[Photo: Emily Morter via Unsplash]

The Mysterious Rapid Reverse Veep with a Press Backflip

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

Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to travel to New Hampshire yesterday. That didn’t happen.

Nearly 24 hours later this still smells really fishy.

Pence was scheduled to speak at 1:20 p.m. EDT at an addiction treatment center about the opioid crisis. Prepared remarks sounded less like an attack on the Sackler family, responsible for manufacturing opioids in the U.S., and more like an excuse for the crimes against humanity perpetrated along the Mexican border (because so many families with babies must surely be carrying fentanyl into the country).

Details are sketchy about when and how Pence’s trip was canceled. There were reports that Air Force 2 was already in the air and called back mid-flight; some of these reports were based on feedback from Pence’s aide Randy Gentry:

White House spokesman Judd Deere told AP that “Something came up and the VP needed to be in D.C.,” “there is no cause for alarm.”

Two more anonymous White House officials told AP that the matter was not national security-related or related to a health issue.

Whatever happened caught the Veep’s staff by surprise based on their flip-flopping messages:

What could have happened at the White House to cancel Pence’s speech on such short notice — the room in which he was to speak was already packed, waiting his arrival — and subsequent confusing press handling?

Some reports noted that Putin had a cancellation of his own nearly simultaneously with Pence, causing a lot of idle speculation and possibly some disinformation.

A fire aboard a Russian research submarine killed 14 aboard the vessel. But the timing of the actual fire and Pence’s reversal don’t sync. The fire was on July 1 and Putin offered remarks about the fatal event yesterday according to the U.S. Naval Institute news outlet.

Yet others attributed the problem to a local problem in New Hampshire after reports of gunfire at Pease Air National Guard Base, located a circuitous 50 miles northeast from where Pence was to speak and 50 miles east of the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport where Pence was scheduled to arrive before his engagement at Granite Recovery Center.

None of this adds up and all stinks of manufactured fog. We’ll have to hope the press remembers to follow up with Pence’s chief of staff in a couple weeks.

There was one other key event yesterday that did not affect Pence directly but could easily have triggered a malignant narcissist’s meltdown.

Sometime after 11:00 a.m. yesterday news outlets reported the House Ways and Means Committee had filed suit against the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service to obtain Trump’s tax returns.

Complaint via ABC News on Scribd

I imagine somebody in the Oval Office is squirming about Congress crossing the red line.

Another tetchy subject may be the Second Circuit’s order yesterday unsealing the summary judgment record in the Jeffrey Epstein case; additional sealed materials are now subject to a particularized review for release to public.

Is somebody worried their name will come up in the unsealing process?

What other events might have created enough havoc in the White House that forced Pence to reverse his trip and his staff to perform communications contortions with the reason to be known “in a few weeks”?

This is an open thread.

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161 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    There was a third meltdown-worthy item that happened yesterday and I’ll be damned if I can remember what it was. I was in a hurry to get out the door and I remember thinking, Oh, yeah, that, too, and now I can’t think of it at all. Should have stopped right then and wrote myself a note but no.

    • joel fisher says:

      Don’t beat yourself up over not keeping track of Trump scandals. The administration is like a circus parade, complete with elephants, hippos, horses and bison, moving through town and the people look at the street and say “What is this shit?”.

      • bmaz says:

        And who says Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey show is defunct? It is in residence in Washington DC.

  2. BobCon says:

    I’ll note that Maggie Haberman dropped this empty soap bubble of a story:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/02/us/politics/mike-pence-cancels-trip.html

    Which leads to the obvious question — why are she and Dean Baquet bending over backwards to give the White House the ability to publish whatever they want on the front page of the NY Times if the most they can get in return is “Multiple people familiar with what happened offered at least a partial explanation. They said it was related to the place Mr. Pence was scheduled to visit, the Granite Recovery Center, but they did not offer any details.”

    It’s one thing to trade for access if you actually get something in return, but this is pathetic.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Propaganda is easier and more profitable to publish. Just because someone in the White House says it does not make it credible or newsworthy, Dean. It’s one thing for Maggie to pound that beat. It’s something else that Baquet publishes it.

      Something wicked this way comes is a good observation about this malarkey. The apparent emergency and conflicting explanations were sure to make headlines, which makes distracting from bad news a likely rationale.

      Separately, of the acknowledged fourteen dead sailors in that deep sea submersible, at least seven were reportedly “captains.” The Russians use that nomenclature as part of four separate ranks, comparable to three used in the US: Lt. Cmdr (O-4), Cmdr (O-5), and Captain (O-6). That’s a lot of senior officers on a small craft. Suggests the mission was special.

      • BobCon says:

        “Propaganda is easier and more profitable to publish”

        This is true, although what drives me crazy is that the price the Times pays for propaganda is vastly higher than they need to pay.

        It takes zero investment to get anonymous happy talk from the White House. The Times ought to have a balance sheet tilted enormously in their favor for all the spin they have carried.

        But the politics desk still acts as though they are the recipients of rare and splendid pearls, doled out by a fickle lord as a special favor. All they’re getting is half a box of expired dollar store off brand saltines. The Times needs to stop paying for that stuff. They can get it for free anywhere.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Interestingly, it was said by one of the witches. The line has apparently been used often. There’s something hypnotic about the rhythm, ominous tone, and Germanic word order. Ray Bradbury used it for a story title, J.K. Rowling used it as a lyric for a Hogwarts song.

    • Rayne says:

      Utterly and completely smells.

      Pence’s COS tells them, “It also was not a ‘personal’ or a family issue, he said.” But it’s related to the place Pence was to visit? And we’ll learn more in a few weeks?

      The tattoo-covered 34-year-old guy who owns/runs Granite Recovery Center opened it in October 2015, has been running “sober living facilities” for 12 years, and just happened to release a book about about recovery from addiction this month.

      Jesus fucking Christ, Pence was speaking at what was more or less a book promotion for a Republican donor ($5400 to Andy Sanborn) who has regularly hosted Republicans on the campaign trail and this 418-word POS was the best Haberman could come up with?

      And I still don’t think this is why Air Force 2 was turned around mid-flight because Trump has gotten away with far worse than backpatting a GOP donor.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        DT is panicky about crowd count at his Trumpfest. Maybe he needs to keep Pence on hand to boost his numbers ;-(

        “They started this too late’: Trump officials and allies anxious about July 4 fest” – POLITICO

        “White House officials and allies are wringing their hands over the risk of the hastily arranged event morphing into Trump’s Inauguration 2.0, in which the size of the crowd and the ensuing media coverage do not meet the president’s own outsized expectations for the event.”

        https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/03/donald-trump-july-4-event-1397772

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          And then there’s the chance of Donner und Blitzen tomorrow, as well as a boycott of the immediate area, which would invite invidious comparisons.

          • Savage Librarian says:

            I’m thinking we the people might want to reschedule our Independence Day celebrations until after July 17. Then, depending on how things go with Mueller, maybe giant televisions can be set up with an edited version of the best key statements made in his hearing. They could be blasted out in a loop to celebrate our 1st Amendment rights…

    • Mongoose says:

      I have ignored Haberman since learning that her mother works for Trump Inc. On the other hand, I was in a tizzy yesterday, assuming that Trump was in a hysterical rampage over the census question and had been placed in a straitjacket. Then of course Pence would be summoned back to take over temporarily until the shots to the buttocks had taken effect.

