Three Things: Corrupt, More Corrupt, and Stumbling Naifs

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

I’ve got a couple of posts s-l-o-w-l-y brewing but there’s plenty to chew on in the mean time. There may be some all-caps yelling, I must warn.

~ 3 ~

Utah’s Senator Mike Lee went to Moscow this week to talk about lifting the sanctions. Because of course he did, being utterly insensitive to the ongoing attacks by Russia on U.S. elections ahead. The sanctions Russia placed against the U.S. are pure bullshit and shouldn’t be seen as anything more than that; a member of Congress negotiating with them only legitimizes them.

Curiously, Lee is one of the same Class III GOP senators whose terms end in January 2023. What a coincidence that eight of 22 Class III GOP senators have now made a visit to Moscow.

You’ll recall that last year GOP Senators Richard Shelby (AL), Steve Daines (MT), John Hoeven (ND), John Neely Kennedy (LA), Jerry Moran (KS), Ron Johnson (SD), and John Thune (SD) — all Class III senators except for Daines who is in Class II — made a visit to Moscow on July 4 last year ostensibly to ask Russia to stop meddling in our elections.

Ha. More likely to ask for help when they run for re-election.

~ 2 ~

Speaking of sketchy GOP senators, 26 of 53 GOP senators have now visited and used the Trump Hotel in Washington DC. Purely innocent use of a convenient facility, right? Except these senators never used any Trump hotel until after he was elected.

Last Name

First Name

State

Term Ends

Went to Russia

Barrasso

John

WY

2025

Blackburn

Marsha

TN

2025

Blunt

Roy

AR

2023

Cornyn

John

TX

2021

Cotton

Tom

AR

2021

Crapo

Mike

ID

2023

Cruz

Ted

TX

2025

Ernst

Joni

IA

2021

Gardner

Cory

CO

2021

Graham

Lindsey

SC

2021

Grassley

Chuck

IA

2023

Hawley

Josh

MO

2025

Hoeven

John

ND

2023

Moscow 2018

Inhofe

James

OK

2021

Johnson

Ron

WI

2023

Moscow 2018

Kennedy

John

LA

2023

Moscow 2018

McConnell

Mitch

KY

2021

Murkowski

Lisa

AK

2023

Paul

Rand

KY

2023

Rounds

Mike

SD

2021

Rubio

Marco

FL

2023

Sasse

Ben

NE

2021

Scott

Tim

SC

2023

Thune

John

SD

2023

Moscow 2018

Tillis

Thom

NC

2021

Kind of disgusting to see Lisa Murkowski on this list; she’s been more independent of the GOP than most of the rest of her caucus. The RNC has spent $400,000 at Trump hotels since the 2016 election, setting a great example of corruption for the rest of its ranks.

Don’t even get me started on spineless Ben Sasse, he of all talk and no cattle when it comes to doing the right thing.

Have to wonder what the state of play in Louisiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin for these four GOP senators to not only call on Russia on America’s holiday of independence last year but to suck up to their mobster party boss at his overpriced hotels.

One thing I couldn’t find readily: the name of the lone Democratic senator who visited a Trump hotel. Name and shame them, people. Democrats need to clearly differentiate themselves from corruption.

~ 1 ~

Meanwhile, some Democratic freshmen can’t find their butts with both hands when it comes to an impeachment inquiry. These representatives so far have resisted supporting an inquiry in spite of being elected to office in a blue wave — they were chosen to fix Trump’s Washington, in short. Most of them are holding out for more facts, a stronger case before they support impeachment.

And now a direct message to those freshmen holdouts:

WHAT PART OF MULTIPLE COUNTS OF OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE DON’T YOU GET, FRESHMEN??

It’s right there in the Special Counsel’s Report which every member of Congress has had more than ample time and at least one lengthy break to read.

Not to mention the ongoing daily abuses of power and gross negligence which speak for themselves and in some cases have cost human lives (ask Puerto Rico and the untold numbers of asylum-seeking children still in cages).

