In Order to Form a More Perfect Union
Last year when I wrote a post for the Fourth of July holiday I shared the full text of the Declaration of Independence.
Since that post our country slid increasingly backwards toward an autocratic monarchy, losing sight of the reasons why this nation’s founders threw off a long train of abuses and usurpations, dissolving the American colonies’ relationship with Britain.
Today in our streets fought for and paved by the American people, a belligerent, petty and abusive tyrant who obtained and holds his office by questionable means will have the military parade he has envied other autocrats.
Across town his minions in the so-called Department of Justice will continue to chip away at the Constitution in search of some means to deny to persons within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws in the execution of the 2020 U.S. Census.
And persons of color who’ve fled to the U.S. seeking asylum from violence will continue to suffer inhumane treatment at the hands of federal employees who swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution including the same equal protection spelled out in the Fourteenth Amendment.
(Do take note there have been no raids by ICE ejecting white birth tourists like the Russians in Florida. No Congressional caucuses will find these birth parents in American concentration camps.)
Noting the grim slide we should recall this holiday has always been aspirational. It may mark the day when the republic’s birth began but this nation has always been in a state of becoming.
We have yet to form a perfect union; we can only work toward perfecting it.
To this end it’s worth revisiting this year a historic address by Frederick Douglass delivered on July 5, 1852 — nine years before the Civil War began, when the country was 76 years old. He did not stint when reminding his audience the holiday observed meant little to slaves:
… What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.
Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the old world, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival. …
Our shouts of patriotic fervor ring hollow today when one thinks of the undenounced tyrant occupying our White House making a mockery of this nation of laws through his numerous frauds and manifold obstructions while willfully, shamelessly persecuting helpless children and their families, and ignoring the thousands of American deaths he has caused through his bad faith execution of office. Revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, indeed.
As grim as things are today, it cannot be more so than it was for Douglass who could not know as he spoke that it would be another thirteen years before slaves would be emancipated, or that it would be another 113 years before the Voting Rights Act would pass Congress, to secure the right to vote for persons of color.
Or that we would still be fighting voter suppression of minority voters 167 years later even this week as the Supreme Court failed to protect minority voters’ rights and the same petty tyrant rejects his oath to protect and defend the Constitution including its Census of all persons.
Somehow Douglass, an escaped slave himself, remained optimistic:
… Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation, which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery. “The arm of the Lord is not shortened,” and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. …
What lies ahead is not as dark and unknown as that which lay before Douglass in July 1852. We have seen better if not perfect. It can be had again and improved upon with a re-dedication to the principles the founders laid out in the Declaration of Independence and in the Constitution.
We must recall our nation’s identity began with a shared belief that we are all created equal, that we are endowed with certain unalienable Rights including Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Seeking to establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, we instituted a government to secure our inalienable rights and these common interests.
We can and will check this government of and by the people when it fails us just as we checked a monarch in 1776, just as we’ve checked executives and other elected office holders who have failed their oaths. We have continually refreshed our representatives and justices to the same end.
As we have for 243 years we still have work to do. Ted Kennedy spoke of the ongoing nature of this nation’s mission when he said, “For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”
Recommitting to the American dream, I leave off with hope that we can and will continue to pursue a more perfect union.
Wishing you and yours a safe Fourth of July. Consider this an open thread.
The problem we face is that the group that is in power has no intention of playing by the rules to get what it wants. Witness the failure of Trump to abide by the Supreme Court’s census ruling.
Witness Mitch McConnell’s refusal to bring up Merrick Garland’s nomination for a vote while indicating that he will bring up Trump’s nominee for a vote next year should there be a vacancy on the Supreme Court in 2020.
Witness the actions (and inactions) of Clarence Thomas, such as his dissent in the census case, where he attacks the District Court Judge’s integrity, and such as his prior failure to file proper financial disclosure forms until his failure became front page news.
How do you prevail against such a group without destroying the very thing that you are fighting to preserve? That is the challenge we face today.
What are we preserving? What’s there to destroy when what’s been constructed is illegitimate, unlawful, and deliberately toxic to those not in power? There’s a reason the founders didn’t recreate the British monarchy or allow King George to continue to act as sovereign but on a limited basis. They excised what didn’t work and started over.
I’m not advocating an overthrow; this is not sedition. But when the very Constitution is not recognized in the establishment of representation it’s time for the people to resist until representation meets the Constitution.
Gerrymandering in particular is a structure which has ill served the people; it’s up to the people to change the method of apportionment. Michigan did so at state level by a grassroots-driven ballot initiative, passing an amendment to its state constitution requiring creation of an independent redistricting commission composed of four Democrats, four Republicans and five independent voters. It’s a vast improvement over the previous method by which the political majority in the state House and Senate performed redistricting. Not every state can do this — but this is the work to be done, fix each state’s laws so that redistricting is performed by a representative group of its citizens rather than a single political party.
No destruction involved save for that which itself is destructive.
A lesson Democrats need to take to heart: All things in moderation, including moderation.
I think Rep. Justin Amash intends to prevail against whatever it is in the GOP that’s trying to destroy this country’s civic integrity. Amash isn’t going to allow the GOP to keep asserting Trump is innocent of wrongdoing. It’s going to be interesting watching what a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus does now that he understands the lengths to which his former fellow Republicans will go to wield power.
Your naivete is almost charming.
The fact his parents made the choice to emigrate from Palestine when they did indicates significant things about them. The fact Amash was the first Republican to denounce Trump and call for impeachment and he has now left the GOP says significant things about Justin Amash.
You do not have the slightest clue about Amash’s parents or their reasoning. You are just blowing shit out of your ass once again. This kind of nonsense is why you are in auto mod, and will continue to be.
Yeah, right. Justin Amash is the last fucking honest man on earth. Spare me.
Your explanation for his behaviour is what?
Your explanation for his historical record is what? Who could have guessed you would trot in to lionize a founder of the Freedom Caucus?
What took him so long? He’s been fine with it until now, and he helped make it this bad.
Yes, it was unforgivable Amash helped the House Freedom Caucus cause the bottlenecks that it did. But based on what he wrote, it seems to me he’s recognizing some of the responsibility for that lies w/his HFC. All I’m saying is I’ll be interested in seeing how he operates from here on out. I’ll also be fascinated to see how or if he continues to work for Trump’s impeachment which he certainly should do if he’s serious about restoration of some sort of normalcy to our three co-equal branches of government.
One could look at the example of the late Rep. Walter Jones as another rare example of a Repub who wakes up to the wrongful nature of U.S. foreign policy. The man was openly against our wars after his self-realization and guilt over the death of U.S. service men and women.
Well said, Rayne!
…feeling absolutely revolutionary today…
Yes, double that!
Beautiful post, Rayne, especially on this version of this day.
Thank you and Happy Fourth.
The wiki entry for Ted Kennedy’s speech is quite good. He would know about hopes and dreams, and recovering from their loss. Here is a site for the full text (and audio) of his famous speech, regarded as his and one of American rhetoric’s best. He delivered it in NYC at the DNC, 12 August 1980. The location and event are relevant, but the speech is timeless. Thanks, again.
