Here for Misogyny’s Ratio

[NB: Not Marcy, check the byline, thanks! /~Rayne]

This tweet is a flaming POS and the ratio of Comments to Likes reflects a similar collective sentiment (currently running 7-to-1 Comments to Likes:

Wipe the shocked look off your face, Andrew. Believe it or not, secondary education instructors often have day jobs, and professionals often have instruction gigs.

Those day jobs ensure they are more qualified to speak about their field than instructors who teach on the subject directly out of school.

Best classes I ever took were taught by adjunct professors because they had real life experience to use as examples. (My favorite was my business ethics class taught by a local judge.)

This isn’t restricted to the law, either; pick a field from humanities to STEM and you’ll find instructors who are working in their profession while teaching.

But Andrew Kaczynski isn’t the only problem. The article he retweeted has a problem smack in the middle of it which gives me pause — it’s so bad I have to wonder how much of the rest of this report by Washington Post journalists Elise Viebeck and Annie Linskey may need vetting.

This bit:

One of her most controversial clients was Dow Chemical, which she advised in the mid-1990s. A subsidiary that manufactured silicone gel breast implants faced hundreds of thousands of claims from women who said their implants caused health problems. Dow Chemical denied that it played a role in designing or making the implants and sought to avoid liability as its subsidiary, Dow Corning, declared bankruptcy.

“In this case, Elizabeth served as a consultant to ensure adequate compensation for women who claimed injury from silicone breast implants who otherwise might not have received anything when Dow Corning filed for bankruptcy,” Warren’s list of cases read. “Thanks in part to Elizabeth’s efforts, Dow Corning created a $2.35 billion fund to compensate women claiming injury from Dow Corning’s silicone breast implants.”

The Post could not immediately verify this figure.

Emphasis mine. It took me less than 30 seconds to Google “dow corning $2.35 billion fund” and come up with In re Dow Corning Corp., 280 F.3d 648 (6th Cir. 2002):

And I didn’t have access to resources like the Washington Post’s team — cripes, WaPo probably reported on this case. It’s probably in their archives. What else in this article picking through Elizabeth Warren’s work history is just as thinly researched?

We have a malignant narcissistic lifelong scofflaw in office because the media was unwilling to do adequate research into his background before 2016. They focused to excess on the leading female candidate who had already been heavily researched during her tenure as First Lady, junior senator from New York, and Secretary of State.

Now we see slapdash research pushed misogynistically, to the detriment of a candidate who has also served in public office and proven her work history has informed her work as a senator and her policy proposals.

Imagine it: a corporate lawyer who, after working as a lawyer for corporate clients, decides they need more oversight like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and corporations’ owners need to pay more taxes.

But the media wants you to take away from their coverage that she’s been paid by corporations you may not like while teaching at the same time.

Wait until they figure out she’s a mother, too. OMFG!!1! What kind of being can possibly do all that — parent two kids, teach, and bill out at $675 an hour?

Give me a fucking break.

Reporters: Stop this goddamned double standard immediately. Do a better job of reporting, stay focused on what’s relevant and quit making sensation out of nothing.

Readers: Be more skeptical of everything you read, and when you read, do so carefully. Don’t rely on stupid white men’s tweets to tell you the truth. Demand better quality reporting.

This is an open thread.

151 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    It’s going to be a really l o o o o n g presidential race if this is the kind of crap they’re going to pull this early in the season. Jesus.

    • Peacerme says:

      It’s driving me crazy. Already. Also it makes me even more upset when done by female reporters!!! I know it’s been so deeply internalized. I guess the gap of inequality has become even more obvious as more and more women enter the race for high stake positions. But wow!! We women (and all POC) need to take the best care of ourselves lest we collectively die of high blood pressure, stress, addiction and anxiety. I never imagined that the angst of the Bush years could be topped. Trump has topped and doubled my anxiety.

      • OldTulsaDude says:

        The line between reporting and propaganda has been erased to the point it is impossible to say whether this writing was lazily sloppy or purposefully vague.

        • Rayne says:

          “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.” — Ian Fleming.

          How many errors were in this piece? *grrrrr…*

      • Katherine M Williams says:

        The WaPo, like most of the mainstream media, is owned by a billionaire. The uber-rich are happy with Trump, but will accept Biden if Trump is forced to go. Of course they don’t want Liz Warren who will cut into their staggering profits and maybe even make them pay taxes. So we’re seeing a lot of puzzling articles about how amazingly popular (?!?) Biden is and how female/socialist/crazy/sleazy/or OLD (Bernie) the actual popular candidates are.

        There is no mystery to this phenomena. Wall Street, Banks, wealthy corporations are ok with another Obama who will fix the economic issues and be nice to other countries, all while “working with” the republicans who’ve 100% supported war criminal Bush2 and are 100% supporting demented criminal Trump.

        • Katherine M Williams says:

          Oh, look: Bernie took donations from high-donors: “Driscoll identified some of the contributors as the *National Nurses United*, a progressive network of nurses that helped fund Sanders’ 2016 campaign; *Our Revolution*, the political nonprofit Sanders founded after the primary; and *Healthy Housing Foundation*, a nonprofit branch of the *AIDS Healthcare Foundation* focused on providing housing for people with low incomes. The Sanders Institute listed National Nurses United, Our Revolution, and Healthy Housing Foundation as the three partners of the institute’s 2018 gathering.”

          This is being reported with the implication that Bernie is a lying, cheating one-percenter-loving scuzz.

  2. Rapier says:

    The public will learn that Warren is a mother and with that knowledge know something else about her. She was a slut. That’s right. Imagine, a slut as president. OMG

    • SharkeyWoman says:

      WTAF is right. “She was a slut.” Please, please tell us this was an attempt at satire or something… I’m so sick to death of America’s Archie Bunkers. It’s just too much and Agolf Twittler has emboldened people’s worst instincts and quite frankly, their stupidity, willful ignorance and intellectual dishonesty.

      We must’ve all died and are actually now in hell.

      • Rayne says:

        We’re definitely in one of the darkest timelines of this multiverse. I keep imagining the timeline in which Al Gore had become president and we’re all sitting around whining about boredom.

        (I treated Rapier’s remark as weak snark. They’re generally better than this particular comment. Welcome to emptywheel.)

        • SharkeyWoman says:

          Thanks Rayne. I’ve been a fan for a couple of years now. emptywheel is my sanity. Seriously…

  3. bmaz says:

    “In this case, Elizabeth served as a consultant to ensure adequate compensation for women who claimed injury from silicone breast implants who otherwise might not have received anything when Dow Corning filed for bankruptcy,” Warren’s list of cases read. “Thanks in part to Elizabeth’s efforts, Dow Corning created a $2.35 billion fund to compensate women claiming injury from Dow Corning’s silicone breast implants.”

    And this is scandalous exactly why??

    • Rayne says:

      I imagine it’s because of Dow Chemical, oogie-boogie-bogey man. Never mind at the time Dow Corning was a joint venture with Corning — note how Corning isn’t mentioned at all, or that Dow Chemical’s management was wholly separate from Dow Corning.

