Graphic: Quino Al via Unsplash (mod by Rayne)

Three Things: This Ain’t No Fooling Around

[NB: The byline, check it as always. /~Rayne]

It may be April Fool’s Day but this isn’t a joke. We have some serious matters to tackle urgently today. Let’s get to them pronto.

But first, write down this number or add it to contacts, you’re going to need it:
Congressional switchboard (202) 224-3121

~ 3 ~
Mitch McConnell is expected to bring a Senate rule change to a vote, possibly today; he wants to shorten the amount of time for the Senate to debate nominees before approval 30 from hours to 2 hours. This move was approved by the Senate Rules Committee along party lines and is horribly anti-democratic (little d) as it provides an inadequate amount of time for both senators and their constituents to air problems with nominees and evaluate their suitability for office, which in some cases are lifetime appointments.

McConnell, the man who refused to allow a vote on an Obama SCOTUS nominee, claimed this rule change was necessary because of “‘unprecedented obstruction’ by Democrats.” What amazing projection.

The media also did a pissy job informing the public about this change.

Call your senators, tell them to vote NO on SRes 50. This rule change is unacceptable. You need to know they are fulfilling their role to advise and consent — and that role doesn’t mean rolling over and doing the White House’s bidding. If they don’t fully debate nominees’ qualifications, why do we even need the Senate?

~ 2 ~
And now for the perfect example why the previous rule change is unacceptable: Stephen Moore, economics hack extraordinaire, deadbeat father, and one of the reasons the GOP members of Congress have been especially jacked up since January 2017. McConnell doesn’t want a full debate about him.

This guy is Trump’s nominee for the Federal Reserve and he’s completely out of his depth. I’ll point you to economist Justin Wolfers for details, though — start at the top of his Twitter thread (click on the dte to open it):

And here:

Back when the 115th Congress was sworn in, the House GOP caucus was corralled into a closed door session. Few details have emerged but we know Moore was used to persuade the caucus members they were “no longer the party of Reagan” because popularism. This laid the opening for the POS tax cuts passed last year which were supposed to lead to all kinds of economic growth due to reinvestment. Psych! It was either a massive snow job by Moore on behalf of corporations or it was utter stupidity about the stickiness of corporate profits (they go into shareholders’ pockets, not reinvestment into workers or equipment).

If we ignore the red flags waving about Moore — including a $75,000 tax lien for 2014 income — the ridiculousness of the tax cuts points to Moore’s unsuitability for the Fed Reserve. He’s a complete hack who offers little more than a front to which the GOP can point to legitimize their ransacking the country.

Call your senators: No on Moore for Federal Reserve.

~ 1 ~
This sums up the problem:

A senior administration official with direct knowledge of the meeting described Trump’s stance: “He doesn’t want another single dollar going to the island.”

Puerto Rico is still in very bad shape 19 months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. I can’t begin to do the scale of the additional problems inflicted on Puerto Ricans by the horrible management of financial aid. Please read this piece at the Washington Post for a better take on how bad things are:

Puerto Rico faces food-stamp crisis as Trump privately vents about federal aid to Hurricane Maria-battered island

The Bigot-in-Chief continues his deadly vendetta against Puerto Rican Americans still badly affected by Hurricane Maria’s devastation. He doesn’t want to send them any additional aid for reasons which are opaque to the rest of the country but are readily guessed at based on his past behavior.

He couldn’t bother to do adequate pre-hurricane preparation; he sat on his goddamn fat ass and bitched about NFL players taking a knee rather than get off his ass and make sure Puerto Rico was prepared. We know he had ample time and instead he was either malignant in his duties or incompetent, take your pick.

— He had to be shamed by Hillary Clinton into dispatching the Navy’s hospital ship. The ship did not treat as many patients as it should have nor did it stay long enough. At least one entire ICU ward on the island died because medical attention didn’t get to the most obviously needy places fast enough.

— Under his watch management of disaster recovery services was totally botched, from water bottles sitting on the tarmac undelivered to electrical service contracts let to what appears were profiteering outfits unprepared to deal with the scale of the problems. So much money was wasted because of this gross incompetence.