When one reads Kennedy’s speech it becomes more obvious with a very few time-specific references that the Democratic Party has and continues to fight for the same values it has espoused for the last 50 years. Makes Justin Amash’s blame of toxic partisanship look bad when Democrats are simply fighting collectively for economic justice in a fair and lasting prosperity for all.
Ted Kennedy was scathing about the lies and priorities of Reagan’s Republicans. Forty years later, they remain the lies of Trump’s Republicans. He rightly turned this one on its head: “The demand of our people in 1980 is not for smaller government or bigger government but for better government.”
Four decades later, it hurts to see how much remains undone. The Equal Rights Amendment Kennedy was buoyant about has not passed. It has been discarded. So has been much of the policy to end racial discrimination. Instead, Republicans invent new forms of it.
GOP tax cut fever is still with us, as is the need for the national health insurance that Kennedy advocated: “I say again, as I have before, if health insurance is good enough for the President, the Vice President, the Congress of the United States, then it’s good enough for you and every family in America.”
The jobs he talked about saving are gone, but not the people who wanted and filled them: Detroit autoworkers, Youngstown steel workers, New England tech companies, farm and marine laborers, office workers and middle managers. But like the Princess phone and the candlestick telephone before it, the changes are superficial. The needs of the people who live and want to live in America are not.
In response to Republican claims that – all evidence to the contrary – they were the party of the common man and woman, Kennedy quoted FDR:
The rhythm and power of Teddy’s closing sentence is memorable. So is his optimism. As is this demand, borrowed from Martin Luther King Jr, that he made of all of us: “We cannot have a fair prosperity in isolation from a fair society.”
“The Equal Rights Amendment Kennedy was buoyant about has not passed. It has been discarded.”
No, it hasn’t. It merely requires adequate political will to realize its ratification. Timelines are arbitrary when instituted by men to limit inalienable rights all persons including women possess.
The ERA is part of the work we must continue.
“The ERA is part of the work we must continue.”
I’m with her!
Thank you for a fantastic, inspirational post on Independence Day, Rayne. You always hit it out of the park!
Happy Fourth to all the patriots here who fight for our Union to be what it can become at its best, and for continuing to press for more freedom and equity!
I will be boycotting all Trumps Fourth activities as he, who attacked a gold star family, tries to steal the valor that Cpt Bone Spurs never earned.
Amazing writing Rayne. I even read it aloud to the spousal unit.
Ha! I did, too. Hubby likes Rayne’s posts.
Beginning to think I need to podcast my posts so folks can enjoy them replete with my swearing in my upper Midwesterner accent. LOL
Keeping things in the family, this excerpt from Teddy’s brother John’s inaugural address in 1961 seems appropriate on Independence Day:
Coming down from that rhetorical height, we have Donald Trump, who is more prone to say, “Nice presidency you got there, shame if anything happened to it.”
Thanks Rayne for the open thread. Happy Fourth.
July 4th Fireworks Donor Lobbied President Trump on Tariffs and Won a Reprieve
If true could be a bribe. No rest with a for profit pageant president with bone spurs.
It may be just me, but I somehow doubt T. really has bone spurs. I suspect they are as fictional as his billions of dollars.
I’d love to see an x-ray…
Today would have been my father’s 129th birthday. Growing up I thought the fireworks were for him. So the day has always been special. But this 4th is the most difficult I recall. He began his legal career representing Suffragettes in Georgia in 1913, joining their march on Washington. The principles this country was founded on and he believed in are under rare attack. Thank you Rayne for your your aspirational message. I needed that.
“And persons of color who’ve fled to the U.S. seeking asylum from violence will continue to suffer inhumane treatment at the hands of federal employees who swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution including the same equal protection spelled out in the Fourteenth Amendment.
(Do take note there have been no raids by ICE ejecting white birth tourists like the Russians in Florida. No Congressional caucuses will find these birth parents in American concentration camps.)”
Today’s NY Times has a column by a clueless woman who emigrated here from the Soviet Union. In it, she extols our country and the pull quote is: “I wonder whether my liberal neighbors know how fortunate we are.”
Evidently she doesn’t follow what’s happening in this country very closely, whilst lecturing the liberal neighbors: “They never lost family members to government work camps.” How about whole freakin’ immigrant families in government concentration camps, lady?
We are informed at the end of the article that she’s “…working on a book about the suburban mom’s guide to the Tao.”
A nation of idiots.
My great-grandfather couldn’t immigrate to the U.S., stopped at Hawaii because of the Chinese Exclusion Act. I worry my father’s citizenship will be questioned because he was born in a territory — the same city where Obama was born. And we know how his citizenship was questioned.
Fuck that clueless Kanzer and her white privilege, probably munching away today on produce harvested by undocumented and invisible brown people paid next to nothing for back-breaking labor in our modern, virtual corporate-owned ‘work camps’. She clearly has no idea how fortunate she is.
Yes, I’m always struck by the stupidity of those people who hate immigrants. More than one state’s economy would collapse without the back-breaking labor they provide. They are also the biggest patriots I’ve met; real ones, not flag-waving native-born fools.
Kanzer is a white immigrant from the former Soviet Union. She thinks her white privileged experience is uniform to all Americans and all of us should be so very grateful.
Her op-ed comes off more like old school Soviet propaganda when women, persons of color, non-English speakers, LGBTQ and disabled persons of this country are unable to reasonably expected equal protection under the law.
I worry about my nephew, who’s from Africa and not even close to white. (He’s been in the US for at least 25 years, and he still has cops keeping an eye on him when he’s on the streets in the university city where he’s lived for at least 25 years.)
But does he know how fortunate he is, asks pasty-white Kanzer in her Russian-accented English.
Probably – he was a teenager when he was brought here. (He’s been studying to become a respiratory-therapy technician. Four-hour commute, because all the housing closer to the school is full of fire refugees. As for who contributes more to this country…it ain’t Kanzer.)
My reply to you was rhetorical.
Sorry – sometimes I can’t tell.
A wannabe Ayn Rand.
La Jolla, CA, does a good business in temporarily hosting wealthy Russian moms and new babies, too.
Anyone talking shit like Kanzer who lives in La Jolla is pointedly racist given La Jolla’s 30-mile distance from the Mexican border.
Culturally, it’s about the same distance between the two as it is from here to Mars.
That’s kind of the point, EoH, that white culture here whether immigrant or native is privileged; its racist, supremacist faction deliberately avoids the difficult truth of inequality even when it is right under their noses because it’s just not their problem and it might as well be on the moon or on the other side of a wall.
They don’t want to do the work.
Video in re that topic
I wonder how her neighbors feel about her running what’s essentially an illegal hotel. (If she were Chinese, they’d probably have busted her for that already.)
More on NY Times journalistic malpractice:
There’s a lot of layers of stupid to unpack there.
There’s the nutty, unconsciously ironic editorial judgment placing the article on women candidates in the middle of articles about rnen completely unfit to serve. There is the institutional failure of the Times Politics desk to run yet another thumbsucking double standard piece about women politicians.