Take notes from California frosh Rep. Katie Porter on an impeachment inquiry. Nobody is above the law and you members of Congress have a constitutional duty to uphold and defend it — you’re given the power to deal with an intransigent executive by the Constitution.

You’ve read the Constitution’s Article I, haven’t you? You understood your oath of office, yes? Bloody well do what you were hired to do which is outlined in the Constitution and your oath, neither of which prescribe winning popularity contests or fundraising.

These are the representatives I’ve seen named in several reports* as reluctant to get behind an impeachment inquiry:

Susan Wild PA-7 D+1.1 (redistricted from pivot districts, doesn’t believe there’s enough evidence for impeachment)

Gil Cisneros CA-39 EVEN R+0/D+0
TJ Cox CA-21 EVEN R+0/D+0
Josh Harder CA-10 EVEN R+0/D+0
Katie Hill CA-25 EVEN R+0/D+0

Jared Golden ME-2 R+2 (called impeachment nonsense, isn’t hearing from constituents about supporting impeachment)
Angie Craig MN-2 R+2
Andrew Kim NJ-3 R+2
Conor Lamb PA-17 R+2.5 (redistricted)

Haley Stevens MI-11 R+4
Elissa Slotkin MI-8 R+4

Being from Michigan I can almost understand the concerns of the last two, BUT…they were elected in districts which have been strongly GOP for at least a decade, as a direct rebuttal of Trump policies. Trump’s bullshit trade war with China has hurt both businesses and investments of their constituents greatly (unless they’re accountants who are raking in big bucks from all the new tax code changes). They’ve also got a Democratic governor, attorney general, and secretary of state who are women and going to do their best to get their backs and assure a fair election in 2020. The excuses they have for waffling in R+4 districts are nominal, especially after Trump’s egregious behavior on so many topics this week. How badly does Trump have to meltdown before they will get behind a formal inquiry?

And that’s what should be pounded into the rest of the freshmen who are holding out ‘because we don’t have all the facts’ or ‘we need the strongest case’ or ‘I don’t jump on a bandwagon’: DO THE RIGHT THING BY SUPPORTING AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY.

We will get all the facts and make the strongest case with a formal inquiry which has Constitutional support.

And the bandwagon is to DO THE RIGHT THING, not worry about re-election, Rep. Wild. None of your bills are going anywhere so long as Senate Majority Leader #MoscowMitch McConnell is in thrall to both Trump and Russia. Quit dragging your feet and get the hell on board.

~ 0 ~

I’ve got a post in progress on the Epstein-MIT Media Lab scandal and another on Scotland. Later this week we’ll have to do another whip count now that I’ve laid out the problem with freshmen Democrats.

If you haven’t called your representative lately, do so — Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121 — and ask them to support an impeachment inquiry. Thank them if they already have committed to supporting an inquiry. They count calls, I can see it reflected in media reports.

Let’s get back to school, people. Treat this as an open thread.
________

* Sources:
31-AUG-2019 – House Democrats in Trump districts resist liberal pressure on impeachment (WaPo)

02-SEP-2019 – Impeachment Summer Passes By, Without A Breakthrough (HuffPo)

07-SEP-2019 – Impeachment fight looms over freshmen Democrats at home in California (CNN)

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61 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    That op-ed+video link by Judge Napolitano on obstruction of justice might be the only one I’ve shared a few times from Fox News.

    You need to persuade a right-wing zealot about an impeachment inquiry? Use that link.

  2. P J Evans says:

    I don’t know what Katie Hill is afraid of – she beat Steve Knight 54-46 in the general, after coming in second in a primary with three other Ds. Yes, there are a lot of conservatives in that (AFAICT) gerrymandered district – it has a lot of the Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita, part of Porter Ranch (north edge of the San Fernando valley), and part of Simi Valley, in Ventura County. But she beat him, so she doesn’t have to bow to the cons to find out what to do.