      And breasts. Titillating, doncha’ know.

      Still furious they couldn’t be bothered to fucking google the fund amount let alone check WaPo’s article archives. Slackers.

      • P J Evans says:

        Plus the underlying (and of course unspoken) assumption that women who want breast implants are all sluts (or porn actors), because “real women” would put up with having one or no boobs after mastectomies.

        Men have no effing clue how much boobs are part of female anatomy – even a lumpectomy has pretty major effects on the body for a long time after – and they don’t think about how important their dangly bits are to them.

        • Rayne says:

          LOL I don’t think most men realized that if they’d had an orchiectomy (testicle removal for cancer or injury) that Dow Corning made silicon implant replacements.

          Not just enhancement or mastectomies but augmentation for transsexual patients and accident victims who rely on implants.

          • P J Evans says:

            That stuff gets lumped under “cosmetic surgery”, and the assumption is that it’s optional – even if it’s for repairing actual disfigurement, and not just enhancing already-acceptable appearance. (Some women do turn down implants, but I don’t blame them: it’s additional surgery, and Not Fun At All.)

  4. Ruthie says:

    Sadly, I doubt the press’ misogynistic treatment of women candidates will break through all the issues vying for our collective attention, never mind the fact that an unfortunately large number wouldn’t see it as problematic (!). But women *are* good and pissed about the newly enacted abortion laws – hopefully that rage will achieve what more subtle misogyny can’t and convince ever more of them to vote for Democrats. I shouldn’t have to, but I’ll add the disclaimer that of course some men are on our side – but not enough to make it a non-issue. Just like some white people are care about the rights of minorities – but not enough.

    • Rayne says:

      The demographics of voters who cast for Trump pretty much tells us white men like bombastic corrupt asshole white men without a shred of experience in public service over a woman with experience in public service. We can see what good that bombastic corrupt asshole has done for the majority of Americans (none) and yet many white men still kiss up to that bombastic corrupt asshole (looking at you, Lindsey Graham). Just so stupid.

  5. harpie says:

    Quinta Jurecic retweeted this thread by CBHessick,who is a “Criminal law professor at the University of North Carolina. Director of the Prosecutors and Politics Project.”
    6:47 AM – 23 May 2019

    The lack of context in this @washingtonpost story on Elizabeth Warren is outrageous. Did the reporters not know, or not care what the hourly rate is for law professors who consult for private clients? Or the hourly rate for attorneys with Warren’s expertise and experience?
    So let me provide some context. […] As I hope that story illustrates, Warren charging $675 per hour to consult is not an unusually high figure. […]
    I should add that, as a @washingtonpost reader, I shouldn’t have to wonder about this. That information should have appeared in the story about Warren, along with additional information about the prevalence of law faculty engaging in such activities. [She adds, for free, an idea for how WaPo could write a much better story] […]

    Also, Marcy had an idea for a better headline:
    Elizabeth Warren was never just an Ivory Tower Professor:
    she continued to fight systematic problems contributing to bankruptcy even while teaching
    I don’t know if/how I’m going to make it through this election…and it’s such a long way away.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Warrens’s purported $675/hr in the mid-1990s, in a special large bankruptcy, would have been well within the norm. Her bill was probably less than what her peers would have charged. Lead bankruptcy counsel for Dow probably made more, and that would have been without churning and make-work for his team. She would have made sure it was charged to Dow and not to the victims’ fund. Dow was also renting Warren’s stellar reputation with consumers to reduce the cost to its own reputation owing to its having caused harm to women.

    The money in the pot was not just Dow’s. It came from Dow’s shareholders and insurers, too, and it came attached to a big thick string: abandonment of independent claims to sue Dow.

    Warren’s work was on behalf of women. Presumably, she worked on behalf of the bankruptcy estate – not Dow – to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of resources to real victims of Dow’s conduct. That is a big deal for several reasons.

    Large corporate bankruptcies are often pre-packaged theaters of the absurd. They are intended to manipulate the rules in order to stiff ordinary claimants in favor of special creditors, executives shareholders. Payouts like this, for example, create a big number in the headlines. “See, more than a wrist slap!” What’s lost in the fine print is that much of that money never reaches victims. It is siphoned off in various ways or never paid at all.

    The touted number, for example, is often “structured,” that is, paid out over a long period of time. That cuts the present value of the payout. Payments are often discounts on future purchases. That cuts future revenue, but the cost is contingent and does not require an out-of-pocket payment. Administrative costs, some with no obvious or only a tenuous connection, are allocated to and paid out of the fund. That reduces costs to the perpetrator and the amount of money that gets to victims.

    The claims process is often arcane and difficult to navigate. The process is designed to reduce the number of successful claims and lower the final cost of the settlement.

    A portion of payouts is often directed to associations or institutions instead of to real people harmed by corporate conduct. That can raise awareness and avoid future harm, but does nothing for the people already hurt or killed by corporate conduct. But it does reduce administrative costs and can lead to tax deductions, which reduce final settlement costs. All lower the actual cost of settlement below the theatrically high number used in the headlines.

    • Rayne says:

      A caveat about using the name ‘Dow’ broadly with regard to the silicone implant cases: The Dow Chemical Company was a separate entity at the time from Dow Corning. Dow Corning was a joint venture between Dow Chemical and Corning. Dow Corning had entirely separate management from either of its two JV owners.

      Note carefully how WaPo’s piece ignored Corning.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        “Corning” as part of the name of the Dow joint venture, Dow Corning, is mentioned at the end of paragraph eight. But the set-up earlier in what is a long paragraph referred to it only as a Dow subsidiary.

        The article by Elise Viebeck and Annie Linskey works hard at opposing purposes. The facts present Warren in a wholly favorable light, a stellar performer who succeeded brilliantly much against the odds. But the implications they try to create – particularly the idea that there was something insidious or inconsistent in her well-paid work for big nasty corporations – are wholly negative. Presumably, that was intended as red meat for the misogynistic GOP elite.

        The reality Viebeck and Linskey’s recitation can’t hide is that Warren’s work has consistently been on behalf of Main Street Americans. Her work in those bankruptcies was not like the traditional Wall Street lawyer’s, who attempts to bend the rules in favor of his top client.

        Warren was attempting to make the rules work equitably, to avoid the little person being crushed by them. That is not what most large corporations or their wealthiest shareholders want at all. That’s one reason they hate her and her damned CFBP. WTF would she unleash as president they might ask. We should probably ask the same question, but for more productive reasons.

        • Rayne says:

          And the first company mentioned with regard to Warren’s work on the breast implant settlement was…? And they never mentioned CORNING — not Dow Corning — as a separate corporation. That’s my point. The case text reads, ‘IN RE DOW CORNING’ and they still had to throw one joint venture owner at the beginning of the article.