And then there is the article itself, which is a classic Times framing of “oh no, we’re not saying they’re just a bunch of Clintons, we’re just saying that people are saying that…”
There are multiple ways to think about this issue, and many ways to point out how the thesis is wrong — how exactly does winning more votes translate into less popularity? But of course the Times goes for the most backward, hackneyed take, supports it with cherry picked anecdotal evidence, and then cluelessly places it amid articles that disprove its central theme. What a bunch of bozos.
nycsouthpaw notes a change in headline and abstract, from today about Tanks-on-the-Mall:
11:59 PM – 3 Jul 2019
That’s the kind of thing that should lead a good reporter to storm into an editor’s office and start a shouting match. No idea if that happened, though.
I also found the NYT article on women candidates to be weird. What are they saying? That the secret desire of every voter is to vote for a man? In the whole article, to my recollection, they never once mentioned the fact of Ms. Clinton beating the pants off the creature in the popular vote! She really won the election except for the slave-era Electoral College providing cover for a measly 80,000 vote margin provided courtesy of voter suppression and outright fraud.
I am not ancient but I am older, and this is the first July Fourth at which I feel a warning is in order, a warning that this democracy and this country can die, that history shows there are no guarantees. To explain, I turn to an expert:
“This is how elected autocrats subvert democracy—packing and “weaponizing” the courts and other neutral agencies, buying off the media and the private sector (or bullying them into silence), and rewriting the rules of politics to tilt the playing field against opponents. The tragic paradox of the electoral route to authoritarianism is that democracy’s assassins use the very institutions of democracy—gradually, subtly, and even legally—to kill it.”
― Steven Levitsky, How Democracies Die
Rayne, thank you for providing an open thread where I can express my concerns with others of similar mind who understand that the concern I have is genuine and ongoing.
Astute points, OTD. Remember how Trump claimed his speech wasn’t going to be partisan or political? Well, it kind of failed on that score on lots of fronts during the live event. But it failed on that score even more so within an hour or two after it ended when it was clear Trump’s staff had sliced, diced and dubbed to produce slick campaign advertisements w/lots of ultra-patriotic music for Trump’s Twitter feed.
Just as an aside, Trump is still trying to flout the wishes of the majority by not producing his tax returns for the 2020 election. I hope I’m wrong about the following…(But I was researching the whole Pence trip emergency recall because it was so bothersome and I knew my previous guess was dead wrong.) The emergency situation over which Pence was recalled from his trip seems to be about fending off a legislative measure in N.H. that would prevent Trump from being on the ballot if he doesn’t produce 5 years of tax returns in order to qualify:
The symmetrical display of armor and military paraphernalia in front of Lincoln’s Memorial could not be more at odds with his and US aspirations. To suggest it is not a partisan political display is absurd. It is also perfect erotica for Donald Trump. Pity about the rest of the country.
anyone find it interesting that the live webcams of the national mall are all blacked out ?
The Sicherheitsdienst might have a hand in it. Trump is not increasing in popularity, and the MAGA crowd is likely to be on hand to preen and to discourage demonstrations against him.
I hope people ignore him and have a nice holiday with their family and friends somewhere else. There’s plenty to do in DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
DC national guard had to provide 800 personnel for the show.
and trump still hasn’t paid his bill for the inauguration.
That wasn’t for security as much as it was to increase the size of the crowd. :-)
Bigger multi-part question: are they blacked out to avoid capturing pro-Trump attendees, dead because they’ve been hacked by any number of entities, offline because they’ve never been completely functional after the inauguration, turned off to allow plausible deniability about crowd size when Trump starts whining about his huge-biggest-ever crowd?
Or they’re pay-per-view today payable to your-guess-is-better-than-mine.
The DC traffic cams are mostly working for that area. (One was out earlier.) It’s raining.
I saw this thread on twitter about the refugees and concentration camps frm Adam Klasfield and I really think that the idea he has for bringing to life the inhumane treatment our govt is inflicting in the name of deterrence:
“Last July 3rd and 4th, I tweeted out hundreds of pages of testimonials in a family separation litigation.
It was an Independence Day well-spent, and I had hoped—perhaps foolishly—that it wouldn’t have a ring of current events this holiday.
The Mueller report, filed with redactions and legal language, was quickly made into an audiobook.
These family-separation testimonials, largely told in emotional first-person, would be a compelling listen that take the human stories out of the cold record.”
Link includes sub link to the original thread With hundreds of accounts, which I personally can’t read all of because I will get sick, but I am bookmarking to keep them for reference to refute a denialist. Someone with the skills to make implement Adams plan though should really look at it though.
I am so afraid for our country with tanks on the National mall, a President openly pissing on the rule of law and a opposition party not willing to play hardball and protect the country and our constitutional freedoms. Without the Rule of Law the constitution is just a fancy notion. We are having a quiet in house Fourth, with music and some burgers. Anyone know any good streaming fireworks shows this year?
However I checked and saw the NWS has issued a flash flood advisory for Trumps speech.
From Ted Boutrous:
8:47 AM – 4 Jul 2019
It’s something of a shock to read the list of offenses and see how many of them apply here-and-now.
4:37 AM – 4 Jul 2019
…from the linked column:
Tr*mp = King George
Senate = House of Lords
House = House of Commons (which wasn’t all that representative: some areas of low population had lots, and some areas of high population had little)
RW preachers like Falwell: bishops in the official state church
Test reply from cellphone. Can’t login from PC?
Try clearing the cache on your PC. No idea what other problem might be causing the login fail though it could be sporadic/intermittent network problem.
Thanks Ill try clearing again. Weird tho, since i clear cache several times a day to begin with..
Odd. I seem to be temporarily locked out from my PC. Even trying to get new password.
Hope you’ve note the rash of problems with social media platforms and Cloudflare this week. Lots of quirky outages.
Ah there… The reply windows re-opened for me…
MattyG – Rayne is right, there is all kinds of weird stuff going on currently in the net. From my end here, I see no issue with our site. But different platforms may display different results, so I don’t know.
I read a genealogy newsgroup that’s on Google. I can’t report the latest spam post – it’s not going through. Otherwise, no problems in that way. (Getting rocked isn’t their problem. R6.4, east of Ridgecrest.)
Thank you, Rayne. beautiful post. I needed this today. Thank you.
This quote from the FailFirstDaughter is somewhat lacking in self-awareness:
Ivanka Trump. 2009. The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life.
Daddy’s Girl. The New Yorker calls that “cognitive dissonance.” The then 28-year old Ivanka was not instructing her reader how to negotiate with corporate raiders from Wall Street. She was telling her how to live “a purpose-driven life” at home, work, and play.
The New Yorker’s headline says it all: “Ivanka Trump’s Terrible Book Helps Explain the Trump-Family Ethos.” She has no awareness of deceit, only of what is useful. Here she is in another nutshell, from the New Yorker:
Mirror, mirror, on the wall–
Who’s the insecurest of them all?