    • Rayne says:

      Not like this past several weeks haven’t also provided ample material to support an inquiry which she can point to and say it’s not a power grab but a formal investigation which will be open to the public for the most part.

      There’s so much public support for obtaining Trump’s tax returns that I don’t know why these freshmen aren’t using that as ample reason. I can almost write the copy for a conservative district:

      “Every president has provided their tax returns to show they have no conflicts and are serving in the public’s interest, not their own.

      Even Hillary Clinton as a candidate provided her returns.

      Why can’t we have the president’s returns if he has nothing to hide? We’ve sued for them and he’s still not providing them.

      A formal impeachment inquiry allows Congress to obtain this information to share it with the public.”

      Easy stuff. There’s just no excuse for this.

    • Bunnyvelour says:

      I’m in an adjacent district (Brad Sherman’s), but I will call her local office this morning and nudge. I like Katy Hill, and if the past week hasn’t pushed her over the line (Scotland airport military refueling/trump hotel, and the border wall funding by taking $ away from REAL military projects) then I don’t know what more she could be waiting for.

  3. Bay State Librul says:

    John Kennedy, from Louisiana, is the biggest fucking asshole, that I’ve seen in years.
    Such a dickhead!
    Okay, I’ve had a few drinks prior to the Patriots game.

    • Rayne says:

      JNK is pretty goddamned stupid. I resent having to search for such a moron using ‘John Kennedy’. Can’t Louisiana field somebody with a few more watts of intellect?

      I haven’t been drinking and after writing all this I should really catch up. Sláinte!

      • David B Pittard says:

        He engaged Kavanaugh in a fairly high-level discussion of the concept of jurisdiction during the confirmation hearings. Something other than “stupid.”

        • Rayne says:

          You’re entitled to your opinion as am I. I’m not relying on the Kavanaugh hearing alone. I can’t think of any hearing in which I’ve seen him where I haven’t thought he was stupid or pwned and stupid.

          • errant aesthete says:

            @Rayne

            The mention of the Kavanaugh hearing was brought back today with shuddering clarity on Huffpost, “Unqualified and Ideological: A Guide to Trump’s Worst Judges” with top honors going to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh—Credibly accused of sexual assault:

            “Kavanaugh repeatedly lied under oath in his Senate confirmation hearing and, alternating between crying, yelling and interrupting Senate committee members as they pressed him on credible sexual assault allegations against him, he blamed his rocky confirmation process on politics. Kavanaugh’s unhinged behavior raised fresh questions about his temperament to be a justice on the nation’s highest court. As Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) concluded in opposing him, he failed to meet the standard spelled out in the Code of Judicial Conduct, Rule 1.2, which states that a judge must “act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.”

            The American Bar Association was prepared to revisit its previous “well qualified” rating of Kavanaugh after his disastrous hearing, but Senate Republicans went ahead and confirmed him, so the group let it go. Every Republican but one, Murkowski, voted to confirm him.”

            [https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-courts-judges-abortion-lgbtq-voting-rights_n_5d669025e4b063c341f8fdc9]

            The two oversized headshots of an angry, petulant Kavanaugh demonstrating his judicial “finest” is a real head snap—as unforgettable today as it was in September of 2018. Needless to say, it’s seared in historic memory along with Murkowski’s greatest defining moment of her career.

            • Rayne says:

              Need to add to our future Action Item List: review every judge who was nominated by Trump and approved by the Senate who did not have a “well qualified” rating by the ABA.

        • bmaz says:

          No, he really did not. In fact, Kennedy was pretty much beyond loopy and, overall, was pretty much just a cornpone enabler for Kavanaugh. Name the “jurisdiction” brilliance of Kennedy, because I watched every second of that hearing and do not remember diddly squat in that regard.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Among the response to that would be an appropriate one from the Matrix, “Jurismydiction.”

        In the context of the hearings, that discussion was a distraction. His intellectual capacity was less the issue than his long-held priorities and his views on what the law and judges should do, topics that the chattering classes consider irrelevant to a judicial confirmation. Kavanaugh also made his character an issue, while crying and crying foul about it.