          If Viebeck and Linksey can’t get that right, or they let some hack editor try to whip up a political point against a single corporation using shoddy work, they need a figurative whack along side their heads. It calls into question everything else they wrote in that article for good or ill.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Viebeck and Linskey write as if they have a scoop that Ivy League law professors [and economics, business, medical school, and other faculty] occasionally work as consultants for for-profit corporations and public interest associations.

          Did they recently join the WaPo from the People’s Daily? What else would explain a rush so urgent they could not immediately verify the $2.35 billion proposed settlement in the Dow Corning matter?

          Theirs is not an expose of Elizabeth Warren. Theirs is an exercise in naivete or a hit piece for the gullible. Prof. Warren must make the Beltway expense account crowd nervous, not to mention Joe Biden – whose priorities she has opposed for decades – and other establishment Dems.

  7. PeteT says:

    This was my chance intro to Elizabeth Warren circa 2008:

    Well worth an hour of your time if you have not watched it.

    A little later circa 2010 also about an hour there is this:

    I’m “working” for a Elizabeth Warren and will vote for the female Dem nominee if it isn’t her and write in Elizabeth Warren if a male is chosen.

    I am a 68 year old white male and it’s long past time to break this wheel – to borrow a GoT reference.


      • Eureka says:

        Here, here!

        I also remember the (fueled-)media claims then that she was “not ready” for a presidential run. Kind of like the (fertilized-)murmurings that she shouldn’t run the CFPB. Kind of like…

  8. harpie says:

    Meanwhile, today:
    7:36 AM – 23 May 2019

    Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez write to Steve Mnuchin:
    “We are deeply concerned by the financial engineering and potentially illegal activity that took place at Sears Holding Corporation while you served on the company’s board.”

    Letter is here:

    • Rayne says:

      Oh excellent! Sears could have gone head-to-head against Amazon but it was held back by parasitic vulture capitalists — and that letter spells out exactly what my concerns have been all along.

      I hope to gods Martha Stewart is called upon to offer her two cents about Kmart as a subsidiary of Sears; it was her brand and her guidance which helped clean up Kmart stores in the early 2000s. I have always wondered why she wasn’t encouraged to take a bigger role in Sears for that reason. It would be such delicious karmic retribution.

    • Jenny says:

      Excellent exposure about Mnuchin. These women are educating those who have not been educated.

      Rayne thanks for the topic. Necessary to address.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Neoliberal patrons of colleges and universities have induced many of them to race to the corporate sea to mimic their patrons’ behavior, despite their purpose being wholly different, in fact, antithetical, to the needs and purposes of a for-profit corporation.

    One effect is that there are now an abundance of non-teaching deans and deanlets, vice presidents, asst vice presidents and chiefs of staff, but tenure-track teaching positions are becoming as rare as hen’s teeth. Among its intended effects is to induce conformity and cuts costs, which force most teaching staff to take other jobs. Once rare, it is now the norm.

    And how dare Elizabeth Warren make a success of her life, despite the odds against her. She should have remained barefoot and pregnant and done her husband’s bidding, maybe teach lil’ kids in a school that has no budget for her or the kids. That would have made American Great Again! Not.

    The WaPo might have spent more time on the pernicious effects of such developments, or better researched the readily verifiable facts behind its story, than in trying to smear Elizabeth Warren. The damning with feint praise approach wont’ do, you know.

  10. Pat says:

    She’s *miles* superior to any other candidate extant. That she isn’t the runaway leader is a perfect illustration of how far society still has to go.

      • Peacerme says:

        The kryptonite for narcissists is accountability. The underlying pathology is a shame wound at an early age. Narcissists can’t stand being called out with truth. A hearing would unnerve him. Getting the the truth out. Confronting him him with truth makes him dysregulated and angry. The problem is that he’s a malignant narcissist so that means that in response to attempts to hold him accountable he will do illegal, hurtful, dangerous things and have no conscience about doing so. If trump is poked carefully his reactions will expose that wounded 2 year old, but he will go to abuse of power to repair his image. He uses fear, guilt and shame to control people. We are tipping over the edge in regard to his abuse of power. He has told us who he is. We need to start acting like we are in danger. It’s time. At every turn he is dismantling truth. There needs to be urgency communicated.

        • Rayne says:

          I hear you. At the same time acting too urgently may both undermine the case against him — we’re going to have to make it impossible for the courts to do anything but decide in favor of the case made — and trigger something really ugly. There have been far too many calls by weapon-happy individuals for a civil war. These conditions are why I made a pointed effort to write a post about the Rwandan genocide’s anniversary this year.

    • P J Evans says:

      She’s not an idjit. But she does need to get all the committee chairs to work on this. I don’t think Neal has his heart in his job.

      • harpie says:

        That sounds like something @nycsouthpaw just tweeted, that makes sense to me:
        8:44 AM – 23 May 2019

        I don’t think much of any of Pelosi’s express arguments against impeachment, but I think her implicit stance that advocates of impeachment will need to get organized enough to compel her to drop those arguments and move forward makes some political sense.

        What makes you say that about Neal?

        • Rayne says:

          I think I agree with PJ about Neal — but perhaps it’s how little we see of him and his work combined with a difference in operating style. He doesn’t appear to have the same sense of urgency Nadler and Cummings express.

          What I think we may need is a whip count on impeachment. I keep seeing/hearing comments to the effect that “senior members of the caucus” are the barrier to kicking off an impeachment inquiry. Who are they? Who else isn’t on board? Are any of the chairs able to commit but can’t because of the same barrier?

          Are you guys up for a whip to tally for/against impeachment? Is there a downside to asking and publicly documenting House Dems’ position, even with Republican Justin Amash posting another thread today in support of impeachment?

          • Willis Warren says:

            There’s zero evidence that an impeachment inquiry will backfire. Polls are only as strong as the informed, and no one has even read the Mueller report.

            • Rayne says:

              I have to be honest and admit I’ve been thinking since Romney stuck his foot in it last week that we needed a poll with three questions, including a whip count on impeachment inquiry.

              — Did the representative read the released redacted Mueller report in full?
              — Did the representative’s staffers read it?
              — Where does the representative stand on launching an impeachment inquiry — are they Yes, for an inquiry, or No, against an inquiry?

              We’d know how informed our representatives are, and we’d know who the bottlenecks are.

          • RWood says:

            I think there’s two whip counts, one public, the other behind closed doors. I’m noticing what appears to be a carefully advanced number of reps stepping onto the impeachment train with every new trump snafu.

            I would not be surprised if they were all assigned turns. Trump says/does A, Pelosi responds with B, and then signals group/rep C, D, E to flip. Repeat the process at every opportunity that trump provides until she gets the numbers she wants and she can then safely declare that her hand has been “forced” to start impeachment.

            My theory anyway, but it’s holding up. She needs to be more genuine when she says she’s against it. It’s starting to look too forced.

            • Eureka says:

              Actually, the order of events has been reps coming forward, _then_ (in this cycle anyway) Pelosi provoking Trump (cover-up), then Trump responding (I don’t do cover-ups, which overshadowed his Rose Garden stunting). Trump/Barr have been continually obstructing.