Ironically or not, the security fence for His Highness’s mindblowing campaign event at the Memorial is so far away from the podium that pedestrians on the Mall and around the Reflecting Pool will see virtually none of it, even with binoculars. The expensively transported tanklets and all the other displays will be touchable only by the VIPs.
Only reporters and VIPs – which include the low-level staffers given tickets because donor and congressional whales were already booked for the holiday – will be allowed in by the extensive security detail.
Hope Trump’s 2020 campaign is billed and pays promptly the $90-100 million for this private shindig. His 2016 campaign still owes DC tens of millions for the inauguration. I’d say it’s time to send out the sheriff and seize some assets.
I wonder if they will lower the barricades later. I almost hope not!
FFS, I just was looking for link to tweet for the Q folks and saw this, fence IN the reflecting pool.
JFC (Jesus F…)
Plenty of Q folks out🙄, whole thread…
The built-for-television set is complete, then.
Will Sommer is at Tanks-on-the-Mall and is tweeting observations and photos, here:
Laughing my ass off.
I was just looking at the traffic cams along the Mall, and most of the foot traffic is in the east half, headed mall-ward and east. Can’t tell about the west end, there aren’t many cameras and those keep going on and off.
Josh Marshall is tweeting about it:
I was hitting submit on my comment, and saw you had put the same link🤭
*when you WANT that edit button to appear it’s like, nah*
It is such a GREAT thread though! I have MSNBC on but muted, but I’m glad they are just focusing on the earthquake.
ETA Lol, of course the edit button appeared this time ☺️
Oh I hope Twitler is RAGING behind the scenes and is just pouting and flat/boring when it’s time for his speech because someone got the elephant tranq gun out.
He was babbling about the Continental Army taking over the airports, and something about Ft McHenry (which was 40 years later).
I was just reading that and else in the ongoing Dale thread, thinking ~gosh, hope nobody’s getting their history from this speech. Yikes.
Don’t know what to call it but some weird ad-hoc ramblings suited to who and what he has there.
Long time reader, first time commenter. Awesome post today, made me feel a little better about things. Thank you for speaking your voice in the challenging days we are in. Here are more of Frederick Douglass’ words, this speech is from 30 years later, about choosing a President: https://hyperionnewhaven.com/2019/07/01/every-wheel-leaves-its-print-upon-the-soil-by-frederick-douglass/
Thank you and welcome to emptywheel. ;-)
EDIT: I am always amazed at how Douglass, who received only a cursory education for 1-2 years, taught himself so much and became such a gifted writer and orator. It feels like such a betrayal that the Republican Party he refers to in the speech you shared has moved 180 degrees away from being the party of black Americans’ liberation. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for your Douglass piece. His words give me shivers down my spine and remind me of other great Americans and the great problems they’ve helped resolve. They remind me that your country can deal with adversity and emerge stronger. They remind me how essential free speech is and how well America preserves it. You should celebrate these things and much more today. Happy Birthday America!
OMG, turned on CNN, MSNBC, CBC and none of them are airing the “trump shit show”. Mother Nature has taken revenge on trump, she gave California an earthquake and that is all the news is showing. Nothing on trump and his military “extravagancy”. Hope no one is injured. Talk about timing………..
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY,.
Fortunately the earthquake was in a low-population area. Though Ridgecrest and Trona both took damage, including fires. http://scedc.caltech.edu/recent/Maps/117-36.html
It was felt over a lot of the south half of the state, though. (I filed a did-you-feel-it as soon as I could. It was a real roller, of the kind that makes me want something like instant-acting dramamine: doesn’t have to last long, but it needs to work really really fast.)
I’m glad you’re OK. I thought of you when the news first flashed ‘So Cal’ earthquake.
Sitting by the computer, wondering how long it’s going to last. Listening to the little windchime in the next room ringing.
Photo of pavement damage in Ridgecrest here (it’s at SFGate). Looks like up to four or five inches of horizontal movement, at each of those two places. The story has a lot more pics, including damage in Trona, nearer the epicenter.
(this wasn’t here when I replied before lol)
Thanks for pix. I had seen some, but they have curated some good content there (esp. the variable reactions of the dogs and their people– some pre-alerting, some nestled through it).
I also saw a pic on twitter saying it was Simba the Eagle reacting to quake from Big Bear nest cam, but the account seemed sketchy and I couldn’t find a legit link so skipped it…
ETA: also, the disinfo accounts *love* natural disasters, so…another knock in the x-nay column. Gotta be careful with links after events like these.
SFGate doesn’t have a stories-per-month limit, and they don’t fuss about adblockers, though you don’t get content as quickly or in as much quantity. (The Chronicle site is their paid-subscription site, with all the hostile features.)
Thanks– I didn’t know the relationship.
Tal Kopan at the Chronicle has great reporting on the Barr DOJ immigration courts’ rules/policy changes that I’ve commented on here at least a couple times (one yesterday, on prev page).
I recall some Golden State Killer coverage there too.
But SFGate links come up much more often, on more topics.
‘Did you feel it?’ looks like it’s been rocking today/tonight…
When I last checked, they had 27K reports. But it must be wilder by now. (Mine was, at that time, the only one for my area.)
after my first comment, went down stairs to tell my sibling of the earth quake. was informed we’d had one here on off the coast of B.C. slept through another one!
Great Clumping Cat Litter! Why would the CBC ever broadcast Trump’s “Salute to Amerika”? They have so many episodes of “The Beachcombers” they could show!
Or they could replay old All in the Family episodes as it is difficult to distinguish between Archie Bunker and Individual-1.
actually I like catching American news on the C.B.C., when things hit the fan. They cover it well, with no extra talking heads, just the news/facts. Beach Combers, were we ever that young?
I agree that CBC coverage of American news–e.g., the half-hour 6:00 pm radio news–is often better and in more depth than, say, NPR.
Here’s the President on the Fourth of July:
1:46 PM – 4 Jul 2019
The laws – and the courts – have made it pretty clear that his decision isn’t legal, and what he wants won’t stand.
Shouldn’t his schools be taking away his diplomas, since he’s clearly ignorant of everything the average citizen is expected to understand?
As long as Trump’s enjoying the holiday by ruining it for everyone else, that’s the main thing. BTW, is Wilbur Betsy’s husband?
“Take care of it for me, Tom.”
“Already done, Don Corleone.”
This is what Bill Barr’s made for.
Oh EoH! Now you’ve made me want to put on “The Godfather”. But when I watch “The Godfather”, I always get this tremendous craving for pasta! And it’s waaaay too hot for pasta right now, though I’m pretty sure Rayne has some cold pasta salad recipes to recommend.
