Three Things: Hey You, Mr./Ms./Mx. Pissed-Off

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

I get it. You’re furious, en fuego, royally pissed off. You’ve traveled through shock and traversed anger, raging for days now since Attorney General Bill Barr issue that POS four-page letter chock full of holes big enough to drive a 40-foot dry van through again and again.

And now you’ve hit bottom, burned out and blue having reached another stage in the grieving process.

We all know this isn’t the end of it, no matter how much gaslighting and abuse the White House, its proxies, the right-wing horde, and asshats like David fucking Brooks spew. You know what you saw in the speaking indictments, plea agreements, and sentencing memos produced over the last two years.

We all know who ‘Individual 1’ is no matter how much he and his myriad minions and handlers would like us to forget his role as an unindicted co-conspirator who denied the public the right to know the truth about his past during the 2016 election.

At least one conspiracy to defraud the American public is right there spelled in black and white under our noses, and again in congressional records as part of Michael Cohen’s testimony before the House. Trump worked with Cohen to lie to the voting American public, violating campaign finance laws in doing so.

“If the people don’t have the facts, democracy doesn’t work,” as Judge Amy Berman Jackson told former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort during his sentencing hearing, another liar Trump brought into his team, allowing Manafort to change the Republican’s platform on Ukraine without a wide and open discussion among conservatives about it.

Trust your eyes and ears. You’re right to be angry and disappointed. Take a deep cleansing breath in and center yourself, feel that righteous burn of indignation, then let out the poison.

And then take another deep breath, roll up your sleeves, grab your phone, and let’s kick some ass.

~ 3 ~
What: Barr didn’t confine himself to his four-page POS summary on Sunday. Oh no. He had to make it really fucking personal for a huge swath of Americans by refusing to allow the DOJ to defend the Affordable Care Act. From the ABA Journal:

The DOJ’s new stance would strike down additional provisions that allow children to have coverage on their parents’ policies until age 26 and that guarantee “essential health benefits” such as mental health, maternity and drug coverage. The stance also would eliminate an expansion of Medicaid and free preventive services for people on Medicare.

Quite literally Americans could die because of this move.

Needed:
— Call your representatives and tell them you support the current ACA legislation in the absence of a better, Medicare for All replacement.
— Ask your reps to do what’s necessary to ensure the DOJ fulfills its mission to enforce the laws of this country, which at this time includes ACA.

You can see Barr is now setting a precedent for a unilateral executive branch which can pick and choose the laws it will enforce in spite of precedent backing existing laws. This can’t go any further.

Congressional Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

~ 2 ~
What: Betsy ‘Multi-Yacht’ Devos decided disabled Americans do not merit an opportunity to achieve; she’s proposed ending funding for Special Olympics.

That shallow, stupid wretch has no real idea what Special Olympics means to the disabled, especially children and their parents. One of my family members has worked for more than a decade at a Special Olympics camp, spending weeks with children who otherwise wouldn’t be able to go to camp like abled children. The kids meet other kids like themselves, make new friends, learn new skills, hone their physical abilities, begin to see themselves as capable of so much more. And their parents get a much-needed respite from caring for children who may need around-the-clock monitoring.

But as the former director of the Office of Government Ethics says, the cruelty is the point. Devos is Cruella De Ville who will kill puppies for their coats given the chance. Pro-life, my foot; she cares not a whit what life is like for the disabled after birth.

She quite literally wants to axe Special Olympics and take the money to give to charter schools, which fail at around 25% rate. The money she will steal from the disabled will literally go down a rat hole and nobody except the charter school profiteers will benefit from this scam.

In fact the amount we spend as taxpayers providing additional support to Special Olympics could be offset easily if Trump spent four less weekends at his golf courses on our dime.

There are those who argue it’s really Trump who insisted on this cut and Devos is merely is grunt doing the scut work of hurting the disabled. Sure — but a person whose values are genuinely aligned with caring for fellow humans would have told Trump to stick this sidewise and quit their post instead.

The chances of this proposal passing the House are slim to none, especially after Devos was grilled by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) on Tuesday, but it’s a line in the sand we should draw.

Needed: Call your members of Congress in both houses and let them know this kind of cruelty to disabled Americans is unacceptable and it will not fix the inherent problem of making schools into privatized profit centers with an unacceptably high rate of failure.

Congressional Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

~ 1 ~
What: Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is appearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Trump’s corrupt nominee for Interior Secretary.

If you have a moment or two, watch for the swamp monster — the one in the green mask sitting behind Bernhardt, not Bernhardt (because when you’ve seen one of the fleshy pink swamp monsters, you’ve seen many).

Needed: This guy is selling out our national resources. Call your senators and tell them hell no on this dirtbag, we don’t need another swamp monster helming the Interior Department.

Congressional Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

~ 0 ~
Don’t forget to check your phone’s battery charge. Get calling!

This is an open thread, by the way.

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239 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Rep. Adam Schiff should get a standing ovation for his clapback today.

    • klynn says:

      Not just a standing ovation, he deserves our support. The whole committee meeting was amazing. Too bad the GOP fell into character assassination instead of patriot mode and listen to the methods of how compromise happens. Info warfare is real. If T wants to play the “see I’m innocent” with all the evidence in the public domain spelling out maskirovka, all the GOP would have been wise to suggest T is a victim of a foreign power instead of the attempts at the Macarthism branding. 199+ criminal counts that all have soft and/or substantial ties to T. It is NOT ok. “Compromised” was great framing by Schiff.

    • fpo says:

      One can only imagine what the last two years on that committee, with Nunes et al., must have been like for Schiff. The children doth protest way too fucking much – and the staged ‘walk out’ from the hearing today is just sooooo trumpy. They’ve lost their way – along with any chance of gaining what little respect they ever dreamed they might have ‘serving the people.’

    • franceso says:

      ASSHAT David Brooks….
      Yup ! What the hell is it with that dude…. he’s so busy equivocating that it seems his moral compass got magnetized by stumpy’s energy….

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Equivocating is Brooks’ specialty. His role is to normalize the unthinkable from the right, which he does behind a facade of supposed intellectual and historical detachment. In his way, he has become a senior courtier, like Bill Barr.

      • Rayne says:

        I swear to god he’s worried about his gig so he writes shit posts to drum up traffic. Totally worthless crap fit only as clickbait. I can’t think of an intelligent person who says, “Wow, that Brooks, now there’s some fine reasoning and memorable writing.”

          • wilcinmd says:

            Sadly, AOC is only 29 currently. You will have to wait until 2028, barring a constitutional amendment lowering the minimum age to serve as the President or Vice President from 35.

            Unless… She somehow became the Speaker of the House and something was to happen to the President and Vice President. Not that I am suggesting anything should befall those two absolutely sterling individuals who represent the best among us (I can’t believe I had the intestinal fortitude to write that, but I’m not looking for a visit from the Secret Service). The constitutional lawyers can weigh in on the legality of this scenario, but I believe it would circumvent the age requirement.

  2. hester says:

    This administration is not only corrupt, but mean. Why dismantle the ACA, why cut Special Olympics funding? Wtf is wrong with these people? Destroy the people, the country and the planet. What is wrong w them? Mean and stupid.

    I think the attempt to dismantle the ACA will backfire and hopefully hand us the WH and the Senate next year.
    Hopefully

    • Rayne says:

      The attempts to undermine and eliminate health care before a solution has been written and implemented, while Americans are struggling more than ever with health expenses like insulin prices, should be used as a cudgel against the 20 GOP senators who are running for re-election in 2020. They should not return to DC if they can’t support ACA and develop a health care solution to replace it.

      • P J Evans says:

        There are common prescription drugs where the generic is about $30 for 90 days with Medicare, and $160 for the same 90 days without. That’s a sign that someone is being grossly overcharged. I’m willing to let them charge 10% over the actual cost of manufacturing and distribution, but you can’t tell me that it costs that much to make and distribute something that isn’t a new drug and isn’t an addictive pain-killer.
        (The same goes for medical tests; when I can hit “healthcare bluebook” and it tells me that the cost of a given test should be about a quarter of what I’m being charged – I know that all that extra money is going for someone’s third Mercedes.)

        • John K says:

          After getting myself off opioids with the help of marijuana, I have been using extra strength Aleve (naproxen sodium) instead. Over the counter Aleve is 220mg per pill, prescription strength is 550mg. My local pharmacy went out of business two months ago. I transferred my prescriptions to a local CVS and went there to pick them up. They wanted $289 for the extra strength pills. Needless to say, I refused.

          • DG says:

            I have been fortunate to live in Amsterdam for 35 yrs. I have a home in South Florida. I buy my scripts in 3 month increments. If I bought it in florida at Walgreens the price would be $857 every quarter. I don’t because I buy the same thing in Amsterdam for 45 euros, which is about $50

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              What general part of town? In thirty-five years you must have seen more changes than you count, including the increasing number of tourists.

      • Raven Eye says:

        Of all people, my new veterinarian (actually, my cats’ vet, but I pay the bills) looked me in the eye the other day and said “It’s a conspiracy. It’s gotta be a conspiracy.”

    • roberts robot double says:

      It appears that the nature of Republican politics requires dark-hearted ruthlessness before they are accepted into the club. At this point, with all the obvious evidence, it would be unwise for us to keep ignoring their outright cruelty: from their racist attacks on Mr. Obama (and his policies), to separating and caging migrant children, to tolerating and mingling with white supremacists, to their outright lying, hypocritical attacks on all who speak out against them. It gives me no joy to state that we are likely dealing with sociopathic sadists who will stop at nothing — AND I MEAN NOTHING — to keep and exert their sadistic power.

      They must be stripped of their power to harm others. It is our human responsibility and, furthermore, completely legal.

    • PieIsDamnGood says:

      I can’t tell if it’s a distraction ploy (“Mueller report is in, lets move on”), if their just that out of touch, or if cruelty is the point.

    • tacocat says:

      Trump and his racist base’s agenda has always been just as committed to erasing Obama as it has been to grift.

      • Valerie Klyman-Clark says:

        I read a while back that the GOP was terrified of Obama and now they’re terrified of his shadow.

        Fear of a brown planet, innit?

    • RWood says:

      The Times is saying it was due to Mulvany and Grogan leaning on Drump and telling him “The base will love it”, which, of course, is all he needs to hear.

      If he does it he’ll be creating votes against himself. Just like he did when he sent the troops to the border for no reason. Just like he has by dismissing Puerto Rico. Just like his budget proposal to cut Medicaid will do among the senior citizens that get what that means for them.

      States that benefit from Obamacare cost reductions the most: Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Floriduh.

      All states that went to Trump in 2016.

      • Stacey Lyn says:

        Has anyone noticed this pattern of Trump ‘winning’ some battle or other and then within 24-36 hours he’s pulled out his own dick and just stomped on it repeatedly with some sort of boneheaded move that causes the attention to move away from his ‘victory dance’ to the idiotic thing he’s just done after that? Then he jumps up and down and chastises the media for ‘not covering his victories’. “Dude! YOU don’t cover your own victories with anything but a bizarre psychopathic attraction to your own victimhood!” I’ve literally never seen anyone this dedicated to self-destruction…and I used to be in mental health. He’s like a master’s class in the DSM, every day it’s a new page to study! Absolutely amazing!

  3. hideousnora says:

    Thanks for the much needed refocus/pep talk, Rayne. Getting on the phone and not giving up! love and peace from Chicago.