              Agree about the discrepancies in public-vs-private whip counts though, and — at least on occasion– some method to who breaks forward when (though that, too, can be seen as partly based on Reps’ own frustrations, given roles and constituencies).

        • P J Evans says:

          His noticeable lack of enthusiasm for sending out subpoenas on Tr*mp’s finances, and for enforcing those subpoenas once he finally bothered to send them out.

  11. P J Evans says:

    The guy I was going out with in the 80s was a computer systems programmer who sometimes taught 4-day seminars on things like device drivers. The seminars were running more than $1500 (per person) at that time. So I don’t seen Warren as being all that overpaid.

    • Rayne says:

      Dude. She worked for a law firm. The firm sets the pricing, and the pricing is shaped in part by what the market will bear.

      • Badger Robert says:

        Nothing shocking about the price or the work. Hardly worth thinking about. Did DOW get out of the litigation without a CH 11?

  12. Badger Robert says:

    Speaker Pelosi was clearly shaken. She is trying to prevent the President from sending out craziness into the US, which will have unknowable destructive consequences. People are starting to consider scenarios much worse than anything we have seen in the last 3 years.

    • American abroad says:

      Not sure this is the same name I used the last time, I apologize. But as the name suggests, I currently reside outside the US. I am in Indonesia. The election results were announced on Tuesday; riots took place for 3 days, 7 people died and hundreds wounded. The opponent made claims of fraudulent elections and widespread cheating. I envision worse for the US in 2020 when Individual 1 is defeated. Prabowo Subianto lost to Joko Widodo “Jokowi” by 17,000,000 votes.

      Not trying to be pessimistic, but offer an “outside” perspective

      • Rayne says:

        You used the same name, just had a space in it (which I’ve added to ensure the system treats your comments the same). Welcome back to emptywheel.

        Thanks for sharing your perspective abut the Indonesian election. I had been getting a HUGE number of Indonesian bots for a couple months before the election, making it obvious social media was heavily gamed leading up to the vote. I don’t know that any social media platform made a rigorous effort to ensure this did not foment the violence you saw. Not the first time there has been violence immediately after the election which had been swamped with social media — see Kenya’s 2017 election, as another example.

        This is exactly my worry about 2020, and Pelosi’s comment to the effect she worries Trump won’t leave reveals that upper levels of Democratic leadership are likely worried things will go off the rails.

        • American abroad says:


          “Democracy is essentially act of faith. When that faith is willfully exterminated, we should not be surprised that we reap the whirlwind.”

          Not sure where I read this quote, but it resonates with me daily. Each morning, I list 10 things I am grateful for, and faith in democracy is at the top of the list.

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Intervention in the case of Donald Trump for the good of the country, Ms. Pelosi? I thought that’s what an impeachment inquiry was for.

  14. 200Toros says:

    Speaker Pelosi: “Let me be very clear: the president’s behavior, as far as his obstruction of justice, the things that he is doing, it’s in plain sight, it cannot be denied — ignoring subpoenas, obstruction of justice,… We believe that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States. And we believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up,….What really got to him was these court cases and the fact that a House Democratic caucus is not on a path to impeachment, and that’s where he wants us to be,”

    OH SO THAT’S IT!! She KNOWS he’s guilty, but doesn’t want to honor the Constitution and remove him from office, because that’s what he WANTS. She is going to really stick it to the man-baby by letting him serve out his term in office, ha, that will really show him who’s the boss! SHE’S the one playing three-dimensional chess… Yeah, right….

    • Jockobadger says:

      Speaker Pelosi may not be moving to impeachment inquiry as fast as some would like, but it will happen and I believe fairly soon. In the meantime, she is getting the committee and caucus ducks in a row and slipping the shiv to he-who-shall-not-be-named and it’s driving him further around the bend, which is good. He is making some serious f-ing mistakes in spite of his handler’s best efforts (and Barr’s and McConnell’s and Lindsey’s) to keep lid on everything. Fun fact: it’s not working.

      I believe there’s a good chance that pretty soon more R’s will start to peel off and run for it. Who knows, an inquiry may not even be necessary. He might just go out on a “medical.” Probably not bc of the built-in protections of his current office, but if he cuts a deal….

      JHFC. Anyway, Go Elizabeth W!

      • Rayne says:

        I have been wondering if timing is a secondary issue after the barrier “some senior caucus members” pose to launching an impeachment inquiry.

        Is it a concern that if they start the impeachment process too soon they will have to deal with Pence as president AND deal with Pence as the defacto presidential candidate in 2020? Are they worried if they start too soon they will flush out into the open a more appetizing GOP candidate and give them too much time to prepare a 2020 race?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          An obvious concern, I agree. Whether the Dem leadership strategized about it, to minimize the problem, or used it to just say no is another question. Besides, Pence only enters the picture if Trump leaves. He couldn’t negotiate his way out of a paper bag; he’s more likely to offer a petulant no and refuse to go regardless of circumstance.

          Given the length of time a legitimate impeachment inquiry – including the plethora of issues EW has pointed out that go beyond Mueller’s report – would take, the timing would pretty much take care of itself. I suspect the issue is lack of agreement at the top about whether to launch an inquiry, not how to go about it.

          • RWood says:

            I don’t feel it will ever get to a vote, not unless they KNOW they have the number needed, and even then it might not be the best option. Pence is a stuffed shirt who will do whatever he’s told. It’ll be a McConnell presidency. That might be more dangerous than a crippled Trump. Better to have him weak as possible and the GOP all forced to defend the indefensible if they still wish to support him.

            A vote would end the constant exposure airing nightly on must-see TV. If you knock the guy out, there’s no more fight to watch.

            • Jockobadger says:

              All true folks, every bit of it, but what about legislating? We have some serious problems beyond El Trumpo and nothing is getting done. It’s hurting people (many of them trumpers.) It’s not Nancy’s fault, nor the Dems, but how can we move ahead? Or, maybe I just answered my own dumb question – can’t get anything done anyway given Senate leadership, eh? Wow. JHFC..

            • bmaz says:

              Good grief. Why is anybody concerned with “golly what about Pence?” as if Trump is ever going to be actually removed by impeachment? That is simply nonsense and a disingenuous distraction from the only real point.

              And that point is to merely open a deminimis impeachment inquiry to consolidate and geometrically buttress the Dem House investigatory and subpoena powers in court. Any clacking beyond that is disingenuous and ridiculous. It is not about anything in the first instance other than defending the Constitution by invoking the explicit power designed by the Founders to do so.

              Pelosi, and others, who frame it in terms of actual articles being voted out and put to trial in the Senate are dishonest beyond belief and craven in their position.

              • Rayne says:

                I’m worried about Pence. If that asshat in the White House drops dead Pence is a mortal threat to every woman of childbearing age and every LGBTQ person in the country. And I wouldn’t want that pasty son-of-a-mother to have a fighting chance at winning the presidency, ever.

