Chris Christie and Karl Rove’s US Attorney Project

The Republicans were supposed to talk about how they plan to Make America Work Again last night. And I supposed Paul Ryan — and to a lesser extent Mitch McConnell, when he wasn’t being booed — presented a vision of how they think Republicans run the economy. That vision doesn’t actually resemble the protectionist big government approach Donald Trump has been running on. But given the revelation that Trump offered to let John Kasich run both domestic and foreign policy if he would be his VP candidate (Kasich was still reluctant), perhaps we should focus more on how Mike Pence wants to suffocate the economy.

Instead, as most people have focused, Republicans continued to attack Hillary (Hillary continues to attack Trump, though I suspect she will focus somewhat more on policy next week than Republicans have thus far). Many people have unpacked Chris Christie’s rabble inciting witch hunt last night, but Dan Drezner backs his review of it with some data on the risks to democracy (click through to read all of, which is worth reading).

Gov. Chris Christie’s speech garnered particular attention. It triggered similar reactions from The Weekly Standard and Vox, two outlets not known to agree on all that much.

The climax of Christie’s speech was a call-and-response with the crowd listing Clinton’s various misdeeds.

[snip]

Indeed, political events in both Turkey and the United States makes one somewhat concerned about the future of democracy as a political institution. Francis Fukuyama has banged on in recent years on the problems of political decay in the advanced industrialized democracies. He’s a bit more sanguine about this election cycle than most, but the erosion of accepted norms of political behavior is an extremely disturbing trend. Donald Trump (and his campaign manager) certainlyepitomizes this contempt for such minor things as the Constitution and the rule of law:

As the cherry on the top of this worry sundae, the Journal of Democracy has just published an article by Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk entitled, “The Danger of Deconsolidation: The Democratic Disconnect.” Foa and Mounck have previewed their findings here and here over the past year, and their thesis is pretty damn sobering: 

[snip]

What we find is deeply concerning. Citizens in a number of supposedly consolidated democracies in North America and Western Europe have not only grown more critical of their political leaders. Rather, they have also become more cynical about the value of democracy as a political system, less hopeful that anything they do might influence public policy, and more willing to express support for authoritarian alternatives. The crisis of democratic legitimacy extends across a much wider set of indicators than previously appreciated….

In theory, it is possible that, even in the seemingly consolidated democracies of North America and Western Europe, democracy may one day cease to be the “only game in town”: Citizens who once accepted democracy as the only legitimate form of government could become more open to authoritarian alternatives.

[snip]

By all means, read the whole thing. As an American, I find it particularly troubling that Ronald Inglehart’s rebuttal essay says that Foa and Mounck are exaggerating because this phenomenon is limited to the United States.

Foa and Mounck’s data ends in 2010. One could argue that things have only gotten worse since then, as Christie’s show trial speech suggests. But if I have a sliver of optimism, it is that the Trump campaign is America’s moment of staring into the anti-system abyss and seeing the ugliness that would await.

I will be curious if, after this election cycle, there is a greater appreciation for the democratic institutions that have made America great for more than a century.

I’m sympathetic to the notion that democracy is becoming delegitimized here and elsewhere, and in part blame the elites who have divorced policy outcomes from democratic accountability and therefore from benefits for average voters.

But the Chris Christie witch hunt is a special case. After all, this is a former US Attorney, a former top embodiment of America’s criminal justice system (and Christie’s attack was far more irrational than that of another US Attorney, Rudy Giuliani, earlier in the night).

And he’s not just any US Attorney. He’s a US Attorney who got that role largely off his fundraising for George W Bush, even in spite of concerns about his experience. Christie was, in some ways, one of the early test cases for Karl Rove’s theory that US Attorney positions would make great launching pads for further political advancement — and it worked, to some degree. After prosecuting a bunch of Democrats in an equal opportunity political corruption state, Christie won the governorship and started abusing his power, most spectacularly with Bridgegate. He came close to winning the VP nomination with Trump (and if last night is any indication, perhaps he should have). Along the way he pioneered Deferred Prosecution Agreements, making monitor positions another piece of pork for loyal Republicans.

In other words, Christie is the personification of a Republican effort to politicize a position that — while political — had previously been treated with some respect for precedent and neutrality.

No longer. Last night, Christie broke down all remaining barriers between law enforcement and political prosecution. It was the inevitable outcome of Rove’s little project.