        Besides, in that limited context, it is impossible to say whether JNK was thinking for himself or reading a script.

    • BobCon says:

      Joi Ito was on the NY Times board of directors until he quit just a bit ago.

      I’m interested in Xeni Jardin’s claim that the Times had information from whistleblowers about MIT and Epstein, but ran nothing. I doubt Ito directly affected coverage, but I can believe there is a larger institutional problem at the Times that slowed coverage.

        • Frank Probst says:

          You’ve said you’re working on a post on this, so I think it’s worth noting exactly WHY he got sacked from MIT. (He technically resigned, and I’ve seen no mention of whether or not he had tenure. If he did, it would have been harder to force him out, but MIT still had ample grounds to do so.) There are two key things here:

          1. Epstein was already in MIT’s “disqualified” database. We don’t know why, but my guess (emphasis on “guess”) is that it’s because he was a registered sex offender, and this popped up when MIT vetted him when he tried to make a donation through the normal channels.

          2. Ito worked with Peter Cohen (who was then the M.I.T. Media Lab’s Director of Development and Strategy) to do an end-run around MIT’s normal procedures for accepting donations so that they could take Epstein’s money.

          Ronan Farrow doesn’t say where Peter Cohen is now, but if he’s still at MIT, he’ll probably be gone by the end of the week, if not the end of the day.

          I think it’s worth noting that #2 alone probably would have led to Ito’s resignation, even in the absence of #1. Failing to send the money through the university’s regular channels is a big no-no in academia. Many (if not most) universities have what’s called a “gift tax”, meaning the university takes a cut from any donation, even if the donation is specifically earmarked for a particular use. Except for things like small gifts (like an academic physician accepting something like a neck tie), everything goes through regular channels.

    • d4v1d says:

      count ‘no one is above the law’ as one of those aphorisms (‘this is not who we are’ is another) that is clearly not true. the guy currently warming the seat in the oval office while the nation waits for a real president, has been above the law his entire life. his father before him and his children after him, too (looking at you, cyrus vance jr). plus, wall street bankers, a staggeringly high number of cops…you get the idea. white collar crime is legal if you went to the right schools, you have a separate set of laws. this, i’m afraid, is who we are.

      • Rayne says:

        Who we are doesn’t change unless we hold people accountable.

        The underlying problem is and has been r>g — returns to capital are greater than the economic growth rate — because capital can buy the laws it wants and the protection from enforcement when laws are inconvenient.

        Nothing changes unless we stop shrugging at this lawlessness. Unless we ditch the defeatism the scofflaws prefer. There are more than 90% of us to them. The only thing stopping the people from fixing this mess is political will.

  4. BobCon says:

    Howard Schultz dropped his fantasy bid, which is good news. Although I have seen a couple of claims that he bowed to online pressure, I don’t buy it — I suspect that he saw enough polling data to make it clear he wasn’t even going to be a spoiler. He didn’t even wait to see if any of his hated lefty candidates won the nomination.

    I think the DC pundit class is behind the curve as usual, and I suspect they will still be beating the drum for a long while for a candidate who appeals to their fantasy moderates. I also fear the pundits will turn ugly when they find out that this isn’t viable any more. There is going to be a lot more reflexive defense of the indefensible, as we have seen recently with the Times and Bret Stephens and Glenn Kessler at the Post and his awful “Pinocchio” cheap shots at Bernie Sanders.

    • Areader2019 says:

      Agree.

      The pundit class represents a solid 1% of the voters. But they are determined to beat the drum for a ‘moderate’ candidate. Which means someone who won’t raise taxes on our boss.

      Or someone who won’t be so racist that we can’t eat at the Red Hen if we support him.

      • BobCon says:

        I’m finding it interesting that there is a good deal of pushback coming from the younger rank and file. I don’t think Baquet was prepared for the interrogation he got from some NY Times reporters after the recent Jonathan Weisman disaster, and I also don’t think he was expecting the leaks of the transcript.