  3. MattyG says:

    “…we’ll find out in a few weeks what happened…”. What would promt a COS to answer with that odd sort of time frame? Specific yet bizarre. Anything on the horizon with the potential to break in 2 weeks? Or just more (inept) disinformation?

    • P J Evans says:

      Mueller’s supposed to testify in the House committees on the 17th – that’s two weeks from today.

      • Rayne says:

        Yup, true — but Pence and Trump have known this since last week. What about that would warrant an unexpected reversal of Air Force 2 characterized as an “emergency”?

        • P J Evans says:

          Damn if I know. Are we sure that any tweets from the WH since yesterday morning are really Tr*mp and not the designated staff Donald? Are they prepping Pence to make a big speech tomorrow?

          • Rayne says:

            I wish I had thought to grab the tweet I saw in my timeline pointing out that Trump’s tweets in the morning were his usually whacked out mess while tweets from his account later in the day were more composed and looked like they may have been someone else’s work (Dan Scavino?).

            And now I guess Agent Orange Chaos is back to tweeting for himself today. I’ve blocked him so I’m only going on what others have mentioned on Twitter. (I try to avoid letting that wretch swamp my feed by blocking his account.)

              • Rayne says:

                Nah, this is overkill, thanks anyhow, though it does support the likelihood the more pulled-together tweets later in the day weren’t by Trump.

            • Tim Affleck says:

              You’re in the news business in the social media age and you block POTUS’ tweets?

              Duh.

              • Rayne says:

                You don’t think Trump’s tweets aren’t crammed down Twitter users’ throats even when his account has been blocked? They’re still visible whenever somebody else retweets them or writes about them. I don’t need his bullshit mainlined into my feed and taking over when I’m working on other subjects. It’s MY Twitter feed, not his.

                I can’t help it too many people don’t have the sense gods gave maggots to protect themselves from a pyroclastic flow of misogynistic, racist, corrupt, malignant narcissism.

                EDIT: Returning because of your crack, “in the news business.” Do you see any advertising on this site? Were you billed for access? This isn’t a business. Fuck off, free of charge.

                  • Rayne says:

                    Argh! I’ve written how many pieces now specifically about the great orange jackass’s tweets potentially manipulating the market — in spite of my blocking the jackass’s Twitter account — but the white male behavior police show up to question my methodology?

                    Bloody good thing there’s nothing fragile in reach or I’d Hulk-smash something.

                    • P J Evans says:

                      I could knit you some soft-toy rats (in lighter weight yarn, they’re mice for cats). Not breakable, but definitely throwable. (The other thing is a length of closed-cell pipe insulation; the kind for 3/4-inch pipes is a good diameter for this. Cut it into 1.5 or 2-foot pieces. It’s like a short pool noodle but hollow inside, took some to the QC people at work, told them they were cluebats.)

      • Americana says:

        Hmmmmm, sooooo many possibilities from which to choose… Ultimately, I’m sure it was an actual Trump neurological meltdown as in an “oranges vs origins” neurological event triggered by stressful issues in the news over which Trump has no control and so he’s terrified. (BALANCE DELETED, I’ve speculated enough.) However, no one has a neurological glitch like that one over “oranges/origins” and doesn’t have subsequent neurological episodes. A neurological episode such as this wouldn’t have been classified as a medical emergency per se but it would definitely have required the Vice President to be on hand in case of needing to assume direct command.

    • Rayne says:

      Yeah. That. Why be so specific about there being a future response when they can’t be specific about whether Air Force 2 was on the tarmac in DC or in the air when it was called back?

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    To Marty Lederman’s point about the language used by the DoJ regarding the census questionnaire, it is peculiar and very Bill Barr (although submitted by a trial attorney):

    Counsel –

    We can confirm that the decision has been made to print the Decennial Census Questionnaire without a citizenship question, and that the printer has been instructed to begin the printing process.

    Best,

    Kate Bailey
    Trial Attorney
    [US DoJ]

    That ending “Best” is a little snarky and informal for my taste. Note the passive tense and that the conjunction joins separate statements, which are vague and might be unrelated – although they imply relatedness and definitiveness.

    For example, “to begin the printing process” is not the same as “instructed to print” the questionnaire. Big gap. Does the “Decennial Census questionnaire” include all materials to be sent out?

    Does “citizenship question” exclude asking for related information that could achieve the same objective. One example of an end around might be in modifying the affirmation or certification tied to the signature. Language might be added describing the signatory as a citizen or legal resident, or that the information provided relates only to such persons. Those would be statements, not prohibited questions.

    There are many permutations. And Bill Barr is a guy who thinks the president “is” the executive branch and that in the exercise of his powers, he cannot be constrained by the legislature or judiciary.

    [https://twitter.com/marty_lederman/status/1146472811508224001]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      According to Mike Sacks, the DoJ “reversed course,” telling the judge that, contrary to their previous written submission, “no decision has been made” to abandon the citizenship question.

      Contradicting even that, the DoJ admits it has been ordered to try to put the citizenship question back on the Census Questionnaire. Only Trump could do that, making the passive voice ridiculous.

      Trump simply hopes to ask the Supreme Court directly to bless whatever new make-believe rationale Wilbur comes up with. That seems to be a “Fuck You” to Chief Justice Roberts. His decision left open the possibility of considering a revised, less obviously false rationale, but only if Sleepy Wilbur came up with a better lie. That decision did not admit to collapsing normal procedure in this way.

      [https://twitter.com/MikeSacksEsq]

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Sacks also says DoJ claims that instructing the printer to “begin the printing process” was a demonstration of the administration’s good faith compliance with Roberts’ ruling, but that it always intended to resubmit a new rationale for judicial blessing. The no-citizenship question forms were a [ruinously expensive] “backup.”

        From an administration that wouldn’t know good faith from a triple cheeseburger, no onions, and an Attorney General and President who would never pass up the burger, the snark and manipulation are impressive. In part, that’s because the explanation does pass the smell test.

        Newspaper editors and journalists please take note. Whatever Lucy says, she always yanks the football away from Charlie’s well-intended kick.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          For the 2010 decennial census, 120 million forms were printed. If Trump goes through with the printing of a backup questionnaire, he will create a significant, unplanned, avoidable cost for which no funds have been allocated.

          More likely, he will approve the preparation but delay the printing for months, then force the Census Bureau to deal with the resultant delay, adding further costs.

          • dude says:

            Well, what if you printed two sets of forms and used one kind in some states and the other in different states. Then you say “oops–my bad”. You have bought time to return to court if nothing else. Would you call off the census because you made a mistake and required a do-over? Who would stop you? Would Chuck and Nancy refuse to fund a do-over? Trump (and Barr) to all: “Who’s gonna stop me?”

