Livestream Tonight: The Investigation — Mueller Report in 10 Acts [UPDATE]

[NB: As always, check the byline. Thanks! /~Rayne]

Tonight only at 9:00 p.m. EDT (sorry, Rachel Maddow) the (nonprofit-?) organization Law Works will stream a live play based on the Mueller Report.

Read about the program at Variety, which calls this a “star-studded” “live reading” of the report.

This is one way to educate a portion of the public who can’t or won’t read the Special Counsel’s report. One might wonder if members of Congress might give this a shot or if they will continue to avoid the truth about the Trump campaign and administration.

If you happen to stream this Law Works’ production, share your thoughts here.

This is an open thread.

UPDATE — 9:15 p.m. EDT —

Running into 500-502 errors at Law Works’ site. Streams a little jerky through their Twitter account.

197 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    One heckuva cast, must say. I’m kind of excited about this idea. Too good for the likes of Agent Orange Chaos in the White House, though.

    Hey Law Works (if you happen to drop in here): you need to post something on your site about the kind of organization Law Works is — I assume it’s a 501(c)3 based on education and not lobbying but I can’t tell. It should be obvious to potential donors before they click on a donation button.

  2. P J Evans says:

    I’m up to page 80. That’s past the main part of the “harm to ongoing matter” censorship, and into the part where it’s mostly “grand jury”.

  3. Eureka says:

    Thanks, Rayne, this is great– ready to tune in.

    I’m also hoping that Comedy Central does some type of special on the MR. A special series of Drunk History would be great, or of The President Show.

      • Eureka says:

        Yes, that’s my first choice ;)

        Also the livestream (topic of post) is overloaded ?

        When it was supposed to go live, I got a 502 (specifically, a host site error); repeatedly.

        Perhaps that is a good sign, lots tuning in?

        Adding: Never mind part of comment re the livestream, it did start to play moments ago.

    • harpie says:

      Also, there’s this:
      9:48 AM – 24 Jun 2019

      The House Intel Committee gets to see Mueller’s conspiracy evidence.
      The House Judiciary Committee gets to see Mueller’s obstruction evidence.
      Only Reps. Swalwell, Demings and Ratcliffe sit on both committees — and therefore get to see the full set.

      Links to:
      These 3 lawmakers know the secrets in Mueller’s report They’ve got special access because they sit on both the Intelligence and Judiciary committees. 06/24/2019
      Reps. Val Demings (D-Fla.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) & John Ratcliffe(R-Texas)
      Both Demings and Swalwell have called for an impeachment inquiry.

      • Democritus says:

        RATcliff living up to the name eh? He better watch out, he is in the political party which is full of rapists AND ratfuckers.

        This fucking timeline bites the big one.

      • harpie says:

        I’m hoping that other Dems … and maybe even Republicans…will take note that two out of the three people that can see the most evidence have signed on for the impeachment inquiry, and that they should ask themselves why that is.

  4. harpie says:
    5:08 PM – 24 Jun 2019

    strong>Huge win tonight @cnnpolitics getting details about the Mueller investigation out of the federal court in Washington. Newly released details show speed, scope of Mueller investigation:
    My hat’s off to @drewshenkman @BallardSpahrLLP for making requests for court information like this possible

    …links to:
    Judge releases court details that show speed, scope of Mueller investigation following CNN request
    Katelyn Polantz, CNN 7:50 PM ET, Mon June 24, 2019

  5. Jenny says:

    Rayne, thank you. I am looking forward to “The Investigation.” Great idea to education the people. Popcorn and beer time!

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Frederick Weller did Reince Priebus and Paul Manafort. On my streaming service, I have been watching “In Plain Sight.” It’s about the U.S.Marshals’ Witness Protection Service. Weller plays a Marshal named Marshal. He’s great!

      What I love about the show are the philosophical comments and the family and human relations. It’s directed by Dan Lerner and began in 2008. I’m on my last season (2012.) Another thing I like is that a woman plays the lead character!

      • bmaz says:

        I remember Marshal Marshal. It was a decent series, and Mary McCormack (previously from the West Wing) was good too. But, still, this little read along last night accomplished nothing whatsoever.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          Chances are better than good that you are right. The sole objective, I think, was to portray the 10 acts of obstruction. So, now it’s out there in the cloud. That’s it. Who knows if it will be weaponized. Maybe somebody will bombard Congress with it until they finally agree to an inquiry. We can always hope…

  6. BobCon says:

    Dean Baquet all but admits the NY Times has a “Not Reported Here” policy that buries the reporting of major news when the Times is scooped.

    In this case it’s NY Magazine’s report on another rape by Trump, although the policy was clearly in place for other stories, such as the Miami Herald’s scoop on Acosta and Jeffrey Epstein.

    I’ll point out again that the Times political desk has the same policy toward reporting by other Times desks — the Investigative desk’s reporting on Trump’s tax fraud has been all but embargoed by the Political reporters.

    • Democritus says:

      NYT- the paper of Oligarchs.

      If I knew how to do strikethrough I would have included “paper of record” with the strikethrough formatting on record.

      I’ve gotten so fed up with the NYT BS that I started a bookmark folder for thm so I can link some of the BS I see the NYT pull so I can refer back, but my twitter bookmarks didn’t save the actual web address. Oddly they did apparently save the entire tweet.

      Not only was there the BS with Hope Hick, they also just pulled some deceptive bs on RBJ.

      Irin Carmon on Twitter: “Outrageously dishonest passage from @DouthatNYT. RBG clearly was describing others’ views and has said so. As a lawyer, she brought early cases challenging forcible sterilization of black women and coerced abortion in military.” / Twitter

      One bookmark that did work thankfully is a thread by a historian that talks about FDR’s election and ho FDR called on America to fight against Oligarchy. Sounds timely again eh? It was a great thread and for any who have time check it out:

      “In the NYT @jonathanalter says FDR “ran in the fall [of 1932] as an upbeat fuzzy moderate… Even after Roosevelt took office at the depths of the Depression, he had no unified plan, just a vague commitment to ‘action and action now.'”

      This is wrong.”

      IMO they need to dump Baquet at a minimum.

    • fikshun says:

      Same. Sometimes, refreshing causes a bad gateway error. I’m wondering if they’ve underestimated how many people would tune in.

    • Americana says:

      I’m watching it again now because it kept timing out on me. It’s working fine for me now.

      I’ll be watching it twice. I’m watching the actors a little bit too carefully and my focus is off… To pick up on all the facts, I’ll have to listen to it a second time w/my eyes closed.

  7. Geoff says:

    This is a bit hard to watch. I wish Lithgow would only speak as the actual voice of Trump. It is confusing when he does this, and then says, the President did so and so… Too many people talking, and hard to follow at times. But I’ll keep at it.

      • Rayne says:

        I think these actors are warming up to this. Probably not a lot of advance work on this, little practice. Lithgow is beginning to inhabit The Orange One.

        EDIT: Yeah, Kevin Kline’s mispronunciation of Emin Agalarov’s name suggests little practice. He’s better than that.

        • AitchD says:

          Lithgow was a great Trump in the morality play, Beatriz At Dinner, but he didn’t stand out because everyone was also great. He was damn good as a typical, crooked U.S. Congressional Chairman in Miss Sloane.