                If it takes a extra few weeks to queue up a careful, effective case AND it keeps that nasty gay-killing fake Christian and his Mother out of the White House, good.

        • Eureka says:

          That’s been exactly my thought (as to candidate Pence). And I have no doubt that McConnell would have Trump voted impeached if the timing and election came down to it.

          As to the “senior members,” I was surprised yesterday that Jeffries was leading the (un)charge (I know much debate has since occurred re these numbers):

          Nancy Pelosi to Impatient Democrats: We’ve Got Trump on the Ropes

          And Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the Democratic caucus chair, made a strikingly political case that impeachment would prove, for now, counterproductive. The problem, he argued, was not that congressional Republicans would oppose it but that congressional Democrats would.

          “At the end of the day, by our count, there have been 20 members who have expressed a desire to proceed to an impeachment inquiry. An additional seven members have said, ‘throw him out, he should be impeached, we need to get rid of him.’ That’s a total of 27 members,” Jeffries told The Daily Beast. “Nobody counts better than Speaker Pelosi. There are 239 members of the House Democratic Caucus. Nobody counts better than Speaker Pelosi.”

          ETA: I look up to see chiron on MSNBC ~ Breaking- Nadler: I urged Pelosi to consider impeachment inquiry

          This was possibly per Nadler interview on Maddow the previous hour

        • koolmoe says:

          I’m onboard with the slower roll to impeachment. I think concern that Repubs will use impeachment, even the start of the process, as a significant propaganda tool. I’m now ok with waiting for 1) Trump to continue to damn himself and 2) for more evidence to come out. If we’re going to hit, let’s broadside as strongly as possible. I agree it needs to happen and the criminality is absolutely enough at this point, but I don’t think its peaked, so let’s get more ducks in the row.
          And yes, I think the Pence concern is worthwhile too.

        • Hops says:

          If they go through the courts, the courts will side with the House, and then Trump either hands over stuff he knows will damage him or he defies the courts and they impeach for defying the courts.

          • RWood says:

            I’m fully in favor of starting the process now as I see no real upside in waiting. But I also am understanding her strategy a bit better the more I think about it.

            However, if she gets the unredacted report, Mueller in the hot seat, Trumps taxes and bank records, and STILL won’t pull the trigger on impeachment, then I say she is as big a problem, if not greater, than Trump himself.

  15. allison holland says:

    When I read the tweet my response was totally different. I was impressed that she could charge so much because it shows how far she had come from such impoverished beginnings, so there’s that and I am glad that she won settlements for women whose health had been diminished and threatened by chemical implants especially when reconstructive surgery after a masectomy is such a big deal to those in recovery or remission. I dont know if any of you agree with me because I didnt read any of the comments above as I didnt want to be influenced by more active inputs and respectfully greater minds but as an older woman of lesser means my reaction to both examples was completely different. I know they are after all the women. even the women reporters. Women are mean to other women to whom they feel less than equal in the ways we often dont realize or see. These women also tore down Hilary i believe because they were jealous. They tear down Angelina Joli because she is beautiful and differently smart. They tear down pretty teachersand any women who makes them feel inferior and we cannot count on understanding why these women are doing it. They are forceful on the news when speaking with women so we think they are strong enough to be unbiased but it is unlike the way they defer to the men. All we can do is tally whatever the leading questions are with the fact that women are judged by both men and women while men skate wherever they wish no matter how thin the ice..

  16. Hops says:

    I think Warren has two obstacles aside from misogyny: anti-intellectualism and a lingering disdain for yankees in the South.

    I think she’d make a good president, personally. But many people go by likes and dislikes.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for sharing that link. The longer I think about that piece I just want to flip a table and Hulk-smash at Annie Linksey.

      Some of the most dangerous enemies women have are other women — like Alabama’s governor, like Linksey.

      Edit: LOL read the comments at that Balloon Juice piece. Linksey’s going to find herself ratio’d constantly if she keeps up her trolling and shitty reporting.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Suggests Linskey might have used the less experienced Viebeck as cover to settle an old score. Makes me think of those hundreds of competent reporters let go across the country in just the last six months. If the WaPo wanted to do better, it could.

          • hester says:

            great link and very informative. Thank you.

            Warren would be an awesome president, esp. if we had a democratic house AND senate.

          • Eureka says:

            I also liked Jed Shugerman’s thread (which kfile blocked him for) that speaks to another aspect of your post: Warren’s mentorship of his teaching:

            “Love this ratio. If Warren did no legal work as a prof, we’d see articles about Warren the ivory tower all-talk, no-work professor. If she always took the labor side, she’d be framed as commie ideologue. Btw, I’ve become a better teacher as I worked as amicus on more cases.”
            “Here’s a story about @ewarren, an amazing colleague for about 4 years until she went to DC. When I arrived at HLS in 2005, I had no idea how to teach a big 1L class. I didn’t teach or write in her fields, but she immediately invited me to watch her class and go to lunch after. 2/”

  17. BobCon says:

    It’s worth noting that these articles rarely appear out of nowhere — there is an industry devoted to pushing oppo research to editors and reporters, and once the story pitch is accepted, it takes on a life of its own.

    The NY Times swallowed a pitch from a right wing opposition research fund when it ran its front page story alleging hinky dealings by Biden and Ukraine, which now seem to have fallen apart. The Times also took the bogus Uranium One story from an anti-Clinton group.

    Unfortunately, the media is horribly opaque when it comes to revealing the role these groups have in launching stories. They don’t want to admit that there is anything less than an immaculate conception behind them. It’s unquestionably the job of reporters to hear from all kinds of sources, even those with axes to grind. But they shouldn’t hide the role that PR organizations have, either. There needs to be far, far more reporting on the role PR plays in stories, not only in sidebar, after the fact accounts, but embedded in the body of stories as well.

    • P J Evans says:

      And if you’re a reporter and someone (whether part of a group or not) feeds you a tip on a story, your job involves checking out whether it’s a valid tip or not, and you should also check the source out. Which should have stopped some of these hit jobs right at the start!

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Ms. Pelosi tells us she thinks the president committed and continues to commit crimes serious enough to warrant impeachment.

    Trump rabble rouses with every tweet, encouraging the angry, the left out, the put upon, the unlucky, and the damned to act out. He is unable to govern. He is uninterested in staffing his own government. He abuses it and the rule of law every day. He targets the legislature and his critics. He targets the judiciary, prosecutors, and law enforcement. Normally the close allies of a government’s chief executive, he can see them only as the enemy. He spends his day tweeting and watching television, having his hair done and his skin dyed, and picking out carpet swatches and fence top spikes.

    But the House launching an impeachment inquiry would be divisive and might harm the country?

    • harpie says:

      EoH: “Trump rabble rouses with every tweet, encouraging the angry, the left out, the put upon, the unlucky, and the damned to act out.”
      This is something I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about. “Acting out” is definitely an understatement. What if the possible reactions of the President’s extreme MAGA supporters ARE actually something people making decisions have to take into account?
      I’m thinking of former US Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hasson, for example:
      1:22 PM – 27 Feb 2019

      NEW: Accused domestic terrorist Christopher Hasson indicted, facing 30 years for three charges of possession of (1) firearms, (2) silencers + (3) controlled substances.
      Prosecutors said last week he plotted to “murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.”