Like Drezner, I’m worried generally about the state of our democracy (though unlike him I think the elite have a lot to answer for letting it happen). But the Christie witch hunt is a development above and beyond that general trend.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

55 replies
  1. rugger9 says:

    I remember the Shrub Administration prosecutor purge, which in all likelihood led to the prosecution of the Democratic Governor of Alabama Don Siegelman on trumped up quid pro quo corruption (in which nothing of value was actually explicitly defined to be exchanged, which is a key part of the SCOTUS interpretation for VA governor McDonnell’s clearance). Note that Siegelman remains in prison. This purge extended to attorneys serving their country, where David Ignatius of New Mexico refused to be a Bushie and was cashiered for missing work (he was on his deployment, so that discharge violated several federal laws).
    *
    There is NOTHING that the GOP will not do if it can tactically help their political position, since the Bushies in particular understand that the purpose of power is power as explained in Orwell’s “1984”. This was even to the point while in 2004 there was whispers passed about for a couple of weeks that it might be too dangerous to hold a presidential election which was swiftly withdrawn when it was pointed out that we’d had elections during all of our wars.

  2. wayoutwest says:

    It seems to me that democracy has prevailed in Turkey against the bloody assault of an undemocratic cult, many of the people there seem to think so.

    Here in the Homeland democracy hasn’t existed for some time, if it ever actually existed so its a bit late to mourn its passing.

    In more democratic times the Clintons probably wouldn’t have faced hanging but they would have faced tar and feathers and a ride on a rail out of town. Christy’s rhetorical theater was just old fashioned politics to stir the base and encourage them for the battle ahead.

    As we have recently seen the Clintons are untouchable and even if they don’t return to stink up the White House with their crooked/ corrupt agendas they will remain in the class of parasites who have risen above accountability and paying for their actions, that is the fate of lesser beings.

    • rugger9 says:

      Who would you pick? Trump, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson? Please tell us who and why you picked them.
      *
      HRC is hardly “untouchable”, because if so she would get the fawning MSM front-page press that Trump has gotten. If nothing “sticks” it is not for lack of trying by Issa, Gowdy, Roger Stone, Faux News, etc., and the various lowlifes, opportunists and brainwashed people who will never see the truth even when it repeatedly explained to them.
      *
      Case in point, Benghazi had limited security because the GOP CONGRESS didn’t want to pay for it, and the rules of engagement for the contractors apparently required Washington approval to let them go.
      *
      If one wants to talk about emails, how about Rove “losing” his Blackberry when it was about to be subject to a subpoena, or that Condi and Colin both had private servers, or the many millions of emails lost by Shrub’s administration when investigators were looking into any of a number if irregularities such as the USA purge to install loyal Bushies.
      *
      I’m no fan of triangulation which seems to be a nice way of saying any deal is better than no deal. However, any business person worth their salt will walk away from a bad deal.
      *
      So, WOW, who would you pick if not Hillary?

        • rugger9 says:

          I did vote for Bernie in the CA primary, but he’s out and supporting HRC. Bernie is a dead end now and a vote for Trump in practical terms, protest or not.

          • John Casper says:

            Appreciate your comments.
            .
            FWIW, would invite you to consider that only the swing states matter for winning the electoral college.
            .
            Four-years ago, I trusted Nate Silver that Romney couldn’t win Wisconsin. I voted a straight Dem ticket, except for Jill Stein. Was very happy Nate was right.

      • bevin says:

        “..Case in point, Benghazi had limited security because the GOP CONGRESS didn’t want to pay for it, and the rules of engagement for the contractors apparently required Washington approval to let them go..”
        There would have been no need for ‘security’ in Benghazi had Hillary not insisted on going to war against Libya and then, when that mission was accomplished, shipping tons of weaponry to Syria where the wahhabi militias, she sponsored, used them and use them yet, to terrorise the population.
        The GOP in Congress were right to insist that they have the right to decide whether or not Presidential adventures are worth financing.
        It takes considerable gall to blame anyone but Hillary and her acolytes for the tragedies, past, present and future, in Libya and Syria.

        • John Casper says:

          You wrote, “…had Hillary not insisted on going to war against Libya…”

          I had no idea the Constitution invested the Secretary of State with the authority to declare war.

          1. In what article, section, and clause is that?

          You wrote, “The GOP in Congress were right to insist that they have the right to decide whether or not Presidential adventures are worth financing.”

          2. Do you mean that the Constitution invested the House of Representatives with the, “power of the purse,” or do you mean something else?

          3. If the, “GOP in Congress,” oppose Sec. Clinton’s discharge of her duties, why don’t they request that Speaker Ryan and the House of Representatives impeach her?

        • rugger9 says:

          This is not a HRC issue, but an outsourcing and privatizing issue that is very much a GOP thing. I don’t see any pix of HRC holding Saudi princes (who finance the Wahhabi militias) like Shrub did.
          *
          Next time come back with facts.

      • Jim McKay says:

        Jill Stein/Green. “Lesser of 2 evils” choosing AFAIC, at this stage of U.S. deterioration… utterly foolish. On current path, regardless whether HRC/Trump elected… either looks certain to offer only different paths to implosion.