5:27 PM – 4 Jul 2019
Trump administration scrambles to save citizenship question on census
July 4 at 7:54 PM
OMG! …and this is one of the quotes in the article I thought was too ridiculous to quote:
6:02 PM – 4 Jul 2019
Steve Vladeck responds:
6:31 PM – 4 Jul 2019
Also in the WaPo article:
I know Josh Blackman. He is a very nice guy, and he is one of the biggest toadies in the Federalist Society. He will argue whatever right wing bullshit that Len Leo wants. And the thing is, SCOTUS should never take another swing at this without a proper record being made in a trial court. Blackman is not telling you that. This may come to pass, but we will see what happens, it is not so easy.
bmaz Retweeted Marty Lederman
6:22 PM – 4 Jul 2019
A tad aspirational, like much of what we celebrate on the Fourth. (See, Langston Hughes.) In the corporate legal world, where most of these players come from – Barr spent two decades as general counsel of a telecom – that’s exactly their job. Those who don’t socialize well into that behavior are promptly socialized out.
It’s not supposed to be the same in the public sector. Lawyers have responsibilities to agencies and the government in general. But they are abstract. People respond, for good or ill, to people. The behavior might be wrong or illegal, but it is famously hard to punish.
That’s where leadership comes in: to put ethics into practice. Barr has none. He serves his vision of power. Neither does Ross or his deputy – the one leading the low-level American contingent to the women’s World Cup Final. If they had, they would resign or would never have joined the administration.
It serves as a reminder to the next president. Her top priority must be her people. They will be her policy and her legacy.
11:04 AM – 5 Jul 2019
11:09 AM – 5 Jul 2019
This is how Trump’s responded to any attempts to rein in his unlawful behavior as a business person throughout his entire life. And because punishment he’s faced until now never required something painful of him personally, he’s taken every conflict as a message to rejigger his approach until his opponent gives up or his efforts pay off. But now it’s not his real estate deal using someone else’s money as if he’s playing Monopoly — it’s our democracy he’s trashing.
I just want to bitchslap Mark Burnett and Jeff Zucker into next year for creating the image of a savvy business person under which this snake hid from the GOP’s ignorant, credulous base.
Yes, Burnett and Zucker have a lot to answer for.
11:22 AM – 5 Jul 2019
I don’t think Judge Hazel is going to buy this one, especially when they’re so very obvious about why they’re asking for it.
Steve is right. But I come back to what I said earlier, it is not just the lying, but the time window. They will have to not only come up with another bogus reason, but get the courts, including the trial courts where the record would be made, to expedite greatly. Which they may not really be willing to do at this point. And the injunctions stay in place during the time.
And, now there will be discovery about the “origins” of the citizenship question question…ie: Hofeller docs.
Yes, indeed there will.
Judge George Hazel’s order: ‘Discovery shall commence’
12:39 PM – 5 Jul 2019
Also, Judge Hazel:
Adam Klasfeld has a good little summary here:
1:43 PM – 5 Jul 2019
In the New York case:
5:41 PM – 5 Jul 2019
MOTION TO AMEND
PLAINTIFFS’ MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF THEIR MOTION TO AMEND JUDGMENT ON REMAND PURSUANT TO RULE 59(E), OR FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF PURSUANT TO THE ALL WRITS ACT
Case 1:18-cv-02921-JMF Document 616 Filed 07/05/19
Here is Marty Lederman responding to Litman’s tweet:
4:31 AM – 6 Jul 2019
From the ACLU Motion to Amend, linked above:
Here is Ben Eidelson responding to Litman, talking about “presumption of regularity“:
7:28 AM – 6 Jul 2019
This DoJ doesn’t deserve to be presumed regular.
And since the President seems to have captured the DoJ, here are Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes in March 2017 writing about the presumption of regularity with regard to the President:
What Happens When We Don’t Believe the President’s Oath?
March 3, 2017
That was an interesting read. (I wonder what they’d write now.)
This is what Jurecic said earlier today, and how I became aware of the article:
8:11 AM – 6 Jul 2019
I wonder if they’ll update on the topic.
I dunno, but they were never on to anything new. The “presumption of regularity” has been around forever in litigation against actions of an executive branch, and not just federal branch now. Goes all the way back to English common law.
Just wondering if their thinking has changed/evolved on that topic with regard to Trump and this executive branch.
Unquestionably both are even more sure now then then.
…that seems a reasonable presumption…:-)
I’d forgotten these lines from Langston Hughes, but they remain as poignant as ever (h/t ACLU of Virginia, via nyc southpaw):
Taken from the rest of his poem, “Let America Be America Again,” they have the ring of Browning’s, “[A] man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” Optimistic, slightly melancholy. But it is more. Hughes shines a harsh light on the gulf between America’s lyrical aspirations and the lived lives of the people who made it.
That gulf was never more stark than when Hughes wrote during the Great Depression. Everyman and Everywoman had made America — the poor, the immigrant, the Native American, the African American – slave or not – the farmer, the artisan, the industrial worker. Yet, it was not theirs, and never had been. It belonged to “those who live like leeches on the people’s lives.”
If a writer living in 1930s Harlem could be optimistic, so can we. America could be what it’s never been – the America we dream about – if we fight for it.
Langston Hughes, “Let America Be America Again.” [https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/147907/let-america-be-america-again]
Robert Browning, “Andrea del Sarto.”
Is this for real?… they don’t even hide it. Southpaw’s comment “Not great” is a tiny understatement.
Reminds me of an opening scene in Dashiell Hammett’s 1929 novel “Red Harvest” when the Continental Op arrives in Personville: “The first policeman I saw needed a shave. The second had a couple of buttons off his shabby uniform. The third stood in the middle of the city’s main intersection–Broadway and Union Street–directing traffic, with a cigar in one corner of his mouth. After that I stopped checking them up.”
6:49 PM – 4 Jul 2019
This Tweet shows a screenshot, with a drawing or photo-shop of Trump morphing into Abraham Lincoln.
The tweet credits the drawing [?] to Dinesh D’Souza.
I think the text of the tweet is even creepier than the pic.
These people don’t really walk among us?
Troll farm right?
morphing into Lincoln you say, well that’s good news, Lincoln is dead, oh, trump isn’t. O.K. ………
LINCOLN; October 16, 1854 Speech at Peoria:
I just wanted to say on July 4th what a tremendous service you, and Marcy, bmaz, and Ed do on this site. Mahalo to you all!
Outstanding thread on Charles Schultz; the 1970 letter at top, as well as other content in the thread, speaks to the current era:
Luke Epplin: “Surprisingly, given how directly he dealt with other holidays, Charles Schulz did few Fourth of July strips, and no TV specials. Perhaps his own sense of patriotism was the cause. Here’s a telling letter he sent in 1970. (letter)”
“Schulz, of course, did complete an 8-part miniseries called “This Is America, Charlie Brown,” which addressed such topics as the Constitution, the transcontinental railroad, and the music of this country. I guess that’s kind of a stand-in for a 4th of July special.”
There’s lots of other good stuff in the thread — some of which I’d like to elaborate on later– but here’s the text of the November 1970 letter, from an article about it this past March:
Charles Schulz’s Letter About Democracy, Discovered 50 Years Later
Watched the Macey’s 4th of July show on T.V. It was everything a 4th of July show ought to be! Certainly made me feel good. Loved the music they used, went all the way back to Casablanca. All the really great music themes from the great American movies.
Thank you for this post Rayne. I read it yesterday and it carried the day. Spent part of my Fourth of July rereading the history of the holiday and the history of 6 prominent foreign born heroes who assisted in the building of our nation.