        • Eureka says:

          The gaffes early on reminded me that the MR is technically a difficult read, even for trained professionals. Since Mueller’s speech (‘read my report’) and other press about how the public needs to read the report, I’ve often thought about how, say, medical documents are supposed to be written at a tenth-grade level, tops (and that even that can be a problem; IIRC folks advocate for eighth-grade now). The panoply of names alone can make readability (or even listening-following) hard at times.

          It would be far less confusing with people playing roles like that– I’m really happy they did this performance and wish for more, more, more.

          • Savage Librarian says:

            Almost a decade ago I attended a fiction writing workshop conducted by a bestselling author. One comment stuck with me. He said if writers wanted to have a bestseller, they would have to make sure to write on a 3rd grade level. So, sentences should be very short. He insisted that writing for the lowest common denominator was key to success.

            One of my grandmothers only attended school through the 3rd grade. But she loved to read, especially westerns. In fact, she named my mother after a character in a Zane Grey novel. Interestingly, many of his novels were made into films. And his books were honored by being brought back in centennial editions.

            • Rita says:

              As a lawyer for a bank, I used to draft loan documents for complex loans. I tried hard to make complex conditions easy to read and understand. I relied a lot on defining terms and rules of interpretation.

              Once I understood that the first part of the Mueller Report contained the rules for interpretation, it became easier to read and understand.

              But I don’t think the first part of the Report was written so that it could be easily understood by non-lawyers.

            • P J Evans says:

              Maybe best-sellers in supermarkets – but most novels are at least 8th-grade reading level.
              Yes, the report is slow reading. But I waded through the Final Report of the House Special Committee, the report on the Watergate hearings. It was far longer, though intended for non-lawyers.

            • Eureka says:

              Those are great examples, SL. I also try to keep in mind (re public MR reading) that regular readers here are advantaged by both a high reading level and familiarity with relevant names, details, laws, subplots. That’s also part of why I think we need different productions like this in lots of different styles and media niches (e.g. Drunk History above). We have cultural saturation of Trump’s lies and other propaganda (and attendant overload); we need cultural saturation of the truth, however incremental that might be at this point.

      • Asthix says:

        Lithgow seems an excellent choice. Able to be bombastic in an articulate way to convey the info.

  8. Asthix says:

    So I saw ten seconds of this and immediately understood why you have all said people like me should read the report. Thank you for this thread otherwise I wouldn’t have seen it live.

  9. OldTulsaDude says:

    Just heard something from the broadcast that I had overlooked before Hope Hicks learned that the NYT was preparing a story on the June 9th meeting. Question: from whom did Hicks learn this? Was it Maggie? Why would Hope Hicks get a heads up about the story dropping?

    • Savage Librarian says:


      An interesting article from 3 years ago in GQ about Hope Hicks:

      “Hope Hicks: The Mystifying Triumph of Donald Trump’s Right-Hand Woman”
      “While Hicks is often eager to please, she doesn’t mind upsetting the media and harbors no reverence for the civic duties of a free press. When reporters send her questions, she’s often irked—convinced they’re playing detective merely to irritate the campaign. She’s seemingly unaware that they might just be vetting a potential United States president. Often she doesn’t respond.”

      “None of this has earned her many enemies, however. Like Ivanka, Hicks has managed to float above it all. For now. “I have always found Hope to be great to deal with,” Maggie Haberman of The New York Times told me, “especially given the volume of requests she must be getting.”

  10. Asthix says:

    I think Lithgow is doing a great service here by linking Trump’s words together into ‘coherent’ sentences. Neither his (Trump) speaking style nor late night comedians’ or for that matter the media’s simple reposting of his statements have any interest in doing that.

    • Rayne says:

      It’s an awkward call to make. For this piece it serves to string Trump’s output into a narrative. But if one reads what Trump says, like the interview with Stephanopoulos or one of his rally speeches, Trump isn’t coherent.

      • Tom says:

        Agree. Lithgow couldn’t help his intelligence and literateness shining through Trump’s words. I think William Shatner might have done a better job of conveying the President’s shallowness and porcine thuggery.

  11. Geoff says:

    This seems to be mostly about obstruction. Lithgow is really good and seems quite prepared, compared to others who are clearly less so. It’s definitely packing a lot of good topics into a short period. I think it’s pretty effective to hear Trumps words acted out in his inimitable way, and more importantly, in the context in which they occurred.

    @Asthix : on the same page :-)

    • Mooser says:

      Just wondering, have you lost any faith in the Senate, or the Executive branch? Remember what Strephon said when told he should go into Parliament:

      ” I’m afraid I should do no good there – you see, down to the waist, I’m a Tory
      of the most determined description, but my legs are a couple of confounded Radicals, and, on a
      division, they’d be sure to take me into the wrong lobby. You see, they’re two to one, which is a
      strong working majority.”

  12. Molly Pitcher says:

    This was stirring and validating and it makes me so angry I might have had some tears running down my cheeks, but it is preaching to the choir. It was not widely publicized. How much beyond people who are already in the impeachment ranks did this performance reach ?

    I know the intent is to have it shared on social media, but again that is all roaring in an echo chamber.

    What is needed is Walter Cronkite turning against the Viet Nam war.

    • Rayne says:

      We don’t have a Cronkite in media now. Says something about the press; they’re no longer trusted as arbiters of ethics, morals, values. The business has been slowly decimated when not compromised so that there is no moral authority in media.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        From the Scottish play:
        “a walking shadow, a poor player
        That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
        And then is heard no more: it is a tale
        Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
        Signifying nothing”.

        Guess I am feeling cynical tonight.

      • Democritus says:

        Agree, though I think a lot of the problem is also corporate consolidation of media.

        For everyone bitching about Chuck Todd they ignore Andy Lack having Lauers back and keeping MSNBC from getting too progressive. Imagine if there was a network wide push for town halls for GOP incumbent Senate races like Chris Hayes did for the midterms?

        While I enjoy several never trumpers, their Trump criticism is usually couched from an older moderate GOP standpoint instead of a liberal one.

  13. PeteT says:

    Stunning…and I read the report. Once the livestream is bundled for replay, a link needs to be sent to everyone in The House, The Senate, the DOJ, SCOTUS, and the Orange Obstructor himself.

  14. Jenny says:

    Very informative. I had technical problems at the beginning. I could not see video, just audio. For me it was like listening to the radio. It worked.

    The biggest laugh was the exchange with Trump and McGahn about “real lawyers” take notes. Ha.

    Good news is this was created and can be seen again and again.

  15. john davy says:

    Good catch Rayne. I’m guessin’ 5 million mo americans will have their curiosity unusually but appropriately tingled over
    the next 3 weeks. Viva Democracy

    • joulie says:

      Good catch Rayne. I’m guessin’ 5 million mo americans will have their curiosity unusually but appropriately tingled over
      the next 3 weeks. Viva Democracy

  16. Eureka says:

    Since Beto was somehow talked into running for POTUS, it should come as no surprise that he could have been talked into this ‘plan’ to make non-military individuals/families pay some war tithe. Diverse commentary abounds on why this is a horrible idea (from unintended consequences to lack of intended consequences) that some feel also reifies a notion of ‘real’ Americans being associated with military service. I’m not even sure where to start with this; are they counting families who are already paying the war tax in other ways, from prior wars? Don’t we need to fix the system regardless for all of our existing service members and vets? Is it the general populace who needs to have (this tax as) a “reminder of the incredible sacrifice,” or the MIC and other war hawks and profiteers?