— Too little attention was given to Puerto Rico’s businesses as critical national infrastructure. The entire country faced medical supplies shortages because manufacturers in PR were the only sources in the U.S. and they were ignored rather than treated as essential.

Three thousand Americans died after the hurricane; most of them died because of the fucked up and opaque personal agenda Trump has against Puerto Rico. More people may have been affected here on the mainland but I’ll bet there’s no way to record the impact.

Me, for example — I had to manipulate the schedule for major surgery back in early 2018 because the hospitals here in Michigan were reporting tight supplies of IV equipment made in Puerto Rico. Thank goodness it worked out, that I didn’t have another episode requiring transfusions and days of IVs. But I couldn’t help think of patients elsewhere across the country who were negatively impacted; there were reports of reusing disinfected IV equipment because supplies had run out.

Trump thinks Puerto Rico has received too much money already. I suspect Trump’s real issues are:

1) He has a personal bias against Puerto Rico because a Trump-branded golf course there failed in 2015;
2) He simply hates brown and non-English speaking people — just look at how he responds to situations where persons of color need help versus whites;
3) He doesn’t see Puerto Rico as part of the U.S.

American persons of color are highly aware of the treatment of Puerto Rico. How the White House and Congress respond to Puerto Rico shapes their opinion, and failure to do right by Puerto Ricans can affect these voters’ attitudes going into 2020.

But Puerto Ricans don’t have a senator, one might say. True — but it’s estimated 6% of the population left the island after the hurricane and more may still leave. They’ve been moving to Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, and Wisconsin because it’s cheaper to live in these states than it is now in Puerto Rico. What a pity for GOP senators in those states up for re-election in 2020 who continue to vote against aid for Puerto Rican recovery — they’ll have more Democratic voters to contend with at the polls.

Call your senators — tell them to ensure Puerto Rico has more financial assistance for post-hurricane recovery. We owe it to our fellow Americans just as we would if they were in North Carolina, Florida, Texas, or California after a major disaster. We owe them for the failure to provide equal protection under the law before, during, and after the hurricane resulting in nearly as many Americans’ deaths as 9/11.

~ 0 ~
Lock and load, people, this ain’t no disco. Roll out to the phones. When you’re done you can use this as an open thread.

P.S. For those of you who aren’t on broadband or have challenges making calls, try sending a fax to your members of Congress. There are sites on line which offer free faxes to Congress; my personal favorite is FaxZero.com as they have the numbers for each member already listed. Just type up a short note — be sure to included your real name and address so they can verify your residency in their district/state — then follow the instructions at the site. I keep a blank letterhead template with address header for each of my members of Congress just for this purpose. All I have to do is fill in the body and send. I have a nice copy in my records of what I sent and when. But do keep in mind these fax services will send an email immediately after you press Send to validate your email address. Check the link the fax service emails before confirming.

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85 replies
    • Rayne says:

      Thanks to you, PJ.

      For anybody else hanging around in comments, please note I’ve added everything I had been working on to the last item regarding Puerto Rico.

      • Mainmata says:

        I’m old enough to remember when receiving a fax was an extremely slow, greasy paper, barely readible experience. I haven’t used faxes since emails were invented. That said, I’m not surprised the US Congress is still in troglodyte communication mode. Fortunaely, my Congresscritters both use email and Twitter.

        That said, Trump’s utterly disgusting (as usual) behavior towards American citizens who happen to live on an island is reprehensible. I will communicate this to my Congresscritters.

        • Rayne says:

          Faxes today are nothing like faxes used to be. Let go of your bias. There’s a website interface, an email confirmation for what is basically 2FA, and at the other end there may/may not be a printer. For all I know the fax line receives a copy of a print file viewable online.

          But when the sender lives in a remote area where they may only have dial-up or limited broadband and spotty wireless services, online fax service is still a viable solution. It also gets through when voicemail is full and may receive different handling from the deluge of email.

          Twitter and other social media platforms are not good for contacting members of Congress because they can’t validate constituents’ identity and location. They may respond but they can’t really count social media replies if they are counting contacts to measure attitude and interest.

          • Mainmata says:

            Thanks for updating me on faxes. Your explanation makes a lot of sense. BTW, I didn’t mean to imply that I expect to have a conversation with my Congressmen via Twitter. I use it to just let them know my feelings on a subject or to retweet tweets of theirs that I like. Cheers.