        Energy generation transformation to green is quintessential challenge of our time, consequences of not doing it will degrade quality of life for the whole planet. AFAIC, we either do this or suffer. All these other petty concerns, unending demonizing from entire political class is to me nothing more then demonstration of unwillingness or inability to deal with real world problems in an energetically intelligent and constructive manner.

        • wayoutwest says:

          I wish I could support the notion that our so called Green transformation will actually have much effect on AGW. It could help address that challenge only if two other changes occur in out economy and society, they are stopping the growth in demand for new energy and then drastically reducing present consumption or overconsumption. The great recession has reduced the growth In demand but if there is a recovery it will continue its climb and no one is even talking about doing anything to reduce our base demand for energy.

          • John Casper says:

            You wrote, “I wish I could support the notion that our so called Green(sic) transformation will actually have much effect on AGW.”
            .
            1. How could a, “transformation,” to sustainable energy not effect climate change?
            .
            1.1 What’s a, “so-called Green(sic) transformation,” as opposed to a, “green transformation?”
            .
            You wrote, “It could help address that challenge only if two other changes occur in out(sic) economy and society, they are stopping the growth in demand for new energy and then drastically reducing present consumption or overconsumption.”
            .
            2. Do you have any numbers to back up your claims?
            .
            2.1 Do you have any links to back up those numbers?
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            2.2 What kinds of energy are you describing?
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            2.3 If you think reducing consumption is so important, why are you drawing on electricity to read and comment here?
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            2.3.1 Given how concerned you claim to be about, “demand,” why did you use energy to write, “your river may not burst into flames anymore but calling it a ‘nice clean river’(sic) , please!”
            .
            You wrote, “the great recession has reduced the growth In(sic) demand but if there is a recovery(sic) it will continue its climb and no one is even talking about doing anything to reduce our base demand for energy.”
            .
            No one, who understands the potential for solar, wind, biomass/pyrolysis/biochar, and new technologies such as, carbon fiber, hydrogen, OTEC https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_thermal_energy_conversion , wave, tidal, and enhanced geo-thermal is talking about reducing, “our base demand for energy,” because it’s too dumb.
            .
            2.4 Didn’t you read your last edition of “Motor Trend?”
            “MISSOURI TO BUILD SOLAR PANEL ROAD ON OLD ROUTE 66”
            http://www.motortrend.com/news/missouri-build-solar-panel-road-old-route-66/
            .
            3. You’ve never heard of Elon Musk?
            .
            3.1 I wouldn’t invest in his TSLA or SCTY, but is there any vehicle manufacturer who isn’t bringing electric or hydrogen, or both vehicles to market?
            .
            3.2 Didn’t Saudi Arabia slash the price of their sweet crude, because they know it won’t be worth much in the future?
            .
            3.3 Have you heard of Joel Salatin? His ideas for sustainable agriculture attack confinement factories and tillage. He claims pasturing pigs in forests could help the pigs and the forests, “Let Them Eat Acorns: Preaching the Gospel of the Forest-Fed Pig.”
            http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/dining/preaching-the-gospel-of-the-forest-fed-pig.html?_r=0
            .
            4. We may have already passed the point of no return, but that’s no excuse for your pity parties.

            • wayoutwest says:

              All that your rambling rants show is that an educated fool is still a fool. You may be overeducated but you still seem to be ignorant about how our world functions or the scale of industrial civilization.

              The pig fantasy story is a good example of this ignorance and pigs don’t help forests they help destroy them. There are about 70,000 pork producers in the US producing about 24 Billion pounds of pork yearly and this nitwit wants to set millions of pigs free to swarm through the eastern forests, brilliant idea.

              • John Casper says:

                You wrote, “all that your rambling rants show…”
                .
                10. When did the, “rambling,” start?
                .
                10.1 Could you quote the worst five-rambles?
                .
                .
                You wrote, “is that an educated fool is still a fool.”
                .
                11. What makes you think I’m, “educated?”
                .
                .
                You wrote, ” You may be overeducated…”
                .
                12. What makes you think I’m, “overeducated?”
                .
                .
                You wrote, “but you still seem to be ignorant
                .
                13. So you’re not 100% sure that I’m, “ignorant.”
                .
                13.1 Which of those, “ramblings,” gave you pause?
                .
                Can you explain why are you sure about the, “fool,” but not certain about the, “overeducated?”
                .
                .
                You wrote, “…about how our world functions…”
                .
                14. Will you educate me, “about how our world functions?”
                .
                .
                You wrote, “…or the scale of industrial civilization.”
                .
                15. Will you educate me about the, “scale of industrial civilization?”
                .
                .
                You wrote, “the pig fantasy story is a good example of this ignorance.”
                .
                16. Since you didn’t read the link, how do you know it’s, “fantasy?”
                .
                .
                17. You wrote, “…and pigs don’t help forests…”
                .
                17.1 Have you raised pigs in forests?
                .
                17.2 What breed?
                .
                17.3 What forests?
                .
                .
                You wrote, “…they help destroy them.”
                .
                18. Why haven’t they destroyed Salatin’s forests?
                .
                18. 1 What did you make of the, “simple electric fence,” part in the link?
                .
                “In “Pigs ‘n Glens,” the inaugural video in his new how-to series, Polyface Primer, Mr. Salatin contends that a simple electric fence can transform marginal land into an income source and an entry point for young farmers, while challenging the conventional wisdom that meat has to be produced on an industrial scale.”
                .
                18.2 Was that part of the, “fantasy?”
                .
                18.3 What did you make of the, “rotating herds,” part?
                .
                “Rotating herds of about 50 pigs from pasture to pasture every few days, he aims for the ecological sweet spot: just long enough so that the pigs’ hooves stimulate seed germination and the soil’s ability to retain water, but not so long that a muddy moonscape develops, raising the risk of cholera and other diseases in the antibiotic-free animals.”
                .
                18.4 Was that part of the, “fantasy?”
                .
                .
                You wrote, “There are about 70,000 pork producers in the US producing about 24 Billion pounds of pork yearly…”
                .
                19. Do you have links for either of those numbers?
                .
                .
                You wrote, “… and this nitwit wants to set millions of pigs free to swarm through the eastern forests, brilliant idea.”
                .
                20. Where in the link did the, “nitwit,” say he was setting pigs free? Please quote it.
                .
                20.1 Do you know bevin? He writes calumny about Rayne. Now you’re trying to do the same with Salatin. Joel owns those pigs. He only makes money if he sells them.
                .
                .
                When you respond, please use the numbers. Thanks in advance.

          • Jim McKay says:

            WoW:

            stopping the growth in demand for new energy and then drastically reducing present consumption or overconsumption.

            The sun delivers more BTU’s to Earth in 24 hrs. then humans generate on the entire planet in 1 year.

            • wayoutwest says:

              True statement, but we humans and our industrial civilization are trapping enough of those BTU’s delivered by the sun by generating GHG through overconsumption and endless economic growth.

              If your numbers are accurate we humans are producing a staggering number of BTU’s every year, year after year.

              • Jim McKay says:

                WoW,

                You’re missing the point entirely.

                Total human energy generation, current requirements (consumption) is not the problem: our dirty generation and (fossil) fuel sources are.

                The point of my solar BTU statment: there is an over abundance of available energy from the sun alone, more then enough to satisfy growing & increased demands beyond what anyone can currently see. There simply are not nearly enough people demanding what it will take to accomplish this… not even close.

                Solar energy capture technology is in it’s infancy, many many major breakthroughs available if sufficient research was being done. Even at our current state of knowledge, the planet could convert to green in 10 years if there was a collective will to do it.

                I don’t think our current paradigms for “economy” will all this, a whole lot more is going to have to change.

                It is possible though, no question about it. Will take an energized public however… will never happen if we wait for politicians to “see the light”.

                • wayoutwest says:

                  Jim, you seem to be putting your faith in a technocratic fantasy that has never lived up to its promises and created the problems we now face. You also leave out the mega amounts of FF energy required to produce this transition along with the massive amount of mining, manufacturing, displacement and probably war needed to source the raw materials that will be required.

                  Solar and wind power are at or near their peak efficiency already and I don’t see any practical or affordable breakthroughs coming anytime soon. Trusting our wizards of science or technocrats to save us from the coming disaster they helped create is folly.

                  The Big Green transition is already in motion because it will create huge profits but no one has shown that it will have any near term effects on GW and even the projected positive effects far in the future are questionable.

                  We have been raised and indoctrinated in a culture that claims a right to over consume so I understand your hope for a future that doesn’t require sacrifice or facing reality but living in a Big Green future on a baking degraded planet won’t be that great.

                  • John Casper says:

                    You wrote, “Solar and wind power are at or near their peak efficiency already…”
                    .
                    21. What solar are you talking about?
                    .
                    21.1 How are the peak efficiency suppliers storing the energy?
                    .
                    21.2 How are the peak efficiency suppliers transmitting the energy?
                    .
                    22. What wind are you talking about?
                    .
                    22.1 How are the peak efficiency suppliers storing the energy?
                    .
                    22.2 How are the peak efficiency suppliers transmitting the energy?
                    .
                    23. What about other forms of renewable energy?
                    .
                    .
                    You wrote, “…I don’t see any practical or affordable breakthroughs coming anytime soon.”
                    .
                    24. What are the, “breakthroughs,” that you’ve deemed not practical or not affordable, or both?
                    .
                    24. 1 What do you mean by, “affordable, ” to what costs are you referring?
                    .
                    When you respond, please use the number. Thanks in advance.