    And to be clear, it’s “O’Rourke’s” plan that is worthy of criticism, not service members, vets, their and families’ service, or their having proper healthcare.

    While on the topic of candidates, I was completely flummoxed to learn yesterday of Joe Sestak’s entry. Then I thought I’d figured it out: he is, in ways, both the Joe Sestak of Joe Bidens and the Joe Sestak of Bernie Sanders (the latter viz. ‘anti-establishment-ish-ness’). Just saw comments on a Weigel tweet which indicate that he may also be the Joe Sestak of Amy Klobuchars:

    CNN: “Non-military households would pay a “war tax” to help cover the health care of veterans of newly-authorized wars under a plan Beto O’Rourke’s campaign unveiled on Monday(link below)”

    Beto O’Rourke proposes ‘war tax’ as part of veterans’ plan

    Dave Weigel: “Joe Sestak, a former congressman from Pennsylvania who lost Senate bids in 2010 and 2016, is now running for president. I am serious. He’s in Iowa today. (event-related screen-shots)”

    ETA: I think the talking about these subjects is great, tho I didn’t take Beto’s intention as this being just a conversation-starter.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Beto O’Rourke is a fool. “Non-military” families already pay a war tax. It’s called the federal income tax. It funds the Pentagon, the VA, the Treasury and Energy departments, and all the other agencies into which the Pentagon has dispersed its actual costs of operation.

      Congress determines those allocations. It can change them. One thing it could do is close the loopholes, special tax rates, and permissive money laundering that allows profitable corporations and the wealthy – like Trump and the Kochs – to avoid paying billions in taxes.

      It is socially divisive to keep treating health care as a perk that can be denied or be earned by military service or be dispensed by a whimsical employer.

      Health care is a human right. Basic care and drugs should be available to all Americans on the same terms and at the same costs to those in military service, congresscritters, corporate executives, tech drones, nurses, and teachers alike.

      • Americana says:

        Considering “whimsical employers” are trying their damndest to get out from under supplying health care as part of their benefits packages, it won’t be long before most Americans find themselves without standardized health care if the ACA is taken down. Once we’ve no longer got HR dept’s setting reasonable policy standards, it’s going to be a hassle to fight our way back to reasonable and comprehensive health care policies.

        This BS of having the free markets decide what health care should be is nonsensical. Those free-market statements are certainly pro-insurance industry but they are not pro-American families. Other countries manage to have health insurance that features both private and public aspects. It’s time Americans stop pretending they need to reinvent the wheel.

      • Eureka says:


        It seems like the (heretofore) blockade on universal health care coverage is mainly to keep Americans so focused on basic needs and destabilizing stressors that we won’t dare (or have the priority-space) to contemplate other better policy.

    • Democritus says:

      As a military brat I agree the nittygritty of how to pull that off would be M E S S Y.

      Are the kids who where forced to move every other year and watch PTSD episodes from parents exempt? What about the sisters of disabled veterans who need to be taken care off?

      I like the idea of mandatory year of service with either National Guard or AmeriCorp. I also do think that far too many Americans are divorced from the reality of the cost of war. I just am not sure Betos idea is the best way to go about it. Especially given our economic inequality.

      Speaking of which, anyone else see this in the post? Twitter graphics Is titled “400 wealthiest American own more than bottom 150 million” from WaPo

  17. BeingThere says:

    Any of you ever watch the movie/musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ? (1968, Ian Flemming & Roald Dahl)

    From the synopsis: “At a seaside picnic with his children and Truly, Caractacus spins a fanciful tale of an eccentric inventor, his pretty girlfriend, his two children, and a magical car named Chitty, all involved in the faraway land of Vulgaria. The child-like ruler Baron Bomburst, ruler of Vulgaria, will do whatever he can to get his hands on their magical car; but, because of Baroness Bomburst’s dislike of children, youngsters are outlawed, even the unsuspecting offspring of foreign inventors of magical cars.”

    The Trump’s are the Baron and Baroness Bomburst, including keeping children in cages

  18. bmaz says:

    I did not watch the thing, but I just don’t watch TV on my computers. That said, I have now seen extensive clips of it, and it looked really stupid. Seriously this stunt junk like the empty seat “hearings” and “live readings” is so stunningly pathetic it hurts to see it.

    Every one of those actors, and “LawWorks” ought to be spending their time and effort to encourage their fans and politicians to demand a consolidated impeachment inquiry so that real hearings can be made to occur. Even with an inquiry it won’t happen overnight. But that is the process to where it really can happen, and time is wasting away with junk and stunts.

    • fpo says:

      This. Absent a formal inquiry, we’re living in “I don’t recall. That’s my recollection.” land. And an overwhelming majority of Congressional sheep are just fine with ‘testimony’ like that.

      Who’s “deplorable” now?

        • bmaz says:

          Yes. Exactly. This has long been one of my points. Preaching to the choir is nice, but they are already there. That does not move the needle.

    • Vicks says:

      I get not watching tv on a computer, I dread watching even a short video on my small screens….
      The only way to cut thought the vast quantities of bullsh*t that has been dumped on Americans by the Trump admin is to allow both sides to watch the exact same facts being laid out at the exact same time.
      It will still be a battle. Trump supporters have been well groomed so it isn’t reasonable to believe that the truth will set all of us all free, but I believe you are correct, a impeachment inquiry is the only chance to make any real impact.

      • bmaz says:

        I fully understand there are easy ways to jump it to my big screen. I just don’t like it. If this stuff is to count, networks, and not just MSNBC, need to carry it. And, yes, your last sentence is right. One caveat, this is not the early 70’s where anybody with a TV on basically was force fed Watergate. There are so many options now when, back then, there were not. Still, the story needs to be painted openly and notoriously.

        • Vicks says:

          It will start by making the nightly (non cable) news each evening.
          This will engage a new audience and be a huge opportunity for both sides to shape the opinions of the less political folks who we really haven’t heard much from.
          Good luck selling these fresh faces who are not politically invested that everyone critical of Trump is a liar; I can’t wait for thier reaction when they learn the only defensive strategy for a mile long list of disgusting behavior is this deep state bullshit.
          We have a president who built his power by training his base with a call and response shtick. These people are a big part of the noise that has given him cover. This noise will not be allowed literally or metaphorically into these hearings.

        • Vicks says:

          Mueller testifying on the 27th was story #4 on local news tonight at 10:00.
          Here we go!
          On a related note, Schiff didn’t have a straight answer and made it sound as if it could be members of congress asking questions rather than professionals.
          Because the news was just breaking I will consider that maybe Schiff was just playing to their egos, Mueller’s appearance needs to be EPIC and as I’ve said before I hope to hell the democrats in Congress are smart enough to know they need all sorts of outside help to pull it off.

    • Valley girl says:

      bmaz- I wish you would write a lawyerly post that sums up the many advantages (and the necessity) of a formal impeachment hearing. Right now. I’d like to have something to quote to others, a straight forward list, especially those who say “I don’t see why we need this, after all, House committees can get the same information”. This is a dumb ass comment I’ve seen on one of my lists. I know the “whys”, but that info is scattered in my brain. I’m sure you could do a much better job at this.