    • P J Evans says:

      The kind of stuff they asked in the past was less obviously targeted:
      1900: year of immigration, number of years in the US, naturalization (apparently a yes/no question)
      1910: year of immigration, naturalized or alien, language spoken
      1920: year of immigration, naturalized or alien, year naturalized
      1930: year of immigration, naturalized or alien
      1940: citizenship of the foreign-born

    • P J Evans says:

      Via PopeHat:
      Lawrence Hurley
      ‏Verified account @lawrencehurley
      2 hours ago
      First word from Maryland judge’s census call: Judge seemed “concerned” about Trump’s tweet & has given parties until 2pm Friday to come up with stipulation saying that citizenship Q will not be on census. Otherwise, equal protection claims will move forward – per lawyer involved

      It sounds like the judge isn’t buying whatever claims the DOJ was trying to make.

      • e.a.f. says:

        watched all of it on the news this evening. that judge is amazing and funny. what a 4th of July present!

  5. it's complicated says:

    VP Pence might be needed as a substitute for Mr. Trump at the parade.
    After all it seems to look like rainy weather.
    The few weeks thing though… That’s a real puzzle.

  6. Democritus says:

    JFC, Never Again IS Now.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/07/border-patrols-oversight-sick-migrant-children/593224/

    “her four-month-old son, wrapped in the kind of bed pad used for incontinent patients in a hospital. The mother explained that the boy had had diarrhea for several days and had soiled his clothes. Guards declined to provide clean baby clothes, she told Sevier, so she managed to obtain two extra diapers and flatten them out into rectangles—one for the baby’s back, one for his chest. She had connected them like a disposable tunic, then wrapped him in the plastic pad. Inside the package, the baby was dirty and sticky, Sevier said. Diaper fluff clung to his hands, his armpits, and the folds of his neck. He wore no socks.

    “I carry my baby super close to me to keep his little body warm,” the mother told Jodi Goodwin, one of the attorneys with Sevier, who interviewed her the same day. Goodwin included her testimony in the court filing, which was a request for a temporary restraining order against the government on the migrants’ behalf. On Friday, a federal judge read her testimony, among others, in court and ordered the government to work with a mediator to improve Border Patrol holding facilities “post haste.”

    These aren’t even the sickest children in the government’s care—those kids are quarantined at a different station, in Weslaco, Texas. When the team of lawyers visited Ursula without Sevier, “every single kid was sick,” Goodwin told me. When they returned three days later with the doctor, Goodwin asked to see four kids whom another attorney had previously flagged to the guards as especially sick. But they were already gone. The guards told Goodwin that their illnesses were severe enough that they had been admitted to the intensive-care unit at a local hospital.”

    I’ve read tweets from activist saying that the US government is simply discharging these kids from US custody when they’re admitted to intensive care said they’re not included as deaths in while in US care but they are debts that are our Country’s country responsibility.

    I am going to be fucking sick. No wonder hardly any Dems are still very proud of our country. I think of how much so many in this country have sacrificed either health or their lives to fight at home for civil rights, or abroad to protect ourselves our allies, or on the occasionally much less Nobel mission just fighting for the buddy who has your six.

    Donate to RAICES:

    https://www.raicestexas.org/donate/

    Families belong together:

    https://www.familiesbelongtogether.org/

    Lights of Liberty Protests Friday July 12, also Never Again is Now is having smaller local actions announced on twitter. I think it’s Campsno

  7. msmolly says:

    I read speculation somewhere this morning that Pence is gonna be dumped as VP for the 2020 election, and that Trump has a new choice for VP, and Pence’s abrupt turnaround is related to that.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      It might be true about 2020: in short order, Trump rejects everyone. But that does not explain the timing.

    • e.a.f. says:

      I’d buy that. With his blonde princess at his side at all the meetings at the G-20 and with kimmie 3 I thought he might dump Pence and use Ivanka as his new V.P. he hasn’t given any assurances he will support Pence in 2024, so perhaps he is going to dump him and use Ivanka, I mean she has met all these foreign leaders and she did such a wonderful job,……..bla, blah, bla.

    • e.a.f. says:

      that’s what happens when you put children in a concentration camp. for any Americans still wondering how the Nazi’s got away with all those concentration camps, well now you know.

      doesn’t take long for things to go sideways. Germany invaded France in May 1940 and by ’42 they were sending French citizens to the concentration camps. They invaded the Netherlands the same year and one year later the only permitted political party was the Nazi party. by 1945 it was all over, but the counting of the dead which reached into the millions upon millions. As my Mother also told us, it could happen again. I just don’t think she thought it would happen in the U.S.A.

  8. Eureka says:

    I’m looking at it like what would have interrupted their unfolding plan to further demonize immigrants, or cause them to delay it, since Tucker Carlson (lingering in NK!?!) and Trump were setting it up in those remarks (the ones that press-people interpreted as about homeless, but I interpreted as another stage of “verminizing,” tying it to liberals, and hinting at further removals). Could be some separate meltdown-related matter like the taxes, or issues with his “parade.” But could have been some last-minute PR decision to save it for after the 4th to not take shine off his event and wait past the new OIG report and congressional visits.

    I suspect they were unfolding another stage of the plan (and so couldn’t simply remove content from Pence’s speech, because it was to be an event in itself).

    They have something ‘bigly’ in mind, or a step-wise change/something qualitatively different than they have been doing that they want to sell properly. It’s some type of ‘initiative’ branding liberals, immigrants, sanctuary cities with the opioid crisis tag, which they will be ‘solving.’

    That’s also I think why Trump made a ‘past two years’ distinction in his shtick with Carlson: divorces it from any history prior to (and related to) his election, and makes it like liberals are trying to sabotage his maga with immigrants and drugs.

    ETA: the Trump-Tucker transcript:
    Daniel Dale: “Tucker Carlson asked Trump why American cities are filthy and have people urinating on the streets. Trump said, “It’s a phenomena that started two years ago.” (?) The whole answer is something. (screenshot)”
    https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/1145891322127114240

    • P J Evans says:

      Ignoring that the opioid crisis appears to be biggest in red states, where people are overworked (if they have jobs), underpaid, and not getting any actual help from this maladministration.

      Also, as it’s gotten worse in the last two years, it’s on *him*, because he’s been in charge for longer than that. (It sure didn’t *start* two years ago.)

      • Eureka says:

        Right, it works towards controlling the narrative/Operation Spare the Sacklers/other donors.

        I don’t know enough about NH politics besides they have an R Gov Sununu (son of 41’s Sununu). And maybe because Trump is being primaried, this gov-as-campaign event is supposed to make friendly waves in NH for electoral purposes.

    • Rugger9 says:

      As I’ve noted before, words mean things and the choice of words like “filth” and the calling out of the sanctuary cities makes it clear something is in play to clean house on said cities. Will Kaiser Quisling impose martial law to clean house, so to speak? There is no objective reason to do so, but as we saw in Flint MI, GOP Governor Snyder was perfectly willing to bypass the elected council with an emergency manager who then caused the water crisis (still not solved, and they didn’t save any money either which was the alleged reason to change). Authoritarianism is what they do in the GOP.

      • Eureka says:

        Yes, agreed- I am very attuned to the word choices, as is anyone with esp. knowledge of Third Reich behavior. (Not blowing off other regimes w similar tactics, but that’s the one most Americans know best.)