  4. Rita says:

    What is the probability that Whitaker or Barr leaked the bottom line findings in the Mueller Report to key Republican Senators like Graham and Burr? These findings weren’t just made Friday.

    I recall a couple of weeks ago Burr coming out and saying “No collusion” and Warner coming to the opposite conclusion.

    I hate to sound paranoid but I think the Republicans have been playing dirty pool.

    • I am Sam says:

      If you live in Washington, DC and look off at a certain window in the Department of Justice, you might see a big fat man with a bucket of whitewash looking at a stack of papers. In his other hand is a phone connected to the White House. From way down here in Tennessee, I detect a strong stink. I remember the smell before coming from the same direction. However, the whitewash will never cover up the stink.

  5. What Constitution? says:

    Thanks, Rayne, for an Open Thread that inspires me to share what is perhaps the single movie clip which most precisely encompasses the One True Statement that Donald Trump Jr. should be asked to confirm is his essential take away from the Barr Resolution of a Mueller Report which explicitly provided that it “does not exonerate” the president of the allegations of felony misconduct. I give you Bill Murray in Stripes:

      • What Constitution? says:

        And now Mike Trout can display his virtuosity for twelve more years in Anaheim (and Tempe). The best part being the universal acclaim that his “biggest contract in MLB history” is completely warranted. So we got that goin’ for us. Which is nice.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, if anyone other than Trout got that contract, it might be shaky. That guy is a once in a lifetime ballplayer.

      • punaise says:

        Tough times for an SF Giants fan. We had our glory run 2010 – 2014 (even years only), so I guess a decade or more of mediocrity is a fair bargain.

          • punaise says:

            Yes – having followed them since the mid/late 60s it was much appreciated in real time, maybe even more in retrospect given the implausibility of it all. I mean: Pat Burrell? Cody Ross? Marco Scutero?

            If they win the season opener today it may be the only time that they are north of .500 this year. When it came out in that the principal owner donated to the racist wackjob woman candidate in Georgia (forgetting her name) that was a boycott-inducing moment of reckoning. Plus the GM’s recent public altercation with his wife… not cool.

            so, ummm….go Warriors!

            • bmaz says:

              Yeah, the Diamondbacks will be right there with them unfortunately. Speaking of mid 60’s, my uncle took me to a game in Dodger stadium once where got to see, Drysdale, Willie Davis, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and more in (I think) a 14 inning game. Have a signed Giants baseball from it still even though I was, at the time, a Dodgers fan. Even though a Bum’s fan, Willie Mays is my favorite player ever (and, for my money, still the best).

              • punaise says:

                That was a great rivalry back then. I wasn’t quite old enough to appreciate how great Willie Mays was; too bad he didn’t exit the game gracefully when his skills diminished.

                With all due respect, we are overjoyed to get Paul Goldschmidt out of the NL West!

                • bmaz says:

                  Goldy was incredible. Don’t blame him for seeking a bigger stage and money. Guy put up incredible numbers, and was Gold Glove, and never got the recognition he deserved.

                  Also, I was truly a little kid, but Mays was still great then. Guess I am aging myself.

              • P J Evans says:

                I remember when my grandmother, a Dodgers fan, would visit, we’d watch the game on TV (because all the games in LA were on TV back then) and listen to the play-by-play on the radio (better pictures, IMO), and she’d be handed a radio that could get the LA broadcast, so we were familiar with Vin as well. (And when we were visiting in LA, we could watch the games in SF on TV, too, but we couldn’t get the radio coverage.)

                • bmaz says:

                  Until like now, I never knew a Dodgers broadcast that did not involve Vin Scully. When I was a tiny kid, I would tune in the transistor radio in the outskirts of Phoenix to pick up the AM Dodger broadcast of KFI from LA at night. AM waves really travel at night, and if you tuned in just right, you could totally receive it all the way in the Phoenix area. Later a local station simulcasted it, but initially it was because of AM signal bounce at night.

                  Man this is all a blast from the past.

                  • P J Evans says:

                    I think KFI is/was a 50KW clear-channel station. The Giants were on KSFO back then, and it didn’t have that kind of reach. (I recall once in west Texas, getting KNX, also 50KW clear-channel, with a traffic report that included a jack-knifed set of doubles on the 605 north of I10. AM travels well.)

                    • Jockobadger says:

                      That radio bounce at night is called a skip or skywave in Ham Radio. It’s great when it happens. Reflecting/refracting off the ionosphere. We take advantage of it a lot, esp in 2-10m. Can work over hundreds of miles.

                      73! KI7NNE

                    • scribe says:

                      Back in the summer of 93, between jobs, I was roadtripping and flyfishing my way around the Yellowstone region of SW Montana, Jackson Hole and NE Idaho. If you’re gonna do it, do it right. Mostly car camping. The one night I wound up getting dinner and a beer in a roadhouse somewhere near Wisdom or Wise River, Montana (I forget the exact name) where the sign for the restrooms was clenched in jaws (and fangs) of a mountain lion skull. Later that night, hearing noises in the bush near my car, I decided to sleep inside. And I got to listen to Vin Scully on the skywave, and the LA traffic reports (traffic jams on the 405 at 3 am!) and all the rest. One of the joys in the life of someone who’s always appreciated the potential and reality of great radio.
                      I listened to a lot more Dodgers (and Giants) games on the skywave that trip.
                      Another in the car on the skywave: caught the call of an Orioles game by the great, and underrated, Jon Miller the night Cal Ripken went 6 for 6. If there’s anyone in the game today who can stand on the same stage as Vin, it’s Miller.

                  • Valley girl says:

                    bmaz, indeed a blast from the past.

                    I grew up in the San Fernando Valley. I listened on the radio, with my father, to Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett call the LA Dodger games.

                    Vin outlasted Jerry as an announcer for decades. Vin is the best baseball announcer, ever.

                  • Democritus says:

                    An RF engineer I’m friends with
                    told me that VHF UHF waves bounce off the atmosphere basically and that is how those big whip antennas you see on vehicles can pick up signals LOS ones can’t. Always found that interesting.

                    Now for a real sport, hockey *runs away before you see this😉*

                    • Jockobadger says:

                      Hey Demo, those big whip antennas on vehicles are mostly mobile Ham Radio station antennas – 2 to 10 meter. The vehicle itself acts as a ground plane. I have a couple myself. Oftentimes Ham’s license plate numbers are their callsign. e.g. KI7NNE (my license plate and Station Call Sign.) It’s a blast and distraction from all of this crap.

                    • Emily says:

                      That’s how we used to get WLW sometimes hundreds of miles away for (dare I say it in a thread with this many Dodgers fans)….my beloved Redlegs.

              • John K says:

                As a kid in New Orleans without a home team, it was always Roberto Clemente for me- in the field, at the plate, and on the basepaths.

                • Valley girl says:

                  The Dodger’s song- Danny Kaye
                  https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=u7qYcyUjDPU

                  Space inserted to avoid the youtube showing in full here.

                  Orlando Cepeda – you’ll hear that name!

                  • P J Evans says:

                    That used to get played a lot in the Bay Area…for some reason. (“Oh really? No, O’Malley.”)

            • Tracylynn says:

              Yeah, same old, same old. Great pitching and no hitting. Been a SFG fan my entire life, but Charles Johnson’s donation to… I can’t remember her name, either, was the last straw. We stopped watching the Giants on cable and we don’t spend money on the games anymore. I guess you could call it a boycott, but I’m tired of enabling people like Johnson who actively support politicians who work against the interests of people like me. People like Johnson will do fine without my money and I can sleep better at night knowing my hard-earned dollars aren’t going to support racist agendas.

        • elk_l says:

          That’s better than what was said about the Chicago Cubs: “Any team can have a bad century.”

    • Rayne says:

      LOL I forgot about that! I should queue up a re-watch, loved John Candy in that film, too. Thanks for the blast from the past!

    • Eureka says:

      One of the best movies ever. EVER. (OK, fine, it had its day and I liked it. Long time no see.)

  6. P J Evans says:

    I feel so damned lucky that all of mine are Ds, even if some of them aren’t as good as they should be.
    I also wonder why the GOP-T feels they need to kill their parents, their siblings, and their children and grandchildren. If they hate people that much, they should be hermits, avoiding society, instead fo trying to force everyone else live in misery or die of avoidable causes.

    • cat herder says:

      Yes, but the income opportunities for hermits are not that great. Cruelty pays really, really well.

      What was that dollar figure quoted around one of the Roger Fucking Stone hearings, $37,000 a month? From somewhere, just for him to say nasty trolling bullshit on the internets from time to time and hang out with Nazis? It’s obscene and nauseating. I’d puke, but since I’m trying to live on $900/month and one meal a day, that would be an irresponsible waste of vital resources…

      • P J Evans says:

        Me? about 1400 a month, including the money that Medicare takes out of my SS before I get it. 1K for rent on the apt, about 120 for food, another 300 for various other expenses…and I’m damned glad that I put money into savings, as well as getting some from my parents, because otherwise I’d be in your situation. (As it is, I’m buying a lot of half-price must-sell stuff at the market. Without that, I’d be spending about $200 a month for food – and I’m not eating out.)

        • cat herder says:

          I tried to remember exactly how long it’s been since I last bought fast-food at a drive thru, and the closest I could get was ‘more than 10 years ago’. I wouldn’t even know how it works these days. I assume they have card readers you can reach to swipe your own card or something? I have no idea.

          Can’t say I miss it, though.

  7. Bob In Portland says:

    I was driven from the comments section because I said that this all was BS. A couple of things. Robert Swan Mueller III built a career in the Justice Department hiding up CIA criminality. William Barr got his JD while working for the CIA then did similar work inside the GHW Bush administration. Both blocked real investigations of the CIA. Paul Manafort made a living representing foreign leaders who were put into power by the CIA, removed from power by the CIA, were murdered by the CIA, or a combination of the above. Anyone here see a connection that points to an ultimate culprit that runs psyops against the American people?

    I wrote this in 2017 soon after the election about Russiagate:

    I wrote this in the summer of 2018:

    Remember all those intelligence agency assessments that you believed in? You know why you shouldn’t have believed them? Because they were from intelligence agencies. If you didn’t believe the WMDs in Iraq or the nuclear bombs in Iran or the last hundred lies generated from the intelligence community why did you believe this? Because Trump is a narcissistic sociopath who is also lying corporate thief. If you recognized him for what he was, why would Russians want to rely on him for anything.

    Two essays which you didn’t read before embarrassing yourselves by buying into yet another intelligence okeydoke.

    • bmaz says:

      Listen up jackass, nobody drove you anywhere. And you can take your bogusly sanctimonious crap and move along. And, no, you are not going to link whore your crappy writings on this blog. Those were excised.

      • Vinnie Gambone says:

        Link Whore? Who you calling a link whore? I never played golf in my life.

        RE: CIA
        Trump proved the CIA didn’t kill Kennedy because if they did then they surely would have blown Trump’s brains out when he spit in their faces in the lobby of their building on January 21, 2017.

        With Oswald we had a supposed Russian patsy kill the president. With Trump we have a real russian patsy who has killed the presidency.

    • Rayne says:

      Wow. Quit embarrassing yourself. Blogwhoring and gaslighting are a very bad combo putting aside your inability to grasp the obvious — like the conspiracy to conduct campaign finance law violations revealed without an intelligence agency’s help. Or the guilty pleas and continuing cooperation by the multiple indicted and convicted.