                    • wayoutwest says:

                      Hansen is a mouthpiece for the Nuke industry and an opportunist who wants us to believe in Green, Safe and oh so necessary Nukes. Next you will probably quote another opportunist who wrote the training manual for greenwashing and corporate control of the environmental movement, Bill McKibben. There are many dedicated and honest people involved with 360.org but they either don’t know or don’t care that they are being used. These corporate stooges masquerading as activists have lured the idealistic, gullible and uninformed into the corporate/NGO dead end grasp of big money while the Big Green investors are gleefully counting their Green $Trillion investment fund gleaned partially from the FF disinvestment movement at major universities. This was led by upwardly mobile young idealists ensuring their comfortable positions in the corporate controlled environmental NGO industry.

                      I don’t understand why you parrot these corporate Green fantasies denying the reality of what is actually happening unless you depend in some way on this agenda.

                    • John Casper says:

                      Apologize to Jim.
                      .
                      It doesn’t matter that he knows stuff and that you don’t.
                      .
                      It doesn’t matter that, he’s not hiding behind a handle.
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      “I don’t understand why you parrot these corporate,” fossil fuel, “fantasies denying the reality of what is actually happening unless you depend in some way on this agenda.”
                      .
                      snip
                      .
                      “These corporate stooges masquerading as activists have lured,” me, “into the corporate/NGO dead end grasp of big money…”
                      .
                      FIFY
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      30. Are you allergic to links?
                      .
                      30.1 Where’s your link providing evidence of your Hansen claim?
                      .
                      30.2 Why did you capitalize, “big, green,” and, “trillion,” in, “while the Big(sic) Green(sic) investors are gleefully counting their Green(sic) $Trillion(sic) investment fund gleaned partially from the FF disinvestment movement at major universities.”
                      .
                      30.3 Who are these, “big green investors?” Name them.
                      .
                      30.4 What evidence do you have that they netted, a, “trillion,” dollars?
                      .
                      30.4.1 Of that, “trillion,” how much came from, “major universities?”
                      .
                      30.4.1.1 Can you break it down per university?
                      .
                      30.5 From what sources beyond, “major universities,” did, “their investment fund,” come?
                      .
                      30.6 Do you want the, “major universities,” to re-invest in fossil fuels?
                      .
                      You wrote, “This was led by upwardly mobile young idealists… .”
                      .
                      30.7 Who are these, “idealists?” Name them.
                      .
                      30.7.1 For whom do they work?
                      .
                      You wrote, “ensuring their comfortable positions in the corporate controlled environmental NGO industry.”
                      .
                      30.8 How, “comfortable,” are they?
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      Jim Hansen is a giant, but building nukes is most likely a mistake. Post-9/11 they are easy targets for anyone with a drone and some TNT. Like any centralized generation, they are single points of failure. No private insurers will take on much risk without the government back stopping them. The world is running out of fissile material. Russia has most of what’s left. Cooling requires vast supplies of fresh water, which most of the world doesn’t have. We don’t know how to store the waste. We don’t know how to keep it out of the water table. We don’t know how to keep it away from terrorists. Nuke’s take at least a decade to bring online. Wind turbines, solar, biomass, wave, tidal, enhanced geo-thermal, and OTEC can happen much more quickly.

                      30.9 Could existing nukes be suitable for creating green hydrogen?

              • John Casper says:

                You wrote, “true statement, but we humans and our industrial civilization are trapping enough of those BTU’s delivered by the sun by generating GHG….”
                .
                5. What do you mean by, “enough?”
                .
                .
                You wrote, “through overconsumption and endless economic growth.”
                .
                6. So, according to you, the greenhouse effect is caused by (A) GHG’s, (B) overconsumption, and (C) endless economic growth?
                .
                6.1 So according to you, even if 100% of our energy came from renewable sources that emitted zero GHG’s, we would still face the lethal effects of climate change?
                .
                .
                You wrote, “If your numbers are accurate,…”
                .
                7.1 Did you check?
                .
                7.2 If not, why not?
                .
                .
                You wrote, “…we humans are producing a staggering number of BTU’s every year,…”
                .
                8. How is this is relevant?
                .
                .
                You wrote, “…year after year….”
                .
                9. Should we take a year off?

          • John Casper says:

            You wrote, “It could help address that challenge only if two other changes occur in out economy and society, they are stopping the growth in demand for new energy and then drastically reducing present consumption or overconsumption.”
            .
            31. Could you provide examples of, “demand for new energy?”
            .
            31.1 When the temperature goes below freezing this winter in the northern hemisphere, is the demand for heat a demand for, “new energy?”
            .
            31.2 What does it matter if the U.S. reduces demand for electricity, if the grid remains, “hot?”
            .
            31.3 Can you define, “overconsumption,” and contrast it with, “consumption?”

            • wayoutwest says:

              JC, I might respond if your comments didn’t read like a stalker/hijacker’s list of demands. I’m not here to answer your many questions and you already know how to do simple searches. You need to slow down and focus.