  19. harpie says:

    PLAY IN TEN ACTS [of Obstruction]
    [6:39] ACT ONE. President Trump Asked The FBI Director To Shut Down The Investigation Into National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
    [13:02] ACT TWO. President Trump Said He FIRED FBI Director Comey Because Of The Russia Investigation.
    [21:00] ACT THREE. President Trump Ordered White House Counsel Don McGahn To Fire Robert Mueller.
    [29:52] ACT FOUR. President Trump Attempted To Curtail The Special Counsel Investigation.
    [34:10] ACT FIVE. President Trump Prevented The Public Disclosure Of Evidence.
    [41:41] ACT SIX. President Trump Wanted Attorney General Sessions To Unrecuse From The Russia Investigation.
    [47:20] ACT SEVEN. President Trump Directed White House Counsel Don McGahhn To Create False Documents That Covered Up The Truth From Investigators.
    [51:17] ACT EIGHT. President Trump Tried To Discourage Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort And National Security Advisor Michael Flynn From Cooperating With The Mueller Investigation.
    [58:22] ACT NINE. President Trump Encouraged Michael Cohen To Lie About Trump Tower Moscow.
    [1:05:11] ACT TEN. President Trump Tried To Get Longtime Lawyer Michael Cohen Not To Cooperate With The Investigation.
    [1:09] Cast: Ten. Ten Acts of Obstruction. [REVIEW]
    [1:11:15] Narrator: Some people came to a different conclusion, like Attorney General Bill Barr.
    [1:11:45] Narrator: Some people jumped on the fact that Mueller did not say that Trump was guilty. Let’s look at exactly what he actually said.
    [1:14:55] Narrator: Fortunately, The Constitution provides for just such a situation.
    [1:15:07] Cast: ARTICLE TWO, SECTION FOUR.
    [1:16:35] Narrator: Our Forefathers fought a bloody war against a tyrannical king. […] They gave us the tools. […] They did their job. Robert Mueller did his job. The question is, will we do ours? [1:17:20]

  20. harpie says:

    1] 12:32 AM – 25 Jun 2019

    Iran dismisses new U.S. sanctions, calls White House “retarded” [REUTERS]

    2] 6:49 AM – 25 Jun 2019

    A lot of Western media is reporting that Iranian President Rouhani called Trump “mentally retarded.” This is inaccurate.
    Regarding Trump, he just said “no wise person would take such an action [the new sanctions imposed].”
    He then said the “the White House is stricken by a mental (or intellectual) disability.”
    There’s another word in Farsi that carries the connotation of “retarded”—which Rouhani didn’t use.
    And he was referring to the White House, not Trump.
    These differences matter.

    3] 7:42 AM – 25 Jun 2019

    ….Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality.
    Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration.
    No more John Kerry & Obama!

    • Democritus says:

      I have not seen the information about that mistranslation anywhere, thank you Harpie. Seems just a wee bit important, but Bolton wants his war damnit.

  21. harpie says:

    This morning, bmaz retweeted this, about the controversy over a citizenship question on the 2020 census:
    4:38 AM – 25 Jun 2019
    Former top Commerce aide says he was directed by Ross to add Census citizenship question [links to WaPo, June 25 at 5:00 AM]

    [WaPo:] A House panel is releasing information that it says “points to a partisan and discriminatory effort” behind the Trump administration’s move to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 Census, just days before the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the matter. […]

    • harpie says:

      10:49 AM – 25 Jun 2019

      BREAKING: US Court of Appeals for 4th Circuit sends Census citizenship question case back to Maryland judge so he can reopen query into whether Trump administration had discriminatory intent

      10:55 AM – 25 Jun 2019

      An extraordinary development—based on new evidence from the Hofeller files, the 4th Circuit allows a federal district to further assess whether the Trump administration’s citizenship question was rooted in unconstitutional animus. […]
      Anyway, SCOTUS is only answering two questions about the census citizenship question: Does it violate the APA or the Enumeration Clause?
      This case now asks two more: Does it violate equal protection, or constitute an unlawful conspiracy to suppress civil rights?

      This raises the possibility that SCOTUS will uphold the census citizenship question—but the district court will then block it once again, this time as an equal protection violation.

      Then the government will scurry up to SCOTUS and demand a stay, which it will probably receive.
      Concurring, Judge Wynn basically says another injunction is in order to prevent the government from rushing out census forms and claiming the case is mooted. [screenshot][…]

      • harpie says:

        This is why Wynn suggests another injunction is in order:

        […] Although U.S. Census Bureau Chief Scientist Dr. John Abowd testified that “the final date for locking down the content of the census questionnaire is October 31, 2019,” [cite], the Government’s briefing has repeatedly represented to this Court and the Supreme Court that the 2020 Census questionnaire must be finalized by this Sunday, June 30, 2019. […]

        The Trump Administration are such despicable sleazes.

      • harpie says:

        …and here we go: [NPR]
        2:07 PM – 25 Jun 2019

        JUST IN: Trump admin is asking Supreme Court to address in #CitizenshipQuestion ruling the discrimination claim of the Maryland-based lawsuits & “immateriality” of the Thomas Hofeller files “so that the lawfulness of the Secretary’s decision can be fully & finally resolved”


        […] The Fourth Circuit’s order underscores the need for this Court to address the equal-protection claim and the immateriality of the Hofeller files in its disposition of the above-captioned case so that the lawfulness of the Secretary’s decision can be fully and finally resolved. The government addressed that claim in the opening brief, and NYIC’s recent motion to remand put before this Court the evidence from the Hofeller files. Accordingly, the equal-protection issue is squarely before this Court for resolution.

        As the government has repeatedly explained, “the Census Bureau needs to finalize the 2020 questionnaire by June of this year.” [cite] and “changes to the paper questionnaire after June of 2019 **** would impair the Census Bureau’s ability to timely administer the 2020 census,” [cite] The Fourth Circuit’s order jeopardizes that schedule. […]

        • harpie says:

          Responses to this letter:
          1] Marcy
          5:06 PM – 25 Jun 2019

          Shorter Noel Francisco: Accounting for the details we lied to the lower courts about when there was still time would impair our “ability to timely administer the 2020 census.”

          2] Ric Hasen

          3:31 PM – 25 Jun 2019

          My new one @Slate: The Census Case Is Shaping Up to Be the Biggest Travesty Since Bush v. Gore [link]

          At least I know I haven’t been crazy obsessing about this…

        • harpie says:

          Hasen at Slate:

          The government’s conduct in the pending Supreme Court case about adding a citizenship question to the census has gone from indefensible to outrageous. In the case, which is likely to be decided this week, Solicitor General Noel Francisco on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to become complicit in a cover up of discriminatory activity by doing something the court does not and cannot do: decide a legal issue that is not before it. If the court does so, any pretense of the legitimacy of the decision will be gone. […]

          This is outrageous. The issue has not been fully briefed. It was not the subject of oral argument. It involves evidence for which there has been no fact-finding. For the Supreme Court to decide the issue on this basis is the definition of lawlessness. It is not how the Supreme Court normally does business, and the solicitor general should know better. If the court starts doing this it becomes no more than a branch of the Trump administration. […]

          Indeed, in another case of similar political import, a Supreme Court majority declared the following:

          “The press of time does not diminish the constitutional concern. A desire for speed is not a general excuse for ignoring equal protection guarantees.”