        About that emergency declaration he’s holding onto… not sure when and for what he might try to use it.

      • Vicks says:

        I’m feeling queasy.
        I’m tired of the analogy, “boiling the frog” but I can’t shake it when in just a few days time I see Trump’s recent and unabashed display of admiration for dictators, the god-awful images of what we are allowing to happen to immigrants at the border, and just now what appears to be his defiance of a supreme court decision.
        I have always hated the guy because he is a nasty and greedy f*ck but right this minute I can’t shake off the fact that we really don’t know what this guy is capable of.
        Dehumanizing brown people at a rally is disgusting as are chants of “lock her up”.
        What if this is more than “rallying his base around a common enemy” to keep them aroused and engaged?
        He is talking about rounding up immigrant families on Friday. People are saying locking up immigrants in standing room only situations for weeks at a time is actually a Trump admin strategy. What if what we are seeing is actually grooming/desensitizing the public for even worse activity?
        Can someone please talk me down? Remind me that Americans are decent people and would never let that kind of evil take hold? Tell me about the constitution and democracy and how checks and balances work?
        Jeez I almost forgot about his party tomorrow….

        • Tommy D Cosmology says:

          It’s worse, I’m afraid. He’s also telling our military that the Dems are against them and he was credibly accused of outright rape this week and we have just moved on.

      • e.a.f. says:

        he’ll issue an executive order and send in the military. As I understand it, that isn’t legal, but trump isn’t bothered by those types of things, and really, who is going to stop him??

    • Eureka says:

      bmaz tweeted this article re: appeals court upheld that Trump can’t use the DoD counter-drug money he ‘found’ for his wall.

      I’m excerpting it here for a slightly different purpose, wondering if behind-the-scenes machinations on this may relate to Trump admin’s apparent new drug-war-tied-to-immigrants-and-libs-in-coastal-cities plan. May be related only inasmuch as he has to produce some other theater beyond his failed wall, may be more, idk…:

      A divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed with a lower court ruling that prevented the government from tapping Defense Department counterdrug money to build high-priority sections of wall in Arizona, California and New Mexico.

      At stake is billions of dollars that would allow Trump to make progress on a major 2016 campaign promise heading into his race for a second term.

      Trump declared a national emergency after losing a fight with the Democratic-led House that led to the 35-day shutdown. Congress agreed to spend nearly $1.4 billion on barriers in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, the busiest corridor for illegal crossings, which was well below the $5.7 billion the president requested.

      Trump grudgingly accepted the money but declared the emergency to siphon cash from other government accounts, finding up to $8.1 billion for wall construction. The money includes $3.6 billion from military construction funds, $2.5 billion from Defense Department counterdrug activities and $600 million from the Treasury Department’s asset forfeiture fund.

      The administration said the U.S. needed emergency protection to fight drug smuggling. Its arguments did not mention illegal immigration or unprecedented numbers of Central American families seeking asylum at the U.S. border , which have dominated public attention in recent months.

      Appeals court: Trump can’t use Pentagon cash for border wall
      https://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/article/Appeals-court-Trump-can-t-use-Pentagon-cash-for-14070728.php
      Via
      bmaz: “Randy Smith was the sole “divided” wet blanket. Go figure: Appeals court: Trump can’t use Pentagon cash for border wall[link] via @SFGate”
      https://twitter.com/bmaz/status/1146591301590106113

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      It looks to me as if both DoJ and Commerce are trying to appease Trump and the courts, but haven’t a clue how to do either. And they only know to do that because of a morning tweet from His Highness.

      Like any good malignant narcissist, Trump wants what he wants because he wants it. He wants the data for GOP voter suppression efforts. He thinks the fight for it fires up his base, and keeps alive the chance of actually getting it. And he hates being told, “No.” The rejection is an existential threat.

      What DoJ and Commerce do not have is a reason to ask the question that hasn’t already been rejected by the Supreme Court. If they had, they would have offered it up.

      Even John Roberts is going to be leery about accepting any rationale from Trump between now and the census printing deadline.

      • Vicks says:

        Perhaps we are missing the obvious?
        In Trumpland you don’t go on record stating you are conceding. In Trumpland the leader doesn’t miss a beat, he just goes into full blown bullshit mode claiming there is going to be a citizenship question.
        Not quite as impactful as if it there really were a question but I’ll bet he will keep crap like this up and it will work almost as well to keep people from responding

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The WaPo’s Aaron Blake continues to misdescribe what the DoJ and Commerce have said to the court about the census form printing process.

    Blake said on MSNBC that the forms “are being printed.” But what the DoJ said it told the printer was “to begin the printing process.” It did not say it told the printer “to print the forms.” It is more likely that the presses are silent. Everybody is confused and there are no clear instructions.

    • Rugger9 says:

      It probably means that someone started the requisition process and it’s routing for signatures which will take a while (of course). Words mean things with the Palace.

    • vicks says:

      I am not sure of the context of Blake’s quote but he could be taking it from the transcript of the phone call today with the judge…
      Mr. Gardener to Judge
      “I can tell you that I have confirmed that the Census Bureau is continuing with the process of printing the questionnaire without a citizenship question, and that process has not stopped”
      Common sense would tell you that you can’t snap your fingers and have the presses start rolling on a project of this magnitude the next day but what do I know?

      • Rayne says:

        I’ve been stewing on this all night (it’s nearly 2:30 am here) and the Trump admin’s persistent claim that 30-JUN was the drop-dead latest deadline for a decision. And now the administration is saying they can wait for later even if the printing process has already begun.

        Is the administration attempting not only to weasel another decision in their favor but planning a modified distribution of the Census survey? In other words are they both continuing to print AND attempting to add the citizenship question at the same time?

        Like perhaps they only add the question to certain states’ surveys and they tell the court they’ve complied because they have printed the survey without the question (just not everywhere uniformly)?

        I don’t trust these mothertruckers to follow the letter or the intent of the law or the court’s decision because they blatantly ignore the law and the judiciary already. Just ask the families which haven’t been reunited per court order.

        • harpie says:

          Like perhaps they only add the question to certain states’ surveys and they tell the court they’ve complied because they have printed the survey without the question (just not everywhere uniformly)?

          BINGO!
          …and which states would likely see the additional question…?

          • Rayne says:

            Or they print a last-minute insert to add to the survey with the last citizenship question to be distributed to certain states — and those states would either be swing states and/or states with large minority populations, which not-so-coincidentally tend to be blue states.

            Argh. I can literally see this happening.

            • Rugger9 says:

              My feelings as well, and given that Parscale would know exactly where to target (with GRU help of course) the typical Palace incompetence would be set aside for this intervention/meddling/attack.

              Kaiser Quisling does not survive an election loss as a free man and will therefore make sure he doesn’t lose by hook or by crook.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Hard to see how that survives judicial review. Uniformity would seem to be essential in complying with the constitutional requirement that the census be an actual head count. Obviously controversial variations in the questionnaire would necessarily lead to unreliable numbers.

            The Census Bureau already uses statistical surveys to develop information other than the head count. Those would be a less intrusive way to demand information from part of the population, especially as the claimed rationale for it would have to include its statistical significance.