        I also think the NY Times is discovering that the supposed code of the elites is breaking down, where insiders are not supposed to criticize insiders. They’re getting more pieces like this in the big time media:

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/09/03/this-is-critical-column-about-bret-stephens

        Of course, the code is breaking down in large part because liberals are finally figuring out that it never gets applied equally — conservatives get all the opportunities they want to attack liberals as traitors and weaklings, but liberals are hissed down by the old elites in the name of civility if they argue the facts. I don’t think the Baquets and Bennets are done yet, though.

    • Rayne says:

      One major flaw academic Rosenberg makes about democracy: that it’s our brains cognitive limitations to blame for the reversal of some states moving away from democracy and not concerted, organized operations deliberately targeting individuals in a way that bypasses consciousness and public dialog to attack democracy.

      He’s also limited his understanding of cognition to the brain alone when research is finding more links every day to relationships other parts of the human body play in cognition — like the gut biome’s bi-directional role in regulating brain response to biochemicals made in and/or passed through the gut. How much of our ability to respond to threats to democracy is based on exposure to environmental toxins created and sold by mega-corporations?

      Rosenberg also talks as if racism is default instead of being another operation — one that white supremacy has foisted on Americans to ensure its continued dominance. This bit:

      … For example, racism is easily triggered unconsciously in whites by a picture of a black man wearing a hoodie. …

      he treats this like it fell from the sky when that unconscious response was learned over years from other whites. He doesn’t want to own that, though.

      There are two generations of Americans who are increasingly fed up with the kind of defeatism Rosenberg promulgates with his claims. They are more diverse in ethnicity and race, they are burdened by the corruption and apathy of their parents and grandparents, and they aren’t going to take it much more. They understand that capital has attempted to steal their future by undemocratic methods because they understand now that r>g. They learned this by way of the excessively democratized tools Rosenberg claims is damaging to democracy — social media and the internet.

      This is just as annoying as his crap about racism:

      … The elites, as Rosenberg defines them, are the people holding power at the top of the economic, political and intellectual pyramid who have “the motivation to support democratic culture and institutions and the power to do so effectively.” …

      How is this not code for “as long as the white people retain power, democracy will thrive”?

      In my opinion, Rosenberg is not unlike academic Jordan Peterson — full of it.

      • BobCon says:

        The appeals to evolutionary psychology in that article get my hackles up.

        The science in that field is very, very bad in many, many places, and it is stunning how the fundamental bias embedded in it is so unrecognized by most of its adherents.

      • P J Evans says:

        The people at the top have never really supported democracy. They want no rules applying to themselves but their own, and the rest of us are supposed to be quiet and subservient to them, as they are our “betters”.
        The 60s scared them, deeply, because they’d had that generation of children taught to think and reason, after Sputnik, and they didn’t like the results: people who didn’t accept that “the way things are” was how the world had to be.

            • Rayne says:

              Should tell you something about the way long-term systemic propaganda works — it screwed so much with liberals’ heads that they bought into the notion leadership-as-public-servant was evil.

              The Occupy movement also suffered for it — it avoided having a figurehead but it also meant not having a role model to follow into leadership-as-public-servant.

              Probably why OFA collapsed so easily after Obama’s election. There was a power vacuum no one filled; now we suffer the consequences.

  5. skua says:

    @Therasa N
    That “end of democracy” article was worth reading.
    It fails in its explanation of why, “experts and public figures who help those around them navigate the heavy responsibilities that come with self-rule—have increasingly been sidelined”.
    The article explains this phenomenon by pointing at the internet and social media.
    The sidelining has many other causes, some of which predate the internet by decades.
    Amongst those other causes are; increased power of the executive, domestic politics being positioned as social warfare, an economic system that rewards psychopathic behaviors in institutions and corporations, a political system that relies on the bribes and donations that the lobbists and the ultra-rich use to manipulate it, the privatization of science, and long term programs that aim to manipulate voters’ emotions and worldview – of which Fox News is just the most currently visible.