      This is from the FBI affidavit, filed 2/14/19:

      On January 17, 2019 consistent with the types of people who Breivik identifies as “traitors” and targets for an attack, the defendant compiled a list of prominent Democratic Congressional leaders, activists, political organizations, and MSNBC and CNN media personalities, as shown below: [screenshot] […]

      added: Here’s JJMcNab with the paperwork:
      3:29 PM – 20 Feb 2019

    • harpie says:

      FBI reproduces Hasson’s spreadsheet of targets, and then states:

      […] The defendant developed this list in the above spreadsheet while reviewing the MSNBC, CNN, and FOX News websites, as well as other websites, from his work computer.
      The same day, January 17, 2019, the defendant performed the following Google searches at the following approximate times:
      v. 8:54 a.m.: “what if trump illegally impeached”;
      w. 8:57 a.m.: “best place in dc to see congress people”;
      x. 8:58 a.m.: “where in dc to congress live”;
      y. 10:39 a.m.: “civil war if trump impeached”;
      z. 11:26 a.m.: “social democrats usa”

    • harpie says:

      The threat of “civil war” is being pushed by Trump supporters, or the words are used to incite violence:
      Roger Stone Threatened Political Violence and Civil War Prior to Instagram Post Aimed at Judge
      BOB NORMAN | FEBRUARY 21, 2019 | 12:30PM

      As Roger Stone heads to court today to defend an apparent threat he aimed (literally) at the judge in his case, it’s a good time to look at his disturbing history of making similar threats of violence, domestic terrorism, and even civil war. […]

      • harpie says:

        From the article linked above:

        December 2017 Stone [with Alex Jones]:
        “I’m not advocating violence … but If there is a coup d’etat, if there is an illegitimate unconstitutional effort to remove Donald Trump on trumped-up charges by biased or partisan prosecutors or an illegitimate takedown by the 25th Amendment, there will be a civil war in this country,” Stone says on the video.
        “The Trump constituency has been awakened and they will not be put to sleep. I choose to defend myself and my family. I’m tired of the death threats, I’m tired of the need for personal security, I’m tired of the insults, and therefore I am going to defend the Constitution and myself.” […]

        In August of the same year [2017], Stone said there would be an
        “insurrection in this country like you have never seen before” if Trump were impeached and that
        any politician who votes for it would be endangering their own life.” […]

      • Rayne says:

        Wondering if I’ll set off bmaz by wondering when we might start seeing discussion about insurrection (18 USC 2383), seditious conspiracy (18 USC 2384), advocating overthrow of the government (18 USC 2385).

    • harpie says:

      Rep. Ilhan Omar was one of many on Hasson’s 1/17/19 spreadsheet.

      Here’s a photo, taken on 3/1/19, of a poster in the WV Legislature:
      The poster depicts Rep. Ilhan Omar in front of the WTC towers after they were hit on 9/11/01.

      Here’s what Trump said at CPAC on 2 Mar 2019 [VIDEO]

      “We have people in Congress right now that hate our country… When I see some of the statements being made, it’s very very sad. And find out — how did they do in their country? Did they do well?… Some will say it’s terrible he brought that up, but I don’t mind.”

    • harpie says:

      With the Hasson case, there were a number of people wondering why the DoJ did not put out a press release, as usual. ie:
      6:39 AM – 21 Feb 2019

      I’ve been trying to give them the benefit of the doubt on this and waiting for an explanation from DOJ. Sometimes there are law enforcement reasons not to publicize things, but once they’ve made the court filings, cat’s out of the bag. Don’t get why no press release.
      1:06 PM – 21 Feb 2019

      There are strong reasons to issue a press release in this situation – it creates public awareness & can lead to the development of additional evidence. It’s is unprecedented to not have a release in a case of this magnitude & impossible not to ask why & who made the decision.

      Anyway, I’ll stop now.

  19. AitchD says:

    Question for the Honorable William Barr: General, can Trump’s family members perform a lawful intervention in the interests of their father’s/husband’s personal health and welfare while he is your unitary president?

  20. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The average dog walker does more to prepare for work than Donald Trump. Why descriptions of Trump’s admitted lack of preparedness – he brags that he doesn’t need to prepare, he need only rely on his voluminous gut – should be controversial or irritate the Great Orange Punch Bowl is beyond me.

  21. viget says:

    Well… shit.

    DOJ just unloaded on Julian Assange by charging him with Espionage act violations. Between the 1A concerns, and I’m sure UK concerns regarding political prosecutions, Assange isn’t going to come to the US any time soon.

    Pretty sure Sweden will get him.

  22. MattyG says:

    Given “president” DT’s hands down Wikileak’s pants how motivated can a Barr-lead DOJ be in running this guy Assange in anyway? Do they really want the info he has in the news? How surprising would it be if the indictment was crafted to assure he wasn’t deported to the US?

    • Jockobadger says:

      Good points, Matty.

      All I can say is Putin is getting wayyyy better than he ever bargained for with the efforts to create dissension, sow division, etc. All this talk of civil war, insurrection, violence in the streets, etc., is frightening and nauseating. I’m pretty much ready for anything, but given that I live in just about the bluest place around, it won’t start here. I pray it doesn’t start at all, but with the Commander-in-Chief we’re saddled with…. Not good.

      I’m an old white man and I’m with Elizabeth, too, oldpaint.

        • Eureka says:

          LOL! *spits vodka*

          ETA: crap, even the jokes aren’t safe anymore. Clarifying that is a take on *spits coffee* (because per stories, it’s apparently a thing for RU crime gangs to spit vodka in people’s eyes to disable potential victims)

  23. oldpaint says:

    As an old white man who was raised and has spent most of his life in the South, and as a former newspaper reporter and editor, this is painful for me. I don’t need to point out that the Post article was written by women. Sadly, I think the biggest factors are laziness, maybe some stupidity, and a tremendous amount of pressure that is put on political reporters by political operatives. Somebody pushed this story on these reporters, and they took the bait, partly because they want political operatives to keep pushing stories on them. It’s sick.

    This one episode has almost persuaded me to go all-in for Elizabeth Warren. I’m in an early primary state but I’ve been holding back, mostly because I’m an independent and not a Democrat, and there are other good candidates in the race. But Warren consistently has been the one with good, solid, well-thought-out ideas, since long before this campaign season began. As a result, she’s going to be attacked from the right and the left, and it’s going to get pretty ugly. I’m with her.

    • hester says:

      her slogan should be, “I’ve got a plan for that”… b/c indeed she does. She’s outstanding imho.

      • Eureka says:

        Reminded me of this:

        Ashley Nicole Black: “Do you think Elizabeth Warren has a plan to fix my love life?”