These guys were amazing, weren’t they? They bet their lives on the nascent promise of democracy. Blows me away Pulaski didn’t speak any English, and that Lafayette was a member of the Frencn peerage but still threw in with Americans because freedom.
‘Illegal aliens’, all, and bless them.
L.A. has a “General Thaddeus Kosciusko Way” downtown – it’s only two blocks long, but it exists. (Between Olive and Hope, north of Third.)
We have a Brothers of Kosciusko Polish Americans Club and a Pulaski Hall, also Polish Falcon Club here. Not so much landmarks as places and opportunities to drink beer. LOL
Lot of Poles in that area – Wisconsin as well as Michigan. A surprising number in places like Montana, also.
Kosciusko’s war land grant make up a large portion of my hometown.
I was busy yesterday so I didn’t get to catch up on my tradition of listening to the Capitol Steps annual July 4th show Politics Takes a Holiday:
You know we’re in the darkest timeline when the comedians sound more lucid than the actual people they’re lampooning.
Clever, funny and entertaining. Thank you I needed laughter today.
My favorite was at 38:56 Sarah Huckabee Sanders. HaHaHa!
I enjoyed that bit immensely too and the audience reaction was priceless.
Glenn Greenwald is being investigated by Bolsonaro’s government.
Greenwald is obviously a jerk with a bunch of bad opinions, but that’s not criminal, and he’s been doing important work in Brazil, where Bolsonaro is a nightmare. GG is a pain in the neck, but he needs to be free and keep being a pain in the neck.
If the powers that be like a reporter, she is not doing her job.
Trump’s slick new TANKS-ON-THE-MALL campaign ad is out:
9:42 AM – 5 Jul 2019
This is when DC and the Park Service should bill the RNC for the costs of the campaign rally. And then sue.
FOIA the hell out of this to get the cost and make another ad like it with the his crazy quotes and scroll the costs.
Just a reaction to a picture I saw from DC yesterday. The tank was on a flatbed! No street damage necessary! I was cracking up at this lameness – you can’t make it up. He can’t even get his Soviet rally right.
There were a couple of APCs bought in on flatbeds earlier – they were parked either side of the VVIP area, in front of Himself’s podium. I think they used a special carrier (military) for the actual tanks, which are much larger and heavier.
I just noticed this, it’s the filing for the Census question from the DOJ, for the benefit of our crack legal team:
Rick Hasen covers its importance in his blog post:
Bottom line, it appears that the latest game before going to executive orders is to try to convince the judge to ignore all previous evidence since the prior reason is no longer operative. I’ll bet every defendant / respondent would like that get-out-of-trouble-free card.
Will the trial judge fall for it? Doubtful, given how the court moved up the deadline which I cannot imagine is a sign of happiness with DOJ antics. If this is the idea, I’m not so sure the appellate or SCOTUS forums will be any more accommodating because it’s hard to carve out a plausible exception for GOP types that stays within the “equal protection” boundaries of the 14th Amendment, but that’s a better question for the lawyers here.
Trial Judge: Nope. https://electionlawblog.org/?p=106093
Naw, that ain’t happening. The record is still the record, and it is gonna stay that way. That kind of request is so lame, it is laughable.
Has anyone done a list/chart of where all the Trump-appointed judges have been installed? I’m fearful that our time for relying on the good sense of the judiciary is limited, as important cases start appearing before the loons.
Thanks for this. It is hard to see how the administration – which would have trotted out its best arguments before the Supremes and lost – could get away with an Emily Litella, “Never mind,” and then trot out some newfangled contraption and say, “We found it when we were cleaning the Temple. Bless it, oh, Lord, and save our Census!”
Emily Litella…. I did not remember that was the character’s name. Thank you for reminding me of that.
One of the best was the Endangered Species rant.
Time to trot out that classic children’s song and dance:
DT Loses His Census
Here we go loop de loop
Here we go loop de lie
Here we go loop de loop
All on this Friday night
He puts his right hand in
And then he takes it out
He gives it a shake, shake, shake
And turns himself about
Border Patrol agents allegedly tried to shame a migrant by making him hold a sign reading ‘I like men,’ emails show
https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/04/us/honduran-migrant-shamed-border-patrol/index.html Updated 4:58 PM ET, Thu July 4, 2019
Marcy just retweeted:
https://twitter.com/ParkerMolloy/status/1147228914810589184 12:41 PM – 5 Jul 2019
That was my first thought as well, remembering the 2004 TAGUBA REPORT
12:47 PM – 5 Jul 2019
Proud Boys Rally Rocked by Sex, Cocaine Allegations
Top speakers are fleeing and one-time allies are feuding as the gathering of MAGA faithful teeters.
Will Sommer Published 07.05.19 5:16PM ET
For live coverage of this event, JJ McNab recommends https://twitter.com/FordFischer
He started about two hours ago, here:
6:03 AM – 6 Jul 2019
6:37 PM – 5 Jul 2019
I’ve been thinking about these two points, too.
…speaking of the Solicitor General, wrt how it has “argued” the CENSUS citizenship question case:
4:31 AM – 6 Jul 2019
8:46 AM – 5 Jul 2019
As I am sure Marty and Sam would agree, when even Bill Barr thinks it over and a bad idea to press on, it is a REALLY bad idea.
If Francisco pressed on despite his boss Bill Barr’s [supposed] conclusion that it would be a bad idea, then who’s orders IS Francisco actually following?
Doubt that is a problem, Barr, I would think, has already turned to accommodate Trump.
Barr knows it’s a bad idea, but allows it to go forward anyway…sounds about right.
These people are systematically demolishing every.single.thing. they touch.
Seems like that must be the plan.
PJ phone home when you can, hope all is OK–
ETA: there was just a 6.9 or 7.1 earthquake, don’t have a great link- lots on twitter
R6.9, 11 miles NNW of Ridgecrest – that’s the other direction from the one yesterday morning. Definitely stronger, too. Knocked over some small-but-not-fragile items, made the shower doors(!) swing. There’s a nice video from the Dodger game – they barely slowed down, though there’s noticeable camera motion:
(The Did-You-Feel-It stuff is having a hard time getting itself running. I had to use the “Unidentified Event” form and fill in date and time (I copied the official one).)
USGS is saying that yesterday morning was a foreshock. (The problem is, you can only tell after the main shock happens.)
Whew. Still more drama than one needs, lol. (When I first saw it online, there was an erroneous San Andreas hashtag going along with other LA-related ones, so had to click around to verify, nope, it’s not the big one. Of course that is no comfort to those who have been tragically-impacted by these quakes.)
We just have relatively infrequent littles around here/old mountains where I’ve lived.
ETA: Here, more concerned of late about increasingly frequent tornadoes/ warnings (along with the flooding rains)…among a non-tornado-savvy populace.
I think there was a hefty aftershock about 10 minutes ago, but it’s not showing up yet. (I’m at the stage of gritted-teeth-“Thank-you-Lord”. I still have vivid memories of Whittier Narrows, back in 1987, where there was a big aftershock a nearly week later, and a noticeable one six months later.)