      • Bob In Portland says:

        Let me see. Did I talk about campaign finance violations? No. I talked about the Russiagate delusion, and Mueller’s lifelong career covering up for CIA criminality.

        • bmaz says:

          Buh bye Bob. Franky I though we had already had this parting is such sweet sorrow moment before.

          Well, here are again.

          • Bob In Portland says:

            So sad that you cannot let go of the okeydoke that you have reveled in for three years. I guess that this website has something that blocks website addresses.

            I’m not going to bother. Remain in ignorance, bmaz. And the good thing about remaining in ignorance is your are too stupid and too stubborn to change your mind.

            By the way, this is not any kind of endorsement of the narcissistic sociopath.

    • cnote says:

      Thought you were going somewhere with this. Remember, Cheney/GWB Administration cherry-picked the intelligence to lie us into war which makes DJT claims against intel community very disingenuous since he is trying to cherry pick on border (3000 terrorists apprehended at border, wink, wink).

      But this does allow me to transition to my slightly related series of questions.

      First, the re-emergence of Barr on the heels of Abrams return to State is noteworthy. You have this Bush 41 crew re-emerging which shows that the Establishment GOP/Deep State operatives embrace DJT now. It signals increased arms sales in Latin America (spec. overthrow of Maduro). Barr is the Iran-Contra fixer/pardoner and now he re-appears ostensibly to facilitate the pardons of Flynn, Stone, and Manafort. On top of that, Barr’s son in law is now employed at the White House. Even more noteworthy, after Schneiderman’s exit and Khuzami returning to DC, the new head of SDNY is Audrey Strauss who was the Iran-Contra prosecutor. Should this be reassuring or unsettling?

      So, this leads me to my questions. What are the odds that the older Trump children (Don Jr, Eric, Jarvanka) are indicted? My feeling is that SCO would not be best prosecutor for the inner circle due to the overwhelming politics that would make the case harder so he spun off best cases (fraud, bribery) to relevant prosecutors.
      Plus, there could now be a cascade of indictments in multiple districts (NY, NJ, DC, VA) related to pre-campaign, campaign, and inauguration that begin to hit about 12-16 months from now so about 5-9 months before the election.

      Also, how does the risk of recession in 12 months affect the odds that the kids or DJT himself would be indicted during his term? Do prosecutors have to consider politics when making charging decisions?

      I think in the next 9 months, DJT will pardon Flynn, Stone, and Manafort.
      I think at least Don Jr will be indicted within a year.
      The country will be in a recession during fall 2020 meaning DJT is voted out. He is then indicted with a couple of months of a litany of charges in NY and DC.

      • Bob In Portland says:

        Just like Obama indicted Dubya and crew for the lies about Afghanistan and Iraq. Sure. Or how Bill Clinton indicted Dubya’s dad for all the crimes of Iran-contra.

        And speaking of campaign finance peculiarities, did anyone find it curious that the House of Saud and Qatar made big donations to the Clinton Foundation before Clinton approved big arms sales to them, back in 2011. Or those millions in donations to the DNC which laundered the money through 32 state Democratic parties and ended up in a couple of Hillary PACs. Why would an agent for Sri Lanka want to donate a million or so to the DNC? Maybe because Sri Lanka was worried about the winners of the civil war being brought up for war crimes at the Hague. The quick movement of money through the state Dem parties was legal laundering, through a loophole.

        But back to the subject. Why did the DNC choose Crowdstrike to examine their “hacked” computers rather than the FBI?

        • P J Evans says:

          Why all the focus on the Dems, when this is about the current WH occupant and its GOP-T partners in corruption?
          It makes you look like you’re here with a purpose that is not in harmony with this site.

        • Rayne says:

          Thanks for clarifying your motive here is trolling. Dragging out two decades of conspiracy theories spanning three presidents tells us you’re only trying to DDoS this thread instead of allowing others to discuss current issues.

          I’m going to address the last item though because it’s an active disinformation operation being spread by trolls and bots across social media in order to sustain the Trump v. Clinton race of 2016 due to its popularity with the mouth-breathing base.

          — First, you know dick about Crowdstrike just as most trolls don’t. Crowdstrike is a seasoned information security vendor founded in 2011 by two former McAfee executives; its services division was co-founded in 2012 by a former FBI cybersecurity specialist.
          — Most trolls also don’t know Crowdstrike’s work investigating advanced persistent threats — like that from hostile nation-state entities like Operation Aurora (attributed to China) and the Sony hack (attributed to North Korea) — has been relied upon by U.S. intelligence agencies including the FBI.
          — Crowdstrike is the kind of firm an organization calls when they believe they’ve been hacked but must continue day-to-day operations.
          Crowdstrike’s relationship with law enforcement and their expertise dealing with APTs is why the DNC called Crowdstrike instead of some rinky-dink unvetted outfit recommended by somebody’s cousin. The DNC was a victim that needed to remain in operation during the busiest time in a four-year cycle and in such a way that their constituents were not disturbed — that’s why they didn’t simply turn over the keys to the FBI.

          Now beat it.

          • Democritus says:

            Well I would like to thank that troll for prompting you to write about that, none of which I knew about. So at least some small bit of good came from that.

            You’d think they’d realize that in the end they are helping EW spread GOOD information when they come in here spouting bad.

            Thanks for the education Rayne😊

      • Bob In Portland says:

        Barr worked for the CIA from 73 to 77 during which he got his JD from George Washington U. Like you mentioned he was in the middle of defending GHW Bush from inside his administration.

        Robert Mueller steered prosecutions away from Iran-contra cases. For example, he managed to prosecute Noriega without noticing the CIA’s cocaine flowing one way through Panama and weapons the other. Oh, and the money-laundering. He prosecuted the “drug tug case”, a smuggling case with connections to failed banks in Marin County. The main dudes walked. They used a Panamanian island as a staging point. Mueller missed it. The original case of Pan Am 103 involved a Frankfort cell of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The bomb was provided by Monzer al-Kassar, a major Syrian heroin supplier. He was also one of the arms dealers on the other side of Iran-contra. But Mueller decided instead to charge two Libyan jamokes. Mueller also missed the McKee Team, a group of US intelligence agents flying home from Beruit against orders to report on US hostages in Beruit. McKee had been present at a pre-election meeting in 1980 between Republicans and the Iranians holding the embassy hostages.

        Mueller also prosecuted John Gotti for cocaine distribution. Guess where the cocaine came from.

        Having taken over the FBI a week before Mueller did such a bang up job investigating 9/11 that he missed that most of the hijackers were Saudis. He also missed those planeloads of rich Saudis while the rest of the US was grounded. He shut down Operation Green Quest, the FBI group searching for the financing of 9/11 soon after names like Grover Norquist turned up. He investigated the anthrax letters and eventually pointed to two scientists at Fort Detrick. The first one sued and settled for millions. The second “committed suicide”. Neither scientist had the means or the equipment to produce military grade anthrax. He apparently overlooked Battelle Memorial, which makes military grade anthrax for the US military and had a building within a mile of the mailbox where they anthrax letters were mailed. He also failed to link that two politicians who were the most outspoken against the Homeland Security Act were targets of the letters.

        Oh, and Robert Swan Mueller’s uncle was Richard Bissell, Deputy Director of Plans for the CIA. In 1966 he married his childhood sweetheart Ann Cabell Standish. Ann’s grandfather Charles Cabell who was second in command under Allen Dulles. All three were fired by JFK for lying about the Bay of Pigs. Ann’s granduncle Earle Cabell was mayor of Dallas at the time of JFK’s assassination there. Besides hosting the assassination he was also identified in documents declassified last year as a CIA asset.

        But let’s not trifle with obscure conspiracy theories that our watchdog media has thoroughly examined and dismissed. Let’s call for all the proof that the dozen or so intelligence agencies agreed upon.

        • Rayne says:

          Are you still here? Really? Why do you think intelligence agencies are going to share counterintelligence which would likely expose sources and methods?

          The time for you to pull this bullshit was back in 2016 and 2017. Clearly as long as Trump and GOP leadership were okay with Mueller and intelligence agencies then you were fine with this — it’s only a problem NOW when the guy you claim you’re not endorsing has “not been exonerated.”

          Scram. Seriously.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          “Our watch dog media has thoroughly examined and dismissed” jack shite. That Sean or Jake or Chuck say it ain’t so, means squat.

          • Democritus says:

            If I was up for it I would rip through that putz arguments one incorrect underlying assumption and inference at a time.

            But there are just too many to make it worth while, ya know? My hands would give up the ghost long before I got to the end of the first para

        • cnote says:

          So…your point is that Barr is just the latest neo-con Establishment Republican sent to “manage” DJT for the donors and he, RSM, and Rosenstein are covering up DJT crimes?

          I still wonder what DJT and Putin discussed in Helsinki…and the other 4 times. I wonder what will happen regarding Jareds use of encrypted personal app to back channel with MbS.

  8. viget says:

    What Marcy just tweeted..

    Shit, the whole ACA could be much worse than I thought. That story says that if the DOJ won’t let the prosecutors go on with their case in Miami, because they think the entire ACA in unconstitutional, then a bunch of people charged and convicted under the Medicare Fraud Statues, could get out of jail, scot-free?!?!?!

    That’s a major major problem. What a can of worms Trump has opened.

    • scribe says:

      It is one thing to make a motion in court seeking some flavor of relief, which gets a headline and an emo reaction from readers of the news item.
      It is an entirely different thing, after timely opposition to the motion is filed and a reply filed by the moving party (and perhaps a sur-reply from the opponent and maybe also the participation of amici in support or opposition, also filed), for the judge to consider the papers and then hold oral argument (which, unlike in appellate courts, is not necessarily circumscribed by artificial time limits) at which everything is the subject of a deep dive into both the facts and law, and then for the judge to retire and issue an opinion/decision in due course (which has been literally months on some motions I’ve filed or opposed, depending on their complexity) which decides the motion. Which decision is then perhaps the subject of a motion for reconsideration by the disappointed party (if new facts or law pop up in the long time between argument and decision), or both parties if both are disappointed, which starts the whole cycle anew. Or perhaps an interlocutory appeal (or at least a try at one, such interlocutory appeals being quite limited in the federal system), which engenders a whole set of new briefing issues (not the least of which is whether the appellate court even has jurisdiction), etc.
      In the normal course, just the trial court deciding can possibly take a year.
      And then put all this in the context of this being a criminal prosecution, where the government gets all the breaks and has all the upper hand on motions, especially those that might benefit the defendant. Where a criminal statute is alleged to be unconstitutional, this motion will go back to Main Justice for them to supervise and control what the opposition says. And they will probably send an attorney down to be in charge of the local prosecutors. And they will get additional time to respond – IIRC the rules of court provide such extra time for getting Main Justice involved.
      Defending an accused requires making all motions you possibly can find a good-faith basis for. And this is a good faith basis, so counsel had to make the motion. It does not mean these defendants are going to see their charges disappear. That’s possible, but not likely. Especially since the government has recently changed positions on legal issues like some people change their shirts.
      If it makes you feel good you can run around and scream about how the sky is falling, but don’t expect to be taken too seriously after a few iterations of it.