          That case was Bush v. Gore, the case ending the disputed 2000 presidential election and handing the election to Republican George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore. There, the justices of the Supreme Court let politics get in the way of a fair decision.

          It looks like history may be about to repeat itself.

          • bmaz says:

            You will be shocked to know that Rick is right. I doubt that anybody here thought otherwise.

          • harpie says:

            …thinking about Bush v. Gore always reminds me of NorskieFlamethrower and the “rolling coup”.
            …signature line:
            “Keep the Faith and pass the ammunition.”

    • harpie says:

      This morning, the Oversight Committee filed a contempt report against AG Barr and Commerce Secretary Ross and released transcripts from the census investigation

      […] The contempt report includes new transcripts of witnesses who were interviewed by Committee staff as part of the investigation, but refused to answer hundreds of questions.
      Among the new information released today is a memo and transcript from the Committee’s interview with James Uthmeier, a former Senior Advisor and Counsel to Secretary Ross.

      • harpie says:

        From the memo:

        “Despite these restrictions, Mr. Uthmeier provided the Committee with some new information. He disclosed that he sought advice on adding the citizenship question from John Baker, an outspoken advocate who has argued that ‘the citizenship question is necessary to collect the data for a redistricting of House seats that excludes aliens from the calculation.’
        Mr. Baker’s views on the citizenship question have nothing to do with enforcing the Voting Rights Act, but instead are focused on redistricting. […]
        “Mr. Uthmeier’s discussion with Mr. Baker marks the third individual espousing similar views that had contact with Trump Administration or Transition Team officials regarding the addition of a citizenship question. [Baker, Hofeller, Kobach] […]

        • P J Evans says:

          Somehow they missed the bit in the Constitution about the census counting everyone, regardless of citizenship. (Yes, I know that previous censuses asked about citizenship – but they weren’t trying to pretend those people didn’t count.)

    • harpie says:

      [Rep Carolyn B.] Maloney [D- NY- 12] Releases Hofeller Documents

      WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), co-chair of the House Census Caucus and author of the 2020 Census IDEA Act, went to the House floor today to release documents directly linking Secretary Ross’ decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census to Thomas Hofeller, known to the GOP has the Michelangelo of gerrymandering. […] The documents […] show a direct link between the decision to add the question and partisan, political gerrymandering motivations.

      The communications in these documents completely invalidates the Administration’s claim that this question is needed to better enforce voting rights. […]

  22. harpie says:

    Four previously unpublished photos of AOC at Tornillo last year:
    8:34 PM – 24 Jun 2019

    Before @AOC hit the national stage & was just a fairly unknown House candidate frm NYC,she took time awy frm her campaign & came dwn to #Tornillo to protest the #tentcity housing migrant children.I made these previously unpublished fotos a yr ago today. #elpaso #aoc #onassignment

    …really…look at the photos.

    AOC responded to the above tweet:
    9:45 PM – 24 Jun 2019

    I’ll never forget this, because it was the moment I saw with my own eyes that the America I love was becoming a nation that steals refugee children from their parents,& caged them.
    More kids died after this.
    To date, no one has been held accountable.
    We need to save these kids.

    • harpie says:

      ALSO, a little more than a year ago today, FLOTUS spokesperson was complaining about press coverage of Melania’s wardrobe selections [#ItsJustAJacket]:
      12:32 PM – 21 Jun 2018

      Today’s visit w the children in Texas impacted @flotus greatly.
      If media would spend their time & energy on her actions & efforts to help kids – rather than speculate & focus on her wardrobe – we could get so much accomplished on behalf of children. #SheCares #ItsJustAJacket

      #SheCares !!!
      The reason I bring this up, here:
      9:43 AM – 25 Jun 2019

      I am pleased to announce @StephGrisham45 will be the next @PressSec & Comms Director!
      She has been with us since 2015 – @potus & I can think of no better person to serve the Administration & our country.
      Excited to have Stephanie working for both sides of the @WhiteHouse. #BeBest

  23. Savage Librarian says:

    “Some of the House Democrats Who Deserve to Be ‘Primaried’”

    A RootsAction Report
By Norman Solomon, Sam McCann and Pia Gallegos
    Editor: Jeff Cohen
    Released on June 24, 2019

    “The following report is by no means exhaustive — only illustrative. There may well be a Democratic member of Congress near you not included here who serves corporate interests more than majority interests, or has simply grown tired or complacent in the never-ending struggles for social, racial and economic justice as well as environmental sanity and peace. Perhaps you live in a district where voters are ready to be inspired by a progressive primary candidate because the Democrat in Congress is not up to the job.”

    “It isn’t easy to defeat a Democratic incumbent in a primary. Typically, the worse the Congress member, the more (corporate) funding they get. While most insurgent primary campaigns will not win, they’re often very worthwhile — helping progressive constituencies to get better organized and to win elections later. And a grassroots primary campaign can put a scare into the Democratic incumbent to pay more attention to voters and less to big donors.”

    Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
    Jim Cooper (TN-5)
    Jim Costa (CA-16)
    Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
    Eliot Engel (NY-16)
    Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5)
    Jim Himes (CT-4)
    Steny Hoyer (MD-5)
    Derek Kilmer (WA-6)
    Dan Lipinski (IL-3)
    Gregory Meeks (NY-5)
    Brad Schneider (IL-10)
    Kurt Schrader (OR-5)
    David Scott (GA-13)
    Juan Vargas (CA-51)

    BAD BLUES – RootsAction

    • P J Evans says:

      I wouldn’t bet that Costa would be beaten in a primary, and his district has a lot of R voters, judging by the billboards attacking him for not doing what Big Ag wants.

    • Rayne says:

      Huh. What a coincidence that none of these Dems have thrown their support behind an impeachment inquiry except Jim Himes — and he’s only done so today when this piece was published.

      Look these reps’ districts up in Ballotpedia, checking for primary candidates. Lipinski absolutely MUST go. Hoyer has a primary opponent, IIRC; he’s another key reason why a bill of impeachment inquiry hasn’t been submitted yet.

      • Democritus says:

        With the new DCCC rules will challengers be able to even hire polling firms?

        That BS Rule blacklisting firms that work for primary challengers was fucking bs IMO and I wish more of a fuss had been raised.

        It’d be odd if liberal challengers were to say hire a conservative firm though and then beat moderate Dems with their help. If such a thing is how things could even shake out.

  24. Hops says:

    Trump loses badly in November 2020 and Dems take the Senate. But that leaves Trump almost 3 months to do further damage, so Dems impeach and Republicans seeking to repudiate Trump — and leaving office anyway — vote to convict. Trump goes down in history as removed president.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump loses, leaves, trashes the place on the way out. Endlessly promotes Dolchstosslegende. His patrons pay his tens of millions in legal fees. His tribe simmer and hate, a hair’s breath from violence.

      Trump Tower Moscow completed, collapses owing to faulty construction and financial mismanagement, taking Trump mausoleum with it.