            If Trump takes this route, he would be directly attacking the Supreme Court’s authority. Roberts would resist that.

            • Ken Muldrew says:

              Just remind me, how many divisions does Roberts have? Will they be goose-stepping past him while snapping salutes of obeisance his way during today’s parade; with tanks and planes and Generals smothered in medals all at his command?

              Roberts schmoberts, the King of the world is in the house.

            • Rugger9 says:

              True, but courts take time and we all know that running out the clock is a basic part of the Palace’s toolkit. I’m with Rayne’s paranoia on this one, since it is setting up as an “oopsie” that will be targeted precisely by Parscale and the GRU. By the time it is discovered and addressed the damage will be done.

              So, register like mad, continually check on the registrations (like monthly) with screen shots to make sure you weren’t dropped “accidentally” so that when the shenanigans occur the objective evidence is ready to present to the court. Make the registrar or Secretary of State’s office in the state explain to the court why a registration still valid in July was dead in November.

              We have to swamp the GOP in this election.

              Additionally, leave the citizenship question blank and get the word out hammering the point home that you can.

              • Rayne says:

                This attempt to identify non-citizens is less about voting than it is about validating other data and preparing their pogroms.

                As blue districts contain more non-citizens, their intended pogroms are intended to wreak havoc in areas which aren’t loyal to them, shoring up support in unaffected red districts.

                This is another reason I am so frustrated with those who argue over the term, “concentration camps,” claiming that’s not what they are. And yet other terms which are just as ugly are likely to be reintroduced if this monstrous administration isn’t checked before they begin their pogroms against non-citizens, and then whatever minority group is next after them.

                • Rugger9 says:

                  Not to split too many hairs, but “concentration camps” by that name come from the Boer War where the Boer families were stuffed into tents and many died there. By other names (like Andersonville) the functional equivalent has existed for centuries.

                  What Liz “Spawn” Cheney and the rest of the GOP is trying to do is to conflate the death camps such as Auschwitz, Treblinka, Dachau, et al, where the stated purpose was the systematic killing and disposal (the reason for the furnaces) of undesirables (Jews, Roma, LGBTQ, etc.) with the concentration camps where death was a routine side effect but not the main purpose. Neither are acceptable.

                  Spawn Cheney is not the best spokesperson for morality, given her lust for torture and lack of any redeeming social qualities. Kind of like the Palace spawn if they had brains.

                  • Eureka says:

                    I have to give some correction re Dachau** that actually supports your and the larger point. Dachau was not considered to be a death camp like Auschwitz; it was the oldest concentration camp (1933*). For the latter reason, its history is instructive re earlier efforts of the Nazis and how they relate by analogy or otherwise to current and other historical conditions. Plenty died there from unsanitary and cruel conditions (as did many in the ghettos). Also by gunshot and hanging (lots of Jews and historians pointed out during the semantics fracases that more Jews died by bullet than by gas chamber). They also worked prisoners to death at nearby subcamps.

                    Dachau indeed had a crematory, but because of these other deaths. There was also a later-built gas chamber, but no evidence that the one there was used for humans (per ushmm.org). They did ship off “selected” prisoners to (other) death camps.

                    *Earlier on, there were mostly dissidents/ criminals/ homosexuals/ Roma vs. Jews per se (except as they belonged to the latter categories). The number of Jews dramatically increased after Kristallnacht.

                    **and most of the other Nazi camps. The vast overwhelming majority were not dedicated “death camps.”

                    I’ll add some links later.

                  • Eureka says:

                    The links for 6:42p comment, towards the larger points of the discussion:

                    I often think of these questions posed at the end of the Dachau entry, part of why it was important to have made the distinctions:
                    [https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/dachau]

                    Critical Thinking Questions
                    • Investigate what target groups were imprisoned in Dachau in the early years of the Nazi regime. Why were they jailed and held?
                    • How could the development of a system of concentration camps be a precursor to mass atrocity and genocide?

                    In current-era US, I think of not only the spatial separations but changes in laws/ policies and how/ to whom they are applied.

                    Dachau, like other concentration camps, had large subcamps established later in their existence (44-45) for the purpose of building and running war-machine/ munitions factories. Example, with general info, map, and pictures of giant factory structure being built:
                    [https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/muehldorf]

                    I mention this (besides as a cite re working people to death) as an example of how camp systems can turn into other, different or worse things that are not “death” camps (nor solely internment camps).

                    At one of these subcamps, upon discovery in early May 1945:
                    [https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-14th-armored-division]

                    The unit reported that of the 1,500 prisoners in the first camp, only 900 could walk…

                    I also think of the history of “work” in US prisons and things like chain-gangs, and how people are ‘valued’ in our society today.

                    So while there’s no need to take this subset of history literally (e.g. people put to work for war production) or in a recapitulationist* way to envisage worsening conditions, instrumentality has common paths.

                    *Leaving off for the moment that individuals (formerly) in or associated with this admin have themselves lionized *actual Nazis* or affiliated with neo-nazis.

                    • orionATL says:

                      i recall reading once the peculiar results of the pogrom were that the number of german jews who were killed by the germans was less than 200 thousand. the largest number of jews killed were from poland – nearly 3.5 million if i’m recalling correctly. hungarian and czech jews were also killed in numbers much greater than german nationals, maybe by a factor of 3 or 4.

                      why? i don’t know but most of the killing camps were in poland, not germany.

    • Tracy Lynn says:

      I’m interested in what these folks think the “printing process” is. Based on my experience with the archaic process of printing, it has several steps from the writing/editing/proofing stage to having someone sign off (or OK) the proof copy, to creating the plates (or images) of the document that run on the printing presses, to finally printing and distributing the document.

        • Tracy Lynn says:

          It depends on what type of printIng they do and what type of printer they use. Most printing presses utilize computers, yet the process is slower than putting together a pdf and sending it out.

          • bmaz says:

            It is not just that. It is also about printing consistency across multiple platfoma, including digital, because if the questionare is not consistent, it is useless. Then, it is about distribution across the states and territories. Then it is about followup to returns not received. It is a huge undertaking.

  10. Drew says:

    This is probably the most boring & least consequential possibility, but I wonder if it isn’t what this is:

    Trump’s 4th of July military spectacular is a shitshow shaping up to be a spectacular bust. With an infantile narcissist like Trump the humiliation of a disappointing turnout, etc could become more important than the entire future of the world. It’s true that there was enough time for Pence to get to New Hampshire, do his thing and get back by Thursday, but this ill-planned thing is REALLY going off the rails, (and there is some chance of weather delays of Pence’s return flight, etc) so it wouldn’t be that surprising if Pence was ordered to be in DC as part of an all-hands-on-deck, get everybody called up and pressured to show up to the event, push.

    Inconsequential, but what’s more inconsequential than the vanity of dear leader?

    • e.a.f. says:

      perhaps they’re prepping Pence to take over when Donnie has a nervous breakdown when no one shows up for his snooze fest with tanks………wonder why Melania didn’t go with him to the G 20 or was that to be the unveiling of his new V.P. running mate.