  9. Sandwichman says:

    GOP meanness is targeted at the observers rather than the victims. The message is “see what we can do with impunity?” This reinforces conformity and obedience within the ranks. It is the same logic that underlies torture. The actual victims are just “collateral damage” in a spectacle being staged for the benefit of the underlings. Some of the rank and file supporters take sadistic pleasure in the spectacle but those who don’t are intimidated into unwavering “loyalty.”

  10. cfost says:

    Thanks, Rayne. The days of sitting back and waiting for our elected reps to do the right thing are over. Immediately upon taking office (if not well before), they are subjected to immense pressure by the Party to tow the Party line. Most often the Party line is the billionaire donor line. The only way this dynamic changes is if we the (natural, not legal) people exert similar pressure. Our reps must be forced to do the right thing.
    What are we up against? This article, by Masha Gessen, sums it up very nicely.
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-trump-russia-investigation-and-the-mafia-state

    • Rayne says:

      I’ve advocated for some time that our electeds should know us. I know that it’s not possible for representatives whose districts are massive or senators whose states are populous to get to know every constituent. But if people who truly care about democracy and justice make an effort to communicate regularly with their electeds, they know you. They feel your concerns. It’s harder for them to look away and ignore constituents’ positions. And for too long too many of us have been disengaged civically — this is the harvest of neglect. Now we have to make up lost ground; it’s time to suit up, lock and load, get to work. Sic ’em, cfost.

      • cfost says:

        Good point. I’m reminded of Nunes. His farm is… where? He lives… where? And he hasn’t held a town hall meeting in 8 years if memory serves.

        • Valerie Klyman-Clark says:

          I am deeply sorry to report our representative is Mark Meadows who actually represents much of Western NC. I cannot recall his last town hall-maybe two years ago and he definitely seems to make it a point to stay out of Asheville. His and Senator Burr’s offices are notoriously difficult to get a hold of and their phones are nearly always either busy or unavailable. When we have gotten through, the folks manning the phone lines are almost without fail, rude. Junior Senator Tillis’ office is a little easier to contact and his minions more civil.

      • P J Evans says:

        They should be required to live in the districts they’re elected from, at least when theyr’e not having to be in DC, starting from about 90 days before they file for election the first time. I’m tired of the ones who never go back to their districts, or have only a reclining chair there.

        • RWood says:

          I’m tired of snowbirds who only live in my state for a few months voting here as if they live here year-round. We’re blue in the summer and red in the winter.

          I’ll see your 90 days and raise you 180. Any while you’re at it, move election day to the middle of the summer.

          • Tech Support says:

            Making election day a federal holiday might not be as effective as moving it to July but it certainly wouldn’t hurt.

          • P J Evans says:

            yeah, 180 days would be better. Or make it the same as for registering to vote in that state. If you can’t vote in the district you claim to represent, you can’t do much good in that spot.

        • Rayne says:

          I think AOC’s experience moving to DC has been educational for folks who’ve never seen what it is our reps must do to serve us and still remain a resident of their home state. The cost has been prohibitive as have the rules making it more likely only the wealthy run for Congress. I wish I could promote the idea of Congressional dorms — should have been what we did with the old DC post office. The federal government builds and manages 538 dorm rooms so that their paycheck supports their families back home and they don’t find themselves bringing family to DC because the cost of two true residences is cumbersome. Maybe if they had to live together they’d develop more bonhomie as well.

            • What Constitution? says:

              And it would be so extra cool if the government was to buy the old D.C. Post Office building and convert it to a congressional dormitory, because I’m sure the current owner would be delighted to accept a below market price in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety by, say, profiting exorbitantly in an “emoluments” kind of way. Sure there’s a great deal in the offing for the American taxpayers in any such arrangement, right? What, maybe not? Let’s try it and find out.

                • What Constitution? says:

                  Oh yeah, that’s maybe a detail. Trump would capitalize the balance of the lease to sign it back at a hefty override, I bet, though. Carrying costs, and all that. I hear it has 68 floors and lots of gold toilets. He’d probably steal the doorknobs before leaving, though, and all the towels.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            That would be a useful contrast to the Gingrich model. In the mid-1990s, Newt became Speaker and imposed new rules on his party.

            Pre-Gingrich, congresscritters normally moved with their families to Metro DC and occasionally commuted back to their home states. That lessened the tie, but it meant that the ‘critters lived, worked and socialized with their peers from both sides of the aisle. They shopped and went to church in the same places, their kids went to the same schools, they saw each other as people, not caricatured enemies.

            Gingrich changed that into a segregated dorm life. ‘Critters kept their families in their home states and lived cheek by jowl with their party classmates in houses, rented rooms, and apartments. They socialized only with themselves. They had little connection to DC other than their ambition to follow the party rules in order to get a rung up the leadership and seniority ladder.

            Like now, they had quotas of calls to wealthy donors to make. They flew back home frequently, further reducing normal social ties to DC. At home, though, they had little time for family. They had donors to call on, and quotas of calls and campaign contributions to meet. Virtually no time was left to legislate, so much of the work of drafting and revising legislation was siphoned off to all too willing lobbyists.

            For the leadership, it was wonderful. No young turks with the time, opportunity and energy to challenge them. No one crossed the aisle in a bipartisan effort to get something done. If they did, they were ostracized and primaried. In exchange for so much control over the legislative process, lobbyists lavished campaign cash on their pet ‘critters. Only some of that has changed.

            Among the bad outcomes from the Gingrich model is ‘critters reduced ties to and concern for to DC. That’s unfortunate in many ways. As a federal district – like Burpelson Air Force Base – they govern it: they control its funding and many of its functions. Little happens there without their approval, and they care less now about what happens to it.

          • P J Evans says:

            Not the Old Post Office, but something like the Watergate complex: a massive condo/apt complex, because you need more than 500 units. (Yes, it’s crossed my mind, as a Good Idea, also.) Assign them units based solely on space-needed-plus-one-bedroom, so that, as much as possible, their neighbors aren’t from the same state or party, and preferably mix rural and urban also.

            • RWood says:

              Had a thought-bubble conversation about this that turned to how Senators vote. We hatched the idea of each party voting for a senator, and those two senators then getting ONE vote on any legislation.

              Forced Bipartisanship? Yes, but it beats what we have now.

              Never happen, but it was a fun conversation. Just imagine the Christmas tree bills that would produce!

      • Wotadog says:

        Stating the obvious: GOP needs to be removed in 2020. As a non-American (Australian) follower of Emptywheel I’ve been thinking for sometime that the best thing I & friends could do is volunteer for grass roots campaigning as the 2020 election approaches. Foreigners can contribute their time and energy so long as it does not amount to an in-kind contribution. (See what contributes an “in-kind contribution” here:https://transition.fec.gov/pages/brochures/citizens.shtml#contribution

        My question is how do I go about enrolling as a volunteer as the sites I’ve visited only provide for a US address. Secondly which state/s should foreigners head to?
        I feel very strongly about this as the state of American politics has a profound affect on other democracies.

      • Democritus says:

        Harvest of neglect. You have a way with words Rayne

        Thank you for using it to help us make this entire world better

  11. Buster says:

    Certainly crimes have been committed in broad daylight, and there has been coordinated attempts to obstruct the investigation of those crimes as related to the 2016 election.
    Mueller’s report makes this clear (I surmise).

    What the submission and DOJ response to that report reveals is that obstruction is ongoing, and Barr is now a tool of Trump corruption and buffoonery to the detriment of democracy and human decency.

    There are few if any people who carry Trumps water who don’t eventually find themselves at the bottom of the well. I suspect Barr’s fate is forthcoming.
    The truth will break free eventually, and it will have sharp teeth and an appetite for shills.

  12. Jockobadger says:

    Thanks Rayne. Yep, I’m angry, and the thing is, it just keeps getting worse. This monster wants to destroy anything/everything that President Obama tried to build. He’s a racist and a moron – the worst possible combination. My niece was born with Cystic Fibrosis. Without coverage for a pre-existing condition, she wouldn’t just be sick, she’d be dead. Instead, 2 years ago she graduated top of her class, UW School of Law, passed the bar, and is now working for the Northwest Justice Project. For her, Obama=Life/Justice, trump=dead. Pretty f-ing simple.

    We have to vote these criminals out in 2020. Internecine squabbling and recrimination has to stop and we have to get organized, nominate the BEST candidates, and vote. My reps are all D’s too, but I write and call them every week. Let’s all pull together. The people, our nation, and over the long term even the earth are depending on it.

    • koolmoe says:

      Strong on and support to your niece. We have a lot of congenital medical issues in our family and if not for ACA, well, my family could be smaller. Agreed with your post.

    • Jockobadger says:

      Thanks Kool and Demo! She is amazing – and she did all of that while feeling pretty shitty most of the time. She’s now on a trial treatment (developed under Obama’s watch) that has made her feel damn near normal. Life-changing, really. My Dad still shakes his head that she didn’t go for the big corp bucks (bc she was apparently heavily recruited.) He’s very proud of her for it, though, as we all are.

      She’s a huge fan and reader of EW (after I turned her onto it!) Keep the faith, but pass the ammunition as Norskie says.

  13. North Jersey John says:

    Thanks Rayne for reminding us that we all continue to fight for justice, equity, and our health care. Trumpism is a movement that draws on deep wells of fear, anger and a sense of victimization. The Fox News screamers have spent decades cranking up the outrage machine, convincing millions of things are aren’t real. Hell, almost 50% of Republicans still believe Obama wasn’t born in the US, Climate Change is a hoax, and the “elites” are conspiring to ruin the ‘Merhican way of life.

    We are truly in a fight for our lives. We all need to organize locally and work toward 2020 electoral victories, the same way that many of us worked in 2017 and 2018 to flip 40 House seats. Calls to your local Congressional Reps are great – volunteering with a local grass roots group is even better! We need to motivate the tens of millions who didn’t vote in 2016. The majority is on our side, but we must do the work to bring them out to the polls.

  14. Badger Robert says:

    We either unify or lose. Divided in categories and racial groups, we will certainly lose. The proto fascists have the 37% loyalists they need to institute a fascist regime.

  15. Badger Robert says:

    It seems to me the people are much more aware of what is a stake, than the egoists, and professional politicians.

  16. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Rayne (and all), it seems quite likely that the ACA dustup *now* is a distraction, intended to suck oxygen from the brazen deceptions of Trump and Barr. I’m reminded of reading about how in the Iraq War, the guerrilla forces would set off multiple car bombs to confuse and distract.

    Similarly, the WH and Trump are using the ACA, the threats to cut all funding for disabled Olympics, and the public lands swamp monster, as ‘car bombs’ in an information war — successfully distracting from Barr’s efforts to pull another, bigger, even more successful disinformation coup than when he covered up Iran Contra.

    It sure looks like we are in the midst of one hell of a disinformation campaign, and too many in the public and media are falling for it. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and focus, IMVHO.

    Distraction A is the DeVos dustup — it’s probably better for Betsy to look like a vicious harpy out to screw disabled kids out of their athletics, than for her to risk allowing public attention on the Mueller report’s discussion of her brother (Erik Prince’s) hobnobbing in the Seychelles. What on earth does Mueller’s report contain that is so sinister, so hideous, that Betsy DeVos is willing to risk (what’s left of) her public reputation to run interference for her sibling, Blackwater founder Erik Prince?