  1. Tom says:

    Under #3 above, I recall reading that McConnell’s plan is to reduce the debating time from 30 hrs to 2 hrs.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks, that’s part of the copyediting I still have to finish. The number 30 had been there and slipped off the page when I had a network burp.

      • cat herder says:

        Next step is, McConnell will change the debate time to -1 so that any motion to open for debate automatically confirms the nominee.

        • Tom says:

          Easy for a nominee to run out the clock with lots of prolonged “ummms”, “errrrrs”, shuffling of papers, adjusting glasses, fiddling with bottles of water, and time-wasting remarks such as “Could you repeat the question?” and “I like beer. Do you like beer?”

  2. Valley girl says:

    Thanks Rayne. I will phone esp to mention part 3 above. Actually first item in you post

    But is there a particular number of the resolution (or whatever) I can give?

    • P J Evans says:

      Digging through Congress.gov, it appears to be SR50 – but the description is just vague enough that I’m not sure.

      • Rayne says:

        It’s S.Res 50, thanks for checking. I’ve added a link now to clarify that. And the parties to blame for drafting and submitting this are the ever-credulous Lankford (R-OK) and Blunt (R-MO).

        • P J Evans says:

          I had a time finding it – it’s really buried. (Congress.gov, under “calendars and schedules” in the center column, then on that page “Secretary of the Senate”, and finally “Calendar of Business” – which is a “printed” copy.)

  3. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne. If cannot through to McConnell’s DC office, his local offices in Kentucky.
    DC (202) 224-2541
    Paducah (270) 442-4554
    Bowling Green (270) 781-1673
    London (606) 864-2026
    Fort Wright (859) 578-0188
    Lexington (859) 224-8286
    Louisville (502) 582-6304
    https://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/

    • Rayne says:

      That, of course, applies to Kentuckyians. Voters in other states should call their own senators. And Kentuckyians should also call their other senator, Rand Paul.

  4. Jim says:

    I just called and got through to Senator Merkely’s switchboard. They will pass along my message to the senator that I don’t want the debate time reduced to 2 hours.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks much, Jim. Appreciate the effort. By the way, could you help the community by using a slightly more unique variant of your username? We have several Jim/James/Jamie/Jaime here — folks have a difficult time getting to know you if they can’t identify you from the the rest. Nice to see you at emptywheel.

  5. fpo says:

    Yeah, when it rains it pours… just e/m’d my poor, misguided Senator who felt compelled to post this inane GND comment on his website:

    “The Green New Deal is a ridiculous proposal that would devastate the American economy. Eliminating the use of natural gas and other fossil fuels, phasing out air travel as we know it, and forcing the renovation of every building in the country is impossible and not based in reality. It also calls for a complete government takeover of America’s health care system – what’s ‘green’ about that? Of course I voted against it.”

    The idea that the people who work for us can pull this kind of shit without being called on it is simply unacceptable. Resist. Persist. Act…NOW.

    Thanks for the timely post, Rayne.

  6. JamesJoyce says:

    Progress?

    Why?

    Such a dubious and deliberate attempt to stymie any type of reasoned deliberation, under the color of law.

    Slaveowner’s model would have none of it either…

    Depedancy has consequences.

    “Self interest” and control trump “reason” in a nutshell…

  7. foggycoast says:

    fuck. we should just eliminate lifetime appointments for judges period. dont think any other country has it so the argument against doing that is not all that persuasive.

    • viget says:

      Well, the problem is that the alternative, elected judges, is just SO much worse. Term limited appointed judges would also be problematic as there just aren’t enough qualified candidates out there to field enough spots.

      With elected judges you essentially have politicians ruling from the bench. At least this way, independent jurists can feel free to interpret the law as they see it, and not as how their patrons would like them to see it.

      • P J Evans says:

        I live in a state with elected judges, and we’re perfectly free to vote against them – especially since so many don’t give us much information about them. (They’re frequently coming from the DA’s office, but not always. Not so much politicians as people who think that convictions are a measure of competence.)