      • punaise says:

        Noted bible-thumper Pence was called back to do a reading about Abrams and the 120mm Canaan.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Canaan to right of him,
          Canaan to left of him,
          Canaan in front of him
          Volleyed and thundered;
          Stormed at with shot and shell,
          Boldly he rode and well,
          Into the jaws of electoral Death,
          Into the mouth of domestic hell
          Rode he and plundered.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Oh, man, those handmade brownies from 1973 are wicked:

            Well I don’t know why I came here tonight.
            I’ve got the feeling that something ain’t right.
            I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair
            And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs….

            ‘Cause I’m stuck in the middle with you
            And I’m wondering what it is I should do.
            It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face.
            Losing control and running all over the place.

            • Lulymay says:

              Omigod! Earl. You are all on such a roll (rock kind of course). However, I’ve been thinking that when it comes to dear leader, that old Stones song “I CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION!” might be more appropriate as it would apply to everything about this dude.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Antioch has never been the same since Brother Maynard carried forth from it the sacred relic.

            I fearest that were Brother Mike to unpluck the Holy Pin, he might lobbeth it unto his foe and retain the sacred relic, as the Lord God has it from refined gold made. For She would fooleth those who would blaspheme Her.

            The number three would then not his foe smite. It would leadeth him to his eternal fight. Praise be to Mother, the Lord God, who seeth all and is content.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    On the two 737 Max air crashes, Boeing says it will pay $100 million to families and communities affected by the crashes. The payout appears to be voluntary and is to be “independent of any lawsuits.” (The total payout should be a good ten times higher.)

    The arrangement is typical of the corporate disaster recovery industry. Payments are made over time, cutting costs. A portion would go toward immediate expenses, a portion toward community programs and “economic development.” Those can take a long time to agree on and fund.

    The latter are often used to gain leverage over state and local officials. The social, legal, and political power that comes from having the authority to spend that money is considerable. It also presents opportunities for graft. The corporate defendant’s objective is to create leverage and goodwill that increases the odds plaintiffs will settle for less.

    Relatives of the Lion Air crash in Indonesia agreed to mediate their claims. A mediator is theoretically a neutral third party who has persuasive but not legal authority to push the parties toward agreement. It can be more favorable to plaintiffs than arbitration – which favors the corporate defendant – but only if they organize and are led well. Big ifs.

    The relatives of the Ethiopian Airlines crash are awaiting further fact-finding before agreeing on how to deal with Boeing. A prudent course with a powerful defendant, it defers settlement, which can be costly for needy families.

    [https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jul/03/boeing-to-pay-100m-to-max-aircraft-crash-families]

  12. Eureka says:

    Funny, light-hearted diversion, mixing ‘history’ and sports, via the saltiest Canadian fellow I’ve ever heard (also some amusing comments/history/sports arguments):

    On The John Sports: “If Kawhi were to announce he was staying with the Raptors on the 4th of July, it would be the greatest Canadian ownage since we burned down the White House in 1812 #KawhiWatch”
    [https://twitter.com/OTJSports/status/1146465446163619840]
    “All these Americans suddenly busting out their knowledge of Canadian History. Fuck out my mentions. Those were Canadians that burnt that shit down and prevented us from becoming another State.”

    • P J Evans says:

      It wouldn’t even be the first time that they’d stopped us from taking over their country.

    • e.a.f. says:

      Canadians sports news showed Kawhi is in Toronto. We all do hope he decides to stay with the Toronto team for a year or two.

      now as to the burning of the W.H. That is G.B.’s fault. We weren’t an independent country until 1867. The Brits also had the help of a couple of other nations, — our First Nations. Of course its fun from time to time to think Canadians actually burnt down the W.H. Not nice, but funny.

      its such a lovely building, now if the current occupant got out of it, it was fumigated, it would be ready to be the wonderful place it has been.

      • Tom says:

        Also worth noting that at the time of the War of 1812, something like 80% of the residents of Upper Canada were American-born. It was only after the war that a distinctly Canadian identity started to emerge.

        But Happy Independence Day, you Yanks!

        • Eureka says:

          e.a.f. & Tom- that’s why the thread was so funny. It was mostly _Canadians_ pointing out that “it wasn’t us…it was the Brits…” and busting out the maps, etc. Yet salty Canadian guy (oxymoron?!?) doubled down on his truth-license and went for the “Americans” (sic). Also noted that the OP seemed to be a Trump-hater yet ironically recapitulated Trump’s earlier error on this.

          Then there were the arguments about the sports teams…where he threw down the hockey card.

          ETA: and I did have you both, among our Canadian friends, in mind when I posted that comment ;)

          • Eureka says:

            Uh, just leaving these here for posterity. Sticky wicket, that War of 1812:

            Daniel Dale: “Yes. Fort McHenry is the War of 1812 site connected to the anthem. He was stumbling a bit here and made a confusingly rapid transition from the Revolution to 1814. (quoting tweet below)”
            https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/1146929789464432646

            “Isn’t “rockets’ red glare” from the War of 1812?”

            ETA:
            This is re here in the Dale thread:
            “Appearing to have some reading trouble, Trump said that the army “took over the airports” during a part of his speech about its actions in the 1700s and early 1800s, when there were not airports or airplanes. (screenshot of text)”
            [https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/1146926375611318272]

      • P J Evans says:

        As i said, the colonies south of Canada had tried invading it more than once before 1812. There were some feelings (justified, IMO) about that.

        • e.a.f. says:

          Was doing some reading somewhere last year and noted the last time the Americans thought about invading Canada was in the 1930s — commies and all that, the American military did have plans and goals. Then WW II happened.

          Canada doesn’t want to invade the U.S.A. what would we do with it??? First we’d have to have all the senior government officials learn to speak French. Add that to the Spanish, it be hard. Quebec most likely wouldn’t be happy about having thousands of government officials in their province for a crash course on French. Then there is the gun thing, we don’t care for them that much and have laws around that. Then there is the Queen thing from G.B–O.K. Americans might get with that; new health care system, yes each province has their own system but must meet national standards.

          Then the fun part, elections–we have financial limits. You exceed them you can actually go to jail, regardless of who you are. Just ask a former Conservative Cabinet minister.

          of course, given Canadian judicial game rules, the U.S.A. most likely would have a million or more fewer people in jail and one of that bail bond stuff.

          In the meantime, HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! may your country live long and prosper and get rid of trump.

          • P J Evans says:

            I understand that DoD has all kinds of plans filed that they hope to never need – invading Canada is one of them.
            Happy [late] Canada Day!

  13. punaise says:

    The tanks are supplied by Acme Supply.
    Trump as Vile E Coyote.
    Road Runner blurts out: Veep Veep!

  14. punaise says:

    Very interesting/RIP.

    CNN: Arte Johnson, ‘Laugh-In’ star, dead at 90

    Someone else will have to ride (and fall off of) the tricycle in the parade.