    Distraction B is yet another effort to sabotage the ACA. It’s a safe bet that Kushner, et al, would prefer yet another dustup over ACA, than risk anyone understanding how Mueller’s report might explain Jared Kushner’s links to digital media, his misuse of top secret intel, or his connections with Russia. Instead, creating an information tornado about ACA means that the media removes resources from reporting on the Mueller investigation, and reallocates them to cover the conflict over ACA. The GOP will love it, because it means they are off the hook having to defend Trump, **plus** they get to blahBlahBlah about competition, free markets, and the American Way.
    Game. Set. Match to Trump, Kushner, McConnell, and the GOP.
    A thousand curses to the idiots who let themselves get played by this bulls!t.

    What’s weirdly fascinating is to watch how much smoke and sh!t GOP-Trump is kicking out right now, to distract the public and the media from focusing on anything connected to Mueller. But distracting is not enough: they are trying to eradicate, and/or exile anyone (Schiff, Warner, Pelosi) who understands what’s at stake. This really is a moment for the ages, and we libs need to wake up to the fact that we are the targets of an incredible, almost amusing, and absurdly weird disinformation campaign.

    The amount of disinformation that Trump/WH/GOP is kicking out, and the range of topics, suggests that they remain scared shitless about what is in Mueller’s report.
    What’s horrifying is watching everyone get played by Trump’s nonsense.

    I’m not normally one to spot a disinformation campaign. But even my sh!tty vision can spot this one.

    • P J Evans says:

      I think they assume that we’re like the GOP-T voters, only able to follow one story at a time. They’ve forgotten how many of us have to do two or three or four things at once. (I used to say, at work, that I needed a small whiteboard so I could keep track of what I was doing when I got interrupted from the previous interruption. Push-down stack.)

    • RWood says:

      I think you might be seeing a well-coordinated disinformation campaign where all there really is is greed, a hunger for more power, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to hold onto both.

      When the deck is stacked with swamp creatures, their graft is going to overlap quite a bit. I just see them carrying out their goals without caring what any of the people think. Trump says he’s cancelling DeVoss’s move on Special Olympics, but that’s nothing compared to what shes done since she got the job.

      I don’t think the greed is subject to any schedule other than “as fast as possible”. If it helps distract from anything it’s probably just a bonus.

  17. punaise says:

    The thing is, these evil f*cks nearly always get away with it: Iran/Contra, steamrolling Bush v. Gore, Iraq WMD and outing Valerie Plame, systematic voter intimidation, and now *collusion* and the logarithmic explosion of corruption under the current regime… no one of significance ever seems to pay the price.

    Dick Cheney should be rotting in jail with minimal access to health care.

  18. Callender says:

    They stole it in ’00. They probably stole it in ’04. I’m certain they stole it in ’16. They’re going to try to steal in in ’20.

    But, folks, this is the gang who can’t shoot straight. Republicans were able to do something in the ’18 mid terms that the democrats couldn’t do. They actually made the Affordable Care Act more popular, and we had the biggest wave election in the House since ’74.

    If we could put Trump’s brain in a jay bird it would fly backwards. He thinks neo Nazis are “fine people.” He seems to think Frederick Douglass, who died in 1895, is walking the streets of DC and “is being recognized more and more, I notice.” He persists in attacking (and getting beat down by) a guy who died 7 months ago. His Secretary of Education wants to cut funds for the Special Olympics. She also wants to use federal funding from Academic Enrichment grants to buy guns and pay for firearms training for local teachers and staff.

    And this week, Trump stops in the middle of an idiotic “victory lap” over Barr’s latest enabling memo – long enough to kick that sleeping Affordable Care Act dog again. Apparently at Freedom Caucus luminary Mick Mulvaney’s urging, he has ordered his Justice Department to re-litigate the ACA’s constitutionality. Trump apparently does whatever the last idiot who whispers in his ear says. He seems to be persistent in his attempts to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. He’ll make the Republican Party the “party of health care” all right, but not in the way he thinks. This is the most corrupt administration in history, presiding over the biggest political/legal scandal in American history. And as has been pointed out over and over, he isn’t a bug in the system, he’s a feature.

    Rayne is right. Resist. Vote and make sure all your loved ones do too – and make sure they vote right. If we stay strong the efforts to steal the 2020 election will be swamped in a tidal wave. A big blue wave.

  19. fpo says:

    With a nod to Opening Day and the truism that ‘you can’t tell the players without a program,’ here’s a link to Brookings’ Congressional Oversight Tracker for the 43 Hearings and 187 Letters (at present) detailing HR committee efforts at oversight of this train wreck of an administration. No transcripts – but the letters, roll calls and recorded votes are available.

    https://www.brookings.edu/interactives/tracking-house-oversight-in-the-trump-era/

    There’s no shortage of energy and focus on the part of Congressional dems. Support for their efforts in the form of phone calls, e-mails, whatever! is what it’s going to take from here on in.

    The GND, the ACA, Special Olympics, kids in cages, incoherent foreign relations and trade policies – to say nothing of the outright lies and the spirit and manner in which this crap is being pushed down our throats. Enough.

    Time to tighten up the chin strap and step up to the plate, folks. Nothing short of a rout in 2020 is going to drive home the message to this crowd.

  20. cfost says:

    Dear Adam Schiff,
    Thank you for your service to this country. May I shake your hand? If you have time, can I buy you a beer?
    Kind regards,
    cfost

  21. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Betsy really is a boop. She claimed not to know what was in her own budget, who put it there, or what the implications are of it being there.

    On one hand, for everything but money-challenged Betsy, it is a credible claim, one most people would be intensely embarrassed to admit when speaking to the legislature that is supposed to fund it.

    On the other hand, if true, someone else put it there. If OMB prepared her budget and told her people to go sell it, the WH is directly implicated. It is the hand of OMB and Donald Trump stealing food and benefits from the mouths of the young, the blind, the infirm.

    They should all be toast politically, because this is just the most obvious way they are stealing from average Americans to line their own pockets. That’s how Trump operates, he’s never not done it. But Betsy made his priorities her own when she accepted his budget as her own. She and Trump deserve the roasting they get.

    • P J Evans says:

      She’s there to make money for the charter-school companies and the church-run schools. She has no clue what the department is really for, or why they make rules they way they do. (This makes her pretty much the same as the other cabinet officers.)

  22. darms says:

    Did anyone else notice the trial version of this weekend’s events we experienced a few months ago during the ‘fbi investigation’ of who is now Justice Bret ‘Beer’ Kavanaugh? Ever feel as if you are being played?

  23. AitchD says:

    It’s absolutely none of my business to suggest it: So howcome emptywheel doesn’t prepare a report and seriously try to get it submitted on the record, or published quick? The emptywheel report would then be a thing the MSM could make into news, so to speak.

    • RWood says:

      At this point it might end up being 6,000 pages, but I’ll be the first to volunteer to help her write it!

  24. Tommy D Cosmology says:

    My 2 cents:
    1) The Dems have to pretend that Mueller never existed and turn over every rock as if it were the first time.
    2) This extra point for fastest lap in Formula 1 is a good thing. Go Bottas.

  25. Nolahome says:

    First time poster, long time reader. Really appreciate the work you all do. Had to pipe up. Charter schools absolutely changed in a very positive way the public school system in New Orleans, where I live. Yes, some failed, but that’s ok because they failed for good reason and those that fail are usually picked up by those that succeed. The kids here in public school no longer are geographically bound to a certain school. Schools have to compete for enrollment. The better the school, the higher demand for them. People no longer have to send their children to a failing school because it just happens to be the closest one. The results are mostly incrementally positive and the last time I checked about 80% of our public schools were charters. While I detest Cruella DeVos, I can’t let negative comments about charter schools go without challenge. In my city, they have revolutionized the delivery of public education for those who are in the most need.

    • Greenhouse says:

      You may wanna re-exam your belief system as to why public schools in New Orleans, or anywhere else for that matter, were/are “failing”. If you do that honestly, you just might, and I do stress “just might”, begin to see a historical pattern of marginalization and isolation in all of those school districts that has led to the current market logic and discourse on school “reform”. Disenfranchisement, public school closings, opening charter schools and gentrification all go hand in hand my friend. You may wanna read Eve L. Ewing’s “Ghosts In The Schoolyard” and Naomi Kline’s “Shock Doctrine: Rise and Fall of Disaster Capitalism” to challenge your paradigm.

      • P J Evans says:

        And funding that somehow ends up mostly going to schools in the wealthier areas.
        “Magnet schools” were supposed to be good for getting kids to stay in school by providing programs more interesting to them than the usual – but those end up benefiting kids from wealthier neighborhoods more than the poorer ones they were supposedly for.

      • Eureka says:

        Great reply, Greenhouse.

        Charter schools at scale should be viewed with suspicion and critically questioned– probably most so of all of the ‘outsourced’ public goods.

      • Nolahome says:

        My belief system is framed by what I have witnessed and it’s through the very small lens of this city. There’s no good excuse for the deterioration of the public school system here. It can blamed I suppose on white flight followed by a corrupt bureaucratic school board that stole money that should have gone to the kids. The rebuilding of the public school system here after Katrina has been nothing less than remarkable and it’s been done largely by non-profit public charter schools. It seems to work here. Maybe it doesn’t work everywhere. I look forward to reading those books. Thanks.

        • James P says:

          How dare you trust what you’ve actually experienced instead of what posters here tell you you’re supposed to believe.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Your comment is a glittering generality. Read the posts before criticizing them, or is that not something taught at your charter school, or are you still at Andover?

            • James P says:

              Alas, I am a product of public schools and a state university. I’m no “Earl” of anywhere. I have managed to pull myself up by my bootstraps and can actually read a little. So I did read the posts before I commented. Thanks NOLAHOME, someone speaking on the internet from actual experience is so rare.

              • Rayne says:

                If I were you I wouldn’t make assumptions about this community. I’m a public school product and I live in a state where charter schools have not worked. We are literally Patient Zero in the charter school experiment. Perhaps Detroit needed a hurricane instead of decades of white flight and neglectful-to-malignant leadership — but somehow I doubt it would work because the back-to-back hurricanes of manufacturing collapse in early 2000s and the foreclosure crisis 2007-2012 only made things worse.

                https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/magazine/michigan-gambled-on-charter-schools-its-children-lost.html

                I blame myself for not shitcanning further discussion on charter schools because it brings out fact-free biased content ignoring other factors like teachers’ unions. Louisiana is near the bottom of the heap on this point. The think tank in my backyard, funded heavily by Betsy Devos’ family, pushes charter schools as a way to undermine teachers’ unions, and it would consider Louisiana’s weak unions a success. Investment banks and insurance companies want teachers’ retirement funds and insurance liberated from unions — again, disaster capitalism at work. Perhaps we should ask if NOLA teachers have done as well economically as their students have academically (and I’m flying blindly on one new commenter’s word that NOLA charter schools are a success).

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  Fabulous point about charters as one arm of the octopus neoliberals use to undermine unions. The neoliberal thought collective or NTC (Mirowski’s coinage), destroys what works for the many in order to profit from the destruction. Excluding unions from any control over their pension funds is a case in point (although unions are imperfect on this point, see, CalPERS.)

                • James P says:

                  I’m making assumptions about posters? I don’t think so. The only assumptions that I saw posted were by others about my assumed scholastic background. Apparently totally based on my response to NOLAHOME’s fact-based posts on the NOLA school system. Not that I mind anybody making assumptions. Some of my best friends are assumption-makers.