      • ceebee says:

        I also live in a state with elective judges, who are often in struggle with our hyperpartisan legislature. A point to mourn is the loss of funding for a pamphlet mailed several months in advance to each registered voter, giving CV and short statements (often with weblinks) for each judicial candidate. Informed voters, c. 2002-2018, RIP.

        • P J Evans says:

          League of Women Voters has some information, in my county, but judicial candidates tend to either provide no information, or provide a three-page resume.

  8. viget says:

    Not sure how I missed this before, but I found this very interesting Nation piece on his 2008 campaign manager’s ties to Manafort and Deripaska, written by Mark Ames in October 2008. Then I go look up Mr. Ames, and he’s in league with Greenwald, Mate, et al., as a Russia denier. YET, he admits in this 2008 piece that Manafort (and by extension McCain) was up to no good in Ukraine.

    My question is, how can you have that kind of background and knowledge, and see the SAME PLAYERS at work with Trump, yet say Russia’s involvement is all a hoax? I mean, which is it, do you stand by your previous story, or were you lying then?

      • viget says:

        Ahhh…. I missed that, thanks Rayne!!!

        But still, I think someone needs to ask Ames, hey, you had all these concerns with Manafort and Deripaska when McCain was the candidate, why suddenly is it of no concern now?

        Were you lying then or are you lying now?

  9. punaise says:

    (cue movie trailer voice guy):

    “In a world where…Trump Could Lose the Election and Remain President”

    https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/april-may-june-2019/how-trump-could-lose-the-election-and-remain-president/

    Life during wartime indeed.

    This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
    This ain’t no fooling around
    No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,
    I ain’t got time for that now

    Transmit the message, to the receiver,
    Hope for an answer some day
    I got three passports, a couple of visas,
    You don’t even know my real name
    High on a hillside, the trucks are loading,
    Everything’s ready to roll
    I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nighttime,
    I might not ever get home

    • Valley girl says:

      punaise, This ain’t no CBGB, for sure. (I’ve watched the video above more times than I count).
      I read the article. Thanks, uh.
      I didn’t know anything about the Washington Monthly.
      Quick google:
      Factual Reporting: HIGH

      Notes: Washington Monthly is a bimonthly nonprofit magazine of United States politics and government that is based in Washington, D.C. Has a liberal bias in reporting and word choices, but always sources to credible media sources. (5/15/2016) Updated (D. Van Zandt 11/18/2017)https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/washington-monthly/

      • punaise says:

        I’d say they’re a respectable source with a sometimes contrarian bent on the conventional lefty wisdom. Center-lefties Kevin Drum and Ed Kilgore are distinguished alums; they cut their teeth running the blog (successively, in years past). Now it’s a bit more of a shared leadership between Nancy LeTourneau and Martin Longman (of Booman Tribune).

  10. rmb says:

    Have seen you on MSNBC, I think. Have been extremely confused & trying hard to understand why the following hasn’t hit the MSM when the Dallas Morning News was reporting on it AT LEAST 18 months ago. If it passes your verification practices please pass it on, as, as your reporting here indicates, it may well be a matter of national security (what with the attempted court-packing and all; never mind the hypocrisy). Thank you for all the hard work you do.

    McConnell and the Agents of Power and Influence
    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/1/13/1825790/-McConnell-and-the-Agents-of-Power-and-Influence
    Russia. China. Oligarchs and sanctioned banks.

    I have sent this to every independent outlet I follow and every MSM I can think of, as well as to some Congressional members from whom I have yet to receive a response (even from my own Senators). I welcome suggestions WRT what else to do because … at this point I am feeling somewhat out of ideas, and people in Washington seem to be … not responsive.
    Not that that should surprise me at this point
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/jun/24/male-journalists-ignore-female-peers-on-twitter-study-shows
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2018/nov/05/newsroom-diversity-media-race-journalism
    but to think that only women and POC are going to suffer … I’m thinking the denial at the editorial level in the newsroom has to run fairly deep

    • Rayne says:

      I think you mean Marcy when you say you’ve seen someone on MSNBC as I’ve never been on national TV/cable. This is why I insert the note at the top of my posts telling readers to note the byline; I wrote this post. Marcy’s last post was about Steele and Deripaska.
      :
      We’ve known the GOP has been pwned by different entities including foreign governments by way of funds laundered through different entities and donors — like the NRA. It’s been reported numerous times from different angles. Challenge: if the GOP retains a stranglehold on Senate majority, how are we going to address this corruption?