      Republicans regroup, feign normalcy, refuse compromise with Democrats, rely on their expanded cohort of federal judges, blame Democrats for everything. Elizabeth Cheney will pluck the dagger from the GOP back and run on it in 2024.

      Pelosi refuses to launch an impeachment inquiry. Documenting Trump’s wrongs is not on her or her patron’s agenda. Precedent cuts too close to home. Reduces agenda to “Winning in 2020.”

      Establishment Dems will demand Genial Joe’s selection. But moderate progressive picked and beats Trump, notwithstanding the probable domestic and foreign attempts to manipulate the vote.

      Establishment Dems will enforce their hoary “look forward, not back” mantra, trying to limit the new president putting her progressive agenda into effect. (Instead of kids, it will frighten Capital.)

      Media will look straight ahead, holding tight to their blinkers. Like the managers of Santa Anita, it will focus on which horse wins, not on what happens to other horses on and off the track. Independent media will cover it, however, creating an unstable multi-dimensional universe.

      • Democritus says:

        Whoooohooooo Warren wins. ;-)

        I can see a permutations that could get us to this reality.

        We really need more independent media, and to breakup some of the biggest firms in many sectors. Let the trust-busting 2.0 begin after Warrens inauguration.

        (Note the only other woman I can see getting the W is Harris and I don’t know how progressive I’d call her, especially in comparison to Warren)

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          No, I would not call Harris progressive. More centrist. Still holds to the “tough on crime” mantra that gave us the racist carceral state.

          Modestly progressive on women’s issues, middling on the economy. I think the latter is a mistake. Without a lot of changes, we won’t get to the progressive “there” from here.

          • Democritus says:

            That’s fair to my eyes at least. God I hope people ignore the mirage of Biden’s being the most electable, and take a good look at Warren. Her trustbusters message could easily gain big traction countrywide, in Fox tv land even, and we are just so very desperately in need of it.

            If people do go Centerist I do hope it is with someone with far less ego and baggage than Biden. People warned him not to use the segregationist example, then he topped it off with boy in there? There is a reason he could never get anywhere prior to Obama.

            Though if he gets the nomination I will be right there behind him bugging people to vote. I just think it would be a harder push to get young people who really came out in 2018 to show up for Biden.

  25. Eureka says:

    July 17th: Mueller Time:

    (((Rep. Nadler))) on Twitter: “I am pleased to announce that @HouseJudiciary and House Intel will have Special Counsel Robert Mueller testify in open session on July 17, pursuant to a subpoena issued this evening. [pdf link] We look forward to having Mr. Mueller testify, as do all Americans.[screenshot of statement)”

    • Eureka says:

      Marcy on the topic:

      “1) Hearings in joint session are REALLY unwieldy. 2) Mueller is not Jim Comey. Don’t expect Jim Comey. 3) Doug Collins, Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, John Ratcliffe & . Andy Biggs will be gaslighting like crazy.”


      “4) Since Mueller finished Trump has been committing impeachable offenses at about a 3X/week clip and it hasn’t mattered.”

      *in between, she rt’d an update from Manu Raju:

      “More details: Schiff told us Judiciary and Intel will each have own hearing on July 17 to question Mueller. It won’t be one big hearing. Schiff said intel will still be an open session but they’ll go into closed session with Mueller’s staff afterward (CNN link)”

      • Eureka says:

        updated and added a fifth point:

        emptywheel: “Deleting and correcting: 1) Correction: this will not be joint session. 2) Mueller is not Jim Comey. Don’t expect Jim Comey. 3) Doug Collins, Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, John Ratcliffe & . Andy Biggs will be gaslighting like crazy.”

        “5) Perhaps the best news is that Mueller’s staff (??) will answer questions in closed HPSCI session after Mueller’s testimony. HPSCI hasn’t been able to get answers on CI. Maybe now they can–or at least force FBI to share.”

  26. harpie says:

    Rep. Lloyd Doggett D-Tx- 35 [Chairman of the Health Subcommittee on the House Ways & Means Committee.]
    4:19 PM – 25 Jun 2019

    Spoke with @AustinChronicle about the decisions we face in Congress as Trump obstructs justice & undermines our democracy.
    We’re called on to do more than just consider the politics of the moment: We’re called to defend our Constitution.
    I have not come quickly or eagerly to the decision, but we must open an impeachment inquiry.

    >>>77 Dems [?] + 1 Rep.

  27. earlofhuntingdon says:

    About those would be immigrant teens taking care of toddlers in CBP prisons. They are volunteering to help because they cannot sit by and see their prinsonmates needlessly suffer.

    They are still children themselves. They have few skills and no resources beyond their compassion. But they have more humanity than their captors – and their bureaucratic and political bosses.

    Of all the people who need to be punished over this scandal, these kids are not among them.

    • Eureka says:

      Clearly something I missed– where is this coming from? A bloviating tv commenter or is there a real risk to these child-caretakers?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I’m not sure what you’re asking. My point was that older and younger children are imprisoned and face similar conditions, which will scar them.

      Some older children retain the capacity to empathize with and offer help to younger children. Unlike their captors, they have few resources beyond their compassion. If their imprisonment continues, many will lose that.

      • Eureka says:

        I was afraid that your comment was prompted by someone calling for the child-caretakers to be punished for CBP’s failings as to the condition of the younger children.

        Of course I agree with your general sentiments, and am glad you were simply making the points rather than prompted by more egregious circumstances to have done so.

        • Eureka says:

          And the House just passed the aid package:

          James E. Clyburn: “Tonight, the House passed much-needed emergency funding for humanitarian aid at the border. People deserve food, water, hygiene items, blankets, and medicine. We cannot afford to lose our humanity in the midst of political disagreements. That’s not who we are as America.”

    • harpie says:

      From Highlights, the Children’s Magazine:
      10:31 AM – 25 Jun 2019

      At Highlights, our core belief is that children are the world’s most important people. In light of the reports of the living conditions of detained children & threats of further deportation & family separation, here is a statement from our CEO Kent Johnson. #KeepFamiliesTogether

      From the statement:

      […] We invite you – regardless of your political leanings – to join us in speaking out against family separation and to call for more humane treatment of immigrant children currently being held in detention facilities. Write, call, or email your governmental representatives.

      Let our children draw strength and inspiration from our collective display of moral courage. They are watching.

  28. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Pour encourager les autres. This is where Trump’s criminal border control policies lead:

    “He crossed first with the little girl and he left her on the American side. Then he turned back to get his wife, but the girl went into the water after him. When he went to save her, the current took them both.”

    The bodies of 26-year old Oscar Roberto Martinez Ramirez and his 23-month old daughter, Valeria, were recovered. He traveled with his daughter and his wife, Vanessa Avalos, hoping to seek asylum in the United States. Many of these deaths are preventable.

  29. P J Evans says:

    The House Judiciary and Intelligence committees have subpoena’d Mueller, and he’ll be testifying on 17 July.

  30. Eureka says:

    Egads. This is new tonight (via AP, so should be available elsewhere):

    House Democrats told they’re too focused on impeachment

    House Democrats convened privately Tuesday to discuss campaign issues and heard a sobering assessment: They’re seen as too focused on impeachment of President Donald Trump and voters are not hearing enough about their work on other issues.