                  • Greenhouse says:

                    Uh huh. How do you characterize this statement then: “How dare you trust what you’ve actually experienced instead of what posters here tell you you’re supposed to believe.” If that ain’t makin’ snarky assumptions about my comment, then I dunno what. “The only assumptions that I saw posted were by others about my assumed scholastic background”. Well, wasn’t it you who said you weren’t an Earl to EoH? I certainly didn’t say that. Try being a little more honest James “Mr. Gaslight” P.
                    Do enlighten us please. I said that.

                    • James P says:

                      I’ll accept “snarky”. But I was making no assumption about you at all. Likewise, I was making no assumption about ‘the Earl”. It was just a play on words, a literary device. But I accept I have an unusual taste for such constructs and they don’t appeal to everyone. Thanks again to NOLAHOME for his/her facts about NOLA.

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                You are not alone in this community in your background.
                I am not a product of Exeter, Andover, Eton or Winchester, but I read the posts, too. I found nuance and discrimination in several of them that criticized charters’ documented effects and indifferent performance.

                As Rayne comments, even if NO’s experience was better than average, the public funding of private charter schools remains an assault on public schools, their teachers and their unions, their students and the families they support.

              • Greenhouse says:

                Look, (Sorry Rayne, last comment from me I swear) NOLA schools were unfortunately at the bottom in terms of performance pre-Katrina, so it’s pretty facile to use post-Katrina charter as a gauge of success. The schools had nowhere else to go but up, even using reform based methods (charter). Nobodies arguing that changes weren’t necessary. However, with all the purported success, NOLA schools still remain at the bottom.
                And like all charter success stories, brown skin people still get the short end of the stick. Yes, there may have been a 15% boost in student performance according to a 2015 Education Research Alliance study. But, according to the ERA study, that’s probably attributable to the fact that highest-performing charter schools screen and exclude students. Furthermore, the Alliance study found at least a 1/3 of schools in the study did not report open seats, actively recruited high-achieving students, or encouraged poor performing students “that weren’t a good fit” to transfer. This is usually done in an effort to boost performance. In other words, white kids get the best seats, while black kids still get sent to failing schools.
                They juke the stats re charter success, in NOLA, NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles, everywhere. Here’s the policy brief of the study if anybody’s interested.
                https://educationresearchalliancenola.org/files/publications/ERA1501-Policy-Brief-Competition-DD2.pdf

          • Democritus says:

            How dare someone ask a socratic question and then politely suggest some relevant books so the person can read up on perspectives they may not have considered on their own.🙄

            Quelle horreur!

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If your example is correct, I’m happy for you. You beat the odds.

      By all accounts, your description of the effects of charter schools in Nola is not representative of their general impact. The aftermath of Katrina was as brutal for people of color as was the aftermath of Maria for everyone in Puerto Rico. Whole neighborhoods were never rebuilt and privatizers had a field day, with considerable access to public funds that ought to have gone to rebuild those neighborhoods. Public schools were not reopened or opened slowly, and charter schools were given, in effect, a subsidized leg up in their efforts to secure market share.

      More generally, I deeply question the use of business methods and expectations in any area outside business. Schools, libraries and governments, for example, are not businesses. Their purposes and priorities are fundamentally different from those of for-profit business and so should be the methods by which they pursue them.

      • P J Evans says:

        Schools of public administration were, in the 80s at least, teaching that libraries are only necessary for people in school – and those students ended up running cities and trying to kill the public libraries so many people actually use.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          You’ll both enjoy reading anything by Henry Giroux. He has written a great deal about the abuse of educational resources to pursue neoliberal aims and the considerable harm that has done.

          • Eureka says:

            That name was a blast from the past. He’s quite current, obviously, but I’ve not read him in some years, since last on a pedagogy kick that intersected (for me) with some other Big Topics. He’s a prolific (and prescient) resource on a number of ongoing issues. I see a 2014 title on his wiki that’s calling to me: _The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America’s Disimagination Machine_

            Thanks.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Like progressive S.Ct. justices, Giroux, at 75, is past normal retirement age. But the times require his voice and I’m glad he’s chosen to continue his work. Same with the Noam Chomsky, who has fifteen years on Giroux.

          • Democritus says:

            Thanks for the recommendations, also just your in point comments in general since I frequently discover your name at the top of some of the comments I double check. Really great commentators in general here.

            Hey, he’s at truthout!

            For anyone else who doesn’t want to search from truthout bio. The authoritarianism book is calling to me

            “Neoliberalism’s War on Higher Education (Haymarket 2014), The Violence of Organized Forgetting (City Lights .2014), Dangerous Thinking in the Age of the New Authoritarianism (Routledge, 2015), America’s Addiction to Terrorism (Monthly Review Press, 2016), America at War with Itself (City Lights, 2017), The Public in Peril (Routledge, 2018) and American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism (City Lights, 2018). Giroux is also a member of Truthout’s Board of Directors. His website is http://www.henryagiroux.com.“

    • Rayne says:

      There’s a fundamental problem when a privately-owned for-profit business can succeed at something which should be publicly-owned and -operated at no profit. I really don’t want this to turn into a discussion about charter schools, but there doesn’t seem to be any serious examination into why public schools don’t work in some places and why the public must pay profits in order to provide education. There’s no good excuse for a double-digit failure rate, either, regardless if it’s outside NOLA.

      It could be said that charter schools were a fast approach to restoring education post-Katrina to parts of NOLA, but that’s 1) literally disaster capitalism, and 2) a sign that government at all levels has failed its obligations to children’s education.

          • P J Evans says:

            I keep wondering about the public schools in L.A. that are now “independent charter schools”. If they’re part of the school district, they’re not independent. And if they’re independent, they’re not really public schools, are they?

          • Nolahome says:

            There are for profit and non-profit charters. Here they are required to be non-profit. Here the charter companies are granted charters to run the public schools. They are independently run with public funding. It’s a decentralized approach to operating public schools. Seems to be about the only innovative thing that’s happened down here since Jazz was born.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              “Independently run with taxpayer funds” is usually a recipe for corruption and self-dealing, unless accompanied by rigorous oversight.

              In schools, it is an opportunity to discriminate by race or to cherry pick better students through the admissions process or by failing to provide normally mandatory programs for special needs students. The latter drives those students back to the publics, which have fewer resources owing to a portion of their funds being siphoned off to private schools.

              The safety-valve of the privates deprives politicians of the political pressure that should work to make public schools better. It deprives them of resources while fixing none of their problems. It shames them through the wholly counterproductive No Child testing regime, which leaves less time and fewer resources to teach the children well.

              All in, taxpayer funding for public schools is a disaster for the publics and everyone dependent on them. As Rayne says, a classic example of disaster capitalism.

              Everybody needs to rethink whose at risk here. Close your eyes and listen to Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Teach Your Children:

              You, who are on the road
              Must have a code
              That you can live by….

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                “Edit” is your friend. Use it.

                It is clear from the context, but the paragraph beginning “All in” should say that public funding for “private” schools is a disaster for public ones. In the last paragraph above the lyrics excerpt, “whose” should be “who is”.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          One would have to dig deeper than formal not-for-profit status. There are many ways to game the system. Top medical clinics are often formally non-profit, but their behavior is sometimes more predatory than any telecom or oil giant, including how they compensate their CEOs.

          Self-dealing is another common run around. In charters, this commonly involves renting property from the owner at high-cost and buying goods and services from related companies, also at high-cost. Like tech giants operations in, say, the UK, the charter itself shows no profit. (In the business world, profits in high-tax states are shunted to low-tax Ireland or the Netherlands via predatory intracompany transfer pricing schemes.)

          • P J Evans says:

            Setting up rules which a certain percentage of students are pretty much guaranteed to break – like “contracts” for behavior and performance – and writing them in such a way that it’s mostly the minority students who lose out.

  26. J Barker says:

    I know I’ll take some heat for this, but….

    Washington Post reports Mueller team continued requesting an interview on obstruction all the way up until *January* of 2019.

    A central goal of Barr’s 2018 memo, which I’m increasingly disturbed by in light of the way Mueller’s probe ended, is to argue that Mueller has no right to subpoena Trump for the obstruction interview. In this passage, he even suggests Mueller ought not even *pursue* the obstruction question and should, instead, focus on establishing collusion. And, if he can’t, Barr says Mueller should “get on with the task at hand.” Here you go:

    And, at a practical level, in the absence of some wrongful act of evidence destruction, thee Department would have no business pursuing the President where it cannot show collusion. Mueller should get on with the task at hand and reach a conclusion on collusion. In the meantime, pursuing a novel obstruction theory against the President is not only premature but– because it forces resolution of numerous constitutional issues– grossly irresponsible.

  27. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne. Excellent reminders to stay engaged.
    Special Olympics will be funded. It is rare; however someone from the administration became compassionate about disabled children. The GOP have a long way to go with migrant babies, refugee children and children with preexisting conditions.

  28. FB1848 says:

    At the risk of my miniscule standing here, I’d like to offer a note of extreme optimism.

    The full Mueller report would be politically devastating to trump. 300+ pages and Barr couldn’t even find one complete sentence exonerating trump to quote. If it was largely exculpatory his summary would have been filled with directly quoted bullet points and passages. Yes, Mueller couldn’t “establish” coordination with the Russian government, but god knows what other sleazy behavior he uncovered, and how closely the report walks up to the collusion line without being able to cross it. And he punted the obstruction issue not because he was undecided if that’s what it was, but because he felt Congress and the American people, not he alone, should make that determination with all of its fateful implications.

    Look at it from Barr’s perspective, protector of Republican presidents. You’re handed this bombshell report, you know there will be an impeachment surge the minute it is released. What do you do? You issue a whitewashed summary and hope you can delay or suppress the report as long as possible. But Mueller and his team have gamed this all out; they anticipated that and have prepared the report such that it can’t even be spun favorably in a three-page whitewash summary.

    All this will come out, but only if the Democrats and other opponents of Trumpism keep the pressure on. Do not let this massive coverup attempt fade from public attention.

    • koolmoe says:

      I hope you’re right and its refreshing to see the optimism. Not sure I can share it given the craven political behavior of the past, but its nice to see :)

    • Tom says:

      To date, we’ve been receiving info on the 2016 Trump campaign on the installment plan. Seeing everything laid out in one narrative with supporting evidence will have much more impact, and that’s just for what we already know. No doubt, Mueller’s team has uncovered much more evidence of dodgy stuff that we may not even yet suspect. I agree there are grounds for optimism.

      • Democritus says:

        Not sure if link is ok, if not this is what was excerpted and caught my attn

        “When trying to stop the spread of disinformation by malign foreign and domestic actors online, “it’s not enough to do the fact-checking,” according to Ben Nimmo. To really kill the power of the disinformation, “we have to do the story telling,” he argued.

        Nimmo suggested that too many policy makers are focused on disinformation as an information warfare problem rather than “narrative warfare.” It is not access to better or new information that is making Russian and domestic extremist propaganda more successful online, Nimmo said, quite the contrary. “We have the facts,” Nimmo explained, but “they have the stories.”

        “It’s much easier to tell a story when you are not [bound] by the facts,” he said. Rather, the narratives pushed by the bots and trolls are the more dangerous weapons. “They try to make you so angry and so scared that you stop thinking,” according to Nimmo. “And once you stop thinking, they’ve got you.”