      We’re going to have to do our best to remove McConnell and as many of the GOP senators up for re-election before we can reasonably expect an attorney general to be approved who will investigate campaign finance corruption. Until a blue wave takes the Senate we’re probably stuck with Turtlehead McConnell.

  11. Jason says:

    Hi Rayne,

    Resistbot is a much easier way to write officials for those who would rather. It’s a chat bot available on Messenger, Telegram, Twitter, or plain SMS. Just text “resist” to 50409 or Resistbot on your preferred platform to get started. No faxing templates required.

    Thanks,
    Jason

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks, Jason. Resistbot’s great for folks who have smartphones and good reliable wireless service. Not so much for folks using flip phones and/or live in remote areas with crappy wireless service.

      For community members tempted to snark on this: don’t. This is one of the many failings in this country, that our highly rural citizens don’t have access to reliable wireless service because corporations don’t think remote users are profitable. I know people who deal with this frustration every day; for all intents and purposes this past summer I was offline for days while in remote northern Michigan. There’s nothing quite like queueing up at the local laundromat not to do laundry but to get a seat inside to use their crowded WiFi bandwidth.

      • Jason says:

        Well, on the web, it works on all the platforms I mentioned so it’s at least superior to Faxzero. As for the users you mentioned, do you have any suggestions? Accessibility is a core product principle and I haven’t heard from anyone yet that Resistbot wasn’t accessible to them, usually it’s the contrary if anything. Truly welcome to ideas. Thanks.

        • Rayne says:

          Two ideas come to mind for dial-up/DSL users:
          — Resistbot a la Craigslist. Stripped down black-on-white no graphics option site. I don’t see where Craigslist prohibits use of its site for a communications service, which is essentially what Resistbot is. (CL does prohibit use of its site to redirect traffic, must thread that carefully.) Heck, why not look into a grant from CL for this purpose?
          — Not certain how much this might slow traffic but query incoming website traffic to ID that from the major national dial-ups (NetZero, AOL, PeoplePC, etc.) and offer low bandwidth to the dial-up traffic.

          If they’re coming in from social media they don’t have a bandwidth or access problem. It’s the other 6-9 million Americans who aren’t using those sites who are in need. The problem may not be perceived because they appear invisible by the wrong measures.

          I’ll keep thinking about the flip phone/Nokia challenge for low income and non-text users. Thanks and nice to see you at emptywheel.

      • CitizenCrone says:

        @Rayne
        Much thanks for the fax link. Contacts made!

        I don’t even live in a remote area and I’m bandwidth-deprived. Imagine–I live between a community college and Thomas Jefferson’s university, within city limits, just a hop skip and a jump from City Hall and I can’t even stream my favorite bird-cam most days! I’m so deprived I’m gonna get depraved!

  12. Eureka says:

    Moore is a real treat. I read his “Soccer Mom Hell” NR piece (repub’ed at Cato) after seeing some provocative excerpts. It’s suffused with ALL the ideologies:
    https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/soccermom-hell

    I am convinced that the ordeal of soccer teaches our kids all the wrong lessons in life. Soccer is the Marxist concept of the labor theory of value applied to sports—which may explain why socialist nations dominate in the World Cup. The purpose of a capitalist economy is to produce the maximum output for the least amount of exertion and work. Soccer produces huge volumes of work and effort but no output.

    What makes peewee soccer particularly insidious is that boys and girls play together. The left has converted this sport into a giant social experiment imposed upon us by the geniuses that have put women in combat in the military. No one seems to care much that co-ed sports is doing irreparable harm to the psyche of America’s little boys.

    At this pre-puberty state of life girls tower over the boys and typically have greater coordination. Last year the Pele of my son’s league was a kindergartner named Kate Lynn—Secretariat in pig tails. During one game, Kate Lynn stampeded over Justin repeatedly, which, of course, did wonders for his fledgling self-esteem. After the third knockdown, I quietly pulled him aside and advised: “Remember that rule about never hitting a girl. Let’s suspend that for the next 40 minutes.” But he never did because she was bigger than he was.