        Elizabeth Warren: “DM me and let’s figure this out.”

        Ashley Nicole Black: “I am deceased. And ready to welcome new love in my life. And then get our new pres elected. #shehasaplan ”

    • Clever Name Evades Me says:

      I’m with her now too.
      I just went on a rant about old white guys, not adding that I’m married to an old’ish white guy that I love very much and he’s a good person. I like o think he wouldn’t launder dirty Russian rubles, or cozy up to authoritarian mobbed up thugs.
      ; )

  24. OldTulsaDude says:

    This is absurd. I was just watching NBC nightly news and the anchor described Individual-1’s response to Nancy Pelosi as, “the president fired back so and so”.

    Excuse me! This is not some middle-school bully trying to out-insult a classmate. This is the president of the United States. The primary tool of reporting is language; learn to use it properly or keep your mouth shut. All you have to do is report accurately what occurred. Pelosi did so-and-so. Individual-1 did not have an official response.

    I am fed up with the free ads that are given to this guy.

    • P J Evans says:

      SFGate has a headline: “Insults flying, Pelosi hits Trump’s fitness, he fires back”
      Which is pretty much the same kind of framing.

      • OldTulsaDude says:

        I expect it from the checkout tabloids – but not from supposed news organizations.

        • P J Evans says:

          They republish a lot of stuff from WaPo, without the monthly story limit – and they’re sloppy, sometimes, about titles.

  25. fpo says:

    So, just when you thought DT had done just about all he could to demoralize/disenfranchise the intelligence community, we get this:

    “Trump allows attorney general to declassify information about origins of Russia probe”

    “…allowing Attorney General William Barr to declassify any information Barr sees fit during his review of the events that prompted the FBI to open an investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

    [ n ]

    At this rate, it’s gonna be a long weekend. Happy Memorial Day, America.

  26. sand says:

    Considering the open thread and criticism of journalism, I’d like to say that I would not line a stall with this sample opinion from Buckley’s National Review:

    (I feel obligated to offer the reference link, but don’t patronize them. Maybe tell them they’re committing treason against sanity.)

    If I were an idiot that wanted to promote Trump, it could not be hard to do better than this nonsense. Seriously, what do these people even want? I can’t figure it out.

    Heading into the weekend, thanks to all who fought to preserve our republic. I hope we can keep it. The fight continues.

    • Rayne says:

      Oh of course, it’s by Victor Davis Hanson. ~smh~ I sure hope that stupid asshole isn’t collecting on the socialism he derides via Social Security checks.

  27. Clever Name Evades Me says:

    MAGA seems to be using their TREMENDOUS powers of cognitive dissonance, willfully ignorance & base misogyny to false equivalence the hell out of this media fuckery…per usual I suppose….
    “the libs need to understand how oppo works!”
    “The DEMS finally realizing past financial doings are fair game for them too!”

    I just don’t see a future where we get past this, if we as a population don’t have a way to collectively agree that there IS bias, it’s pervasive & baked in, and really going to kill us all. It’s not a bias against conservatives ffs. It’s a bias against anyone who isn’t a white guy.
    The planet is imploding, corporations are polluting us abs stuffing us with corn syrup, evangelical terrorists killing in the name of jeezus, poverty kills, and we’ve regressed to women not being humans with autonomy over their own bodies.

    I want to never vote for a white guy again.
    Sorry for the rant from a stranger who prowls around but doesn’t usually comment.

    • Rayne says:

      Welcome to emptywheel. Thanks for de-lurking. I feel your pain. If there’s one bright spot in all of this it’s learning we’re not alone and now the people we can’t trust are self-identifying. Especially the ones with the red hats.

    • harpie says:

      Very good rant! [And, clever name!] And, as Rayne says there is that bright spot in realizing that we’re not alone. I truly think there are many more of US than of them.

  28. Tom says:

    Difficult to imagine that Barr is going to carry out his investigation into the beginnings of the Russia probe without finding ‘evidence’ of something that will please the President. At best, he may conclude that the guilty parties covered their tracks too well, but he’ll get them next time. Then there is specter of journalists being charged for carrying out their basic investigative responsibilities in a country that has always valued its free press. Just sampling some of the news coverage of all this on YouTube and haven’t found anyone using the term “police state” to describe what’s happening, but that certainly seems to be what’s under way. Hope I’m just being alarmist.

  29. JamesJoyce says:

    “Imagine it: a corporate lawyer who, after working as a lawyer for corporate clients, decides they need more oversight like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and corporations’ owners need to pay more taxes.”

    Was not a tax collector knocked off an ass by a direct energy bolt maybe landing on his ass?

    Trump is incapable of placing himself in the circumstances of another, period, never mind economics 101.

  30. harpie says:

    6:48 PM – 23 May 2019

    May Day
    —Espionage indictment of Assange imperils freedom of press
    —Executive order gives Attorney General Barr unprecedented power to go after perceived enemies in intel community
    —POTUS names specific people in answer to question who has committed treason punishable by death

    Links to:
    2:25 PM – 23 May 2019 [VIDEO]

    REPORTER: Sir, the constitution says treason is punishable by death. You’ve accused your adversaries of treason. Who specifically are you accusing of treason?
    TRUMP: A number of people. If you look at Comey, McCabe, if you look at Strzok, his lover Lisa Page…

      • Rayne says:

        They want show trials to disrupt the 2020 election. Sure would be nice if the investigation into the dossier went all the way to its true inception and tried to ask Paul Singer at Free Beacon why he started it. Like that will go anywhere.

    • harpie says:

      This is how Marcy calls this MAY DAY:
      6:47 PM – 23 May 2019

      Three things happened in quick succession today: [now, yesterday!]
      1) DOJ criminalized core journalistic activities as espionage
      2) Trump made his AG the fact-finder where independent ones had found nothing
      3) Trump started tweeting obvious fakes abt his adversaries

  31. harpie says:

    MOC of the Day Award goes to, Rep. PRAMILA JAYAPAL, who wrote to President Trump on 5/23/19:

    Dear President Trump,

    Yesterday, you stated emphatically, “I don’t do cover-ups, you people know that.” You also stated, “I’m the most transparent president, probably, in the history of this country.”
    In light of your statements, please let me know what time tomorrow I can come over and review documents related to your administration’s decision to rescind Title IX guidance protecting LGBTQ students.

    Sincerely, PRAMILA JAYAPAL,
    Member of Congress.

  32. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Yesterday, Donald Trump emptied his stables of faceless staffers, arranged them for the “fake” news media, and had them neigh in unison that he had been “vewy, vewy calm” during his matinee performance for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

    What they are not allowed to say is that twenty echoes and two cowboy hats do not make a lie more credible. They make it clearer how empty the room is when Trump is in it. As was said of another useless government,

    It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches…and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

    Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God;…

    Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves….Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

    In the name of God, go!