        Nimmo suggested that media groups and civil society organizations, such as the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, can also push out their own narratives, which can be just as compelling as those pushed out by the propagandists. “We in the open-source community have to speak [to readers’] interest and curiosity…and we have to seek to empower,” he said. Nimmo suggested that counterdisinformation experts should expose propaganda and disinformation campaigns in the style of whodunits: taking the reader step-by-step through the process of discovering and identifying the sources of the disinformation and those spreading it. “Share the how,” Nimmo argued. “[Take] the reader on the journey.”

        Nimmo explained it is easy to teach readers how to identify and expose disinformation, mainly by teaching them the “three A’s” of disinformation: activity, anonymity, and amplification. Malign online actors often use social media profiles that post much more often than humanly possible (activity), have no verifiable personal information (anonymity), and primarily share content that is not original to that specific profile (amplification).

        “If you can teach one person to do this,” Nimmo argued, “you can make them resilient to disinformation, but you are [also] going to make our whole [counterdisinformation] community that much bigger and that much stronger.” If Western civil society and media groups can transform the presence of propaganda online from dangerous distortions to fodder for compelling mystery dramas, Nimmo said, “the greater chance we will have of actually not just dealing with information warfare, but of dealing with narrative warfare, which is a much more dangerous threat.”

        [FYI – I am letting this go for now due to time constraints but please limit excerpts to 300 words max under Fair Use. 100 words is optimum for reading. Summarie are best. Please keep in mind many readers use mobile devices with small displays; 3rd party content should be checked for copyright. /~Rayne]

        • Democritus says:

          Will do! Sorry! Copied the guideline for my reference in future. Bad hands so I prefer copying, but yeah isn’t fair to original author and I don’t want to cause any of you grief.

          I wonder how effective progressive Americans could be if the sutemicatically tried those three A’s, but with honest, good faith arguments and messages.

          Amplification in particular can be helpful in major newspaper or sports commenting sites to buck up commentators who have a good argument but aren’t able to press it well enough.

          I’m just so sick of everyone sitting on their asses and saying that nothing can be done. (Not talking about people here!) But it’s Bullshit. Kids are being abused, people are dying and we are teetering in the edge of losing what freedoms we have left, and it possibly cascading world wide.

          Thank you so much for things like that thread yesterday, you did the same during the shutdown with getting people to redirect their emotions into useful labor. We are not so helpless as we have been conditioned to think imo. Well not yet at least.

  29. Democritus says:

    Sorry, I need to check the most recent posts before venting…

    Anyway we need to be screaming and shouting from the rooftops. Maybe Mueller gave everyone an excuse in the back of their minds to say, hey I don’t need to change how active I am in society at large.

    We should be Marching. I’m tempted to rent a wheelchair, rent a car and head to DC, and try to round up people at local bars for a spontaneous demonstration. That’s what worked in high school and college, though classrooms instead of bars. Maybe happy hour when inhibitions are lowered lol.

  30. Democritus says:

    Just had an idea. You know how tons of Trump voters didn’t know they were covered under the ACA Medicare expansion?

    What if congressional democrats or candidates found a way to send some sort warning in the mail to every household who has someone who has coverage through the ACA Medicare expansion .

    That would cut through the Fox News noise, wouldn’t it?

    Also as someone who became disabled as an adult, tell your family member they rock. Kids can be so cruel and to give them the strength then they will need for a challenging life is no small thing.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Accurate, but purely accidentally in Trump’s case. Trump says that about most women. When they submit to his advances, it is both self-demeaning and a short-lived complement. Otherwise, he uses one-syllable words that begin with “b” and “c”, which are one but not the other.

        In terms of governance, which has too many syllables for Trump to follow, he’s the one who chose or accepted DeVos as a cut-out at Education to promote his patrons’ neoliberal crimes against children’s education. It’s a template he uses across government.

        • P J Evans says:

          I think “accepted” for DeVos – she reads like someone Pence or his friends would choose, based on her expressed religious beliefs.

    • posaune says:

      Now we need to follow up on IDEA; that’s on the chopping block too. IDEA is the real ‘no child left behind act.’

  31. J Barker says:

    OK, since this is a thread for venting, I assume that some amount of unhinged speculation is permissible here.

    I’m very worried about Bill Barr. Like, very, very worried about Bill Barr. In fact, it’s kinda driving me nuts.

    Here’s what we know for sure: Mueller “did not establish” a criminal conspiracy between Trump & Trump campaign members and the Russian government. However, we don’t yet know *why* Mueller did not establish this conspiracy. Perhaps Mueller did not establish the conspiracy because he thoroughly investigated the matter to his satisfaction, but the evidence he compiled was not sufficiently strong to support the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard for criminal prosecution. But perhaps he didn’t establish the conspiracy because of Trump’s interference. For example, maybe he had marshaled significant evidence, but really did need Manafort’s cooperation to get over the proof beyond a reasonable doubt bar.

    If the obstruction played a significant role in the lack of established conspiracy, I don’t think Barr would have mentioned that in his Sunday summary. In fact, given what Barr said in the 2018 memo, it’s pretty clear Barr thought Trump would have been well within his legal rights to interfere with Mueller’s probe, up to and including firing Mueller outright.

    In other words, he existing public evidence is consistent with the following: the Mueller report says “we didn’t establish conspiracy, but we think we might have been able to without Trump’s obstruction”, but Barr’s summary simply says: “did not establish conspiracy, therefore did not establish obstruction either.”

    That’s what I’m most worried about.

  32. viget says:

    Random thought—

    Any chance Rod wore a wire when discussing the report with Barr?

    That would be too delicious if true.

    • I am Sam says:

      First you have to ask yourself who is this guy Rosenstein? A life-long Republican. How did he survive, when others fell? Of course, he had to appoint a Special Counsel after the obese slug’s brazen firing of James Comey. Later, was there a need for the gangster president and his minions to have someone with a hint of legitimacy as a sort of backstop if things went south? They attacked him, but then backed off as a smoke screen. Finally, when push came to shove, where was he? With the team, of course. Would one have thought that he would be Barr’s guy to lend a bit of legitimacy to the upcoming cover-up? Yes— “. . ., Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein I found that the guy was really innocent,” as Barr said in so many words, bringing Rosenstein along as a sort of legitimate prop. “Forget about the report, he essentially said, “trust us.” So as Gomer Pyle might say, “Surprise, Surprise.”

  33. foggycoast says:

    what if the House simply sent back the Barr summary graded like a school paper with an “F” and “Incomplete, see me” scrawled across it.

    • klynn says:

      Love this…reminds me of a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang line, “Had your chance. Muffed it.”

      Wish a ton of lawyers would sign a letter stating what Barr should have done and run the letter in WAPO.

  34. Tullalove says:

    In the spirit of Rayne’s post to call representatives, Will Hurd needs a ring, especially. As a member of the House Intellence Committee he signed the GOP letter for Schiff to resign. Hurd touts his intelligence creds to win votes in a competitive south Texas district.
    I can’t pretend to speak for his intel integrity in the same way I suspect many others on this site may be able to. Still, he should have to explain his endorsement of Nunes’ crazy call for the AS resignitation. Not the big show, but one district at a time, right? (Sorry mods — second attempt at posting; forgot my original name, under which the original post wasn’t accepted — not complaining, just explaining; y’all are doing yoamans’work that is much appreciated by at least this reader, and I suspect many more).

  35. CitizenCrone says:

    “she cares not a whit what life is like for the disabled after birth.”

    Narrow mean-spirited little people, all. ( oK–slight exaggeration. But the R policies certainly seem to have been written by narrow mean-spirited little people.

    Your comment on Betsy Wetsy reminded me of what Trump did to his dead alcoholic brother’s family when old man Trump died. Rather than allow his brother’s portion of the estate to go to his heirs, Trump wanted to keep the bulk (I guess to be divided between the surviving siblings).

    His brother’s son had just had an infant who needed extensive medical care for a serious condition. Apparently the Trump Org. carries health insurance on the extended family. So to resolve the inheritance disagreement, which the brother’s heirs had filed a suit to contest, Trump threatened to cut off the baby’s health insurance. You thought the Central American babies were the first ones Trump had ever held hostage? Nope. He had practice.

    Case dropped, resolved, NDA.

    This is not a nice man.

    I wrote my reps yesterday (no long distance on my landline.)

    Thank you all for your insight and high standards.

  36. Eureka says:

    Catching up on missed items this week. Does conspiracy law cover events set up with a time delay, like if Wile E Coyote was thoughtful enough to use long fuses here and there? Facultative ConFraudUS? From Sunday (March 24th):

    Christopher Wylie 🏳️‍🌈: “Whatever this report says, here’s what I know: when I was at Cambridge Analytica, the company hired known Russian agents, had data researchers in St Petersburg, tested US voter opinion on Putin’s leadership, and hired hackers from Russia – all while Bannon was in charge.”
    https://twitter.com/chrisinsilico/status/1109983298397310976

    dcpoll thread (starting with exclamation ~~ I KNEW IT !!!~~) with additional backstory immediately follows in the replies.

    • Democritus says:

      WHY in the hell isnt this everywhere? Serious question, I get corporate media but why aren’t any journos promoting it? Is Wylie in doubt also?

      Frustrating.

      Also Eureka I saw that thread and thank you for sharing it. That is a much needed conversation. Tip, remember if a woman is being harassed by a stranger you can always go and pretend you are old friends who just ran into each other and help her get away less confrontationally. Most women will thank you.

      • Eureka says:

        I do hope a lot of people read that Chiu thread immediately below, because this stuff is widespread, certainly not limited to flying. Most important there are tips– like the one you gave– so bystanders have a way of dealing with possibly ambiguous situations instead of blowing them off (if they even detect that something is amiss in the first place).

        ETA: oh plus re Wylie, I think it’s because his work at CA was prior to the ‘election proper’– but we shall see. Hence the time-delay snarks in my post.

  37. Eureka says:

    Joanna Chiu (The Star Vancouver) wrote an op-ed on airplane harassment following this thread; Great info re what bystanders can do, along with the riveting story. Attention: men (as they hadn’t noticed what was going on) and parents especially:

    Joanna Chiu 趙淇欣 : “Thread about airplane creeps: I’m on a plane from a late-evening stopover from and was very tired and had a row to myself to sleep but couldn’t avoid noticing what was going on in the row behind me.”
    https://twitter.com/joannachiu/status/1110079640998023168

    “A man appearing in his late thirties was obviously delighted to be seated next to a teenager separated from the rest of her family. He started off by asking about her career plans and laughed when she said she wanted to be CEO and kept giving her ridiculous advice.”

    Thread continues, with tips and links at end.

    • Eureka says:

      ^^^ THIS thread- this is the one Democritus & I are talking about. Be a hero and read it. Please and thank you.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks for this timely advice. My 20-something-year-old daughter is flying to Chicago in a few weeks for a conference and I’m glad to have this information to pass on to her. Much more persuasive than a lecture from ol’ Pappy.

      • Eureka says:

        Perfect- a useful message/messenger just in the nick of time. As an aside, I have heard a lot of stories about harassment in closed containers like planes and ships (and of course recall that woman who reported Trump accosted her on a plane decades ago). Though the tips are also broadly helpful, too.

        (And just as Bryce Harper delivers that homer, finally) (multitasking- baseball’s on…)

        • Eureka says:

          In other sports news, it was ‘Breaking’ earlier that LeBron James is out for the rest of the season “(groin)” (sic).