    The findings from Democrats’ internal polling came as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brushed past mounting calls for impeachment — with more than 70 lawmakers now support opening an inquiry — and tried to keep the majority focused on committee investigations of the Trump administration and the party’s own policy agenda. The private poll was conducted for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

    In many ways, the presentation Tuesday reinforced Pelosi’s strategy. The session at House Democrats’ campaign headquarters was the party’s first since taking the House majority. As lawmakers prepared to head home to meet voters next week, it signaled the start of Democrats’ efforts to retain control in 2020.

    Pelosi welcomed the results, according to a senior Democratic aide familiar with the session. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D., Ill.), the chair of the DCCC, told the lawmakers about the importance of driving home their work on health care and other issues, according to another person in the room. Both were granted anonymity to discuss the private session.

    Still, voters from dozens of battleground House districts — many won by Trump in 2016 — say they want lawmakers to reach across the aisle.

    “People want their members to work across the aisle,” the presentation said. “Health-care costs are still the top priority for voters and are still the focus of Democrats’ best positive message opportunity.”

    But “voters do not hear” about Democrats’ progress on their priorities, according to the presentation.

    Someone needs to teach these voters the Mitch math.

    Also, this fixation is part of why I’d said a bit ago (stupid as it may sound, but success is the goal) to treat one’s rep like a needy friend and tell them ~ Thanks for all the bills, I know about the bills. AND ALSO IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY (inset spiel). Thanks.~ Pass it on to leadership: WE KNOW ABOUT THE BILLS.~

  31. harpie says:

    Hopeful news in Queens, NY:
    8:41 PM – 25 Jun 2019

    NEW: If @CabanForQueens’ razor-thin margin of victory holds, the 31yo public defender’s win over the Queens Democratic Party would echo that of @AOC’s stunning election to Congress last year—dealing another body blow to a once-dominant political machine. [link]

    • harpie says:

      “decarceral prosecutors”
      8:09 PM – 25 Jun 2019
      [Now: Executive Director of The Justice Collaborative. Then: law prof at @unc_law; legal director @Harvard_Law’s @houstoninst.]

      This is the most stunning win yet in the movement to elect decarceral prosecutors: Tiffany Caban (@CabanForQueens), a 31 year-old queer, Latina public defender will become the District Attorney of Queens, the 11th most populous county in America. That’s people power.

      • harpie says:

        10:16 PM – 25 Jun 2019

        if you’re telling the story of @CabanForQueens, it’s not a Queens-specific story. it can’t be told without the organizing around Larry Krasner in Philly, Rachael Rollins & Andrea Harrington in MA, Wesley Bell ousting McCulloch in St. Louis, Satana Deberry in Durham, & some more [link]

    • harpie says:

      …things I did not know before:
      9:35 PM – 25 Jun 2019

      To give the rest of America a sense of how big the @CabanForQueens victory is, Queens has a population (~2.4 million) larger than that of 15 US states. Her incredible, boldly progressive campaign defeated a machine that has controlled this enormous county for decades. #QueensDA

  32. Vicks says:

    Even if Mueller stays “within the four corners of the report” without some sort of intervention by the Trump team Democrats should hands down, win the highlight reel contest.
    I would assume that dems will want to ask Mueller the questions they were unable to ask witnesses claiming “executive” immunity.
    Will the Trump team be able to slow this down or limit with a similar claim?
    It is far too easy for me to imagine Rooty planting the seed and then selling it hard on one of his infamous media tours.

    • P J Evans says:

      I’d feel sorry for an unknown who had that happen to him, but him? He deserves it. Someone should remind him who’s paying his travel and security bills, because it isn’t him or his father.

    • Tom says:

      Not sure what the problem is. Did the employee jump the queue? Gotta expect that from those high-end restaurants.

      • Tom says:

        But seriously, that sort of behavior (i.e., expectorating) just feeds into Trump’s victimhood and helps him with his “radical Democrats” rhetoric. More grist for his next campaign rally rant. Assuming the restaurant employee was a waitress, she could have given Eric and his party excellent service and then given Eric a complimentary toothbrush and bar of soap along with his after dinner mint. Or told Eric as he was leaving that she was donating all her tips that night to help out the migrant children that his father had locked up at the southern border.

  33. Democritus says:

    Ohhhh Marcy tweeted this out, touché!

    “While we’re watching hearing on Kellyanne Conway, note that she’s accused of doing, publicly, what Trump says Page and Strzok committed treason by doing in private.”

    I think maybe in partial relation to Trump latest unhinged whining on Strozk. Vid clip in below tweet

    I’m still waiting for an explanation from Trumps camp on how it was struck in the FBI and everyone was out to sink Trump why they did not just lead to any of the major media organizations in this country that the FBI was investigating Trump and Russia. That would’ve been enough to think Trump at the polls- he only won by 79,000 votes spread over three states.

  34. Eureka says:

    Great thread on the drowned dad-and-daughter photo by a writer who worked at AP with Nick Ut (“Napalm Girl” photographer):

    Anthony Breznican: “I’m thinking of Nick today because I saw this. 8/…”

    “The image of the father and his toddler was taken by reporter Julia Le Duc and printed in Mexico’s La Jornada. The @AP picked it up and spread it worldwide, as it did with Nick’s image from Trang Bang in 1972. Both are about the most nightmarish things I can imagine. 9/”

    “I got to know Nick well in the years I was with @AP. I learned that after he took that horrific photo, he wrapped the girl in a blanket and drove her to the hospital. He saved her life. Who knows how many lives the photo ultimately saved. Here they are together in 2012. /7…”

    “Nick’s photo made people stop and ask a simple question: What are we doing? I hope Le Duc’s photo from Monday makes us ask the same. That will only happen if we face it. 10/”

    “Meeting Nick in real life, working with him, made that famous photo of his less abstract for me. Here was a real man, whose image and choices changed the world in big and small ways. That’s what seeing this little girl’s arm does. It makes it real. This is real. Now what?…”

  35. Eureka says:

    It’s looking to me like this could turn into a Green New Deal pilot project or test, among other possibilities. Largest refinery on east coast to close; over a thousand jobs lost (lots of union folks in their 50s making over 40/hr– nowhere else to get such jobs but in Gulf Coast area, per article). It’s closing after a recent fire/series of explosions that could have been catastrophic, just under two weeks after a smaller incident (and more in the past…).

    Philadelphia Energy Solutions to close refinery damaged by fire; gas prices spike


    After fire, Philadelphia Energy Solutions to permanently shut oil refinery – Reuters

    • P J Evans says:

      I understand it was an old refinery, and would be very expensive to replace ore even just repair.

  36. P J Evans says:

    I’m up to the subsection on Carter Page.
    I got the distinct impression that Papadapoulos isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. Someone who grew up during the Cold War could have told him that the Russians don’t give information away: they sell it.

  37. harpie says:
    7:20 PM – 26 Jun 2019

    CNN’s fact-checking team apparently somewhat dumbstruck by the lack of lies. So far: one “check” and it’s basically true.

    Dem debate humor:
    9:59 PM – 26 Jun 2019

    Well, tonight’s candidates were so heavily factual that I will not, in fact, be going on CNN to fact-check them.
    Please be sure to add this to your database of my false claims.