              • John Casper says:

                wow,
                .
                “I might,” stop making reasonable requests, “if,” some of your claims, “didn’t read like,” stuff paid for by the fossil fuel industry.
                .
                32. On Thursday at 4:31 on this thread you called me a, “fool.” Why didn’t you mention you felt, “stalked,” and, “hijacked?”
                .
                32.1 Can you quote and provide links to the first comments where you felt, “stalked?”
                .
                32.2. Can you quote and provide links to the first comments where you felt, “hijacked?”
                .
                32.3 Why do your comments so often contain violent references–“barrels of gunpowder, assassinations, stalking, hijacking?”
                .
                32.4 Do you think I’m, “here to,” to let you peddle fossil fuel messaging while pretending to be a social justice warrior?
                .
                32.4.1 Since you brought it up, why are you, “here?”
                .
                32.5 Do you, “know how to do simple searches?”
                .
                32.6 Do, “you need to slow down and focus?”

    • John Casper says:

      You wrote, “It seems to me that democracy has prevailed in Turkey against the bloody assault of an undemocratic cult, many of the people there seem to think so.”
      .
      Who?
      .
      Do you have a link?
      .
      .
      A few days ago Moon of Alabama didn’t fully share your view.
      .
      “The response will be harsh. Erdogan will crack down on ANYONE he politically or personally dislikes – completely independent of their involvement in the coup. All political parties, even the mostly Kurdish HDP, spoke out against the coup while it was ongoing. The religious Gülen movement also opposed it. Most of the involved soldiers were told that they were part of an exercise. It will not save any of them from Erdogan’s and his supporters’ wrath.”

      http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/07/coup-against-wannabe-sultan-failed.html#more
      .
      .
      You wrote, “Here in the Homeland democracy hasn’t existed for some time, if it ever actually existed so its a bit late to mourn its passing.”

      If it ever existed, when was that?

      How do we get it back?

  3. bloopie2 says:

    Christie is playing a dangerous game. He’s been in New Jersey politics long enough that there are plenty of misdeeds in his past that a future Democratic President could “go after”. But of course she wouldn’t do that, now would she?

  4. blueba says:

    I am old enough to remember Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-Amedrican Activities Committee. This is well beyond that and is very close to the kind of language heard by many historical severely authoritarian governments. The singular attack on Clinton with lie after lie using the rhetoric to bring the lie into the truth in the minds of citizens, the attack on people of one faith, the parallels are clear. This is fascism like it or not, and it now has a foothold whether Trump wins or looses. The rhetoric of the illegitimacy of government and institutions will play out with dangerous consequences no matter who wins.

    Take note of who might benefit from chaos and authoritarian rule – the elite/billionaires/corporate owners/transnational elite call them what you like, will have a totally open goal.

  5. martin says:

    quote”No longer. Last night, Christie broke down all remaining barriers between law enforcement and political prosecution. It was the inevitable outcome of Rove’s little project.”unquote

    Christie and Rove. There’s a pair of vomit inducement. Had you used Tom Delay within that sentence I would have to disinfect my computer. Speaking of which..I wonder how many thousands of gallons of bleach it’ll take to clean the stench and filth out of Quicken Loans Arena.. er..wait. They’ll never clean it up. It was built with filthy money in the first place.

    • rugger9 says:

      Run the Cuyahoga through it, perhaps two negatives will cancel out. It works in math, so why not?

  6. bloopie2 says:

    I’m from Cleveland and I can tell you that the Cuyahoga is a nice clean river now and has been for many years. Maybe run your cheap lazy jokes through the Arena instead?

    • wayoutwest says:

      Your river may not burst into flames anymore but calling it a ‘nice clean river’ , please!

      • bloopie2 says:

        Okay, so maybe I went a bit too far. Or two bits too far. Still, it’s there, it’s not burning these days, and dammit, the Cleveland cops are doing all right so far! (Haven’t shot any 12-year old black kids with air rifles). All in all, probably better to be outside the Hall there, than inside.

  7. bloopie2 says:

    Someone ought to hack the Convention live feed. Put Cruz’s past condemnations of Trump on the air when Cruz is up there groveling, for example. Fun!

  8. Evangelista says:

    Mz. Marcy,

    You wrote, in concluding your post about the first night of the 2016 Republican Presidential Convention, that, “Last night, Christie broke down all remaining barriers between law enforcement and political prosecution.” and, “I’m worried generally about the state of our democracy” and, “(…I think the elite have a lot to answer for letting it happen).”

    I guess it was a late night for you, and things were kinda somehow confusing where you were…

    First, the event was a political convention. You know, one of those “leave-your-brain-at-home and let-er-rip” events. Kind of lik a ballgame, wrestling-match, or other spectator-exercise event.