Oh, you’re still “in” it (something one cannot really discern from national news coverage).
*Passing you a virtual bottle of bourbon* and hope you stay safe.
I forgot this one– the 5.8-er in Virginia that was felt up into Michigan and southern Ontario/ Quebec/ Maritimes:
2011 Virginia earthquake
It helped with revising risk maps. Here’s re the US overall so ~all (moins international friends) can play along:
Earthquake Maps Reveal Higher Risks for Much of U.S.
USGS Open-File Report 2014–1091: Documentation for the 2014 Update of the United States National Seismic Hazard Maps
Whenever I see the gov dept responsible at page bottoms, I shudder recalling various Trump picks. *Zinke* was in charge of earthquakes !?! (well, the Interior)…
Trump and Melania are at his Bedminster, NJ golf club this weekend.
NJ newspaper reports:
Trump on reports of unauthorized immigrants working at his N.J. golf club. ‘Every club’ did this.
Updated Jul 5, 10:20 PM; Posted Jul 5, 6:55 PM
Tom Malinowski who represents Bedminster in Congress, linked to that article and tweeted:
6:39 PM – 5 Jul 2019
By design, Trump and advisers like Stephen Miller purposely confuse what might be useful for the government to know with what is legal and useful for it to ask about on the Census form. He also obfuscates that the Census is constitutionally and explicitly within the control of Congress.
In the Census context, for example, asking about citizenship is directly at odds with getting the information the Census is constitutionally required to obtain: an actual – not statistical estimate – of people in the United States.
As Trump has admitted, like the doofus he is, his purpose in asking about citizenship is to inflame his base and to depress the vote of everyone not a part of it. No matter how contrived his new rationales, he can no longer hide that.
In a related note, remember there have been previous attempts to turn the census into a statistical sampling project instead of the Constitutionally and statutorily enumerative actual count specified. That attempt lost at the Supreme Court in 1998 in Department of Commerce v. House of Representatives.
I was thinking about that when Trump kept repeating “how expensive” the census is. His homely argument was that “for that much money” he should be able to ask WTF he wants. He’s good at collapsing logic and the law, and destroying both, while ignoring his own obsession with secrecy.
Trump lumps census costs into a single year rather than considering them over the ten-year life of each census. (He is good at manipulating accounting impressions – not the real thing – to promote his issue of the day.)
They do do the 5 year ACS, but that is pretty limited, and cheap, compared to the decennial official census. So, yep, great point…..the “cost” of the census is truly a ten year spread.
Also, too, man who just spent $80 to $100 million on a personal vanity project for July 4, should not be whining about the price of Constitutionally mandated governance.
The guy who whined about Obama playing golf six or eight times per *year* shouldn’t be playing golf – on his own courses – nearly every weekend, and charging everything to taxpayers at inflated prices.
Joe Biden is making a hilarious demand for a would be presidential contender. He wants to cherry-pick his 40-year record, but keep the orchard off-limits to his critics. Hard to come up with a better example of arrogance and entitlement.
Frankly, Joe, you’re pouring chum on the water off Cape Cod as you leap from the swim platform. The result is not likely to be pretty.
9:29 AM – 6 Jul 2019
Elizabeth Warren’s first law review article blasted an anti-busing court ruling
And as bmaz Retweeted
9:55 AM – 6 Jul 2019
From the article:
They provide a link to a copy of the 1975 Rutgers Law Review article:
Nancy Pelosi is, at this point, nothing but a cowardly and geriatric embarrassment to her office, her oath of office, the Constitution, and the well being of the country.
Yashar Ali: “Breaking: Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested for allegedly sex trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005, and will appear in court in New York on Monday. A big score for SDNY. (links to daily beast)”
Jeffrey Epstein Arrested For Sex Trafficking of Minors: Sources
Links for Julie Brown and Miami Herald on this (THANK YOU for tireless journalism):
julie k. brown: “BREAKING NEWS from Miami Herald: Jeffrey Epstein was arrested by the FBI in New York Saturday night on sex trafficking charges. Remains in custody pending bail hearing Monday. (link)”
Jeffrey Epstein arrested on trafficking charges, sources say
I wonder who he’s going to talk about to the prosecution.
Isn’t that the question of the hour. I guess it depends on the strength of the indictment and any incentive for deal-making.
Folks are making a big deal about the Public Corruption Unit being involved, but I don’t think that has the significance some are thinking (I thought it might just relate to his ‘stature’/ wealth/ connections / Acosta’s past involvement). Of course, I could be wrong.
I’ve got nothing for Epstein, he is a garbage human. But I see HUGE problems in this, and unless it is for conduct occurring “after” his plea and sentencing, this is light years beyond problematic and worrying.
I was wondering about that because of the dates of alleged conduct cited in DB. Hard to tell without more info/the indictment.
Also don’t remember that closely the language of his plea agreement, but had assumed that they must have come up with acts not covered therein?!? Somehow? Otherwise they would be sham charges…
I’m not a lawyer, but I’m also going to tamp down any expectations until more information is available.
Is there any hint that this is prelude to a plea deal? Or if there was a deal, would they just cut to the chase and announce he was cooperating on a case involving others?
It seems odd that they would arrest him if the chances were high he could win, especially considering the legal firepower he can afford, and also considering the bad PR backfire potential. But I realize charges sometimes can be brought on flimsy grounds even in high profile cases.
To Eureka and BobCon – Yeah, I don’t know. Without the indictment, all I can find on relevant dates is via the DB article. If, and that is a big if, then I see some huge problems. And, to reiterate, I don’t give a fuck about Epstein, he is a dirtbag, but I DO care about the sanctity of plea bargains entered into and relied on, and related Non Prosecution Agreements (NPA’s), and statutes of limitation.
All those things are in play here. And the criminal justice system, seriously, depends on all of them. Discussion on this is easy here in comments. But, every day in criminal courts, lives and futures depend on this. That probably sounds hyperbolic, but it is not in the least.
So, we shall see on Monday it appears!
You don’t sound hyperbolic to me at all, perfectly reasonable concerns given what info is– and is not– available right now. You can’t remedy injustice (prior case) with further injustice (if indeed this current case violates agreements or other ~’hard mores’).
That he is loathed is, or should be, a separate issue.
And to the heart of the matter (why everyone cares), there’s the adage that leopards don’t change their spots, and so I do hope that there is both proper justice and stoppage of further victimizing, if any.
Here is a really informative Twitter feed re D-Tr*mp and Ep.
Thanks, klynn– I was seeing snippets of this last night, didn’t have a link like this for the fuller story.
I am just spitballing here without seeing the complaint. That said, most commonly understood sex crimes are state offenses, and this case is clearly in federal court. The one charge that comes to mind is 18 USC §1591 for sex trafficking, which, theoretically, has no statute of limitation. So that would also potentially answer the time issue.