    That’s right, he said, “insidious.”

    • Rayne says:

      What a douchebag. I suppose he prefers the real man’s sport of American football, the one with a high incidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy and all the joys that entails.

      Ugh, it’s no surprise his wife left him because of his abuse.

      • Eureka says:

        There’s no dateline given (the timeless essence of assholiohood), but as it continued as,

        “If the girls are bad, the moms are worse. They berate the referees. Taunt opposing players. Nag the coach unmercifully to put their no-talent kid back in. One woman paced the sidelines all game in a wild-eye frenzy screaming:…”

        I did wonder the fate of a “soccer-mom” wife. Also wondered the fate of his judgment, as sports-dad stories abound.

        But then again that’s not what this piece was about. It was instead about linking and lampooning socialism/ European-ness/ female-ness vs. their (its) desired bivalent(s).

        • P J Evans says:

          He’d hate the company I worked at. Lots of women, in all kinds of jobs, up to top management. (Female president/CEO retired the end of last year.) Very much EOE – and the guys who complained (there were some) tended to get promoted sideways into jobs where they wouldn’t be hassling the rest of us. They weren’t generally all that good as either managers or employees, IMO.

          • Eureka says:

            That’s a nice link- also my preference as a fan: I divide coaches into ‘love of god/fear of god’ types (no religion required, ~ykwim), and I prefer the game/team/whole 9 when helmed by the former.

            Though I did really admire Pat Summitt of Lady Vols basketball fame, and she would have fallen in the latter category. Different times.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Summitt

          • P J Evans says:

            There’s a group of softball/baseball fields I pass when on the bus, of the little/junior league type, with a sign on at least one that says “Parents: Your Children Are Watching”
            I don’t know if it works.

        • Rayne says:

          I’ve seen some bad soccer-mom types but they’re usually a fraction of the bad soccer-dad types. Moore just reeks of misogyny, the kind of guy who is never happy with a woman beyond the early limerence stage in a relationship.

    • So_n_so says:

      I have often wondered at the creative power of stupidity; Moore’s idiocy is absolutely stunning. Living in Republistan, I am surrounded by folks who think any valid criticism of witless wonders like Moore is tantamount (ooh, college word!) east-coast elitism.

  13. punaise says:

    Lost my shape
    Trying to act casual!
    Can’t stop
    I might end up in the hospital
    I’m changing my shape
    I feel like an accident
    They’re back!
    To explain their experience
    ….
    Facts lost
    Facts are never what they seem to be
    Nothing there!
    No information left of any kind
    Lifting my head
    Looking for danger signs
    There was a line
    There was a formula
    Sharp as a knife
    Facts cut a hole in us

    • So_n_so says:

      While I was always told that the pun is the lowest form of humor, I bow, scrape, and doff my hat before all pains to make paeans to David Byrne. Last chance to make plans…!

  14. Eureka says:

    Oh gosh, April 1st = 35th anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s murder. I like this Commodores tribute:
    Nightshift

    ETA: also a tribute to Jackie Wilson

  15. Eureka says:

    Just want to give a shout-out to Cathy who has been absent for a bit, hope all is well, life is busy. She’s often posted updates re: gun reform legislation/court action, and I’ve thought of her with recent news, e.g. SCOTUS rejecting efforts to block the bump stock ban.

  16. harpie says:

    1] emptywheel Retweeted
    7:13 PM – 1 Apr 2019
    https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1112900931622981632
    *
    [quote] So far, I think the AG has gotten a lot less grief than he should have for unethically and possibly misleadingly handling the obstruction decision. But he’s had some. But I’m mystified by the Deputy AG—a fact witness in the case—getting effectively zero for his involvement. [end quote]
    *
    2] Apr 2, 2019 4:01 AM
    As Trump attacked Mueller, he offered mea culpa to Rosenstein, source says The president didn’t go after Rosenstein the same way he went after others.
    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-attacked-mueller-offered-mea-culpa-rosenstein-source/story?id=62096310
    *
    [quote] Four months ago, shortly after President Donald Trump’s Twitter account sent out an image suggesting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should be prosecuted and imprisoned for appointing special counsel Robert Mueller, the president took the rare step of telling Rosenstein it was a mistake, according to a former Justice Department official informed of the conversation.
    As described by the former official, the mea culpa came in a private phone call, within days of Trump retweeting the meme that showed Rosenstein, Mueller and several Obama-era officials behind bars.
    “[W]hen do the trials for treason begin?” the Trump-endorsed image asked. […] [end quote]