  38. harpie says:

    Today SCOTUS lets us know what they’ve decided in the Census Question case and in the partisan gerrymandering case.

        • harpie says:

          In a 5-4 decision, SCOTUS rules that “partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.” Justice Kagan’s dissent calls it an unprecedented abdication. [link] [screenshot]


          For the first time ever, this Court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task beyond judicial capabilities.

          • P J Evans says:

            I wonder what the conservative justices think will happen if Dems control more state legislatures: do they expect GOP voters to suddenly be counted as 3/5s of a vote, instead of the 2 votes that those voters apparently get under GOP rule?

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Beyond the reach of a consensus to protect democratic procedures from Republican gerrymandering. Who thinks this decision would have issued had the gerrymandering been repeatedly done by Democratically-controlled legislatures?

            Establishing voting districts is at the heart of a democratic Republic – and at the heart of the GOP drive to remain dominant despite becoming a permanent minority among the electorate.

            Like Pilate, this majority washes its hands in a false abdication of responsibility. False because it abdicates nothing: it directly furthers Republican driven efforts to control government despite its minority status.

            This is a systemic threat. The Dems will have to rethink their federal-only emphasis and work like hell on the state and local level – the way Karl Rove’s minions have been doing for over two decades. It will have to rethink its position on filling federal court seats, to compensate for years of Republican court-packing.

        • harpie says:

          Paraphrasing @nycsouthpaw: SCOTUS rejects democracy.

          11:25 AM – 27 Jun 2019

          Just to reiterate the Supreme Court today rejected the notion that in the United States “groups with a certain level of political support should enjoy a commensurate level of political power and influence,” which doubles as a pretty good definition of democracy. [screenshot]

      • harpie says:

        7:27 AM – 27 Jun 2019

        The GOP is terrified to face how unpopular it is, how it can’t win w/o gerrymandering, cheating, foreign interference, suppression of probes, voters & media & judges who are party hacks.
        I have to go to @Kasparov63:
        look to what the tyrant fears. That’s what will bring him down.

        7:28 AM – 27 Jun 2019

        Between the gerrymandering case and the eventual census question case, SCOTUS will likely have provided Republicans with an answer to the existential question that’s facing them:
        how to remain in power without ever again obtaining an electoral majority.

      • harpie says:

        7:19 AM – 27 Jun 2019

        This is a fundamentally anti-democratic decision, but it reflects the fact that the conservative ideological project in the united states can only proceed by entrenching countermajoritarian procedural advantages rather than popular support from the people themselves. / Get ready for way more elections where one party wins most of the votes in a state and gets a small percentage of the seats.

      • harpie says:

        emptywheel Retweeted
        7:23 AM – 27 Jun 2019

        Today the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 majority along partisan lines, ruled that gerrymandering is a political issue that is beyond the reach of courts.
        In 2000, the Supreme Court decided that stopping the Florida recount process was *not* beyond its reach.

        […] At the time of the disputed election, Roberts was a lawyer at Hogan & Hartson, […] As the 2000 Florida recount escalated, Roberts raced to Florida to advise then-Gov. Jeb Bush, the state’s Republican governor and brother of the presidential candidate.

        …ROLLING COUP [NorskiFlamethrower]

      • harpie says:

        8:57 AM – 27 Jun 2019

        On multiple occasions over the course of his #SCOTUS career, Justice Kennedy refused to provide a fifth vote for this very holding—that federal courts categorically lack the ability to review partisan gerrymandering claims.
        Justice Kavanaugh joined the majority opinion in full.

        • harpie says:

          Marty Lederman:

          7:38 AM – 27 Jun 2019

          1/ Just a reminder of the obvious: Mitch McConnell’s refusal to allow a Garland vote and Jim Comey’s October letter have already had a far more significant impact on the law and governance of our nation than virtually everything else combined will have over the next half-century.
          [SO MANY EXAMPLES!]
          Profound/long-lasting practical impacts.
          3/ Now multiply that by another 10/20/30 Terms . . .

      • harpie says:
        7:41 AM – 27 Jun 2019

        #BREAKING: Chief Justice Roberts joins the progressive Justices in 5-4 #SCOTUS ruling remanding the citizenship question issue to the Department of Commerce. Court didn’t strike it down, but didn’t uphold it, either. What a mess: [link]
        In a nutshell, the Court did not decisively reject the inclusion of a citizenship question, but today’s decision is going to make it _very_ difficult, both legally and logistically, for the government to ultimately ask the question on the #2020Census.

      • bmaz says:

        No, it really is not in the least. The four conservatives plus Roberts all indicated that they would approve the quest if it had a slightly less ridiculous basis. This is not over, even for 2020. I expect an expedited attempt by the Administration to formulate a new and better basis and shove it though courts on an emergency basis.

      • harpie says:

        TRUMP tweets in:
        10:37 AM – 27 Jun 2019

        Seems totally ridiculous that our government, and indeed Country, cannot ask a basic question of Citizenship in a very expensive, detailed and important Census, in this case for 2020. I have asked the lawyers if they can delay the Census, no matter how long, until the…..
        …..United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision on this very critical matter. Can anyone really believe that as a great Country, we are not able the ask whether or not someone is a Citizen. Only in America!

        …to which nycsouthpaw responds:
        10:44 AM – 27 Jun 2019
        [end quote]

        • harpie says:

          Now DOJ:
 10:26 AM – 27 Jun 2019

          Cryptic statement from @TheJusticeDept on the Supreme Court’s census ruling.
          Whether this means that @CommerceGov is going to pursue the citizenship question under another rationale with government attorneys defending that to the hilt remains to be seen. @CourthouseNews


          We are disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision today. The Department of Justice will continue to defend this Administration’s lawful exercises of executive power.

          • P J Evans says:

            They have a very strange definition of “lawful”. It seems to mean “whatever Himself wants, regardless of actual laws and the Constitution and all official oaths of office”.

  39. P J Evans says:

    SCOTUS punted to the next session a case involving Native Americans and tribal vs state/federal jurisdiction. Apparently not all the nations in what’s now Oklahoma ceded jurisdiction when it became a state, and the question the court has to answer is do those nations still have jurisdiction over the areas reserved for them: Muscogee (Creek), Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole – and Tulsa is in the Muscogee reserve.

  40. Eureka says:

    FYI, and Democritus had recently asked about this: Newly announced protests for Tuesday, July 2nd:

    MoveOn: “ANNOUNCEMENT: There will be nationwide protests on Tuesday, July 2 demanding the closure of the inhumane immigrant detention centers subjecting children and families to horrific conditions. Sign up:[url] #CloseTheCamps @UNITEDWEDREAM @afsc_org @fams2gether”

  41. aliris says:

    This is unbelievably helpful. It is very hard for this non-lawyer, at least, to follow what is alleged to have happened – and even why it matters. The careful elocution really helps. Thank you for calling attention to it. Please never underestimate how lost the rest of us are….

  42. P J Evans says:

    Headline (and subhead) seen at SFGate:
    Trump, Dumb as Always, Thinks Busing is About Transportation
    “It is certainly a primary method of getting people to schools,” the president said

    Another demonstration of how clueless he is, as well as how difficult it must be to brief him on anything.

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