  38. harpie says:

    ‘Clearly an end-run’: Federal judge rejects Trump’s health care plan to go around Obamacare
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/03/29/clearly-an-end-run-federal-judge-strikes-down-trump-administrations-health-plan-go-around-obamacare/
    March 29 at 7:38 AM
    *
    [quote] A federal judge in Washington ruled late Thursday that the Trump administration’s push to make health insurance plans available outside the Affordable Care Act that avoid the requirements of the health care law was illegal, calling the efforts “clearly an end-run around the ACA.” // The 43-page ruling, submitted by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates of the District of Columbia, blocks new rules from the Trump administration overseeing “association health plans,” which would allow small businesses to combine their forces to offer plans outside the ACA that would be both less expensive and provide fewer health protections. […] [end quote]

      • Democritus says:

        To add, look how many people are searching for any narrative. Look at Q. I wonder how many other batshit narratives will come for 2020

        The anti trump need a cohesive narrative to explain to these lost fools.

        Sorry if that rude, I try not to belittle people as it doesn’t help anyone and I do think more people than not can grow and change. Though of them are likely not Trump voters unless they grew up in sheltered and surrounded by hate, I think we can reach some of those people with candidate like Pete.

  39. Valley girl says:

    Welcome to Georgia
    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/28/georgia-voting-machines-safe-1241033

    Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is poised to sign a bill to overhaul the state’s voting system with machines that are widely considered vulnerable to hacking.

    warnings from cybersecurity experts, election integrity advocates and Georgia Democrats are especially troubling given the abundant warnings from U.S. intelligence leaders that Russia will once again attempt to undermine the presidential election in 2020.

    • harpie says:

      Thank you, Valley Girl. Whenever I hear Georgia and voting machines in the same sentence, I think of this:
      *
      1] 5:08 AM – 21 Feb 2019 Ivanka:
      https://twitter.com/IvankaTrump/status/1098570127816171520
      [quote] Thank you Governor @GovKemp for the warm welcome and informative visit to the wonderful state of Georgia! [end quote]
      *
      2] 7:20 AM – 21 Feb 2019
      https://twitter.com/jennycohn1/status/1098603477167730696
      [quote] THREAD: Why did @IvankaTrump get a voting machine trademark from China, why did she meet with Brian Kemp on the same day as Georgia’s contentious hearing re: controversial new voting equipment, & where is the effing media?! 1/ [end quote]
      *

      • Democritus says:

        I have not seen ANY of that, I did see the voting machine TM issue though, as I’ve worried for years now whether our elections are not so free and fair.

        Can we go on the twitter and tweet that at news producers for MSNBCs liberal shows perhaps? Kyle griffin eyc? Nicole Wallace also seems to be trying to make amends by pulling Trump off his throne.

        Share links on the most popular NYT articles, whatever sport and gossip sites people go to, etc? Basically look at how trolls have been operating and within reason duplicate the working strategies for good?

  40. fpo says:

    Here’s contact info for the HPSCI Minority Members.

    Many are proudly displaying their personal Schiff rants on their websites. All of them walked out of the 3/28 hearing and didn’t return (Hurd came back at the end for a ridiculous IC process rant/question). I’m sure they would appreciate hearing from their constituents about their contributions to yesterday’s hearing. (202) #s are their DC offices; e-mail forms may require a little creativity if you’re not in the home district. And apologies in advance if posting this info is in any way a problem for EW.

    Nunes, 22nd District, CA
    https://nunes.house.gov/ContactForm/
    Phone: (202) 225-2523

    Conaway, 11th, TX
    https://conaway.house.gov/contact/
    Phone: (202) 225-3605

    Turner, 10th, OH
    https://turner.house.gov/contact
    Phone: (202) 225-6465

    Wenstrup, 2nd, OH
    https://wenstrup.house.gov/contact/
    Phone: (202) 225-3164

    Stewart, 2nd, UT
    https://stewart.house.gov/contact
    Phone: 202-225-9730

    Crawford, 1st, AK
    https://crawford.house.gov/Contact/
    Phone: (202) 225-4076.

    Stefanik, 21st, NY
    https://stefanik.house.gov/contact/email
    Phone: (202) 225-4611

    Hurd, 23rd, TX
    https://hurd.house.gov/contact/email
    Phone: (202) 225-4511

    Ratcliffe, 4th, TX
    https://ratcliffe.house.gov/contact
    Phone: (202) 225-6673

    • klynn says:

      I’ve been thinking of sending each of them a hard copy of the full transcript from the meeting and a cover statement pointing out that if they cared about protecting the nation, they would have stayed. But they did not — which gives more of an appearance of their being compromised as well. Schiff’s words were wise, strong and filled with a convincing need to act to protect our nation.

      • Jenny says:

        Well said. Watched the entire hearing. The information about Russia from the experts was in-depth and educational. The GOP leaving spoke volumes. Rather than being snarky, rude and disrespectful to Chairman Schiff, they could have stayed to learn about the inner workings of Putin and the Russian government.

  41. Bay State Librul says:

    Here are my questions:

    Barr is the AG and has complete control of the Department.
    So, he can kill the SDNY investigations.
    How do we stop him. Answer: you can’t.
    If a Dem is elected President can he release the “entire” 399 page report by a snap of his fingers? If he can, watch McConnell gin up legislation to prevent the President from even looking at the report. I’m getting silly now but I bet the Republicans are gaming this out.

    • bmaz says:

      I don’t think….think….that is going to happen. And,if it does, I think it will be leaked. That is just my guess though

  42. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Donald Trump uses derisive nicknames. Derision is his most common form of speech. Nicknames substitute for the real names he can’t remember.

    Calling Adam Schiff “pencil neck” is low even for fat Donald. He’s the president, even if he hasn’t a clue about what that means besides being an opportunity to make money on the public dime. This is not normal speech for a US president period, let alone when referring to senior congressional leadership. Not even in campaign mode.

    To repeat: Donald Trump’s behavior Is.Not.Normal.

  43. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Donald Trump proclaims in Michigan that he has renewed his mission to get rid of Obamacare. In the same breath, he claims he will make the GOP “the party of great health care”. He will do neither.

    Trump wants to get rid of Obamacare because a person of color, the guy he replaced in the WH, passed it and considers it his great legacy. Trump is fighting a guy no longer in the fight.

    Trump dissed the Senator, John McCain, whose thumbs down vote prevented the GOP from repealing Obamacare. Trump is fighting a dead guy, because he can’t fight back.

    Donald Trump is lying about what his party wants to do with health care. It has no plan to replace Obamacare with anything but private insurance that costs more, covers less, and is increasingly harder to get. The GOP does not want great health care for Americans. It wants government to stop providing health care and to stop regulating the private sector that does provide it. That can only produce a downward spiral for everyone but the corporations who profit from it.

    Donald Trump is a destructive coward. He is rehashing old fights he lost, pretending that he can whup ’em real good the next time. He thinks politicians really go behind the wood shed to fight their battles, like school truants fighting for space behind the dumpster so no will see them smoking the cigarettes they smell like when they come back in the building.

    It’s hard to imagine even Trump’s GOP following him down this losing path. But no one, no issue, and no embarrassment has yet stopped them from doing that.

  44. Valley girl says:

    okay, this OT re the US, but most interesting re: Brexit. Thank you Marcy
    https://twitter.com/emptywheel/lists/brexit

    read tweets as they come in
    e.g. https://twitter.com/eyejosh/status/1111704403852046336
    important for UK democracy is the fact that May is still attempting to take the UK out of the EU even though she KNOWS that the criminally-procured 2016 EU leave vote was corrupt and illegal re RPA 83 – as her own lawyer told the High Court on 21 Feb ! Just think on that
    (one tweet, find more, esp from Carole Cadwalladr)

  45. ken melvin says:

    They voted to exit for all the wrong reasons including dreams of their financial class of making a killing and Putin’s of weakening the EU, NATO, … Must say that I was surprised that much of the EU found the UK to be a big pain in the arse, though I shouldn’t have been recalling some of the crap Britain insisted on back when they were negotiating for some sort of limited entry. But then, I am hardly an expert on any of this.

    The thing that I want to broach has to do with what I think is coming, to wit with climate change and overpopulation, and mostly just because of the numbers, I do think that the days of the white race having power, maybe existing, are drawing to a close; we’re talking 10% vs the other 90%. And, instinctively, they sense this. I doubt that they sense that there is nothing they can do about it. This brought to my mind the question of: What will this new order look like? What would be the social order in a nation such as Britain look like? Can the ethnic Pakistanis, Hindus, Caribs, Africans, … without the order of the long-dominant white race hold together? Likewise, what will an America social majority made up of such ethnic and cultural groups as the Chinese, Hispanic, Hindu, Muslims, … look like? Can such hold together without a dominant culture, or will one of these take on the role long held by European descendant whites? Will there need be new social contracts such as a new constitution?
    Then, it may well be that assimilation has rendered all these questions moot. —

    • Rayne says:

      Brexit became about race because white nationalists made it about race, because at least one hostile nation-state has been fomenting political instability by fueling supporting white nationalists’ hate.

      Virtually nobody in the UK has a problem with race when they show up for treatment in NHS facilities. It’s funny how that works. Working class hasn’t had a problem with foreign-owned companies like Volkswagen, Renault/Nissan, Peugeot Citroën, Tata-owned Jaguar/Land Rover, and BMW building manufacturing facilities in the UK. Nor have the cits had a problem with every major overseas bank conducting business in London.

      The problem of race is wholly manufactured. In fact, the entirety of Europe including the UK hasn’t been exclusively white since before the medieval era (https://www.publicmedievalist.com/uncovering-african/), going back at least to the Bronze Age/Late Neolithic and the migration of “beaker people” westward from the Eurasian steppes and the Iberian peninsula as well as northern Africa. It’s clearly racist to worry about non-white migration and population rather than fretting about the Norse, Frisians, or Jutes. And it’s clearly the work of white nationalism in UK media like The Sun and Daily Mail bolstering the othering of non-whites while ignoring UK+EU’s diverse history, in concert with an education system which has flagged since Thatcher.

      The UK is a cluster of tiny islands facing the Atlantic, between the Nordic countries and southern Europe. It has *always* been a place where other peoples stop along the way north or south. It has benefited from this until it allowed itself to be cowed by people who are going to make enormous profit from shorting this man-made disaster.

  46. P J Evans says:

    reposting from a later thread:
    It feels like time to repost a couple of recipes from FDL days:

    Whiskey Tango-Foxtrot
    1 1/2 oz rye whiskey
    1/2 oz Aguardiente Cristal
    1/2 tsp bar syrup
    Three dashes of orange bitters
    Juice of one tangelo
    Combine ingredients and pour over crushed ice. Garnish with mango.

    “Before we get to the tea list here’s the recipe for the “Fitzgerald Hammer of Justice” concocted by Bustedknuckles with a suggestion from Blank Kludge”
    Fitzgerald Hammer of Justice
    1 shot 151 rum
    1 shot Grenadine
    1 shot Crown Royal (: substitute John Jameson’s Irish whiskey for the ‘Crown Royal’…he’s fighting against the monarchy after all.)
    orange juice to taste
    served over crushed ice with a pillow on the side.
    When you are good and hammered, use the pillow

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