    While there was some “prosecution” of politics, thre wasn’t much in the way of “law enforcement”, and not much in the way of barriers, either.

    While Christie maybe was a U.S. Attorney, at some time, and maybe associated to Rove somewhere along the line, he wasn’t at the RepCon, where he was a warm-up act and a cheerleader. Nor was Hillary Clinton, last night, an indicted defendant in any case at law, not even at the RepCon (where she was, in enthusia, already convicted).

    Taking that kind of cheerleader-leading-cheers stuff seriously is in the neighborhood of Barney Fife running into a grandstand to arrest someone for shouting “Kill the Quarterback!”
    .
    Your worry about the state of “our democracy” is also confusing, since we, in the United States, do not have a democracy: We have a republic, which is different. If to you we seem to have a democracy, and if you have been sold the idea we have a democracy, it is, indeed, as you parenthetically state, that it is the elite who have to answer for that happening. Elites do try to sell democracy, which is enthusiasm-stimulated decision-making by a mob-majority. It is a great system for pushing over nit-wit ideas: Drum up the enthusiasm, whoop up ascent and agreement, and ‘vote’ the not-thought-through idea a go: The mob has agreed, so the mob is to blame, with the mob-leader, the elite member, able to defend by saying, “everybody said ‘yes, let’s do!’, so it wasn’t really me, it was everybody hung the ______(enter vernacular victim-identifier here).”

    Of course, if anybody had been able to drag out a Hillary Clinton, or even a suitable effigy, at the RepCon, ain’t any doubt they’d a’ found ‘er guilty. That’s what that kind of whooping is for, and that kind of whooping is what conventions are for. Hell, I even saw some do it up for soap, at an Amway convention one time (I got thrown out at half-time for laughing).
    .
    The United States having a republican form of government, it is principles, not elite-‘roused enthusiasms, that are (supposed to be) controlling, and for “republican” coming from “re” and “public”, right there in the name we can see to whom the controlling principles are supposed to be beneficiary; we don’t even have to read the Preamble to the Constitution, though we can if we want to check and be sure.

    In any serious event situation it is important to review per our national republican principles. But in political conventions, where there is no harm to be done, we can just let ’em rip and have fun.

    Especially at the Rep Con: After all, what harm can they do?

      • Evangelista says:

        John,

        In your comment #16 you ask “Are your comments here, “leave-your-brain-at-home and let-er-rip,” events?”
        .
        Where you are the comment reader, they do seem to be.

        • John Casper says:

          You wrote, “where you are the comment reader, they do seem to be.”

          1. What’s a, “comment reader?”

    • wayoutwest says:

      Eva, we don’t even have a representative republic where the people are actually heard or consulted even with its so called democratic bells and whistles.

      I see you are firmly in the elite camp when imagining the people actually making critical decisions affecting the country such as war is to be avoided because only the elites know what is best for the unwashed masses.

      What we have now is really Mob rule with a criminal parasitic class of elites making all decisions and their political minions immediately upon election ignoring their duty to represent their constituents.

      • John Casper says:

        You wrote, “What we have now is really Mob rule with a criminal parasitic class of elites making all decisions and their political minions immediately upon election ignoring their duty to represent their constituents.”

        1. Since you admitted that the Cuyahoga is no longer a fire hazard, who among, the parasites in the criminal, “class of elites,” should we thank?

        2. Do you understand what private equity groups are, and what role they play in the world economy?

        3. Why do you refuse to respond to numerous inquiries from others and me, about what you’re doing here, about what your plan is for improving our situation?

        4. Are you a religious fanatic, preaching repentance, sack-cloth, and ashes; because the world is ending, the Almighty is coming with fire and brimstone?

    • martin says:

      quote”First, the event was a political convention. You know, one of those “leave-your-brain-at-home and let-er-rip” events. Kind of lik a ballgame, wrestling-match, or other spectator-exercise event.”unquote

      Maybe in your parallel universe. “Spectator exercise” events don’t call for someone to face a firing squad.

      Meanwhile, the real author of Trump’s “best seller” The Art of the Deal, swallows hard and then rips Trump’s mendacity curtain down…

      quote”“I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”

      If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.””unquote
      http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/25/donald-trumps-ghostwriter-tells-all

      The Sociopath. If anyone would know, Schwartz would. He spent 18 months with The Sociopath. Day in..day out. God…that must have been living hell.