  15. Eureka says:

    Michael Beschloss: “How President Dwight Eisenhower, hero of D-Day, celebrated Fourth of July, 65 years ago tomorrow: (news clipping screenshot; spoiler: a quiet day at Camp David)”
    https://twitter.com/BeschlossDC/status/1146529335253204992

    contrast with this, via Rayne rt:

    Matt Cohen: “SCOOP: @MotherJones obtained the Pentagon guidance to troops in Trump’s July 4th event: Say “I am proud of my job and my vehicle/tank.” (screenshot of guidance card, link to article)”
    [https://twitter.com/Matt_D_Cohen/status/1146515148405911552]

    Pentagon Guidance to Troops in Trump’s July 4th Event: Say I Love My Tank
    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/07/pentagon-guidance-to-troops-in-trumps-july-4th-event-say-i-love-my-tank/

    • vicks says:

      A line like “tell them I love my tank” and still no funny memes 8 hours later.
      The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach will not go away…

    • P J Evans says:

      I’d rather tell them I’m sorry they have to be on the Mall and on duty for the holiday; I’m sure they’d rather be home with their families.

  16. Eureka says:

    From Tal Kopan:

    “NEW: The Trump administration is set to replace in-court interpreters at immigrants’ initial court hearings with a video advising them of their rights. My story: (link)”
    [https://twitter.com/TalKopan/status/1146534353071218688]

    Trump administration ending in-person interpreters at immigrants’ first hearings
    [https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Trump-administration-ending-in-person-14070403.php]

    At issue are “master calendar” hearings where immigration judges meet with undocumented immigrants, usually dozens of them, in rapid succession to schedule their cases and to inform them of their rights. The quick sessions are intended mainly to be sure the immigrants understand what is happening and know when their next hearing will be and what steps they need to take in the interim.

    Under the new plan, which the Justice Department told judges could be rolled out by mid-July, a video recorded in multiple languages would play, informing immigrants of their rights and the course of the proceedings. But after that, if immigrants have questions, want to say something to the judge or if the judge wants to confirm they understand, no interpreter would be provided.

    “It’s a disaster in the making,” one judge said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the person did not have Justice Department approval to talk publicly. “What if you have an individual that speaks an indigenous language and has no education and is completely illiterate? You think showing them a video is going to completely inform them of their rights? How are they supposed to ask questions of the judge?”

    • e.a.f. says:

      perhaps another court case. the rule of law went out the window in the u.s.a. some time ago. this ought not to surprise anyone. its not going to go over well though when this new regulation starts applying to all americans. Everything trump has been doing since he got into office has been a test run. one event after the other, worse than the previous one. he has gotten away with all of it, so now he moves in for the fun stuff. lets hope tomorrow reminds Americans of their history and their democracy,.

      • bmaz says:

        Anybody who blithely says “the rule of law went out the window in the USA some time ago” is someone that never sets foot in court in the United States. I’m sure it feels glib to make silly statements like that, but it is total bullshit. Go watch a few jury trials and then talk. Well over 90% of the legal system occurs in state and local courts, not what you read about here.

        The kind of things discussed on this blog are specialized; the legal system is far more vast and actually works on the bigger plane.

        • Bri2k says:

          Thank you for this, Mr Maz. Your good work is appreciated and I hope you & yours have a happy Farce of July.

        • e.a.f. says:

          Yes, I understand the majority of work is done in the court system in cities/states all around the U.S.A., but how did a million African Americans wind up in jail. I’m not excusing our in balance of First Nations people in our jails either.

          The American bail/bond thing is weird. private prisons are weird. In my opinion if the President and those at the top can’t keep to the law, some is wrong. Just how the American Supreme Court has been ‘stacked’ is weird.

          I know Americans love their country and HAPPY 4 JULY!

    • harpie says:

      He’s actually blaming both sides
      for the absolute CATASTROPHE the GOP has
      DELIBERATELY and with MALICE AFORETHOUGHT
      wreaked upon US.

      • Rayne says:

        While I’m glad he recognizes the GOP’s death spiral, there’s no choice but to stay with the Democratic Party and ensure a critical mass under a set of ethics or values long enough to undo the damage done not only by Trump’s corruption but to voting rights and ensure the true majority of this country is represented. Almost everything else — health care, taxation, foreign policy — hangs on the right and ability of every American citizen to vote and be counted.

    • harpie says:

      Others agree with me, and expand thoughts:
      https://twitter.com/justinhendrix/status/1146747777378062337
      4:49 AM – 4 Jul 2019

      Justin Amash has left the Republican party. His missive on why doesn’t mention the word “Trump”, and sees fault mainly in our two party system. That seems blinkered to me- objectively the forces controlling the GOP are far, far more to blame for this mess.
      Where did Citizens United come from? Not from the left aisle of our politics.
      What about a refusal to allow a President to nominate a Supreme Court Justice, a betrayal of the Court’s legitimacy?
      What about a President elected with the help foreign adversary that favors the GOP?
      Which party rejects science? Evidence? Facts? The news media? Regulations? Institutions? The rule of law itself?
      Amash wants to “both sides” this thing- honestly, it’s just bullshit to do so.
      I’m glad I’m not the only one. [link]

      [links to]:
      https://twitter.com/justinjm1/status/1146746897031487493
      4:45 AM – 4 Jul 2019

      Amash is as partisan anyone if he cannot clearly call out the Republican Party, instead of pious both-sides claptrap

      Hendrix adds:
      https://twitter.com/justinhendrix/status/1146755852394795009
      5:21 AM – 4 Jul 2019
      [quote] Leaving the Republican party in 2019 is like leaving the Third Reich in 1944. You aren’t ever going to be able to make up for your misdeeds. [end quote]

      • Rayne says:

        That. Like the Nazi’s political opposition was equally to blame for the country’s devolution into humanitarian maelstrom. *smh*

      • harpie says:

        Kasich “both sides” it, too:

        Q: Is it a coma because of their allegiance to President Trump?

        A: There’s a tribal instinct, and a willingness to only absorb that that supports what you currently think. Anything that is dissonant information should be rejected.
        And I think it’s true for both political parties, to be honest with you. I think that we live in a siloed, tribal world right now.

      • P J Evans says:

        And which party has Kasich been supporting for the last decade? I’m not going to let him slide because it’s not going the way he thought it would.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Kasich is a wealthy, long-time Republican, and former investment banker. Says a lot about his priorities and the way he would go about putting them into practice.

    • Rayne says:

      This is the Muslim travel ban move all over again. He drafts an order and expects to duke it out until they reach the equivalent of Trump v. Hawaii, this time relying on Trump v. Hawaii.

      Only this time upfront it’s patently obvious any such executive order would be drafted in bad faith.

      • harpie says:

        In Bad Faith could be the slogan of this maladministration.

        [ps: Rayne, could you get my comment here out of moderation? Thanks!]

        • Rayne says:

          :-) Done – keep in mind embedded links must be cleared. If I have to step away and you have a comment with a link that gets stuck, you might try sharing comments with breaks in links if they don’t go through right away.

          • harpie says:

            Thanks…is every link an embedded link? If so, I’m so sorry for being such a prolific linker…OY! How would it be best for me to alter what or how I comment?

            • Rayne says:

              If you don’t see your comment go up immediately, use that four minute editing window to insert a blank space after “https” and before the “.com” or other top-level domain.

    • harpie says:

      1] https://twitter.com/justinhendrix/status/1146760435154264066
      5:39 AM – 4 Jul 2019

      This July 4th, there is a despot in the White House who rejects the will of the people, the Courts, any institution that might stand in the way of exercising his bigoted agenda.