    • BobCon says:

      The weird passive voice in the phrase you quoted really jumped out at me too.

      I agree “have increasingly been sidelined” is a bad way to say it. I think it’s overwhelmingly a conscious effort by conservative elites to break from expertise in the past few decades. It’s also cyclical, which is a problem for the basic thesis here.

      The rise of the obsession among some of the pseudo-intellectual right with pseudo-scientific racial categorization is just rehashing of arguments of the turn of the 20th Century, which in turn were rehashing arguments made in previous times as well. Kooky public health ideas that reject the advice of experts isn’t a new phenomenon either, and reflects rising and ebbing tides through the centuries.

      These things were beaten back when people made an effort to do so, but this essay doesn’t want to admit it.

      • PSWebster says:

        A well reasoned estimate, BobCon.

        Just finished The Econimists’ Hour which explains in detail the rise of Supply Side eco 101 (spoiler: mostly Friedman’s Chicago School) and the libertarian creed of less government, less oversight, less regulation which continues to this day with the Johathan Swift grotesqueness of Trump and Boris.

        Interesting story in which the only thing he could relate about what Trump has written is a note he made on a speech: “Trade is bad.” Like an elementary school boy.

        I love the history of Economics but like all of the dismal sciences it exceeds its expectations disastrously for the levels below the 1%. And we exported this around the globe and now we find ourselves on a pile of shite: fantastic debt and deficits just exploding in our faces.

        Friedman did a lot of yelling which seems to mark the success of those selling shit but calling it vanilla ice cream. He was industrious in his promotion of Monetary Policy and he was wrong, mostly.

        Never trust someone without doubts who cannot stop talking: the con man.

  6. Eureka says:

    I think it’s fair to add Chrissy Houlahan PA-06 D+2 (redistricted) to the reluctant frosh list.

    Everything I’ve heard from her has been about reluctance (or avoiding the issue). I checked and see no countervailing statements, including after an editorial* (7-28-19) urging her to support an impeachment inquiry. Maybe I missed something. My sense from recurrent exposure to both of their statements says she and Wild are not much different here, but that Houlahan would come forward for an inquiry sooner (if they don’t do it near simultaneously). Maybe the military stuff will put her over the edge.

    chrissy houlahan impeachment inquiry at DuckDuckGo
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=chrissy+houlahan+impeachment+inquiry&t=h_&ia=web

    Rep. Houlahan urges caution on impeachment talk
    https://www.dailylocal.com/news/rep-houlahan-urges-caution-on-impeachment-talk/article_94c7dc22-847b-11e9-ad15-074c835a9515.html

    ^on June 2nd, interview in-district before public events in bluer parts of district; article reposted at her congressional website ‘news’ section

    *Rep. Houlahan: It’s time to start the impeachment inquiry
    (unionville times link at ddg results)

  7. d4v1d says:

    it’s not just the freshmen (ahem, Richard Neal D-BlueState). Congress ‘people’ don’t go to Washington to govern. They go there to get ric…. sorry, raise money, and to get re-elected (gotta keep the gravy train rolling). That’s what consumes 2/3 of their day. Time in the gym to be in shape for the tv cameras eats up the other 1/3. It’s the unpaid interns who do any actual work.

  8. Bruce McDonald says:

    A not-so-wild guess…My money is on Joe Manchin, the T. Rex Of DINOs, as the Dem Senator who patronized Trump’s DC Hotel.

  9. David says:

    I have reached out in writing two times to my Rep, Elissa Slotkin. I have asked her to speak of impeachment and the President’s poor behavior in her newsletters. She has never responded. During her initial campaign she made clear, despite being a Democrat, she would never have run had Mike Rogers (a hard core Republican now on Right Wing Radio) not resigned the seat a couple years earlier. Both former CIA people, clearly she is no progressive and is thinking that in order to hold her seat in 2020 she will need to wimp out and not attack Trump. I dare say Haley Stevens is taking the same strategy. To me it seems cowardly and craven to avoid the big issue of the day in order to try and protect ones reelection chances….