    It is traditionally shortened to, “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

  33. harpie says:

    Kyle Cheney and Andrew Desiderio at Politico write:
    ‘We’re getting back on track’: Dems ready Mueller strategy shift
    Democrats are aiming to highlight the substance of Mueller’s 448-page report.
    05/23/2019 05:13 PM EDT

    […] And while the battles to access witnesses and more of Mueller’s evidence will continue, members say, they also plan to enter a new phase of their investigations. […]
    That phase would involve hearings in June and July featuring former prosecutors who can walk Americans through the allegations of obstruction of justice, witness intimidation and the dangling of pardons. The committee may also focus on Trump’s business entanglements and whether he’s received any unauthorized payments from foreign governments — known as emoluments. […]
    Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said he anticipates calling a bipartisan panel of prosecutors who recently signed a letter arguing that Mueller’s evidence proves Trump obstructed justice — and that Trump would have been charged if he weren’t the president. […]
    It’s all part of a strategy, Democrats say, to bring the allegations off the pages of the 448-page Mueller report — which they worry few Americans will actually read — and onto Americans’ television screens. […]

    I like this idea.

  34. harpie says:

    Back to the Thoughts on the Media—NYT edition:
    southpaw Retweeted
    5:52 AM – 24 May 2019

    Trump: calls for a half-dozen Americans to be tried for treason punishable by death. Ignores lawful subpoenas.
    Pelosi: draws attention to Trump’s erratic and possibly illegal behavior.
    The Times: “Trump and Pelosi Trade Barbs, Both Questioning the Other’s Fitness” [NYT; Glenn Thrush and Michael Tackett, May 23, 2019]

    • P J Evans says:

      Pelosi has forgotten more about government’s workings than Tr*mp has ever bothered to learn. I know which one I think is unfit for office, and it isn’t her.

    • oldpaint says:

      That is probably the biggest weakness in mainstream journalism — the notion that if I have “presented both sides” I have done my job. The notion that “objectivity” requires this false equivalency. It’s lazy. It’s dishonest. It’s dangerous.

    • Tom says:

      “… possibly illegal behavior”!? Reminds me of hearing Judy Woodruff a few weeks ago refer to “alleged Russian interference” in the 2016 campaign.

  35. harpie says:

    I see that Marcy just retweeted this from @nycsouthpaw, which gave me nightmares last night:
    12:18 AM – 24 May 2019

    Hard to express how much this is none of Bill Barr’s business.
    It doesn’t even map to their conspiracy theories about improper FBI surveillance of the Trump campaign.
    As reported, it’s a hostile inquiry into CIA surveillance of PUTIN.
    [screenshot, highlighted text:]

    “Mr. Barr wanted to know more about what foreign assets the C.I.A. had in Russia in 2016 and what those informants were telling the agency about how President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sought to meddle in the 2016 election.”

    Maybe a bit hyperbolic, but it seems that BARR’s DoJ is being used AGAINST US.

  36. harpie says:

    wrt the GOP allegations of “unfitness”, etc. about Pelosi: remember when they did that to Hillary?

    8/2/16 [Corsi] emailed STONE. [Corsi] wrote that he was currently in Europe and planned to return in or around mid-August. [Corsi] stated in part,

    “Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging.”

    The phrase “friend in embassy” referred to [Assange].
    [Corsi] added in the same email,

    “Time to let more than [the Clinton Campaign chairman] to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC. That appears to be the game hackers are now about.
    Would not hurt to start suggesting HRC old, memory bad, has stroke –neither he nor she well.
    I expect that much of next dump focus, setting stage for Foundation debacle.”

    • harpie says:

      Here’s a story about the tactic from 2016, via Qunita Jurecic’s twitter thread:
      6:39 AM – 24 May 2019

      How quickly we forget. The whole edited/doctored Nancy Pelosi video thing isn’t exactly new. It’s ripped from the “Hillary Clinton is sick” handbook of 2016. There were tons of videos edited to make her look ill then used as ammo by far-right “experts”

      • Tom says:

        There was also the doctored clip of Jim Acosta supposedly ‘assaulting’ a White House intern during a November 7, 2018 press conference. The video was sped up to make it appear that Acosta was hitting the young woman on the arm rather than just trying to hold on to the microphone she was trying to take from him. The doctored video also omitted Acosta’s comment of “Pardon me, ma’am.” And remember when Trump accused NBC of “fudging” the video from his interview with Lester Holt when he admitted to firing Comey because of “the Russia thing”? Projecting, obviously.

    • Eureka says:

      I was thinking about all of this and wishing the general public well-knew/MSM would cover this as an extension of Manafort’s Ukraine tactics (including HRC stuff as you cited).

      i.e. yet more Trump-Russia (campaign tactics) being used to cover up Trump-Russia (campaign tactics). That awareness might jog some out of the autopilot acceptance of sexist ploys and tropes, and ironically allow them to better see the sexism.

  37. CitizenCrone says:

    Can anyone explain why Barr asked Trump for the authorization to de-classify Intel info? Because, as I read Sarah Sanders’ press release, it was done per Barr’s request. (I mean, Trump can de-classify whatever he wants, apparently. Why did Barr need such power?)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump’s life has been built on fear and loathing, and laying onto others his own wants, desires, fears, and wrongs. He hides in the shadows until the critical coast is clear and only approval is left on stage.

      No Sarah Sanders press release can be taken at face value. She lies more often than her boss. Her press releases are more like the old Soviet style ones, where one could not be sure anything was true until it was officially denied.

      Now that Trump has found his Roy Cohn in Bill Barr, he has gone a long way toward neutering federal law enforcement as a personal threat. He has not done the same with the intel community.

      Opening the intel community to this particular Attorney General – an unheard of move, they have been purposely separated since inception – is a way to neuter it as a threat to Trump. It is a way to find out about threats to him and his patrons, to attack his enemies, and to push the resistant into self-censoring their beliefs in professionalism and in democratic governance.

      Trump might not have come up with this latest assignment for Bill Barr, but he is wholeheartedly behind it.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The delegation of so much power to Bill Barr for so low and intimidating a purpose is Trump payback. It’s a declaration that in 2020 and beyond, he is untouchable.

      And the Untouchables is where he gets his model: “He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.” That’s the Trump way.

      Trump doesn’t really joke. In part, that’s because he’s always talking about himself. He’s the greatest, no joke. But he claims to be joking to avoid liability for admitting what he’s done or is about to do: he can’t shut himself up, so he hides it in plain sight.

      Trump really does want five terms as president, for example. That 22nd Amendment crap that limits him to two terms? Fuck it.

        • bmaz says:

          Again, what the hell is “Himself”? Please do not engage in that bunk here.

          You, and this blog, are better than that petty bullshit. We have had this discussion before. For better or worse, and it is truly the worse, his name is Trump. And he is currently the President of the United States. Use his damn name.

          Goofily insisting on using “tRump”, “Drumph”, “Himself”, and/or sillily putting an asterisk in somewhere, and other stupid allusions, just makes everybody here look stupid. Please stop this nonsense, you are accomplishing nothing, and making us all look like idiots. Don’t do that.

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