  17. Willis Warren says:

    White House spox Hogan Gidley refers to Puerto Rico as “that country” on @HallieJackson’s show. “With all we’ve done in that country, they have systematic mismanagement of the goods and services we’ve sent to them.”
    Gidley says later that it was “a slip of the tongue.”

  18. harpie says:

    Here’s a great thread on the judge confirmation issue:
    *
    https://twitter.com/jbendery/status/1113082384264695808
    7:14 AM – 2 Apr 2019
    *
    [quote] “This behavior is novel,” McConnell gripes of Dems delaying votes on Trump nominees. “It’s a break from Senate tradition.”
    Here’s a story I did on Republicans denying Obama a judge seat for six YEARS. Then they filled the seat once Trump was president. [link] / [read the rest] [end quote]
    *

    • Jenny says:

      August 6, 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said: “One of my proudest moments was when I told Obama, ‘You will not fill this Supreme Court vacancy,'” and January 4, 2017, he said, “Apparently there’s yet a new standard now, which is not to confirm a Supreme Court nominee at all. I think that’s something the American people simply will not tolerate.”

      And this:

      “We need to be honest with the public.” Mitch McConnell

  19. Emily says:

    Don’t forget – you can also use Resistbot to send messages to your congresspeople via text message.

  20. 1236648563 says:

    I’ve posted here before with a numerical username, about how readers and commenters on this site have no skin in the game, how they will essentially be alright no matter how much McConnell changes the course of the country for a generation. No matter how dystopian society becomes.

    Although Rayne and others refuted my views last time, they haven’t changed. Unless readers and commenters of this site, generally ABC1 people with access to capital and strong social networks, take action and are willing to make sacrifices, McConnell will keep going.

    Just look at the Lawyers strike recently in India as an example.

    Contacting your representatives as Rayne outlined above is of course essential and should be done weekly as part of one’s civic obligations in good times or bad.

    In a situation where Republicans are essentially ignoring the rules of the game, faxes aren’t enough. In a situation where McConnell blocks a supreme court nomination until a republican is in office calls aren’t enough.

    People less educated than the readers of this site will not realise the seriousness of the situation until they see ABC1 people taking action and putting skin in the game.

    “But my mortgage” or “But my health insurance” is not good enough.

    I’m not an American, but you you guys are exporting your political zetgeist globally, whether you realise it or not, so I’ve got some skin in this game. Just look at what Bannon is doing in Europe as one example.

    Regards.

  21. Margo Schulter says:

    The focus on Puerto Rico makes me reflect on two reasons I wish were sufficient for Donald Trump’s impeachment and conviction: his malign neglect of the people of Boriquen, or Puerto Rico; and also his family separation policy at the border which reflects the same racist values. I would place the latter under “crimes against the law of nations,” since asylum is a basic human right, as is the right of family members to remain together.

    Whatever his relationship with Putin, I would see Trump’s reckless or indeed wanton neglect of the victims of Hurricane Maria as violating the requirements of his office. As to the “family separation” outrage, which basically created a Gulag in the USA for innocent infants and children, I am tempted to paraphrase a quote attributed to Stalin: “To separate one child from her family is called a kidnapping; to separate thousands is called a policy.”