My bet is that SDNY has found one or more victims that say they were victimized in NY (as opposed to the former cases in FL state and SDFL) and Epstein is being prosecuted under this or a related statute. I still think Epstein will have some arguments in defense, but this is at least a plausible path. It will be fascinating to see how this plays out. We will get the first real glimpse tomorrow.
Excerpt from the DailyBeast article:
NPA being the non-prosecution agreement SDFL’s U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra ruled in February 2019 broke the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA).
An aside: A civil suit against Trump and his golf course came before Judge Marra in 2016. I don’t recall this getting much press at the time.
Sure, this is exactly the problem I see. The NPA covered a range of offenses, including at least one that putatively has no statute of limitation.
And while people keep referring to the Marra decision, I find it irrelevant. It was in a civil case that should have no bearing on the sanctity of criminal pleas and attendant criminal resolutions.
Frankly, I don’t think Marra’s decision is even pertinent to anything civil as it found that “prosecutors” violated the CVA, and prosecutors have absolute immunity. The hype, as fed by a lot of bad reporting by journalists who don’t understand the law, coupled with public outrage, has let this entire matter get way ahead of where the law likely is.
I want to respond to this fully but I think I will just bite back some of what I was going to say.
Instead, I want to note that young girls and women have been repeatedly victimized first through sexual assault and trafficking, and then by a justice system which violated their right to know the details of the prosecution of the perpetrator.
There isn’t just sexual assault and/or trafficking here; it’s layers of crimes, and not all the crimes may have been charged and prosecuted as expected more than 10 years ago but neither the victims nor the public yet know because the government hid this information. It’s this last point where Marra’s decision was relevant, and may still be important if it can shed light on what went wrong in holding Epstein and possible unindicted co-conspirators accountable.
Well, you feel free to let loose. My argument is not with what you said, but in insuring that the sanctity of pleas and binding agreements in criminal prosecutions not be violated because of public outrage. That is not defending Epstein, it is defending the rule of law, even when it is uncomfortable. If you cannot understand that, then I got nothing. We shall see what SDNY really has.
Harpie and Eureka, that quote Carrie made from the Miami Herald author is the most patently obvious thing ever. It is truly a “no shit” moment.
And there’s no possibility at all that a plea and non-prosecution agreement can be corrupt? that such an agreement is more sacred and inviolable than the rights of victims? ~smh~
Yes, we shall see what SDNY really has.
Leaving these here for reference.
A snippet of text jumped out at me here:
I know the significance here is that the deception helped abridge the rights of the victims to protest the plea agreement, but now wonder at the meaning of the fed investigation having been closed then in allowing fed charges now about acts back then. Guess it depends on the globality of the NPA…
Also, Boies asserts:
From Feb 21, 2019– I’m sure these were posted/discussed at the time here in comments but don’t have those links:
Jeffrey Epstein case: Federal prosecutors broke law, judge says
Additional background, from Feb 6th:
Justice Department to investigate Jeffrey Epstein plea deal
A few of the links above have updates noting there are new victims and testimony from additional employees.
Eureka, this topic was discussed quite a bit on this 2/23/19 post by Rayne:
ALL THE NEWS FIT TO TREAT BADLY
Thanks, harpie. I knew it was/would have been and that you or Rayne would know exactly where, so I just did what I could last night in your absences.
Thanks for this informative discussion, everyone!
Laura Rozen Retweeted https://twitter.com/johnson_carrie/status/1147870045286146048
7:08 AM – 7 Jul 2019
bmaz at 10:39 am:
Maybe Epstein is why Pence was called back?
That occurred to me as well; I’d wondered last week if Trump have a meltdown because he was notified that he’s mentioned in the papers to be unsealed related to Epstein’s non-prosecution prosecution?
When news of Epstein’s arrest came out last night I wondered instead if Trump had been notified about the warrant. Neither of these possibilities look good at all.
“Neither of these possibilities look good at all.”…
for whom? :-)
Asylum seekers fleeing from violence in their own country to violence, racism and misogyny in America. Exposure of the border patrol and human cruelty.
BORDER PATROL AGENTS TRIED TO DELETE RACIST AND OBSCENE FACEBOOK POSTS. WE ARCHIVED THEM.
Rayne at 10:48 am – Of course there is. But that does not mean you get to unilaterally vacate it out of outrage. The criminal justice system depends on the finality of such things, at least after any applicable appellate time has expired.
This is an instructive case. We will see where it goes, and how. The indictment will be the first clue. I went and found the NPA, and it is indeed global as to “offenses against the United States”, and that would include SDNY. So the indictment is going to have to specify offenses after the execution of the NPA. And they may well have that. But that is what to watch for.
And I would add one other thing: This new “investigation” was demanded of the DOJ by members of Congress, and yet does not involve Congress directly in any regard. It was preening. Congress publicly jamming the DOJ into criminal action is no more appropriate than Trump doing so when it is not directly related to their business.
The other thing I’m trying to temper my expectations about is whether this goes any farther than Epstein. I realize there are hints of another unnamed person being revealed, it’s always possible it’s someone fairly unremarkable like a driver or accountant.
As much as I would like to see Acosta or Dershowitz or even Trump go down, I have to start with the assumption that this case is much narrower than that, and Epstein won’t see any reason to provide testimony about anyone else. We’ll see.
Yes. And there were many aiders and abetters. But the time issue and coverage of the NPA are in play for more than Epstein. Was it all heinous and wrong? Sure. Does that permit undoing it now? I do not know, but there are a million questions there. The answers will start to form tomorrow with release of the charging doc.
There are rumblings that charges could happen in Ohio as well. Just rumblings, nothing concrete.
He had a place in New Mexico, also. I wonder, since it seems to be a serious “habit”, what went on there. (I suspect that the authorities are going to be looking into it.)
Yeah, I saw that in Bill Clinton’s statement, which didn’t mention Epstein’s Paris home. That expressly inserted address almost felt like loaf-sized bread crumb, like somebody in New Mexico should have already been investigating Epstein there AND asking why the original prosecution was so narrow.
I am seriously beginning to wonder if one of the reasons why Bush admin got rid of some U.S. Attorneys was because the existing ones wouldn’t look away from this stuff. Remember David Iglesias was the USA for NM when he was fired by Bush admin during the US Attorney scandal.
Mark Bennett advises there is a DOJ policy that will severely undercut any attempt by Epstein to claim the NPA was intended to be global:
That is going be a problem for him in SDNY, as there is clearly no specific sign off by the SDNY office on the NPA. I suspect he will argue that was intended, but hard to see a court buying that argument in light of the specific policy.
I have had this question on my mind all day, so finally I’ll put it out there…
When plea deals are made by prosecutors that give defendants a lenient sentence compared to the crime, what is the role of the judge, i.e., should the judge weigh in if the plea deal is seemingly too lenient?
Pleas are worth nothing more than the bulk copy paper they are printed on and signed on, until…..they are put in front of the court on the record, reviewed, and accepted by a judge.
That said, what the public, often operating on very thin and often incomplete, information, considers “too lenient” may often have far more critical things undergirding them. And sometimes they don’t! You never know. But, yes, there is indeed an allocution, to a judge, and a finding of propriety on the record involved.