    • Rayne says:

      Thank for sharing that, David. Keep pressing her, call each week as Trump provides more reasons for impeachment.

      Welcome to emptywheel.

  10. klynn says:

    OT…was chatting with a friend who is traveling the Freedom Trail. She share some great insights on her stops with her kids and I thought this one was moving…
    “The site of the Boston Massacre:
    To overly simplify the story: this is where unarmed, innocent Americans were gunned down by British soldiers in an open, public place. Five (5) people were killed, and an additional six (6) were wounded. An engraving of the incident made by Paul Revere was carried in newspapers across the colonies, sparking a revolution. Five (5) people were killed and they called it a “massacre.” Americans were outraged and did something about it. Five people.”

    Come on democracy. Save yourself USA. You worked hard to secure this democracy.

  11. jhand says:

    The first couple of times I saw John Kennedy on TV, I figured he was just some peckerwood who stumbled into a Senate election. Then I found out that he is a graduate of Vanderbilt, Virginia Law, and Oxford’s Magdalen College. He may be a Jekyll-Hyde person, but I have never seen the Dr. Jekyll persona in public. He consistently comes off as an unread buffoon who supports the unread buffoon in the White House. I guess Kennedy has decided he needs to play to his electoral base all day every day. He gives us no hint of either knowledge or wisdom.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Among Southern politicians, playing a dim good ol’ boy has a long pedigree. Sen. Sam Ervin, of Watergate fame, comes to mind – just a lil’ ol’ country lawyer, from Harvard Law. Ervin didn’t hide his smarts, he just didn’t brag about them.

      JNK seems to brag about being dumb. That is very hard to do after you’ve graduated magna and Phi Beta Kappa from Vanderbilt, top 10% from U.V.A. Law, and have a B.C.L with first class honors from Oxford. It is so fake, it makes you not want to trust the man.

  12. Frank Probst says:

    Whoa. CNN is reporting that we exfilled a high-level CIA asset from Moscow, because they were worried that Trump might reveal the asset’s identity. They’re saying this happened soon after Trump’s blabbing to Kislyak and Lavrov about an Israeli asset when Trump met with the Russians the day after he fired Comey. (I’ve always wondered if the Israelis exfilled their asset after this happened.)

    • P J Evans says:

      Doesn’t surprise me, and if the Israelis have assets in Russia, they probably have plans for getting them out. But I’m always surprised that there are people who defend the guy in the WH for doing the loose-lips tango.

  13. Parker Dooley says:

    Hi Rayne–
    With regard to Ben Sasse, I think the appropriate term is “all talk & no walk.” He must have cattle, because his promises to do the right thing are pure bullshit.

    • bmaz says:

      The term “terrorist” is bandied about too easily, much like “traitor” and “RICO”. I have to admit, I have used it colloquially in relation to the Federalist Society (who I absolutely argue is far more of a threat as an organization, to the future of this country than the NRA). But that doesn’t mean it is right. Whether the NRA is, or is not, a terrorist organization though, that determination is certainly not up to a localized municipal and/or county government.

      • P J Evans says:

        I suspect that the declaration by the supes is pretty much just feel-good, as far as legal effects go, but IANAL. I also can’t see the NRA getting far with a suit over something that actually isn’t likely to hurt them – they have far bigger legal problems elsewhere, like in their own headquarters.

  14. Wm. Boyce says:

    Regarding impeachment: I think that the leadership is still waiting for court battles over denial of info from Trump’s crime family of a government. The last poll I saw showed 59% of the voting public doesn’t want an impeachment. The Republican party has become devoted to a foreign government (Russia)
    All in all, I’m not surprised at reluctance from some Dems to proceed w/o more evidence. There really isn’t that much more time either before the election season, considering how slowly the courts move.
    It’s not 1973 any more, people, I was there, and there were politicians on both sides who ultimately did the right thing.

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