    • harpie says:

      Matthew Miller makes a point about the OTHER subpoenas…I wonder if it’s correct:
      *
      https://twitter.com/desiderioDC/status/1113447666233561088
      7:26 AM – 3 Apr 2019
      *
      [quote] BREAKING: House Judiciary votes 24 to 17 to authorize Chairman Nadler to issue a subpoena for the Mueller report & its underlying evidence, and for five former WH officials: Bannon, Priebus, Hicks, McGahn, Donaldson. [end quote]
      *
      https://twitter.com/matthewamiller/status/1113449565011828736
      7:33 AM – 3 Apr 2019
      *
      [quote] The latter part of this action hasn’t gotten enough attention: former WH officials have been stonewalling Nadler’s request for docs. Suspect their subpoenas will come immediately. [end quote]
      *

    • harpie says:

      Ryan Goodman on this:
      https://twitter.com/rgoodlaw/status/1113457173735059456
      8:04 AM – 3 Apr 2019
      *
      [quote] Why would Nadler delay sending Barr subpoena to get Mueller report (per @ChrisMegerian reporting)?
      Why not go for immediate gratification?
      Is Nadler getting weak knees?
      Read tweets by a top congressional oversight expert—@AndyMcCanse—about long game Nadler’s likely playing
      *
      This is what @AndyMcCanse says in that tweet:
      *
      [quote] Unpopular opinion: An uncompromising position is satisfying in the immediate term but it is not always the best way to build a record the committee will need to win in court. The case law requires good faith negotiations/accommodations. That looms in each choice to escalate. [end quote]
      *
      [harpie rant] OK, OK, OK!!!
      But it is SO damn frustrating to ALWAYS and FOREVER have to be the ONLY ones who show the good faith and to accomodate!
      …blech!…
      [end rant]
      *

  22. harpie says:

    @nataliewsj reports:
    https://twitter.com/nataliewsj/status/1113553741792325637
    2:27 PM – 3 Apr 2019
    *
    [quote] While Sen. Hirono was talking to reporters about Joe Biden’s video and policy, a male senator [NO NAME???] walked up, put his hands on a reporter’s shoulders and told Hirono she didn’t have to talk.
    Hirono said she wanted to talk and could defend herself, thank you very much. [end quote]
    *
    WHAT???
    *

  23. Eureka says:

    Another conflicted nominee who has sought to influence the agency he’s proposed to lead, another call-your-senators item:

    Barry Lee Myers (now formerly of AccuWeather) to lead NOAA made it out of committee today. While McConnell could take it to a floor vote, this senate has not had hearings on his nomination (first made in late 2017). Walt Shaub co-authored a WaPo piece 4-2-19 summarizing the issues; Think Progress has a new post today. Also search “accuweather Rick Santorum” for kicks if you want some deeper history (Santorum tried to legislate the privatization of NWS data for commercial use; other cites are juicier on the details, but see e.g. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Weather_Service_Duties_Act_of_2005] ). This long con is evolving…

    The Senate is rushing to confirm this Trump nominee despite ethics concerns
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/04/03/senate-is-rushing-confirm-this-trump-nominee-despite-ethical-concerns/

    Myers’s ties to AccuWeather remain deeply concerning. He recounted for the Senate how he and his family built the company from the ground up to become a dominant player in the weather forecasting industry. In addition to Myers serving as its CEO, his wife was its director of executive projects, and his brothers held more than 90 percent of the company’s stock.

    When his nomination was first announced, we were concerned about whether Myers could be relied on to oversee an agency that can directly impact his family’s business. AccuWeather uses NOAA’s free weather data to make its own predictions, which it then sells to the public. AccuWeather has also argued that NOAA should reduce the amount of weather information it releases directly to the public — that is, much of the data generated by NOAA with our tax dollars would be available exclusively to private companies like AccuWeather that could then sell us forecasts based on that data. Myers himself has advocated that NOAA do less for America so AccuWeather can increase its profits.

    This history raised serious questions about Myers’s ability to act impartially, which fueled a public outcry that stalled his first nomination. The clock ran out for Myers in January when the new Congress took office.

    Now Myers is back with a new nomination and a mysterious financial arrangement.

    See also:
    Ethics experts sound alarm over confirmation process of Trump’s pick to lead NOAA
    https://thinkprogress.org/barry-myers-trump-accuweather-noaa-9702aad73651/

    Update- this one has some of the 2005 Santorum history:

    Trump’s Pick to Lead Weather Agency Spent 30 Years Fighting It – A high-pressure lobbying system raises the question: Who owns the weather?
    [https://web.archive.org/web/20190130190014/https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-06-14/trump-s-pick-to-lead-weather-agency-spent-30-years-fighting-it]

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