 2017, I anticipated cases of false allegations coming from the right.

On Monday I read the story of woman who manufactured an allegation against Roy Moore, and tried to get the Washington Post to run with it. The woman worked for James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas.  (I was right again, but since I didn’t publish Sunday I don’t expect a cookie this time.)

An allegation that is reported on by the liberal media, then revealed to be false, would be great for the right. It lets them defend their own while demonizing women and the media.  “See?” they will crow, “Women LIE! You shouldn’t believe them! The liberal media . . . → Read More: How the Right Weaponizes Accusations to Destroy People and Institutions

How would Rove/Hughes Cover Up A Trump Pee Tape?

Trump Bodyguard Keith Schiller Testifies Russian Offered Trump Women, Was Turned Down

After a business meeting in preparation for the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow, a Russian who attended the meeting told Donald Trump’s personal bodyguard Keith Schiller he could “send five women” to Trump’s hotel room, according to an NBC report on the congressional testimony Schiller gave behind closed doors Wednesday.

Schiller said he told the Russian, “We don’t do that type of stuff,” sources told NBC.

On their way back to the hotel Schiller said he and Trump laughed about the offer, and that he personally stood by Trump’s door after he went to bed. Multiple sources told NBC Schiller was confident that no one sent Trump any women that evening, and that he and Trump were aware of the possibility of wiretapping or hidden cameras in the hotel room.

War criminal, Karen Hughes, some guy, female war criminal

Now, what if you worked for the Trump White House and knew the real story about this entire incident as well as the rumors? How would you knock it down? For ideas I asked myself, What Would Karl Rove and Karen Hughes Do? WWKRKHD?

A war criminal, his . . . → Read More: How would Rove/Hughes Cover Up A Trump Pee Tape?

Candy’s for Closers! Trumpian Halloween Tricks

Don’t have money for Halloween Candy?  Hate giving away Halloween treats and love Halloween tricks? Hate the new office tradition of cube to cube trick or treating? h/t Val Rodham   Think that people who give things to others, without making a profit or getting a big tax deduction, are suckers?

Think that using desperate people to make money is just smart business? (e.g.  Whitefish in Puerto Rico )

If so, follow these simple tips from Evil Spocko channeling today’s Trumpian Halloween Trick and Treat techniques.

Put out a BIG empty bowl with sign over it that says, ‘Help yourself to 3 or 4.” or “These are big, so take only ONE!” h/t David Feldman Next to the empty bowl put a milk carton with a coin slot in the top covered with orange construction paper. Write on the paper “Trick or Treat for UNICEF!”   When people see that there is nothing in the bowl, complain about greedy co-workers who must have taken all the treats while you were gone. When asked what candy you had, mention the favorite candy of your office rival. “I’m not saying he took it, but you might want to notice what candy he is eating over the next few weeks.” When you . . . → Read More: Candy’s for Closers! Trumpian Halloween Tricks

Why Didn’t I Read About This Before? How Sexual Harassers Quash Stories

This piece, about Lisa Bloom’s attack strategy on Rose McGowan while defending Weinstein, makes me ill. But I suggest reading it because it explains other reasons we didn’t hear many of these harassment stories.

Clients Turn on ‘Champion for Women’ Lisa Bloom After Her Scorched Earth Crusade for Harvey Weinstein

When you take on a group or person who has money and power they aren’t just going to roll over. They will fight back. Sometimes viciously. They will use multiple intimidation tactics, including hiring lawyers to make subtle and not so subtle threats to control the narrative.

They will use carrots and sticks to achieve their goals. The sticks scare the crap out of most regular people. At least if there is the possibility of a payout, you might get access to the kind of lawyers who will take the case.

We often don’t see details about many harassment cases because of the intimidation of journalists and their publishers.

Hiring lawyers and PR fixers to intimidate people is the method used by the rich and powerful. Harassers who don’t have money use other methods to intimidate before and after the fact. It is helpful to be prepared for these actions. . . . → Read More: Why Didn’t I Read About This Before? How Sexual Harassers Quash Stories

Our Disaster-Fixer Machines Will Save Us!

Trump Threatens ‘Fire and Fury’ Against North Korea if It Endangers U.S.

Ooooh scary. Saber, meet Rattler-in-Chief.


I’ve seen this before, more than once. But don’t worry. There are multiple ways we scientists from the future can fix things if they get really horrible. One is a little machine we developed called the Disaster-Fixer Machine or DFM for short.  We starting it with Ronnie Reagan’s bogus Strategic Defense Initiative program and used 250 billion in black ops funding to create it.) But we won’t need it this time because Ivanka will talk him down first.  She’s part of the Trump Babysitting Team (TBT) along with McMaster and Kelly. When Trump was elected the DoD hired her. Why do you think she’s around Daddy all the time? Her fashion design skills? She’s our first line of defense.

If North Korea launches its little nuke it will be shot down by the revamped Star Wars Missile Shield, called the Ground-based Mid-course Defense System  or GMD for short. This Warthog Defense video explains how it works. It was a boondoggle program at first, but it appears to work great now. My friend Guy sued to get access to the first SDI makers information and found out that those people are some of . . . → Read More: Our Disaster-Fixer Machines Will Save Us!