  9. Denis says:

    Ole’ Hil is in for a real bashing over the next 3 months, ain’t she? —
    along with Lynch and Comey. Hil could end up wishing she had
    stepped aside when the stepping was good so Biden could get into
    the WH and prevent prosecution. I kept hoping that would happen,
    maybe it sill will.
    .
    Her problem is that no double jep has attached to her case yet.
    Should this Trump take the WH and appoint Christie AG, he will
    convene a grand jury for sure. And if GOP loses the WH but
    takes the House, there will be an impeachment for sure, if for no other
    reason than to tar and feather her right at the beginning of her term.
    You don’t need a conviction by the Senate to do that.
    .
    By not getting indicted, I think Hil’s option of getting a presidential
    pardon is foreclosed — I don’t believe Obama can pardon her when
    she hasn’t been indicted. Given the presumption of innocence, she
    technically hasn’t committed an “Offence against the United States”
    that she could be pardoned for.
    .
    But even if Obama does try a preemptive pardon, the USSCt has
    ruled that accepting a presidential pardon is tantamount to an
    admission of guilt, and that should be enough to justify impeachment.
    .
    Ford pardoned Nixon without him being charged or tried, but Nixon
    was by then out of the WH and couldn’t be impeached, besides the
    Democrats had no incentive to let the country continue with its
    “long nightmare,” so they didn’t force the constitutional issues by
    prosecuting the cretin.
    .
    BTW, it’s so good to have MW and Ed back at their keyboards. Whew,
    has anyone noticed how the quality of the blog really takes a nosedive
    when they are not contributing regularly?

    • John Casper says:

      “Whew, has anyone noticed how the quality of the blog really takes a nosedive
      when they are not contributing regularly?”
      .
      Great fundraiser quote, thank you.
      .
      Quality such as Ed, Rayne, and Jim White provide–to support the can’t-think-of-an-adequate-superlative emptywheel–doesn’t come cheap. The last few years, I’ve been stuck at an annual gift of $240. How much have you kicked-in over the last five-years? Are you planning to increase your annual gift?

      • Denis says:

        John Casper,
        A few quick questions/observations:

        1. Your numbering approach is wonderful, thank you.
        1.1 But ain’t it slightly anal-retentive?
        1.2 Are you an accountant by any chance?
        .
        2. Your comment: “Quality such as Ed, Rayne, and Jim White provide–to support the can’t-think-of-an-adequate-superlative emptywheel–doesn’t come cheap.”
        2.1 You got 2 out of 3, and that ain’t bad.
        2.2 “…doesn’t come cheap” — please tell us how much a blog like this costs.
        2.2.1 And the reason I ask is that I run one for about $100/yr.
        2.3 Please check your hyphenation — 7 hyphens in one sentence could be a record and makes it almost impossible to decipher.
        2.3.1 (Try parentheses.)
        2.4 Should be “cheaply.”
        .
        3. Your comment: “The last few years, I’ve been stuck at an annual gift of $240”
        3.1 If the blog costs are less than $100/yr., you should be getting some change back.
        3.2 For this year’s contribution, please buy them a new blog format that permits comment-editing and empty lines between paragraphs.
        .
        4. Your query: “How much have you kicked-in over the last five-years?”
        4.1 My financial affairs are none of your business, sir.
        4.1.1 Are you from the IRS?
        4.1.2 OK, I’ll tell you: $0.
        4.1.2.1 And when I see the vile, potty-mouth flames that a couple of the bloggers here throw at commentors they disagree with . . . well, let’s just say my financial support of such unwarranted, sophomoric vituperation will remain at $0, adjusted for cost of living.
        .
        5. You asked wayout: “Since you admitted that the Cuyahoga is no longer a fire hazard, who among, the parasites in the criminal, “class of elites,” should we thank?”
        5.1 You can thank me, actually, although I deny being a parasite, criminal, or elite.
        5.1.1 $240 would be sufficient, thank you.
        5.1.2 In the late 60’s — early 70’s I was a gutter-grunt for the Ohio Dept of Health and then the OhioEPA when it was formed. I was one of the screws who waded into the Cuyahoga and its tributaries and into sewer pipes to collect the samples that were used to prosecute the likes of USSteel and numerous small violators such as metal-coating operations. Minimum wage and all the arsenic and copper you could drink, which is why I’m sterile today . . .
        5.1.2.1 . . . intellectually speaking.
        5.2 I hated those assignments because I always misspelled the name of the river on the sample labels.
        5.2.1 But I did not set that river on fire, only because someone else thought of it first.
        .
        6. Cheers.

        • John Casper says:

          Send emptywheel a check for $4,000. If I hear from her that it cleared, before comments close on this thread, I’ll do my best to respond.

  10. Rayne says:

    John Casper (9:08) — Thank you for your generous support. We don’t make a living here; operations including tech support, hosting, design, security cost do cost money. Your donation makes continued operations possible.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A cleaner Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie are thanks in large part to Zebra mussels (a Russian invader) and industrial runaways. But the globalized left behinds need all the silver linings there are.

    More fanciful than a clean Cuyahoga is that Erdogan’s reactions to an apparent coup attempt are bolstering democracy. They are intended to bolster Erdogan, not democracy. More interesting would be where that all fits into the secular vs. religious state conflict in Turkey.

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