      2] https://twitter.com/justinhendrix/status/1146757084769345536
      5:26 AM – 4 Jul 2019

      Slaying despots.

      Links to:
      3] [email protected]

      The first Fourth of July was marked by crowds murdering King George III in effigy—then ringing bells and lighting bonfires, in symbolic inversion of the King’s Birthday. So, um, yeah. It’s always been political:

      Links to The Atlantic:
      The Fourth of July Has Always Been Political
      The question is which vision of America it’s being used to advance.
      David Waldstreicher, 6:00 AM ET

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Hard to see how that works without a new, less obviously fraudulent rationale that Roberts asked for.

      Having gone out of his way to give Trump a do over, Roberts would be pissed if Trump threw it back in his face. The inevitable legal challenges would quickly end up back at the Supremes, who would be in a less forgiving mood.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Without a new rationale that passes the smell test – which will be hard to impossible to come up with now – I think Roberts would have a majority that would hold the citizenship question void. Trump has already turned a loss on that issue into a Greek tragedy. That’s dangerous.

        Trump is an ignorant bully. His position is built on a house of cards. For him, all threats are existential. He loves trial by combat, because he imagines that he wins all fights. He revels in destruction. He knows no restraint. Nor do his advisers like Miller and Mulvaney.

        I think inside Washington sees all this. It doesn’t know what to do about that doesn’t require taking a stand, an unusual posture for a politician. The Democratic establishment needs to wake up. So do Republicans, who created this mess.

        My fear is that like Brexit Britain and Trump, they want Kissinger levels of chaos from which they can profit and create a new order.

          • harpie says:

            added to your addition:
            [quote] My fear is that like Brexit Britain and Trump, they want Kissinger levels of chaos from which they can profit and create a new order. [end quote]

            Yes…my fear, too.

  17. dimmsdale says:

    Well, there is THIS: a tweet from Justin Yandell (@ShotgunZen) from June 3, purporting to show a clip from an Axios sit-down with the talking anus in which the interview appears to be abruptly truncated by advisors when said TA lapses into somewhat teary self-justification and apparently begins to lose composure.

    Not inserting a link (due to my own ineptitude) but take a look at Yandell’s twit feed; the tweet & clip are new to me, though over a month old. I don’t know what to make of it other than that it’d be consistent with our TA losing his sh*t on an occasional basis; a good reason for the VP to scoot back to DC.

    As to the “you’ll know in a couple of weeks” quote, I’m betting it refers to the impending dropping of ordnance on Iran, which the collection of fools in the White House are furiously attempting to lay justification for. (Note, I don’t know anything more than anyone else on that score.)

    • Rayne says:

      “impending dropping of ordnance in Iran” is quite a SWAG since “impending” has now been months. Makes no sense that Air Force 2 would have been turned around for this “emergency.”

    • Quake says:

      I saw the video but I assumed it was a fake. If it’s real I’d like a link to the source on axios. Thanks!

      • dimmsdale says:

        Hmm, I may have perpetrated a nothing burger with my post on the Justin Yandell tweet. I can’t give you an exact link to the Axios video, but apparently Axios has its own Showtime channel now, and that’s where the interview can be found. It ran in November 2018 (AFAICT). If it has relevance now, it’s only because of other episodes that look like sundowning on the part of the anus in chief. Sufficient to explain the rerouting of AF2? I have no idea.

    • Rayne says:

      It’s not. No contortions required. Ginni Thomas may be entitled to her free speech rights but we are entitled to a Justice who does not come with the appearance of conflicts of interest.

      • Jenny says:

        Thanks Rayne.
        Let us not forget Ginni Thomas called Anita Hill requesting she apologize to Clarence for her testimony accusing him of sexual harassment in 1991.
        Oct 9, 2010
        “Good morning, Anita Hill. Its Ginni Thomas. I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray on this, and hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day.”

        Anita Hill turned it over to the campus police and they referred it to the FBI. Ha. I would like to see that FBI report.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          This seems to be how the mindset works:

          “How Trump and other abusive men get away with it: Many Americans will overlook sexual assault”
          ……..
          “This also helps explain the great mystery of why no amount of evidence against Trump or any other beloved Republican will pry the base away from endorsing their denials: It was never really about evidence at all. It’s about status and gender, and a belief that certain kind of men are entitled to do what they want and the rest of us are expected to go along with it, even at great personal cost.”

          https://www.salon.com/2019/07/03/how-trump-and-other-abusive-men-get-away-with-it-many-americans-will-overlook-sexual-assault/

          • Jenny says:

            Thanks for sharing.

            A documentary shown on PBS about how cavalier sexual assault is by high school football players is very disturbing; however insightful documentary from POV entitled:
            Roll Red Roll. https://www.pbs.org/video/roll-red-roll-2wj4nb/

            “At a pre-season party in small-town Steubenville, Ohio, the now-infamous sexual assault of a teenage girl by members of the beloved high school football team took place. Roll Red Roll is a true-crime thriller that goes behind the headlines to uncover the deep seated and social media-fueled “boys-will be-boys” culture at the root of high school sexual assault in America.”

            As a survivor, stories and documentaries like this are at times a trigger; however exposing and unearthing sexual assault reveals the truth.

  18. harpie says:

    The New Yorker’s Osita Nwanevu, is at Tanks on the Mall:
    https://twitter.com/OsitaNwanevu/status/1146817348818657280
    9:25 AM – 4 Jul 2019

    Posted up along the Reflecting Pool for Trump’s event. It’s 90° and this thing doesn’t start until the evening. But some folks are already here. [photos of lots of chain link fencing with OUR national monuments in the background][…]
    A National Park Service volunteer just told me that the tanks & military equipment are all in the closed off perimeter for the president’s VIPs and that the general public on the Mall will not be able to see them. […]

  19. Hops says:

    Is my imagination overactive, or does it look like Trump rewarded Alex Acosta with a cabinet position because he gave Jeffery Epstein a sweetheart plea deal to avoid a trial that would reveal Trump’s own involvement?

    • Rayne says:

      It doesn’t look good but Acosta was U.S. Attorney for SDFL from June 2005 to June 2009, beginning after former US Attorney Alberto Gonzales’ chief of staff Kyle Sampson had done a “loyalty” analysis on all of the U.S. Attorneys. I can’t find anything to suggest why Acosta’s predecessor Marcos Jimenez left as USA-SDFL before serving a three-year term; a story related to the changeover has been deleted from Miami Herald (looks like link rot due to aging). Acosta’s focus on becoming USA-SDFL was going to be adult pornography of all things, suggesting he was going to be lightweight from the get-go.

      Should not forget Acosta also conveniently aided Bush admin’s politicized hiring process, which looked bad enough when Acosta was nominated.

      Jeff Sloman wrote an op-ed in defense of Epstein’s prosecution which he worked on as Acosta’s second-in-command. It comes off as blame-the-victims butt covering to me because no clear, reasonable explanation emerges for violation victims’ rights under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

      Nothing about Acosta looks quite right. He shouldn’t be Labor Secretary with so much ugly baggage but this is typical of Trump’s appointees.

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